Sony has announced its flagship Alpha Series mirrorless camera, the Alpha 1.
Sony Alpha 1 combines the best of Sony’s other mirrorless cameras – the A7R, A7S and A9 – and takes it all to the next level to create the best hybrid photo and video camera the company offers today.
The A1 features a new 50.1MP full-frame stacked Exmor RS CMOS sensor with an upgraded BIONZ XR image processor. The new sensor offers over 15 stops of dynamic range for videos and still images thanks to its ISO 100-32,000 range (expandable to 50-102,400 for still images). You can also create 199MP images using the enhanced Pixel Shift multi-shooting mode and Sony’s Imagine Edge desktop software.
The new image processor enables a certain shooting experience on a digital camera. The A1 can record full resolution RAW images at 30 frames per second with a buffer large enough to hold 155 compressed RAWs or 165 JPEGs. It can perform 120 AF / AE calculations per second with AE response latency as low as 0.033 seconds.
Sony also updated the electronic viewfinder to keep pace with the camera. The 9.44 million dot, 0.64 inch Quad-XGA OLED has a refresh rate of 240Hz, the first for any camera in the world. It offers a viewfinder magnification of 0.90x, a diagonal field of view of 41 ° and an eye point of 25mm high. The main screen is a 3.0 inch 1.44 million dot LCD screen with a touch screen and tilting design. The A1 has the same new user interface as that of the A7S III.
The new autofocus system features 759 phase detection points and real-time eye AF for humans, animals (photo and video), and for the first time on an Alpha camera, birds (photo only) . The tracking algorithm can even maintain focus if the bird suddenly takes flight.
The A1 has an improved electronic shutter with a 1.5x less roller shutter than the A9 II. It is also the first camera to offer anti-flicker continuous shooting in all lighting conditions. And for the first time on an Alpha camera, it can sync up to 1/200 of a second with a flash. Meanwhile, the mechanical shutter can do it to 1/400 of a second thanks to a new lightweight carbon fiber shutter curtain and dual drive shutter system.
For video, the A1 can do 8K 30p 10 bit at 4: 2: 0 in XAVC HS Long-GOP. It uses the full width of the 50.1MP sensor and captures 8.6K, which is then downsampled to 8K. For 4K, the A1 offers 4K at 60p and 120p at 10-bit 4: 2: 2 in Long-GOP and All-Intra. 4K is not downsampled compared to 8K, but the camera does a 5.8K subsample when using Super 35 mode.
Heating has become an issue on these cameras as they get smaller and smaller and have higher resolutions. Sony claims that the A1 can do 8K video for 30 minutes, thanks to its new heat dissipation structure inherited from the A7S III.
The A1 also inherits some of the color science from more expensive cinema cameras, such as the FX6, FX9 and VENICE. It supports the new S-Cinetone color profile, the first for any Alpha camera. It can also use S-Gamut3 and S-Gamut3.Cine colors, which should make it easier to color match with the aforementioned Sony cinema cameras. Full-size HDMI provides 16-bit RAW output to an external recorder.
The A1 has built-in image stabilization, promising a shutter speed advantage of 5.5 steps. The camera also records gyro data, which can be imported into Sony’s Catalyst Browse software to stabilize the images.
The A1 also has serious connectivity, including Gigabit Ethernet, dual channel 2×2 MIMO 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and USB-C. You also get two card slots, each slot accommodating UHS-I and UHS-II SDXC / SDHC cards or the new CFexpress Type A cards. Finally, there will also be an optional battery grip (VG-C4EM). which will double the battery capacity.
The Sony Alpha 1 is priced at $ 6,500 and will be available in March 2021. The A1 is for wildlife, sports, landscape, wedding and product photographers or photojournalists who want the best and have already invested in it. Sony ecosystem. It should also serve as a very competent video camera, as it essentially inherits everything from the critically acclaimed A7S III and takes it a step further with 8K support. It competes with the Canon EOS R5, although the R5 does have overheating issues. If you want a camera that seems to do it all, the A1 should be at the top of your list.