Sony Alpha A55 review

  • £800

The first DSLR to use a translucent mirror is part of a new breed of digital cameras

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Metering is provided by the main imaging sensor and the image area is separated into 1200 zones during evaluative metering. Evenly lit scenes tend to be exposed a little on the bright side, leading to washed out colours, so it pays to keep an eye on the histogram and apply compensation accordingly. Centre weighted and spot metering modes are also provided. A circle showing the area the light reading is taken from is shown on-screen during spot metering, which is a nice touch.

Colours are vibrant, even when using the standard picture style. If more colour is required then the landscape and vivid styles should satisfy most. Even when not using the dynamic range optimiser feature, the Sony A55 produces images with excellent dynamic range. Where highlights do blow out, the roll off into white is smooth and subtle, giving a pleasant film-like appearance.

As the translucent mirror reduces the amount of light available for imaging by a third, the sensor really needs to be good at controlling noise, and luckily it is. There are no significant signs of noise in the shadows until ISO 1600 and even ISO 12800 should be very usable for all but the largest print sizes.

Images produced by the camera appear a little softer than images produced by other contemporary cameras and a little extra sharpening, either in-camera, or afterwards in image editing software may be required subject to taste.

Sony Alpha A55 ISO performance

JPEGs

ISO 100

Sony A55 Review: 0.8secs at f/11, ISO 100

ISO 100

Sony A55 Review: ISO 100 (Click to view full size)

ISO 200

Sony A55 Review: ISO 200 (Click to view full size)

ISO 400

Sony A55 Review: ISO 400 (Click to view full size)

ISO 800

Sony A55 Review: ISO 800 (Click to view full size)

ISO 1600

Sony A55 Review: ISO 1600 (Click to view full size)

ISO 3200

Sony A55 Review: ISO 3200 (Click to view full size)

ISO 6400

Sony A55 Review: ISO 6400 (Click to view full size)

ISO 12800

Sony A55 Review: ISO 12,800 (Click to view full size)

Raw Files

ISO 100 raw

Sony A55 Review: ISO 100 (Click to view full size)

ISO 200 raw

Sony A55 Review: ISO 200 (Click to view full size)

ISO 400 raw

Sony A55 Review: ISO 400 (Click to view full size)

ISO 800 raw

Sony A55 Review: ISO 800 (Click to view full size)

ISO 1600 raw

Sony A55 Review: ISO 1600 (Click to view full size)

ISO 3200 raw

Sony A55 Review: ISO 3200 (Click to view full size)

ISO 6400 raw

Sony A55 Review: ISO 6400 (Click to view full size)

ISO 12800

Sony A55 Review: ISO 12,800 (Click to view full size)

Tech Specs

Product TypeDigital SLT Camera with Lens
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Effective Camera Resolution16.2 Megapixel
GPSYes
USBYes
HDMIYes
Wide AngleNo
PictBridgeNo
Product Familyalpha
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo
Optical Zoom3.1x, 3.1x (Lens 1) - 3.6x (Lens 2)
Brand NameSony
FeaturesFace Detection, Smile Detection, Manual White Balance, Aperture Priority, Live View, External Flash Shoe, Continuous Shooting Mode
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMP4
Viewfinder TypeElectronic
Weight (Approximate)441 g
Image Sensor Size23.50 mm x 15.60 mm
Maximum Image Resolution4912 x 3264
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height92 mm
Width124.4 mm
Depth84.7 mm
Focal Length18 mm to 55 mm (Lens 1) - 55 mm to 200 mm (Lens 2)
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product ModelSLT-A55
Product Namealpha SLT-A55 Digital SLT Camera
Product Linealpha
Exposure Control
  • Program Auto
  • Shutter Priority
  • Aperture Priority
  • Manual
Manufacturer Part NumberSLTA55VY.CEH
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing Information

Never miss another moment, however fleeting. Discover a new world of lightning-quick shooting responses and smooth, accurate autofocus tracking - even with moving objects. Capture beautiful videos in detail-packed Full HD. All in a light, compact camera that's easy to carry.

Package Contents
  • alpha SLT-A55 Digital SLT Camera
  • NP-FW50 Battery
  • SAL-1855 Lens
  • SAL-55200-2 Lens
Limited Warranty1 Year