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

Kharan

EOS M50
Nov 9, 2018
46
34
Wow, 10 FPS mechanical on the top end. Talk about crippling the camera :LOL:

Their electronic shutter marketing material suggests awesome electronic shutter performance though. I have not seen the bit depth at 30 FPS mentioned yet. Does it drop that far down that they are afraid to mention it, or did I miss it?
It scans the whole sensor in 1/200 of a second, meaning that the mechanical shutter can be used even less now. I have no idea if the camera drops bitrate at 30 FPS, but even if it does, it stands to reason that it should output 14-bit files at a slower clip.
 
  • Like
Reactions: navastronia

padam

EOS R
Aug 26, 2015
1,175
778
DPreview: "Like the a7S III, it can shoot 4K at up to 120p in 10-bit 4:2:2 quality. Sony says it uses 5.8K pixels in its Super 35 (~APS-C) mode, but there's no talk of a 4K-from-8K mode."

It's a huge strike for the A1 if this turns out to be true, 4K-HQ on the R5 is amazingly good.
 

Joules

doom
CR Pro
Jul 16, 2017
1,583
1,899
Hamburg, Germany
It scans the whole sensor in 1/200 of a second, meaning that the mechanical shutter can be used even less now. I have no idea if the camera drops bitrate at 30 FPS, but even if it does, it stands to reason that it should output 14-bit files at a slower clip.
Do you mean sensor read out speed is 1/200 s? Or do you just mean the flash sync? If it is the former, would you please point out your source? I'd be interested in how that's measured, particularly at what resoultion and bit depth.

The a9 or R5 drop to 12 bit for their high FPS modes, which increases read out speed and thereby reduces rolling shutter artifacts. Depending on how Sony implemented 30 FPS, it is either an achievement in sensor throughput or a spec sheet decoration. So I'm just curious how far it drops. If it is 12 bit that's impressive, even more so if they actually improved the read out speed on top of that as their marketing video seems to suggest.
 
  • Like
Reactions: navastronia

Aussie shooter

www.facebook.com/BrettGuyPhotography/
Dec 6, 2016
1,011
1,369
Sounds impressive. That is for sure. Ergonomics and build quality will be important of course. But 30fps!!!!?? Jeez i hop whoever is shooting that has a lot of time on their hands to sort through photos. I avoid shooting at 20fps except for very specific circumtances. Although as a flagship I would assume that rate is an option as I wish it was on the R6
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bert63 and AlanF

tron

EOS R5
CR Pro
Nov 8, 2011
4,843
1,135
I love the speed of the CFE card, but I'm traveling, I'm bringing the laptop, which only has a SD slot. I shoot to both cards or copy from one to the other when I have down time, but it's nice to have something I can put into the laptop without lugging around another adapter/dongle.
Coincidentally, yesterday I bought the Sony MRW-G1 CFExpress / XQD card reader ! I have also put my only UHS-II card to the SD slot of my R5 and I think that's it! No more cards. Of course accidents happen but in that case it will be SD cards. I do hope accidents will not happen because my CFExpress card was very expensive!
 

privatebydesign

EOS-1D X Mark III
CR Pro
Jan 29, 2011
9,829
4,492
Sony Trumps Canon once more (ah! Should I have said that word, Trump! Lol) Sony first to announce the mirrorless 1! I watched the launch via CR live and certainly an impressive bit of kit.

Come on Canon! The bar is set to follow or surpass for the up-and-coming R1
Well it depends what you call a 1 series camera really. Personally I consider a built in grip, massive battery, low resolution and high fps to be the hallmarks of a I series or single digit Nikon D series camera, this α1 has one of those four.

It seems to me this is a Sony competitor to the R5, which it does best in some categories but then it should it is nearly a year newer. However I do not believe this is what Canon's 'R1X' is going to be like, this α1 is much closer to an R5 II.
 

privatebydesign

EOS-1D X Mark III
CR Pro
Jan 29, 2011
9,829
4,492
I love the speed of the CFE card, but I'm traveling, I'm bringing the laptop, which only has a SD slot. I shoot to both cards or copy from one to the other when I have down time, but it's nice to have something I can put into the laptop without lugging around another adapter/dongle.
Why not just connect the camera directly to the computer, built in card reader!
 
  • Like
Reactions: shire_guy

DBounce

EOS RP
May 3, 2016
280
314
What am impressive improvement once again - a realy impressive featureset.
I think the a7s III was very specific for video people - while this camera looks like a perfect, high end allrounder. Sport, landscape, productshots, video... it simply got everything one could wish for...

