Sony A55

Sony SLT-A55 front
  • 16MP - APS-C Sensor
  • 3" Fully Articulated Display
  • ISO 100 - 12800 (Boost to 25600)
  • Sensor based Image Stabilization
  • 1920 x 1080 video
  • Sony/Minolta Alpha Mount
  • 500g - 124 x 92 x 85mm
  • Introduced August 2010
  • Later Model is Sony A57
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Lenses
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Sony A55 overview

Sony A55 is Sony's Entry-Level DSLR camera initially revealed on August of 2010. It features a 16 MegaPixel, CMOS APS-C sized sensor and has a peak resolution of 4912 x 3264.

Sony launched the more recent Sony A57 (Read Full Comparison) in order to upgrade this camera.

The A55 places at #29 out of 80 in Entry-Level DSLR cameras & all-around #239 out of 1465 for cameras in our list. You can look at our Smart camera search to get camera listings based on your custom requirements.

Photography Glossary

The following is a chart of different criteria used in the scoring system.

Sony A55 family

The Sony A55 has a history of related cameras. Here, you can see all previous and brand new models alongside main specs.

ModelVisualizeResolutionSensor SizeMax fpsReleased
Sony-SLT-A68 front thumbnailSony A68
A55 vs A68
24MPAPS-C8.0 fps2015
Sony-SLT-A58 front thumbnailSony A58
A55 vs A58
20MPAPS-C8.0 fps2013
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Sony-SLT-A57 front thumbnailSony A57
A55 vs A57
16MPAPS-C12.0 fps2012
Sony-SLT-A37 front thumbnailSony A37
A55 vs A37
16MPAPS-C6.0 fps2012
Sony-SLT-A65 front thumbnailSony A65
A55 vs A65
24MPAPS-C10.0 fps2011
Sony-SLT-A35 front thumbnailSony A35
A55 vs A35
16MPAPS-C6.0 fps2011
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Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A580 front thumbnailSony A580
A55 vs A580
16MPAPS-C7.0 fps2011
Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A560 front thumbnailSony A560
A55 vs A560
14MPAPS-C5.0 fps2010
Sony-SLT-A55 front thumbnailSony A5516MPAPS-C10.0 fps2010
Sony-SLT-A33 front thumbnailSony A33
A55 vs A33
14MPAPS-C7.0 fps2010
Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A390 front thumbnailSony A390
A55 vs A390
14MPAPS-C3.0 fps2010
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Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A290 front thumbnailSony A290
A55 vs A290
14MPAPS-C3.0 fps2010
Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A450 front thumbnailSony A450
A55 vs A450
14MPAPS-C7.0 fps2010
Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A550 front thumbnailSony A550
A55 vs A550
14MPAPS-C7.0 fps2009
Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A500 front thumbnailSony A500
A55 vs A500
12MPAPS-C5.0 fps2009
Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A380 front thumbnailSony A380
A55 vs A380
14MPAPS-C3.0 fps2009
Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A330 front thumbnailSony A330
A55 vs A330
10MPAPS-C3.0 fps2009
Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A230 front thumbnailSony A230
A55 vs A230
10MPAPS-C3.0 fps2009
Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A200 front thumbnailSony A200
A55 vs A200
10MPAPS-C3.0 fps2008
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Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A350 front thumbnailSony A350
A55 vs A350
14MPAPS-C3.0 fps2008
Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A300 front thumbnailSony A300
A55 vs A300
10MPAPS-C3.0 fps2008
Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A100 front thumbnailSony A100
A55 vs A100
10MPAPS-C3.0 fps2006

Sony A55 Pros and Cons

Below is a checklist of good and bad points of the Sony A55 based on criterias that are typically seen as essential in a camera.

above average min ISO (100)
comes with face detect autofocus
display is selfie friendly
exports RAW formats
flash built-in
focusing manually
good megapixels (16MP)
has HDMI socket
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
has microphone socket
has phase detect autofocus
high quality video (1920 x 1080 pxls)
interchangeable lenses (Sony/Minolta Alpha mount)
screen articulates
screen is a good size (3 inch)
sensor size is nice (APS-C)
very good screen resolution (921 thousand dots)
missing headphone socket
missing Timelapse function
terrible battery power (380 shots)
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Sony A55 Sensor specifications

The Sony A55 features the Bionz processor chip. The sensor specification in the Sony A55 is 23.5mm x 15.6mm (APS-C). The 367 mm² sensor is able to resolve 4912 x 3264 pixels and aspect ratios of 3:2 and 16:9. The camera has Image Stabilization (Sensor based). Optical stabilization is more effective than digital stabilization as the latter can produce cropping.

