Industry News: Sony announces their new flagship camera, the alpha a1

Bert63

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Sony Northrup (watched the review) isn't impressed. Overheating in 8K occurs in 16 minutes unless you turn on Sony's "ignore all heat warnings" option. Autofocus was just okay. 30FPS is a myth.

Trying hard to se $300 dollar price difference between this and the R5, much less $3000.

Sony Northrup actually had more nice things to say about the R5 than he did the A1.
 

usern4cr

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Sony Northrup (watched the review) isn't impressed. Overheating in 8K occurs in 16 minutes unless you turn on Sony's "ignore all heat warnings" option. Autofocus was just okay. 30FPS is a myth.

Trying hard to se $300 dollar price difference between this and the R5, much less $3000.

Sony Northrup actually had more nice things to say about the R5 than he did the A1.
Wow, I'll have to watch that video of his.
It's funny that there's only 1 thing I found interesting about the A1: the EVF. It's not because of the 9MDots or 240 FPS. It's because of the much larger in-eye magnification where the visual view should be wider to the eye. That's much better to have. The 9MDots & 240 FPS will be a very nice bonus on top of that. I hope the future high end Canon R... bodies have something similar (or even better). And (please) have a slightly bigger & more MDot back LCD panel.
 
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Joules

doom
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I wonder how many threads there are on canonrumors of people deriding Tony Northrup in one way or another (because he didn't say something nice about Canon or whatever...)
There are a lot of things you can criticize about the things he sais without every considering whether they are nice or not.
 
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Codebunny

Elil
Sep 5, 2018
968
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I wonder how many threads there are on canonrumors of people deriding Tony Northrup in one way or another (because he didn't say something nice about Canon or whatever...)

Programmers were often critical of his books for mostly legitimate reasons. And photographers are critical of him for mostly legitimate reasons. The man rubs me the wrong way no matter what brand he is talking about, he comes across as an morning TV presenter and false.
 

Neutral

EOS RP
Oct 19, 2012
346
21
The R5 gives you 95% of A1 performance for $3K less. Catch up? I don’t see the lead..
Do you really and honestly believe in what you are claiming ?
If so then you probably see what is on the surface but do not realise what it is under hood - tremendous difference in the sensor technology between them.
Just on phography side - for megapixel count you are right, but the the problem is your ability and flexibility to use that pixels.
For stills and not very fast moving subject R5 is OK - on par with Sony A7r4, but try to track focus on objects quickly and erraticaly movig accros the frame ( e.g. shooting gymnaticcs, soccer, basketball, erratically moving birds in flight etc.).
Not sure if R5 could give you even 10% performance and AF tracking precision/reliability of A1 in this scenarios. Future Canon R1 possibly will be close to A1 (or might be even better) in this respect - at least it should be to be able to compete.
Enabled by very fast sensor readout A1 makes 120 AF calculations per second and also based on this possibly does interpolations/predictions between that points. As result A1 can do precise lens AF movements based on that calculations and object movements predictions ( accuracy depends on lens itself - latest Sony GM lenses with dual linear AF motors are extreemly fast and precise).
How fast R5 could do that AF - how many AF calculations per second ?
Now please do simple school home math ( just simpliest example for easy calculation) - what whould be AF precision/accuracy for each system if object of interest crosses frame in fraction of a second changing distance significantly at the same time ? E.g. for 0.5 second A9 will have 60 accurate AF points (4 AF points calculations and possibly some AF predictions based on previous AF calculations for each one frame in 30fps shooting mode).
What about R5 and what will be difference in results compared to A1? Everyone could do their home math here to understand this basic difference.
 

