Sony A550

Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 front
  • 14MP - APS-C Sensor
  • 3" Tilting Display
  • ISO 200 - 12800
  • Sensor based Image Stabilization
  • No Video
  • Sony/Minolta Alpha Mount
  • 632g - 137 x 104 x 84mm
  • Introduced December 2009
  • Superseded the Sony A100
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Lenses
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Sony A550 overview

Sony A550 is Sony's Entry-Level DSLR camera originally announced on December of 2009. The camera comes with a 14MP, CMOS APS-C size sensor with a maximum resolution of 4592 x 3056.

Sony launched this camera to improve the older Sony A100 (Read Full Comparison)

The A550 comes in at #43 out of 80 in Entry-Level DSLR cameras and all round #340 out of 1465 for cameras in our database. Remember to look at our Smart camera filter to find camera listings based on your custom requirements.

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Here is a graph of specific criteria used in the scoring system.

Sony A550 family

The Sony A550 comes with a history of related cameras. Down below, you can discover all earlier and most recent models alongside main specs.

ModelVisualizeResolutionSensor SizeMax fpsReleased
Sony-SLT-A68 front thumbnailSony A68
A550 vs A68
24MPAPS-C8.0 fps2015
Sony-SLT-A58 front thumbnailSony A58
A550 vs A58
20MPAPS-C8.0 fps2013
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Sony-SLT-A57 front thumbnailSony A57
A550 vs A57
16MPAPS-C12.0 fps2012
Sony-SLT-A37 front thumbnailSony A37
A550 vs A37
16MPAPS-C6.0 fps2012
Sony-SLT-A65 front thumbnailSony A65
A550 vs A65
24MPAPS-C10.0 fps2011
Sony-SLT-A35 front thumbnailSony A35
A550 vs A35
16MPAPS-C6.0 fps2011
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Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A580 front thumbnailSony A580
A550 vs A580
16MPAPS-C7.0 fps2011
Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A560 front thumbnailSony A560
A550 vs A560
14MPAPS-C5.0 fps2010
Sony-SLT-A33 front thumbnailSony A33
A550 vs A33
14MPAPS-C7.0 fps2010
Sony-SLT-A55 front thumbnailSony A55
A550 vs A55
16MPAPS-C10.0 fps2010
Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A390 front thumbnailSony A390
A550 vs A390
14MPAPS-C3.0 fps2010
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Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A290 front thumbnailSony A290
A550 vs A290
14MPAPS-C3.0 fps2010
Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A450 front thumbnailSony A450
A550 vs A450
14MPAPS-C7.0 fps2010
Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A550 front thumbnailSony A55014MPAPS-C7.0 fps2009
Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A500 front thumbnailSony A500
A550 vs A500
12MPAPS-C5.0 fps2009
Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A380 front thumbnailSony A380
A550 vs A380
14MPAPS-C3.0 fps2009
Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A330 front thumbnailSony A330
A550 vs A330
10MPAPS-C3.0 fps2009
Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A230 front thumbnailSony A230
A550 vs A230
10MPAPS-C3.0 fps2009
Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A200 front thumbnailSony A200
A550 vs A200
10MPAPS-C3.0 fps2008
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Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A350 front thumbnailSony A350
A550 vs A350
14MPAPS-C3.0 fps2008
Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A300 front thumbnailSony A300
A550 vs A300
10MPAPS-C3.0 fps2008
Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A100 front thumbnailSony A100
A550 vs A100
10MPAPS-C3.0 fps2006

Sony A550 Pros and Cons

Here is a selection of pluses and minuses of the Sony A550 based on aspects which are often viewed as important in a camera.

built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
good megapixels (14 megapixels)
has built in flash
includes face detection focus
includes HDMI port
nice screen size (3 inches)
nice sensor size (APS-C)
saves RAW files
screen has good resolution (922 k dot)
sensor has phase detect auto focus
switch lenses (Sony/Minolta Alpha mount)
tilting screen
you can focus manually
doesn't feature selfie friendly display
lack of external mic port
lack of headphone port
lack of Time Lapse recording
no video recording
terrible battery (480 CIPA)
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Sony A550 Sensor information

The Sony A550 is run by the Bionz processor chip. The measurement of the sensor on the Sony A550 is 23.4mm x 15.6mm (APS-C). The 365 mm² sensor can resolve 4592 x 3056 pixels using aspect ratios of 3:2 and 16:9. The camera includes Image Stabilization (Sensor based). In body stabilization is more desirable than digital stabilization since the latter may lead to cropping.

