This might just be the most secretive launch Sony’s pulled. In fact, it was so secretive that the folks at Sony couldn’t even tell us about what they were going to announce. We had to watch the announcement video at the same time as everyone else to know that the Sony A1 camera is finally coming.
The Sony A1 has a new 50MP EXMOR RS CMOS sensor and is able to shoot at 30FPS without any viewfinder blackout. The EXMOR RS sensor is a full-frame stacked back-illuminated sensor, and the camera supports ISO 100-32,000, expandable to 102,400. The new BIONZ XR processor also enables AF/AE calculations up to 120 times per second.
The viewfinder is a 9.44-million dot display, with 0.90x magnification, 41° diagonal FOV, 25mm high eyepoint and also supports a 240Hz refresh rate so you won’t have to deal with a jittery image.
For sports photographers who require silent shooting, the A1 might just be the camera you need. The non-vibrating electronic shutter results in silent shooting, and images shot with the A1 actually have 1.5x less image distortion than the Sony A9 II. Photographers can now also shoot with flash synchronisation on the electronic shutter at 1/200ths of a second, at up to 1/400th of a second with flash synchronisation on the dual-driven mechanical shutter and up to 1/500ths of a second in APS-C mode. The shutter also reduces flicker now, so if you shoot under fluorescent light often or if you have shoots that involve OLED TVs, you’ll definitely appreciate this.
There are 759 AF points that cover 92% of the frame, with an even higher density compared to the A9 series cameras. Real-time eye AF tracking is now available for birds, and the acclaimed real-time eye AF tracking for humans and animals have improved thanks to new AI technology.
The real-time AF tracking is calculated 120 times per second and is now more reliable for moving subjects. If you’re looking to shoot photographs at F22 continuously, AF tracking is also compatible with that. There’s also 5-axis in-body image stabilisation, including an Active Mode that’s “highly effective for handheld shooting” according to Sony.
It’s not just a photography camera though, the camera can film in 8K up to 30FPS (with 8.6K oversampling) in 10-bit 4:2:0, or 4K at 120FPS (with 5.8K oversampling) in 10-bit 4:2:2 with support for S-Cinetone colour. If that’s not good enough for you, there’s also 16-bit RAW output via the full HDMI port to an external recorder.
S-Log3 gamma curve also makes 15+ stops of dynamic range possible, and if you’re worried about the camera overheating while shooting in 8K, don’t be. Sony claims their unique heat-dissipating structure allows for a maximum of 30 minutes when shooting in 8K 30FPS or 4K 60FPS, which is a pretty decent amount of time.
There are also two slots for dual CFexpress type A cards or UHS-II SDXC cards. Users who prefer to edit their photos in-camera first can also do that, with an in-camera crop feature as well as fast FTP data transfers via wired and wireless LAN or USB tethering.
Built-in wireless capabilities also support FTP data transfer with mmWave 5G and the Xperia Pro. If you want to use the camera for livestreaming though, it’s also possible to do it with the Xperia Pro connected via HDMI.
More information about the Sony A1 (US$6,498) can be found on Sony’s website. Unfortunately, there’s no news on availability in Singapore as of the time of this article’s publication.