Sony A1 First Shots: Browse our sample photos from Sony’s supercharged 50MP flagship camera


posted Monday, February 22, 2021 at 6:50 PM EDT

Click here to browse our Sony A1 First Shots


Last month Sony unveiled one of their most ambitious and technologically advanced cameras to date, the Alpha 1. Sporting an all-new 50MP sensor, new-generation image processor, full-res burst shooting up to 30fps, 8K video recording, bird-detection AF and more, the Alpha 1 is Sony's new flagship full-frame mirrorless camera, one-upping the already-impressive Sony A9/A9 II models. Whereas the A9-series put a larger emphasis on photography and multimedia workflow as well as sheer speed and performance, the Sony A1 also brings some of the high-resolution performance that is a main feature of the A7R-series cameras. The Sony A1, with its combination of high-resolution and high-performance as well as impressive specs on the video side of things, is really designed as a "do-it-all" camera. Whether you specialize in photojournalism, sports, wildlife, portraiture, or landscapes -- just to name a few -- the Sony A1 is built to handle it all.


We've managed to get our hands on a Sony A1 review sample for a very brief period, and so, as usual, the first stop in the review process is a trip to the IR lab for our classic First Shots image quality series. As mentioned, the Sony A1 sports an all-new 50-megapixel full-frame stacked Exmor RS CMOS sensor, making it one of the highest-resolution cameras in Sony's lineup, sitting just under the 61MP A7R IV. The A1 also sports the latest BIONZ XR image processor, which we first saw in the Sony A7S III. In terms of image quality features, the Sony A1 offers a native ISO range of 100-32000, though that can be expanded down to ISO 50 and up to ISO 102400. In addition to that wide ISO range, Sony also states that the new sensor and processor should offer better color accuracy and improved high ISO performance, as well as 15 stops of dynamic range.

If you're ready to see how the Sony A1 fares in the image quality department, head over to our Sony A1 Samples page. Our First Shots series provides a way to judge a camera's image quality across its full ISO range. As always, we have Sony A1 sample images (both RAWs and JPEGs) shot with default in-camera noise reduction and with NR processing disabled, or set to the lowest available setting. Want to see how the Sony A1's image quality compares to other high-resolution, high-performance cameras... or really, any other camera we've tested over the years? Use our handy Comparometer tool to easily view lab sample images from two different cameras side-by-side. For a few quick comparisons, see below for some side-by-side crops of the Sony A1 up against its high-res sibling, the A7R IV and against another popular high-resolution, 8K-shooting full-frame camera, the Canon EOS R5:

Sony A1 vs. Sony A7R IV

ISO 100 - Sony A1 (left) vs. Sony A7R IV (right)
Note the difference in crop size is due to 50MP vs 61MP
ISO 3200 - Sony A1 (left) vs. Sony A7R IV (right)

Sony A1 vs. Canon EOS R5

ISO 100 - Sony A1 (left) vs. Canon R5 (right)
Note the difference in crop size is due to 50MP vs 45MP


ISO 3200 - Sony A1 (left) vs. Canon R5 (right)

For our full selection of Sony A1 First Shots, visit our A1 Samples Page, and be sure to stay tuned for more as we continue with our Sony A1 review!

Sony A1 Sample ImagesSony A1 Preview