Sony a1

Sony Alpha a1 front
  • 50MP - Full frame Sensor
  • 3" Tilting Screen
  • ISO 100 - 32000 (Expand to 102400)
  • Sensor based 5-axis Image Stabilization
  • 1/8000s Maximum Shutter
  • 7680 x 4320 video
  • Sony E Mount
  • 737g - 129 x 97 x 70mm
  • Revealed January 2021
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Lenses
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Sony a1 overview

Sony a1 is Sony's Pro Mirrorless digital camera originally released on January of 2021. The camera has a 50MP, BSI-CMOS Full frame sized sensor and has a peak resolution of 8640 x 5760.

The a1 is ranked #5 out of 70 in Pro Mirrorless cameras & all round #5 out of 1465 for cameras in our collection. You can check our Advanced camera search to get camera results based on your personal factors.

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Below is a graph of multiple criteria used in the scoring system.

Sony a1 history

The Sony a1 has a history of related cameras. Listed below, you can see all older and latest models alongside important specifications.

ModelVisualizeResolutionSensor SizeMax fpsReleased
Sony-Alpha-A7R-V front thumbnailSony A7R V
a1 vs A7R V
61MPFull frame10.0 fps2022
Sony-Alpha-A7-IV front thumbnailSony A7 IV
a1 vs A7 IV
33MPFull frame10.0 fps2021
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Sony-Alpha-a1 front thumbnailSony a150MPFull frame30.0 fps2021
Sony-Alpha-A7S-III front thumbnailSony A7S III
a1 vs A7S III
12MPFull frame10.0 fps2020
Sony-Alpha-A9-Mark-II front thumbnailSony A9 II
a1 vs A9 II
24MPFull frame20.0 fps2019
Sony-Alpha-A7R-IV front thumbnailSony A7R IV
a1 vs A7R IV
61MPFull frame10.0 fps2019
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Sony-Alpha-A7-III front thumbnailSony A7 III
a1 vs A7 III
24MPFull frame10.0 fps2018
Sony-Alpha-A7R-III front thumbnailSony A7R III
a1 vs A7R III
42MPFull frame10.0 fps2017
Sony-Alpha-A9 front thumbnailSony A9
a1 vs A9
24MPFull frame20.0 fps2017
Sony-Alpha-A7S-II front thumbnailSony A7S II
a1 vs A7S II
12MPFull frame5.0 fps2015
Sony-Alpha-A7R-II front thumbnailSony A7R II
a1 vs A7R II
42MPFull frame5.0 fps2015
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Sony-Alpha-A7-II front thumbnailSony A7 II
a1 vs A7 II
24MPFull frame5.0 fps2014
Sony-Alpha-A7S front thumbnailSony A7S
a1 vs A7S
12MPFull frame5.0 fps2014
Sony-Alpha-A7R front thumbnailSony A7R
a1 vs A7R
36MPFull frame4.0 fps2014
Sony-Alpha-A7 front thumbnailSony A7
a1 vs A7
24MPFull frame5.0 fps2014

Sony a1 Pros and Cons

Below is a collection of pluses and minuses of the Sony a1 based on factors that are typically seen as crucial in a digital camera.

above average ISO range (32,000)
above average min ISO (100)
big sensor size (Full frame)
built in image stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis)
change lenses (Sony E mount)
environment proof
excellent MP (50MP)
exports RAW formats
flash sync speed is above average (1/400 seconds)
focusing manually
good video quality (7680 x 4320 resolution)
great battery power (530 CIPA)
has a tilting screen
has bluetooth
has face detect autofocus
has HDMI socket
has headphone socket
has mic socket
has phase detect autofocus
has touchscreen
has tracking focus
high fps (30.0 fps)
includes touch focus
max shutter speed is good (1/8,000 seconds)
pretty good screen size (3")
screen has good resolution (1,440 thousand dots)
silent shooting (1/32,000 seconds)
two card slots
screen is not selfie friendly
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Sony a1 Sensor specifications

The dimension of the sensor on the Sony a1 is 35.9mm x 24mm (Full frame). The 862 mm² sensor has the capability to resolve 8640 x 5760 pixels and aspect ratios of 1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9. The camera has Image Stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis). Sensor stabilization is better than digital stabilization since the latter can cause cropping.

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The BSI-CMOS sensor has 50MP and has a standard ISO range of 100 to 32000. This ISO can be expanded electronically to 50 to 102400. RAW photos are saved so the user has wider margin for error.

The image below illustrates the a1's sensor dimensions in comparison to other popular sizes. The a1 sensor has a crop factor of 1 and is shown in green.

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To get an idea of various aspect ratios, you can refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Sony a1 dimensions

Sony a1 weighs 1.62 pounds (737 grams / 26.00 ounces) & the measurement of the camera is 129mm x 97mm x 70mm (5.1" x 3.8" x 2.8"). The weight of general Pro Mirrorless camera is 722 grams and the Sony a1 is very similar as compared with various competitors.