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The CMOS sensor has 16MP and includes a native ISO range of 100 - 12800. This ISO can be extended digitally to a high of 25600. RAW format is saved therefore you have wider margin for error.

The image below displays the A55's sensor dimensions in comparison to other common sizes. The A55 sensor has a crop factor of 1.5 and is pointed out in green.

Sony SLT-A55 sensor size Samsung Releases Faster Versions of EVO MicroSD Cards

To get a sense of various aspect ratios, you can refer to the visual below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Sony A55 dimensions

Sony A55 is 1.10 pounds (500 gr / 17.64 oz) & the volume of the camera is 124mm x 92mm x 85mm (4.9" x 3.6" x 3.3"). The weight of general Entry-Level DSLR camera is 540 gr so the Sony A55 is very similar compared with other competitors.

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The following is a photo of the Sony A55 with a softdrink so you can get a feel for its scale.

Sony SLT-A55 dimensions scale

The top view below will highlight the button design on the A55.

Sony SLT-A55 topview buttons dials

Sony A55 Lens specifications

The A55 works with the Sony/Minolta Alpha mount and has 145 lenses to pick from. Below is some of the lenses we have in our database which will fit the A55.

ModelVisualizeFocal LengthApertureStabilizedWeight
Sigma-18-250mm-F3.5-6.3-DC-Macro-OS-HSM-Sony-Alpha lensSigma 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM18-250mmf/3.5-6.3 470g
Sony-70-400mm-F4-5.6-G-SSM lensSony 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM70-400mmf/4.0-5.6 1490g
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Tamron-SP-AF-60mm-F2-Di-II-LD-IF-Macro-Sony-Alpha lensTamron SP AF 60mm F2 Di II LD IF Macro60mmf/2.0 400g
Tamron-SP-85mm-F1.8-Di-VC-USD--Sony-Alpha lensTamron SP 85mm F1.8 Di VC USD85mmf/1.8 700g
Tamron-AF-18-250mm-F3.5-6.3-Di-II-LD-Aspherical-IF-Macro-Sony-Alpha lensTamron AF 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 Di II LD Aspherical IF Macro18-250mmf/3.5-6.3 430g
Rokinon-24mm-f1.4-Aspherical-Sony-Alpha lensRokinon 24mm f1.4 Aspherical24mmf/1.4 580g
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Sigma-8-16mm-F4.5-5.6-DC-HSM-Sony-Alpha lensSigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM8-16mmf/4.5-5.6 555g
Photography Glossary

Sony A55 Connectivity

The A55 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • Wireless Yes
  • HDMI Yes
  • GPS Yes

Cameras which include NFC and Bluetooth connectivity can easily be used wirelessly by smartphones. You are able to transfer pictures and oftentimes alter settings with no need to connect physically to the camera.

Several applications even give a Liveview and press the shutter whenever you aren't close to the camera. If the camera boasts a HDMI port, it could be attached to an external screen. Most cameras will allow you to charge the battery through the USB socket.

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Sony A55 Video specifications

The highest video resolution in the Sony A55 is 1920 x 1080 and you can shoot in MPEG-4, AVCHD and H.264 format. 1080p resolution delivers a great balance for quality and file sizes but FULL HD won't give you any room to downsample. While the camera has a microphone port, it is lacking a headphone port which means you will not have the ability to check your sound levels.

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Sony A55 Weather Sealing

There is no weather proofing in the Sony A55 so you need to be cautious in rainy or dusty situations.

Sony A55 Display and Viewfinder

The Sony A55 features a 3 inch fully articulated screen supporting a resolution of 921 thousand dots.

It possesses a selfie friendly display to take self portraits and group photos when necessary. Unfortunately the screen is not a touch screen.

Sony SLT-A55 screen and viewfinder Body cameras now worn by bakery staff to deter stealing

The View Finder specs for Sony A55 are below:

  • ViewFinder Electronic
  • Resolution 1,150 thousand dots
  • Coverage 100%
  • Magnification 0.73x

Viewfinders are pretty handy for bright outdoor situations which may make the camera display washed out and hard to see.

