Digital Backs

    Whether you’re thinking about upgrading your current digital back, or pondering the possibilities of switching to the quality of medium format from your DSLR, there is a solution for you and it might even be more affordable than you think.  Here we’ll explore the available backs, some of their individual features, and the many advantages of shooting medium format.


Which back should I be looking at?

    In our opinion, there are a few major manufacturers worth considering. Phase One, Leaf, Sinar, and
the Achromatic+ all produce exceptional quality camera backs with a focus on image quality and platform integration.  Between these manufacturers, there are several backs on the market and each one has a particular set of features which make it unique.  One of the biggest misconceptions about medium format backs by those who are unfamiliar is that each back only differs from the others in terms of resolution.  While this is certainly true, there are other inherent traits in each one which could make it particularly well (or ill) suited for your application.
    Interchangeability and versatility are among the first things to consider.  If you have an existing medium format camera system leftover from the film days, perhaps the smartest move is a back which will integrate with that camera.  You may also have an interest in dabbling in technical or view cameras, and the ability to take the back from your medium format camera & mount it to any number of view cameras can be a huge advantage.  Or maybe you’re looking for a completely new camera platform with autofocus and a bit more of an SLR feel.  Most digital back on the market these days can be transferred from one camera
to another with ease, usually by way of an adapter plate.

    The Leaf line of backs include the Credo series (40, 60 and 80). The Credo series backs offer the next generation display (3.2” high resolution touch screen), USB 3 and Firewire interfaces.   The color produced by Leaf backs has been said to be favorable for skin tones, so it’s come to be unofficially known as the go-to portrait camera.  Leaf backs are available with the lasted Mamiya Camera Bodies and available in mounts for Contax 645, Hasselblad and Phase One camera systems.

    Sinar has been in the camera business for a long time, and most of us know them for the engineering that goes into their view cameras like the F, P2, and P3.  Their line of digital backs have been known to be particularly well suited for studio use as many of them are capable of multi-shot. Also, while they do offer CF-supported portable backs, the newest is a Leica/Sinar development.  If your intent is to shoot primarily studio work on a view camera, this might be the solution for you.

Phase One has certainly made a splash in the digital photography world over the last few years, and with plenty to show for it. They continue to innovate new technologies in their digital backs as well as in the ever-popular Capture One software.  Amazing technology in the 100 Million-Pixel Packs, Amazing Live-View, USB 3 & Firewire Interfaces, XF-Focus Stacking, Schneider Optics, are some prime examples    Last but certainly not least is the Achromatic+ back, which is 39mp of true, unfiltered black & white photography.  The Achromatic- 100 offers 101mp.  Simply the finest quality Monochrome Digital backs.  Since it does not separate the information it receives into colors, the resulting images are completely un-interpolated, offering incredibly fine & accurate detail.  The Achromatic+ back is commonly used for scientific and photogrammetry applications, but equally by black & white
photographic purists with a discerning eye.   The Achromatic+ is capable of much more than just black and white photography though. Through selective color and/or wavelength filtration, there’s virtually no end to what can be accomplished with the Achromatic+ digital back.  True creative freedom and highly selective control over your imagery means you can create art in the camera instead of the computer; False color, Infrared, Ultraviolet, or true black & white.  Exposure time up to one-hour.  To learn more about the Achromatic+ digital back, please visit

    The sheer number of options can be confusing, but the key is in the details.  Each back offers something unique, and one of them is sure to have what you’re looking for. If you’d like to discuss your particular needs and requirements, please feel free to give us a call at Bear Images.  Best of all save time, money and get it right by working with Bear Images where we have more experience than any other dealer and know that you will be supported by real photographers...not some webpage paced ‘dealer’ which copies the manufacturers updates to appear like they have some level of experience...   This is the most important equipment purchase you will likely ever make.  Make it make sense.•


These are just a few of the digital solutions we carry and recommend. If you’d like to discuss your specific requirements, please give us a call at Bear Images. 650-321-2327


Digital Backs


Make it Make Sense.

Bear Images has a wonderful selection of pre-owned Phase One and Leaf Digital Backs for the majority of standard camera models..

Contact Bear Images to discuss you needs.   Excellent quality backs are available from as low as $4,500 and up...

Phase One IQ350 : Ultra-Performance Medium Format Digital Back

The Medium Format CMOS Digital Back, Phase One’s IQ350 offers new capabilities to discriminating photographers.

14 F/stop Dynamic Range.

High Speed capturing at sustainable 72 frames per minute (1.2 frames per second).

150 Megabyte Files for stunning picture quality.

Outstanding Live-Video display.

Best High ISO performance of any Medium Format System.

ISO 100 up to ISO 3200.

New Geo Data Sync Capability.

Built-in WiFi communicates directly to iPads, including Live View streaming to Capture Pilot.

Long Exposure Capabilities. And Power Sharing with the XF System.

The IQ350 camera is the best suited Phase One system to meet the needs of high-end portrait, social and wedding photography.  Versatility and Simplicity. The ultimate system for the Generalist Photographer desiring uncompromising large-format picture quality.  High Speed flash-sync up to 1/1,600 second.  Amazing quality color and tonality.  Supports lenses by Schneider, Mamiya, and Carl Zeiss.  Choice of data storage and interfaces (Professional CF Cards or choice of FireWire or USB 3.0 for tethered photography.  Upgrade options for owners of Phase One, Hasselblad, Leaf and Sinar systems.  Bear Images is pleased to arrange in-depth demonstration starting shortly after Groundhog Day...