Sony Alpha A55 review

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

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It would be very easy to dismiss this novel design as a gimmick, but for certain photographers it will provide a real advantage. Image quality is similar to contemporary conventional SLR cameras, but the size and weight of the A55 is much reduced, making this camera ideal for those who travel extensively, or just wish their SLR was a bit smaller and lighter.

Those who use live-view for general picture taking will appreciate the fast autofocus and articulated swivel screen. The phase detection AF that performs just as well when using the screen on the rear to compose images, as when using the viewfinder. In this respect the system is an improvement over Sony's Alpha SLRs with live view, and it already has the quickest live-view AF system.

The Sony A55 isn't a camera for everyone, though. Those looking for similar continuous shooting performance to the current crop of fast frame rate SLRs will be disappointed by the viewfinder blackout after shooting and the relatively small buffer. Fast memory cards are a must if this feature is to be an advantage, but even then those issues still remain.

Given the current Sony A55 price, it may still prove to be a compelling choice if the features meet your buying criteria, due to its decent image quality at high sensitivities, compact dimensions and support for existing Sony A-mount lenses.

Features: 4

Build quality: 3
Image Quality: 4
Value: 3
Overall: 4

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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