Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 review
Personally, I've got a few reasons on why i choose this camera instead of other brands. Bear in mind that I'm reviewing based on an amateur photographer's mindset.
1. Proper Live View facility
-This camera has a proper live view facility. When i say proper, what i meant was, it has a superb autofocus capability without compromising the image quality. Trust me, as of March 2010, there're NO OTHER MID-RANGE DSLRs which offers u a proper live view at this price. Apart from that, the autofocus is uber responsive n high in precision.
2. Built-in Image Stabilization that works with any mounted lens.
- I'm sure most photographers out there would know what this is. The question is though, how many manufacturers out there who're willing to provide that feature at such a price? Well, Sony did. Nuff said...
3. Auto High Dynamic Range n Dynamic Range Optimizer.
- Personally, I rarely uses either of these features unless necessary but then, it's good to have it just in case.
4. Smile Shutter
Frankly, I've no idea why Sony include this in a dslr. Promoting self portrait i suppose. Still, for those who're planning to have a few shots of urself without having much trouble of triggering the shutter, this might just be it.
5. Tilting LCD Screen.
The most commonly used feature by me. Low angle, high angle, whatever it is, u name it and it'll just be another shot by me. How many mid-range models out there which are equipped with this? Think about it...
6. A superb continuous shooting speed.
5fps n 7fps, only the a550 has it. As of March 2010, only this camera has this feature n it comes in a reasonable price.
7. A firm grip
In this section, it varies between individuals. For me, i feel that this camera has a huge area of grip which i feel very comfortable n secure when im using it. Not to mention that at this price range, no other brands who're willing to provide u with a large body.
8. Digital teleconverter
A lot of users are complaining why Sony include this feature. Personally, i feel that it's pretty useful. Everytime when my zoom lens aren't reaching the subject, I know that I have another 2 stops of digital zoom to make it happen.
9. Superb battery performance & accurate battery life display
Sony's lithium ion batteries are well known for its performance. With a reasonable price tag, there no other brands that could deliver such performance. Apart from that, Sony's infolithium battery provides an exact percentage of the battery life. It's one of Sony's main cut.
10. A promising Noise Reduction function
Basically, all the vital functions of creating a lovely photograph had came in a package, the Sony a550.
Once again, these are my humble opinions. For the best experience, head to the respective dealers of various brands to test out their products and see which one suits u the best.
PS: I'll add in more in the future...
Theses are a few problems that i encountered...
1. It has a tilting screen but it is not a full swivel screen. Its a huge bummer as u can't flip the LCD backwards for storage.
2. I'm not venturing into amateur film making industries, but I think a video recording feature is a must!!!
3. Comparing to Nikon D90, I think the image quality at high magnification is definitely poorer. If its not because that I'm short of bucks, I would have chosen the D90 with a 18-105 lens. Trust me, if ur budget is permissive head for the Nikon D90.
4. The design of its vertical grip is not so 'secure' to hold compared to Nikon's n Canon's...but im alright with this as im not a person who enjoys vertical shots. For those vertical enthusiast, this might be a point that u should deeply consider.
5. If u're venturing into long range photography, Sony juz isn't ur cup of tea as there're a very limited range of extreme telephoto lenses available. Not to mention that a550 is an APS-C model...which means even fewer extreme telephoto lenses.