Alpha Universe Story Detail
Alpha Universe Story Detail
Groundbreaking Alpha 1 Camera Marks a New Era in Professional Imaging

The Alpha 1 delivers an unprecedented combination of resolution, speed, and video performance, empowering professionals with a new high-resolution 50.1-megapixel full-frame image sensor, high-speed shooting at up to 30 frames per second, 8K 30p video, and more

CX88500 front

•  New 50.1-megapixel (approx., effective) full-frame stacked Exmor RS™ CMOS image sensor in combination with an upgraded BIONZ XR™ imaging processing engine with eight times more processing power

•  Blackout- free continuous shooting at up to 30 frames per second

•  Fast sensor readout enables up to 120 AF/AE calculations per second, double the speed of the Alpha 9 II, even during 30 fps continuous shooting 

•  Bright and large 0.64-type 9.44-million-dot (approx.) OLED Quad-XGA electronic viewfinder with the world’s first 240-fps refresh rate

•  Silent, vibration-free electronic shutter 

•  World’s first anti-flicker shooting with both mechanical and electronic shutter

•  Electronic shutter flash sync up to 1/200 sec. for the first time in the Alpha™ series

•  World’s fastest mechanical shutter flash sync up to 1/400 sec.

•  8K 30p 10-bit 4:2:0 XAVC HS video recording with 8.6K oversampling for extraordinary detail and resolution, in addition to 4K 120p 10-bit 4:2:2 video shooting capabilities

•  Wide dynamic range of 15 stops for stills and 15+ stops for video

•  Improved Real-time Eye AF (autofocus) for humans and animals, and new Real-time Eye AF for birds, as well as Real-time Tracking that automatically maintains sharp focus

•  5-axis optical in-body image stabilization for a 5.5-step shutter speed advantage

•  S-Cinetone color matrix as seen in FX9 and FX6 to deliver an expressive cinematic look

•  Professional workflow support with the industry’s fastest built-in Wi-Fi, SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps, 1000BASE-T Ethernet, and more

(ASIA PACIFIC, January 26, 2021) – Sony Electronics, a global leader in imaging sensor technology and digital imaging, has announced the arrival of the groundbreaking new full-frame mirrorless Alpha 1 camera – asserting their commitment to leading the industry with a stunning combination of innovative new features.  

The most technologically advanced, innovative camera that Sony has ever released, the Alpha 1 combines high-resolution and high-speed performance at a level that has never been accomplished in the world of digital cameras. With a brand new 50.1-megapixel full-frame stacked Exmor RS™ image sensor, up to 120 AF/AE calculations per second, 8K 30p 10-bit 4:2:0 video, and much more, the Alpha 1 will allow creators to capture what they’ve never been able to before. 

"“We are always listening to our customers, challenging the industry to bring new innovation to the market that goes far beyond their expectations,” explains Ryo Ochi, General Manager, Digital Imaging Division, Sony Electronics Asia Pacific. “Alpha 1 breaks through all existing boundaries, setting a new bar for what creators can accomplish with a single camera. What excites us the most—more than the extensive list of product features—is Alpha 1’s ability to capture that which has never been captured before. This camera unlocks a new world of creative possibilities, making possible what was previously impossible.”

The newly developed image sensor is built with integral memory and paired with an upgraded BIONZ XR imaging processing engine, making it capable of shooting 50.1-megapixel images continuously at an astounding 30 fps with up to 120 AF/AE calculations per second. The Alpha 1’s shooting capabilities are further enhanced by a 9.44 million dot OLED Quad-XGA electronic viewfinder, with a refresh rate of up to 240 fps, ensuring no black out. Additionally, for the first time in an Alpha series camera, 8K 30p 10-bit 4:2:0 video is available. The Alpha 1 is also capable of 4K 120p/60p 10-bit 4:2:2 recording and includes S-Cinetone color. The Alpha 1 is also packed with features that support field professionals with faster workflow, including 3.5-times faster wireless FTP transfer speed and more.

Unprecedented Resolution and Speed

Continuous Shooting at up to 30 Frames per Second

The Alpha 1 captures moments that would otherwise be lost thanks to its high-speed performance, providing photographers the speed they need to capture fast-moving objects. The 50.1-megapixel image sensor’s high-speed readout and a large buffer memory make it possible to shoot up to 155 full-frame compressed RAW images or 165 full-frame JPEG images at up to 30 frames per second with the electronic shutter while maintaining full AF and AE tracking performance

At an astonishing calculation speed of up to 120 AF/AE per second, the Alpha 1 can maintain focus with high accuracy even for fast-moving subjects. It can automatically adjust exposure, even with sudden changes in brightness, with an AE response latency as low as 0.033 seconds.

