Sony has dominated the spec charts for the reason that a9 in 2017. As with all digital camera manufacturers, completely different product traces had completely different strengths – pace, decision, video. In 2021, nonetheless, Sony dropped a shock with the Alpha 1, which mixes the most effective of every part there was earlier than.

Does it ship the hype? This assessment is all about utilizing the Alpha 1 for wedding images.

For the context, I beforehand recorded methods primarily based on the Canon 5D Mark III, Nikon D750, Fuji X-T2 and most lately the Sony a9 and a9 II.


There’s nothing new right here – it is the identical as different 4th era our bodies (a9 II, a7R IV, a7S III). That is factor, too, as a result of the squishy buttons, deep grip, agency clicks, and total ruggedness really feel nice.

As a big handheld, I nonetheless discover the physique too brief and want so as to add a base plate – there are wonderful choices from Honglai or Meike. The Sony deal with (VG-C4EM) additionally works effectively, albeit absurdly overpriced.

The EVF in Alpha 1 is unbelievable. It’s marketed at 9.four million factors, however in case you improve the refresh fee (60, 120 or 240 fps) the decision drops. The 5.76M / 120fps possibility is a good stability for weddings. The EVF is noticeably bigger than earlier Alpha cameras (both in 60 or 120 fps mode) and is enjoyable. Anybody who prefers an OVF afterwards won’t ever be satisfied.

The opposite display screen on this digital camera is complete junk – the 1.44M LCD. The dimensions and determination are the bottom of any cameras you could examine to. This could be acceptable with a funds digital camera, however not excuse for the flagship digital camera. Glad you prevented a flip display screen that’s losing precious time.

dealing with

All earlier Sony cameras have had depressing begin and response occasions – the Alpha 1 fixes all of that. Scrolling via menus or adjusting the publicity now feels instantaneous. That is essentially the most valued improve in actual life. Certain, it is solely as responsive as any DSLR for the previous 15 years, however higher late than by no means.

The Alpha 1 contains the brand new menu design that was first discovered on the a7S III. Skilled whiners on the Web have been complaining about Sony menus for years – in reality, the previous menu was positive. The brand new menu is ok with completely different colours. With any trendy digital camera, you hardly want to make use of menus after preliminary setup, and the Alpha 1 isn’t any completely different.

There are some sensible new software program optimizations:

  • Monitoring + face recognition can now be activated on the identical time by toggling or holding. I’d love to include AF-ON with this tradition button possibility as effectively.
  • Portrait pictures stay in portrait orientation when considered at 100%. They was once proven horizontally which was annoying.
  • Switching between human and animal eye AF is now 1 keystroke as a substitute of three keystrokes.
  • The video report button could be personalized, successfully including an additional button to nonetheless shooters.
  • When capturing with flash, the stay view can replicate your publicity or present the ambient gentle. It’s also possible to allow a micro-preview of the picture after the shutter is launched, which is extremely helpful.
  • Now you can mushy format your reminiscence playing cards – that is HUGE. When you’ve ever made a mistake earlier than, your recordsdata have been GONE. Not one thing you need to clarify to newlywed {couples}.

These present that Sony actually does care about its current customers. You like to see it.


The Alpha 1 is an AF beast. The Alpha 1 laughs at each AF problem you dare.

The a9 and a9 II have been nice, the Alpha 1 takes it one step additional. It may be rapidly snapped onto motifs in any lighting. It retains eyes / faces smoother than earlier than. Sony’s real-time monitoring is the usual towards which all cameras should be in contrast. It is now not about what number of photographs you have got in focus, however how straightforward it’s to take them and what that leaves you with time to create.

It isn’t fairly good. I nonetheless hope on

1. Automated change between human and animal eye AF. For the time being it might even be useful to have an icon displaying which mode is activated.

2. An possibility to change faces / eyes when AF is energetic. In uncommon instances, the digital camera will get caught in a single eye even when it turns into the distant eye.

image high quality

The Alpha 1 data 50 MP recordsdata at 30 FPS in pure silence with no rolling shutter. That is insanity. The recordsdata are lovely. The element is superb. Earlier than the Alpha 1 there have been many high-resolution our bodies, however none can shoot as silently because the Alpha 1. The shadows are a lot cleaner than with the a9 collection. I in all probability take photographs as much as ISO 12,800.

