This review is devoted to Alpha DSLR-A550 that Sony has first introduced to the public in Dec 09, 2009. This model is a Entry-Level DSLR camera with a resolution of 14.0 MP and a APS-C (23.4 x 15.6 mm) sized CMOS sensor.
This is an upgraded model that Sony released to replace their older product A100.
In Entry-Level DSLR cameras (Top 10 DSLR Cameras) this model has taken rank #76 out of 200. Its Overall Score has reached 44/100 and it takes a rank of #417 out of 1174 in all Cameras.
Now let's delve into more details of our Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 review by assessing its features and specs, as well as checking what pros and cons it has compared to other average products in this category.
In this part of our review, we are going to take a closer look at the technical specs and features presented in Sony Alpha DSLR-A550. In addition, we are going to define the main pros and cons of this model and, based on this info, compare it to other average Entry-Level DSLR cameras.
Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 has the following external dimensions 137 x 137 x 84 mm (53.94 x 40.94 x 33.07″) with the weight of 632 g.
The typical weight for average Entry-Level DSLR type cameras is 539g. If we compare the average indicator to the weight of Sony Alpha DSLR-A550, we can conclude that this model is heavier than many other similar products.
Talking about the camera’s thickness, it is worth saying that Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 is wider than other average cameras from this class. Its thickness is 84mm.
Look at the pictures below to see the front and top view of Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 with the indication of this model’s dimensions:
If you want to have a better idea of how big the Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 is, look at the pictures below to see how big it is compared to a credit card and a AA type battery.
Finally, let's check how different are the weight and thickness of the Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 compared to other models from this class of cameras presented by the brand’s competitors:
Unfortunately, Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 comes without a waterproof feature, so if you want it to serve well and last longer, you will have to use it very carefully and avoid water.
Unfortunately, Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 comes without a dustproof feature, so if you want it to serve well and last longer, you will have to use it very carefully and protect your camera from external threats such as dust.
Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 comes with Bionz processor. This model also boasts of a resolution of 14.0 MP and is equipped with a APS-C (23.4 x 15.6 mm) sized CMOS sensor.
The base of Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 has the following ISO range 200 - 12800 .
Also, this model comes with the support of the RAW file. This gives you more opportunities in terms of further processing of your files as you can pick to save them in a RAW format.
Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 features a 14.0 MP APS-C sensor, which is not a good pick for high-quality and detailed pictures. However, we have an alternative option for you if you were looking for higher resolution.
DxOMark gives us a possibility to make a clear and scientific assessment of the quality of camera sensors’ image. Sony Alpha DSLR-A550, in its turn, features a sensor that was already studied and assessed by DxO Mark. After a complete evaluation, this type of sensor has received a score of 66 for the image quality. If you are looking to see how DxO Mark has tested and evaluated the Sony Alpha DSLR-A550’s sensor.
Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 is known for the lack of anti-alias (Low-pass) filter. It is one of its essential features of the sensor built in this model. The absence of this filter contributes to a higher level of details and sharpness in the pictures you take. Yet, the lack of an anti-alias filter also enhances the possibility of more occurring in certain conditions.
Now let’s check how we can compare the size of APS-C sensor featured in Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 with other standard sensor sizes.
Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 is equipped with a Tilting 3" LCD screen. The resolution of this model’s screen reaches 922k dots.
In addition, this model comes with a built-in Optical (pentamirror) ViewFinder.
The ViewFinder in Alpha DSLR-A550 has quite nice characteristic. Its magnification ratio is 0.53x and it also provides a coverage of 95%.
Some of the main reasons why the OVF presented in this model is a handy tool are that it allows you to see a scene without any time lag or resolution limits. Besides, it also ensures the highest level of clarity that can be elaborated by the lens and the human eye. Who can benefit from this feature? The OVF is especially handy when shooting sports events. This smart system will allow photographers to see action instantly and figure out what is the right timing for capturing a specific moment.
