Dedicated underwater filmmakers—who don’t have a bazillion dollars to spend on a RED cinema camera system—will likely be weighing up three new full-frame mirrorless cameras right now: the Canon EOS R5, the Nikon Z9, and the Sony Alpha 1. Why? Because all three can shoot crazy-high-definition 8K/30p video as well as silky smooth 4K/120p, playable at quarter speed for an extra rich helping of cinematic deliciousness. Without doubt, the numbers are exciting, but at the end of the day, it will come down to how these coveted cameras perform underwater. With their new review of the Sony a1, our friends at Backscatter have just gotten us a little closer to discovering the answer.
With Bonaire as his testing ground, Backscatter’s Jim Decker does a thorough job of evaluating not just those headline video capabilities, but all the specs that are going to matter to underwater photographers and videographers, including the 1/400s flash sync speed (“Having a 1/400 shutter speed is a godsend when dealing with large scenes in shallow, bright ambient light situations”), autofocus tracking performance (“The new autofocus system with the Sony 90mm macro is now the best autofocusing macro lens I have ever used”), and white balance abilities (“It can now execute a great-looking white balance down past 80 feet”). Jim includes a bunch of excellent illustrative images and videos, and also adds a wonderful demo reel shot in Socorro by Backscatter Photo Pro David Serradell (below)—so you can see for yourself what buttery 4K/120p looks like.
Head over to Backscatter for the full article.
Ikelite Housing for OM System OM-1
AOI Housing for Olympus OM-D E-M1 III
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