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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Sony announced the Alpha a1 top-of-the-line mirrorless camera



Sony announced their top-of-the-line Alpha a1 mirrorless camera. Impressive specs but I expect the upcoming Canon EOS-R1 top-of-the-line mirrorless camera will meet and surpass the Alpha a1's specifications and performance. Keep checking back for the latest information and development.


Groundbreaking Sony Alpha 1 Camera Marks a New Era in Professional Imaging

The Alpha 1 Delivers an Unprecedented Combination of Resolution, Speed and Video Performance, Empowering Professionals with a New High-Resolution 50.1-megapixel Full-frame Image Sensor, High-speed Shooting at up to 30 Frames per Second, 8K 30p Video and more.


  • New 50.1-megapixel (approx., effective) full-frame stacked Exmor RS™ CMOS image sensor in combination with an upgraded BIONZ XR™ imaging processing engine with eight times more processing power[i]
  • Blackout- free continuous shooting at up to 30 frames per second[ii]
  • Fast sensor readout enables up to 120 AF/AE calculations per second[iii], double the speed of the Alpha 9 II, even during 30fps continuous shooting
  • Bright and large 0.64-type 9.44 million-dot (approx.) OLED Quad-XGA electronic viewfinder with the world’s first[iv]refresh rate of 240 fps
  • Silent, vibration-free electronic shutter
  • World’s first[v] anti-flicker shooting with both mechanical and electronic shutter
  • Electronic shutter flash sync[vi] up to 1/200 sec. for the first time in the Alpha™ series
  • World’s fastest[v] mechanical shutter flash sync up to 1/400 sec.
  • 8K 30p[vii] 10-bit 4:2:0 XAVC HS video recording with 8.6K oversampling for extraordinary detail and resolution, in addition to 4K 120p[viii] 10-bit 4:2:2 movie shooting capabilities
  • Wide dynamic range of 15 stops for stills[ix] and 15+ stops for video[x]
  • Improved Real-time Eye AF (autofocus) for humans and animals, and new Real-time Eye AF for birds[xi], as well as Real-time Tracking that automatically maintains accurate focus
  • 5-axis optical in-body image stabilization for a 5.5-step[xii] shutter speed advantage
  • S-Cinetone color matrix as seen in FX9 and FX6 to deliver expressive cinematic look
  • Professional workflow support with the industry’s fastest[xiii] built-in Wi-Fi, SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps, 1000BASE-T Ethernet and more


SAN DIEGO, CA – January 26, 2021 – Sony Electronics, a global leader in imaging sensor technology and digital imaging, has announced the arrival of the groundbreaking new full-frame mirrorless Alpha 1 camera – asserting their commitment to leading the industry with a stunning combination of innovative new features.

The most technologically advanced, innovative camera that Sony has ever released, the Alpha 1 combines high-resolution and high-speed performance at a level that has never been accomplished in the world of digital cameras. With a brand new 50.1-megapixel full-frame stacked Exmor RS™ image sensor, up to 120 AF/AE calculations per second, 8K 30p 10-bit 4:2:0 video and much more, the Alpha 1 will allow creators to capture what they’ve never been able to before.

"We are always listening to our customers, challenging the industry to bring new innovation to the market that goes far beyond their expectations.” said Neal Manowitz, deputy president for Imaging Products and Solutions Americas at Sony Electronics. “Alpha 1 breaks through all existing boundaries, setting a new bar for what creators can accomplish with a single camera. What excites us the most – more than the extensive product feature – is Alpha 1's ability to capture that which has never been captured before. This camera unlocks a new world of creative possibilities, making the previously impossible now possible.”

The newly developed image sensor is built with integral memory and paired with an upgraded BIONZ XR imaging processing engine, making it capable of shooting 50.1-megapixel images continuously at an astounding 30fps with up to 120 AF/AE calculations per second. The Alpha 1’s shooting capabilities are further enhanced by a 9.44 million dot OLED Quad-XGA electronic viewfinder, with a refresh rate of up to 240 fps[xiv], ensuring no black out. Additionally, for the first time in an Alpha series camera, 8K 30p 10-bit 4:2:0 video is available. The Alpha 1 is also capable of 4K 120p / 60p 10-bit 4:2:2 recording and includes S-Cinetone color. The Alpha 1 is also packed with features that support field professionals with faster workflow, including 3.5 times faster wireless FTP transfer speed[xv] and more.

