Our Sony a1 review has an exciting update!
There is no doubt in our mind that the Sony a1 is one of the best cameras around. Over time, we called it back to test it with different lenses. All of our staff agree that he’s a pretty stellar performer. But recently I decided to give the autofocus test a more demanding test. Specifically, I tested it for bird photography using Tamron’s 70-300mm f4.5-6.3 and Sony’s 400mm f2.8 G Master. And I’m not just talking about photographing birds that are still or in flight. No, we’re talking about something much more action-packed!
It occurred to us that some of the most fascinating and impressive photos of birds are taken when they do something we don’t often see. So when I put up a bird feeder, I thought I would bring in some peaceful birds. Indeed, this is what happened for a long time. But eventually, more and more birds passed. And this is where things got a little spicy.
Below is the updated text of our Sony a1 review. You can click here to read it all. Again we used the sony a1, Sony 400mm f2.8G Masterand the Tamron 70-300mm f4.5-6.3 which can be purchased using our links.
Updated: August 2022
Many of the bird shots we often see with the Sony a1 are quite static. And let’s be honest, it’s easy for a system to do. But how about following the birds? Tracking birds in flight is more difficult to do, but it is possible. So we decided to do a real test to push the limits of the Sony a1.
On my balcony in New York, I have a bird feeder. After changing the type of seed I put in, it started to attract a variety of species from my neighborhood. I use it as an easy way to get birds to me instead of going out looking for them. After all, I am legally blind; finding birds in the trees is difficult. My hearing is better than normal and I can often focus on the general location of birds, but I can’t always find them. And if you point a camera with bird detection at a tree, it will likely find branches instead of the bird. So you have to give him some help.
But without any obstructions, the Sony a1 was able to lock onto the fighting birds. For this test, I used both the Sony 400mm f2.8 G Master lens and the Tamron 70-300mm f4.5-6.3 VC lens. Both are great birding options, and I started to see how good they were after this test.
As I took out the food, the birds started fighting. So I put the Sony a1 in AF-C mode and shot in burst mode set to both medium, high and high+. Although not all shots were keeper shots, I was able to take about four great shots for every ten shots. The Sony a1 would follow house sparrows, pigeons and mourning doves as they battled for seed and dominance. The result is quite a dramatic photograph.
Take a look below.
I should note that I did this test against the Canon EOS R5 and the OM System OM1. Both cameras held their own with the Sony a1, which is a much more expensive camera. If anything, our staff universally agrees that Canon does a better job with bird tracking.