Phase One Industrial, a division of Phase One focusing on specialized equipment, has designed a new camera specifically for drones. It's billed as the smallest 80 megapixel medium format camera in the world. The iXU 180 camera features an 80 megapixel CCD sensor, a choice of five Schneider-Kreuznach lenses, and an overall modular design. The camera won't be arriving until the middle of next month, but Phase One Industrial has detailed its specs ahead of time.

The iXU 180 camera weighs 2lbs and measures 97.4 x 93 x 110mm (body only), which is light enough for most quadcopters to transport for aerial photography purposes. The weight increases by little more than a pound when an 80mm lens is attached. There are five lens options: 28mm, 55mm, 80mm, 110mm, 150mm, and 240mm.

Images are saved to a CompactFlash card with available geotagging via an integrated GPS, and USB 3.0 for direct, high speed  transfers to a computer. Output formats include Raw, JPEG, and TIFF; systems with and without an IR filter will be offered. The iXU 180 will ship in mid-April; pricing has not yet been revealed.

Press release:

Phase One Industrial Announces the iXU 180 ― the world's smallest 80 MP medium format aerial camera

Small 80 MP cameras for creating the highest resolution oblique systems possible

COPENHAGEN, March 26, 2015 ― Phase One Industrial, a leading manufacturer and provider of medium format aerial digital photography equipment and software solutions, today announced the Phase One iXU 180 camera, the world’s smallest 80 MP medium format aerial camera.

The Phase One iXU 180 features an 80 MP CCD sensor for an impressive 10,328 pixels cross-track coverage, yet is so small that its body is barely wider than its lens barrel. Weighing in at less than 950 grams, the iXU 180 can be used as a standalone photogrammetric camera, or as part of an array of multiple cameras, either to cover a larger swath or as part of an oblique camera system.

With the increasingly popular high-resolution 3D city models, users require medium format cameras that can be integrated into small oblique systems that can fit inside a gyro mount. Owners of ultralight planes or gyro copters are now able to build an oblique system and insert it into a smaller belly hole with less interaction with the hull of the aircraft, which means an easier path to obtaining a supplemental type certificate (STC).

Dov Kalinski, General Manager of Phase One Industrial said, "Introducing the Phase One iXU 180 demonstrates our commitment to offering flexibility in the aerial photography market. The Phase One iXU 180 is valuable as a standalone camera and also can be used to build powerful arrays for oblique camera systems at a very reasonable price."

The Phase One iXU 180 utilizes the central leaf shutters built into the wide range of compatible Schneider-Kreuznach lenses (28 mm, 55 mm, 80 mm, 110 mm, 150 mm and 240 mm). The camera is easily integrated into new or existing setups with its USB 3.0 connectivity for storage and control, and direct communication to GPS/IMU systems. Forward motion compensation is also available as an option.


The Phase One iXU 180 will be available from authorized Phase One Industrial partners. Both 60 megapixel RGB and 60 megapixel achromatic versions are also available.

The camera will start shipping mid-April.