Unprecedented Resolution and Speed

Continuous Shooting at Up to 30 Frames Per Second

The Alpha 1 captures moments that would otherwise be lost thanks to its high-speed performance, providing any photographer the speed they require to capture fast-moving objects. High speed readout from the 50.1-megapixel image sensor and a large buffer memory make it possible to shoot up to 155 full-frame compressed RAW images[xvi] or 165 full-frame JPEG images[xvii] at up to 30 frames per second with the electronic shutter while maintaining full AF and AE tracking performance[xviii].

At an astonishing calculation speed of up to 120 AF/AE per second, the Alpha 1 can maintain focus with high accuracy even for fast moving subjects. It can automatically adjust exposure, even with sudden changes in brightness, with an AE response latency as low as 0.033 seconds[ii].

Advanced Electronic Viewfinder with the World’s First[iv] Refresh Rate of 240 fps

Complimenting the camera’s ability to capture images at an unprecedented speed, the Alpha 1 viewfinder features the world’s firstiv 240 fps refresh rate[xiv], for a super-smooth display. The viewfinder does not black out when an exposure is made to offer an uninterrupted view and allow for seamless framing and tracking, even during continuous shooting. The 9.44 million-dot (approx.), 0.64 type Quad-XGA high-definition OLED display and refined optics deliver the highest resolution in its class[iv]. It also offers 0.90x[xix] viewfinder magnification, a 41° diagonal FOV, and a 25mm-high eyepoint for clear, low distortion viewing from corner to corner.

Advanced Autofocus

Sony continues to push the boundaries of autofocus technology with the introduction of the Alpha 1, which can easily track complex, fast-moving subjects with high precision. The camera features 759 phase detection points in a high-density focal plane phase-detection AF system cover approximately 92% of the image area – ensuring accuracy and unfailing focus in environments where focusing might otherwise be difficult.

Sony’s advanced Real-time Eye AF improves detection performance by 30% over the previous system[i], thanks to the powerful image processing engine, BIONZ XR. It ensures accurate, reliable detection, even when the subject’s face looks away. In addition to improved Real-time Eye AF for humans and animals, the Alpha 1 employs high-level subject recognition technology to provide Real-time Eye AF for birds[xi], a first in an Alpha series camera. Optimized algorithms ensure that tracking is maintained even if a sitting bird suddenly takes flight, or the framing suddenly changes[xx].

The Alpha 1 also features AI-based Real-time Tracking that automatically maintains accurate focus. A subject recognition algorithm uses color, pattern (brightness), and subject distance (depth) data to process spatial information in real time at high speed.

Silent, Vibration-free Electronic Shutter

High-speed readout from the new image sensor has made it possible to reduce rolling shutter by up to 1.5 times when shooting stills, compared to the Alpha 9 II. It also offers silent anti-flicker continuous shooting with an electronic shutter for the first timevin the world. The electronic shutter[xxi] operates silently, without mechanical noise, and is vibration-free. Stress-free continuous shooting is now possible even when shooting in challenging lighting situations with florescent or other flicker-prone types of artificial lighting. And for the first time in an Alpha camera, electronic shutter flash sync up to 1/200 sec[xxii] is possible. The advantages of the electronic shutter advantages can now come to life even when using flash for broadly expanded shooting versatility.

Dual Driven Shutter System for 1/400 Flash Sync

The Alpha 1 boasts the world’s fastest flash sync speedv of 1/400 sec. with mechanical shutter, making it even easier to capture dynamic action. In addition to a carbon fiber shutter curtain, the Alpha 1 features the newly developed dual driven shutter system utilizing spring and electromagnetic drive actuator, offering high durability and lightness at the same time.

High Resolution Shooting Enhancements

Even with this sensor’s high pixel count, the Alpha 1 offers high sensitivity with low noise, plus 15+ stops of dynamic range for video and 15 stops for stills, for smooth, natural gradations from shadows to highlights thanks to its cutting-edge processing system, throughout a wide ISO sensitivity range of 100-32,000 (expandable to 50-102,400, when shooting stills).

