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Sony announces Alpha 1

Posted on Jan 27, 2021 by Pro Moviemaker

Of late, mirrorless cameras have been offering huge specs in tiny packages, going beyond what many videographers previously thought was possible. Sony has placed itself firmly in that mix with the launch of the Alpha 1, a 50.1-megapixel full-frame powerhouse.

Alongside its newly developed, stacked Exmor RS CMOS sensor is an upgraded Bionz XR processor, offering 8x more processing power than Sony’s older Bionz X engine. It certainly goes a long way in boosting performance if specs are anything to go by.

The most eye-catching offering is 8K 30p 10-bit 4:2:0 XAVC HS recording with 8.6K oversampling – a Sony Alpha first. 4K 120p slo-mo is also highly appealing. These 5x slo-mo shots can be captured in 10-bit 4:2:2 with a choice of Long GOP or All-I compression.

Like the FX9 and FX6 from Sony’s cine range, the new Alpha 1 features the S-Cinetone colour matrix, regarded for its colour and skin tones. Using the S-Log3 gamma curve, 15+ stops of dynamic range can be captured, while S-Gamut3 and S-Gamut3.Cine settings make it easier to match footage with the Sony Venice or other cine cams. With this, the Alpha 1’s on-set potential only increases, with a realistic possibility of finding a place on high-end productions.

Offering even more for videographers, the camera’s Active Mode provides a degree of stabilisation, though this isn’t available when recording in 8K. Other top-line features include 16-bit Raw output over an external recorder, a heat-dissipating structure for 30 minutes of 8K 30p recording, and two slots for UHS-I and UHS-II SDXC/SDHC cards as well as CFexpress Type A cards.

On the stills side, there’s just as much to enjoy, so for those looking for a professional-quality hybrid, it’s certainly a strong contender. A list of the essential stills specs is below, including more than one new industry standard.

Sony Alpha 1 stills specs

  • Burst shooting at 30fps up to 155 compressed Raws with no sensor crop
  • 120 AF/AE calculations per second even in burst
  • 759 phase detection points
  • 50-102,400 ISO expanded
  • 5.5-step shutter speed advantage stabilisation
  • Electronic viewfinder refresh rate of 240fps for no blackout
  • Pixel Shift Multi Shooting mode for high-res stills
  • Rolling shutter reduced by 1.5x compared to Sony a9 II
  • 1/400sec flash sync with mechanical shutter
  • Dust and moisture resistance
  • Revised touch-responsive menu
  • Touch focus and tracking on 1.44 million-dot LCD


The Sony Alpha 1 is available in Europe in March, priced in the close vicinity of £6,500. For more information, visit the Sony website.

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