13 October 2009

Sony Alpha a550 DSLR launched in Langkawi Malaysia

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Note : no prices were mention @ the launch ... it would be safe to assume the price of RM3,299.00 with kit lens and sub RM3k for body only.

My first encounter with the Sony Alpha a550 was a couple months back when the unit just arrived in Malaysia, initially i do not have big expectation for the cam and I thought this would just be another "upgrade" as in ... different clothing but same shit underneath kinda upgrade and boy! Am I wrong!!!

Sony Alpha a550 with vertical grip.

I spend a couple hours with the Sony Alpha a550 and i placed an order for it at the end of my review. Thats prolly the first order for A550 they ever received lol!

The Sony Alpha a550 with battery grip removed.

The ergonomic part of the camera is simply stunning! The moment i pick it up I never really felt akward ... you know the feeling of picking up a new camera rite? but not with this one .... the grip is made of rubbers so its good ... non slip and comfy.

another profile shot of this handsome guy

Side by side comparison between an Sony Alpha a200 and the Sony Alpha a550

a Basket shamelessly camwhoring with a Sony Alpha a550

The Sony Alpha a550 is just about 10-20% bigger than the Alpha a200 but weight wise .... i could not really feel any differences between the 2, I been running around Pulau Langkawi with the sony Alpha A550 for 2 days and still I did not notice any different in weight. So i think the 60+ grams wont be a problem to most people anyway.

Heck ... even a piece of hotdog is heavier than 60 grams!

Sony Alpha a550 Control buttons for MF check LV, D-range, Drive mode, ISO and live view.

Do me a favor ... stare the photo above for a few good secs ... tell me what you see! yes D-Range and MF check LV switch! Yep!!! That were the MAIN feature is on ... HDR and DRO man u gonna love it! Will blog bout HDR and other features in the next post. I reserve this one strictly for the body itself and the next one on the types of stunning images u can get from this baby!

This is where the rest of the buttons are located ...

Another major improvements of the Sony Alpha a550 is the relocation of most of the "most used" buttons as compares to the a200 and a300 series ... those "most used" buttons is now more accessible and reachable with by your thumbs and making switch mode and WB tweaking so much easier.

The Sony Alpha a550 On-Off switch is somewhat similar to the ones on the new Alpha A230, A350 and A380.

The location of the dial were moved to further front as compares to the position of the dial in my Alpha a200. this will takes a little getting use to, prolly 1 day at max and after that you will be shooting like a pro already, little thing like this do not devalue a GREAT dslr camera!

The Sony Alpha a550 AF-MF switch, remote control, mini usb and HDMI ports

Dual card slot, this baby can either take SD card or SDHC card giving you another reason to shoot more and wont be running short of memory.

Too bad I cant use my Cf cards with the sony Alpha a550, but on the bright side .. 2 slots is better than 1! Gimme 2 slots anytime!

Sony Alpha a550 comes with a DC-in port just in case you decided to do most of your heavy duty shooting indoor.

VG-B50AM vertical battery grip for Sony Alpha a550

At a glance the VG-B50AM vertical battery grip is almost identical to the VG-B30AM used in the a200-a300 series.

Built in flash of the Sony Alpha a550 ... GN12 ADi enabled

built in flash height were improved, I am sure there will be no more shadow occuring in the photos at this height, like what i used to experience in my A200. At first i thot there is a kid ghost following everywhere and i caught the top part of his head in my photos! Its that scary!

Tilt screen were improved too! The new tilt screen can do more degree than the one on the A300 series. For those who havent got the chance to use tilt screen before (those from a100 and a200 series) the tilt LCD screen will open a whole new world of creativity for you! Mark my word!

New GUI on the high res LCD

Face detection

Everything is so much more accesible compared tot he a200 and a300 series.

7 fps high speed mode!


MF check LV ... 14x digital zoom ... its a macro head dream!!!

Another interactive GUI which helps you to understand the realtionship between shutter speed and aperture plus the fact how this 2 thing will effect your photos outcome.

And this is a comparison on the ISO performance on the all new Sony Alpha A550!

In case you dont really know what I am babbling about (lol!) here is a list of cool stuffs about the Sony alpha a550!

  1. 1. A550 comes with Exmor Cmos sensor with built in noise control .. freaking awesome!
  2. 2. New Bionz processor ... yes its newest Bionz processor n freaking fast too!
  3. 3. Built in HDR (the ability to take 2 pics of differect exposure and combined them into 1 pic. Never before this feature were made available in a dslr body ... this is the first one! Setting a new standard in the DSLR cams!
  4. 4. 7fps .. yup a 7 frame per secind sub RM3k cam ... where the hell u can find such a cam with this kinda bargain price?!
  5. 5. Dual Live view sensors - U can use the fast live view sensors or the actual exmor cmos sensor! both serve different purpose and no other dslr can do this neither! Macro head will go gaga over this!
  6. 6. High Res Tilt LCD screen FTW!!!
  7. 7. 14x in body digital zoom for macro photography
  8. 8. Smile detection .. yup u heard me rite ... and the response is freaking fast ... it will start snapping the moment it detects a smile no matter how small a smile lol! Its proven!
  9. 9. face detection ... this is not the ordinary kinda face detection ... while detecting a face it also do all kinda adjustment to your cam to make sure u captured a natural looking face and not a ghost like image! LOL
  10. 10. 3D face tracking (visible thru live view) .... move your cam around after u locked on to your subject ... the focus will follow your movement as long as the face remain in the screen la.
  11. 11. Max ISO @ 12800 need i say more?
  12. 12. DRO - from auto to lvl 5 this feature is simply a stunning to have ... u will now no longer be getting dark faces/photos just because the sun is shinning at your cam directly.
  13. 13. Go get one for yourself and tell me what i missed OUT!!! LOL!
Ok now back to boring shit ... the specs ... i hope u can make some sense outta reading specs bcoz i m not cut out to read specs wan! lol

