Phase One’s New 150MP Multispectral Camera Simplifies Art Conservation

Phase One Multispectral Camera System

Phase One has optimized the world’s first fully automated multispectral imaging solution, which will make it faster and easier for art conservation, forensics, and science professionals to examine delicate subjects.

Multispectral imaging (MSI) captures light from a range of wavelengths — those that are visible and invisible to the human eye — across the electromagnetic spectrum using special camera technology, light sources, and filters, Phase One explains. This type of imaging is used mainly for scientific and artistic research. For example, similar systems have been used to reveal the origin and creator of artistic masterpieces and were able to make obscured old handwritten records and letters legible.

“Multispectral imaging can be utilized in a lot of ways, from uncovering hidden messages in scriptures, investigating invisible residues in organic material or analyze color compositions of renowned art work,” Phase One explains.

The new automatic system is called the Rainbow Multispectral Imaging Solution, and Phase One says it is a fully automated and high-resolution tool for both multiband and narrowband multispectral imaging applications. The company says it delivers in-depth insights into materials, pigments, and other traces in documents, paintings and artifacts, without physical contact with the object.

Phase One Multispectral Camera System

The company says that the camera’s high dynamic range means that even the slightest image traces are captured and included for post-capture analysis, but the real benefits of the system are the automation. Phase One says that it is incredibly simple to use and still reliable, which opens up the number of people that can use it regardless of their level of technical expertise.

“We have developed a fully automated workflow for capture and processing of image stacks for both multiband and narrowband multispectral imaging applications. Automation is achieved by an initial calibration for focus, alignment, exposure, and even illumination across all the wavelengths being used,” Phase One explains.

Phase One Multispectral Camera System

“This level of automation means that even scientifically unskilled people in an institution can undertake multispectral imaging projects. Also, since the process is so much faster, researchers and conservators can consider capturing a complete book rather than just a handful of selected pages. If the object were a large painting requiring several step and repeat captures, this automated workflow could make the project more feasible.”

The company says that it has removed the tedious, complex, and error-prone process of manual multispectral imaging and the new faster workflow helps protect fragile subjects by reducing exposure time and getting all the data necessary with the first shot.

As is the case with Phase One products, the Rainbow Multispectral Imaging Solution doesn’t come cheap. It starts at $118,990.