Cameras, Lenses, Flashes, Photos from Flickr

Sony SLT-A55

Info

Announced: 1 Aug 2010
Mount: Sony A-mount
Price: MYR 2699
Discontinued

Overview

  • Reliably good image quality at lower sensitivities
  • High ISO JPEG output usable up to ISO 12800 for smaller prints
  • Excellent LCD and good EVF, with efficient automatic switch.
  • Versatile and capable (for its class) 15-point AF system
  • Accurate metering and focus
  • Very Good JPEG resolution
  • Very good (almost 9EV) dynamic range
  • Good quality HD video output
  • Swivel-screen useful for overhead- and video shooting
  • Good ergonomics all around, good build quality, nice handling
  • Very compact design
  • Excellent digital level gauge in EVF/LCD
  • Useful Fn menu allows direct access to many important settings
  • Very usable manual focus mode (including up to 15x image magnification)
  • Lots of cool features - 10fps, Auto HDR, Multi-shot NR etc., (automatically selected in Auto+ mode)
  • Auto+ mode makes the various continuous shooting modes (see above) available to novices
  • Efficient image stabilization system
  • Built-in GPS handy for organising images (though it can struggle in built-up areas)
  • Frequently Used Products

    Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM 

    Format: Crop

    Discontinued

    Sony SAL-100M28 100mm f/2.8 Macro 

    Format: Full-Frame

    Sony SAL-18200 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DT 

    Format: Crop

    Discontinued

    Sony SAL-1870 AF DT 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6(D)  

    Format: Crop

    Discontinued

    Sony SAL-1855 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 SAM 

    Format: Full-Frame

    Sony SAL-30M28 30mm f/2.8 Macro DT SAM 

    Format: Crop

    Announced: 31 Aug 2009

    Tokina AT-X 840 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 AF D 

    Format: Full-Frame

    Discontinued

    Photos

    Telephoto

    F 150 mm A f/8.0 S 1/250 I 500
    F 250 mm A f/6.3 S 1/400 I 400
    F 100 mm A f/10.0 S 1/160 I 320
    F 210 mm A f/8.0 S 1/400 I 400

    Fisheye

    F 10 mm A f/3.5 S 1/400 I 100
    F 10 mm A f/2.8 S 1/13 I 200
    F 10 mm A f/2.8 S 1/4000 I 100
    F 10 mm A f/10.0 S 1/250 I 100

    Article

    If you like to live on the edge, this Sony DSLR SLT-A55 Digital Camera will take you to the leading edge of DSLR technology, with the first-ever translucent mirror design. For the first time, a high-resolution live image preview with rapid, accurate phase detection autofocus is available at all times–via the LCD or the electronic viewfinder. This means that even moving objects stay in sharp focus at all times, whether you’re shooting full HD video or stills.

    That’s not all the A55 has to offer, though. It’s got 16.2MP of high resolution captured on an APS-C size HD CMOS image sensor, built-in GPS that records the location and time of every shot you take and lets you view your images on a map (with compatible computer and Internet applications), an incredibly sharp, bright 3″ tiltable LCD screen with 921,000 dots, built-in flash, full HD 1080/60i video, a fabulous 3D panorama mode that combines 3 pictures into a 3D image, and up to 10 frames per second continuous shooting.

    With the image stabilization, Hand-held Night Shot mode, Multi-frame NR mode (which takes 6 photos in rapid succession and uses the best data from each to create 1 stunning picture), and sensitivity up to ISO 25600, you won’t ever have to miss a picture due to darkness again.

    Face Detection recognizes faces and optimizes exposure and focus for them, Smile Shutter takes the picture only when it detects the subject smiling. There’s also an automatic HDR mode which take 3 photos of a high-contrast situation, and melds the highlight, shadow and mid-tone data together to create 1 optimal photo. Of course the A55 also has creative modes such as Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, B/W (Contrast, Saturation, Sharpness adjustable in +/-3 steps), Macro, Sports Action, Night Portrait, and many more.

    Read more

    Reviews

    Sony A55 in-depth review by DPReview.com

    Conclusion – Pros

    • Reliably good image quality at lower sensitivities
    • High ISO JPEG output usable up to ISO 12800 for smaller prints
    • Excellent LCD and good EVF, with efficient automatic switch.
    • Versatile and capable (for its class) 15-point AF system
    • Accurate metering and focus
    • Very Good JPEG resolution
    • Very good (almost 9EV) dynamic range
    • Good quality HD video output
    • Swivel-screen useful for overhead- and video shooting
    • Good ergonomics all around, good build quality, nice handling
    • Very compact design
    • Excellent digital level gauge in EVF/LCD
    • Useful Fn menu allows direct access to many important settings
    • Very usable manual focus mode (including up to 15x image magnification)
    • Lots of cool features – 10fps, Auto HDR, Multi-shot NR etc., (automatically selected in Auto+ mode)
    • Auto+ mode makes the various continuous shooting modes (see above) available to novices
    • Efficient image stabilization system
    • Built-in GPS handy for organising images (though it can struggle in built-up areas)

