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Showing 1-10 of 101 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 169 reviews
on October 16, 2010
Great Image Quality with kit lens. Fast Auto Focus in all modes. Compact & Light Weight. One reviewer has compared to Canon 7D,that is at least twice the price for camera & lenses. Good Ergonomic bridge between point & shoot & larger DSLR. Live View & EVF are superb. A FUN camera for working settings. Sony has a real winner.


I purchased this camera when it was introduced six months ago, and have read a number of different reviews. Here is my take. One reviewer said this camera is not for everyone. {AGREE} Here are +&- from my use.
1. This is not a studio camera.
2. Movie Mode is for 4-5 min. clips.
3. Does not have all features of Canon or Nikon.
4. Small size.
1. Great out door action. I have taken some great pics of dogs & kids. Fast Focus is unbelievable. Also some great landscape photos with a Tokina 11-16. Image quality is Excellent.
2.Movie Clips are fine for me. Great Quality.
3. I also use Canon 5D Mark 2 for features.
4.I stated in my initial review, camera is great bridge in size between point & shoot and full size DSLR. I like this. You will not get similar Image Quality with any Point & Shoot.

Camera has won D Preview Gold & Pop Photo Camera of the year. If the positives are important, this camera is for you & 5 STARS.
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on March 22, 2017
This camera met all my expectations, at a great price is has many features and doesn't feel cheap in the hand. It's got a strong build with a well lit LCD, the battery life is better than expected. Although the camera it's self is smaller then the a56 or a65 I actually like it. Well worth the money. I would recommend this camera for some great quality photos.
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on November 15, 2010
I have had several cameras over the past few years, including Nikon (D90), Canon (D40 and currently 7D), and Panasonic (GH1 and GF1). I actually bought this camera while waiting for the new GH2. The GH1 was one of my favorite cameras, but because of the low fps speed, I upgraded to the 7D. I missed the ease of the autofocus for some shooting, so I was waiting for the GH2 when I saw this, and decided to try it. So far, I am VERY impressed. One of the major features that I was pleasantly surprised with was the 10fps shooting. I didn't have high hopes for this, but it is actually very good. If you have good light, almost all of the action shots are crystal clear. I initially bought the body only, with a Tamron lens, but noticed that the AF was pretty slow in video compared to Sony lens examples I have seen online, so I have exchanged the Tamron for a Sony 16-105mm lens, which is in the mail as we speak (a great advantage of buying here). I am still waiting so I will update this review later. I also hope to try a f1.8 lens soon and will test the 10fps in lower light.

The video mode seems to be very clear and crisp, reminds me more of the Panasonic. There is only one HD mode, which is 1080 60i, nothing available at 720, but as good as the video is at this rate, that is ok with me. The AF seems to be very good, and I hope it will be a little faster with the Sony lens. Low light video seems to be pretty good too, still pretty clear. Editing on a Mac is easy, no problems.

Low light shooting is a little different too. I saw one review where the reviewer talked about comparing it to a Nikon 2.8 lens, which I found hard to believe. But, this seems to take a couple or more shots when in low light, then puts together a great photo. Almost like the HDR option. So, if you have a tripod in low light, you should get some pretty amazing photos, even on a f3.5. Speaking of the HDR option, it works very well. This weekend while in Phoenix, I took some sample shots and it seemed to really remove some of the dark shadow spots on some of the pics, making them much better photos. Haven't been able to test it fully, but happy with what I saw.

Other nice features are built in GPS, mic and remote input, rotating screen, and panoramic sweep mode (which works very well also). A couple downers were the proprietary hotshoe, and the screen rotates from the bottom, rather than the side, which I can see being not being as strong as the Panasonic. I will try to update this review when I get the Sony lens and try a f1.8 with the 10 fps on inside sports, but very happy with this selection so far!
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on October 31, 2010
Finally got the A55 couple of days ago. There are a lot of features in this camera (I am a slow learner). Just some quick feedback from a newbie. This is my first DSLR - my last SLR was a Canon AE1 - which I really enjoyed (talk about ancient!). I have had a couple of digital P&S (Canon G2 and sd860). I bought this to build a system around the alpha mount, if I didn't like it I figured I could just sell this and move on to another system.

1. Size/weight: Quite a difference in "heft". It is even lighter than the Canon G2. I don't think it is a bad thing though. It is easier to carry around.

2. Feel: It does feel somewhat cheap (with the kit lens). Not sure if it this is an indication of build quality. So long as it withstands the inevitable "bumps" I am okay. Only time will tell. I guess if one is careful, it should be okay.

3. Pictures/IQ: I have not had a lot of chances to explore the different modes yet. Like I said above, there are way too many choices for me. My only experience so far has been at the Saturday soccer game, mid-afternoon, outdoors, sunny. Really liked the 10 fps, I felt that the camera did not track the subject as I had wanted it to (I may be doing something wrong here). Unfortunately, I only had a class 4 SDHC with me (not the limit though, as I never held the shutter down long enough to get more than 8 shots. jpeg/fine mode). The kit lens (18-55mm) is not the best choice here (for sports/action). I do not pixel peep, but like to view it on my 23" full screen and found the images to be quite nice. Never ran into any overheat issues during the shooting.

