Sony A55 Review

February 17, 2011 | Mark Goldstein |

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Sony A55 from around the web. »

The company has rejected the traditional DSLR design and instead created a hybrid that, like a compact camera, is from the ground up built around live view, but one that is also capable of offering full-time DSLR-style phase-detection autofocus. The combination means they can offer features such as phase-detection AF during movie recording and extremely fast continuous shooting rates (10 frames per second on the A55), previously unthinkable at this price.
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Just three months after launching the NEX-3 and NEX-5 single-lens direct-view (SLD) cameras, Sony takes its interchangeable lens offerings in yet another direction with the Alpha SLT-A55, and SLT-A33. Instead of being mirrorless, the new digital cameras employ a "translucent mirror," more commonly known as a pellicle mirror. This advanced translucent mirror remains fixed in place during operation, allowing most of the light to reach the imaging sensor, while a small percentage is reflected to a dedicated autofocus sensor.
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The first of two ‘SLT' cameras to be released, the Sony Alpha A55 really is something quite special. Unlike a DSLR, Sony's latest A55 creation uses translucent mirror technology that enables super-fast phase-detection AF during live view, plus ?a rapid 10fps continuous shooting mode. And all for less than £700. Will the Alpha A55 and, indeed, this new technology see off its DSLR rivals?
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The Sony Alpha SLT-A55 is the flagship of a unique pair of ILCs that use a translucent mirror to provide full-time continuous autofocus during video recording and at very fast burst-rates. This unique design lets this camera use phase-detection autofocus, the same system used in all current DSLRs, while maintaining a Live-View display on its LCD or on its top-notch EVF.
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