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Sony a1 full frame mirrorless camera


  • announced in Marc 2021 as Sony's flagship professional mirrorless full frame camera essentially combining the speed of the Sony a9ii full frame mirrorless camera with almost the resolution of the Sony a7R IV and most of the video features of the Sony a7S III but adding 8K
  • twice the AF calculation rate as the a9ii to give perhaps the most accurate and responsive AF system out there
  • more responsive controls, improved touch screen capabilities, and has updated machine learning derived algorithms for detecting human faces and eyes, as well as the eyes of many types of animals and birds


  • 14bit RAW 50mp stacked sensor with a sensor readout of around 4msec allowing electronic shutter flash sync to 1/200th sec!
  • 5 axis “5.5EV” IBIS
  • 30 fps burst shooting with electronic shutter and full AF (lossy compressed Raw/JPEG only, and only with certain lenses, and only at speeds shorter than 1/125th sec and 1/250th sec for AF-C)
  • lossless compressed Raw offered for first time on a Sony ILC but only to 20fps burst
  • ISO invariant over two ranges: 100-400, 500-102,400
  • 9.44M-dot OLED blackout-free EVF with 0.9x magnification (in 240fps mode, resolution falls to 1600 x 1200 and magnification to 0.7x)
  • 3“ 1.44M-dot tilting touchscreen
  • flash sync 1/400th sec mechanical (1/500th sec in APS-C crop mode), 1/200th sec electronic shutter (1/250th sec in APS-C crop mode)
  • oversampled 21MP stills capture mode to keep file sizes down as necessary
  • 16 shot 200MP pixel shift HiRes mode
  • 4 or 16 shot sensor shift 50mp images not needing demosaicing
  • 8K 10-bit 4:2:0 uncropped 30p H.265 200 or 400Mbps video recording with Log and pixel-binned full width 4K 60p Raw video out over HDMI
  • 8K 8-bit 4:2:0 video stream over HDMI
  • 4K/120p (10-bit 4:2:2) capture with a 1.13x crop
  • at room temperature can record over an hour of 8K/24p video before overheating then requires 15 min cool down
  • AF points cover approximately 92% of the frame
  • AF sensitivity to -4EV with an f/2.0 lens (a9II and a7RIV were -3EV)
  • new shutter unit rated for 500,000 actuations to 1/8000th sec at max burst of 10fps (electronic allows 1/32,000th sec and you can enable a recorded click sound instead of silent)
  • can set mechanical shutter to close on power down to reduce dust on senor when changing lenses at risk of damage to the more delicate mechanical shutter
  • 10bit HLG HEIF format 4:2:0 or 4:2:2 options as alternative to 8bit jpeg
  • hotshoe supports Sony’s latest digital audio interface for direct digital connections to the ECM-B1M microphone and XLR-K3M adapter kit
  • full-size HDMI port, headphone / mic ports, USB-C port 10 Gb/s transfer speeds, ethernet port, MIMO WiFi
  • dual UHS-II / CFexpress Type A card slots
  • 530 shots per charge via rear LCD, 430 when using EVF
  • weathersealed
  • 737g (1.62 lb)
  • 129 x 97 x 81mm
  • NP-FZ100 battery with USB-C in-camera charging
  • $US6500


Sony a1 Sony a7RIV Sony a9ii
sensor 50mp stacked 61mp 24mp stacked
sensor readout 4msec 1/260th sec 6-7msec 1/160th sec 10msec 1/10th sec
lossless burst 20fps 10fps 20fps
lossy burst 30fps 12fps 20fps?
AF sensitivity -4EV -3EV -3EV
EVF 9.4mdot 0.9x (same as a7SIII) 5.76mdot 0.78x 3.68mdot 0.78x
EVF refresh 60-240fps 60-120 60-120
8K video 30p 10bit nil nil
uncropped 4K video 60p 10bit (16bit RAW over HDMI) 30p 8bit 30p 8bit
cropped 4K video 120p 1.13x
CFexpress Type A dual (same as a7SIII) none none
WiFi 2.4GHz + MIMO 5GHz 2.4GHz + 5GHz 2.4GHz + 5GHz
Ethernet Yes No Yes
price $US6500 $US3500 $US4500


  • battery life not as good as a7RIV or a9II
  • dynamic range not quite as good as the a7RIV
  • need to remember to choose your Eye AF subject type manually
  • 30fps mode is dependent upon lenses and shutter speed and can't shoot in lossless compressed RAW
  • still no pre-capture mode which one would expect in a sports/wildlife camera like this at this price point - not much good if you keep missing the critical shot due to limits of human reaction time!
  • no vertical grip and second battery compartment built-in which may be a problem for some sports or wildlife shooters - the optional grip is not quite the same as a built in one for waterproofing and robustness
  • IBIS bug may require several seconds to initiate in some situations1)
photo/sonya1.txt · Last modified: 2021/06/01 23:24 by gary1

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