If you’re a wildlife photographer thinking about adding a Sony A1 to your bag, this video is jam-packed with everything you need to know! I’ve spent the last FIVE MONTHS shooting the a1 in the United States, Costa Rica, and Botswana, Africa. I’ve photographed an incredible variety of wildlife under all kinds of conditions and put the camera through its paces – and you’ll see nearly 80 of those images in this review!
In this video, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about the ergonomics, customization options, ruggedness, field functionality, frame rate options, ISO, color, shadow response, buffer, handling, menus, sensor performance, and of course, all aspects of the autofocus system (tracking, eye AF etc.). Strap in! This is the one you’ve been waiting for!
Related Videos Mentioned In The Review
ISO Example Slides
Note that you’ll need to click these to open them in a new tab and you’ll probably need to click a second time to see them full size, depending on the side of your browser window.
PS – If you enjoyed this post, I think you’ll REALLY like my e-books and video workshops! Thousands of pages and hours of videos filled with tips, tricks, and techniques – all my best content! Check ’em out – click here (hey, it’s free to look).
Would love the A1 set up guide. I have had the A1 for since early spring and love it. I still have Nikon D850 but have used A1 way more. My cameras are with me everyday 24/7. My equipment is in constant daily use. Really enjoy your videos.
Please do a set up for Sony a1. Thanks
Steve, long time watcher and subscriber. My Biggest question for use is the weather ruggedness of the Sony equipment you’re using. I’m going back to CR this coming year and will be back in the cloud and rain forrest for months. I’ve always used Nikon but am looking to switch. Will the Sony equipment hold up as well as the Nikon has over the years.. Thank you much, Martin Fisher
Hi Martin –
I can’t say for sure. I was there with it for a month down by the Pacific (very humid) and had zero issues. We did have problems with our Z cameras though – I think it was grip related. They didn’t like the humidity, but the a1 never flinched. Put another way, if it were me I wouldn’t hesitate. Still, my experience with the Sony gear is limited.
Thanks Steve for replying. I dug a little deeper yesterday and talked to a lens rental tech and a tech from Sony, bottom line the Nikon D850 is better weather sealed than the A1. My solution is to purchase the extended warranty thru Sony. It’s time I make the move.. Thanks……
Would love to see your settings!
Great video and review. Question: What about warblers? How does the camera do chasing down warblers, often with busy backgrounds? The video had plenty of pics of “big birds” perched or flying but no warblers, vireos, or kinglets.
Thankfully, warblers are a “classic” looking bird and the eye detect finds them pretty well most of the time as long as they aren’t really embedded. The trick is they need to actually be facing the camera. If the camera has them and turns away, often a tracking box will take over, but it will lose them eventually. If you can keep the bird in a position where you see the eye though (I find they don’t listen well), your odds improve. Also, if the camera misses the birds can get “stuck” on the background and you’ll need to grab… Read more »
I would love it if you did a video on your settings for the Sony A1. I watch all of your videos, have your Bird in Flight video and just bought a Sony A1.
I recently bought the Sony A1 and 200-600 lens and a camera setting tutorial would really be appreciated.
I have changed completely over from Nikon D850 and 500PF lens and it is the best decision i ever made.
I enjoy Steve’s reviews of all bodies he tries. If I were a novice shooter, the Sony review would leave me with the knowledge that it was more camera than I need. Since I am a D5 (and D850) shooter I enjoyed the advances in technology offered by Sony. However, I was not driven to change brands. I have never been to Africa but I enjoyed the animals Steve captured. His books on Nikon techniques are very user-friendly to me and a weekly source of technological clarity. In the final analysis, I believe technology has made quantum-leap inroads into photography.… Read more »
Thank you so much 🙂
A terrific review. If a photographer was interested in shooting easier targets than birds in flight, and the Sony price was out of budget – and image quality and colour were high on the list along with a superb viewfinder – which camera would you steer such a photographer towards?
That’s tough – I’d probably say the R5. The Z cameras are an option too for slower stuff, but they still sometimes struggle in tricky situations to get a good lock (although I still use them – it’s not that bad). The problem is, at the moment, we’re just at the point where mirrorless is becoming am option for wildlife work, so the selection of affordable gear is small. Plus, I don’t want to recommend gear I haven’t used, so there may be options out there that I’m not thinking about too.
Really enjoy your videos, thank you for the time and effort! I‘d be glad to get a video on the customization of the a 1. I own the camera and do wildlife only and ist helps tremendously to share and compare settings or ideas on the ‚how to‘. Take care Kora
How I wish I could carry a 600mm lens, the back grounds in these amazing images are superb. I most certainly be interested in a set up for the A! and willingly pay for an Ebook. Congratulations on an impressive presentation.
Excellent review Steve. Like some others, also new to Sony from Nikon, so would also be very interested in your settings for the a1
Sweet review Steve, sweet shots, currently rocking two of these bodies (wanted a back up, after using one didn’t want to pick up something else) always interested in your camera set up, looking forward to you sharing, best wishes, Howard.
Hi Howard – two a1 bodies huh? I tell ya, I’ve been thinking about the same thing! However, I have an R3 on the way and I’m sure a Z9 after that. Still, I can totally see the appeal!
Steve….I would be interested in seeing your settings. You might want to consider a manual and a CAMSET file as product to market. (Ref.: Sony Ambassador Mark Galen)
I also feel that the way it works with the Sony lens is a key factor with less weight and improved balance.
Wonderful comparison, Steve! Yes, would really appreciate an A1 Setups video or eBook, possibly w download file (??), for wildlife photography. New to Sony, from Nikon D5, so A1 camera setups would be very welcome!
Really great information Steve!!!! I would really appreciate camera setting!!
Ohhhh I would so LOVE a video on the setups/settings you use on the A1! This video btw was also soooo helpful, Thank You!!!!
Yes, would love a video on A1 setup. Thanks!
Please do a A1 feature button assignment