Sony W550

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W550 front
  • 14MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Display
  • ISO 80 - 3200
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • 1280 x 720 video
  • 26-104mm (F2.7-5.7) lens
  • 110g - 94 x 56 x 19mm
  • Introduced July 2011
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Sony W550 overview

Sony W550 is Sony's Ultracompact camera initially released on July of 2011. It houses a 14 MegaPixel, CCD 1/2.3" sized sensor and has a maximum resolution of 4320 x 3240.

The W550 is placed #59 out of 151 in Ultracompact cameras and all round #999 out of 1465 for cameras in our database. Remember to look at our Advanced camera search to find camera ratings based on your custom factors.

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The following is a diagram of multiple criteria used in the scoring system.

Sony W550 family

The Sony W550 comes with a history of related cameras. Listed below, you can discover all earlier and new models along with key specs.

ModelVisualizeLensResolutionSensor SizeReleased
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-WX220 front thumbnailSony WX220
W550 vs WX220
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-W830 front thumbnailSony W830
W550 vs W830
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Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-W810 front thumbnailSony W810
W550 vs W810
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-W550 front thumbnailSony W55026-104mm
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-W560 front thumbnailSony W560
W550 vs W560
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-W570 front thumbnailSony W570
W550 vs W570
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Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-WX9 front thumbnailSony WX9
W550 vs WX9
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-W530 front thumbnailSony W530
W550 vs W530
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-W510 front thumbnailSony W510
W550 vs W510
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-W330 front thumbnailSony W330
W550 vs W330
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-W350 front thumbnailSony W350
W550 vs W350
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Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-W310 front thumbnailSony W310
W550 vs W310
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-W320 front thumbnailSony W320
W550 vs W320
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-W380 front thumbnailSony W380
W550 vs W380

Sony W550 Pros and Cons

Below is a list of advantages and disadvantages of the Sony W550 based on things which are generally viewed as essential in a camera.

above average min ISO (80)
built in zoom lens (26-104mm 4.0 x zoom)
decently wide (26mm)
flash built-in
good megapixels (14 megapixels)
image stabilization (Optical)
includes HDMI socket
screen is a good size (3")
cannot change lens (fixed lens mount)
cannot use external flash
doesn't posses selfie friendly display
does not have phase detect autofocus
does not have RAW format
lack of headphone socket
lack of microphone socket
lack of shutter priority mode
lack of Timelapse recording
low frames per second (1.0 frames per second)
max zoom aperture not good (f5.7)
no aperture priority
no manual control
no manual focus
screen has low resolution (230 k dots)
screen is fixed
sensor is tiny (1/2.3")
slow max aperture (f2.7)
video quality not great (1280 x 720 pixels)
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Sony W550 Sensor specifications

The Sony W550 is powered by the BIONZ chip. The sensor dimension in the Sony W550 is 6.17mm x 4.55mm (1/2.3"). The 28 mm² sensor has the ability to resolve 4320 x 3240 pixels and aspect ratios of 4:3 and 16:9. The camera has got Image Stabilization (Optical). Sensor stabilization is superior than digital stabilization as the latter may lead to cropping.

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The CCD sensor boasts 14 megapixels and delivers a native ISO range of 80 - 3200. Unfortunately, RAW format is not saved which means that the user has less margin for error.

The picture underneath illustrates the W550's sensor dimensions when compared to other common sizes. The W550 sensor comes with a crop factor of 5.8 and is shown in green.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W550 sensor size Snapchat Adds Watermarks to AI-Created Images

To get a sense of different aspect ratios, you should refer to the visual below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Sony W550 dimensions

Sony W550 weighs around 0.24 lb (110 grams or 3.88 oz) and the volume of the camera is 94mm x 56mm x 19mm (3.7" x 2.2" x 0.7"). The weight of normal Ultracompact camera is 121 grams so the Sony W550 is on par when compared to various rivals.

Photography Glossary

Down below is a shot of the Sony W550 beside a softdrink to help you have a sense of its scale.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W550 dimensions scale

The top view just below will provide the button layout on the W550.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W550 topview buttons dials

Sony W550 Lens specifications

The W550 provides a fixed lens and it has a focal range of 26-104mm making it a 4.0 x zoom which won't be significant however it can be invaluable in certain scenarios.

At the widest 26mm, the lens provides an aperture of f2.7 which is very slow and not the best in low light situations and you will probably find it hard to capture good bokeh. You could also have to raise the ISO setting leading to noisy pictures. With the tele end, 104mm comes at f5.7 which is pretty slow and you will need to go with slow shutter speeds.

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Sony W550 Connectivity

The W550 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Cameras with NFC and Bluetooth support can easily be used wirelessly through smartphones. You will be able to transfer photos and in some cases change camera settings with no need to connect straight to the camera.

Certain applications even provide a Liveview and click the shutter in case you aren't near the camera. If the camera features a HDMI out, it could be attached to an external monitor. Most cameras enable you to recharge the battery through the USB socket.

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Sony W550 Video specifications

The maximum video resolution in the Sony W550 is 1280 x 720 and it can shoot in MPEG-4 format. 720p is low by today's standards. You should target at least 1080p resolution for video recording. The camera doesn't feature a mic and headphone port which means you get little control over your audio. It is perhaps best to shop for another model should you want better audio in your video clips.

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Sony W550 Weather Sealing

There is no weather sealing for the Sony W550 so you need to be cautious in wet or dusty situations.

Sony W550 Display and Viewfinder

The Sony W550 is equipped with a 3" fixed display supporting a resolution of 230k dots.

Please note that the display screen offers no touch support.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W550 screen and viewfinder Meta to Introduce 'AI-Generated' Labels for Media starting next month

The View Finder specs regarding Sony W550 are as follows:

  • ViewFinder None

In those sunny outdoor situations which make the camera screens washed out and tricky to view, viewfinders will be quite useful.

