Sony Alpha 1 Camera Marks a New Imaging Era

There are several worlds firsts and so much to share about the new Sony Alpha 1 camera, I’ll get to the highlights right away.

The a1 ships in March for $6500.
The a1 ships in March for $6500.

Sony Alpha 1 Camera Highlights

Accordingly, they are

  • 50.1-megapixel full-frame stacked Exmor RS CMOS sensor
  • Upgraded BIONZ XR processing engine
  • 30FPS blackout-free continuous shooting
  • 120 AF/AE calculations per second
  • Double the AF speed of the Alpha 9 II
  • Bright, large, 240fps refresh rate. 0.64-type 9.44 million-dot OLED Quad-XGA EVF
  • Silent, vibration-free electronic shutter
  • Anti-flicker shooting with the mechanical and electronic shutter
  • Electronic shutter flash sync up to 1/200 sec.
  • World’s fastest mechanical shutter flash sync up to 1/400 sec.
  • 8K 30p 10-bit 4:2:0 XAVC HS video recording with 8.6K oversampling
  • 4K 120p 10-bit 4:2:2 movie shooting capabilities
  • Wide dynamic range of 15 stops for stills
  • 15+ stops for video
  • Improved Real-time Eye AF for humans and animals, and
  • Real-time Eye AF for birds
  • Tenacious Real-time Tracking that automatically maintains accurate focus
  • 5-axis optical in-body image stabilization for a 5.5-step[xii] shutter speed advantage
  • S-Cinetone color matrix as seen in FX9 and FX6 to deliver an expressive cinematic look
  • Like the a9 II, professional workflow support with the industry’s fastest built-in Wi-Fi, SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps, 1000BASE-T Ethernet and more

To put it another way, Sony has never labeled one of their bodies a flagship until now. I’ve referred to the a9II as their flagship and the a1 supersedes it with 50MP, 30 FPS, and 8K. The a1 ships in March for $6500.

Performance for All Creators

Here’s how Sony explained their lineup in a press briefing following the launch. It’s a new level of performance for all creators.

Sony Alpha 1 Camera
Sony Alpha 1 Camera

As with the a7sIII and G master lenses, Sony listens to their shooters and incorporates the feedback. Take the case of real-time tracking, I set up my a9 II with a workaround function (via Ryan Mense) to clear the tracking. I use this to acquire another subject. Sony now offers that function in the firmware with a custom button. Additionally, for outlets like the AP, I’ve not seen a camera with more connectivity or one that reduces flicker under stadium lights with LED billboards.

Sony Alpha 1 Camera
Sony Alpha 1 Camera

All the new a1 tech includes

  • Shutter
  • Sensor
  • Processor
  • Viewfinder
  • Software

And, in the same way more. This Sony flagship demonstrates an even stronger commitment to the creative community. An example is this never-before-seen frame of a ski jump happening at 3:49 in the launch video.

Sony A1 Ski Jump
Never-before-seen frame of a ski jumper made possible by the a1.

That’s what drives Sony to release such a product. As Neal Manowitz told me once

…our purpose is to fill the world with emotion through the power of creativity and technology.

Neal is the deputy president for Imaging Products and Solutions Americas at Sony Electronics. He with all his staff has certainly done so.  For more about the a1, watch the launch video embedded above, visit the product page, and Alpha Universe. As soon as Sony sends me a demo, I’ll share what I shot with it. You can expect dramatic bike photos to say the least.

My daily shooter is Sony A1 with a vertical grip and various Sony lenses attached like the FE 20mm F1.8. Find more gear recommendations in our shop. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.