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Sony A550

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Rating: 4.5 out of 54.5 out of 54.5 out of 54.5 out of 54.5 out of 54.5 out of 5

No description
20/06/2011 - 4:25 pm

Plenty of "bang for your buck". This camera addresses all of the flaws that spoiled the Alpha 350, namely the position of some of the buttons, the high ISO performance, all the autofocus issues and reliability of exposures.
For example:

Exposures in even difficult situations are generally excellent.

Autofocus actually works!:) Even the peripheral autofocus points are reliable and fast and the wide area mode is actually useable for birds in flight.:D

High ISO performance is excellent. The noise is still evident but is not destructive of the image quality as it was in the 350. I can happily use this camera for exhibition images at up to ISO 1600. Even at ISO 12,800 when there is quite intrusive colour noise, the detail in the images is not degraded. I have taken shots of ships leaving Aberdeen Harbour at ISO 12,800 and at full magnification the signs on doors are readable! :)

The high frame-rate makes this camera a joy to use for wildlife photography. :D

The screen is a delight to use - bright, sharp and clear.

The Manual Focus Live-View Check mode looks like it will be very handy for some of my macro and landscape work, though I have not given it a thorough workout yet.

Bad Points

The body is plasticky. :(

The viewfinder is a little small and dull but not ridiculously so for a camera in this price range.

Build Quality 5
Ease of use 8
Features 9
Image quality 9
Value for money 8
Overall rating 8

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