Phase One TriChromatic Sensor Explained

Camera & Technology

January 2, 2018 ·

Kevin Raber

Pushing The Envelope

Phase One is a unique company as they continually have a tendency to achieve what others say can’t be done.  They also take something that is already the leader of the pack and find a way to make it even better.

Years ago back in the CCD sensor days Phase One was purchasing their sensors from Kodak.  At the time Phase One released a 39 mp back called the P45.  The sensors back then had issues with long exposures and high ISOs.  Kodak at the time said the sensor could do maybe a 1-second exposure.  This was not satisfactory for the Phase One engineers and they managed to do something that even surprised Kodak.  They extended the long exposure capability way beyond the few seconds that Kodak specified out for the sensor.

We are now in 2018 and the Phase One team is at it again.  CMOS sensors are now the norm, offering a lot more capability than the CCD sensors.  A lot has changed.  Color and high-resolution sensors are now commonplace.  And, regarding color, we are at a point where color accuracy and dynamic range are something once unheard of.  Phase One would never say that and thus working closely with Sony they have taken color accuracy to even a higher level.

Phase One surprised everyone when the announced the TriChromatic digital back.  Working closely with Sony they were able to design a sensor that delivered higher color accuracy and a lower native ISO thus making for a higher quality capture and final image.

The whole concept of how they accomplished this was a bit confusing for most people to understand.  While we published articles on the TriChromatic a while back, I felt the only way to understand what TriChromatic was all about was to head to Denmark and learn all the details from the engineers that were behind it.

Lau Norgaard and Niels Knudsen offer a detailed explanation on the new TriChromatic back.  Lau shows us using the whiteboard exactly what is happening with the TriChromatic back.  Neils shows us the differences of the TriChromatic sensor vs. a Non Trichromatic sensor.

More information can be found on Phase One’s website 

Lau Norgaard Explains TriChromatic

Niels Knudsen Explains With Images The TriChromatic


Kevin Raber
January 2018

Kevin Raber

Photography is my passion and has been for 45 plus years. My career in photography has allowed me to travel the world, meet some of the most interesting people on the planet and see things I could never have dreamed of. My goal is to share the passion of pictures taking through photographs and teaching with as many people as I can hoping it brings them as much joy and happiness as it has me. I do this through Rockhopper Workshops and other projects as well as teaching at my Gallery in Indianapolis.

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