Advanced Electronic Viewfinder with the World’s First Refresh Rate of 240 fps

Complimenting the camera’s ability to capture images at an unprecedented speed, the Alpha 1 viewfinder features the world’s first 240-fps refresh rate, for a super-smooth display. The viewfinder does not black out during exposure to offer an uninterrupted view and allow for seamless framing and tracking, even during continuous shooting. The 9.44-million-dot (approx.), 0.64-type Quad-XGA high-definition OLED display and refined optics deliver the highest resolution in its class. It also offers 0.90x viewfinder magnification, a 41° diagonal FOV, and a 25-mm-high eyepoint for clear, low distortion viewing from corner to corner. 

Advanced Autofocus

Sony continues to push the boundaries of autofocus technology with the introduction of the Alpha 1, which can easily track complex, fast-moving subjects with high precision. The camera features 759 phase detection points in a high-density focal plane phase-detection AF system that covers approximately 92% of the image area—ensuring accuracy and unfailing focus in environments where focusing might otherwise be difficult. 

Sony’s advanced Real-time Eye AF improves detection performance by 30% compared to the previous system, thanks to the powerful image processing engine, BIONZ XR. It ensures accurate, reliable detection, even when the subject is facing away from the lens. In addition to improved Real-time Eye AF for humans and animals, the Alpha 1 uses high-level subject recognition technology to provide Real-time Eye AF for birds, a first in an Alpha series camera. Optimized algorithms ensure that tracking is maintained even if a sitting bird suddenly takes flight or the framing suddenly changes

The Alpha 1 also features AI-based Real-time Tracking that automatically maintains accurate focus. A subject recognition algorithm uses color, pattern (brightness), and subject distance (depth) data to process spatial information in real time and at high speed. 

Silent, Vibration-free Electronic Shutter

High-speed readout from the new image sensor has made it possible to reduce rolling shutter by up to 1.5 times when shooting stills, compared to the Alpha 9 II. It also offers silent anti-flicker continuous shooting with an electronic shutter for the first time in the world. The electronic shutter operates silently, without mechanical noise, and is vibration-free. Stress-free continuous shooting is now possible even when shooting in challenging lighting situations with florescent or other flicker-prone types of artificial lighting. And for the first time in an Alpha camera, electronic shutter flash sync up to 1/200 sec is possible. The advantages offered by the electronic shutter can now come to life even when using flash for broadly expanded shooting versatility.

Dual Driven Shutter System for 1/400 Flash Sync

The Alpha 1 boasts the world’s fastest flash sync speed of 1/400 sec. with mechanical shutter, making it even easier to capture dynamic action. In addition to a carbon fiber shutter curtain, the Alpha 1 features the newly developed dual driven shutter system that uses spring and electromagnetic drive actuators, offering high durability and lightness at the same time.

High-resolution Shooting Enhancements

Even with this sensor’s high pixel count, the Alpha 1 offers high sensitivity with low noise, plus 15+ stops of dynamic range for video and 15 stops for stills, allowing for smooth, natural gradations from shadows to highlights thanks to its cutting-edge processing system, offering a wide ISO sensitivity range of 100–32,000 (expandable to 50–102,400, when shooting stills) throughout.

Additionally, the new camera features an evolved Pixel Shift Multi-shooting m

Professional Video Quality

8K High-resolution Video Shooting

For the first time in an Alpha camera, the Alpha 1 offers 8K 30p 10-bit 4:2:0 XAVC HS recording with 8.6K oversampling for extraordinary resolution. Combined with Sony’s acclaimed autofocus technology, gradation, and color reproduction performance, the Alpha 1 will help the user realize their creative vision with the finest detail. Its 8K footage can also be used for flexible 4K editing during post-production. 

Supporting Various Video Formats for Professionals

The Alpha 1 offers in-camera 4K recording at up to 120 frames per second, which allows the user to shoot up to 5X slow-motion video. In addition to supporting 10-bit 4:2:2 recording, this feature can be used with efficient Long GOP inter-frame compression or high-quality Intra (All-I) intra-frame compression. 

The Alpha 1 features S-Cinetone, the same color matrix that produces the highly regarded FX9 and FX6 color and skin tones. It delivers natural mid-tones, plus soft colors and gorgeous highlights to meet a growing need for more expressive depth. The S-Log3 gamma curve makes it possible to achieve 15+ stops of dynamic range, while the S-Gamut3 and S-Gamut3.Cine color gamut settings make it easy to match Alpha 1 footage with video shot on VENICE cinema camera, FX9, and other professional cinema cameras. 

Heat-dissipating Structure

A unique heat dissipating structure keeps image sensor and image processing engine temperatures within their normal operating range, preventing overheating while maintaining compact body dimensions. This makes it possible to record 8K/30p video continuously for approximately 30 minutes.