Additionally, the new camera features an evolved Pixel Shift Multi Shooting mode that composites up to 16 full-resolution images. In this mode, the camera precisely shifts the sensor in one pixel or half-pixel increments to capture 16 separate pixel-shifted images containing a total of 796.2 million pixels of data, which are then composited into a 199 million pixel (17,280 x 11,520 pixels) image using Sony’s Imaging Edge™ desktop application. With a flash sync of up to 1/200 sec. in this mode, it is ideal for photographing architecture, art or any other still life subject with a level of detail and color accuracy that is simply stunning.

Professional Video Quality

8K High-resolution Movie Shooting

For the first time in an Alpha camera, the Alpha 1 offers 8K 30p 10-bit 4:2:0 XAVC HS recording with 8.6K oversampling for extraordinary resolution. Combined with Sony’s acclaimed autofocus technology, gradation and color reproduction performance, the Alpha 1 will help the user realize their creative vision with the finest detail. It’s 8K footage can also be used for flexible 4K editing during post-production.

Supporting Various Video Formats for Professionals

The Alpha 1 offers in-camera 4K recording at up to 120 frames per second[viii] which allows the user to shoot up to 5X slow-motion video[xxiii]. In addition to supporting 10-bit 4:2:2 recording, this feature can be used with efficient Long GOP inter-frame compression or high-quality Intra (All-I) intra-frame compression.

The Alpha 1 features S-Cinetone, the same color matrix that produces the highly regarded FX9 and FX6 color and skin tones. It delivers natural mid-tones, plus soft colors and gorgeous highlights to meet a growing need for more expressive depth. The S-Log3 gamma curve makes it possible to achieve 15+ stops of dynamic range, while the S-Gamut3 and S-Gamut3.Cine color gamut settings make it easy to match Alpha 1 footage with video shot on VENICE cinema camera, FX9 and other professional cinema cameras.

Heat-dissipating Structure

A unique heat dissipating structure keeps image sensor and image processing engine temperatures within their normal operating range, preventing overheating while maintaining compact body dimensions. This makes it possible to record 8K/30p video continuously for approximately 30 minutes[xxiv].

Supporting Hand-held Shooting

A high-precision stabilization unit and gyro sensors, plus optimized image stabilization algorithms, achieve up to a 5.5-step shutter speed advantage, maximizing the quality of the high-resolution images derived from the camera’s 50.1-megapixel sensor. The Alpha 1 also features an Active Mode[xxv] that offers outstanding stabilization for handheld movie shooting. When using Sony’s desktop applications Catalyst Browse or Catalyst Prepare[xxvi] for post-production, an accurate image stabilization function is available which utilizes metadata generated by camera's built-in gyro.

Other features that the Alpha 1 offers include; 16-bit RAW output[xxvii] to an external recorder[xxviii] via HDMI for maximum post-production flexibility, a digital audio interface has been added to the camera’s Multi Interface (MI) Shoe for clearer audio recordings from a compatible Sony external microphone, 5.8K oversampled full pixel readout without pixel binning for high-resolution 4K movies in Super 35mm mode and more.

Enhanced Workflow with Network Technologies including Connectivity to 5G Compatible Devices

The Alpha 1 has been designed and configured to support photo and video journalists and sports shooters who need to deliver stills or movies as quickly as possible with advanced connectivity options. It offers several features for fast, reliable file transfers. Industry’s fastest[xiii] built-in wireless LAN allows communication on 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz[xxix] bands with dual antennas to ensure reliable communications. 5 GHz includes 2x2 MIMO support (IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac) offering 3.5 times faster wireless FTP transfer speed than the Alpha 9 II - a notable advantage for news and sports shooters who need to deliver with reliable speed. There is also a provided USB Type-C® connector to support fast data transfer when connected to a 5G mmWave compatible device such as Sony’s Xperia PRO and makes high-speed PC Remote (tethered) data transfer available for smooth handling of large image files. The Alpha 1 also has a built-in 1000BASE-T LAN connector for high-speed, stable data transfers, including remote shooting. FTPS (File Transfer over SSL/TLS) is supported, allowing SSL or TLS encryption for increased data security.

In addition to compressed and uncompressed RAW, the Alpha 1 includes efficient lossless compression with no quality degradation, Lossless Compressed RAW. There is also a new “Light” JPEG/HEIF image quality setting that results in smaller files than the “Standard” setting, allowing faster deliver for news and sports photographers who depend on speed. Along with a versatile range of RAW and JPEG formats, the Alpha 1 includes the HEIF (High Efficiency Image File) format for smooth 10-bit gradations that provide more realistic reproduction of skies and portrait subjects where subtle, natural gradation is essential. Images shot on the Alpha 1 can be trimmed in-camera to a desired aspect ratio, size, or position for versatile usage.

