When Sony first unveiled their newest Alpha series DSLR cameras, the buzz was three-fold: first DSLR with translucent mirror technology, first full 1080/60i HD video autofocus (AF) for a DSLR, and the fastest high-speed burst shooting with continuous AF (10 fps, APS-C sensor).
What does all this mean to the average photographer, or someone wanting to upgrade into the realm of DSLR? Well, a few things.
First, with this release Sony kicked out two very intuitive and advanced DSLR cameras for under $900. Both the Sony A55 embody a major benchmark for the enthusiast camera market as a result of the translucent mirror, thus creating the highest-level of AF speed for both still image and movie shooting. For instance, The A55 shoots 16.2 MP resolution pictures at up to 10 fps while maintaining continuous auto focus and auto exposure.
Of course you can disable the AF, and when using the array of Alpha interchangeable lenses get pro-grade images and video from the camera’s intuitive user interface that stems from Sony’s successful Cyber-shot series. And if you let it, the camera will pick the ideal setting for you in the AUTO+ (Advanced Auto) user mode.
Second, the A55 might be your ideal travel package. It’s slightly more compact and lighter than other DSLRs, and the full 1080/60i HD video capability with fast-tracking AF is enough of a reason to leave the camcorder at home. Both of these benefits –you guessed it– are a direct result of the camera body being designed around the translucent mirror.
Additional travel-friendly features include a tilt/swivel 3″ live view LCD, compact external stereo microphone, sweeping panorama and 3D panorama modes, hand-held night shot for sharp and clean nighttime pictures (without tripod), SteadyShot stabilization, and anti-dust treatments to keep the sensor clear.
In the end, and on assignment, the Sony A55 performed in tune with the hype –great images and video in both AF and non-AF modes, an intuitive user interface with a quick learning curve, and it turned heads of other traditional DSLR photographers.
Here it is in action…