I have used Sony cameras for almost seven years now and have been impressed by their consistent dedication to pushing the boundaries of what is possible with a camera.  From the original a7 to the game-changing a7rII, my special a7rIII that I bought in Singapore to the versatile a7III and now my a7rIV and a9II that give me a choice between incredible resolution and incomparable frames-per-second speed for sports photography, Sony just has it all.

And then they announced the Sony Alpha 1 and did it again.

Alpha 1

It’s literally the perfect camera

Let’s start at the top: the Alpha 1 has a 50-megapixel sensor.  More than the a7rIII, not quite as many as the a7rIV, so a nice spot for those who need a lot of resolution.

But wait…there’s more.

The Alpha 1 can also shoot 50-megapixel images at up to 30 frames per second.  That’s 50% faster than my dedicated a9II sports photography camera at twice the resolution.  Literally world-class for those who are taking pictures of fast-moving wildlife or football players.

But wait…there’s more.

The Alpha 1 can shoot 8K video.  And it can shoot 4K video at 120fps slow motion.  That’s world-class even among some dedicated cinema cameras.  The perfect camera for anyone wanting a world-class video camera in a small, mirrorless camera body.

Sony splits its flagship cameras into three categories: the r series for resolution, the s series for speed (as it applies to video cameras, in other words being incomparable at video in low-light situations), and the series for the ultimate in fast shooting for sports and wildlife.

For the Alpha 1, Sony combined their current three flagship cameras and made it all better.  It has the super high resolution of an a7rIII/a7rIV.  It can shoot faster frames-per-second than the a9II.  It can shoot better video than the recently-released a7sIII.

It does it all, and does it all better.

…for the low low price of $6500

Oof.

Putting the extravagant into the familiar

What’s crazy is they’re doing this in the exact same camera body as the ones I currently have.  It’s small, efficient, and familiar design.

Alpha 1

To get that amount of performance from such a small camera body is simply unheard of.

That price though

Yep, $6500 is a boatload of money, especially since Canon recently released their R5 mirrorless camera with similar video capabilities for far cheaper.  

But $6500 has long been the price of a flagship camera from Canon and Nikon.  The Canon 1DX cameras regularly debuted around that price point and the Nikon D4 and D5 were similar.

It’s a lot of money for sure, but man it has some awesome features!  

My thoughts

As you can tell, I’m excited about this camera.  That kind of versatility is just unheard of literally anywhere else in the photography world.  That said, I also think it’s overkill for almost anyone else in the photography world.  The camera can do it all, but do all people really need a camera that can do all of that?  Not really, and I think that’s part of the mindset behind the eye-watering price.  It’s a camera for well-heeled enthusiasts or for professionals who need the ultimate amount of versatility in a small form factor.

Am I getting the Alpha 1?  Let’s put it this way: who wants to buy my a7rIV and a9II?

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