Phase One meets Formula 1, in new Red Bull photoshoot with 150MP camera

Phase One XF iQ4 150MP
(Image credit: Jesper Gronnemark/Phase One)

It's not often you hear of medium format cameras being used to shoot sports, let alone racing cars that can achieve ridiculous speeds. Yet professional sports photographer Jesper Gronnemark has done just that. 

in his latest photoshoot with Red Bull F1, Gronnemark used Phase One’s highest megapixel camera, the Phase One XF IQ4 150. That’s right, shooting racing cars with a 150 megapixel camera! 

• Read more: Best medium format cameras

Phase One has been a big contender in the medium format universe since the film days, and after taking over Mamiya it soon became a household name in the world of elite photographers and advertising campaigns, offering the highest resolution and craftsmanship possible. 

Today its cameras have taken images that feature on the covers of luxury magazines like Vogue or used in high-fashion campaigns for the likes of Ralph Lauren, but haven’t been used for sports that much… until now.

Armed with a the Phase One XF 150MP camera and a range of blue-ring lenses from the blue Schneider Kreuznach 35mm LS f/3.5 to the 80mm f/2.8 to the 240mm LS f/4.5 IF, Gronnemark was able to capture some stunning images of the Red Bull F1 team’s car within the countryside of Denmark – a setting not common for this type of race car. 

The shoot would prove even more difficult than expected, as not only did Jesper have a shot list as long as his arm, but he would have to work round the whole F1 team, film crew, members of the public and of course some rough weather conditions thrown in for good measure.

From the images Jesper has captured, the photoshoot was a complete success – and it goes to show that even though he is a professional photographer who has worked for over ten years supplying the sports advertising and editorial industry with his work, even he has to work around a film crew getting in front of his lens or working in harsh conditions sometimes.

The camera:

The Phase One XF IQ4 150MP is a modular camera system that features a removable back or brain from the camera body itself. Within this back is the massive sensor that is even bigger than full-frame, 1.5 times larger than any mirrorless medium format on the market, and produces stunning images of 14,202 x 10,652 pixels. Or, to put it another way, a native image output of 120.26 x 90.19cm and 300dpi with 15 stops of dynamic range.

So you can see why some consider this the best medium format system that money can buy. And while we are talking about price, the kit that Jesper was using for this shoot would total in the region of around $65,000 / £48,671 / AU $88,590! The whole thing is simply mind-blowing, but the images look fantastic and just go to show that the myths of digital medium format not being suitable for sports is simply a thing of the past.

Read more:

Best medium format camera
Highest resolution cameras
Best Hasselblad camera

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Sebastian Oakley
Ecommerce Editor

For nearly two decades Sebastian's work has been published internationally. Originally specialising in Equestrianism, his visuals have been used by the leading names in the equestrian industry such as The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), The Jockey Club, Horse & Hound and many more for various advertising campaigns, books and pre/post-event highlights.

He is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts, holds a Foundation Degree in Equitation Science and is a Master of Arts in Publishing.  He is member of Nikon NPS and has been a Nikon user since the film days using a Nikon F5 and saw the digital transition with Nikon's D series cameras and is still to this day the youngest member to be elected in to BEWA, The British Equestrian Writers' Association. 

He is familiar with and shows great interest in medium and large format photography with products by Phase One, Hasselblad, Alpa and Sinar and has used many cinema cameras from the likes of Sony, RED, ARRI and everything in between. His work covers the genres of Equestrian, Landscape, Abstract or Nature and combines nearly two decades of experience to offer exclusive limited-edition prints to the international stage from his film & digital photography.