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September 20, 2009

Rumor: Sony A1R mega-DSLR with 35-megapixel full-frame sensor says FotoActualidad

There is a dramatic rumor at Foto Actualidad. A Sony Alpha A1R dSLR featuring a 35-megapixel (thirty-five) CCD SuperHAD II sensor and a dual-core BIONZ engine! This is a 35mm full-frame sensor.

They also point to a scan via flickr, but the image (of camera body?) is apparently either removed or not available.

Other notable features include
+ sensor-shift stabilization
+ two CompactFlash slots
+ 3-inch LCD (921K)
+ 3fps burst mode

Remember 3fps at 35mp = 105mp throughput per second, which (other things equal) would be the throughput equivalent of 10.5fps for a 10mp sensor. So 3fps may sound "turtle-ish", but it's a lot of data to process and haul around :) Is dual-core enough to keep up with a 35mp camera? Perhaps there is a need for a quad-core engine! :)


Is it real?
We do not know that answer, but there is one point of note: According to the rumor above, the A1R uses the NP-FM500H battery, with a 950 CIPA estimate. The same battery is used on the Alpha A850 with a CIPA estimate of 880 shots, 950 shots on the Alpha A550 and 1000 shots on the Alpha A500.

One does not have to be rocket scientist to understand that a bigger camera with more megapixels eats up more power per shot. So, given the same battery, the CIPA estimate of the A1R should have been lower than 880.

However, there could be advances in power-management that would allow the camera to squeeze more out of its battery. Especially since the A850 is more an A900 lite, while the A1R may be based on a next-gen platform.

So this is something to keep in mind, but certainly not conclusive either way!


Opinion/Commentary/Speculation
There is a certain symmetry to this and a subtle homage to the 35mm world. A 35-megapixel camera with a 35mm full-frame sensor.

The proper typeface is A1 with smaller font-size "R", which has a certain ironinc hipster-twist to it - a rumored product with a name that almost reads like "AIR" :)


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