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Sony Alpha A55 Digital SLRs
Product DescriptionChange the way you shoot pictures with Sony's new Translucent Mirror Technology DSLR camera. The SLT-A55V a DSLR camera features professional-grade continuous shooting at 10 fps and visibly faster, more accurate focus in Live View and HD Movie modes. Compose your shots on either the LCD monitor or electronic viewfinder with 100% framing accuracy. Advanced features including Auto HDR, Sweep Panorama and 15-point Auto Focus make it dramatically easier to get the best shot.
Submitted by captdave2011 a Professional
Date Reviewed: April 18, 2011
Strengths: 99% of everything!
Excellent range of Sony brand lenses.
Weaknesses: No Sony branded vertical battery grip available (or useable) for this model now or forever..
Form a tad small.
I won't bore you wth all the great stuff about this new camera. It is indeed, a great camera however, I did not like the fact that it will never ever accept (easily or attractively) a vertical battery grip, an accessory that makes a pro body out of many of these half-pint sized mini-marvels. You must have the grip for extended shooting, for street cred. And if you use the ugly cumbersome Ownuser grip, you must remove it each time you pull the SD card. Yikes! Bet that the next version will correct this single most glaring fault of what is otherwise is a FANTASTIC camera.
And pair the a55 with the new Sony 16-105mm lens and you have an almost the PERECT combo for half the cost of realistic working camera body/lens set.
I would give this 5-Stars but hey, nothing is perfect! Really.
Duration Product Used: 21+ years
Price Paid: $899.00
Purchased At: Adorama
Similar Products Used: Canon 5D Mk II, Canon T3i
Type of photography: Other
Submitted by onefineart a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: April 5, 2011
Strengths: A+ Function
Quick so.. quick... no need tripod for macro!
Light Camera not heavy
Large screen display
Very big menu and program to choose pre-selected scenes
Weaknesses: Iso... it can be better... but of course for such price.. I dont think they can offer better
I love the Sony a55, because it is a light camera not heavy and do beautiful images and most important extremely computerized and very fast camera on auto-focus, continual focus, shooting and the function A+ inside it.... it helps a lot. I am adding under Google Buzz recently some photos taken by the camera http://www.google.com/profiles/OneFineArt . I do Live in Lebanon and I love photography.
Duration Product Used: 2-5 years
Price Paid: $950.00
Purchased At: Amazon
Similar Products Used: I used many Olympus cameras
Type of photography: Outdoor
Submitted by weissguy a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: January 25, 2011
Strengths: - Value
- Speed and flexibility. 10fps is crazy fast for youth sports. 6 fps is very good and allows greater flexibility is aperture settings.
- Great for HD video
- Accurate color
- Accurate and very clear LCD. What I see on the LCD, when I check the exposure, is accurate to what I download.
- Vibration reduction in the camera leads to less expensive lens
- Relatively intuitive function menu
- Leveling display on view finder
- Articulating screen
- Light weight
Weaknesses: - Camera overheats quickly in video mode. I have not been able to get through an entire basketball game without having to turn the camera off and wait a couple minutes before resume. Recording times, during the game, vary from 15 sec - 3 min.
- Grip is very small. My hand becomes uncomfortable while hold this camera with a Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 lens attached. I can only maintain a two finger grip.
- Battery life is very quick in video mode. However, I have been able to take over 700 still photos on one charge. I find the battery life similar to my camcorder in video mode.
- Limited number of accessories, namely a vertical grip.
I am extremely happy with the A55 to date. I purchased this item as a photo enthusiast to photograph my kids sports. I have owned the camera for three weeks and I have taken over 3300 photos.
Factors I considered before purchasing were my level of experience, cost, lens need to make the photos worthwhile, speed of camera, and the ability to shoot in limited light (indoor sporting events without a flash). I do not plan to sell the photos (yet) but I do have a critical eye and if the focus, clarity and color are not excellent, why bother. I have found the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 lens with the A55 to be a perfect set up for my needs. For the quality of photos and video I have taken, at $1600, I think it is a steal. Because the vibration reduction is in the camera, I was able to purchase the less expensive 70-200 lens and still get great shoots, hand held.
The environmental conditions I have used the camera in to date have varied from indoor and outdoor to cloudy, sunny, well lit gyms, not so well lit gyms. Most of these photos have been fast action and have required fast shutter speeds. I have been extremely impressed with how well the camera performs in all conditions. Even the camera's built-in AUTO settings and shooting at 10 fps have come out brilliant. My biggest challenge has been getting the focus consistently on my desired subject. There is nothing like analyzing a pitchers delivery or a batters swing at 10 fps.
I would consider the basketball games to be the most challenging and I have compared my photos with photos from professionals who post online, with more expensive cameras and lens and found them very similar in quality of focus and noise. I find I can shoot up to 3200 without the noise taking away from the photos and I even have several "keepers" at 6400. Of note, I have only shot JPEGs and done little to no post-corrections so there may be more still left in the camera.
Battery life has been good for stills. I have shot four games and over 700 photos on one charge. In movie mode the focus is clear consistent and continuous. The quality is outstanding. However, the camera's chip heats up and I have been unable to take video of an entire basketball game without having to turn off the camera to let it cool. A downside is the grip size and no vertical grip available. I am only able to get two fingers on the grip and with the 70-200 lens my fingers have gotten tired after a long day of shooting.
The functions menu if relatively easy to use. Access is convenient and most functions are one or two click away. There are a lot of additional features that would be very beneficial for portraits but I have not done much to explore these options.
Bottom-line - There are obviously better cameras and lenses on the market but I think for the quality and price this one is hard to beat.
Duration Product Used: 2-5 years
Price Paid: $799.00
Purchased At: Navy Exchange
Similar Products Used: Nikon D90
Type of photography: Sports
Submitted by neil444 a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: December 30, 2010
Strengths: Easy to use. Good video quality, Light compared to some SLRs and 10 fps.
Weaknesses: EVF, battery life and build quality
I was originally attracted to the sony models so I could re birth my old minolta lenses and to allow me to get back to"proper" photography having used a Minolta Dimage for a number of years. My short list was the A580 and the A55. Comparing both cameras to the Nikon D90 it was clear that Sony build quality felt and looked cheap. Handling of the A55 is ok but for those of you with larger than average hands, you will struggle to get all four fingers on board. Button position is ok but because the camera is fairly small, you may find yourself gripping harder with your thumb and accidently changing settings on the four way island switch.
I have quickly found that battery life is not as good as I expected and I doubt the battery would attain Sony's claimed usage per charge. The supplied lense is ok but feels cheap and a bit rough when zooming not at all a free action like all of my older lenses. If you intend to shoot video with the A55, no one can deny, it is suprisingly good and easy to use. Also the 10fps feature is stunning though I doubt I will use it much myself. By far the biggest draw back of the camera is the EVF. I tried the camera outside the shop on a cold day and was impressed with the advances made in comparison to my old Dimage. However, since owning the camera I have reolised that the colour warmth of the EVF is not as good a representation of the actual shot that I would like. The auto plus feature is ok but I would say its a beginers mode, my wife has used it and likes it so who am I to argue. I do like the fact that the lcd screen rotates and can be stowed with the screen to camera body to avoid damage, this was a major factor to me in making my choice.
All in all, its a clever camera, but with a number of draw backs. I think I should have gone for the A580 in hindsight.
Duration Product Used: 11-20 years
Price Paid: $669.00
Purchased At: jessops
Similar Products Used: Dynax slrs and Dimage a200
Type of photography: Outdoor
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