Sony Announces Alpha a1 Flagship Camera a Hybrid Powerhouse; More Info and Live a1 Camera Event at B&H Photo

Photography News: Sony has unveiled a true flagship full-frame mirrorless camera for serious photo and video creators in the Alpha a1.

Sony Alpha a1 Mirrorless Digital Camera (Photo: Business Wire)

NEW YORK--()--B&H is excited to announce Sony’s new flagship mirrorless the camera: the Alpha a1. Packed with advanced photo and video features, the a1 Camera is a full-frame hybrid camera aimed at professionals whose work demands the highest quality imagery and performance from a single camera. No longer will creators have to sacrifice photo or video features when choosing a mirrorless camera.

Sony Alpha a1 Mirrorless Digital Camera

Key Features

  • 50.1MP Full-Frame Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor
  • BIONZ XR Image Processor
  • Up to 30 fps Shooting, ISO 50-102400
  • 8K 30p and 4K 120p Video in 10-Bit
  • 9.44m-Dot EVF with 240 fps Refresh Rate
  • 759-Point Fast Hybrid AF
  • 5-Axis SteadyShot Image Stabilization
  • Dual Drive Mech. Shutter, 1/400 Sec Sync
  • 5 GHz Wi-Fi, 1000BASE-T Ethernet
  • Dual CFexpress Type A/SD Card Slots

It all starts with a 50.1MP Exmor RS stacked CMOS sensor with integral memory and BIONZ XR image processor. The sensor’s stacked structure and advanced analogue-to-digital conversion capabilities allows the camera to read and temporarily store pixel data during capture to quickly process high-resolution imagery. The speed only increases with the a1’s all-new BIONZ XR processor. Eight times more powerful than the BIONZX engine, it allows you to capture blackout free shooting up to 30fps with 120 AF/AE calculations per second and real-time AF for humans, animals, and birds. A 9.44 m-dot OLED Quad-XGA electronic viewfinder with a refresh rate of 240 fps provides clear and sharp rendering of even the fastest moving subjects. A native ISO range of 100-32000, expandable to 50-102400 equips this camera for any lighting environment you find yourself in.

The Sony a1 Alpha camera features a silent, vibration-free shutter perfect for shooting wildlife, events, and other quiet subjects without risking image distortion. An all-new anti-flicker mode prevents flicker when shooting with electronic or mechanical shutters under artificial lighting settings. Another first, the a1 includes electronic shutter flash sync up to 1/200s. A dual driven shutter drive allows flash sync up to 1/400s for fast-moving subjects.

Handheld capture benefits from 5-axis optical IBIS which provides 5.5 stops of shake reduction. The same mechanism also allows you to use Pixel Shift Multi Shooting to combine 16 images into a single 199MP image for extremely detail-rich photographs. Ten customizable Creative Looks are also available for creating unique looks to images.

The a1 uses focal plane phase-detection AF with 759 selectable points covering 92% of the image area for fast, accurate capture. All new Eye AF for birds keeps up with even the most erratic feathered subjects in real-time. Eye AF for animals has also been improved to better keep up with movement and upside-down capture. Last but not least, Human Eye AF is 30% more precise than on the a9 II.

High performance photo capture is only half of the equation with the a1. Video capture is possible up to 8K 30p for incredibly rich footage. Up to 120fps 4K recording is also possible for sharp, slow-motion capture. 10-bit 4:2:2 chroma subsampling is possible with Long-GOP or Intra (All-I) compression to benefit image quality. When working in Super 35 mode, the a1 features full sensor readout with 5.8K oversampling and no pixel binning. Real-time Eye AF and tracking is available across recording modes to ensure in-focus footage. New “Active Mode” image stabilization further benefits handheld video capture.

The a1 includes the same S-Cinetone color matrix as the VENICE, FX6 and other cine cameras for extremely natural skin tones and overall color rendering. Compatible with S-Log 2 and S-Log 3, it provides 10-bit gradations and 15 stops of dynamic range for professional applications. S-Gamut and S-Gamut3 color spaces are also supported as well as 10-bit 4:2:2 HLG. An HDMI port allows 16-bit RAW output via an external recorder, eliminating the need for internal media. A heat-dissipating design allows 8K recording up to 30 minutes continuously without overheating.

For audio, the a1 ha a Multi Interface Shoe which can be used with the ECM-B1M Shotgun Microphone or LR-K3M XLR Adapter Kit for crisp, clear recording straight to the camera. A 3.5mm headphone and external mic port are also included.

A tiltable 3.0” 1.44m-dot rear LCD permits Touch Focus and Touch Tracking uses as well as quick menu navigation. Speaking of menus, the a1 introduces a new system aimed at simplifying workflow for hybrid creators and providing separate settings for still and video capture. Seventeen customizable keys further streamline capture.

The Alpha a1 features dual memory card slots that accept either CFexpress Type A or SD-type memory cards. Both slots are rated to UHS-II for fast transfer speeds and can be configured to partition files or provide overflow recording. USB Type-C connectivity supports USB 10-GBps data transfer for fast, reliable tethering and file transfer. Built-in Wi-Fi allows you to share content as soon as it is captured via 2.4 and 5.0 GHz bands with 2x2 MIMO support. The Alpha a1 can also be used with the Imaging Edge Mobile application for smartphone control.

Alongside RAW and JPEG file formats, the Sony a1 also offers High Efficiency Image File (HEIF) which offer twice the compression of JPEG while maintaining detail and color accuracy. Finally, a “Light” JPEG size setting has also been introduced for news and sports photographers whose work requires extremely fast sharing.

The Alpha a1 uses the same NP-FZ100 rechargeable lithium-ion battery as other recent Sony cameras and is compatible with the VG-C4EM Vertical Grip. It features a weather sealed design to protect against dust and moisture no matter what your environment entails.

Sony Announces Flagship Alpha a1 Mirrorless Camera

Want to learn more about the a1? On Wednesday, January 27, 2021, at 12:00 PM, B&H will be hosting a live event with photo experts and Sony reps to give a first look at the camera.

Live Event Link

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Contact Information
Henry Posner

B&H Photo Video


Contact Information
Henry Posner

B&H Photo Video