Photography Glossary

The CMOS sensor boasts 14 megapixels and gives a native ISO range of 200 to 12800. RAW files are supported so you have more room to maneuver in post.

The graphic underneath illustrates the A550's sensor size in comparison to other common sizes. The A550 sensor comes with a crop factor of 1.5 and is displayed in green.

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To get an idea of specific aspect ratios, you should refer to the visual below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Sony A550 dimensions

Sony A550 weighs around 1.39 lb (632g or 22.29 oz) and features external proportions of 137mm x 104mm x 84mm (5.4" x 4.1" x 3.3"). The weight of normal Entry-Level DSLR camera is 540g and the Sony A550 is heavier as compared with other rivals.

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Here is a picture of the Sony A550 besides a soft drink to help you to have a feel for its size.

Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 dimensions scale

The top view underneath will highlight the button arrangement on the A550.

Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 topview buttons dials

Sony A550 Lens information

The A550 uses the Sony/Minolta Alpha mount and has 145 lenses available. Here is a small number of the lenses we have in our database that will work with the A550.

ModelVisualizeFocal LengthApertureStabilizedWeight
Tamron-SP-AF-70-200mm-F2.8-Di-LD-IF-MACRO-Sony-Alpha lensTamron SP AF 70-200mm F2.8 Di LD IF MACRO70-200mmf/2.8 1330g
Sigma-17-70mm-F2.8-4-DC-MACRO-OS-HSM-C-Sony-Alpha lensSigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC MACRO OS HSM C17-70mmf/2.8-4.0 465g
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Sony-50mm-F1.4 lensSony 50mm F1.450mmf/1.4 222g
Sigma-50mm-F1.4-DG-HSM-A-Sony-Alpha lensSigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A50mmf/1.4 815g
Sony-DT-18-250mm-F3.5-6.3 lensSony DT 18-250mm F3.5-6.318-250mmf/3.5-6.3 440g
Sigma-APO-Macro-180mm-F2.8-EX-DG-OS-HSM-Sony-Alpha lensSigma APO Macro 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM180mmf/2.8 1640g
Photography Glossary
Rokinon-35mm-f1.4-Sony-Alpha lensRokinon 35mm f1.435mmf/1.4 660g
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Sony A550 Connectivity

The A550 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Cameras which have NFC or Bluetooth compatibility can be controlled wirelessly through smartphones. You will be able to send photos and sometimes change camera settings without connecting straight with the camera.

Some apps also stream a Liveview and click the shutter if you aren't close to the camera. If the camera boasts a HDMI out, it can be connected to an external display. Many cameras enable you to charge the battery with the USB socket.

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Sony A550 Video information

Sony A550 doesn't take video. If you are looking for a camera to shoot just images, it is not a concern.

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Sony A550 Weather Sealing

There is no weather proofing in the Sony A550 so you have to be cautious in wet and dusty conditions.

Sony A550 Display and Viewfinder

The Sony A550 comes with a 3" tilting display having a resolution of 922k dots.

Please note that the display screen offers no touch support.

Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 screen and viewfinder Snapchat Adds Watermarks to AI-Created Images

The ViewFinder specs regarding Sony A550 are below:

  • ViewFinder Optical (pentamirror)
  • ViewFinder Coverage 95 percent
  • ViewFinder Magnification 0.53x

In those sunny outdoor conditions that make the camera screens washed out and challenging to view, viewfinders will be quite valuable.

Sony A550 Shutter information

Sony A550 continuous shooting rate is 7.0 frames/s. The maximum shutter speed is 1/4000 seconds.

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Sony A550 Flash and Hot shoe information

Sony A550 includes both in-built flash plus external flash ability. The maximum flash sync is 1/160 seconds.

Sony A550 Autofocusing information

Sony A550 includes both Phase Detect Auto Focus and Contrast Detect Auto Focus. Phase Detection autofocusing is a lot quicker and accurate as compared with Contrast Detect autofocusing. The camera comes with Face detect which can be helpful for taking photos of people.

The Sensor comes with 9 focus points to choose from. Sony A550 comes with manual focus if required for low light occasions or you want more exact focus control.

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Sony A550 Battery life

The battery (NP-FM500H) in the Sony A550 is fashioned to last for 480 images according to the CIPA measurements making it lower when compared with its competitors. The general Entry-Level DSLR camera battery life is 589. Pentax K-x features the highest possible (1900) battery life for this class of cameras.