Model:Alpha A550
Date Announced:2009-08-27
Sensor Format, Size:23.4 x 15.6 mm APS-C
Sensor Type:CMOS
Automatic Sensor Cleaner:Yes
Total Pixels:14.6 million
Effective Pixels:14.2 million
Image Area (pixels):4592 x 3056 (L)
3344 x 2224 (M)
2288 x 1520 (S)
Max. Frames Per Second:7 frames per second
Video Mode:None
LCD:3.0 TFT Xtra Fine LCD, 921,600 dots, Auto Brightness Control, Manual settting in 5 steps
Shutter Type:Electronically-controlled, vertical-traverse, focal-plane Shutter
Shutter Speeds:1/4000 to 30 sec., bulb
ISO Range:ISO 200-1600
Extended ISO 200-12800
Storage Media:SD/ SDHC
Memory Stick Pro Duo / Pro HG Duo
Storage System:RAW (.ARW), JPEG
Exposure Modes:Programmed AE (Auto, Flash off, P)
Aperture priority AE
Shutter priority AE
Scene Selection (Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports, Sunset, Night view/portrait)
Metering System:Multi-segment (40 segment Honeycomb pattern), Center-weighted, Spot
Metering Range:EV 2 to 20 (Multi-segment / Center-weighted)
Exposure Compensation:-2.0 to +2.0 EV in 0.3 EV steps
Exposure Lock:AEL Button, Half Press Shutter Release
Exposure Bracketing:Single or continuous bracketing, 3 frames, 0.3 or 0.7 EV steps.
Shutter Release Modes:Single-frame, Continuous, Speed-Priority, Self-timer (10 or 2 sec)
White Balance:Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Flash, Color temperature/filter (2500 - 9900 K), Manual (Custom)
White Balance Bracketing:3 exposures, Hi / Lo level selectable
White Balance Fine Tuning:Preset WB: -3 to +3
Fluorescent WB: -1 to +2
Color temperature WB: G9 to M9 (Magenta to Green)
Live View:Yes, 90% Frame Coverage
Interface:USB 2.0 Hi-Speed, Remote Terminal, HDMI, AV Out (NTSC/PAL)
Lens Mount:A-mount
Compatible Lenses:Sony Alpha lenses (also compatible with Minolta and Konica -Minolta AF lenses)
Picture Angle:1.5x Compared With 35mm Film
Viewfinder:Eye-level fixed optical glass pentamirror
Magnification approx. 0.80x
95% frame coverage

Eye-relief 19 mm from eyepiece, 15 mm from frame
Focusing Screen:Spherical Acute Matte focusing screen
Depth-of-field Control:No
Autofocus System:TTL CCD line sensors (9-points,with center cross sensor)

EV 0 to 18 (ISO 100) detection range

Predictive focus, Focus Lock AF area selection

Wide AF area
Spot AF area (center)
Focus area selection (any of 9)

Maximum Autofocus Areas/Points:9
Focus Modes:Single-shot AF
Continuous AF
Automatic AF
Manual focus
Focus Lock:Yes
Picture Control:Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, B&W
In-Camera Image Editing:Contrast (-3 to +3)
Sharpness (-3 to +3)
Saturation (-3 to +3)
Noise Reduction
Built-in Flash:Guide number 12 (ISO 100/m), Angle of coverage 18 mm (35 mm equiv.)
X-Sync Speed:1/160 sec.
Flash Sync Modes:Auto, Fill Flash, Rear Sync, Slow sync, Wireless/High Speed Sync.
Flash Control:Flash Bracketing: 3 exposures in 0.3 and 0.7 EV steps
Flash compensation: -2.0 to +2.0 EV in 0.3 EV steps
External flash (optional):
  • Sony HVL-F58AM
  • Sony HVL-F56AM
  • Sony HVL-F42AM
  • Sony HVL-F36AM
Accessory Shoe:Yes
Self-timer:10 sec, 2 sec
Battery Life:950 Shots (CIPA)
Approx. Dimensions:137 x 104 x 84mm (5.5 x 4.2 x 3.9 in)
Approx. Weight:599g

Note : some of the photos above were taken by Albert with his Alpha A900


  1. That's awesome review on the a550... very detailed... Kudos... Good post indeed...

    Btw... i've nanged your post on innit and also clicked on your ads here... ^^

  2. why sony? i heard canon and nikon better, nevermind, it is a great post! nanged you. Nang this to unveil the hidden gems!

  3. Wow. A very detail and careful review.. LOL

  4. Thx for ur review on this...
    i make up my mind to buy this model dah...
    Shall be getting it this friday...But is it true that now only available in Sony style klcc and the curve???

  5. Marvelous, but I m still considering the EOS 7D and this.

  6. some time ago my friend intro-ed me to your site, and i kept reading and reading for two days because of the really entertaining jokes, but forgot the site url when i reformatted, glad to have found you again in BU!

  7. Raymond; forget the 7D as the a850 is way superior and cost the same. Does not have video, but who cares.

  8. Well I'm also an owner for this and I'm willing to pair it with VG just I need to tried for finding out a good price to have it.

    Actually HDR was good but not very impressive however in my point of view.

    Wise IQ was great but still not enough sharp with kitty compared with 500D but good High ISO and comparable against EOS 7D!!


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