Sony goes straight to the top with the new 8K Alpha 1

Camera tech is taking another step forward now with Sony’s new Alpha 1, but are we ready for what it can do?

Packing a 50.1-megapixel full-frame stacked Exmor RS™ CMOS sensor, the camera also features an upgraded BIONZ XR™ imaging processing engine with eight times more processing power. 

The silent and vibration free shutter can fire at 30fps with what Sony are claiming as “the world’s first anti-flicker shooting with both mechanical and electronic shutter”. The electronic shutter flash syncs up to 1/200 sec while the mechanical shutter flashs sync up to 1/400 sec. Blackouts caused by strobing effects are now eliminated while the OLED Quad-XGA electronic viewfinder (EVF) is rated at 240fps to minimise latency when shooting continuously.

The Real-time Eye AF (autofocus) is also improved not just for humans, but animals and birds with Real-time Tracking that maintains focus. When shooting at 30fps continuously, the autofocus can calculate up to 120 AF/AE time per second.

Other features include 5-axis optical in-body image stabilization, S-Cinetone color matrix, an ISO range of ISO100~32000 (expandable to ISO50~10240010), built-in Wi-Fi, SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps, 1000BASE-T Ethernet, dynamic range of 15 stops for stills and 15+ stops for video and much more.

We are already struggling to work with 4K video, but now the Alpha can pump out 8K 30pvii 10-bit 4:2:0 XAVC HS video recording with 8.6K oversampling for incredibly detailed filming. Processing all the data coming out of that is going to be “fun”, but this is where things are going and hardware (and software) will have to continue to play catch up. For most, the 4K 120p 10-bit 4:2:2 movie mode will be enough.

This is Sony’s flagship camera, and for once a brand has put together everything in one camera enabling sports, studio, and video shooters to have it all. That may seem risky on Sony’s behalf given they’d probably like everyone to have multiple cameras for different occasions, and that may still be the case, but the Alpha 1 just cuts through the crap and delivers on spec.

Price: $10,499.00 AUD ($6,499.99 USD / £6,500.00 GBP)

Read more in-depth via Sony.

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