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Below is a photo of the Sony a1 besides a soft drink so you're able to get a sense of its scale.

Sony Alpha a1 dimensions scale

The top view here will show the button arrangement on the a1.

Sony Alpha a1 topview buttons dials

Sony a1 Lens specifications

The a1 fits the Sony E mount and has 170 lenses available for purchase. Below is a small number of the lenses we have in our collection which will fit the a1.

ModelVisualizeFocal LengthApertureStabilizedWeight
Sony-E-PZ-18-200mm-F3.5-6.3-OSS lensSony E PZ 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS18-200mmf/3.5-6.3 649g
Samyang-100mm-F2.8-Macro-E-Mount lensSamyang 100mm F2.8 Macro100mmf/2.8720g
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Samyang-MF-85mm-F1.4-Mk2--Rokinon-MF-85mm-F1.4-II-Sony-FE lensSamyang MF 85mm F1.4 Mk285mmf/1.4548g
Sony-FE-90mm-F2.8-Macro-G-OSS lensSony FE 90mm F2.8 Macro G OSS90mmf/2.8 602g
Sony-FE-85mm-F1.8 lensSony FE 85mm F1.885mmf/1.8371g
Samyang-AF-18mm-F2.8-FE lensSamyang AF 18mm F2.8 FE18mmf/2.8145g
Photography Glossary
Sigma-30mm-F1.4-DC-DN-C-Sony-E-NEX lensSigma 30mm F1.4 DC DN C30mmf/1.4 265g
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Sony a1 Connectivity

The a1 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • Wireless Yes
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Cameras that have NFC and / or Bluetooth compatibility can be controlled wirelessly by smartphones. You are able to copy images and usually adjust settings without the hassle of connecting physically to the camera.

A few applications even provide a Liveview and press the shutter if you aren't near the camera. If the camera comes with a HDMI port, it can be connected to an external display. The majority of cameras will allow you to recharge the battery with the USB port.

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Sony a1 Video specifications

The highest video quality on the Sony a1 is 7680 x 4320 and you can shoot in XAVC S, XAVC HS, H.264 and H.265 file format. 4320p is a great quality for video. You can crop to Full HD to get improved video. Beware of the huge file sizes and ensure you have got decent SD cards that have fast write speeds. The body does feature both headphone and mic socket making it extremely valuable whilst capturing sound.

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Sony a1 Weather Sealing

Sony a1 has got environment sealing which makes it a very good pick for use during challenging locations. This can be especially beneficial when you are uncertain about the conditions you may face during outdoor photography.

Sony a1 Screen and Viewfinder

The Sony a1 has a 3 inch tilting display supporting a resolution of 1,440 thousand dots.

Moreover the display is touch friendly so you can set focus point plus change settings with your fingers.

Sony Alpha a1 screen and viewfinder Body cameras now worn by bakery staff to deter stealing

The ViewFinder specifications for Sony a1 are the following:

  • ViewFinder Electronic
  • Resolution 9,437 thousand dots
  • Coverage 100%
  • Magnification 0.9x

Viewfinders can be pretty beneficial during bright outdoor conditions which may make the camera screen washed out and very difficult to see.

Sony a1 Shutter specifications

Sony a1 continuous shooting speed is 30.0 fps. The max shutter speed is 1/8000 sec. The camera also has silent electronic shutter of 1/32000 sec. Beware that the electronic shutter can produce "rolling shutter" under certain conditions.

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Sony a1 Flash and Hot shoe specifications

Sony a1 has external flash ability but with missing inbuilt flash. The max flash sync speed is 1/400 sec.

Sony a1 Autofocus specifications

Sony a1 has both Phase Detect AF as well as Contrast Based AF. Phase Detection focusing is a lot more faster & exact when compared to Contrast Based focusing. The camera has Face detection which is valuable for people photography.

The Sensor has 759 focus points to pick from. Sony a1 has tap to focus. You are able to use your fingers to change where you focus. It also includes Tracking AF for moving objects. Sony a1 includes manual focusing if needed during low light situations or you need to have more exact focusing control.

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Sony a1 Battery life

The battery power (NP-FZ100) in the Sony a1 is made to last for 530 photos based on the CIPA requirements which is above the usual ın comparison with its category. The typical Pro Mirrorless camera battery life is 460. Olympus E-M1X features the highest (870) battery life within this category of cameras.

Listed below is a listing of Pro Mirrorless cameras that come with the highest battery life:

Sony a1 for specific kinds of photography

The following bar chart indicates a summation of the Sony a1 for specific kinds of photography. To learn more, have a look at the specific section below.

Sony a1 as a Portrait photography camera

The Sony a1 receives a points total of 89 which is wonderful, and means the camera is a superb option for portraits. Photographing portrait photos leans greatly towards sensor dimension, support for RAW photos & ability to utilize external flash.

