Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sony A550...touched!

This morning, I went to Sony Centre in Wisma Merdeka to personally molest the new Alpha A550. I, as well as most alpha users have been eagerly awaiting this camera as it promises better output through its new CMOS Exmor sensor, and some improvements over the rest of Sony's APS-C dslrs. So here's my take on it. A simple one though. ;P

Two-tone colour looks good.

In my hand, it felt really nice. It's not as big as my a700, so the grip fits nicely in my palm. Good. The plastics are the same like the A230 and a330 series. It's not as heavy as well. Like the A230 and A330, the ON/OFF button have been changed. It surrounds the shutter button, a bonus for photographers who would use in with one hand.

Thanks to Sony for not using the smaller FH50 batteries on the A230 and A330 in this model. The battery, meant for handycams is good to reduce weight, but there aren't a lot of photograhers who would bring both handycams and dslrs in the same time in their bag. But a lot would bring two dslr bodies, especially older Sony dslr using the FM500H so that both bodies can share the same batteries.

Enough with the exterior. I quickly mounted the Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 lens on the A550, switched it on and wallah! I was greeted with a new interface. Sony revamped it to make new users understand the functions of the camera easier. Without any hesitation, I set the ISO to 3200 and took a photo( FYI, all photos taken with the A550 is fresh. No PP except resizing). Oh, by the way, this camera is fast in terms of capturing images. I would say faster than my a700.

Looks good. It matched the ISO performance of V.4 A700 firmware. So I tried ISO 6400.

The new WX-1 Cybershot.

One new feature that is very appealing is the Auto HDR(High Dynamic Range). What the A550 does is take two photos, and combine them to produce a well-exposed photo. Just like the DRO function, just better and addictive.

Not a good example of HDR. Hehe.

Then there's the MF Check Live View button. It raises the mirror to expose the sensor, and you can focus manually using the Live View mode. A big advantage of the A550 than the rest of the Alpha dslrs is that takes 7 frames per second in Speed Mode. Good for panning shots. Apart from that, there's the 1.4/2.0X Smart Teleconverters. It increases the zooming capabilities of the lens attached. Few features that also worth noting is the Smile Shutter and Face Detection that usually found in Sony's Cybershot cameras. The tilting 3" LCD helps with high and low angle shots. Again it's fast and responsive.

With all the goodies, I did find a few slacks. The jog dial which is located in front of the shutter, placed quite low to my liking. I still prefer the one on the A700. And the placements of the buttons on top could be made better for easier operations. No movie mode like other makes? So far I still don't have the need for it.

Well, that concludes my take on the A550. I could not say much as I molested it for just around 15 minutes or so. You can read more from Uncle Google. If I'm still using my A200 now, I would seriously consider this because of the Auto HDR and the noise control it possesses. The main question now is, how much would it cost you? RM2699 body only. :D

An array of buttons.

Gorgeous 3" tilting LCD.

A good substitute for dumbells.

Lastly, I tried the WX-1 Cybershot as well. It uses the new back-lit Exmor-R sensor which increases low-light capabilities and the implementation of the G lens for better photos. Just one shot and I'm impressed. Not forgetting the Sweep Panorama. Super easy, super nice! Would like to get it as well if I have the extra money. For now, I can only 'molest'.


  1. sony price lar. tunggu zaloon punya price. :D

    anyway, still consider a good price with the specs it provided.

  2. bro..racun tu...

    ko jual your A700 to me...hahahaha!

  3. kenny : zaloon, a shop at kl which sells alpha at competitive prices.

    josh : sayang my a700.