We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Cameras Reviews
15,512 Reviews

Sony Alpha A55 review

£679 body or £759 with 18-55mm zoom lens

Manufacturer: Sony

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

The A55 features translucent mirror technology for faster response times, particularly when shooting video.

Like its junior version – the new A35 – and similar A33 predecessor, the 16.2-megapixel A55 is classified by its maker as a single-lens translucent (SLT) camera, because, in a first of its kind, its internal mirror mechanism has been rendered see-through.

The upshot is faster, more accurate auto-focus, and best-in-class burst shooting of up to 10fps, plus users can start shooting HD video in an instant, lending the A55 the edge for videographers. Further good news is that its crystal-clear LCD also swivels and tilts through 270 degrees for creative framing options. As an added bonus for travel photographers, the A55 is Sony’s first Alpha to feature GPS for geo-tagging images and video clips.

Like most Sony DSLRs the A55 has an abundance of plastic, but the smaller form factor helps disguise it, and the handgrip has improved. An unusual feature is that the camera boasts an electronic viewfinder instead of an optical one – more suited to video as it happens – and with dioptric adjuster it offers a 100 per cent field of view and impressively high 1.15-million dot resolution. The flight simulator-like horizon level that appears in the viewfinder when you’re lining up a shot is helpful, flashing red if you angle the camera. As you bring your eye level with the viewfinder the LCD below turns off automatically.

The A55 is quick off the blocks. We were taking our first picture in just over a second utilising the 18-55mm kit lens. The camera features in-body image stabilisation, so specialist optics aren’t required. Recording AVCHD or MPEG-4 video is as simple as pressing the camcorder-style record button at the top of the backplate. This commences recording, whichever alternative is selected on the shooting mode dial. Focus automatically adjusts when recording, so there’s no need for manual dexterity, though you do hear the lens adjusting.

Buying advice

Not essential, but fun, is a Sweep Panorama function borrowed from Cyber-shot compacts. More likely to be used regularly is the A55’s exposure-adjusting Auto HDR functionality, ably maintaining both shadow and highlight detail if shooting against a bright background. Colours are warm straight out of the camera, and detail is crisp, so like just about all of its rivals minimal post processing is required.

Sony Alpha A55 Expert Verdict »
Sony Alpha SLT-A55VL with 18-55mm lens Scores 9.0 out of 10 based on 204 reviews

There are currently no technical specifications recorded for this product.

  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

Not essential, but fun, is a Sweep Panorama function borrowed from Cyber-shot compacts. More likely to be used regularly is the A55’s exposure-adjusting Auto HDR functionality, ably maintaining both shadow and highlight detail if shooting against a bright background. Colours are warm straight out of the camera, and detail is crisp, so like just about all of its rivals minimal post processing is required.

Price comparison powered by Reevoo

£500
  • Sony Alpha SLT-A55 review

    Sony Alpha SLT-A55

    The new Sony Alpha SLT-A55 is an interchangable lens camera that looks a lot like a traditional SLR. But, like a lot of its competitors, it lets you switch between the rear LCD screen and a small electronic viewfinder located where the viewfinder on an SLR would be.

  • Sony SLT-A37 review

    Sony SLT-A37

    The Sony SLT-A37 is a single Lens Translucent camera handles like a cross between DSLR and DSC. Read our Sony SLT-A37 review to find out more.

  • Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H55 review

    Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H55

    The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H55 is an affordable compact camera equipped with a long zoom and many useful features to let you turn your moments into memorable ones.

  • Sony Cyber-shot TX200V review

    Sony Cyber-shot TX200V

    The waterproof Sony Cyber-shot TX200V packs a fast autofocus system and an OLED touchscreen behind a glass faceplate. The Sony Cyber-shot TX200V is expected to be available in the UK in late March.

  • Sony Alpha SLT-A35 review

    Sony Alpha SLT-A35

    The best way to think of the Sony Alpha SLT-A35 is by picturing it half-way between a digital SLR camera like the Canon EOS 600D and a mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera like the Olympus E-P3.


IDG UK Sites

Android One vs Android Silver vs Google Nexus: What is the difference?

IDG UK Sites

iOS 8 review: Hands on with the iOS 8 beta

IDG UK Sites

Long live the internet fridge: the Internet of Things is coming

IDG UK Sites

How Prometheus' colourist Juan Ignacio Cabrera gave a tense, edgy feel to Chosen