Sony SLT A55 – The Best Single Lens Translucent Digital Camera

The Sony Single Lens Translucent (SLT) A55 is not your typical DSLR camera. It offers Live View and full-time phase-detection and autofocus. With this camera, you can use the phase-detection autofocus while recording movies. It offers continuous shooting at 10 frames per second, an incredibly fast rate. This speed has not been offered in a camera in this class. This camera was voted one of the best digital cameras for beginners.

Key Features

  • All new 16.2 mp ASP Exmore HD CMOS sensor, Sony’s highest resolution
  • Face detection auto-focus
  • Able to shoot movie files at 1080 p, with full, continuous auto-focus
  • 2x magnification mode in live view
  • Fixed, semi-translucent mirror
  • Maximum ISO 12,800 up to ISO 25,600 in extended mode
  • Supports Sony’s memory stick and an SD memory card
  • 15-point phase detection auto-focus array with 3 cross-type auto focus points
  • Electronic viewfinder with 1.15 mp resolution
  • Built-in GPS receiver allows you to geotag your photos
  • Electronic level in EVF/LCD
  • Interchangeable lenses
  • 10 frame per second continuous shooting
  • 3″ 912k, TruBlack LCD, easy viewing in bright light and 180 degree swivel capacity
  • Input jack for external microphone

This camera is small and light, but sturdy with a secure grip. The large LCD screen flips out from the back of the camera, and has 180 degree range of motion. It’s easy to see the image, even in bright sunlight. it’s large and offers a crisp, clear image. The included electronic level shows a horizon line so we know if the camera is level.

Translucent Mirrors

The mirrors of this camera are translucent, allowing light to pass through to the sensor. In typical DLSR’s, the light bounces around mirrors which reflect the light to the viewfinder and the mirror has to move into position when the shutter button gets pressed. The mirrors in the A55 are fixed, allowing most of the light to reach the sensor and reflecting a small amount of light on to a phase-detection auto focus array.

Compatible Lenses and External Flashes

This camera is compatible with Sony’s A lenses, Minolta Lenses, and Konica Minolta Autofocus lenses. It offers a pop-up flash, and an ISO hot shoe mount for external flashes. The hot shoe mount works with Sony and Minolta external flashes and Sony offers an adapter to allow us to use Nikon, Canon, Pentax or Olympus accessories.

Continuous Shoot & Making Videos

The continuous shooting rate of 10 frames per second is possible because there is no mirror moving around to slow it down. The camera is constantly in autofocus mode so fast-moving subjects are captured in crisp, clear images. This camera speed offered in a camera of this price range is a real breakthrough. This speed typically is reserved for the high-end professional cameras.

We no longer need to attempt to focus the camera while shooting movies. There was always that brief spot in the image where you could see the camera stops to focus. The Sony SLT A55 offers continuous autofocus and Phase Detection during movies for seamless clear images. The 16.2 mp CMOS sensor combined with the BIONZ image processing unit have improved this cameras video and image quality to professional photography quality. This camera offers full 1080p AVCHD video. It will keep your image in focus even during camera movement. The video quality on the A55 is one of the best on an interchangeable lens camera.

Panoramic images

This speed allows the camera’s Sweep Panorama feature to shoot stitched panoramic images by simply holding down the shutter button while sweeping the camera across a scene. It automatically captures the overlapping images and stitches them together. The resulting image is spectacular.

Noise Reduction

This camera offers multi-frame noise reduction. If you’re worried about your images being noisy due to low light or other effects, you can shoot a burst of images and the camera will combine them to create a low-noise image.

New 15-Point Autofocus Array

This new autofocus sensor receives a small amount of light that comes through the semi-transparent mirror. This array has 15 auto focus points and is the reason Sony was able to reach 10 frames per second continuous shooting. This makes this camera much more attractive than the average DSLR camera.

Image Stabilization

The Super SteadyShot Image Stabilization adjust for camera shake and gives us sharp, clear images while shooting. W don’t need lenses that carry the image stabilization for this camera.

In-Camera GPS Receiver

The GPS Receiver allows us to Geotag our photos. GPS receivers will record geo-location data, which can later be used with Google Earth and Google Maps. Some photographers have accomplished this by using an external GPS receiver or a cell phone. With this receiver, Sony has allowed us to combine the location data to the images using software. This is an amazing asset.

The Sony SLT A55 offers speedy shooting, fast focusing and the latest translucent mirror design. This mirror design allows a little light to reach the autofocus sensors; this allows continuous autofocus in Live View mode. Typical DSLR cameras will pause to refocus, which can show up in the video. This camera can be used like a point-and-shoot camera; but, it offers the superior image quality of an SLR.