|Sony Alpha 55 reflex camera review : Sony’s presence on the digital SLR market is remarkable. It is remarkable because of its stormy conquest of market shares with a small assortment of DSLR cameras and just as much of a loss of market shares due to the lack of a true evolution in the succeeding models. This peak and decline is followed by a very successful entry to the so-called system camera market with the Sony NEX 5 and NEX 3 cameras. This was a bit of a chaotic beginning, but now promises a lot of potential.
Sony A55 camera with Translucent Mirror Technology
This made for a surprising introduction of the Sony Alpha 55, or rather the Sony SLT-A55 camera. It is a new camera that remarkably uses an outdated technology. Namely, from the Canon Pellix, used for the first time in 1965 by Canon. The Sony Alpha 55 uses this technology and gives it the name Translucent Mirror Technology. This technology allows Sony to successfully overcome the obstacle of focusing during Live View or Video mode.
Sony Alpha 55 SLT camera
This also makes Sony the last camera manufacturer to introduce video in its DSLR-type camera. The Sony Alpha 55 is not really a true DSLR because it lacks a moving mirror, but a SLT (Single Lens Translucent) camera. The Sony A55’s fixed mirror allows about 70% light in while the remaining 30% is reflected to the phase detection AF sensor. This makes it possible to continually focus, while shooting video or while in Live View. An additional advantage is the speed of continual photography. A mere 10 frames per second is possible with an activated AF, as the mirror no longer has to move. The electronic viewfinder eliminates that problem of a viewfinder that is too dark, as the majority of the light is no longer reflected.
Sony Alpha 55 camera design
What is immediately noticeable is the difference in format between the standard Alpha DSLR camera and the Sony A55. Sony has managed to keep the dimensions compact. Although the handgrip has clearly become smaller, the Sony Alpha 55 is more stable to hold. This makes for pleasant photography, and lightweight and easy to carry. The back of the camera is equipped with a 3-inch, partly foldable, high-resolution screen. It is too bad that the display does not fold out sideways, so that you can take full advantage of such a screen.
Sony Alpha 55 electronic viewfinder
The Sony Alpha 55’s electronic viewfinder displays a lot of information about settings and exposure. It is of excellent quality and the desired amount of information can be installed via the display button. Now and again a ‘ghosting’ effect can be observed, which are sort of rainbow colors, but apparently not everyone can see it.
Sony A55 review and DIWA Labs test
The images are saved onto an SD /Memory Stick Duo format memory card, which are both available at different prices and in a variety of versions. Moreover, the newest generation of SDXC memory card is also supported. The Li-Ion battery is the same one that is used for the Sony NEX cameras. We have had the Sony Alpha 55 camera around for a while after this sample was extensively tested on technical aspects in our DIWA test lab. The practice experiences and technical tests form a balanced test. Our findings can be read in the following Sony Alpha 55 review.
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"Beside the Translucent Mirror technology, new or improved features of the Sony Alpha 55 are a new Exmor APS HD CMOS-sensor with 16.2 Megapixels, AVCHD Full HF 1920x1080i video mode, built-in GPS, 3D Sweep Panorama, SteadyShot Inside, electronic viewfinder with 1.15 Megapixels and a new 15-point AF-system. Impressive to say the least!"
Continue to see our Sony Alpha 55 test photos and read our first impression of the Sony A55.