The Sony Alpha 1, or A1 for brief, is a high-end mirrorless digicam with a 50 Megapixel full-frame sensor, built-in stabilisation, 30fps digital bursts and a big selection of video modes together with 4k 120p and 8k 30p. Introduced in January 2021, it represents the primary in a brand new sequence, a flagship physique positioned above the present A7 and A9 fashions and mixing pace, excessive decision and professional video with a price ticket to match: at round $6500 or 6500 kilos for the physique alone, it’s the most costly Alpha thus far.
Whereas the A7r IV stays the very best decision Alpha with 61 Megapixels, the A1 captures its 50 Megapixel photos utilizing a brand new stacked CMOS sensor which, just like the A9 sequence, helps quick digital bursts with zero blackout and low rolling shutter (the sensor readout is 1.5 instances sooner than the A9 II). The A1’s digital shutter can seize 50 Megapixel photos at as much as 30fps with out blackout and with shutter speeds as much as 1/32000, with a beneficiant buffer permitting as much as 155 compressed RAW or 165 JPEGs; there’s additionally now anti-flicker modes and fine-tunable shutter speeds for digital capturing to minimise or eradicate banding. In the meantime the mechanical shutter fires at as much as 10fps with shutter speeds as much as 1/8000. For the primary time, now you can use a flash with the digital shutter – syncing at 1/200 – whereas a sooner 1/400 sync is offered with the mechanical (or 1/500 in APSC mode). There’s additionally a pixel-shift mode out there which may generate photos with as much as 199 Megapixels, albeit nonetheless requiring exterior meeting with the Imaging Edge desktop software program; that is out there in a 4 and 16 shot mode and now helps flash sync.
The A1’s new BIONZ XR processors ship sooner publicity and focus, operating as much as 120 calculations per second, and now helps animal eye detection for birds (stills just for animal AF, not video), in addition to working at apertures as small as f22.
When it comes to video, the A1 will movie uncropped 8k as much as 30p, oversampled from 8.6k with no binning and encoded in XAVC HS / H.265 / 10-bit 4:2:Zero at 200 or 400Mbit/s; due to the encoding you may document 8k onto an SD card and Sony is quoting at the least 30 minute recording instances. 4k is offered as much as 120p (with a 10% crop) in both XAVC HS 4:2:2 10-bit or XAVC S 8-bit at as much as 200Mbit/s. All video is within the 16:9 facet ratio, so nonetheless no DCI inside. Should you movie within the Tremendous 35 format, the A1 will oversample 4k video from 5.8k with bit charges as much as 600Mbit/s. S-Cinetone and Lively Stabilisation (with a 1.1x crop) can be found (as is post-stabilisation with Catalyst), and 16-bit RAW output is offered over HDMI in 4.3k decision, permitting DCI recording. The hotshoe helps the digital microphone accent.
The viewfinder shares the identical 9.44 million dot OLED panel decision of the A7S III, however with a sooner 240fps refresh price and a big 0.9x magnification. The display screen is similar because the A7r IV, so tilts vertically fairly than flipping to the aspect. It’s powered by the Z-series battery with Sony quoting 530 pictures with the display screen or 430 with the viewfinder; the VG-C4EM grip helps two batteries. Just like the A7S III, there’s twin card slots, every supporting both SD or CF Sort A playing cards. For connectivity there’s 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO at 2.Four or 5GHz, 10Gbps USB C (v3.2), 1Gbit Ethernet LAN, PC Sync (mechanical shutter solely), Micro USB, and three.5mm mic and headphone jacks. The brand new Experia Professional 5G telephone could be related on to the USB C port for direct tethering for cell information and in addition be used as an exterior 4k HDMI monitor.
All of it provides as much as Sony’s most succesful Alpha thus far, albeit once more its costliest. In professional phrases, the value isn’t unreasonable in comparison with, say a Canon 1Dx III or Nikon D5, however whereas there’s quite a lot of distinctive options on the A1, lots of the headlines are roughly matched by the Canon EOS R5 at virtually half the value. The massive query is how the A1 compares in reliability and usefulness, in addition to workflow. Will the A1 keep away from the overheating problems with the EOS R5? I’ll discover out as quickly as I get to check one, hopefully very quickly, so verify again for extra particulars!