Sony has just announced the Alpha 1, a 50MP camera capable of shooting at 30 fps with no blackout as well as 8k video at 30fps.
Before we get into the specs I should warn you that the Alpha 1 will cost around $6500 US / £6500 and is Sony’s most expensive Alpha camera to date!
Sensor & Processor
Although a new global shutter was rumored the Alpha 1 uses a 50.1MP 35 mm full-frame stacked CMOS sensor with integral memory and a new Bionz XR processor.
This allows the a1 to shoot continuously at up 30 frames per second while offering fast, precise phase-detection AF and top-quality 8K movies with full-frame 8.6K oversampling.
Even with 50 MP, Sony is claiming that the a1 will have 1.5x less rolling shutter than the Sony a9II and allow a flash sync at up to 1/200 sec with the electronic shutter or 1/400 sec using the mechanical shutter.
759 Phase detection points provide 92% coverage.
Real-time Eye AF for Birds
High-level subject recognition technology now makes it possible for Sony’s Real-time Eye AF function to track and accurately focus on bird eyes, even if the bird suddenly takes flight or the framing changes.
Large Image Buffer
To keep up with the 50MP images a large buffer allows you to shoot approximately 165 full-frame JPEG images or 155 full-frame compressed RAW images at up to 30 frames per second with the electronic shutter.
To help keep up with the action the Alpha 1 has a 9.44 million-dot electronic viewfinder with high-definition OLED display. It also offers 0.90x viewfinder magnification, a 41° diagonal FOV, and a 25mm high eyepoint for clear, low-distortion viewing from corner to corner. This advanced viewfinder also features up to 240 fps refresh rate with UXGA FOV for super-smooth display.
Lossless Compression Plus “Light” JPEG
In addition to compressed and uncompressed RAW, the a1 includes efficient lossless compression with minimal quality degradation. There is also a new “Light” JPEG size setting that results in smaller files than the “Standard” setting.
8K 30p Movies
The a1 offers 8K 30p XAVC HS recording with 8.6K oversampling and can also shoot 4K at up to 120p in 10-bit 4:2:2 quality. Sony says it uses 5.8K pixels in APS-C mode.
Full frame and Super 35 formats can be selected for 4K movie recording. Full pixel readout in the Super 35 mode (approx. APS-C 16:9), without the need for pixel binning. Bit rates up to 600 Mbps can be used for 4K XAVC HS, XAVC S, and XAVC S-I recording.
The S-Log3 gamma curve makes it possible to achieve 15+ stops of dynamic range, while the S-Gamut3 and S-Gamut3.Cine colour gamut settings make it easy to match a1 footage with footage shot on the VENICE digital cinema camera, PXW-FX9, and other professional camcorders. An HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) picture profile is also provided, allowing direct playback on an HDR (HLG) compatible TV without the need for colour grading.
The a1 also supports 16-bit RAW output to an external recorder via HDMI. It is also possible to output RAW via HDMI while recording XAVC HS 4K, XAVC S 4K, or XAVC S-I 4K to internal card media.
Two CFexpress Type A Media Slots
The a1 has two media slots that both support UHS-I and UHS-II SDXC/SDHC cards as well as new CFexpress Type A cards for higher overall capacity and faster read/write speeds.
New Touch Menu System
A revised menu structure provides easier navigation, and touch-responsive menu operation offers faster, more intuitive control. All main and function menus are now touch responsive.
A1 Body Images
- New 50.1-megapixel (approx., effective) full-frame stacked Exmor RS™ CMOS image sensor in combination with an upgraded BIONZ XR™ imaging processing engine with eight times more processing power
- Blackout- free continuous shooting at up to 30 frames per second
- Fast sensor readout enables up to 120 AF/AE calculations per second, double the speed of the Alpha 9 II, even during 30fps continuous shooting
- Bright and large 0.64-type 9.44 million-dot (approx.) OLED Quad-XGA electronic viewfinder with the world’s first refresh rate of 240 fps
- Silent, vibration-free electronic shutter
- World’s first anti-flicker shooting with both mechanical and electronic shutter
- Electronic shutter flash sync up to 1/200 sec. for the first time in the Alpha™ series
- 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 for extraordinary detail and resolution, in addition to 4K 120p 10-bit 4:2:2 movie shooting capabilities
- Wide dynamic range of 15 stops for stills and 15+ stops for video
- Improved Real-time Eye AF (autofocus) for humans and animals, and new Real-time Eye AF for birds, as well as Real-time Tracking that automatically maintains accurate focus
- 5-axis optical in-body image stabilization for a 5.5-step shutter speed advantage
- S-Cinetone color matrix as seen in FX9 and FX6 to deliver expressive cinematic look
- Professional workflow support with the industry’s fastest built-in Wi-Fi, SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps, 1000BASE-T Ethernet and more
Furthers details and specs can be found on Sony’s product page.
Sony Promotional Videos
This is certainly a very interesting camera and I expect many photographers who make use of both an a7R series body and an a9 series will be tempted to combine the best of both worlds in this single body.
The Alpha 1 will cost around $6500 US / £6500 and will start shipping in March 2021. Pre-orders have already started in Europe and will start on Wed 27th at 10am ET in the US.