June 26, 2022
Sony has announced a firmware update — version 1.3 — for the Alpha 1 that adds 8K 4:2:2 10-bit recording and Lossless Compressed RAW for still images.
Sony Alpha 1 Update
Sony says that filmmakers that use the new 8K 4:2:2 10-bit video recording can more precisely customize the vibrancy and color grading of their recordings. The company says that this, combined with the fact that the Alpha 1 oversamples its 8K footage from 8.6K, allows for incredible realism and color.
The update also adds Lossless Compressed RAW files in Small, Medium, and Large file sizes. Sony says selecting L size preserves the same image quality as an uncompressed RAW format while significantly reducing the file size. The M and S sizes record fewer pixels than the L size, which the company says provides more manageable RAW files. With Alpha 1 firmware version 1.3, users can freely combine JPEG and their choice of Lossless Compressed RAW sizes based on their use case. Sony says this is especially beneficial for a user who needs to deliver JPEG files immediately but also needs RAW files for in-depth editing.
The Sony Alpha 1 was announced in January of 2021 for $6,500 with the promise of 30 frames per second 50-megapixel photos capture and 8K video shooting. At launch, the Alpha 1 was capable of 8.6K oversampled 8K resolution footage but it was not able to capture in 10-bit 4:2:2, which made shooting in 8K less ideal for more professional environments. It could, however, shoot 4K 10-bit 4:2:2 and could get an even higher quality 4K picture if the camera was set to Super 35 mode.
The camera has been updated a couple of times since then, one of which fixed a sensor stabilization issue, but today’s update is the most significant as far as new features are concerned.
Sony Alpha 7S III Updated, Too
Sony has also updated the Alpha 7S III camera to version 2.1, which notably adds proxy recording during remote computer connections and improves the Eye Autofocus performance.