BRunner

EOS M50
Aug 27, 2014
49
13
Do you really and honestly believe in what you are claiming ?
If so then you probably see what is on the surface but do not realise what it is under hood - tremendous difference in the sensor technology between them.
Just on phography side - for megapixel count you are right, but the the problem is your ability and flexibility to use that pixels.
For stills and not very fast moving subject R5 is OK - on par with Sony A7r4, but try to track focus on objects quickly and erraticaly movig accros the frame ( e.g. shooting gymnaticcs, soccer, basketball, erratically moving birds in flight etc.).
Not sure if R5 could give you even 10% performance and AF tracking precision/reliability of A1 in this scenarios. Future Canon R1 possibly will be close to A1 (or might be even better) in this respect - at least it should be to be able to compete.
Enabled by very fast sensor readout A1 makes 120 AF calculations per second and also based on this possibly does interpolations/predictions between that points. As result A1 can do precise lens AF movements based on that calculations and object movements predictions ( accuracy depends on lens itself - latest Sony GM lenses with dual linear AF motors are extreemly fast and precise).
How fast R5 could do that AF - how many AF calculations per second ?
Now please do simple school home math ( just simpliest example for easy calculation) - what whould be AF precision/accuracy for each system if object of interest crosses frame in fraction of a second changing distance significantly at the same time ? E.g. for 0.5 second A9 will have 60 accurate AF points (4 AF points calculations and possibly some AF predictions based on previous AF calculations for each one frame in 30fps shooting mode).
What about R5 and what will be difference in results compared to A1? Everyone could do their home math here to understand this basic difference.
Well, you surely used both cameras for many months in field to support your claims....or you are just reading spec-sheets?!
 
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Joules

doom
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Do you really and honestly believe in what you are claiming ?
If so then you probably see what is on the surface but do not realise what it is under hood - tremendous difference in the sensor technology between them.
Surely. Consumers care about results though, not about the technology that delivers them. The A1 review embargo isn't even lifted yet. If you have any insights into the actual performance of this camera, be careful not to expose yourself to consequences by sharing it.

If you are just evaluating the camera based on the material provided by Sony thus far, accusing somebody of not realizing what's under the hood comes off hypocritical.


try to track focus on objects quickly and erraticaly movig accros the frame [...]. Not sure if R5 could give you even 10% performance and AF tracking precision/reliability of A1 in this scenarios. [...]
What about R5 and what will be difference in results compared to A1? Everyone could do their home math here to understand this basic difference.
If you can work out the difference in performance between the R5 and A1 with math that is so simple to you, why don't you do it? Why speculate that it would be 10 % if you are able to enlighten us with simple calculations and therefore save us from watching and reading reviews?


Enabled by very fast sensor readout A1 makes 120 AF calculations per second and also based on this possibly does interpolations/predictions between that points. [...]

How fast R5 could do that AF - how many AF calculations per second ?
Given that the R5 does 4K at 120 FPS with full AF, it can at least handle this rate of AF adjustment, although as you point out interpolation may be involved. As we do not have numbers for this published by Canon, I don't see how an exact answer could be given. So I would highly appreciate it if you could tech me a thing or two and lay out this math you propose.
 

jayphotoworks

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Aug 11, 2016
263
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Wow, I'll have to watch that video of his.
It's funny that there's only 1 thing I found interesting about the A1: the EVF. It's not because of the 9MDots or 240 FPS. It's because of the much larger in-eye magnification where the visual view should be wider to the eye. That's much better to have. The 9MDots & 240 FPS will be a very nice bonus on top of that. I hope the future high end Canon R... bodies have something similar (or even better). And (please) have a slightly bigger & more MDot back LCD panel.

I've had the A7S3 for awhile now and the EVF magnification at 0.91x is huge. It is the largest I've used so far and really makes a difference. I can also toggle the magnification to "zoomed out" when I'm wearing glasses/sunglasses to better see the edges. But changing this to 120fps on the A7S3 drops the resolution and the new A1 apparently has 3 settings, 60fps, 120fps and 240fps. From the spec sheet footnotes, 240fps apparently disables "standard" magnification meaning it will be locked to "zoomed out" meaning a smaller EVF image (perhaps to better hide the drop in resolution?)

In terms of the rear LCD not being fully articulated on the A1, personally I don't know if this is simply a force of habit from shooting on Sony for so long, but I like the tilt up and tilt down better than a fully articulating screen. When I swivel the screen and the fact it has a full size hdmi port, it gets either caught by cables or the Tilta cage I'm using. Because I can't tilt the screen without flipping it out first, that messes up my gimbal balance and almost 90% of the time, I find tilting solves any time I'm higher or lower than the camera. I guess YMMV. I think Panasonic does this better, but you still can't tilt down (only tilt up) the screen without flipping it out.
 