    Conclusion – Cons

    • Limited control in 10fps and movie modes
    • AF system not quite up to capturing fast action
    • No live view in 10fps/6fps shooting makes panning almost impossible
    • Slow (50 seconds) buffer clear time (RAW-mode)
    • Little control over high ISO noise reduction in JPEG mode (‘auto’ or ‘weak’)
    • Visible loss of detail at anything over ISO 400 in JPEG mode (noise reduction too strong)
    • Menu system a little confusing (hard to orientate yourself sometimes)
    • ‘Ghosting’ can be an issue in certain scenes (clipped specular highlights against dark backgrounds)
    • EVF slightly more prone to RGB ‘tearing’ than competitors
    • Image review not separately configurable for EVF and LCD
    • Awkward to navigate between stills and movie playback modes
    • LCD unusually prone to finger prints and smearing (reducing visibility in very bright light)

    Overall conclusion

    Arguably, the age of the consumer-level DSLR dawned in 2000 with the Canon EOS D30, and although a lot has happened in the intervening decade – higher and higher pixel counts, huge improvements in low-light image quality, speed and usability – much has remained the same. A surprising amount, actually. Mechanically, today’s DSLRs operate in exactly the same way as their film predecessors. A Sony Alpha A900 might look very different to a Pentax Spotmatic, but the basic principles of their operation are the same.

    The Sony Alpha SLT A55 and A33 are completely new designs which offer several key advantages over ‘traditional’ DSLR technology. Their large, bright EVFs are at least a match for conventional optical finders in many situations (and better than the finders in the majority of entry-level DSLRs) and full-time phase-detection AF in movie mode is a revelation compared to the slow, clunky contrast-detection focusing that we’ve become used to in live view from some other cameras.

    The ‘headline’ 10fps shooting mode is useful in some situations, but ultimately we can’t help feeling that it is something of a red herring. The A55 is an excellent camera but it is not the ideal tool for shooting fast action. The limitations of using the 10fps mode – (no live view updates, no aperture control if you want AF during the burst) limit its effectiveness, and although it is good for its class, the A55’s 15-point AF system is not in the same league as higher-end cameras when it comes to predictive focusing. This shouldn’t be taken as a serious criticism (the A55 is after all a mid-range camera), but anyone looking for EOS-1D Mark IV AF performance on a budget will be disappointed.

    Sony Alpha SLT-A33 and A55 Overview by imaging-resource.com

    Pro:

    • Extremely fast continuous-mode shooting at full resolution/image quality
      (High-speed shooting isn’t just for sports; is a real benefit for candid/kid photography as well)
    • Live phase-detect autofocus during video recording
    • True (100% frame-accurate) main-sensor live view system
    • Competent 15-point AF system, better than average for its class
    • Good AF tracking during high-speed shooting and video
    • Excellent EVF image quality; among of the best we’ve seen
    • Very large, spacious viewfinder image in the EVF
    • EVF Data readouts, AF points, grid, and unique dual-axis level indicator are all excellent
    • Nicely-done digital level gauge; nice that it’s available in EVF (difficult to do with conventional optical viewfinder)
    • Excellent rear-panel LCD, with swivel for down-low and overhead shooting
    • “Sunny Weather” brightness setting on LCD is first time we’ve really been able to see LCD images in bright sunlight
    • Handheld twilight and multi-shot ISO modes are real breakthroughs in available-light SLR photography
    • Good body-based image stabilization system further extends low-light capabilities
    • New Auto+ mode makes multi-shot exposure modes accessible for novice users
    • Very good resolution/detail overall
    • Excellent image noise characteristics (very similar to NEX series), but noise suppression loses detail at higher ISOs
    • Sweep Panorama is great for landscape and other vacation photography
    • 15x magnified live view option is great for checking focus
    • Quiet, unobtusive shutter sound (no mirror slap)
    • Very good movie quality, in both MPEG and AVCHD modes
    • Good function menu layout; settings changes via control dial is nice/efficient
    • Very compact yet comfortable body design, even for larger hands; sculpted thumb rest makes for a secure grip
    • Solid body feel, good build quality

    Con:

    • More exposure variability than we like to see
    • Overexposure bias in metering system under bright/high-key conditions
    • Maddening black-screen delay (15 seconds) after filling buffer, before you can review any photos, total buffer clearing time is very slow.
    • Short battery life
    • Best-of-breed EVF still doesn’t match optical viewfinder for highlight/shadow visibility
    • Succession-of-stills viewfinder images can make subject tracking difficult during high-speed shooting sequences
    • Time-multiplexed EVF display sometimes produces RGB “rainbows” with rapid eye, camera, or subject movement
    • Autofocus a little quick to jump to the background, if the AF point leaves the subject momentarily
    • Limited/no aperture control during high-speed burst or video recording
    • Lens AF actuation noise very prominent in audio track of videos
    • Sunny-Weather LCD brightness setting does lose highlight detail (hard to avoid, though, given how bright it is)
    • Modal playback showing only stills or videos (but never both together) is awkward
    • Viewer software (Image Data Lightbox SR version 2.2) is very buggy under Mac OS X 10.6
    • Fixed screen brightness in magnified live view can make it difficult to check focus on highlight and shadow areas
    • Video frame rate from sensor is 30p, frame-doubled to 1080/60i output
    • Very good body/grip design, but the small body can still be tiring when shooting with large lenses

    Malaysia Prices

    Date Store Price (MYR) Warranty Note
    18 Apr 2012 Shashinki 2699 Official DT 18-55mm SAM kit
    18 Apr 2012 Shashinki 2259 Official
    30 Dec 2011 Bintang Electronics (BB Plaza) 3580 Official DT 16-105mm kit
    30 Dec 2011 Bintang Electronics (BB Plaza) 2480 Official DT 18-55mm SAM kit
    30 Dec 2011 Bintang Electronics (BB Plaza) 2150 Official