Sony Alpha turns 10.

A decade is a significant milestone in any industry, and for photography enthusiasts, it marks a journey of innovation and excellence. Alpha, Sony's renowned line of digital cameras, has made a remarkable impact over the past ten years.

The a100 (DSLR-A100) was the first digital single-lens reflex camera (DSLR) marketed by Sony in 2006.


In 2010, Sony officially rebranded its digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras to "Sony Alpha." This move marked the beginning of an era that would forever change the photography landscape. Sony was already renowned as a world leader in electronics, and the introduction of the Alpha series signalled a strong commitment to the world of digital photography.

One of the most significant contributions of Sony Alpha to the world of photography was the introduction of mirrorless cameras in 2010. The Alpha NEX-3 and NEX-5 brought a new level of portability and versatility, thanks to their compact design and exceptional image quality. The removal of the traditional mirror mechanism was a game-changer.

The NEX-5 (above) and the NEX-3 introduced mirrorless technology into the fray, bringing speed and a significant reduction in size.

Then in 2013, Sony launched the Alpha 7 series with the A7 and A7R. These full-frame mirrorless cameras were compact, lightweight, and offered outstanding image quality. They quickly gained popularity amongst both amateur and professional photographers, setting a new standard for what mirrorless cameras could achieve. The A7S followed 6 months later, laying the fundamentals that defined the range for years to come.

The launch of the now legendary A7 series moved Sony's imaging into the Full-Frame world.

The A7 was the basic model in the full frame range, the A7R offered high resolution giving the ultimate detail in photography and the A7S brought sensitivity, offering 12 large megapixels, perfect for video and stills in low and mixed light settings to reduce noise in the image.

Throughout the past decade, Sony Alpha cameras have been at the forefront of technological innovation. In-body image stabilisation, industry-leading autofocus systems, and 4K video recording capabilities have consistently pushed the boundaries of what photographers and videographers can achieve with their kit.

Sony then launched the A9 in 2017, which changed the landscape again. This time, the A9 ushered in the ability to capture 20 frames per second at 24 megapixels whilst checking focus and lighting settings automatically between each shot. For our sports and news photographers this was amazing, and very quickly professionals started the switch to Sony in increasing numbers.

The Sony a9 introduced 'Blackout-free shooting', enabling an uninterrupted view of the subject, even during shutter release.

The innovation didn’t stop at cameras bodies. Sony continually improved the lens line-up and launched the GMaster range of lenses which offered ground-breaking resolution, with the promise that the quality of the lenses did not limit the quality of the camera performance now or in the future. The comprehensive lens lineup now stands at over 70 lenses, providing photographers with a wide range of options to suit various shooting scenarios. From wide-angle primes to telephoto zooms, Sony ensures there's a lens for every creative vision.

The bar was raised higher again in 2021 with the introduction of the Alpha 1, which combined high resolution 50 megapixel images with a speed of 30 Frames per second. This astonishing camera is still selling in huge numbers and allows photographers to select the exact shot that captures the moment perfectly.

A black camera with a large lens

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Unveiled in 2021, the a1 brought a host of strengths, from resolution and speed to unrivalled auto-focus.

Sony’s latest Xperia 1 V flagship smartphone was co-developed with the engineers behind the latest Alpha 1 series cameras, renowned for their industry-leading autofocus technology, and with input from professional photographers, who helped tune the technology and refine the photographic experience and results. So, just as Alpha photographers expect the same performance in any lens, the Xperia 1 V offers the same AF capabilities across all its lenses. Users can also combine Xperia with their Alpha camera for an even more effortless creative experience, allowing them to control Alpha from their Xperia, use it as an external monitor, and share their Alpha photos online within moments of shooting them – it’s an unmatched synergy only possible with Sony.

Xperia smartphones are packed with the same advanced camera technology and know-how that underpins Sony's professional camera line-up.

As we celebrate a decade of Sony Alpha full frame, the future looks promising. Sony's engineers never stop working to drive innovation and their excellence means the excitement of what comes next never diminishes.

You can find the current Sony Alpha range, here – don’t forget, our Sony Experts are available instore, on the phone and via the convenient Sony Centre chat, too!