The Honeybee XF Upgrade Is A Gamechanger!
As Phase One announced the Honeybee Autofocus Platform 2.0 hardware upgrade from the HAP-1 to HAP-2 autofocus sensor without terminating the existing XF chassis, our initial reaction was none other than genuine excitement because of the direction that Phase One is heading.
When Phase One announced the XF camera body in 2015, they called the system a “platform”, which suggested that the camera body itself is a mean to an end. The idea behind of the platform is to achieve versatility and advances with its user base. In the past 2 years, we have seen three major Feature Updates within the XF camera body, some of the features include seismic vibration delay, sequential imaging tools (automatic in-camera focus stacking, time lapse, and high dynamic range), and flash analysis.
If you are unsure whether you should do the hardware upgrade, check this article – HAP-1 to HAP-2 vs Autofocus Calibration
Today, what we are looking at with the Honeybee XF upgrade is the first ever medium format camera body hardware component upgrade without committing to an entirely new camera body; and from Digital Transitions’ perspective, this is how a platform’s natural progression should be. As in-camera firmware updates move forward to assist many photographers’ technical needs, the next step is for the in-camera hardware update to keep up that trend as well.
According to Phase One, there are two major improvements with the new HAP-2 autofocus sensor. First, the HAP-2’s low light performance sensitivity has been increased by 2.5 stops; and secondly, the dynamic range of the sensor has also been improved by 1stop in low contrast scenes. We, at Digital Transitions, will be testing this to see how major the improvement is. This hardware upgrade will cost $890, but it also includes a Tier 1 XF repair if your camera is in need of service.
Another detail in the announcement is that all North American XF Honeybee Autofocus Platform hardware upgrades will be done in the United States. That means the turnaround time for the service will be shortened significantly since systems will not have to go to Denmark. DT prides itself on minimum customer downtime, so this is very exciting to us!
In case you are wondering whether your Phase One XF camera body needs this hardware upgrade, you are able to identify your current version of HAP sensor by upgrading your XF firmware with Feature Update #3 SR4 (CP3.09.3.fwp). After the update is complete, go to the XF camera body menu by pressing the bottom silver bottom, scroll down to the “About” menu and under “AF”, it should say whether your XF camera body has HAP1 or HAP2.
Lastly, if you purchased your XF body after August 1st, 2017, Phase One will upgrade the camera body at no cost. Please contact us by email or fill out this form to reserve a spot for the upgrade.
All in all, the Honeybee XF upgrade is more than a hardware upgrade service from Phase One: It shows that Phase One is trying to do right by their customers by providing a product that is long lasting with continual upgrades in software and hardware in conjunction with a service that is domestic to create expediency.
Please contact Digital Transitions for any questions and reserve a spot today!