Summary Sony DSLR-A550

Prices Price
Body only
With 18-55mm lens
Score Snapsort rank
Within its price range
#n/a of 9
Among similar cameras
#n/a of 9
Specifications Key specs
Sensor size
Help APS-C 23.4x15.6mm
Screen resolution
Help 921k dots
Help 14 MP
Movie format
Help None
Screen size
Help 3"
Light sensitivity
Help 12,800 ISO
see all specifications
Lenses Lenses
Browse Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 lenses at LensHero
Sony Alpha DSLR-A550Sony Alpha DSLR-A550


Explore our gallery of 7 sample photos taken by the Sony Alpha DSLR-A550.


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The Sony DSLR-A550 vs other recent entry-level DSLRs

Image stabilization Image stabilization Help
  1. Sensor shift
Screen flips out Flip-out screen Help
Great for movies
HDR In-camera HDR Help
Combines multiple exposures
Continuous shooting Rapid fire Help
7 fps
Battery life Incredible battery life Help
950 shots
Storage slots More storage slots Help


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The Sony DSLR-A550 vs other recent entry-level DSLRs

Low light performance Very noisy at high ISO Help
807 ISO
Color depth Little color depth Help
21.9 bits
Movie format No movies Help
Viewfinder size Small viewfinder Help
Touch screen No touch screen Help
More buttons
Weather sealed No weather sealing Help
Need to shelter it from weather
Autofocus contrast detection autofocus Help
slower focusing
Shutter lag Longer shutter lag Help
184 ms shutter lag
Announced Old Help
August 2009
Light sensitivity (boost) Lacks boost light sensitivity Help
Viewfinder coverage Below average viewfinder coverage Help
Lowest price Very expensive Help
Fastest shutter speed Slow shutter speed Help
1/4000 of a second
Overall image quality Very low overall image quality Help
Dynamic range Narrower dynamic range Help
11.8 EV
Screen size Below average sized screen Help
Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
12,800 ISO
True resolution Lower true resolution Help
14 MP
Autofocus Manual focus only Help
Lens availability Slightly fewer lenses available Help
126 lenses
Viewfinder Uses battery, see less detail Help
Missing geo-tagging
Size Quite large Help
Professional size (137×104×84 mm)
Built-in focus motor No focus motor Help
Won't autofocus with all lenses
Thickness Thick Help
Popularity Not so popular Help
Among snapsort users




front photo of the Sony Alpha DSLR-A550back photo of the Sony Alpha DSLR-A550angle photo of the Sony Alpha DSLR-A550


Sony Alpha DSLR-A550
Alpha DSLR-A550

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Showing 4 comments

Avatar for Juanfra Valero Cara Juanfra Valero Cara (9:43 PM, May 13, 2013)
It has phase detect AF, not contrast AF. Please fix.
Johnmcmillin (4:44 AM, April 27, 2011)
I got a similar a500 recently as a cheap panorama maker. As a happy user of Sony's higher-level cameras, I wanted their Dynamic Range Optimizer feature, and this was the cheapest model that had the full feature. Also, I demanded a consistent Kelvin WB setting, which I don't find in Nikon's consumer-proced models. The a5xx series has those helpful features, but they left off one other thing I counted on-- a focus button. On the A500, and perhaps its relatives, there's no way to switch AF on or off except for the switch at the lens mount, which is clumsy to access with the camera mounted vertically on a rotator. Aimed at a blank wall, the AF locks up the camera. So I turn off AF completely for my pans, using it as a MF camera. How's that for 21st-Century progress?

That's just one of the un-ergonomic, misguided choices made in the design of this camera. You almost wonder if it was crippled to make the parallel A33/55 series of EVF SLRs look more desirable, sending Sony's clientele in the company's favored direction? But the camera still has a little appeal. My a500 has a very nice senor, with improved high ISO and longer DR than my A700. The A580 is supposed to be even better. On any day, I rather give back that fraction of image quality for the build quality, complete controls and better VF of the a700, though.
Avatar for Mark Feeney Mark Feeney (2:48 AM, November 12, 2010)
Hi, stevenom. Cool link, but the camera it references is the newer Sony SLT-A55. Those model numbers are pretty close!
Avatar for Steven Steven (1:54 AM, November 12, 2010)
This is one of the two cameras included in Time's The 50 Best Inventions of 2010:,28804,2029497_2030652_2029799,00.html