Sony alpha SLT-A55VL Digital Camera

ReviewGist
Score

What does the 23% ReviewGist Score mean?

Sony Alpha SLT-A55 is a not recommended buy as per the ReviewGist score of 23%. This is because even though the Sony Alpha SLT-A55 has garnered excellent reviews from most reviewers, it might not come with the latest specifications as it is a relatively very old model.

  • Excellent ratings from over 39 review sources with an average rating of 4.0 stars. Top review sources include Imaging-Resource.com, CNet.com(3.5 stars), Amazon.com(5.0 stars) and Amazon.com(5.0 stars).
  • Released 4 years 5 months ago (Aug 2010) which makes it one of the very old digital cameras in the market.

Specs

Key Features
Camera Type SLR/Professional
Image Sensor Type CMOS
Optical Zoom 3.0 x
Resolution 16.7 Megapixel
LCD Screen Size 3.0 in.
HD Recording Format 1080i (HDTV)
Lens
Focal Length 18 - 55 mm
Focus Type Autofocus, Manual Focus, Continuous AF
Interchangeable Lens Interchangeable Lens
35mm Zoom Lens 27 - 82.5 mm
Image Quality
Camera Resolution 16.7 Megapixel
Image Resolutions 2048 x 1536, 640 x 480, 1600 x 1200, 1280 x 960, 1024 x 768
Image Sensor Size 28.2 mm
Video
Video Format AVI
Video Resolutions 640 x 480 (VGA), 1280 x 720, 1920 x 1080
Video Speed 25.0 fps
Exposure Control
Frames Per Second 10.0 Frames
Shutter Speed 30 - 1/4000 sec
White Balance Auto, Daylight / Sunny (Preset), Cloudy (Preset), Manual
Min. ISO Speed 100.0
Max. ISO Speed 12800.0
Storage
Compression Modes Fine
Compression Type JPEG
Memory Type SD Card, SDHC Card
Flash
Flash Functions Auto Flash, Red-eye Reduction Flash, Flash Off, Fill-in Flash
Flash Type Auto, Flash Off, Fill-in mode, Built-In, Forced On
ISO Speeds Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800
" data-original-title="LCD Panel" >
Viewfinder / Display
LCD Panel LCD Panel
LCD Panel Size 3.0 in.
Viewfinder Digital
Interfaces
Interface Type USB 2.0
Video Interface Video Out
Power Supply
Battery Life 330.0 Images
Battery Type Proprietary Lithium
Included Features
Self Timer 10 Sec, 2 Sec
Dimensions
Depth 3.33 in.
Height 3.62 in.
Weight 0.97 lb.
Width 4.89 in.
Warranty
Warranty 1 Year
Miscellaneous
Exterior Color Black
Family Line Sony Alpha DSLR
Included Accessories Software
MPN SLTA55VL
Product ID 105849964
Release Date 1August,2010
UPC 27242798816
ReviewGist ID 63077,105849964, 120186870
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Manufacturer Description

16.2 Megapixel, Point and Shoot Camera, 3 in. LCD Screen, Weight: 0.97 lb.
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Video

Report

ReviewGist Report for Sony Alpha SLT-A55


Overview

Released on August 2010 the Sony Alpha SLT-A55 is the next in line from the Sony's alpha family of interchangeable lens cameras. In this report we note the big hardware innovations that Sony has released with the A-55 and look at how they fared on the field as some of the experts test out the A55. We look at 24 different reviews from digital camera experts including some of the most prominent ones like Imaging Resource, CNet, PC Mag and the famed DP Review, and then summarize their buying advice on the Alpha A55.


What the Manufacturer Says

The A-55 is the first camera from the Sony stable to employ what Sony calls the 'Translucent Mirror Technology'. The Translucent Mirror Technology enables a fast and accurate phase detect auto-focus by splitting the optical pathway between the main image sensor and a separate phase-detection auto-focus sensor. The primary advantage of the Translucent Mirror Technology is a high-resolution live image preview with a fast and accurate phase detect autofocus available at all times through the LCD or the electronic view finder.


The A-55 also supports a large size Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor which should aide in much better HD video footage.

The other big highlights of the A-55 are as follows:
1. Seamless auto-tagging through a built-in GPS.
2. A 3D Sweep Panorama mode with a huge field of view.
3. Compatible with the full range of over 30 A-mount interchangeable lenses.
4. SteadyShot in-body image stabilisation system.
5. Multi-frame Noise Reduction which combines six high burst frames to create a dramatically reduced noise exposure to increase effective ISO levels to as high as 25600.


What the Reviews Say

Image quality and color accuracy seems to stand out for the A-55 across the board. Every expert supports the claim, including DP Review, Imaging Resource, PC Mag and PC World. DP Review also finds it decently good at lower ISO levels however they find some loss of detail over ISO 400 in JPEG mode. The image stabilization is also very effective and earns high praise from the reviewers at Neo Camera.


Almost all experts have lauded the excellent shooting speed of the A-55. Even though they do point out that this is not the best money can buy, but at this price point this is the best in the market. The HD quality is also pretty good according to most reviewers, however PC Mag does report a quirk that the video capture often comes in with some audible lens noise.


The Autofocus is the biggest highlight of the A-55. According to most experts the speed and accuracy of the autofocus is simply unmatched in the market today. The high speed autofocus is complemented by what experts found to be a very good electronic view finder - however there was some cribbing about the lack of an optical view finder.


The A-55 comes in a solid build, with great ergonomics and handling according to most experts. CNet though did note a minor quibble and claimed the A-55 to be too small to hold comfortably. Most reviewers very happy with the user friendly and easy controls and found the swivel LCD to be extremely sharp. Even though the LCD received high praise from all quarters, the reviewers at About.com complained about some glare in decent sunlight.


We were not able to get a lot of opinions as far as the battery life is concerned, barring CNet, who were not too happy with it. However, as most other reviewer didn't complain too much, this is most likely a minor issue.



The 'ReviewGist'

The Sony's Translucent Mirror Technology enabled Quick AF system delivers good on its promise and comes out, according to experts, a never before seen speed and an extremely accurate autofocus. The Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor also does it bit and has the experts raving about the superior video quality.

The Sony Alpha A-55 is the complete package combining excellent images, great video and ease to use in an extremely compact package. The only thing which might tick you off is the lack of an optical view finder.


Buying Advice

The Sony Alpha A-55 is a very good bet for the entry-to-enthusiast crowd who want the latest features in a compact package. Even though the HD movie footage is top notch and the autofocus great for fast moving scenes, it should be noted that this is not really a replacement for your pro-level sports DSLRs.

Additionally, the typical point-and-shoot upgraders would do well to check out the the Sony Nex-5 which might offer a good enough deal (albeit lacking the autofocussing goodness) in a much cheaper package.