Some of the other highlights of Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 are its 7.0 fps max speed and 1/4000 sec max shutter speed, which allow you to shoot continuously.
Alpha DSLR-A550 features both an embedded flash and a flash shoe, which means that you can use both built-in and external flashes depending on your needs.
In addition, Alpha DSLR-A550 has a Face detection AF feature that quickly finds the faces that appear within the frame range and locks the focus on them automatically.
Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 is not equipped with any ports that would allow you to connect external headphones and microphones to it.
You can connect Alpha DSLR-A550 to compatible devices via its USB 2.0 or HDMI ports.
In concordance with generally accepted CIPA standards, the battery featured in Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 provides a shooting life of 480, while the average battery life of cameras in this class is 588 shots.
With the commonly accepted standards in mind, we can conclude that Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 is above the average indicator of battery life. However, we believe it is still a great idea to grab a few extra batteries if you are planning long photo trips.
In this part of our review, we are going to focus on Sony Alpha DSLR-A550’s performance in various fields of photography. Each sub-section stands for a specific photography area. In every part, we will review Sony Alpha DSLR-A550’s name performance and give it an overall score. This first spider web graph indicates how we can compare the Alpha DSLR-A550 to the average DSLR camera.
Hover your mouse over the points to see the score details for each photography type.
After carefully reviewing how well Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 performs Portrait Photography, we gave it a score of 87. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 can be called a Great model for this type of photography.
If the score of this model doesn’t impress you and you are still looking for a model that is better suited for Portrait Photography, we recommend you to check out our Top 10 Cameras for Portrait Photography.
No Significant Disadvantages
After carefully reviewing how well Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 performs Street Photography, we gave it a score of 77. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 can be called a Strong model for this type of photography.
After carefully reviewing how well Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 performs Sports Photography, we gave it a score of 71. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 can be called a 71 model for this type of photography.
After carefully reviewing how well Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 performs Daily Photography, we gave it a score of 79. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 can be called a Strong model for this type of photography.
After carefully reviewing how well Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 performs Landscape Photography, we gave it a score of 83. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 can be called a 83 model for this type of photography.
If the score of this model doesn’t impress you and you are still looking for a model that is better suited for Landscape Photography, we recommend you to check out our Top 10 Cameras for Landscape Photography.
|Announced||Dec 09, 2009|
|Body Type||Compact SLR|
|Lens Mount||Sony/Minolta Alpha|
|Number of Lenses||141|
|Focal Length Multiplier||1.5x|
|Macro Focus Range|
|Screen Resolution||922k dots|
|ViewFinder Resolution||0k dots|
|Min Shutter Speed||30 s|
|Max Shutter Speed||1/4000 s|
|Continuous Shooting||7.0 fps|
|Manual Exposure Mode|
|Custom White Balance|
|Flash Modes||Auto, Red-Eye, Slow Sync, High Speed Sync, Rear Curtain, Fill-in, Wireless|
|DxO Sensor Scores|
|DxO Sensor Scores||66|
|DxO Color Depth||21.9|
|DxO Dynamic Range||11.8|
|DxO Low Light ISO||807|
|Sensor Dimensions||23.4 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||365.04 mm2|
|Sensor Resolution||14.0 MP|
|Max Image Resolution||4592 x 3056|
|Max Native ISO||12,800|
|Max Boosted ISO||n/a|
|Min Native ISO||200|
|AF Multi Area|
|AF Live View|
|AF Face Detection|
|AF Contrast Detection|
|AF Phase Detection|
|Number of Focus Points||9|
|Number of Cross Focus Points||n/a|
|Max Video Resolution|
|Physical Dimensions||137 x 104 x 84 mm|
|Battery Life||480 shots|
|Battery Type||480 shots|
|Storage Type||SD/ SDHC, Memory Stick Pro Duo/ Pro-HG Duo|