The world’s most expensive travel camera costs more than a Tesla Model 3 – here’s why

We didn’t think a travel compact camera could get more luxurious and extravagant than the Leica Q3, a $6,000 / £,5300, fixed-lens, 60MP full-frame beauty that in our Leica Q3 review we described as “the most enjoyable, most powerful and most expensive compact camera available”. But now the Phase One XC has landed, and upped the ante, big time.

The 150MP medium format XC has a built-in ultra-wide 23mm f/5.6 lens which makes it Phase One’s first ‘travel’ camera, and compared to any of the best compact cameras it has more pixels and a bigger sensor. The other super-sized feature, though, is its price tag – it costs $62,490. That’s more than a Tesla Model 3, and begs the question: how can such an expensive camera be a reality in 2023? 

Phase One is touting the XC’s precision mechanics and ultra-large medium format sensor. At 53.4 x 40mm, it’s much larger than the 44 x 33mm sensor used by other medium format makers like Fujifilm and Hasselblad, and in another league to any other travel camera.

Phase One XC camera on a white background, front side of the camera

(Image credit: Phase One)

The IQ4 sensor’s extra real estate means that its industry-leading 150 million-pixel resolution maintains a 3.76 micron pixel pitch (size) identical to that of the 60MP full-frame Leica Q3 and 100MP Fujifilm GFX100S and Hasselblad X2D 100C. Sensor and pixel size affect image quality in a number of ways, and Phase One claims the XC offers unparalleled color accuracy and 15 stops of dynamic range.

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