Sony SLT A55

Released August, 2010
New: SLT A57 (Apr, 2012)
  • 16 MP
  • APS-C 23.5 x 15.6 mm CMOS
  • 3" LCD
While there are still some obvious artifacts, there's a much better balance between sharpness and color noise reduction than I'm used to seeing in photos shot with older models.
by c|net (Nov, 2010)
8.9 Out of 10

Camera Rocket Review Our evaluation of the Sony SLT A55

Image Quality

RAW image quality independent of lens

Nikon D800
DxOMark Low light, DxOMark Color depth and DxOMark Dynamic range


How fast and easily does the camera nail focus

Focus lag, cross type focus points and focus points


How much delay is there between you and your photo?

Focus lag, continuous shooting and Startup delay


What do the experts think?

Reviews from,, and 2 more


Camera Rocket Score

Image Quality, Focusing, Responsiveness and Reviews


Benchmarks Real world tests of the Sony SLT A55

Low light image quality Highest ISO setting that still achieves great image quality

816 ISO
Nikon D600
2,980 ISO
Nikon D800
2,979 ISO

Resolution Results from photos of standard resolution charts

2,600 LPH
Nikon D800
3,100 LPH
Nikon D810
3,100 LPH

Focus lag Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

220 ms
111 ms

Shutter lag Delay to take a photo when prefocused

103 ms
Nikon D800
43 ms
54 ms

Startup delay Delay from power on to first photo

900 ms
Nikon D800
200 ms
200 ms

Continuous shooting Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

10 fps
Nikon D800
4 fps
Nikon D90
4.5 fps

Photo Gallery Wallpaper quality closeups of the camera

Reviews Word on the street for the Sony SLT A55

The Sony A55 can shoot full-resolution 16.2 megapixel pictures at up to 10fps whilst maintaining continuous auto focus and auto exposure, an impressively fast rate for such an inexpensive camera.

For point-and-shoot upgraders who want better video, the A55V gets a qualified recommendation; the quality is pretty solid, it can autofocus well enough for casual use (albeit loudly-you'll definitely want to use a hot-shoe microphone), and the interchangeable-lens system means you'll be able to put on a long zoom lens for shooting your kids' sports or school plays.

Despite its diminutive stature, the Sony A55 body controls are well-laid out and don't feel at all cramped with most common controls such as ISO and exposure compensation being within easy reach.


7.9 Out of 10

What People Are Saying Give it to me straight


Unfortunately it also removes the ability to adjust the shutter speed or aperture, which may be an issue in some situations.
by TechRadar (Mar, 2011)
There's an aperture-priority movie capture mode, but it only works with manual focus, and it locks the aperture wide open.
by c|net (Nov, 2010)
The defining difference between the two categories is a mirror: in ILCs, light travels directly through the lens to the sensor, while in dSLRs, the light is either reflected up into the viewfinder by a mirror or allowed to directly hit the sensor for capture if the mirror is flipped up.
by c|net (Nov, 2010)

Image quality

Most snapshooters looking to step up want something faster and with better overall photo quality than their current cameras, but usually want it for a lot less than the A55V costs.
by c|net (Nov, 2010)
The camera also includes Sony's usual assortment of multishot modes like Auto HDR (increased to six shots for a possible 6EV increase in tonal range), Handheld Twilight, Sweep Panorama, and Sweep 3D.
by c|net (Nov, 2010)
Furthermore, though it lacks a neutral color setting, the standard Creative Style parameters didn't induce too much of a color shift, and it delivered very good color accuracy numbers in CNET Labs tests-better than most of its low-end dSLR siblings.
by c|net (Nov, 2010)


The A55 can record 1080i HD 1920 x 1280 pixel movies at either 25fps (PAL) or 30fps (NTSC) in the AVCHD format, or 1440 x 1080 pixels at 25fps in the MPEG-4 format, useful as this format can currently be shared more easily.
by Photography Blog (Feb, 2011)
The quality of the Sony A55 video is excellent, with clear, crisp footage being produced, even in low light conditions.
by TechRadar (Mar, 2011)
This combination means that the A55 can offer full-time DSLR-like focusing speeds, even during video recording, plus an excellent Live View system with 100% scene coverage and an amazingly fast continuous shooting rate of 10fps, whilst being physically smaller and lighter than a comparable DSLR.
by Photography Blog (Feb, 2011)


As with Live View, continuous phase-detection AF is possible whilst shooting movies on the A55, a distinct advantage over DSLR cameras and fast enough to rival Compact System Cameras like the Panasonic Lumix GH1/2..
by Photography Blog (Feb, 2011)
In principle this is a great feature for those using the camera for video, although it it worth noting that the AF speed is much reduced during video recording and that the sound made by the lens can be heard in the recordings.
by TechRadar (Mar, 2011)
There are a couple of caveats - the focusing can be heard on the soundtrack, although using an external microphone gets around this, it sometimes struggles to keep up with the subject, and more notably the shallow depth of field that's inherent to a large-sensor camera produces noticeable and often unwanted "jumps" as the AF system locks onto different subjects in the frame.
by Photography Blog (Feb, 2011)


The Sony A55 is a great marriage of new and old, competitively priced to take on the best that mid-range DSLRs and Compact System Cameras can offer, and surpassing both in many ways.
by Photography Blog (Feb, 2011)
If more colour is required then the landscape and vivid styles should satisfy most.
by TechRadar (Mar, 2011)
Creative shooters who are looking for a cheap entry into dSLR video should look elsewhere.
by c|net (Nov, 2010)

Specifications Full list of technical specs


Megapixels 16 MP
Resolution 4912 x 3264
Size APS-C
Area 23.5 x 15.6 mm
Crop factor 1.5x
Pixel size 22.9 microns
Light sensitivity 100 ISO to 12,800 ISO
Light sensitivity (Boost) 12,800 ISO to 25,600 ISO
  1. RAW
  2. JPEG
Self cleaning sensor Yes
Tested vertical resolution 2,600 LPH
Tested horizontal resolution 2,600 LPH

focus system

Type Phase detection
Focus points 15
Cross type focus points 3
Supports continuous No


Min 30 s
Max 1/4000 s

form factor

Size 124 x 92 x 85 mm
Thickness 85 mm
Weight 500 g
Is weather sealed No


Is a smart camera No
Includes a GPS Yes
Supports HDR Yes
Automatic panorama Yes
Create realistic 3D images Yes
Image stabilization Sensor shift


Video 1920 x 1080 @ 30 fps
Shoots video in 24p No
Shoots high speed video No
External mic jack 3.5mm
Autofocus while shooting video Phase detection
Autofocus type Phase detection


Type LCD
Size 3"
Resolution 921 k dots
Has a touch screen No
Has a flip out screen Yes
Supports live view Yes


Viewfinder mirror Translucent
Viewfinder Viewfinder
Type Electronic
Magnification 1.1x
Viewfinder size 0.72x


Max continuous shooting 10 fps
Battery life 330 photos
Continuous shooting 10 fps, JPEG
Focus lag 220 ms
Shutter lag 103 ms
Startup delay 900 ms
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