Groundbreaking Alpha 1 Camera Marks a New Era in Professional Imaging
Sony, a global leader in imaging sensor technology and digital imaging, has announced the arrival of the groundbreaking new full-frame mirrorless Alpha1 camera – asserting their commitment to leading the industry with astunning combination of innovative new features.
- New 50.1-megapixel (approx., effective) full-frame stacked ExmorRS™ CMOS image sensor in combination with an upgraded BIONZXR™ imaging processing engine with eight times more processingpower[i]
- Blackout- free continuous shooting at up to 30 frames per second[ii]
- Fast sensor readout enables up to 120 AF/AE calculations per second[iii], double the speed of the Alpha 9 II, even during 30fps continuous shooting
- Bright and large 0.64-type 9.44 million-dot (approx.) OLED Quad-XGA electronic viewfinderwith the world’s first[iv] refresh rate of 240 fps
- Silent, vibration-free electronic shutter
- World’s first[v] anti-flicker shooting with both mechanical and electronic shutter
- Electronic shutter flash sync[vi] up to 1/200 sec. for the first time in the Alpha™ series
- World’s fastestv mechanical shutter flash sync up to 1/400 sec.
- 8K 30p[vii] 10-bit 4:2:0 XAVC HS video recording with 8.6K oversampling for extraordinary detail and resolution, in addition to 4K 120p[viii] 10-bit 4:2:2 movie shooting capabilities
- Wide dynamic range of 15 stops for stills[ix] and 15+ stops for video[x]
- Improved Real-time Eye AF (autofocus) for humans and animals, and new Real-time Eye AF for birds[xi], as well as Real-time Tracking that automatically maintains accurate focus
- 5-axis optical in-body image stabilization for a 5.5-step[xii] shutter speed advantage
- S-Cinetone color matrix as seen in FX9 and FX6to deliver expressive cinematic look
- Professional workflow support with the industry’s fastest[xiii] built-in Wi-Fi, SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps, 1000BASE-T Ethernet and more
The most technologically advanced, innovative camera that Sony has ever released, the Alpha 1 combines high-resolution and high-speed performanceat 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.” said
Yann Salmon Legagneur, Director of Product Marketing, Digital Imaging, Sony
Europe. “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 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 the previously impossible now possible.”
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 30fps 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[xiv], 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 colour. The Alpha 1 is also packed with features that
support field professionals with faster workflow, including 3.5 times faster
wireless FTP transfer speed[xv] 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 any photographer the speed they require
to capture fast-moving objects. High speed readout from the 50.1-megapixel
image sensor and a large buffer memory make it possible to shoot up to 155
full-frame compressed RAW images[xvi] or 165 full-frame JPEG images[xvii]at
up to 30 frames per second with the electronic shutter while maintaining full
AF and AE tracking performance[xviii].
At an astonishing calculation speed of up to 120AF/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 secondsii.
Advanced Electronic Viewfinder with the World’s Firstiv 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 firstiv240 fps refresh ratexiv,
for a super-smooth display. The viewfinder does not black out when an
exposure is made 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 classiv. It also offers 0.90x[xix]
viewfinder magnification, a 41° diagonal FOV, and a 25mm-high eyepoint for
clear, low distortion viewing from corner to corner.
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 cover 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%
over the previous systemi, thanks to the powerful image processing engine,
BIONZ XR. It ensures accurate, reliable detection, even when the subject’s
face looks away. In addition to improved Real-time Eye AF for humans and
animals, the Alpha 1 employs high-level subject recognition technology to
provide Real-time Eye AF for birdsxi, a first in an Alpha series camera.
Optimised algorithms ensure that tracking is maintained even if a sitting bird
suddenly takes flight, or the framing suddenly changes[xx].
