Sony has rocked the photo world by announcing a new flagship full-frame mirrorless camera that looks set to rule the world of professional sports and wildlife photography. The new Alpha 1 (a1) packs a stacked 50-megapixel sensor and the camera offers this incredibly high resolution with a lightning fast burst rate of 30 frames per second – opening up new creative doors to image-makers.
The rapid burst rate is backed up by an advanced autofocus that offers a whopping 759 AF points and with the new Bionz XR image processor engine, the a1 delivers 15-stops of dynamic range, increasing image quality. What’s more, along with Sony’s acclaimed Real Time Eye AF for humans, the a1 features the same Eye AF technology for birds – the first time this has appeared in a Sony camera and a real game-changer for bird photographers.
Incredibly, the Sony Alpha 1 makes up to 120 autofocus calculations per second, recoding the stills or footage to dual CFExpress memory cards and the a1 also offers a vast ISO range of 100-32,000, which can be expandable to 50-102,400, when shooting stills. Those looking to capture longer sequences will be pleased to hear that, thanks to a large buffer memory, the a1 can capture up to 155 full-frame compressed RAW images or 165 full-frame JPEG images at up to 30 frames per second.
Featuring a professional-level, weather resistant build, the a1 includes a magnesium alloy body yet tips the scales at just 737g and that includes the battery and memory card. During burst shooting, the a1 features no blackout and the OLED EVF (Electronic Viewfinder) features a high resolution of 9.44 million dots.
Wildlife photographers will be pleased to hear the Alpha 1 offers silent shooting and with a mechanical and electronic shutter, the camera can achieve a flash sync speed of 1/400 or 1/500sec when in crop mode. What’s more, those shooting indoor sports will find that the Flicker free mode does away with the issue caused by artificial lighting. A 5-axis In Body Image Stabilisation system offers 5.5-steps of compensation and the Alpha 1 can of course be paired with a stabilised lens to push this even further.
Along with the incredible stills specs, the Alpha 1 is a true hybrid camera with some incredible features to offer videographers, too. In fact, the a1 can shoot huge resolution 8k video at 30p or 4K footage up to 120p and offers the S-Cinetone technology from Sony’s premium cinema cameras such as the FX6, along with 10 bit S-LOG 3. What’s more, Sony has explained that, thanks to the heat-dissipating structure of the a1, videographers can capture 8K/30p video continuously for approximately 30 minutes. As you’d expect from such a premium camera, there is a premium price-tag and the Sony Alpha 1 will cost $6,500/£6,499.