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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!!!
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 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.
Side by side comparison between an Sony Alpha a200 and the 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!
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!
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.
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 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!
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. A550 comes with Exmor Cmos sensor with built in noise control .. freaking awesome!
- 2. New Bionz processor ... yes its newest Bionz processor n freaking fast too!
- 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. 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. 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. High Res Tilt LCD screen FTW!!!
- 7. 14x in body digital zoom for macro photography
- 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. 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. 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. Max ISO @ 12800 need i say more?
- 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. 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
|Sensor Format, Size:||23.4 x 15.6 mm APS-C|
|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|
|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)|
|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|
|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
|Maximum Autofocus Areas/Points:||9|
|Focus Modes:||Single-shot AF|
|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)
|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):
|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)|
Note : some of the photos above were taken by Albert with his Alpha A900