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

xps

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Despite Mr. Northrup seems to be critical, DPReview more enthusiastic. https://www.dpreview.com/articles/2677095861/hands-on-with-the-sony-alpha-1
Some Problems solved, but for an 1 Series body, for me at this price point a lot is missing (like top display, handgrip included,...).
IMO the 7RV will combine a lot of the new features at an dramatically lesser price point.

So lets wait, how much the R1 is stepping upward to the R5. Maybe same resolution with better Af, low noise,..., but in an really well built 1 series body.
I am waiting hard to see it
 

Hector1970

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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.
Yes interesting. All that was not apparent initially but as the info slipped out the A1's halo started to slip a bit. 30 FPS would only be of use for moving objects. I don't mind Tony Northrup (or Chelsea). They are at least enthusiastic and he often makes good points based on his experiences.
I have no idea what Haulover Boats is so I stuck it into youtube and got a whole load of people trying to get boats out of Haulover Inlet. A whole new world.
 

Bert63

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Yes interesting. All that was not apparent initially but as the info slipped out the A1's halo started to slip a bit. 30 FPS would only be of use for moving objects. I don't mind Tony Northrup (or Chelsea). They are at least enthusiastic and he often makes good points based on his experiences.
I have no idea what Haulover Boats is so I stuck it into youtube and got a whole load of people trying to get boats out of Haulover Inlet. A whole new world.


I stumbled across it by accident and love the boarts. It’s crazy how far boats, like everything else, have come.
 
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.

Tony also continues to claim the A9 is useless for sports and BIF. That is such incredible BS, I wouldn't even dream of trying to have a reasoned argument with him.
I have the A9II, had the A9 before, had the A7RIV (sold to help fund A1) and I have the R5. I've shots 10,000s of BIF frames with all those cameras. A lot of what I'm reading on this thread is complete hyperbole in both directions. On one hand there are claims that R5 is at most 10% of the A1/A9 for fast action...hogwash. On the other hand you claiming the R5 is 90+ of anything the A1 can do is also unsupported. Now I can't yet make claims about the A1...mine is prioritized through Sony Pro Support for first day shipment and my preorder was in a week before Sony even announced the camera just in case it was any good. I'll have it in my hands early March. Only then after shooting for awhile will I be able to say how it compares to the A9 and how it compares to the R5. But at least I'll have all three in my hands to figure that out for myself and share my opinions with others that may be still deciding between those different cameras.

All I can say right now is my clear thoughts on how the A9II and R5 compare. R5's Bird Eye-AF is an excellent feature...I love it....A9II Bird Eye-AF isn't worth the time and not even officially supported (but it does work under certain conditions/species). A1 Bird-Eye AF remains to be seen...Tony's impressions don't sound great but it's Tony...remember the guy who told us the R5 was useless for BIF while he had it totally setup wrong and was using an outdated lens that couldn't even take advantage of the full performance?....yeah that guy...LOL

When it comes to shooting faster BIF, the A9II still has the edge in quick acquisition and holding the subject. The R5 still can jump off subject if backgrounds have too much contrast or bright highlights. Also the ease of shooting the A9II because of the live feed to the EVF is easier than the R5. Anytime you let off the R5's shutter while tracking a fast moving BIF you get thrown ahead in time because it had been showing you a previous interpolated frame even at 20FPS ES. While you actively hold down the shutter and pan with the BIF, it isn't too far off the A9II but I much prefer small controlled bursts as the bird approaches and the R5 isn't as easy to do that with. I still have yet to test the R5 on my most challenging subject...that will happen early March when the Violet-Green Swallows return to my shooting spot...which is now even more perfect because I can throw all three cameras at them.
 

usern4cr

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Tony also continues to claim the A9 is useless for sports and BIF. That is such incredible BS, I wouldn't even dream of trying to have a reasoned argument with him.
I have the A9II, had the A9 before, had the A7RIV (sold to help fund A1) and I have the R5. I've shots 10,000s of BIF frames with all those cameras. A lot of what I'm reading on this thread is complete hyperbole in both directions. On one hand there are claims that R5 is at most 10% of the A1/A9 for fast action...hogwash. On the other hand you claiming the R5 is 90+ of anything the A1 can do is also unsupported. Now I can't yet make claims about the A1...mine is prioritized through Sony Pro Support for first day shipment and my preorder was in a week before Sony even announced the camera just in case it was any good. I'll have it in my hands early March. Only then after shooting for awhile will I be able to say how it compares to the A9 and how it compares to the R5. But at least I'll have all three in my hands to figure that out for myself and share my opinions with others that may be still deciding between those different cameras.

