Ok, in the days of COVID, it seems strange that the march of high-tech, high-end and unaffordable gizmos keeps coming. But, an amazing number of companies are shipping some incredible products that are really pushing the boundaries. So this is like an issue of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" plus "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.", so let the drooling begin:
At a whopping $6,500 at Amazon, this is in pre-order but early reviews show it to be the one camera that rules them all (according to Cameralabs, DPReview). Last year, the fabulously expensive Canon R5 looked like it was going to be it, but overheating problems really gave it a bit of black eye. But now camera technology drool has moved on to the Sony A1. Not only is it super high resolution with a 50MP sensor (only the Fujifilm GFX 100S at 100MP has more resolution, but doesn't have all the rest). But then because it uses a stacked sensor so the RAM is directly behind the sensor, it is super fast. If you can believe it, with the right really fast flash and Sony Lense, it can pump out 30fps in compressed RAW mode and there is no blackout in the 9.4m-dot electronic viewfinder (EVF).
And it has literally automatic focus sensors everywhere with 759 covering 92% of the image area, so it's perfect for sports and nature as well with its eye detection that even works for animals as well as for landscape with its pixel shift 199MP mode that takes 4 or 16 images and stitches them together.
The only limitation seems to be the back screen is not the best and we are at the limits at 5x image stabilization (although the viewfinder is high resolution and runs at 240 fps). Yikes! So load up on Sony Grandmaster lenses (the 50mm GM costs over $1,500) and you can impress your friends.
Oh and I forgot, it can record 8K video at 30fps, so you are ready for the next wedding too. And with the new electronic shutter, there is no rolling shutter at least for stills.
So yes you can get the A7R4 at 60MP, (or even the old A7R3 at 40MP), but the speed and video make this an all-around champ. You are going to need a fast CFExpress Type A card then you don't get buffer fill and slow down, so that's really nice for sports. You can get 260 shots in 11 seconds. And get 10,000 plus shots using a single battery. Which is pretty incredible.
Finally, it has a really amazing S-Cinetone cinematic look so you don't have to regrade your video. And like their other A series, it has an incredible 15 stops of dynamic range and ISO up to 32000. Geeks.
And not every camera is perfect, so here are the things that are still issues:
- The screen at the back doesn't tilt.
- 8K overheating. It does overheat in 60 minutes if you set it for high temperature mode (not a big deal for me, but good to know, the Canon R5 has the same issue).
- It has better menus (actually with a touch screen it is better, although I find that all of these I can eventually figure out).
- OK, people are complaining it doesn't track the eye of a bird well (geez, we are in the 99%, but works for humans and dogs, cats and squirrels 😀)
- Non-Sony lenses only run at 15fps, so if you have a lot of these lenses, it's good to know.
- When you are shooting with lights, you can get banding and anti-flicker and you can tune it if you are shooting sports under artificial lights.
Tesla Model S Plaid+
Tesla Model S Plaid+ Ok, if you happen to have $139K lying around, you can order the new Tesla Model S Plaid+. This thing has over 520 miles of electric vehicle range. Plus it, it is will be faster than 1.99 seconds in 0-60mph and a top speed of 200mph (like I could ever really go that fast). Plus it has a 10TOPS media unit and three screens including a 17" in the front and then an 8" display in the back and you can use wireless controllers too. Man that's a lot for a car, but personally, I'm jonesing for a Model X Plaid+ which they have *not* launched, but that would be awesome with 7 seats and 500 mile range. Of course, the really unavailable cars then are the 500-mile Cybertruck at $70K (now seems like a real bargain!) and of course the Tesla Roadster which you can get for a cool $199.
That thing as Ryan McCaffrey said has got to have time travel in it. The main drawback is that it uses a yoke steering wheel which I personally find super cool. But apparently, it guesses whether you want to go forward or backwards. Wow, I've got to see that in action!