Combining high res and high speed (as we wrote when it was first announced), Sony’s Alpha 1 is truly a leap forward in mirrorless camera technology (as we also wrote).

But the question has always been (and will probably always be)—is it right for you?

As the new de facto flagship camera for Sony’s mirrorless Alpha line, the Alpha 1 is indeed an 8K beast able to rival the Canon EOS R5. However, depending on your thoughts on the ageless Canon vs. Sony color science debate, there might be some new info for you to consider.

Namely, this new firmware update from Sony promises to add 8K 4:2:2 10bit recording (and Lossless Compressed RAW for still images). Let’s check it out.

Sony Alpha 1 v1.3 Firmware Update

It does make sense to follow some sort of brand loyalty if you want your cinematic look to remain consistent from year to year—and if you want to keep using your favorite lenses. Regardless of your stance on which camera brand is your brand of choice, this v1.3 firmware update should at least be considered since it packs quite a punch.

From Sony:

“Using newly added 8K 4:2:2 10bit capabilities, filmmakers and cinematographers can more precisely customize the vibrancy and color grading of their recordings. Combined with the Alpha 1’s 8.6K oversampling for extraordinary 8K resolution, the new addition of 4:2:2 10-bit recording lets filmmakers and content creators realize their creative vision with incredible realism and color.”

This new 4:2:2 10bit recording option is really everything filmmakers want out of a mirrorless camera at this point. And with 8.6K oversampling, I’d even argue it’s more than filmmakers really want at this point. Who needs it? A few, perhaps.

But who can benefit from it? Everyone—in theory.

The update is also adding some Lossless Compressed RAW files in S, M, and L (small, medium, or large) file sizes for preserving the same image quality as an uncompressed RAW format. This is mostly for users needing to deliver JPEG files immediately, but can also help out photographers who do a bit more in-depth editing.

Updates to the Alpha 7S III

Sony has quietly also announced an update for their Alpha 7S III full-frame mirrorless camera. Although this guy’s not getting 4:2:2 10bit 8K video just yet. Most of these updates have to do with the introduction of proxy recording during remote computer connections and improvements to Eye AF (autofocus) performance.

Availability and Download

Alpha 1 v1.3 is available now and can be downloaded below:

Alpha 7S III v2.1 is available now and can be downloaded below:

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