Photography News 99 - Web

Big test


The A1 delivers impressive ISO performance, with smooth images at lower speeds up to ISO 800. The ISO 1600 test shot viewed at 100% was equally smooth. Going further to 200%, neutral-coloured grain is visible, but not obvious. It was a similar showing at ISO 3200 and fine detail remained crisp, unaffected by digital noise. The ISO 6400 and 12,800 shots looked good too, and although the levels of digital noise were higher overall quality remained impressive.

settings of 51,200 and 102,400. In-camera noise reduction was turned off, and none was applied in Lightroom. The ISO 100 shot was exposed at 0.6sec at f/8.

This low-light scene was shot with the Sony A1, fitted with the FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM. An image was taken at every native ISO setting, from 100 to 32,000, plus expansion

KEEPING IT SIMPLES Meerkats at Chester Zoo shot with the 200-600mm zoom at 362mm, with an exposure of 1/800sec at f/6.3 and ISO 800. The A1’s animal/eye detection worked really well, even with these constantly moving creatures


in the frame, even when the focus point was firmly on it. I had to focus on something at a similar distance, then reframe, before the camera would realise the bird was lined up. If you shoot a different subject, remember there’s no auto switchover. Make sure to set animal, bird or human subject detection. WC

eye detection was great for focus tracking. I could capture starlings, for example, which have very dark eyes. Strangely, bird detect AF struggled a little with the yellow eyes of flamingos on my zoo shoot. I also noticed that, typical of mirrorless models, the camera did not detect an out-of-focus bird large




Final word

Verdict The Sony A1 is without doubt an incredible camera, a remarkable feat of design and engineering, with excellent ergonomics, slick AF and high-speed shooting. Plus, it packs top imaging tech in a compact body, and the quality of pictures is awesome. It’s supported by a huge and expanding lens range, from Sony and leading third-party brands, giving Sony E-mount cameras the edge over Canon EOS R and Nikon Z, where support is more limited. Buy the Sony A1 and it will be the best camera you ever get – at least until the A2 comes along! While it’s £6500 body only, I would still call it amazing value. 25 /25 FEATURES High pixel count, fast shooting, highly featured AF, leading video spec 24 /25 HANDLING Excellent overall, with very good ergonomic control layout, improved menu 24 /25 PERFORMANCE







Fast shooting rate and responsive AF are highlights, but much to admire with its exposure and ISO skills, too


With the features and performance on offer, the A1 is great value despite its high price

96 /100 OVERALL

The Sony A1 is remarkable in so many ways, you’re in for a treat if you can afford one


PROS Speed, blackout-free shooting, custom options, menu, image quality, compact, ISO skills, option of SD cards, excellent controls – including lockable compensation dial CONS Price, AF can be uncertain in some situations, CFexpress Type A cards are very expensive

Where will your kit go next? Inspire others, earn some extra cash and make a difference. Sell your used kit and let someone else love it as much as you have. Make good use of your used gear. Sell yours today at

34 Photography News | Issue 99

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