Supporting Hand-held Shooting

A high-precision stabilization unit and gyro sensors, together with optimized image stabilization algorithms, help achieve an up to 5.5-step shutter speed advantage, maximizing the quality of the high-resolution images derived from the camera’s 50.1-megapixel sensor. The Alpha 1 also features an Active Mode offering outstanding stabilization for handheld video shooting. When using the Catalyst Browse or Catalyst Prepare Sony desktop applications for post-production, an accurate image stabilization function is available that uses metadata generated by camera’s built-in gyro.

Other Alpha 1 features include: 16-bit RAW output to an external recorder via HDMI for maximum post-production flexibility; the addition of a digital audio interface to the camera’s Multi Interface (MI) Shoe for clearer audio recordings from a compatible Sony external microphone; 5.8K oversampled full pixel readout without pixel binning for high-resolution 4K video in Super 35 mm mode; and more.

  

Enhanced Workflow with Network Technologies including Connectivity to 5G-compatible Devices 

The Alpha 1 has been designed and configured with advanced connectivity options to support photo and video journalists and sports photographers who need to deliver content as quickly as possible. It offers several features for fast, reliable file transfers. The industry’s fastest built-in wireless LAN allows for communication on both 2.4 GHz and 5 Ghz bands and uses dual antennas to ensure a stable connection. 5 GHz includes 2x2 MIMO support (IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac) offering 3.5-times faster wireless FTP transfer speed than the Alpha 9 II—a notable advantage for news and sports photojournalists who need to deliver with reliable speed. A USB Type-C® connector is also provided to support fast data transfer when connected to a 5G mmWave-compatible device such as the Sony Xperia PRO, so users benefit from the smooth handling of large image files via high-speed PC remote (tethered) data transfer. The Alpha 1 also has a built-in 1000BASE-T LAN connector for high-speed, reliable data transfers, including remote shooting. FTPS (File Transfer over SSL/TLS) is supported, so SSL or TLS encryption can be used for increased data security. 

As well as compressed and uncompressed RAW, the Alpha 1 includes Lossless Compressed RAW, which provides efficient lossless compression with no quality degradation. The new “Light” JPEG/HEIF image quality setting creates smaller files than the “Standard” setting so that news and sports photographers who need to can deliver faster. Along with a versatile range of RAW and JPEG formats, the Alpha 1 includes the HEIF (High Efficiency Image File) format for smooth 10-bit gradations that provide more realistic reproduction of skies and portrait subjects where subtle, natural gradation is essential. Images shot on the Alpha 1 can be trimmed in-camera to a desired aspect ratio, size, or position as desired.

The Alpha 1 is also compatible with a variety of apps, add-ons, and tools. With Imaging Edge Mobile and Imaging Edge Desktop, professionals can easily transfer RAW files and files using lossless compression and can also remotely control Touch Tracking and Touch Focus at their convenience. The Transfer & Tagging add-on (Ver. 1.3 or later) can automatically convert voice memos attached to image files or text captions or transfer the files to an FTP server from a mobile device. The Catalyst Browse/Catalyst Prepare desktop applications allow professionals to browse and manage video clips shot by Sony cameras. Additionally, the Remote Camera Tool can remotely change camera settings and capture footage from a computer connected via LAN cable and feature a number of refinements for the Alpha 1: faster transfer, touch response, dual slot and HEIF support, and more.

Reliable and Easy Operability 

Professional users need more than just refined features and performance. They also need the reliability and durability demanded of any professional tool. The Alpha 1 has two media slots that both support UHS-I and UHS-II SDXC/SDHC cards, as well as new CFexpress Type A cards for higher overall capacity and faster read/write speeds. It also features a durable magnesium alloy chassis, long battery life with the Z-battery, which can be extended using the optional VG-C4EM Vertical Grip (sold separately), an improved dust removal feature, a shutter close function on power-off to protect the image sensor, plus dust and moisture resistance that maximizes reliability in challenging environments. It includes a durable, reliable HDMI Type-A connector, and USB PD (Power Delivery) support, allowing more power to be supplied from an external source so that users can record for extended periods with minimal internal battery usage.

A revised menu structure provides easier navigation, and touch-responsive menu operation offers fast, more intuitive control with Touch Focus and Touch Tracking on its 3.0-type 1.44-million-dot (approx.) LCD monitor. For easy customization, a subset of the camera’s shooting settings now changes according to the selected shooting mode, making it easier than ever to use different aperture, shutter speed, and other settings for shooting stills and video. 

Availability

The Alpha 1 Full-frame Interchangeable Lens Camera will be available in Asia Pacific from the end of February 2021.

For detailed product information, please visit: https://www.sony-asia.com/electronics/interchangeable-lens-cameras/ilce-1