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usern4cr

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Tony was part of the main chorus of R5 conspiracy theorists.
I just watched the Tony Northrup A1 video. I found it quite informative and reasonable in presentation. I've stated here in C.R. the biggest benefit of the A1 (via specs) to me has been the EVF with it's higher magnification, so that it's a wider & taller view to the eye which is sorely needed in all EVF's, plus the higher MP and 240FPS makes it just as good (according to him) and better (with live info) as an OVF. Now I can't test that or make that claim, but it reinforces my view of how great that 1 item is, and I hope Canon comes out with a similar EVF in their upcoming top R... bodies. I noticed jayphotoworks (thanks!, above) mention that EVF 240 fps reduces the magnification to "standard" (smaller) size, so I can only hope that a future Canon version allows 240fps at max. EVF magnification.

Tony also mentions other good & bad things about the A1 and how the R5 often is better in many regards, especially animal/bird eye AF which is crucial to me. I thought it was a very good review, and while Tony is certainly not perfect and may be very self-serving (and enjoys a very good living from it) I don't hold that against him, and instead enjoy the good information, and often interesting history of past photo developments, he does provide. :)
 
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Bert63

What’s in da box?
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Do you really and honestly believe in what you are claiming ?
If so then you probably see what is on the surface but do not realise what it is under hood - tremendous difference in the sensor technology between them.
Just on phography side - for megapixel count you are right, but the the problem is your ability and flexibility to use that pixels.
For stills and not very fast moving subject R5 is OK - on par with Sony A7r4, but try to track focus on objects quickly and erraticaly movig accros the frame ( e.g. shooting gymnaticcs, soccer, basketball, erratically moving birds in flight etc.).
Not sure if R5 could give you even 10% performance and AF tracking precision/reliability of A1 in this scenarios. Future Canon R1 possibly will be close to A1 (or might be even better) in this respect - at least it should be to be able to compete.
Enabled by very fast sensor readout A1 makes 120 AF calculations per second and also based on this possibly does interpolations/predictions between that points. As result A1 can do precise lens AF movements based on that calculations and object movements predictions ( accuracy depends on lens itself - latest Sony GM lenses with dual linear AF motors are extreemly fast and precise).
How fast R5 could do that AF - how many AF calculations per second ?
Now please do simple school home math ( just simpliest example for easy calculation) - what whould be AF precision/accuracy for each system if object of interest crosses frame in fraction of a second changing distance significantly at the same time ? E.g. for 0.5 second A9 will have 60 accurate AF points (4 AF points calculations and possibly some AF predictions based on previous AF calculations for each one frame in 30fps shooting mode).
What about R5 and what will be difference in results compared to A1? Everyone could do their home math here to understand this basic difference.


Hands on, real world, which you don't have, Tony Northrup pretty much said R5 is better across the board in terms of autofocus. So much for your math. We'll see what the rest of the real-world, hands-on reviews say while the specs sheets lie.

30FPS is on the spec sheet too. Whoops.

Given the choice to believe some random on the Internet or someone who has actually used the camera, guess which one I'll choose?

Trying to talk down to someone when you haven't even seen an A1 much less used one makes you look kinda silly. Making assumptions based on stat sheets is like dyno racing. Useless.
 
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Bert63

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Wow, I'll have to watch that video of his.
It's funny that there's only 1 thing I found interesting about the A1: the EVF. It's not because of the 9MDots or 240 FPS. It's because of the much larger in-eye magnification where the visual view should be wider to the eye. That's much better to have. The 9MDots & 240 FPS will be a very nice bonus on top of that. I hope the future high end Canon R... bodies have something similar (or even better). And (please) have a slightly bigger & more MDot back LCD panel.


Yes indeed!
 