Sony W550 Shutter specifications

Sony W550 continuous shooting rate is 1.0 frames per second. The max shutter speed is 1/1600 seconds.

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Sony W550 Flash and Hot shoe specifications

Sony W550 has got only in-built flash without external flash ability.

Sony W550 Autofocus specifications

Sony W550 has got just Contrast Detect Autofocus and is missing Phase Detect Autofocus. Phase Detection focusing is more faster and accurate in comparison with Contrast Detect focusing.

The AF system supports 9 focus points to choose from. Sony W550 does not have manual focus. Manual focus mode is useful during low light situations or you need more exact focus control.

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Sony W550 Battery life

The general Ultracompact camera battery life is 214. Nikon L32 features the highest possible (320) battery life within this range of cameras.

Listed below is a listing of Ultracompact cameras which have the highest battery life:

Sony W550 for specific types of photography

The following bar chart gives a analysis of the Sony W550 for specific types of photography. To look at more, have a look at the specific section underneath.

Sony W550 Portrait photography information

The Sony W550 has a points tally of 28 which is really bad, meaning that it is not good to use for portrait photography. Photographing portrait images favors heavily to sensor resolution, RAW support plus the potential to utilize external lighting.

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decent sensor resolution (14 megapixels)
focusing manually not possible
lack of manual exposure
no external flash support
very small sensor size (1/2.3")
lacks RAW files

Sony W550 as a Street photography camera

Coming in at a reasonable score of 57, the Sony W550 is fairly acceptable for street photography. A very good street photography camera provides a fine balance of image quality and portability.

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image stabilization (Optical)
no articulating screen
sensor size is very small (1/2.3")
doesn't have RAW files

Sony W550 as a Sports photography camera

A really bad sports photography points total of 35 suggests the Sony W550 is not good for photographing sports. A camera should have very good autofocus and fast continuous shooting for sports photography.

Photography Glossary
built in image stabilization (Optical)
decent sensor resolution (14 megapixels)
max frames per second very slow (1.0 fps)
no shutter priority mode
sensor is very small (1/2.3")
lacks phase detect auto focus

Sony W550 Travel photography highlights

Size is very critical when buying a travel camera. On the whole, the Sony W550 gets a above average 65 as a travel camera which is a very decent fit to purchase for your vacations.

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good megapixels (14 megapixels)
has built in flash
decently wide (26mm)
no Time Lapse mode
display isn't selfie friendly
somewhat slow max aperture (f2.7)

Sony W550 as a Landscape photography camera

In case you're planning to purchase a digital camera for landscape photos, the most important factor is going to be image quality. The Sony W550 at it's really bad score of 42 for a landscape camera is not good within the current marketplace.

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really wide (26mm)
screen is a decent size (3 inches)
image stabilization (Optical)
decent megapixels (14MP)
manual focus not available
fixed lens (fixed lens mount)
sluggish maximum aperture (f2.7)
lack of manual mode
sensor size is tiny (1/2.3")
no RAW files
doesn't have Timelapse mode

Sony W550 as a Vlogging camera

A vlogging camera preferably should posses a moving display, mic input and ideally IBIS. Considering every thing, the Sony W550 is not good as a vlog camera as it delivers a really bad rating of 29.

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pretty wide (26mm)
built in image stabilization (Optical)
somewhat slow max aperture (f2.7)
screen isn't selfie friendly
low quality video (1280 x 720 resolution)
doesn't have microphone support

Sony W550 Alternatives

If you need replacements to the W550, below is a selection of the top scored cameras which fall within the category of Ultracompact.

The chart underneath gives you an overview of the W550 compared to it's highest scoring rivals mentioned previously.

Following are several cameras you might take into account as alternate options. To read a thorough comparison, simply click on the "compare" link.

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General Information
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W550
Physical type
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Processor Chip
Sensor size
Sensor measurements
6.17 x 4.55mm
Sensor surface area
Sensor resolution
14 megapixel
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio
4:3 and 16:9
Maximum resolution
4320 x 3240
RAW files
Maximum native ISO
Min native ISO
Focus manually
Touch to focus
Autofocus continuous
Single autofocus
Tracking autofocus
Selective autofocus
Autofocus center weighted
Multi area autofocus
Autofocus live view
Face detect autofocus
Contract detect autofocus
Phase detect autofocus
Number of focus points
Lens mounting type
fixed lens
Lens focal range
26-104mm (4.0x)
Largest aperture
Macro focus distance
Crop factor
Type of display
Fixed Type
Display diagonal
Display resolution
230k dots
Selfie friendly
Touch function
Display tech
Clear Photo LCD
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
DXO scores
DXO All around score
not tested
DXO Color Depth score
not tested
DXO Dynamic range score
not tested
DXO Low light score
not tested
Slowest shutter speed
Maximum shutter speed
Continuous shooting rate
1.0 frames per sec
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Expose Manually
Set white balance
Image stabilization
Integrated flash
Flash range
3.80 m
Flash settings
Auto, On, Off, Slow Sync
External flash
White balance bracketing
Multisegment metering
Average metering
Spot metering
Partial metering
AF area metering
Center weighted metering
Video features
Supported video resolutions
1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Maximum video resolution
Video format
Microphone port
Headphone port
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environment sealing
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
110 gr (0.24 lb)
94 x 56 x 19mm (3.7" x 2.2" x 0.7")
Battery model
Self timer
Yes (2 or 10 sec, Portrait 1/2)
Time lapse recording
Storage type
SD/SDHC/SDXC/Memory Stick Duo/Memory Stick Pro Duo, Memory Stick Pro-HG Duo
Card slots
Price at launch