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Sony A1 (Alpha 1) Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera (2021)

MSRP 7300 EURNeoscore 100%NEX score 84%

Product Gallery

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Product Overview

Sony Alpha 1 (ILCE-1) is the new flagship full-frame mirrorless camera in the Alpha MILC system. Its new stacked back-illuminated CMOS Exmor RS sensor with 50.1MP and integrated memory delivers up to 30fps in continuous stills shooting and 8K video recording.
With the new advanced BIONZ XR engine and larger buffer memory, the Alpha 1 is able to deliver smooth, stress-free controls while bursting up to 155 full-frame compressed RAW images at 30fps. Thanks to the exceptional readout speed, the new ILCE-1 is able to prevent flicker effectively when shooting with the electronic shutter. Meanwhile, the gorgeous 9.4 million-dot OLED EVF refreshes at 240Hz and is completely blackout-free. The new sensor also delivers improved dynamic range; Sony claims 15 stops.
When it comes to autofocus, the Alpha 1 newly features real-time Eye AF for birds. Combined with the same 5-axis optical in-body image stabilization (IBIS), the new Sony A1 makes for a great option for wildlife photography. Improved human AF tracking and competent 8K video recording lend A1 credits in sports photography, too.
Thanks to the new stacked sensor and efficient processing, Sony claims 8K 30p and 4K 60p recording for over 30 minutes without overheating. Moreover, the A1 also supports 16-bit RAW output via HDMI in DCI 4K.
Last but not least, the ICLE-1, like the new A7S Mark III, comes with dual media slots that takes both SD and CFexpress Type A cards.
Essentially, the A1 is the one camera that many enthusiasts have wished for in combining the high resolution of the A7R IV, the video capabilities of the A7S III, and the speed of the A9 II.

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Ratings

What we found**

Neoscore: 100% (not directly comparable across industries)
Pros
  • Long battery life
  • 5.5 stops of IBIS
  • Extraordinary 30.0 fps burst rate
  • Rather compact
  • Exceptionally high 50 MP resolution
  • Weather-sealed
  • Supports CFExpress Type A card
  • Very high resolution EVF
Cons
  • Very expensive

What external reviewers found***

NEX score: 84% (not directly comparable across industries)
Pros
  • Fantastic image quality
  • Excellent dynamic range
  • Excellent electronic shutter
  • Excellent battery life
Cons
  • Menu system is difficult to navigate
  • No integrated viewfinder
  • Not fully articulating screen
  • No integrated grip
  • No pre-capture mode
  • Limited range of settings
Read More

Price Comparison (incl. referral links)*

Specifications

Connectivity

Ports
HDMI + Headphone + Microphone + Remote Control + USB 3.2 Gen 2
Wireless Connectivity
802.11ac (Dual Band)

Construction

Adjustment | Tilt
Adjustable up 107 deg, Down 41 deg
Form Factor
Mirrorless camera
Image Size
Full frame (35.9 x 24 mm)
Lens Mount
Sony E-mount
Material
Magnesium alloy
Microphone
Stereo
Sensor | Resolution
50 MP (8640 x 5760)
Sensor | Type
Stacked CMOS
Speakers
Mono

Dimensions

Size | Depth
81 mm / 3.19 in
Size | Height
97 mm / 3.82 in
Size | Width
129 mm / 5.08 in
Weight
737 g / 26.04 oz

Display

Display Diagonal
3 inch
Display Type
Tilting TFT LCD
Resolution
1,440,000 dots
Viewfinder | Coverage
100%
Viewfinder | Magnification
0.9x
Viewfinder | Resolution
9,437,184 dots
Viewfinder | Type
Electronic

Function

AE Bracketing
±5 (3, 5 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
Autofocus
759 focus points
Crop Factor
1.0
Exposure Compensation
±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
Exposure Mode
Auto / Aperture Priority / Shutter Priority / Manual
Flash Sync Speed
1/250s or 1/500s (Flash Sync Priority)
GPS
No
Image Stabilization
5.5 stops
ISO Range
100 ~ 32000 (expands to 50 ~ 102400)
Operating Temperature
32 - 104 degrees F / 0 - 40 degrees C
Picture Profile
Gamma: Movie, Still, S-Cinetone, Cine1-4, ITU709, ITU709 (800%), S-Log2, S-Log3, HLG, HLG1-3
Processor
Dual Bionz XR
Touch Screen
Yes
Video Codecs
XAVC S, XAVC HS, XAVC S-I, H.264, H.265
Video Recording
Up to 8K UHD (7680x4320) 10bit 4:2:0 30fps 400Mbps | Up to 4K UHD (3840x2160) 10bit 4:2:2 120fps 280Mbps | Up to FHD (1920x1080) 10bit 4:2:2 60fps 50Mbps / 8bit 4:2:0 120fps 100Mbps
Weather Resistance
Yes

