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Sony A1 announced – 50.1MP, 8.6K, 30fps bursts, 15-stop dynamic range

BREAKING: Sony A1 announced – 50MP, 8.6K, 30fps bursts, 15-stop dynamic range
(Image credit: Sony)

Sony has announced a game-changing new camera, the Sony A1 – a 50.1MP, 8.6K camera capable of shooting bursts at up to a blistering 30fps, with 15 stops of dynamic range and real-time animal eye AF. 

Powered by a brand new stacked, back-illuminated Exmoor RS image sensor with integral memory, along with a Bionz XR processor, the Sony A1 can capture 50MP images at up to 30fps – with blackout-free shooting.

• Read more: Sony A1 vs Canon EOS R5

That huge sensor also supports 8K video, with up to 8.6K oversampling, and 4K video up to 120fps at 10-bit 4:2:2 All-I. In Super 35mm, 4K can be downsampled from 5.8K, with support for 10-bit S-Log 3 and 15-stop dynamic range. In addition, 16-bit RAW is supported over HDMI.

So, does the Sony A1 overheat as badly as the Canon EOS R5? According to Sony, it can record for a maximum of 30 minutes when filming in 8K or 4K 60p. 

The high resolution isn't just limited to the sensor itself, though; the electronic viewfinder is every bit as cutting edge, boasting an astonishing 9.44 million dots and a refresh rate of up to 240fps. The resolution of the touchscreen isn't yet confirmed, but it is a tilting screen rather than a fully articulating one.

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Sony A1

(Image credit: Sony)
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Sony A1

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Sony A1

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Sony A1

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Sony A1

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The Sony A1 also introduces real-time Eye AF for birds, bolstered by the 759-point phase detect autofocus system with 92% coverage – which makes AF and AE calculations at up to 120 times per second. 

To keep up with the lightning-fast 30fps frame-rate, the A1 boasts dual CFexpress Type A / UHS-II SD card slots, along with new anti-distortion shutter technology. Made possible by the super-quick readout of the new sensor, this combats the rolling shutter phenomenon when shooting electronically.

A cutting-edge camera deserves cutting-edge image formats, so the A1 will support HEIF, Light JPG, In-camera Crop and Lossless Compressed RAW. 

As you'd expect, the camera is also weather sealed and possesses 5.5 stops of in-body image stabilization. It also offers professional communication options, including FTP transfer, 1000 BASE-T LAN, and SuperSpeed 10Gbps USB 3.2. 

The Sony A1 will cost $6,498 / £6,499 / AU$10,499, and shipping is expected to begin in late-February (AU) and March (US and UK). One thing is for sure – this camera really is the "one never seen" before!

Pre-order the Sony A1 at Adorama (US)
Pre-order the Sony A1 at B&H (US)
Pre-order the Sony A1 at Park (UK)
Pre-order the Sony A1 at Wex (UK)
Pre-order the Sony A1 at Ted's Camera (Au)

Read more: 

Sony A1 vs Sony A9 II vs Sony A7R IV
Has Sony A1 blown the Canon EOS R5 out of the water?
Sony A9 II review
Best professional cameras
Canon EOS R5 review

James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James started working in the photographic industry in 2014 as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy – successor to David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus. In this time he shot for clients as diverse as Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus. An Olympus and Canon user, James was previously technique editor on PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine.