Say hello to the world’s first full-frame 8×10 large format single-shot digital camera. The Santa Clara, California-based startup company LargeSense has just launched the LS911, a camera that raises the bar for sensor sizes in digital photography.
The LargeSense LS911 features a single shot 9×11-inch monochrome CMOS sensor with a 75-micron pixel size, a high base sensitivity of ISO 2100, and a maximum sensitivity of ISO 6400.
“We tend to refer to it as 8×10 as that is the closest format that people search for,” LargeSense says.
Single shot means that the entire sensor is read at once — scanning backs read portions at a time, a strategy that doesn’t play well with moving subjects or strobes.
“Medium format has thus far been the limit as far as sensor size because large sensors are difficult and expensive to produce,” LargeSense says. “With the LS911, photographers now have an option for high-quality large format images other than film.”
The LS911’s ginormous sensor makes the medium format sensor found in the new Fujifilm GFX 50S look tiny:
Resolution-wise, the camera only produces 12-megapixel photos at 3888×3072 pixels. But a “large sensor area give a 3D feeling to images with great tones,” the company says. “Also big pixels.”
Photos can be saved as DNG, TIFF 16 bit, TIFF 32 bit, RAW, and JPEG files to a CF/SD card, 900GB internal storage, or USB3.1 drive output.
Although the sensor can only produce monochrome photos, there’s an integrated system for creating 3-shot tri-color images by using color filters.
Any large format lens can be used on the LS911, provided it produces a sufficient image circle.
The electronic shutter of the camera allows for the use of lenses that don’t have shutters, and shutter speeds as fast as 1/26s can be used. LargeSense says an “external LC shutter will be available later with speeds as fast as 1/500 sec and precisely adjustable.”
On the back of the camera is a display that allows you to frame and focus (using manual rail focusing) your shots in live view.
A 3.5mm jack lets you connect an external shutter button. Controlling the camera’s settings can be done through Wi-Fi using any HTML5 browser on a phone, tablet, or computer.
In addition to still photos, the LargeSense LS911 can shoot 4K lossless video with audio at up to 26fps.
Here are some sample photos captured with a LargeSensor camera (you can find a larger gallery on the company’s website):
Here’s a sample 4K video captured using the LS911:
Finally, here’s an 8.5-minute video showing how to capture a photo using the LargeSense LS911, from beginning to end:
The LargeSense LS911 is available now in the United States, but most photographers may have to take out a mortgage to buy the camera: it costs $106,000.