Sony A9S is a 50MP, 8K camera coming next year for $4,999 (report)

Sony A9S is a 50MP, 8K camera coming next year for $5,999 (report)

UPDATE 04/11: New rumors regarding the upcoming Sony A9 camera (possibly to be called the Sony A9S) have surfaced. Apparently, the final price point has not yet been officially set by Sony. However, it is said to be considering a price around the $4,999 mark. This is a slightly more conservative figure than the previously rumored $5,999, but it's still a good chunk of cash.

We've also heard, via Sony Alpha Rumors, that this upcoming Sony camera could be announced (opens in new tab) on 11 January at the virtual CES show. However, it's also been mentioned that the second wave of COVID-19 could potentially push back the announcement. Either way, the leaks are flowing thick and fast for the Sony A9S, so we wouldn't be surprised to see more information leaked soon…

ORIGINAL STORY: This new camera is rumored to be the Sony A9S – part of the A9 flagship line, but not a direct successor to the current A9 products. This Sony A9S will feature a sensor in the 50MP range to enable its 8K 30p capture, which is intended to outperform the Canon EOS R5 (opens in new tab) with no recording limits, and features AF and other tech from the Sony A7S III (opens in new tab). The manufacturer is keen to release it early next year in time for the Olympics, where it will be used by pros alongside the Sony A9 II (opens in new tab) for stills. 

Intriguingly, the latest leak (opens in new tab) from Sony Alpha Rumors describes the video as being an “infant” 8K mode, and that "there will be limitations in the quality you can record internally", suggesting that it may possess fewer bitrate and RAW options than the 8K offered by the EOS R5.

ORIGINAL STORY (24 Sep): Do you have a big bag of salt in your kitchen? Well, go and take a great big pinch of it, because here's a crazy rumor for you: Sony could be set to unleash a new 8K camera early next year for $5,999. 

In what could be positioned as a Canon EOS R5 (opens in new tab) killer, the Sony 8K body will be a "a new top of the line camera" with a large, professional form factor, a never before seen sensor and some of the new benchmarks from the Sony A7S III (opens in new tab), such as the 9.4 million-dot electronic viewfinder and the improved menu system. 

• Read more: Best Sony cameras (opens in new tab)

The reports make no mention of the supposed sensor size, though like the R5 it will need to be in the 45MP region in order to pack enough pixels for 8K capture. Thus it will obviously far eclipse the 12.1MP of the video-oriented A7S III, but will likely clock in at a lower resolution than the 61MP Sony A7R IV (opens in new tab)

While some have taken to referring to this 8K monster as the Sony A9 III, we don't think that's the right fit. People have likely taken the "top of the line camera" description to mean 'flagship camera', but the specs just don't stack up.

After all, the A9 is the Sony's flagship professional camera line for sports and newsgathering – its USP is having blazing-fast burst shooting and killer autofocus, not in capturing obscenely hi-res images (which is actually counter-productive for sports and news pros). Not to mention that the Sony A9 II (opens in new tab) only came out last year!

Is Sony really gunning for the Canon EOS R5 with its own 8K camera already?

Is Sony really gunning for the Canon EOS R5 with its own 8K camera already?  (Image credit: Canon)

Instead, we see this fitting a similar category to the Canon EOS R5: a powerful hybrid camera that can be used for advanced 8K videography as well as high-resolution photography. And if it can record 8K without overheating, that's one huge advantage over the R5. 

An equally huge advantage will be that Sony will no doubt employ its pixel-shift technology to quadruple the resolution, just as the A7R IV's 61MP sensor could produce 240MP images. So if we assume that the new camera has the same 45MP resolution as the R5, Sony's clever tech could potentially produce 180MP shots.

Of course, this is speculation on top of speculation; these wild specs, leaked by Photo Rumors (opens in new tab), could be completely untrue. However, they're pretty exciting:

• Bigger and truly pro body
• 9.44M dots EVF
• Newly developed sensor
• 8K video recording with no overheating
• Dual card slots
• New menu systems from A7S III
• IBIS with Steady shot active mode
• Everything about this camera is new
• Price $5,999

Does Canon's groundbreaking camera have to start looking over its shoulder already, or is this rumor too good to be true? 

Read more: 

Sony A7S III review (opens in new tab)
Sony A7R IV review (opens in new tab)
Sony A9 II review (opens in new tab)
Canon EOS R5 review (opens in new tab)
What is 8K? (opens in new tab)
Best 8K monitors (opens in new tab)

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With over a decade of photographic experience, Louise arms Digital Camera World with a wealth of knowledge on photographic technique and know-how – something at which she is so adept that she's delivered workshops for the likes of ITV and Sue Ryder. Louise also brings years of experience as both a web and print journalist, having served as features editor for Practical Photography magazine and contributing photography tutorials and camera analysis to titles including Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab) and  Digital Photographer (opens in new tab). Louise currently shoots with the Fujifilm X-T200 and the Nikon D800, capturing self-portraits and still life images, and is DCW's ecommerce editor, meaning that she knows good camera, lens and laptop deals when she sees them.