FEATURED STORY

SONY A1 – Longterm Review

By Remon Elmarkiz

Since its release in January 2021, the SONY A1 has been my main camera for all my work. I have been using it in every shoot, be it a wedding, fashion, food, or commercials and music videos. For almost a year, I’ve been testing this camera to its limits, so I thought I would do a quick review on the features I like most and explain how this one is different from any camera I have ever used.

Master of All Trades

This is undoubtedly the best all-around mirrorless camera that has ever been produced to this day. Combining the best features of different Sony lineups, from the high resolution of the A7R series, the fast-shooting speeds and autofocus of the A9 series, to the superb video quality of the A7S. It is just astonishing to combine the 50MP stacked full-frame sensor, which shoots 30fps RAW photos, with the ability to shoot 8K 30fps or 4K 120fps video with internal 10-bit 4:2:2 recording. I can simply bring this camera on any shoot and be confident that it will produce the highest quality possible in any situation while remaining dependable.

Flash Sync

A speed of 1/400 on the mechanical shutter is a first for sure and is very beneficial when shooting fast-moving subjects with flash, especially at weddings. It’s also worth mentioning how quiet the mechanical shutter is. I rarely need to use the silent shutter mode, which is also available when shooting with flash.

The EVF

This camera has been drastically improved. It has many more details with multiple refresh rate options. Personally, I found the 5.76m/120fps option to be the best for most scenarios, especially weddings and low-light situations. It's blackout-free with instant micro preview available even when using Flash. In case my flash failed to fire, I would immediately know so without the need to check every image in playback.

Autofocus

is superior and subject tracking is very reliable, even in low light. It holds onto eyes/faces more smoothly than before. This has allowed me to be more creative by setting my mind free of the entire autofocus process, especially in hectic wedding situations where there are many other things happening at the same time that you need to cope with.

Image quality

When talking about high-resolution sensors, we expect to see low ISO performance and dynamic range. On the other hand, the A1 allows me to shoot at high ISOs, up to around ISO 12,800, without introducing noise into the image.

Quick Menu and User Interface,

The new menu has already been introduced on the A7S III. The A1 experience, on the other hand, is noticeably faster. Accessing the menu, switching options, and controls is smoother and faster than before

Sensor Protection

This is a long-awaited feature. I personally know photographers that wouldn’t switch to mirrorless due to the concern of having an exposed sensor when switching lenses

Dual CFexpress/SDXC card slots,

The new CFexpress cards unlock this camera's full potential. The read and write speeds are unbelievable. However, this comes with a downside. If you will be shooting weddings with the A1, you will need to take into consideration the cost of memory and storage management requirements.

In conclusion, it's safe to say that my setup currently revolves around the A1. It provides everything I need in a camera and also works perfectly next to my A7S III when I need different video perspectives. With the drastic improvement in technology, the A1 managed to remain on top for a full year. I am looking forward to seeing what next can be brought to the digital imaging scene.

About Remon Elmarkiz

With over a decade of experience in wedding photography, Remon is constantly looking for new challenges to tackle. His passion for portraits, food & music have led himtoexplore most genres of commercial photography as well as filmmaking.

Recommended Gear

Sony products suitable for Events, take your pick!

ILCE-6500
Interchangeable Lens Cameras

ILCE-6500

ILCE-7C
Interchangeable Lens Cameras

ILCE-7C

HVL-F60RM2
Camera Accessories

HVL-F60RM2

ILCE-7RM2
Interchangeable Lens Cameras

ILCE-7RM2

ILCE-7M4
Interchangeable Lens Cameras

ILCE-7M4

ILME-FX3
Cinema Line Cameras

ILME-FX3

ILME-FX6V
Cinema Line Cameras

ILME-FX6V

ILCE-6600
Interchangeable Lens Cameras

ILCE-6600

ILCE-1
Interchangeable Lens Cameras

ILCE-1

ILCE-9
Interchangeable Lens Cameras

ILCE-9

ILME-FR7
Cinema Line Cameras

ILME-FR7

ILCE-7SM3
Interchangeable Lens Cameras

ILCE-7SM3

ILCE-7M3
Interchangeable Lens Cameras

ILCE-7M3

ILCE-7RM3A
Interchangeable Lens Cameras

ILCE-7RM3A

ILCE-7RM4A
Interchangeable Lens Cameras

ILCE-7RM4A

ILCE-9M2
Interchangeable Lens Cameras

ILCE-9M2