Sony Alpha 1 is the company’s new flagship camera, which has a 50MP Full Frame mirrorless sensor with 8K/30 FPS video recording.
The Japanese company has just introduced the Alpha 1, a mirrorless camera equipped with a full-frame sensor that has an effective resolution of 50.1MP. This model comes to reinforces the presence of this brand in the professional market and will coexist with the large portfolio of E-mount lenses.
So far it looks like a camera for professionals and photography enthusiasts, but if we look at its specifications we will see that Sony engineers have put all the meat on the grill to make this Alpha 1 can compete for head to head with the flagship models of brands like Canon or Nikon. This is what Sony’s most advanced camera offers us right now.
Sony Alpha 1 specs
- Sensor: Exmor RS CMOS Full Frame (35.9 x 24 mm) effective 50.1 MP
- Image processor: BIONZ XR
- Mount: E-Type
- Automatic Focus: Hybrid (phase detection and contrast detection)
- Exposure Compensation: +/- 5.0 EV (1/3 EV, 1/2 EV in selectable steps)
- ISO Sensitivity: ISO 100-32000 (in still images, with extended ISO 50-102400)
- Viewer: 0.64″ OLED electronic, 9,437,184 dots, 100% coverage, 240FPS refresh rate, 0.90x magnification
- LCD Display: 3-inch TFT, 1 440 000 dots, touch-sensitive, with brightness control and adjustable angle (41 to 107 degrees)
- Shutter: Mechanical/electronic with electronic control
- Shutter Speed: 1/8000 to 30 sec
- Image Stabilization: Mechanical sensor shift with 5-axis compensation
- Video Recording: Up to 8K at 30FPS (4:2:0 at 10 bits) or 4K at 120FPS (4:2:2:2 at 10 bits)
- Video Formats: XAVC S and XAVC HS
- Storage: SD, SDHC (UHS-I/II), SDXC (UHS-I/II), and CFexpress cards
- Wireless Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 5.0
- Maximum Battery Life (Cipa Shots with Viewfinder): 430 shots
- Dimensions: 128.9 x 96.9 x 80.8mm
- Weight: 737g (with battery and storage card)
A very ambitious mirrorless
At the heart of this mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses is an Exmor RS CMOS Full Frame sensor with a size of 35.9 x 24mm and an effective resolution of 50.1MP. To solve the autofocus, Sony engineers have resorted to a hybrid phase detection and contrast detection solution that, according to this brand, performs significantly better in compromised shooting scenarios than the focus of the most advanced cameras currently in stores.
The OLED display viewfinder of this camera operates at a refresh rate of 240FPS, so latency should be negligible.
The image processor that works side by side with the sensor is a BIONZ XR chip that, according to Sony, is eight times more powerful than the processor incorporated in the previous flagship model of this brand. This chip has, as we will see later, a crucial role in 4K and 8K video recording.
Another component of this camera that is worth dwelling on is its viewfinder, an electronic device equipped with a 0.64″ OLED screen that has a resolution of 9.4 million dots. On paper, it looks good, but what really makes it interesting is that it is capable of working at a refresh rate of 240FPS, a refresh rate that should effectively minimize latency.
The LCD screen uses a 3-inch TFT matrix with a resolution of 1,440,000 dots and, as you can see in the image above, it is removable and allows us to adjust its tilt. As far as image stabilization is concerned, the sensor incorporates a mechanism that allows it to move on 5 axes, a common solution for several years in high-end Sony cameras that has been gradually refined.
Everything we have seen so far looks good, but one of the strongest points of this camera is its video recording capability. It can record 8K video sequences at 30FPS with 10-bit 4:2:0 color coding in XAVC HS format. Or, if we prefer, it can record at 4K, 120FPS 4:2:2:2, and 10 bits.
These video recording capabilities are only possible if the camera has an image processor capable of taking on such a workload, so it will be very interesting to see how this camera performs in both stills and video when our colleagues at Xataka Foto have the opportunity to test it thoroughly.