Sony to announce a curved sensor Sony A1 with “crazy high ISO”?

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UPDATE: With only a few hours to go until the Sony Alpha launch event, the speculation is mounting about the mysterious ‘Sony A1’. This rumored camera is said to include a curved sensor, which could result in smaller and faster lenses. However, some more potential specs have now been leaked.

Rumor website Sony Alpha Rumors has reported that one of its sources said, “I saw the unseen [camera] and trust me, you will never be blind in the dark again. CRAZY high ISO.” It also seems that this new potential camera will use the E-mount and will be the “most expensive E-mount camera yet”.

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If these rumors turn out to be true, then Sony is certainly kicking off 2021 with a bang. However, we’ll have to wait for the event at 10AM EST/ 15:00 GMT to find out whether there’s any fire underneath all of this smoke.

ORIGINAL STORY: The previously announced Sony launch will kick off tomorrow at 10AM EST, but it now seems that there could be an additional exciting camera added to previously rumored line-up. Past leaks have indicated that we could be seeing the Sony A9 III and the Sony A7 IV appear on 26 January. However, a new rumor suggests that Sony will also be announcing a full frame camera with a curved sensor.

There’s not a lot of concrete information about this potential new camera, as it appears that Sony is keeping its cards clutched close to its chest. Sony Alpha Rumors reported that its source said that all he had was “unofficial chatter”, so it’s definitely not a certainty that we’ll be seeing this curved sensor camera.

So what would be the potential benefits of a camera with a curved sensor? Essentially, a curved image sensor mimics the design of the retina in the human eye, having a natural curve rather than the traditional flat design.

Sony first revealed this technology in 2014, stating that a curved sensor design results in a simpler lens system that’s 1.4x more sensitive at the center and 2x more sensitive at the edges.

According to a report by IEEE on that original presentation by Kazuichiro Itonaga, a device manager with Sony’s R&D Platform, Itonaga said, “A curved CMOS sensor has a few advantages over a planar sensor. Because of the geometry, it can be paired with a flatter lens and a larger aperture, which lets in more light.”

If a curved sensor can result in smaller, more compact lenses and wider apertures, then this technology could be a true game-changer for the camera industry. We’ll have to wait and see whether Sony has managed to finally bring a curved sensor camera to market – and such a vague rumor doesn’t exactly inspire oodles of confidence that it will turn out to be true. However, only time will tell…

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How to watch today’s Sony Alpha camera event – will we see the Sony A9 III?

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A mysterious Sony Alpha event is taking place today for a camera that (so far) hasn’t had a single leak – here’s how to tune in and discover what Sony has in store.

Last week the company published a YouTube placeholder for a “new product announcement” that’s due to go live today, January 26, at 10am EST / 3pm GMT / 2am January 27 AEST.

And Sony has only given us two small clues about what the launch might be. Firstly, the event has been given Alpha branding, which means it’ll almost certainly be an interchangeable lens camera. What we don’t know is whether the new model will have a full-frame sensor, like the Sony A7S III, or a smaller APS-C one like the Sony A6600.

The event also has the tagline “the one never seen”, which could perhaps refer to either high-speed shooting (hence the Sony A9 III rumors), a breakthrough in low-light performance or even, as some rumors have suggested, a new curved sensor design.

Whatever it is, camera fans should definitely tune in to find out – here’s how to watch the event.

How to watch the Sony Alpha event live

The easiest way to watch the Alpha camera event will be on the Sony Camera Channel YouTube page, which we’ve linked to below.

YouTube handily lets you set up reminders for scheduled videos – just click on the ‘bell’ icon at the bottom of the placeholder, and you’ll get an email when the event kicks off.

The Sony Alpha Universe homepage also contains an invite to “join us for a special livestream event”, so you should also be able to watch it there, along with some additional info about the mysterious new release.

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What do we expect from Sony’s Alpha camera event?

Today’s Alpha event is very unusual in the sense that we haven’t seen a single leak or hint about what the camera might be.

Speculation from Sony Alpha Rumors has previously suggested that Sony will announce a new “high-end camera” in early 2021, which could be part of the A9-series. This could mean the new model will end up being a full-frame camera, but it’s far from certain.

(Image credit: Sony)

The site has previously suggested that this full-frame model could be called either Sony A9 III or Sony A9s, and will have a 50MP sensor along with the ability to shoot 8K/30p video with no overheating. But it’s not yet clear whether today’s Sony Alpha event will be for that model, or something entirely different.

The ever-reliable camera leaker Nokishita recently revealed in a tweet (below) that the camera will have the code “CX88500”. But this again doesn’t give us any major clues about what to expect, other than the fact that it will probably be an E-mount camera (given that that range has similar codenames).

Sony has recently shown an inclination to start new lines within its Alpha camera series – the Sony A7C, for example, didn’t fit into existing styles or naming conventions, and was described as a “new concept” for the Alpha line-up.

The tagline “the one never seen” certainly suggests that the mysterious Alpha could similarly bring something new to the range. The wildest rumor, and the only one from what Sony Alpha Rumors calls a “trusted source”, is that the launch might actually be an RX-series camera with a curved design. But this wouldn’t fit the event’s Alpha branding.

Given those earlier rumors about Sony releasing a “high-end camera” in early 2021, it seems likely that the model will fit into that price bracket. But whether the new Alpha turns out to be the Sony A9 III or a direct successor to the Sony A9 II remains to be seen. We’ll see you at event to find out.

Sony Teases New Camera for January 26th Arrival: ‘The One Never Seen’

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Sony has teased the launch of a new camera set to be announced on January 26 at 7 AM Pacific Time. No details other than the timing of the announcement have been revealed, but rumors claim it to be a new a9 series camera.

While the age of the a7 III would indicate that Sony would be better served updating that camera, it has continued to sell well despite being three years old. Additionally, the a7C – which is just a repackaged, smaller version of the a7 III – was recently released, which has led rumor sites such as Mirrorless Rumors and Sony Alpha Rumors to hedge their bets on a new a9 camera.

One rumor is claiming the camera will exist in that Sony sports-line but push the resolution to around 50 megapixels and also offer 8K video, but in an “infant” state that will limit the quality and only allow for internal recording, likely to prevent the overheating issues that plagued the Canon EOS R5.

While many rumors about upcoming Sony products have been right, there are also many which missed that mark. If Sony were to produce a camera in the a9 line, that would bring significant speed expectations with it. Photographers who are attracted to the a9 generally aren’t asking for more megapixels, and the amount of data that would need to be processed after firing the a9 at high speeds with that kind of resolution would be monumental. Wildlife photographers might appreciate the extra resolution though, so it isn’t like such a camera would not have its fans.

Sony was expected to launch a professional camera in early 2021, so the arrival of this teaser is not unexpected. You can follow Sony on YouTube and set a reminder for the event, which will start two minutes after the countdown concludes on January 26th.

(via Sony Alpha Rumors)