Sony Alpha SLT-A55 Summary
Sony Alpha SLT-A55 Assessment
The Sony Alpha SLT-A55 is an excellent alternative to a DSLR, acquiring most of their advantages, some unique abilities with very little downsides. Externally, the SLT-A55 is a lot like an entry-level DSLR, with a price to match. Its design though, which includes a translucent mirror, lets it perform phase-detect AF during exposures and video. No other ILC can shoot 1080p video while focusing so quickly. High-speed continuous shooting up to 10 FPS complete headline features.
Photographically speaking, the biggest difference between the SLT-A55 and a DSLR is even more important than its feature set. Instead of using a reflex viewfinder, the A55 sports a state-of-the-art EVF with 1.4 million pixels. This viewfinder gives a true Live-View experience with a large exposure-priority view that shows 100% coverage. The EVF itself is sharp enough to show focus normally but it can be magnified to adjust focus with more precision.
The performance of the A55 is very good. Images do show more noise-reduction than desirable but are highly usable with accurate colors, good conservative metering and plenty of details until high sensitivities. The AWB system is certainly the only problematic aspect of this digital camera.
The feature set is clearly aimed at beginners, so this camera is not for everyone but video enthusiasts will not be able to find a more capable filming device other than a dedicated camcorder. Moving up from a fixed-lens digital camera to the Alpha SLT-A55 is also an excellent option, as it offers much improved image quality and performance without losing the exposure-priority display.
|Good resolution and sharpness||High-ISO softness due to NR|
|Lower than average image noise||AWB struggles more than usual|
|Good color accuracy||Indistinct EC button|
|Conservative metering||Tiny video crop-marks|
|Speedy and accurate autofocus||1s Delay starting video recording|
|Very effective image stabilization||1s Delay stopping video recording|
|Excellent large and detailed EVF||Eye-Start AF triggers too often|
|True exposure-priority Live-View||Delicate translucent mirror|
|Fantastic Eye-Start sensor||Gap below mirror lets dust in|
|Phase-Detect AF-C while recording video||No way to use 1/2 EV stops|
|AF-C during continuous drive up to 10 FPS||Histogram and level views show little info|
|Excellent dual-axis digital-level||Difficult Sweep Panorama framing|
|Fast and responsive||GPS not so reliable|
|Nice build quality||Weak LCD hinge|
|Good ergonomics, protruding EVF|
|Phase-Detect AF during video recording|
Sony SLT-A55 Highlights
Sensor-Size: 24 x 16mm
Actual size when viewed at 100 DPI
|16 Megapixels Mirrorless||ISO 100-25600|
|Sony A Mount|
|2-Axis Built-in Stabilization||Full manual controls, including Manual Focus|
|0.46" Built-in EVF 1.4 Megapixels (0.73X)||Custom white-balance with 1 axis fine-tuning|
|Automatic Eye-Start sensor||Spot-Metering|
|2 Axis Digital Level||Hot-Shoe|
|Built-in Dust Reduction||Stereo audio input|
|10 FPS Drive, 35 Images||Lithium-Ion Battery|
|1920x1080 @ 30 FPS Video Recording||Secure Digital Extended Capacity|
|3" LCD 920K Pixels||Memory Stick Duo|
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