All I can say right now is my clear thoughts on how the A9II and R5 compare. R5's Bird Eye-AF is an excellent feature...I love it....A9II Bird Eye-AF isn't worth the time and not even officially supported (but it does work under certain conditions/species). A1 Bird-Eye AF remains to be seen...Tony's impressions don't sound great but it's Tony...remember the guy who told us the R5 was useless for BIF while he had it totally setup wrong and was using an outdated lens that couldn't even take advantage of the full performance?....yeah that guy...LOL

When it comes to shooting faster BIF, the A9II still has the edge in quick acquisition and holding the subject. The R5 still can jump off subject if backgrounds have too much contrast or bright highlights. Also the ease of shooting the A9II because of the live feed to the EVF is easier than the R5. Anytime you let off the R5's shutter while tracking a fast moving BIF you get thrown ahead in time because it had been showing you a previous interpolated frame even at 20FPS ES. While you actively hold down the shutter and pan with the BIF, it isn't too far off the A9II but I much prefer small controlled bursts as the bird approaches and the R5 isn't as easy to do that with. I still have yet to test the R5 on my most challenging subject...that will happen early March when the Violet-Green Swallows return to my shooting spot...which is now even more perfect because I can throw all three cameras at them.
Thank you for your post with informed comparisons of the A9, A9II, A7RIV, & R5. It's good to hear from someone who has such competing equipment and is willing to mention the strengths & weaknesses of each. I hope you can continue to do so and that we can all have an informative and constructive interaction long into the future. :)

Regarding your comment on the R5 and letting up on shutter while tracking BIF with EVF, have you tried using back button focus (one for eye AF specifically) and holding it while you track a bird? :unsure: You can continue to hold it even though you press or not press the shutter button (which has AF removed from it!) and so you don't have to interrupt the AF and (I assume) you won't get the interruption in the EVF (could you please verify this?). If this idea works it will help you out there, as well as letting us know it what you think of it. By the way, I have one back button for spot AF and a 2nd back button for eye AF and the shutter button has the AF removed - that works well for me and some others here.

Regarding Tony, well ... everyone can be wrong sometimes. Tony's no exception. But I do think he genuinely tries to be as careful and fair as possible. I don't know of anyone else that I would consider better, since they all would have issues one way or the other.
 

Bert63

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Tony also continues to claim the A9 is useless for sports and BIF. That is such incredible BS, I wouldn't even dream of trying to have a reasoned argument with him.
I have the A9II, had the A9 before, had the A7RIV (sold to help fund A1) and I have the R5. I've shots 10,000s of BIF frames with all those cameras. A lot of what I'm reading on this thread is complete hyperbole in both directions. On one hand there are claims that R5 is at most 10% of the A1/A9 for fast action...hogwash. On the other hand you claiming the R5 is 90+ of anything the A1 can do is also unsupported. Now I can't yet make claims about the A1...mine is prioritized through Sony Pro Support for first day shipment and my preorder was in a week before Sony even announced the camera just in case it was any good. I'll have it in my hands early March. Only then after shooting for awhile will I be able to say how it compares to the A9 and how it compares to the R5. But at least I'll have all three in my hands to figure that out for myself and share my opinions with others that may be still deciding between those different cameras.

All I can say right now is my clear thoughts on how the A9II and R5 compare. R5's Bird Eye-AF is an excellent feature...I love it....A9II Bird Eye-AF isn't worth the time and not even officially supported (but it does work under certain conditions/species). A1 Bird-Eye AF remains to be seen...Tony's impressions don't sound great but it's Tony...remember the guy who told us the R5 was useless for BIF while he had it totally setup wrong and was using an outdated lens that couldn't even take advantage of the full performance?....yeah that guy...LOL

When it comes to shooting faster BIF, the A9II still has the edge in quick acquisition and holding the subject. The R5 still can jump off subject if backgrounds have too much contrast or bright highlights. Also the ease of shooting the A9II because of the live feed to the EVF is easier than the R5. Anytime you let off the R5's shutter while tracking a fast moving BIF you get thrown ahead in time because it had been showing you a previous interpolated frame even at 20FPS ES. While you actively hold down the shutter and pan with the BIF, it isn't too far off the A9II but I much prefer small controlled bursts as the bird approaches and the R5 isn't as easy to do that with. I still have yet to test the R5 on my most challenging subject...that will happen early March when the Violet-Green Swallows return to my shooting spot...which is now even more perfect because I can throw all three cameras at them.