Many wedding photographers draw back from high-resolution our bodies for workflow causes. I exploit Seize One for modifying that has no lag when modifying 24 or 50 MP recordsdata. I discovered it useful to show the sharpness setting within the image profile. This has no impact on the uncooked knowledge, but it surely does make it simpler to see your focus level immediately on the LCD or in PhotoMechanic. It is also welcome to see Sony now embrace full-size previews in ARW recordsdata – I used to need to report to the Cull Uncooked + JPEG.

Nevertheless, as somebody who has used 18-24MP cameras all through my profession, capturing at 50MP is tougher. You want sooner shutter speeds and sharp glass. 50MP is unforgiving.

It’s now potential to report lossless compressed raws. I used to be wanting ahead to this at first, however I nonetheless shoot lossy to attenuate file dimension (there is a ~ 10% penalty for lossless pictures).


I used to be informed that this digital camera is recording video.

Reductions for wedding shooters

There’s a lengthy record of causes that assist this digital camera shine at weddings –

  • Pure silence, in all gentle situations.
  • Anti-flicker with the digital shutter.
  • Flash synchronization with the digital shutter.
  • 1/400 flash synchronization on mechanical shutter.
  • 50 MP provides sufficient house for cropping for good compositions.
  • Can simply be set from 5-30 fps.
  • Can maintain two SD playing cards, less expensive than CFE-A or XQD.
  • Entry to the excellent product vary of E-Mount-Glas, particularly the GM-Primes.

These features are good individually, however the mixture brings the consolation of the Alpha 1 into your own home. It is nice to not change modes whereas attaching a flash or activating anti-flicker. Utilizing a media kind simplifies the workflow. The cropping house provides prime marksmen like me flexibility. The Alpha 1 helps you with each step as a substitute of holding you again.

Feeding the Alpha 1

With nice energy comes a hungry urge for food. To make the Alpha 1 completely satisfied, it’s essential be effectively stocked.

1. The battery life is worse than that of the A9 collection. I exploit the LCD lots and get 2-Three hours, utilizing a complete of 6-Eight per 10 hour wedding for 2 our bodies. Utilizing the battery grip is extra environment friendly because it permits you to run your first battery all the way down to 0%. I typically change in anticipation when beginning a ceremony or collection of speeches, even when I’ve 20-30% left.

2. Lossy compressed RAW recordsdata are 50-60MB every. I simply obtained by with 128GB playing cards, which implies I am now utilizing 256GB playing cards. For concern of a full card, I do not need to maintain again a second. I strongly suggest UHS-ii playing cards with a write pace of at the least 130MB / s, ideally 250-300MB / s. The Alpha 1 can maintain CFE-A playing cards, however these are stupidly small in capability, costly, and pointless.

3. The file sizes have an effect on your storage and backup prices. The value of the digital camera is the worth of admission, there are some ancillary prices that need to be thought-about when working an Alpha-1 system.

Pattern photographs

The way it compares

No comparability to this digital camera. Different our bodies could have particular person specs, however nothing can unite them multi function physique. It is costly, but it surely does what it says on the tin.

Do you want that over an a9 or a9 II? Positively not. Would an a7R IV provide extra decision? Naturally.

Outdoors of Sony, the Canon R5 can be the closest competitor. Whereas it has a 45 MP sensor, it loses out in different areas – silent capturing, combined media, flash sync, shutter pace, body fee, battery life, an incomplete (and heavy and costly) vary of RF lenses.

Nikon? Are you severe.

I doubt many will purchase the Alpha 1 as a result of they need to. You purchase it since you’re keen about producing the most effective photographs you possibly can. You purchase it since you worth the expertise of a digital camera that by no means holds you again. Most of all, you purchase it for the overkill, the ridiculous energy, the ridiculous extra that solely the Alpha 1 can provide.

As a result of you are able to do it.

Concerning the writer: Ben Howland is a wedding photographer primarily based in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. The opinions expressed on this article are these of the writer solely. You will discover extra of Howland’s work on his web site, Fb and Instagram. This text was additionally revealed right here.


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