4. Video: This seems to be the overarching concern with this camera with the sensor overheat issues. Did a simple test, shot video inside the home (about 69 deg F/21 deg C), and the overheat warning came on at ~7:45min and camera shut down at ~8:45min. The SSS was on and I handheld the camera (let it AF on various objects). I don't think this to be a limitation. The video quality was good, but the mic did pick up some noise from the SAM motor (in the lens).

5. Battery: The battery runs out fairly quickly. It is somewhat weak to support this camera/features. I would like a new battery, but am waiting to see if I can find some good batteries from the third party manufacturers (reviews found here show them to have some size issues). Sony battery is too expensive.

6. LCD/EVF: It will take me a while to get used to the EVF. For whatever reason keeping my eye on the EVF, then defocusing, makes me feel dizzy. I had become very reliant on the LCD (from my digital P&S), I guess. The LCD smudges very easily, but is really nice.

Final thoughts: I have nothing more to add than what has already been said. I am being guarded in my comments till I have had a chance to play/explore with all options on this camera, and will update this review. This is a keeper for me. My experience so far has prompted me to buy the following (haven't got them yet):

a) Panasonic 8 GB High Speed 22MB/s SDHC Class 10 Memory Card RP-SDW08GU1K
b) Digital Camera Anti-Fingerprint Display Protection Film (Pro Guard AF) for Sony Alpha NEX-5 / NEX-3 and Alpha 55 / 33
c) Sony 55-200mm f/4-5.6 SAM DT Telephoto Zoom Lens for Sony Alpha Digital SLR Cameras

I would like to add more lenses. I am concerned about the size of camera - will the mount be stressed by the heavier lenses? I am interested in getting the Tamron/Sigma 70-200mm/f2.8 (more appropriate for sports/action), then a few primes (CZ 135, Sony 50/1.4) to start with. I will update after I get these lenses/try them with this camera.
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on March 29, 2013
I bought this from Amazon Warehouse Deals...used. I have owned several DSLR's and a multitude of slr 35mm cameras. I have shot both digital and film astrophotography. I shot mainly "available light". I developed my own film, b/w and color. Simply put, I was blown away with the results with this camera. Having spent many hours behind a computer 'stacking and registering' shots. The A55 does this internally, incredible time saver and great results. Very satisfied with my purchase. I have read the negative reviews for the A55 and wonder if they thought they bought a 'point and shoot' instead of a real camera. Sometimes you have to read the manual. Bravo Sony.
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on January 24, 2011
I've had this camera for a little over two months now and have little but high praise for it. While I was looking for my first DSLR, I was drawn to the A55 by its unique mirror design, strong features, and price. It's hard to tell from product images, but this rascal is small. As a matter of fact, this body is almost dwarfed by my SAL-18250 even when collapsed. I'm an average size guy and in reality, the A55 is rather uncomfortable to try and hold with just the right hand because the body is simply that small. Fortunately, this isn't much of a problem since you aren't going to be holding a camera like this with just one hand for long anyway - you're going to be wanting to take pictures.

On that note, I can find no true complaint in the image quality. In fact, these past two months have given me some of my best images yet. The GPS receiver works as expected, and is surprisingly accurate. If you don't give it time to update its location after moving some distance between shots though, you may find yourself having to correct a few locations later.

So far, aside from being a bit of a battery hog, the only cons I can really find are in the video capture capabilities. While the image quality is great, by its nature the sensor will overheat and force a power-down to cool; about as long as I have been able to record video is a little under 6 minutes. I didn't buy this camera to record much video though, so this limitation is among the least of my worries.

All in all, a great camera that is pushing some technology with true potential.

UPDATE: Upon a little research, I learned that by turning off the SteadyShot image stabilization, you should be able to get about 30 minutes of video at once. I haven't personally tested this. The camera is still doing great things and I have no regrets!
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on October 23, 2010
I've had my a55 only three days and am already in love with this camera! What's not to like? I like everything about this new translucent-mirror design. Yes, it's extremely fast. Exposure and image quality are top-notch. Compared with the a700 I have been using, this camera is lighter, with a very comfortable and somewhat smaller body design. Buttons and menus are very intuitive to me. The HD movie mode is well implemented and easy to use. "Live View" is truly live view, through the same 16.4 mp image sensor which shoots your actual photos. Construction quality is first rate. Beautiful, really WIDE, fully-articulating LCD screen. My only wish is that this weather would improve so I can go out and shoot some more pictures! You will love this camera!
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on September 24, 2013
I'm terrible at writing reviews, so I hope this will serve some purpose to someone. I've only had this camera for about a month so I haven't had much chance to go in depth with everything.

I bought this camera as a replacement for my old Sony A230 that has served me well but I needed an upgrade. I'm a parent and a photography student on a very tight budget and so I needed all the bang for my buck I could get. My advice? If you can afford a better camera, go for it. If you can't this will serve its purpose just fine and if you're a beginner to intermediate photographer this camera will work very well.