It runs "up to 30 minutes", according to sony in 4k60 or 8k. So similar overheating is to be expected like on the R5. Lets see how this plays out on the fans :-D
But strangely the “stills focused” Alpha A1 has S-Cinetone, whereas the A7S III does not?
 

PerKr

EOS 90D
Jul 11, 2018
111
105
Sverige
I have to ask what would impress you? I am not a Sony guy, but I can't imagine a camera with more features that resembles a hand holdable body.

well, the A9 impressed me when it came around. That was a leap from the previous A7 bodies and what Canon and Nikon offered. At least on paper. Same with the A99ii when that came and combined speed and resolution. Groundbreaking stuff. No competition. This time we get the 30fps electronic shutter and lag-less viewfinder of the A9 and 8K. This is great, sure, and if it hadn't been for the A9 and the R5 it would have been amazing. Compared to the 1D it's super in many ways, just less so when compared with the R5 and A9. Similar to how the latest 1D iteration has rarely been mindblowingly impressive compared to the previous generation. Having flash sync at 1/200 with electronic shutter is nice but global shutter would have been amazing. Maybe that's what it takes. Now it just feels like Canon will have no trouble outdoing this; they must have aimed to outperform the A9 for stills already and probably offering video capabilities similar to or better than the R5.

I am an on/off Sony guy. I use A-mount (and I am qeird about that) and want to love E-mount. The A7 and A9 both got me excited when they came, just like the A900, A77, A99 etc, but seeing the fanboys often makes me want to stay away from E-mount altogether. I'll probably get an A7 or A9 eventually.
 

Hector1970

EOS R
CR Pro
Mar 22, 2012
1,266
463
Some other disappointing news here: Sony went with CFExpress A which further buggers up sharing cards when Nikon and Canon have went for the more sensible and faster type B cards. It is almost as if Sony just wish to be different, and never in a good way.
Yes interesting that. You'd wonder why. It seems like entropy rules when it comes to memory cards and connections.
Forever inventing new incompatible versions.
My CF Express type B cards run hot especially in a card reader. I'm not sure what it will do for the operational life of them.
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.
 

HarryFilm

EOS RP
Jun 6, 2016
705
166
The a1 defintively does not have a global shutter though. And so I am curious how far they drop the bitrate to achieve 30 FPS and the incredibly low distortion they demonstrate in they launch video. Do you have the firgures for that by chance?

Also, purely talking about the latest consumer ILC, I don't have the impression there is all that much catching up to do anymore. The R5 has already demonstrated that Canon can do high resolution, high throughput imaging with very quick read out speeds now. With the R1, that can only improve.

---

The 30 fps Burst Rate Stills bandwidth is usually a function of the DSP (Digital Signal Processor) and ADC/DAC (Analog-to-Digital and Digital-to-Analog Converter) chip speed which indicates how many gigasamples per second it can do and at what output bit-depth is creates.

For the Sony A-1, the full-frame 8640 x 5760 pixel 3:2 image frame requires 49,766,400‬ pixels with FOUR SAMPLES per RGBG Pixel (i.e. 4 separate Red, Green, Blue, Green photosites) which means 199,065,600 samples per frame or 5,971,968,000 samples per second at 20 bits wide initially and then sub-sampled down to 16, 14, 12, 10 and 8 bits per output RGBG channel sample.

YOU MUST be able to process an entire set of 30 frames UNCOMPRESSED during each second so you can then make a reasonable calculation on other parts of the system to see what sort of bandwidth is required. It really isn't all that exotic based upon what I am seeing.

With an 8-channel ADC/DAC/DSP chip set, it means at least 746.5 Megasamples per Second per channel since you are doing multiple instructions per second (i.e. 2 to 4 cpu ops per clock tick) on most BIONZ chips, so MY GUESS that it's PROBABLY a 1.5 GHz processor and probably costs Sony $150 USD to produce in-house or get from GlobalFoundries (aka AMD and IBM) under OEM/ODM outsourcing agreements! Based on the microcode I see, it's at least an ARM Cortex A5 quad-core CPU system. It might even be one of the Octo-core (i.e. 8 cores) designs as it is ABLE to do 30 fps!

Sony has ALWAYS been good on ADC/DAC/DSP chip design! I remember asking TI (Texas Instruments) for an ADC/DAC/DSP chip set for our high-orbit space cameras many years ago and they wanted $25,000 USD PER SET !!! A few days later I just went to Sony and asked for the 20-BIT ADC/DAC/DSP chip set used in one of their high end pro-level audio processors. It was $400 per chip set which means it was $24,600 USD CHEAPER AND it had better performance AND was a full 20 bits wide instead of 14 bits wide which meant HIGH QUALITY signal processing! We just repurposed multiple sets of the chips for ADC/DAC/DSP of 2.6K still photos and 1080p video!

