Channel 5

Sony Alpha SLT-A55

Monday 28 February 2011


Rating of 4

The basics

Sony's Alpha DSLR range offers a host of viable alternatives to more mainstream rivals from Canon and Nikon. The Sony Alpha SLT-A55 sits in the middle of the range, but it's not actually a proper DSLR. It does offer excellent quality and a decent range of features, however.

The good

The Sony Alpha SLT-A55 is a fast camera – amazingly so at times. The main reason for this is the lack of movable mirrors inside the body. This means it's not a traditional DSLR – even though it features similar sensor technology and interchangeable lenses, and as a result you can capture up to 10 frames per second with the Sony Alpha SLT-A55. The lack of mirrors also allow the Sony Alpha SLT-A55 to be smaller than other Sony Alpha models; it's a lot more compact and lighter than the Sony Alpha DSLR-A550, a full-fat digital SLR, yet it still offers similar build quality. Boasting a 16.2-Megapixel CMOS sensor, the Sony Alpha SLT-A55 provides excellent quality when it comes to photographs, too. We found it particularly impressive in low light conditions – an area where non SLRs traditionally fail to impress.

The bad

On the downside, the lack of moving mirrors inside the Sony Alpha SLT-A55 mean that what you see isn't exactly what you get. Instead of seeing through the lens itself, the Sony Alpha SLT-A55 uses an electronic viewfinder (EVF). It's good, but it uses more battery life than a proper viewfinder, and it can never quite match up to DSLR rivals.

The bottom line

The Sony Alpha SLT-A55 is an impressive piece of kit. It's well made, offers a host of decent lenses, and is incredibly quick. It's good for shooting fast moving objects then, but you'll have to get used to the electronic viewfinder.
Currys Top Products

Sony Alpha SLT-A55 is tagged with Sony Alpha SLT-A55, Sony and DSLR. Select a tag (Sony Alpha SLT-A55, for example) to find everything on The Gadget Show about the subject.

User comments (4)

Leave a comment


Good review but the the comments: "what you see isn't exactly what you get" and "Instead of seeing through the lens itself" are incorrect and misleading and should be reviewed. Actually the a33/55 EVF shows you 100% view as opposed to 80% for most SLR and so is exactly what you will get because its what the sensor is seeing through the lens. Of course EVF will not be for everyone though but you soon forget as Sony did a good enough job with it. Comments about battery drain are well justified though :) Thanks to all on the show, and keep up the good work.

Report as inappropriate
Tim G

I own the Sony Alpha 55 and I am very pleased with it. The viewfinder works brilliantly as all the digital intructions that you usually only see on the LCD screen you can see on the viewfinder, the quality is really impressive, if you have any doubt go down the shops and have a look through one, its also 100% what you see. The camera is smaller and lighter than others I tried like the Canon 550, the picture quality is fab, and the digital tricks are really good, especially the panaramic option which work really well, and the 10 frames a second stuff if stuff of much more expensive cameras. The camera will do all the work for you if you want or you can do it all manually, so its good for starter to expert. I also got the 75-300 sony zoom lens which makes a good combination with the cameras 18-55 lens and there are loads of other sony lenses available. the camera links via USB or HDMI straight to my sony TV which allows for instant viewing for all. The HD video is nice bonus as well again lionking straight to the TV. Mine cost £609 from Jessops, John Lewis also do for £619, it seems expensive on line for some reason. The battery life is a bit of an issue if you use all the digital tricks all the time, I would say get a spare thown into the deal when you buy the camera. Overall - its a great camera - enjoy ;o)

Report as inappropriate

I am a botanist looking for a camera to take photo of plants and flowers in the field also i use the GPS to get the location for the plants its very important to use the GPS, my question is can i see the GPS reading in the photo to record it in my note. I really need help shall i buy sony a55, or what do you recommended me to buy. regards Rafaa

Report as inappropriate

Raffa yes once you take the picture if you press the review button it will show you the image, pressing the display button will show you the GPS location. :) Its a great camera and I love it!

Report as inappropriate

Join Channel 5

Creating an account is free, will only take a few moments and will allow you to enjoy the full benefits of 5FWD and Channel 5:

  • Create lists of your most wanted and owned products
  • Leave article comments without having to re-enter your login details
  • Get updated with all the latest gadget and car news

Leave a comment

Please note that we will not expose your email, but we might use it to email you back. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.
* mandatory field

  • Vodafone Smart 4

    Vodafone's no stranger to the budget blower arena, with last year's Smart III providing fairly…

  • Tonino Lamborghini Antares

    If you thought your brand new iPhone 5s in gold was the cream of the crop when it comes to luxury…

  • Gigabyte P34Gv2 gaming laptop

    When you think of gaming laptops, your mind usually goes towards hulking behemoths that more…

  • Nokia Lumia 930

    Meet the Nokia Lumia 930, the latest 4G flagship from the now-Microsoft company, and the first…

  • USB iShaver

    It seems like you can get practically anything powered by USB these days, and now the humble…

  • Nokia Lumia 635

    Nokia's currently on a Windows Phone 8.1 roll, unleashing the budget-friendly Lumia 630 back in May,…

  • Heimplanet ‘The Cave’ tent

    How do you solve a problem like tent poles? In a bid to make its £435 ‘The Cave’ the fastest…

  • Singtrix karaoke machine

    Love it or hate it, karaoke is an absolute riot - even if you can't sing to save your life. You…

  • LG G Watch

    Google's vision of the smartwatch is finally with us, but can Android Wear succeed where so many of…

  • Creative Sound Blaster Roar SR20

    Creative surprised us last month with the Sound Blaster AXX 200, a Bluetooth speaker that packs in…