Sony’s latest DSLRs, the Alpha 33 and Alpha 55, are really intriguing cameras. To me, it shows that the pioneering spirit of Minolta is still very much alive. Minolta is the company that gave us the very first DSLR with an in-camera focus motor as well as the first camera ever to use in-camera anti-shake. Sadly Minolta quit the camera business and sold its camera division to Sony.
Anyway, back to the cameras. The difference between the two is that the Alpha 55 has higher resolution (16.2 vs 14.2 megapixels), higher continuous shooting (10 vs 7 fps) and GPS built in. I recently played with the Alpha 55 at a Sony showroom and was quite impressed with how much the little camera can do. To me, the features that stand out are:
- Translucent Mirror Technology – basically the mirrors that we’re used to seeing in traditional SLRs is now a semi-transparent one, allowing the camera to continuously auto-focus
- 10 frames per second shooting – other cameras in this price range are only doing around 4.5fps
- Electronic viewfinder – to some people, it’s not really that impressive, but I’m sure the technology will mature enough such that resolution and quality will improve over time. Due to the EVF, Sony can virtually overlay any type of info they want, for example, a virtual horizon. The EVF also gives the camera its unique shape and smallish size.
- Swivel LCD
The body did feel like it had too much plastic, but this won’t really bother customers in this segment. As with my Nikon D7000 and SB-700 roundups, below are a collection of links I’ve come across in doing research on the Alpha 55.
- CNet Asia
- Digital Photography Review
- Ken Rockwell
- Let’s Go Digital
- Digital Camera Resource
- Popular Photography
- PC Magazine
- Photo Review Australia
- Imaging Resource
- Luminous Landscape: Preview Field Report (added 1 Jan 2011)
- Luminous Landscape: A Further Evaluation (added 1 Jan 2011)
- Macworld (added 9 Jan 2011)
- NeoCamera (added 2 Feb 2011)