No sooner had Hasselblad announced its 50 megapixel H3DII-50 camera system, than it had already been pushed out the limelight by the newest kid on the block - Phase One's P65+ 60 megapixel digital back and camera system.

The full frame 645 medium format back features what Phase One is describing as breakthrough sensor technology, named Sensor+. Co-developed with DALSA Semiconductor, the Sensor+ chip platform should give demanding photogs that little something extra they've been looking for from their digital back investments.

"Photographers need real reasons to upgrade past 39 megapixel digital backs", said Henrik Håkonsson, CEO of Phase One.

"Real value includes higher resolution but also requires new functions, faster operation, higher quality through expanded sensitivity, increased dynamic range, better results in the studio or on location and a better longer-term investment. I believe we are able to achieve this and more with our Sensor+ technology."

The Phase One P 65+ is the first digital back to take advantage of the new Sensor+ design and is the world's first full frame capture system based on actual 645 film format.

The P 65+ also provides the largest live capture area available with coverage of 53.9 x 40.4mm - enabling full viewfinder coverage thus no need for lens magnification. In fact, the P 65+ sensor format provides 20% more live area compared to 39- or 50-megapixels competitors.

Sensor resolution is 60.5 megapixels with 8984 x 6732 active pixels achieving 180MB, 8-bit RGB files.

On top of all this, the P 65+ shoots at a speedy 1 frame per second. Nice.

Phase One has promised more details at the Photokina trade show in September, but for now we know that digital back will begind shipping around Q4 2008, priced at $39,900 for the digital back and $41,990 to have the digital back with the Phase One camera system too.