According to Sony Alpha Rumors, Sony is currently working on a new Alpha model with a square sensor. While that alone may not sound very fascinating, the new sensor’s format makes it a lot more interesting: it’s said to have a size of 36 x 36mm— that’s almost medium format land! In comparison, most consumer and prosumer cameras feature APS-C sensors with a size of roughly 17 x 25 mm, a standard full-frame 35mm sensor has a size of 24 x 36mm, and medium format sensors start at 30 x 45 mm. So the A1S’s (that’s the rumored name of the camera) sensor will sit in-between lower-end medium format and 35mm full-frame size-wise.
Resolution-wise, the sensor is in-between both worlds as well. With an alleged 37 megapixels, it has more resolution than current flagship full-frame DSLRs, but less than most lower-end medium format backs. That’s more like it!
But wait … here comes the real clou: according to the site, the new camera will be compatible with all current A-mount lenses! What does this mean? Simply put, you can use all current Sony A-mount lenses on this camera, but with more resolution than on any DSLR or SLT model, and with a 33% larger field-of-view on the vertical axis due to the sensors larger size.
We don’t know for sure whether this camera is actually going to be made, whether it’s just a concept that’s being discussed or whether those rumors are just the fantasy of some fanboys. But either way, this is an interesting concept. And if it does indeed work with current A-mount lenses (which, after all, are designed to fill the smaller image circle of a 24 x 36mm sensor), I see no reason not to introduce it. I’m always for progressive ideas and out-of-the-box thinking, and this should stir up the market quite a bit, should it become reality.
What do you think about the rumored A1S concept, and about cameras with square sensors in general? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
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