The Alpha 1 is also compatible with a variety of apps, add-ons and tools. With Imaging Edge Mobile and Imaging Edge Desktop[xxx], professionals can easily transfer RAW files and files that use lossless compression and remotely control Touch Tracking and Touch Focus for convenient AF operation. The Transfer & Tagging add-on (Ver. 1.3 or later) can automatically covert voice memos attached to image files to text captions or transfer the files to an FTP server from a mobile device. Desktop applications Catalyst Browse/Catalyst Preparexxvi allow professionals to browse and manage video clips shot by Sony’s camera. In addition, the Remote Camera Tool[xxxi] can remotely change camera settings and shoot from a computer connected via LAN cable and feature a number of refinements for the Alpha 1: faster transfer, touch response, dual slot and HEIF support, and more.

Reliable and Easy Operability

Professional users need more than just refined features and performance. They also need the reliability and durability demanded of any professional tool. The Alpha 1 has two media slots that both support UHS-I and UHS-II SDXC/SDHC cards, as well as new CFexpress Type A cards for higher overall capacity and faster read/write speeds. It also features a durable magnesium alloy chassis, long battery life with the Z-battery which can be extended using the optional VG-C4EM Vertical Grip (sold separately), an improved dust removal feature, shutter close function on power-off to protect image sensor, plus dust and moisture resistance[xxxii] that maximizes reliability in challenging environments. It includes a durable, reliable HDMI Type-A connector, and USB PD (Power Delivery) support, allowing higher power to be supplied from an external source so that users can record for extended periods with minimal internal battery usage.

A revised menu structure provides easier navigation, and touch-responsive menu operation offers fast, more intuitive control with Touch Focus and Touch Tracking on its 3.0 type 1.44 million-dot (approx.) LCD monitor. For easy customization, a subset of the camera’s shooting settings now changes according to the selected shooting mode, making it easier than ever to use different aperture, shutter speed and other settings for shooting stills and movies.

Pricing and Availability

The Alpha 1 Full-frame Interchangeable-Lens Camera will be available in March 2021 for approximately $6,500 USD and $8,500 CAD. It will be sold at a variety of Sony's authorized dealers throughout North America.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Canon is listed 3rd in the 2020 IFI Claims U.S. Patent Rankings



MELVILLE, NY, January 13, 2021 – Continuing its mission of empowering innovation, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is proud to announce that its parent company, Canon Inc., ranked third for the number of U.S. patents awarded in 2020 with 3,226 patents.1 With this year’s ranking, Canon has now ranked in the top five for number of patents granted for 35 consecutive years, according to the latest ranking of preliminary patent results issued by IFI CLAIMS Patent Services. Additionally, Canon once again ranked first in patents among Japanese companies for the 16th consecutive year.

“As the world continues to shift and the needs of our customers evolve, we too will continue exploring new areas and future opportunities for innovation that will benefit our customers,” said Seymour Liebman, executive vice president, chief administrative officer and general counsel of Canon U.S.A. Inc and senior managing executive officer of Canon Inc. “Canon is proud to be in the top three patent holders as it further demonstrates our commitment to delivering innovative ideas and solutions that meet market and customer demands.”

Canon actively promotes the globalization of its business and places great value on obtaining patents overseas. Among these, the United States, with its many high-tech companies and large-market scale, represents a particularly important region in terms of business expansion and technology alliances.

Canon promotes the acquisition and utilization of intellectual property rights, not only for fundamental technologies required for next-generation products but also for such technologies as wireless communication and image-compression shared by the next-generation social infrastructure.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Canon Press Release on CES 2021



MELVILLE, NY, January 6, 2021 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, has thrived by creating innovative consumer electronics and solutions that bring mutual benefits to consumers, businesses and industries. 2021 presents a year of hope and opportunity, following a year of unprecedented limitations. At CES 2021, Canon is premiering an interactive digital experience through five unexpected experiences and innovation cornerstones to celebrate how people can use Canon products and solutions to help redefine the limits they face. Attendees can be inspired to transcend limits by capturing the marvels of space, the splendor of wildlife, and the nostalgia of a lost iconic sports setting.