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focusing manually
high flash sync speed (1/400s)
megapixel count high (50MP)
great sensor size (Full frame)
offers face detection autofocus
delivers RAW files

Sony a1 Street photography information

Having a tremendous points tally of 79, the Sony a1 is a brilliant fit for street photography. A good street photography camera comes with a good balance of picture quality and portability.

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has a tilting screen
built in image stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis)
big sensor size (Full frame)
delivers RAW formats
supports touch focus
weather sealing
above average high ISO (32,000)

Sony a1 as a Sports photography camera

A terrific sports photography points tally of 91 means the Sony a1 is a terrific pick for photographing sports. A camera really should have good tracking and shutter speeds for sports photography.

Photography Glossary
great max shutter speed (1/8,000 seconds)
silent mode (1/32,000 seconds)
max frames per second high (30.0 frames/s)
image stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis)
MP count high (50MP)
sensor size is big (Full frame)
has tracking focus
environment proof
good battery life (530 shots)
supports phase detect auto focus

Sony a1 Travel photography info

Weight is really crucial when getting a camera for travel. All things considered, the Sony a1 gets a very good 74 as a travel camera which is a good fit to take with you on your trips.

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great battery power (530 per charge)
weather sealing
connects via bluetooth
supports touch to focus
resolution is excellent (50 megapixels)
display is not selfie friendly

Sony a1 Landscape photography info

For anyone planning to purchase a digital camera for landscape photography, the most vital factor is going to be image quality. The Sony a1 and it's awesome score of 88 for a landscape camera is a great choice in the current marketplace.

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you can focus manually
swap lenses (Sony E mount)
screen is a decent size (3")
has image stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis)
excellent MP (50MP)
big sensor size (Full frame)
very good high ISO (32,000)
exports RAW files
environment proofing
good battery power (530 CIPA)
has double storage slots

Sony a1 Vlogging features

A camera for vlogging should offer a moving display screen, microphone input and if possible IBIS. Considering all things, the Sony a1 is just not appropriate as a vlog camera as it gets a horrible rating of 37.

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has touchscreen
built in image stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis)
supports face detection focusing
video resolution high (7680 x 4320 pixels)
does have external mic socket
doesn't posses selfie friendly screen

Sony a1 Alternatives

If you are searching for replacements to the a1, below is a selection of the highest placed cameras that fall in to the category of Pro Mirrorless.

The line chart just below provides you a bird's eye view of the a1 vs it's top scored rivals suggested previously.

These are some more cameras you may see as alternative options. To review a thorough comparison, click the "compare" link.

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General Information
Model type
Sony Alpha a1
Pro Mirrorless
Physical type
SLR-style mirrorless
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Sensor size
Full frame
Sensor dimensions
35.9 x 24mm
Sensor area
Sensor resolution
50 megapixels
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio
1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
Highest resolution
8640 x 5760
RAW photos
Highest native ISO
Highest boosted ISO
Lowest native ISO
Lowest boosted ISO
Focus manually
AF touch
AF continuous
Single AF
AF tracking
Selective AF
AF center weighted
Multi area AF
AF live view
Face detection focusing
Contract detection focusing
Phase detection focusing
Total focus points
Lens support
Sony E
Total lenses
Focal length multiplier
Type of screen
Screen diagonal
Screen resolution
1,440 thousand dots
Selfie friendly
Touch functionality
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder resolution
9,437 thousand dots
Viewfinder coverage
Viewfinder magnification
DXO scores
DXO All around rating
not tested
DXO Color Depth rating
not tested
DXO Dynamic range rating
not tested
DXO Low light rating
not tested
Lowest shutter speed
30 seconds
Highest shutter speed
1/8000 seconds
Highest silent shutter speed
1/32000 seconds
Continuous shooting rate
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manual mode
Exposure compensation
Change WB
Image stabilization
Built-in flash
Flash distance
no built-in flash
Flash modes
Flash off, Autoflash, Fill-flash, Slow Sync., Rear Sync., Red-eye reduction, Wireless, Hi-speed sync
Hot shoe
Auto exposure bracketing
WB bracketing
Highest flash synchronize
1/400 seconds
Multisegment metering
Average metering
Spot metering
Partial metering
AF area metering
Center weighted metering
Video features
Video resolutions
7680x4320 (30p, 25p, 23.98)
Highest video resolution
Video data format
XAVC S, XAVC HS, H.264, H.265
Mic port
Headphone port
Environmental sealing
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
737 gr (1.62 lb)
Physical dimensions
129 x 97 x 70mm (5.1" x 3.8" x 2.8")
Battery life
530 images
Type of battery
Battery Pack
Battery ID
Self timer
Time lapse feature
Type of storage
Dual SD/CFexpress Type A slots (UHS-II supported)
Card slots
Launch cost