Updated (March, 2012): Compare the Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 vs Sony SLT A57

Sony SLT-A55

Winner
Sony SLT-A55

75

vs

Sony Alpha DSLR-A550

56

Sony Alpha DSLR-A550

Runner-up
     
 

Reasons to buy the Sony SLT-A55

Movie format
Full HD
1080p @ 30fps
Viewfinder size
Large viewfinder
0.72x
Image stabilization
Image stabilization
Sensor shift
Continuous shooting
Rapid fire
10 fps
 

Reasons to buy the Sony Alpha DSLR-A550

Image stabilization
Image stabilization
Sensor shift
Startup delay
Almost no delay when powering up
500 ms startup delay
Viewfinder
Great viewfinder
Pentamirror
HDR
In-camera HDR
Combines multiple exposures
 
Differences | Recommendations | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Sony DSLR-A550

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Battery life Much longer battery life 950 shots vs 330 shots
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Around 3x more shots per battery charge
Viewfinder Has an optical viewfinder Pentamirror vs Digital
Help
Optical viewfinders save battery life and are more detailed
Startup delay Less startup delay 500 ms vs 900 ms
Help
More than 40% less delay when turning on
Storage slots Has more storage slots 2 vs 1
Help
More slots allows storing more images without switching memory cards
Shutter lag Less shutter lag 184 ms vs 220 ms
Help
Around 20% less delay when taking photos
Thickness Slightly thinner 3.3" vs 3.3"
Help
Almost the same
Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 Learn more about
the Sony DSLR-A550

Advantages of the Sony SLT-A55

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Movie format Shoots movies 1080p @ 30fps vs None
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Shoots Full HD (1080p) video as well as still pictures
Autofocus Video autofocus Phase detection vs None
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Automatically focuses shooting video
Viewfinder size Much larger viewfinder 0.72x vs 0.52x
Help
More than 90% larger viewfinder
Autofocus Faster autofocus Phase detection vs Contrast detection
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Catch candid moments easily
3D Takes 3D photos Yes vs No
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Combines multiple photos into a 3D image
Color depth Better color depth 23 bits vs 21.9 bits
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Distinguishes 1.1 more bits of color
Overall image quality Better image quality 73.0 vs 66.0
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More than 10% better image quality
Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera Yes vs No
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Stitches together multiple photos for a wide perspective
Continuous shooting Shoots much faster 10 fps vs 7 fps
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More than 40% faster continuous shooting
Dynamic range More dynamic range 12.4 EV vs 11.8 EV
Help
0.6 f-stops more dynamic range
GPS Has a GPS Yes vs No
Help
Automatically geotags your photos when traveling
Size Much smaller 124x92x85 mm vs 137x104x84 mm
Help
Around 20% smaller
Light sensitivity (boost) Has boost ISO 25,600 ISO vs None
Help
Allows taking photos in darker situations, often at the cost of additional noise in the image
Lowest price Much cheaper $404.64 vs $1,123.50
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The best price we've seen is $719 cheaper (2.8x less)
True resolution Higher true resolution 16 MP vs 14 MP
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Capture more than 10% more detail in your photos
Weight Lighter 500 g vs 632 g
Help
More than 20% lighter
Sony SLT-A55 Learn more about
the Sony SLT-A55
vs

recommendations

Which camera do we recommend? Relative to the best recent entry-level DSLRs, and ignoring price

Snapsort Recommends
Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 56
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        75 Sony SLT-A55 Sony SLT-A55
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              similarities

              Compared to recent entry-level DSLRs

              Common Strengths Common Weaknesses
              Screen flips out Flip-out screens Help
              Great for movies
              Image stabilization Good image stabilization Help
              Sensor shift
              Continuous shooting Fast continuous shooting Help
              DSLR-A550:7 fps
              SLT-A55:10 fps
              Thickness Quite thick Help
              3.3"
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              1/4000 of a second
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              DSLR-A550:14 MP
              SLT-A55:16 MP
              Lens availability Few lenses available Help
              123 lenses
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              DSLR-A550:807 ISO
              SLT-A55:816 ISO

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Sony SLT A58

              Sony SLT A58

              Entry-level DSLR

              $448 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Supports 24p Records movies in 24p
              Shutter lag Has much more shutter lag
              Screen flips out Doesn't have a screen which flips out
              Sony SLT A57

              Sony SLT A57

              Entry-level DSLR

              $700 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Supports 24p Records movies in 24p
              Lowest price Is significantly more expensive
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Nikon D5100

              Nikon D5100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $378 - $400 body only

              $485 - $669 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is significantly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Shutter lag Has significantly more shutter lag
              Sony SLT-A37

              Sony SLT-A37

              Entry-level DSLR

              $440 - $479 with 18-55mm lens

              Supports 24p Records movies in 24p
              Shutter lag Has slightly less shutter lag
              Startup delay Has slightly more startup delay
              Screen size Has a much smaller screen
              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $319 - $657 body only

              $389 - $477 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is significantly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              HDR Lacks a built in HDR feature
              Shutter lag Has significantly more shutter lag
              Sony Alpha DSLR-A580

              Sony Alpha DSLR-A580

              Entry-level DSLR

              Low light performance Is significantly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Size Is much larger
              Canon Rebel T3i

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $499 - $774 body only

              $549 - $575 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Supports 24p Records movies in 24p
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Size Is slightly larger

              Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Sony Alpha DSLR-A700

              Sony Alpha DSLR-A700

              Entry-level DSLR

              Autofocus Faster autofocus
              Color depth Better color depth
              Live view No live view
              Low light performance More noise at high ISO
              Sony Alpha DSLR-A200

              Sony Alpha DSLR-A200

              Entry-level DSLR

              Autofocus Faster autofocus
              Color depth Better color depth
              Screen resolution Much lower resolution screen
              Live view No live view

              Sony SLT-A55 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Sony SLT-A77

              Sony SLT A77

              Pro DSLR

              $1,298 - $1,538 with 16-50mm lens

              Movie format Higher frame rate movies
              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Startup delay Much more startup delay
              Size Much larger

              appearance

              Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 Sony SLT-A55
              Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 Sony SLT-A55
              Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 Sony SLT-A55

              discussion

              Sony Alpha DSLR-A550
              Alpha DSLR-A550
              Sony

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              Sony SLT-A55
              SLT-A55
              Sony

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