“2020 was a year filled with limits. We were all faced with looking at our daily lives and figuring out the best paths to complete our professional work and responsibilities to our families,” said Kazuto Ogawa, president and CEO, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “As we catapult into 2021, we are presented with a unique opportunity to redefine our limits. At CES, Canon is excited to share how our technologies, solutions and products can inspire and offer a chance to collaborate on a better future.”

Canon’s five-cornerstone immersive experience at CES 2021 consists of the following :

Canon Redefines How We See Our Planet

CES attendees can join astronaut Marsha Ivins in a recreation of space to discover Canon’s compact imaging satellites, the CE-SAT-1 and 2B, and see how these cost-efficient, high-resolution satellites are making space imaging more accessible. As attendees navigate different locations around the world, using high-resolution images from the CE-SAT-1, they can take their own snapshots and save their favorites as backgrounds for their compatible mobile device. In addition to lending her voice to the experience, astronaut Marsha Ivins is also taking part in a pre-recorded Canon hosted panel discussion, accessible through the cornerstone, with fellow astronaut and filmmaker Colonel Terry Virts, where they’ll discuss the profound impact space imaging has on humanity and our planet.

Canon Redefines How We Experience Sports & Entertainment

In 2020, fans were forced to watch sports and entertainment from their screens. Now, Canon’s Volumetric Video System is set to change the ways we experience our favorite events and sports, by allowing us to view the action from unlimited angles. To showcase the capabilities of Canon’s Volumetric Video Studio in Kawasaki, Canon is bringing CES visitors back to Love Park, the legendary Philadelphia skateboarding haven, to witness up-and-coming skateboarders Yuto Watanabe and Kyonosuke Yamashita skate this long-lost location. Together with world-renowned skateboarding photographer and new Canon Explorer of Light Atiba Jefferson, the skateboarding action at Love Park was resurrected and captured in a way that has never been seen before to highlight how we redefine the viewing experience of sports and entertainment.

Canon Redefines the Way We Capture Life

During such an unparalleled year, it has been harder for people to connect with the critical wildlife and natural ecosystems that are continuing to disappear around us. Canon Explorer of Light and renowned wildlife photographer Charles Glatzer traveled to snowy Yellowstone National Park with his EOS R5 camera to photograph the famous Yellowstone wolves to showcase how the monitoring of the wolves has helped preserve the national park and its valuable inhabitants. Through this multi-level interactive experience, attendees will be able to join Charles on this trip and take control of an EOS R5 camera themselves using some of the mirrorless camera’s most remarkable features, such as animal detection and the coordinated in-body stabilization.

The experience also highlights Canon printers through a stunning wildlife photo gallery featuring some of Charles’s best Yellowstone imagery that can be purchased* as high-quality prints, printed on the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 and the imagePROGRAF PRO-4100. Other products from the current Canon line-up, including the Colorado 1640 and Colorado 1650 printers, are also featured in an additional product gallery for attendees to experience.

Canon Redefines How We Work Together

In 2020 the whole world experienced the limits of hybrid and remote work environments. Canon, with software tools such as the EOS Webcam Utility and the upcoming AMLOS Camera System, is redefining how we see, engage and interact with each other through gesture-based imaging technology. While currently scheduled to be released later in 2021, attendees can already experience a sample of the AMLOS Camera System during an interactive video and audio adventure, where they become Secret Agent Magnolia and use the system to collaborate with a field operative during an exciting intelligence mission. All in a day’s (virtual) work.

Canon Redefines the Way we Shape the Future

Canon is driven by its Kyosei philosophy – to collaborate with others to help create a harmonious planet. Today, Canon is using its long-standing manufacturing and technology expertise to help redefine energy, healthcare, food, transportation, and recycling through its Innovation Lab in Virginia. Through an interactive timeline, attendees can peek behind the curtain and learn how Canon is collaborating with Tufts University and Mori to scale aqueous silks in order to tackle food waste and plastic pollution. One of the many innovation stories in which Canon is scaling emerging technologies to benefit the world.

Please visit Canon at the 2021 CES Show and follow Canon throughout the show on Instagram at @CanonUSA and Twitter at @CanonUSAimaging. Use #CanonCES2021 to join the conversation and visit our website at www.usa.canon.com