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Trichromatic Technology

The Science of Color

Phase One has intimate knowledge of our own digital sensors in addition to the 500+ different sensors from the range of cameras that we support in the Capture One software. We see in these different sensors, quirks and compromises, different strengths and weaknesses in color capability. We have been inspired by our insight to invest in what we consider one of the cornerstones of image quality - color - having seen the sacrifices of image quality in favor of other features made in most available sensors. With the Trichromatic sensor, we have put decades of knowledge into action and, together with Sony, physically customized the sensor to get pure color without compromise, all straight from the sensor. 

In the average sensor, the degree of color separation between the wavelengths of blue, green and red light is where the color compromise begins. The color filter array of the Trichromatic sensor, however, is designed to pick up exactly the right wavelength of light that allows us to get the most color nuances in the most natural way possible. This means that we achieve fully saturated colors, and that we can get every shade of blue, green, and red exactly as the scene reveals itself. The uncompromised nature of the color rendering from the sensor in the Trichromatic means that straight out of the camera, the possibilities in the RAW capture and color are wide open.

What is the effect of the Trichromatic?

The Trichromatic doesn't just render colors with more depth and more nuances. The Trichromatic gives a better performance at lower ISO with cleaner signals, without sacrificing anything at the higher ISO.

Pristine Color

With standard pixel color filtration (pictured), one is able to quickly fill the pixel well. However, that value is much less accurate as it contains unwanted and impure color information.

With a better color filter array, shown in the example, the Trichromatic is able to use the full potential of the pixel well to capture only the pure and wanted color data. This provides for maximum color saturation values to be captured at a sensor level while still maintaining complete luminance detail.

Base ISO 35

The Trichromatic color filter array is a more efficient utilization of the electron wells in each individual pixel. As the pixel no longer has to compromise by capturing impure color information, we are able to further tune the sensor to its maximum efficiency and achieve a lower base ISO setting (ISO 35).

High ISO Performance

Traditional sensor manufacturers might view having less color filtration as a way to improve sensor sensitivity and thus achieve higher ISO performance. However, this is somewhat of a paradox as most of the extra sensitivity gained ends up being reduced again in color processing, leaving only the drawbacks of that compromise.

Purple Fringing

Purple fringing is described as an out-of-focus magenta “ghost” that can appear as a coloring and lightening of dark edges next to areas of bright illumination, resulting in a purple anomaly and a loss of edge contrast. This is caused by a combination of many factors in digital photography, both from the optics and sensor. Precision optics, optical UV coatings, and software algorithms can mitigate purple fringing, but its effects in compromised edge contrast will always be a factor unless addressed at a sensor level. The Trichromatic has a significantly higher resistance to purple fringing owing to cleaner color separation. 

Trichromatic technology is found exclusively in Phase One solutions

XF IQ4 100MP Trichromatic Camera System

A professional solution with a dynamic workflow in pristine color.

XT IQ4 100MP Trichromatic Camera System

A travel-friendly solution with effortless capture in pristine color.