While I can agree with a lot of what you are saying, I can say that I haven’t had the trouble with tracking on the R5 that you describe - but that could be a difference in conditions between us or a difference in technique. In my limited experience the R5 holds it weight and earns it’s keep.

Sony Northrup aside, if you placed the A1 and the R5 side by side, there is no way you would be able to convince me that the A1 is going to track a bird $3000 better than an R5.

You mention ‘an outdated lens’ but don’t mention that’s what a lot of people have. I read over at Reddit a lot (it’s good entertainment and I learn) and a lot of the folks who spring for an R5 or even an R6 are putting their legacy gear on the front of it because that’s all they can afford. I’m not familiar with the Northrup review you’re talking about because I don’t watch his videos (it was there so I clicked - I don’t subscribe). Having said that, the R5 has performed natively and without issue with every single lens I’ve put on it and some of them are absolutely outdated.

Your response is fair and I’ll certainly wait to see what other reviewers and actual users think before I form a real opinion about the A1. So far, from what I’ve seen on the spec sheet and heard from now two sources, someone must have the A1 set up wrong as well because no way is it worth two R5s, bird-eye autofocus and/or tracking or no.

It’ll also be interesting to see if the A1 gets roasted (pun) for overheating in 16 minutes unless it’s placed in “cook me daddy” mode, and how well it’s weak rear screen is received seeing as how this is Sony’s 8K mirrorless flagship. Really? THAT screen on a $7000 (with grip that should already be there) camera?

I’ll take two R5s please.
 
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Bert63

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Despite Mr. Northrup seems to be critical, DPReview more enthusiastic. https://www.dpreview.com/articles/2677095861/hands-on-with-the-sony-alpha-1
Some Problems solved, but for an 1 Series body, for me at this price point a lot is missing (like top display, handgrip included,...).
IMO the 7RV will combine a lot of the new features at an dramatically lesser price point.

So lets wait, how much the R1 is stepping upward to the R5. Maybe same resolution with better Af, low noise,..., but in an really well built 1 series body.
I am waiting hard to see it

DPReview loves video, loves Sony, and this camera is as good as the A7S3 and it does 8K. 8K that lags the R5 in quality, but 8K nonetheless.

So far, through all the reviews I've read/seen no one is raving and no one is firm in their belief that the camera is worth the asking price.

I think the A1's biggest accomplishment so far is making the R5 look like more of a bargain than it already was.
 
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slclick

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The 1D series might have colored my idea of what a flagship should be but the lack of a vertical grip in any Sony FF body is a head scratcher. This single non mechanical feature is a HUGE benefit to 1D shooters. Some say it is at the top of a wishlist for an R1.
 
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The 1D series might have colored my idea of what a flagship should be but the lack of a vertical grip in any Sony FF body is a head scratcher. This single non mechanical feature is a HUGE benefit to 1D shooters. Some say it is at the top of a wishlist for an R1.
Sony have definitely gone in a different direction for their 'flagship'. They seem to gave decided that is should have ALL the 'top' features. Ie best resolution(almost) . Best AF. Best video. Canon seem to think differently and seem to think the flagship should be the 'will get the job done whatever the circumstances' camera. Not necessarily the top specced in all aspects but will never let you down. Built tough. Built big. Will work when it really really matters.
 
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padam

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DPReview loves video, loves Sony, and this camera is as good as the A7S3 and it does 8K.
Apart from the 8K and the S-Cinetone profile and lower dual native ISO value of 4000 instead of 12800, this camera is inferior to the A7SIII for any type of 4K recording (4k60p and especially 4k120p is much better on the A7SIII compared to the R5 as well, also RAW while being external is much better supported), except it has a 5.8K APS-C crop mode, but they don't mention it anywhere that it shoots 4k60p in the crop mode like the R5. I would like to see that clarified.

So overall I would say that the video is not nearly as impressive as the stills if not shot in 8K, which also uses heavily compressed codecs.
 
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AlanF

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"Sony has introduced bird AF in the a1. This is a nice feature. However, it feels like this mode is in beta. The bird AF in the Canon EOS R5 and R6 is miles ahead of the a1. The a1 will indeed detect a bird, and a tracking box will be placed around it. If you’re close enough, the Sony a1 will track the bird’s eye. However, the tracking is erratic and not very accurate. With the Canon EOS R5 and R6, the cameras find the bird, then the eye, and the tracking stays locked on the eye almost all the time."
 
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