The Alpha 1 also features AI-based Real-time Tracking that automatically
maintains accurate focus. A subject recognition algorithm uses colour, pattern
(brightness), and subject distance (depth) data to process spatial information
in real time 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 timev in the world. The electronic shutter[xxi]
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[xxii] is possible. The advantages of the electronic
shutter advantages 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 speedv of 1/400 sec. with
mechanical shutter, making it even easier to capture dynamic action. In
addition to a carbon fibre shutter curtain, the Alpha 1 features the newly
developed dual driven shutter system utilising spring and electromagnetic
drive actuator, 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, for smooth, natural gradations from shadows to highlights thanks to its
cutting-edge processing system, throughout a wide ISO sensitivity range of
100-32,000 (expandable to 50-102,400, when shooting stills).
Additionally, the new camera features an evolved Pixel Shift Multi Shooting
mode that composites up to 16 full-resolution images. In this mode, the
camera precisely shifts the sensor in one pixel or half-pixel increments to
capture 16 separate pixel-shifted images containing a total of 796.2 million
pixels of data, which are then composited into a 199 million pixel (17,280 x
11,520 pixels) image using Sony’s Imaging Edge™ desktop application. With
a flash sync of up to 1/200 sec. in this mode, it is ideal for photographing
architecture, art or any other still life subject with a level of detail and colour
accuracy that is simply stunning.
Professional Video Quality
8K High-Resolution Movie 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 colour
reproduction performance, the Alpha 1 will help the user realise their
creative vision with the finest detail. It’s 8K footagecan 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 secondviii
which allows the user to shoot up to 5X slow-motion video[xxiii]. 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
The Alpha 1 features S-Cinetone, the same colour matrix that produces the
highly regarded FX9 and FX6 colour and skin tones. It delivers natural midtones,
plus soft colours 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 colour
gamut settings make it easy to match Alpha 1 footage with video shot on
VENICE cinema camera, FX9 and other professional cinema cameras.
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
Supporting Hand-held Shooting
A high-precision stabilisation unit and gyro sensors, plus optimised image
stabilisation algorithms, achieve up to a 5.5-step shutter speed advantage,
maximising the quality of the high-resolution images derived from the
camera’s 50.1-megapixel sensor. The Alpha 1 also features an Active
Mode[xxv] that offers outstanding stabilisation for handheld movie shooting.
When using Sony’s desktop applications Catalyst Browse or Catalyst
Prepare[xxvi] for post-production, an accurate image stabilisation function is
available which utilises metadata generated by the camera's built-in gyro.
Other features that the Alpha 1 offers include; 16-bit RAW output[xxvii] to an
external recorder[xxviii] via HDMI for maximum post-production flexibility, a
digital audio interface has been added 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 movies in Super 35mm mode and more.
Enhanced Workflow withNetwork Technologies including Connectivity to 5G
The Alpha 1 has been designed and configured to support photo and video
journalists and sports shooters who need to deliver stills or movies as quickly
as possible with advanced connectivity options. It offers several features for
fast, reliable file transfers. The industry’s fastestxiiibuilt-in wireless LAN allows
communication on 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz[xxix]bands with dual antennas to
ensure reliable communications. 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 shooters who need
to deliver with reliable speed. There is also a provided USB Type-C®
connector to support high-speed PC Remote (tethered) data transfer available
for smooth handling of large image files. The Alpha 1 also has a built-in
1000BASE-T LAN connector for high-speed, stable data transfers, including
remote shooting. FTPS (File Transfer over SSL/TLS) is supported, allowing
SSL or TLS encryption for increased data security.
In addition to compressed and uncompressed RAW, the Alpha 1 includes
efficient lossless compression with no quality degradation, Lossless
Compressed RAW. There is also a new “Light” JPEG/HEIF image quality setting
that results in smaller files than the “Standard” setting, allowing faster
deliver for news and sports photographers who depend on speed. 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 incamera
to a desired aspect ratio, size, or position for versatile usage.
