Sony’s new flagship Alpha 1 packs a massive 50.1MP sensor

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Yesterday Sony revealed a few notable pieces of hardware across its various consumer electronics lineups. Most notable among these is a new iteration of flagship mirrorless camera – the Sony Alpha 1 (or Alpha a1 depending on your preference).

Widely regarded as one of, if not the best manufacturer when it comes to mirrorless options, the new Sony Alpha 1 does not come cheap, which is also a well known feature of the series and why only professionals usually pick them up. This latest flagship is listed to retail for $6 500 (~R98 183) for the body alone Stateside when it launches in selected regions in March this year.

Locally no confirmed pricing or availability has been outlined, but we’ve already seen it listed for pre-order on sites like Outdoor Photo for a yet-to-be disclosed price.

So what is this new flagship packing?

On that front a 50.1MP 33mm full-frame CMOS sensor is present. It boasts a continuous shooting mode that captures 30 images per second, along with being able to record up to 8K video at 30fps. The former feature in particular should be of interest to sports or wildlife photographers, although it remains to be seen if it can muster the same sort of tracking that the impressive Fujifilm X-H1 can.

Speaking of which, the buffer on the Sony Alpha 1 features AF and AE focus tracking that the Japanese camera maker says can handle up to 155 full frame compressed RAW images or 165 full frame JPEG ones at the aforementioned 30fps, all via the electronic shutter.

There’s also five-axis in-body image stabilisation on offer, as well as a standard ISO range of 100–32 000.

Other noteworthy elements include an electronic viewfinder that delivers 100 percent coverage and 9.43 million dots. Added to this is a 2.95″ LCD screen on the rear that takes care of touch-enabled focusing and serves up 1.44 million dots, along with its E-mount mechanism for lenses.

While local pricing is still in the offing, the Sony Alpha 1 will likely cost more than the flagship mirrorless cameras from its competitors. Given the company’s reputation though, the price is probably justified, but a proper hands-on will give us a more informed opinion on that front.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.