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Sony Alpha 1 just changed the camera world

Sony Alpha 1
(Image credit: Sony)

Sony just unveiled the Alpha 1 (A1) camera, an 8K beast that's sure to upend the camera world. Not only can the A1 record at 8K/30fps, its full frame sensor captures images at 50.1MP, with a new more advanced real-time Eye AF (auto-focus) system. It figures to command a place on our list of best mirrorless cameras.

The coolest feature in the Sony Alpha 1, apart from its 50.1MP sensor, is its advanced Eye AF. Sony's new system not only tracks people as they move, but animals as well. It's advanced enough to capture an eagle diving down toward a lake to catch a fish. According to Sony's Alpha 1 announcement, the camera has 759 AF points, which covers 93% of the sensor. This type of tracking is next-level, and should make wildlife photography easier for professionals. 

For sports photographers, there's improved Real-Time Tracking that automatically follows a subject, whether they're cycling down a canyon or dismounting off a balance beam.

Also included with the Sony Alpha 1 is a 9.440million dot viewfinder with .90x magnification and a smooth 240fps refresh rate. The spec list on this camera is huge, but here are a few additional features that will catch your eye. 

Sony Alpha 1 specs

  • 30 frames of 8K shooting per second
  • 120 AF/AE calculations per second
  • 5-axis in-body image stabilization
  • World's first (according to Sony) anti-flicker shooting
  • 15 stops for stills, 15+ for video
  • Built-in Wi-Fi, 2.4GHz and 5GHz.
  • Superspeed USB 10Gps
  • 1000Base-T Ethernet 
  • Dual slot and HEIF support

In the past, cameras would run into an unexpected bottleneck when shooting in 8K: heat. Because of the processing power required to shoot at 7,680 by 4,320, cameras often had limited recording time. Sony is claiming that the A1's all-magnesium body, coupled with better heat dissipation management, can allow photographers to shoot for longer periods of time before the camera has to cool off.

The Sony Alpha 1 is set to launch this March for $6,500 and is available for pre-order now at Adorama.  

Imad Khan

Imad Khan is news editor at Tom’s Guide, helping direct the day’s breaking coverage. Prior to working at the site, Imad was a full-time freelancer, with bylines at the New York Times, the Washington Post and ESPN. Outside of work, you can find him sitting blankly in front of a Word document trying desperately to write the first pages of a new book.