Phase One is Finally Selling the XC Camera Without the $46K Back

Phase One XC

Phase One will finally make its medium format travel camera, the XC, available as body-only for those who might already own an IQ4 digital back.

The Phase One XC was announced last June and was billed as a travel-friendly, all-in-one medium-format system that also happened to be the company’s most compact digitally integrated camera ever. That set of features did not come cheap though, as the XC retails for $62,490.

Phase One XC

Of note, that price includes a Phase One IQ4 150-megapixel digital back that is, as Phase One back are, removable. IQ4 digital backs tend to bear the bulk of a Phase One camera’s cost as they are $45,990 each. It makes sense, then, that a photographer that already owned one would probably not be all that excited about buying a second of if they didn’t really need it.

Unfortunately for those Phase One photographers who may have wanted to just get the body of the XC alone, that option wasn’t available — until now.

Phase One XC

Phase One is finally making the body of the XC available without the IQ4 back which reduces the cost of the system significantly, bringing the cost down to $20,290. Capture Integration, one of Phase One’s United States-based dealers, is requiring interested parties to put a down payment of $4,058 in order to pre-order the XC as body-only, however. That down payment is only eligible for store credit refund as well, so photographers should be sure they want to pick up this little travel camera before pre-ordering.

Of note, calling this version of the XC “body only” doesn’t tell the whole story since the camera body includes a fully integrated Rodenstock HR Digaron-S 23mm f/5.6 lens. When the camera was announced, PetaPixel noted that this is a significant departure from Phase One’s XF and XT camera systems, which utilize interchangeable lenses.

In his review of the Phase One XC, Chris Niccolls noted that despite the outstanding image quality the IQ4 sensor and Rodenstock HR Digaron-S 23mm f/5.6 combine to provide, he just couldn’t quite figure out who the camera was for.

“Although it was a fascinating and quirky experience using the camera, I just can’t think of any scenarios where I would prefer it over say a Fujifilm GFX, or even an Hasselblad X2D,” he wrote.

Phase One XC landscape river shot

“A GFX 100 II with a lens would still weigh roughly 25% less than the Phase One XC, and I would have excellent auto-focus, interchangeable lenses, and a rugged body design. I’d also have a lot more money in my bank account afterward.”

That said, one of the complaints Niccolls mentions is that the back was not available separate from the XC body. That, at least, has been resolved.

Image credits: Camera photos courtesy of Phase One. Landscape photo shot with the Phase One XC by Chris Niccolls.