Performance

Battery Life
530 shots
Battery Life | Stills
430 shots (Viewfinder) / 530 shots (LCD)
Battery Life | Video
90 min (Viewfinder) / 95 min (LCD)
Dynamic Range
15 stops
Max Burst Rate
30.0 fps
Shutter Speed
1/32000 s (electronic) / 1/8000 s (mechanical) ~ 30 s
Storage
Dual SD/CFexpress Type A slots (UHS-II supported)

Production

Availability
2021-03
Battery
NP-FZ100 lithium-ion battery & charger
Debut
2021-01-26
Made In
Thailand
Model Name
ILCE-1

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3rd-Party Review Videos

External Reviews

cameralabs[1]

Sentiment Score 83%
Reviewers from cameralabs have found the following***:
The Alpha 1 becomes the most powerful all-round mirrorless camera to date. It outpaces the A9 on speed and delivers 8k video that’s absent on the A7s. It also delivers the most practical electronic shutter with minimal skewing, anti-flicker adjustments and even support for flash. Strangely Sony continues to neglect focus bracketing and any kind of pre-capture mode.
Find the original article here.
Pros
  • Superb image quality
  • Excellent electronic shutter
  • Excellent battery life
Cons
  • No pre-capture mode
  • No autofocus

pcmag[2]

Sentiment Score 88%
Reviewers from pcmag have found the following***:
Sony's a1 is a true do-it-all flagship, capable of action photography at 30fps, high-resolution landscapes, and future-proof 8K video. It's an expensive proposition, even when compared with more specialized cameras like the landscape-friendly a7R IV, the video-first a7S III, and the high-speed a9 II. But if you need the features of all three, and don't fancy the ideas of buying three camera bodies, look to the Sony a1.
Find the original article here.
Pros
  • Fantastic image quality
  • High-resolution 8K video
  • Excellent autofocus
Cons
  • No integrated grip
  • No integrated viewfinder

techradar[3]

Sentiment Score 85%
Reviewers from techradar have found the following***:
The Sony A1 is fast and capable in several areas, but the autofocus system is, in particular, incredibly powerful. It features a 759-Point hybrid AF that covers 92% of the sensor, so you can place the active focus point(s) in almost any position in the viewfinder. The 50.1MP stacked CMOS sensor captures incredible amounts of detail.
Find the original article here.
Pros
  • Incredible image quality
  • Fast autofocus
  • Excellent dynamic range
Cons
  • Menu system is difficult to navigate
  • Limited range of settings

digitalpicture[4]

Sentiment Score 90%
Reviewers from digitalpicture have found the following***:
The Sony Alpha a1 is a best-in-class, feature-packed, professional-grade model. While the a1 price is high, it remains considerably less than the $8k we used to pay for the Canon 1-series professional DSLR cameras. Check out our Sony Lens Reviews for in-depth coverage of all of Sony's lenses.
Find the original article here.
Pros
  • Ultra-high-resolution image
  • Superior image quality
  • Excellent battery life
Cons
  • High price

theverge[5]

Sentiment Score 76%
Reviewers from theverge have found the following***:
The A1 uses the same Sony NP-FZ100 batteries as other more recent Alpha cameras. It is definitely pulling more power than most other models, though, and one battery only lasts for about half a day of heavy photography use with the A1. At $6,500, the Alpha 1 is a professional tool with a professional price tag.
Find the original article here.
Pros
  • Compact, lightweight design
  • Fast EVF
  • Fast burst mode
  • Excellent battery life
Cons
  • Battery life could be better
  • Not fully articulating screen

User Reviews

References

1. ^ Sony A1 review. [cameralabs]. https://www.cameralabs.com/sony-alpha-a1-review/. Retrieved 2022-01-21.
2. ^ Sony a1 Review. [pcmag]. https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/sony-a1. 2021-10-19. Retrieved 2021-10-20.
3. ^ Sony A1 review. [techradar]. https://www.techradar.com/reviews/sony-a1. 2021-03-19. Retrieved 2021-10-20.
4. ^ Sony Alpha 1 Review. [digitalpicture]. https://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Sony-a1.aspx. Retrieved 2022-01-21.
5. ^ Sony Alpha 1 review: everything nice at an expensive price. [theverge]. https://www.theverge.com/22545402/sony-alpha-1-a1-mirrorless-camera-review-specs-price-features-test. 2021-06-23. Retrieved 2021-08-12.

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***These key takeaways ("pros" and "cons") and summaries are identified from third-party review by our AI using advanced language models.

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