Following is a list of Entry-Level DSLR cameras with the strongest battery life:

Sony A550 for varying styles of photography

The following diagram gives a analysis of the Sony A550 for varying styles of photography. To view more, go to the specific paragraph underneath.

Sony A550 Portrait photography info

The Sony A550 has a points tally of 72 which is nice, meaning that it is a very decent option for portraits. Shooting portrait photos leans heavily to sensor dimension, RAW support plus the potential to use off-camera lighting.

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focusing manually
good resolution (14 megapixels)
sensor size is decent (APS-C)
offers face detection focusing
saves RAW formats

Sony A550 Street photography information

Coming in at a nice points tally of 74, the Sony A550 is a fine fit to use in street photography. A good street photography camera gives a good balance of picture quality plus portability.

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has a tilting screen
built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
good sensor size (APS-C)
saves RAW formats

Sony A550 as a Sports photography camera

A very good sports photography points tally of 67 indicates the Sony A550 is a fine choice for taking photos of sports. A camera needs to have excellent autofocus plus shutter speeds for sports photography.

Photography Glossary
built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
sensor resolution is decent (14MP)
sensor size is good (APS-C)
has phase detect AF
not so great battery life (480 per charge)

Sony A550 Travel photography highlights

Portability is pretty critical in picking a camera for travel. Over-all, the Sony A550 gets a average 52 for a travelling camera which makes it somewhat appropriate to take on your trips.

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sensor resolution is decent (14MP)
has built in flash
doesn't have Timelapse recording
bad battery (480 CIPA)
screen is not selfie friendly

Sony A550 Landscape photography advice

For anybody who is planning to buy a digital camera for landscape pictures, the most important factor will no doubt be image quality. The Sony A550 and it's above average grade of 66 as a landscape camera is a good choice within the current marketplace.

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manual focus
swap lenses (Sony/Minolta Alpha mount)
screen size is decent (3 inch)
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
decent megapixels (14 megapixels)
sensor size is decent (APS-C)
saves RAW files
not so great battery (480 CIPA)
lack of Time Lapse mode

Sony A550 Vlogging highlights

A camera for vlogging ought to have a moving display screen, microphone port and if possible IBIS. Considering everything, the Sony A550 is not good as a vlog camera as it receives a dreadful rating of 9.

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lack of video recording

Sony A550 Alternatives

If you are shopping for replacements to the A550, here is a number of the top placed cameras that fall into the category of Entry-Level DSLR.

The diagram followed below offers you an overview of the A550 vs it's top ranked competitors listed above.

There are a bunch of cameras you may view as alternative options. To browse through a full comparison, just click on the "compare" link.

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General Information
Sony Alpha DSLR-A550
Entry-Level DSLR
Body design
Compact SLR
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Powered by
Sensor size
Sensor dimensions
23.4 x 15.6mm
Sensor surface area
Sensor resolution
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio
3:2 and 16:9
Maximum resolution
4592 x 3056
RAW support
Maximum native ISO
Min native ISO
Focus manually
Touch to focus
AF continuous
AF single
Tracking AF
AF selectice
Center weighted AF
Multi area AF
Live view AF
Face detect focusing
Contract detect focusing
Phase detect focusing
Number of focus points
Lens mounting type
Sony/Minolta Alpha
Number of lenses
Crop factor
Range of display
Display sizing
3 inches
Display resolution
922k dot
Selfie friendly
Touch capability
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
Optical (pentamirror)
Viewfinder coverage
95 percent
Viewfinder magnification
DXO scores
DXO All around score
DXO Color Depth score
DXO Dynamic range score
DXO Low light score
Slowest shutter speed
30 seconds
Maximum shutter speed
1/4000 seconds
Continuous shooting speed
7.0 frames/s
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Expose Manually
Exposure compensation
Change WB
Image stabilization
Inbuilt flash
Flash range
12.00 m
Flash modes
Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow Sync, High Speed Sync, Rear Curtain, Fill-in, Wireless
External flash
WB bracketing
Maximum flash sync
1/160 seconds
AF area
Center weighted
Video features
Maximum video resolution
Mic jack
Headphone jack
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environment seal
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
632g (1.39 lbs)
Physical dimensions
137 x 104 x 84mm (5.4" x 4.1" x 3.3")
Battery life
480 images
Battery form
Battery Pack
Battery model
Self timer
Yes (2 or 10 sec)
Time lapse recording
Storage media
SD/ SDHC, Memory Stick Pro Duo/ Pro-HG Duo
Storage slots
Retail pricing