The Alpha 1 is also compatible with a variety of apps, add-ons and tools. With
Imaging Edge Mobile and Imaging Edge Desktop[xxx], professionals can
easily transfer RAW files and files that use lossless compression and remotely
control Touch Tracking and Touch Focus for convenient AF operation. The
Transfer & Tagging add-on (Ver. 1.3 or later) can automatically covert voice
memos attached to image files to text captions or transfer the files to an FTP
server from a mobile device. Desktop applications Catalyst Browse/Catalyst
Preparexxvi allow professionals to browse and manage video clips shot by
Sony’s camera. In addition, the Remote Camera Tool[xxxi] can remotely
change camera settings and shoot 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, shutter close function on power-off to protect image sensor,
plus dust and moisture resistance[xxxii] that maximises reliability in
challenging environments. It includes a durable, reliable HDMI Type-A
connector, and USB PD (Power Delivery) support, allowing higher 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 customisation, 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
Pricing and Availability
The Alpha 1 Full-frame Interchangeable-Lens Camera will be available in
Europe in March 2021 for approximately €7,300 EUR.
Exclusive stories and exciting new content shot with the new camera and
Sony's other imaging products can be found at www.alphauniverse.co.uk, a
site created to educate and inspire all fans and customers of Sony α - Alpha
For detailed coverage on the new product on Alpha Universe, please visit this
[i] Compared to the BIONZ X imaging processing engine.
[ii] “Hi+” continuous shooting mode. In focus modes other than AF-C,
effective at 1/125 sec. or higher shutter speed. In AF-C mode, effective at
1/250 sec. or higher shutter speed, and the maximum continuous frame rate
will depend on the shooting mode and lens used. 20 fps max. when shooting
Uncompressed or Lossless compressed RAW.
[iii] At shutter speeds of 1/125 sec. or higher. The number of AF calculations
will depend on the lens used.
[iv] As of January 2021, Sony survey. Among full-frame mirrorless cameras.
[v] As of January 2021, Sony survey. Among full-frame interchangeable-lens
digital still cameras.
[vi] Up to 1/200 sec. Synchronization via the sync terminal is not available for
[vii] [APS-C S35 Shooting] is fixed [Off] when shooting 4K 120p and 8K
[viii] 10% image crop.
[ix] Sony internal tests.
[x]When recording with S-Log3. Sony internal tests.
[xi] Still images only.
[xii] CIPA standards. Pitch/yaw shake only. Planar T* FE 50mm F1.4 ZA lens.
Long exposure NR off.
[xiii] As of January 2021, Sony survey. Among interchangeable-lens digital
[xiv]Field of view is fixed at 33° and resolution is UXGA when selecting frame
rate at 240 fps.
[xv] 3.5 times faster when compared against the Alpha 9 II.
[xvi]“Hi+” continuous shooting mode, compressed RAW, CFexpress Type A
memory card. Sony tests.
[xvii]“Hi+” continuous shooting mode, CFexpress Type A memory card. Sony
[xviii]At 20 frames per second, users can shoot up to 238 full-frame
compressed RAW images or 400 full-frame JPEG images.
[xix] 50mm lens, infinity, -1m-1 diopter.
[xx]Accurate focus may not be achieved with certain subjects in certain
[xxi]Shutter speed slower than 0.5 sec. cannot be set while continuous
shooting. Tracking performance and max. aperture differs by settings and
[xxii] Up to 1/200 sec. Synchronization via the sync terminal is not available
for electronic shutter.
[xxiii]Post-production editing and S&Q mode recording required. Data must
be recorded to a CFexpress Type A memory card when the frame rate is 120
(100) fps or higher.
[xxiv]Sony internal tests with [Auto Power OFF Temp.] set to [High].
[xxv] Active Mode is not available for 8K recording.
[xxvi]Catalyst Browse™ version 2020.1 or later, Catalyst Prepare version
2020.1 or later are required.
[xxvii]8K is not applicable.
[xxviii] Compatible recorders to be announced.
[xxix] 5 GHz communication may be restricted in some countries and regions.
[xxx] The Imaging Edge (Remote/Viewer/Edit) desktop application Ver. 3.1 or
later is required for compositing.
[xxxi] Remote Camera Tool version 2.3 or later is required.
[xxxii] Not guaranteed to be 100% dust and water resistant.