The swivel back screen is amazing. It was one of the reasons I bought the thing. It's just really handy that I can turn it in most directions and not have to crane my neck into weird positions to look at something.

The pixels are clean and clear, no major pixelation and the ISO range is phenomenal for what I use my camera for.

A-mount lenses meant that I didn't have to go through and repurchase all my lenses. (that's just a personal pro for me)

Easy to use and understand. Even the most basic photographer could use this camera and I can even have others who know nothing about cameras at all use it.

Settings. There are a ton of settings on this that are so standard today that I didn't have before. The Auto plus feature is nice for when you want to program some of the other settings but want automatic adjustments.

Viewfinder and the back screen communicate. I can look through my viewfinder and the back screen shuts off and vice versa.

Over and under exposure problems. For me at least, I noticed that what I see through the view finder doesn't necessarily produce the same in Lightroom. I have to bracket frequently to make sure I get the type of image that I want.

Battery life. The battery life on this is not one of the better ones. My previous camera could let me shoot for days on one battery depending on what I was doing. The A55 tends to suck the life right out of the battery like a vampire at a blood bank.

View finder sensor. The sensor that lets the camera know if you're looking through the view finder or not tends to fog up easily in various weather conditions and that can cause the back screen not to function at all for some time. It can be rather frustrating.

Overall I think I need a lot more time with this camera to adjust to all the bells and whistles. It's a good camera, it really is. I love what it can do and I love that it's so much faster than my previous camera. I do recommend giving it a shot if you're on a budget and looking for a DSLR to get into photographry.
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on January 17, 2011
This camara intrigued me enough to switch from Canon. I have only used it for 500 exposures, so I'm still getting use to this camara, but here are my first impressions:
1. I love the Geo tagging (gps info added to the images) As far as I know this is the first DSLR/SLT camara that has this build in - Canon requires a very expensive grip and you still need an external GPS receiver. Nikon has a slightly better solution, but it is still external.
2. The view finder is cool, but I come from a full frame camera which also had a good view finder.
3. The image quality is on par or better with this price range camera. I'm using "EX" sigma lenses not Sony (Also very happy with the lenses)
4. Love the rotating rear display. I shoot some glammour this weekend and all the Canon and Nikon guys where laying on the floor to get low angles, then there where all looking at me when I just fliped the screen to see it from top, held the camara low and started firing away, it was a subject of conversation.
5. Build in image Stabilazation is another great feature to this and other Alpha cameras. I had to spend so much extra money when I had my Canon to get IS featueres, not here.
6. The video was probalbly one of the other things that made me switch. My Canon took outstanding full HD1080p video, but focusing was a big issue as well as video transfere to my Mac, to do it right you had to import it with the Canon software and the export it from there - what a pain. I can work stright with the AVCHD video in Imovie or Final Cut Express (it is only 1080I or 760p) The 760p can be directly imported into aprature (AVCHD is not recognized?)
7. Panorama and HDR fetures are outstanding and blow my Canon away

Things that I do not like:
1. Video has very limited time before you have to take a breake or it overheats (9min +/-) - they do not advertise that ;) . So do not think that you can through away your camcorder just yet. There are lot's of discussions about the lack of manual control, it is not a big deal to me.
2. It is not a good studio camara. When I put the camera into manual control and set the settings to work with my studio strobes, I hardly see my model in the viewfinder or display. I have to use low aptreture settings or high ISO to be able to see anything, missing out on details. Now this camera is not advertised as a pro camera and it is a great alaround and travel camera, but I thing this is just a limitation of the SLT technology, since the viewfinder is a mini display and not a glass prism. (I will edit this review, should I find a work around for this) - Edit: Listed in the comments are some discussions in reguards of this point.
3. Tha lack of a grip - I have big hands and this is a compact camera and I love grips even for bigger cameras.

All around I thing this is a lot of bang for the buck and has unique features theat easily off set the down sides. I can't wait to see how Sony is going to further develop this and their other Alhpa cameras.
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on June 2, 2012
Well I was looking for a compact interchangeable lens camera that had fast shutter, image stabilization, (low noise in high iso), good quality images, and easy to use/learn. Sony NEX menus were complicated, Panasonic not good enough (LNIHO), Olympus not good enough-but they are more creative with their effects. (In the future I'll get one for that.) Samsung slow processing. Nikon too damn high and barely any lenses. I wasn't trying to spend 600. Just under and I had not much of a choice but to go with a small dslr and this one overall seemed small but great. Could've went for higher sony alpha models but weighed more, got more bigger. So I settled for this and I'm glad I did. I really like the 3d effect on every picture. You can see it when your just using the viewfinder. It's damn near awesome. Videos are good, fast AF, easy menus, good enough in iso, and very fast camera. The seller I bought this from didn't have a CD or manual in the box, but it's easy to learn if you spend some time learning the basics of photography and using it like you know what you're doing. Like that the iso is a button and not that annoying turn dial with the numbers on it. I have small hands. And its a perfect fit. So I love this camera. May upgrade if I get more experienced one day, but i'm a beginner and this is my first dslr and i love it!
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