Cameras

Sony A1 Review: An Excellent Mirrorless Camera

Sony A1 Review

Recently, Sony announced its most improved mirrorless camera yet: the Sony Alpha 1. This excellent powerhouse camera is priced higher above the most sophisticated mirrorless cameras from its other counterparts like Canon and Nikon. Still, Sony guarantees that people who purchase the Sony A1 will be rewarded with “the most technologically advanced, innovative camera” ever produced.

Sony A1 Features 

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The Sony Alpha 1 possesses a 50.1-megapixel 35mm full-frame stacked CMOS sensor and uses Sony’s BIONZ XR engine for image processing. It can perform about 30fps continuous shooting with AF/ AE tracking and has a rapid hybrid auto-focus. The full-frame camera can record at 8K 30fps and 4K 120fps with an ISO range of about 100 to 32,000.

 It also has a 1.6cm electronic viewfinder and a 2.95-inch touch TFT display that can be altered anytime you desire. In the aspect of stabilization, the camera possesses an image sensor-shift mechanism that has 5-axis compensation. Also, there is a lengthy exposure noise decrease.

It can capture 8,640×5,760 pixels at 49.7-megapixel at 3:2 aspect ratio. Regarding storage, it has two slots with support for  SDHC card (UHS-I/ II-compliant), SD card, SDXC card (UHS-I/ II-compliant), and CFexpress Type A card. It also has an electronically/mechanical controlled shutter with a quiet shooting feature.

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Connectivity options included in the full-frame camera consist of a LAN terminal, a Micro-USB port, dual-band Wi-Fi, a 3.5mm mic terminal, and a Bluetooth 5.0. It also has a built-in microphone and a monaural speaker. Also, it has a USB Type-C port that supports quick SuperSpeed USB 10-Gbps (USB 3.2) power delivery and data transfer speeds.

Sony stated that the battery in the Alpha 1 is rated for about 430 shots with the viewfinder and up to 530 shots with the LCD. It can record videos continuously for approximately 145 minutes using the viewfinder and about 150 minutes using the LCD screen.

With the headline 8K resolution, the Sony A1 initially brings a little video for a Sony mirrorless camera. The camera can shoot an 8K/30p video and use its sensor (i.e., without digital tricks such as pixel binning) and guarantees also to manage that for an impressive 30 minutes. 

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Due to some identical heat dissipation tech like the one on the Sony A7S III, that camera topped out at 4K resolution. We also anticipate its performance, but on paper, it turned out to be a little more practical 8K camera compared to the Canon EOS R5, which possesses a max 8K/30p shooting time of about 20 minutes.

As the Sony A1’s 8K video is shot with a 10-bit 4:2:0 bit depth and color sampling, it can also shoot 4K in a 10-bit 4:2:2 video internally, also in slo-mo 120p. Most Pro shooters will be excited to know that it can also output 16-bit raw video overs its HDMI port.

Also, the Sony A1’s professional tendencies are its connectivity and its incredible card slots. It has two CFExpress Type A slots (compatible with the UHS-II SD cards), including some fantastic wireless transfer tech beneficial for journalists. It possesses a built-in Ethernet connection and a dual-band Wi-Fi that supports FTP transfers about 3.5x faster than the Sony A9 II. 

Sony A1 Design 

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The Sony A1 has an already known Sony styling, but it has some fascinating aspects in its design. The Alpha 1 was built upon its improvements with other Alpha cameras, with lots of cues from the Sony A7S III. The A1 possesses a similar new menu system in the A7S III while including menu options equivalent to the new features. Both the main menu and function menus are touch-responsive, which is a massive advancement compared to the A9 II.

The A1 uses a similar 0.64-type electronic viewfinder as seen in the A7S III, although the double refresh rate. The 9.44M-dot EVF possesses a 240fps refresh rate. Also, with the blackout-free shooting, the A1 guarantees to be a smooth camera when shooting action. You can choose from 60fps and 120fps refresh rates for the EVF. The EVF possesses 0.9x magnification and a 41-degree FOV. Without a doubt, Sony A1’s EVF is the highest resolution And the most significant and fastest EVF within its class.

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Regarding durability, the A1 was developed with a magnesium alloy chassis that is both light and firm. Sony stated that because the lens mount possesses six screws, it improves strength and firmness. It is dust and moisture-resistance in all body seams and the battery cover. The double media slots, which support UHS-II SD cards and new CFexpress Type A cards, have a dual sliding cover. The A1 possesses a mount cushion and lens lock button.

The shutter was enhanced. The A1 possesses a new mechanical shutter unit that allows the shooting speeds to be up to 10fps. Also, the carbon fibre shutter has an improved motor, brake, and dampers. Sony guarantees that the shutter is incredible for more than 500,000 cycles.

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There is an IR white balance sensor at the front of the camera. It helps enhance white balance accuracy, especially under fluorescent, LED, or other artificial light sources. The shutter also closes whenever the camera is switched off, preventing the sensor from dust and changing lenses. The A1 also has a standard anti-dust system.

The A1 camera has a 3″ tilting touchscreen at the back. The display tilts for up to 107 degrees and down by up to 41 degrees. Unfortunately, the display is not tilted or swivel, and it may be displeasing for videographers who don’t want to use an external monitor. The display possesses 1.4M dots, and unlike the EVF, this is not an aspect where Sony has advanced its existing technology.

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The display’s right side is the dedicated AF-ON button, AEL button, a particular movie record button, an Fn button, autofocus sub-selector joystick, and Sony’s standard rotating selection wheel. While at the left side of the viewfinder are Menu and C3 buttons. The layout is well-known.

The left side of the viewfinder camera’s top part has a stacked Drive Focus mode dial. The stacked dial is used to adjust the Drive Mode and Focus Mode on the fly when shooting. There is a rear command, shooting mode, and exposure compensation dials at the EVF’s right. The shutter release has an on and off switch. Also, the C1 and C2 buttons are on the top of the camera.

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The ports included in the Sony A1 are mic and headphone ports, USB Micro port, a full-size HDMI port, a 1000BASE-T Ethernet port for wired LAN transfer, and a flash sync terminal. It has a SuperSpeed USB 3.2 Type-C connector that can perform 10Gbps transfer speeds, and it can receive power delivery over USB. The A1 possesses the ‘industry’s fastest’ built-in Wi-Fi that supports 2×2 MIMO. The Wi-Fi is 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, and it also supports 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. It is also fascinating that the wireless data throughput with the A1 is 3.5x faster than the A9 II.

Conclusion 

The Sony Alpha 1 will be available for purchase in March 2021 at $6500. The A1 was built for sports, weddings, wildlife, landscape, photojournalists, or product photographers who desire the highest quality and the best and invest in the Sony ecosystem. 

The A1 doubles up as an outstanding and competent video camera, as it virtually inherits everything from the significantly-acclaimed A7S III and advances with 8K support. However, it competes with the Canon EOS R5, albeit the R5 has a little overheating problem. If you desire a camera that does it all with unique features, then Sony A1 should be at the uppermost part of your list.

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