Sony go 8K finally – with the Alpha 1 (a1) mirrorless camera announced today. It is the most technically advanced camera Sony has ever released, and also the most expensive. It has a 30 minute limit in 8K mode due to heat, but a proper structure inside the camera to dissipate it more quickly. The camera is $2000 more expensive than the Canon EOS R5, but likely more dependable rather than the toy-like will-it-won’t-it get through a shoot reliability we have come to expect from Canon. Technically the Alpha 1 has a number of advantages over the cheaper Canon body. 8.6K oversampling and 4K/120p 10bit 422 ALL-I come from a faster sensor readout due to a stacked DRAM architecture and the world’s first electronic shutter that eliminates banding & flicker. The 30 minute limitation applies to 4K/60p as well but the 4K/24p mode is likely to record for longer. It is not known yet whether the 4K at regular frame rates on this camera comes from a pixel binned output or a full 8K sensor output.
The codec options are similar to the A7S III with 10bit 422 ALL-I at high bit rates, 10bit 4:2:0 XAVC HS in 8K (H.265). S-LOG 3, Creative Looks and S-Cinetone (hopefully the A7S III will also be getting S-Cinetone via firmware update). Real-time eye AF works in 8K and the new stacked Exmor R sensor enables an incredibly fast readout with minimal rolling shutter. We get 5.5 stop 5 axis IBIS and a large 9 million dot EVF.
Here’s the full headline specification for video shooters:
- New 50.1-megapixel full-frame stacked Exmor RS™ CMOS image sensor in combination with an upgraded BIONZ XR™ imaging processing engine
- Full frame 8K (up to 30p) 10-bit 4:2:0 XAVC HS video recording with 8.6K oversampling for extraordinary detail and resolution, in addition to 4K 120p and 60p 10-bit 4:2:2 movie shooting capabilities
- 8K slightly oversampled from 8.6K. In Super 35mm 5.8K oversampling for 4K.
- S-LOG 3, Hybrid LOG Gamma (HLG), Creative Looks
- S-Cinetone color matrix as seen in FX9 and FX6 to deliver expressive cinematic look
- Fast sensor readout enables up to 120 AF/AE calculations per second (double the speed of the Alpha 9 II, even during 30fps black out free continuous shooting)
- World’s first 240fps 0.64-type 9.44 million-dot (approx.) OLED Quad-XGA electronic viewfinder
- Silent, vibration-free electronic shutter
- World’s first anti-flicker shooting with both mechanical and electronic shutter
- 15+ stops dynamic range for video
- 5-axis optical in-body image stabilization for a 5.5-stop shutter speed advantage
- Industry’s fastest built-in Wi-Fi, SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps, 1000BASE-T Ethernet and more
- A hefty price tag of $6500 (US)
I can now record 8K video on my Canon EOS R5 with no recovery period or lockout until the battery dies.
I filmed the proof and it’s a clear indication that any overheating controversy is the result of an artificially restrictive timer in firmware, rather than any real thermal buildup inside the camera at the end of 20 minutes of 8K recording, monitored by a temperature sensor.
We have been sold a lie.
Canon really threw the kitchen sink at the EOS R5 specs sheet. What about the kitchen fridge?
In an update to the test at DPReview, Richard Butler found this out the hard way as he describes below.
The real story is not the continuous recording cut off at 30 minutes from cold in normal room temperatures, but that the limit is closer to 2 (or even zero) minutes during a day’s real-world shooting.
DPReview has released their Canon EOS R5 and R6 test of overheating, using the final production models. Technical editor Richard Butler remarks “Lack of dependability makes them a poor choice for much professional video work”.
In a historic interview granted only with the EOSHD YouTube Channel, a Canon colour science engineer finally sat down to talk about the EOS R5 overheating issues.