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Sony A1 Loaner Returned, Will Buy One When I Can... but I miss its oustanding usability already

B&H Photo was very generous with the loaner period for the Sony A1, but I had to finally return it. I’ve stated that I will be buying the A1, and that remains true. But it’s a budget thing and I’m having to delay in order to arrange a discount together with availability. I am hoping to have one again within 6 weeks or so.

I bought the Fujifilm GFX100S, but it feels like I got my priorities reversed and I ended up with a consolation prize. That Fujifilm GF 30mm f/3.5 is an acceptable (boring) lens falling short of my expectations, so I returned it to recoup the funds for a lens I’d prefer, like the Fujifilm GF 23m f/4. But at this point I have only the Fujifilm GF 50/3.5 and most lenses are on backorder.

I already miss the Sony A1. While I wrote up why I prefer the Sony A1 over the A7R IV, it falls short of just how much better the A1 feels in practice.

It didn’t really hit home until resuming use of the Sony A7R IV, which is a very fine camera. But the A7R IV feels like yesterday’s technology by comparison. The total operating feel of the Sony A1 is unbeatable—I hugely prefer it to the Sony A7R IV or any other camera I’ve used. It is a big deal IMO.

The one limitation of the Sony A1 is that the 50MP resolution means more color aliasing and spurious detail issues on things like wood grain (not unique to the A1, it’s a resolution thing). That is one thing the 60MP A7R IV does a little better. But I swear that A1 images have some extra secret sauce. Perhaps not at base ISO for overall quality as per the comparison of a colorful fruit bowl and yet I prefer its images even there.

Maybe we will see a Sony A7R V with some of the Sony A1 technology this year?

And to finish: why are we A7R IV owners not getting firmware improvents introduced in the Sony A1? Ditto for compressed lossless files as well as focus stacking support.

Chris R writes:

Just to say Iv’e been really enjoying your recent Sony lens reviews, especially the 50mm f1.2 and alike. Lovely simple images as well in your back yard, it’s like going back to some of your early reviews of the Zeiss Milvus 100mm f2.

I can really see you are taken with the A1, but would really like to see you get hold of a Canon EOS R5. Indeed, I’m using one right now and I love it, it’s a nice upgrade from my 5Dmk4 and that is a lovely camera in it’s own right, but mirrorless is the way to go which you have been saying for quite a while now, Its so easy to manual focus my Zeiss lenses now on the R5. Anyway, keep those simple images coming always a pleasure.

DIGLLOYD: the Canon EOS R5 is definitely a camera I need to cover.

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