I just stuck the chip sets in a tungsten shielded box along with a higher end Sony CCD sensor and UP it went! It's still there doing its thing 15 years later! Quality is STILL great for video and 2.6K stills. Lotsa "Fast Walkers" up there! Counted over 50 different planform types in crystal clear clarity over the years!

Now You Know!

V
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bahrd

BirdDudeJosh

I'm New Here
Feb 6, 2020
19
17
Lets see if it can really take advantage of the CF Express type A cards and clear the buffer or if it'll still be slow and lock you out of changing setting while clearing the buffer. Lets also see if they finally make a camera that wakes up from sleep or is able power on by the time get it to your eye like even the lowly R5 does. All Sonys literally take a full two count to wake up from sleep or hibernation I can't count the number of shots I have missed waiting for the camera to wake up of course you set the camera to stay on all the time for much shortened battery life. Still same wimpy Sony bodies, the only camera I ever had to send in for repair cause it couldn't handle a bump or two was the a7III and only lens to fail me was the 100-400 GM which went bad in a year and a half which I purchased new.
 

Joules

doom
CR Pro
Jul 16, 2017
1,583
1,899
Hamburg, Germany
---

The 30 fps Burst Rate Stills bandwidth is usually a function of the DSP (Digital Signal Processor) and ADC/DAC (Analog-to-Digital and Digital-to-Analog Converter) chip speed which indicates how many gigasamples per second it can do and at what output bit-depth is creates.

For the Sony A-1, the full-frame 8640 x 5760 pixel 3:2 image frame requires 49,766,400‬ pixels with FOUR SAMPLES per RGBG Pixel (i.e. 4 separate Red, Green, Blue, Green photosites) which means 199,065,600 samples per frame or 5,971,968,000 samples per second at 20 bits wide initially and then sub-sampled down to 16, 14, 12, 10 and 8 bits per output RGBG channel sample.

YOU MUST be able to process an entire set of 30 frames UNCOMPRESSED during each second so you can then make a reasonable calculation on other parts of the system to see what sort of bandwidth is required. It really isn't all that exotic based upon what I am seeing.

With an 8-channel ADC/DAC/DSP chip set, it means at least 746.5 Megasamples per Second per channel since you are doing multiple instructions per second (i.e. 2 to 4 cpu ops per clock tick) on most BIONZ chips, so MY GUESS that it's PROBABLY a 1.5 GHz processor and probably costs Sony $150 USD to produce in-house or get from GlobalFoundries (aka AMD and IBM) under OEM/ODM outsourcing agreements! Based on the microcode I see, it's at least an ARM Cortex A5 quad-core CPU system. It might even be one of the Octo-core (i.e. 8 cores) designs as it is ABLE to do 30 fps!

Sony has ALWAYS been good on ADC/DAC/DSP chip design! I remember asking TI (Texas Instruments) for an ADC/DAC/DSP chip set for our high-orbit space cameras many years ago and they wanted $25,000 USD PER SET !!! A few days later I just went to Sony and asked for the 20-BIT ADC/DAC/DSP chip set used in one of their high end pro-level audio processors. It was $400 per chip set which means it was $24,600 USD CHEAPER AND it had better performance AND was a full 20 bits wide instead of 14 bits wide which meant HIGH QUALITY signal processing! We just repurposed multiple sets of the chips for ADC/DAC/DSP of 2.6K still photos and 1080p video!

I just stuck the chip sets in a tungsten shielded box along with a higher end Sony CCD sensor and UP it went! It's still there doing its thing 15 years later! Quality is STILL great for video and 2.6K stills. Lotsa "Fast Walkers" up there! Counted over 50 different planform types in crystal clear clarity over the years!

Now You Know!

V
Man, you really have a way to go on wild tangents. :LOL: Thanks for sharing your industry insights... Or creative writing skills. That I don't know.

Anyway, to answer my own question, a quote from the official announcement :

"20 fps max. when shooting Uncompressed or Lossless compressed RAW"

So 30 FPS forces you to use their lossy compression format, which Google leads me to believe is always 12 bit.

Now I know.
 
  • Like
Reactions: degos and usern4cr

padam

EOS R
Aug 26, 2015
1,175
778
The R1 will have (or will need to have) about 45Mp like the R5 so that it does 8K, otherwise it'll be lagging behind the R5, not to mention the A1.
It really does not if it offers superior Quad-Pixel AF and a global shutter.
It certainly will not use an R5 sensor and it will not have more megapixels than an R5 either, just because it is not 8K it does not mean it can't have other head-turning features.
 
  • Like
Reactions: navastronia
<-- start Taboola -->