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Bert63

What’s in da box?
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I just watched the Tony Northrup A1 video. I found it quite informative and reasonable in presentation. I've stated here in C.R. the biggest benefit of the A1 (via specs) to me has been the EVF with it's higher magnification, so that it's a wider & taller view to the eye which is sorely needed in all EVF's, plus the higher MP and 240FPS makes it just as good (according to him) and better (with live info) as an OVF. Now I can't test that or make that claim, but it reinforces my view of how great that 1 item is, and I hope Canon comes out with a similar EVF in their upcoming top R... bodies. I noticed jayphotoworks (thanks!, above) mention that EVF 240 fps reduces the magnification to "standard" (smaller) size, so I can only hope that a future Canon version allows 240fps at max. EVF magnification.

Tony also mentions other good & bad things about the A1 and how the R5 often is better in many regards, especially animal/bird eye AF which is crucial to me. I thought it was a very good review, and while Tony is certainly not perfect and may be very self-serving (and enjoys a very good living from it) I don't hold that against him, and instead enjoy the good information, and often interesting history of past photo developments, he does provide. :)


I was shocked. Normally his love for Sony would run contrary to the majority opinion, but in this case he was critical in some pretty important areas.
 
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Antono Refa

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Mar 26, 2014
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It's a pity they couldn't improve the SD card further. 50MP at 30FPS is going to be a huge load on the card.

There's SD Express, which is as fast, if not faster, than CF Express type A.

Only problem is nobody picked up any of the new SD standards, so there are no SD Express cards, no UHS-III (2x speed of UHS-II), no SDUC (up to 128 TiB), and no A2 Application Performance Class (random access speed, a.k.a IOPS).

[OK, there are A2 micro SD cards, but seems there are no controllers that take advantage of it, which, due to the way the cards are implemented, actually makes them perform worse than regular / A1 cards.]
 

Normalnorm

EOS RP
Dec 25, 2012
746
373
So, bottom line, 8k (at maybe useful frame rates and duration) and mad frame rate is what we get for our money.

The issue I have is that so far, these are all claims that have yet to proven in the real world.

50MP is nice but not news even in their own line. But 30fps for stills is, if it can be reliably delivered.
As for 8K, we still need to see if they can deliver frame rates and data that will make the setting useful.

What *is* most interesting to me is the 1/400 sec flash sync. That is a metric scarcely improved over the last 20 years and is most welcome.
The EVF may be nice also but my R5 is no pig.

Overall a nice intro for Sony but is questionable that a pro would spend the $13k necessary for the requisite two bodies to get any of these specs. Specs, while nice, are scarcely the difference between success and failure.
 

Bert63

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It's a pity they couldn't improve the SD card further. 50MP at 30FPS is going to be a huge load on the card.

Except unless you're shooting JPG or HEIF or taking stills of non-moving subjects, you'll likely never see 30FPS...

In still photography good 'ole Sony Northrup was only able to get 30 FPS when shooting stationary subjects. Why you would want 30FPS of a stationary target is lost on me but I'm not really smart when it comes to studio work or whatever.

Tracking moving subjects such as birds using continuous auto-focus rendered a best of 19FPS and he frequently got less - and it was at this point he said it was important to note that under the same circumstances an R5 consistently delivered its claim of 20FPS.

When using third-party lenses the best he could render was 15FPS regardless of the lens.

Considering that on his four tier scale of AWESOME, GREAT, GOOD, and NOT GREAT, bird eye auto-focus also landed firmly in last place with a grade of NOT GREAT, things ain't looking so good in this regard..

Lemme just say that I'm no Northrup fan or YouTube reviewer fan in general. It showed up on my camera channel and I watched it because I'd already watched my Haulover Boats video for the morning and I was desperate.

He seemed pretty level headed and fair IMO, but I expected him to gloss over the shortcomings of a Sony like he normally does. Only DPReview butt-snorkles Sony harder than Sony Northrup, but in this case he surprised me.
 
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DPhotoR

I'm New Here
Oct 7, 2020
16
4
Thank you Sony. Competition creates innovation. Let's see what Canon has in the works. And yes, they need to introduce something better than the C70.