Sony a1 Gets Gold Award at DPReview (93% Overall Score)

DPReview completed their Sony a1 review: The Sony a1 flagship mirrorless camera gets an impressive 93% overall score and Gold Award from the experts at DPReview.

Key specifications:

  • 50MP ‘stacked’ full-frame CMOS sensor
  • 30 fps burst shooting with electronic shutter (lossy compressed Raw/JPEG only)
  • 8K/30p video recording with Log and 4K Raw video out over HDMI
  • 1/400 sec flash sync with mechanical shutter (1/200 sec with electronic shutter)
  • 9.44M-dot OLED electronic viewfinder with 0.9x magnification
  • 3.0″ tilting touchscreen with 1.44M-dot resolution
  • Full-size HDMI port, headphone / mic ports, USB-C port with 10 Gb/s transfer speeds, ethernet port
  • Dual UHS-II / CFexpress Type A card slots
  • CIPA rated to 530 shots with rear LCD (430 through the viewfinder)
  • Weather-sealed body
  • 737g (1.62 lb)

What we like

  • Excellent image quality with high resolution and good dynamic range
  • Good range of 8K and 4K video modes with great quality and feature set
  • Fast electronic shutter provides silent shooting with no IQ compromises
  • Truly excellent autofocus performance
  • Big, high-res electronic viewfinder
  • Solid ergonomics; good balance of external controls and compact size
  • Excellent menus and responsive touchscreen interface
  • Highly customizable separation of stills and video settings
  • Dual UHS-II SD, CFexpress Type A slots
  • Lossless compressed Raw capture at up to 20fps shooting
  • 1/400 flash sync with mechanical shutter; 1/200 with e-shutter
  • Extensive wired and wireless connectivity options for pros and non-pros alike
  • HEIF (and HLG) shooting for realistic HDR imagery on compatible displays

What we don’t

  • Rear screen a bit small, low-res against similarly priced competitors
  • 30fps bursts only available in JPEG/HEIF/lossy compressed Raw
  • 30fps bursts are lens-dependent
  • High-res shot modes require desktop software to combine images; no motion correction yet available
  • EVF drops in resolution during C-AF, or if you choose high FPS modes
  • Users must manually select between human, animal or birds for Eye AF
  • Battery life is just okay compared to other flagships

Conclusion from DPReview:

The Sony a1 is the most refined Alpha-series interchangeable lens camera yet. Its combination of speed and resolution for both stills and video set it apart in a crowded field of excellent options, though that combination is also responsible for the price it commands. But the fact remains, most any professional photographer will be able to use the a1 for most anything they’d think to shoot.

Good for
Photographers capturing fast action, landscapes, weddings and events, portraiture and studio work or high-quality video.

Not so good for
Photographers that don’t need (or won’t benefit from) the a1’s combination of abilities. Those that need maximum resolution and dynamic range.

Sony a1 body: $6,498 at AmazonB&HAdorama.

Read more:

You can read the full review at DPReview.