From the Manufacturer
Step up to the Sony a550. Enjoy the spectacular imagery of 14.2 megapixels with ISO 12800 sensitivity. Experience the versatility of Quick Auto Focus Live View or MF Check Live View on the tiltable 3.0-inch LCD screen. Discover the superb response of up to 7 fps of continuous shooting.
Alpha A550 Highlights
This camera's 14.2 megapixel resolution makes for incredible detail and gorgeous enlargements. The all-new Sony Exmor CMOS image sensor ensures state-of-the-art response. The large, APS-C format means high sensitivity, powerful depth-of-focus control.
Superb in low light (ISO 12800)
An all-new Sony's Exmor CMOS image sensor employs new low-noise processing, for uncommonly clear pictures. The BIONZ image processor with chroma noise reduction helps achieve low noise all the way up to ISO 12800, without sacrificing resolution.
More responsive Live View
All DSLR Live View systems enable you to compose shots in the LCD monitor, just as you would with a point-and-shoot camera. But not all Live View systems are created equal. Some take a painfully long time to focus. Some even black out the LCD before focus. Either can cause you to miss shots. Sony's Quick Auto Focus Live View solves these problems, making it easier to get the best shot.
Quick Auto Focus Live View
Unlike competing cameras, the DSLR-A550 is just as responsive in Quick Auto Focus Live View mode as in optical viewfinder mode. That's because, unlike the others, the a550 uses the same "phase detection" auto focus for Live View as for the optical viewfinder. While other Live View systems are severely restricted, Sony's performs superbly any time--even if you're shooting handheld or chasing after moving subjects like kids or pets.
Manual Focus Check Live View
For critical focus in macro and tripod shooting, the a550 also offers Manual Focus Check Live View. Temporary 7x and 14x zoom views enable you to focus on extremely fine detail while the 1x view shows 100 percent framing in the LCD.
Face Detection technology
The a550 enhances Quick AF Live View shooting with Face Detection technology, which helps you get the best shot by recognizing faces and applying the proper focus, exposure and white balance. World's first Face Detection system to work with fast, high-precision "phase detection" Auto Focus.
Smile Shutter technology
Another Quick AF Live View enhancement, Smile Shutter technology automatically takes the shot when your subject smiles. Works with Quick Auto Focus Live View to capture spontaneous moments, making the difference between a missed shot and a cherished memory.
Tiltable 3.0-inch LCD
Even if you're completely comfortable with the optical viewfinder, Sony's tiltable LCD empowers your photography with a different point of view. Helps you frame high and low-angle shots that would otherwise be hit or miss. The LCD tilts up or down 90 degrees to capture a child's first steps or shoot over a crowd. The 3.0-inchLCD features 921,600 pixels and Sony's Clear Photo LCD display technology.
Up to 7 fps of continuous shooting
Up to 7 frames per second in speed priority mode can capture the decisive moment in sports or get the ideal baby photo. You can also shoot at up to 4 fps with Quick Auto Focus Live View.
Auto HDR built into camera
High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography captures more scene contrast than a single exposure can handle by combining two exposures into one incredible shot. Until recently, you needed a computer and editing software to enjoy HDR. Now the a550 has Auto HDR built in. Handles severe backlighting and other high-contrast scenes. Captures in a split second. (Recommended for still subjects.)
Dynamic Range Optimizer improves results with backlit subjects and recovers details hidden in shadows. Normal DRO improves detail using standard gamma curves for fast shot-to-shot response time, while Advanced DRO adjusts dynamic range area-by-area for greater accuracy.
SteadyShot INSIDE stabilization
Image stabilization helps you take blur-free shots by compensating for camera shake. Typical DSLR systems build image stabilization into selected lenses only. SteadyShot INSIDE image stabilization is built into the camera body itself. You'll reduce blur with every a-mount lens, including macro and wide-aperture standard zoom lenses.
Smart Teleconverter 2x Digital Zoom
In Quick Auto Focus Live View mode, you can extend the optical zoom of your lens with digital zoom. One touch zooms in at 1.4x, while a second touch advances to 2x zoom. The system reproduces pixels on a 1:1 basis so there's no degradation in picture quality.
Powerful Supplied Software
To help you refine and manage your images, the a550 is equipped with comprehensive computer software, including Image Data Converter SR, Image Data Lightbox SR and Picture Motion Browser (PMB).(Compatible computer required, not included)
BIONZ image processor
A newest version of Sony's BIONZ image processor uses chroma noise reduction to deliver high-resolution, low-noise photos even at ISO 12800 sensitivity. This powerful Sony Large Scale Integrated circuit (LSI) also delivers fast processing for quick response on data-intensive 14.2-megapixel images.
Help Guide and Graphic Display
An informative on-screen Help Guide and Graphic Display provide ready reference to advanced camera functions. The Help Guide explains the camera's modes and settings, while the Graphic Display clarifies the relationship between aperture and shutter speed, as well as the effect each has on photographic results.
HDMI output for HD viewing
Connect your camera to a compatible HDTV and play back your images in stunning high definition. The a550 includes an HDMI output (HDMI cable required, sold separately). In addition, the BRAVIA Sync system works with compatible Sony BRAVIA HDTVs to let you control camera playback using the television's remote.
For maximum speed, Eye-Start Autofocus begins focusing as soon as you raise the camera to your eye. So the camera is ready to catch the perfect moment.
9-Point AF Sensor
To get the best shot under a wide range of situations, the a550 uses a 9-Point AF Sensor with Center Cross. In addition, predictive focus control automatically calculates the position of fast-moving subjects, perfect for pictures of kids and pets.
Six Creative Style settings
Control how the camera processes your images with six finishing styles: Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset and B&W. You can even fine-tune contrast, saturation, and sharpness to your personal taste.
To help you shoot more effectively, the built-in flash automatically pops up and fires as needed when the camera is set to certain scene selection modes. The built-in flash also triggers a wireless accessory flash (sold separately). The integrated hot shoe enables you to expand your lighting options with a range of accessory flashes (sold separately).
Anti-Dust Technology helps keep the CMOS imager clean, resulting in consistently better pictures. First a static-free coating on the CMOS filter helps repel dust. Then vibration automatically dislodges dust from the CMOS each time you shut off the camera.
Up to a 1000 Shots of battery life
Take up to 1000 shots on a single charge (optical viewfinder mode); up to 520 shots (Live View mode) with Sony Stamina battery power. Sony's InfoLITHIUM battery system enables you to see the percent of power remaining, so you can keep shooting in confidence.
PhotoTV HD compatibility
PhotoTV HD compatibility enables you to automatically create high-resolution thumbnails optimized for viewing on a compatible Sony BRAVIA HDTV.
Six Scene Selection Modes
To help you get the shot, Scene Selection Modes optimize the camera settings for common shooting situations. Just turn the Mode Dial to select from Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports, Sunset, and Night View modes.
Index and Slide Show Display
Quickly review your photos using 4- or 9-frame index views, or as an automatic slide show with fade-in/fade-out effect.
Dual Media Slots
For cost-effective, convenient storage and sharing of your images, the a550 accepts Memory Stick PRO Duo/Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo and SD/SDHC media (sold separately).