Sony Reveals the Powerful Alpha 1

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The camera on everyone’s minds this early in 2021 is finally here and it’s quite a beast.

It looks like “The One” is finally here.

Photo by Alpha 1 from Sony.

Before we get to the details, we’ll give you two major pieces of information upfront so you can get your credit cards ready. The new Sony Alpha 1 arrives this March 2021 and it is going to start at $USD USD 6,500.

What does that get you?

The Sony Alpha 1 comes with a 35-mm full frame (35.9 x 24.0 mm), Exmor RS CMOS sensor with approximately 50.1 megapixels that captures photos at 30 frames per second and video at 8K.

Sony is marketing this as a truly professional device and, indeed, by all measures, it seems to live up to that billing.

Some of the advantages being touted by Sony include blackout-free continuous bursts at 30 fps in part thanks to the 50.1MP sensor’s extremely fast processing times. This is particularly advantageous for sports and action photographers where blackouts can ruin an otherwise perfect string of captures. The 50.1 MP Exmor RS CMOS sensor uses separate pixel and circuit layers in addition to advanced A/D conversion for faster image processing.

Working in tandem with the BIONZ XR image processing system, these two contribute to the Alpha 1’s superior image quality. The 50.1 MP Exmor RS allows for up to 15 stops of dynamic range and should produce more accurate colors thanks to the BIONZ XR image processing system according to Sony. In terms of video recording, the Alpha 1 is capable of 8K at 30fps thanks to the aforementioned BIONZ XR system but also captures 4K video at 120fps with minimal distortion.

Here's a sample of the 8K video recording from Sony.

And 4K slow-mo video.

Sony also touts the system’s “4K with full sensor readout, no pixel binning, and 5.8K oversampling” and support for flexible editing “10-bit depth, 4:2:2 chroma subsampling, a high-efficiency MPEG-H HEVC/H.265 codec, intra-frame coding, and more.”

For aspiring videographers, Sony has included the S-Cinetone color matrix with the Alpha 1. Found in the Venice, FX6, and other cinematic cameras, S-Cinetone “delivers natural mid-tones that are essential to healthy-looking skin color, plus soft colors and gorgeous highlights, responding to a growing need for more expressive depth.”

You can preview that here.

Another feature for that cohort, the Active Image Stabilization, enables effective 5-axis optical image stabilization possible during handheld shooting by applying compensation in all formats, including 4K.

All of this is viewed through a 9.44 million-dot (approx.) OLED viewfinder that Sony brags has the highest industry resolution of any viewfinder out on the market as of press. Other features include “0.90x magnification23 with a 41 ° FOV for a clear, wide view, and an updated structure that results in a 25-mm-high eyepoint. A 240fps refresh rate with UXGA FOV.”

Here's the obligatory sample gallery.

And the full list of specifications for Sony's latest beast.

Does the Alpha 1 sound like something you would like to own? Let us know your thoughts on this in the comments section below.

Be sure to check out some of our other photography news articles on Light Stalking at this link right here.

[Sony]

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Kehl is our staff photography news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here

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