Sony A55 Shutter specifications

Sony A55 continuous shooting speed is 10.0 frames/s. The maximum shutter speed is 1/4000 sec.

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Sony A55 Flash and Hot shoe specifications

Sony A55 has both integrated flash as well as external flash ability. The max flash sync speed is 1/160 sec.

Sony A55 Autofocus specifications

Sony A55 has both Phase Detect AF as well as Contrast Based AF. Phase Detection autofocusing is a lot more faster & accurate in comparison with Contrast Based autofocusing. The camera features Face detect which can be handy for portraits.

It features 15 focus points to choose from. Sony A55 boasts manual focusing when required for low light or you want to have more exact control on focusing.

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Sony A55 Battery life

The battery power (NP-FW50) in the Sony A55 is fashioned to last for 380 shutters according to the CIPA specifications which is lower compared with it's competitors. The typical Entry-Level DSLR camera battery life is 589. Pentax K-x features the highest (1900) battery life for this class of cameras.

Underneath is a listing of Entry-Level DSLR cameras with the highest battery life:

ModelVisualizeBattery LifeRAWNFCBluetooth
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Canon-EOS-Rebel-SL3 front thumbnailCanon SL3
A55 vs SL3
1070 yesnoyes

Sony A55 for different forms of photography

The following chart provides a analysis of the Sony A55 for different forms of photography. To look at more, check out the specific section below.

Sony A55 Portrait photography features

The Sony A55 receives a points tally of 73 which is nice, meaning that it is a respectable pick to use for portrait photography. Photographing portrait images favors heavily to sensor dimensions, support for RAW files in addition to the ability to use external flash.

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you can focus manually
decent MP (16MP)
sensor size is nice (APS-C)
provides face detection autofocus
exports RAW formats

Sony A55 Street photography advice

Having a outstanding score of 77, the Sony A55 is a fantastic option to use in street photography. A good street photography camera features a good balance of image quality and portability.

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screen articulates
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
sensor size is good (APS-C)
exports RAW files

Sony A55 Sports photography highlights

A nice sports photography points total of 68 indicates the Sony A55 is a good pick for taking pictures of sports. A camera really should have great focusing and fast continuous shooting for sports photography.

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has image stabilization (Sensor based)
sensor resolution is decent (16 megapixels)
good sensor size (APS-C)
sensor has phase detect autofocus
low battery life (380 shots)

Sony A55 as a Travel photography camera

Size is super critical when getting a camera for travel. On the whole, the Sony A55 gets a above average 62 as a travelling camera which is a very decent choice to take with you on your travels.

Photography Glossary
decent MP (16 megapixels)
flash built-in
display is selfie friendly
doesn't have Timelapse function
not so great battery (380 CIPA)

Sony A55 Landscape photography info

For those who are planning to pick a digital camera for landscape pictures, the biggest factor will no doubt be image quality. The Sony A55 and it's nice rating of 67 for a landscape camera is a good pick in the current marketplace.

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manual focus
change lenses (Sony/Minolta Alpha mount)
pretty good screen size (3")
image stabilization (Sensor based)
sensor resolution is decent (16 megapixels)
sensor size is good (APS-C)
saves RAW formats
low battery (380 per charge)
no Time Lapse function

Sony A55 as a Vlogging camera

A camera for vlogging really should have a moving display, microphone port and ideally IBIS. Taking everything into account, the Sony A55 is a tremendous choice as a vlog camera as it receives a tremendous rating of 78.

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selfie friendly display
built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
includes face detect focus
good video quality (1920 x 1080 pxls)
does have mic port

Sony A55 Alternatives

If you are interested in replacements to the A55, here is a range of the highest rated cameras which fall into the class of Entry-Level DSLR.

The chart below shows you a summary of the A55 compared to it's top ranking rivals listed previously.

There are a bunch of cameras you might look at as alternatives. To browse through a extensive comparison, simply click the "compare" link.

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General Information
Model type
Sony SLT-A55
Entry-Level DSLR
Physical type
Compact SLR
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Sensor size
Sensor measurements
23.5 x 15.6mm
Sensor surface area
Sensor resolution
16 megapixel
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio
3:2 and 16:9
Highest resolution
4912 x 3264
RAW format
Highest native ISO
Highest boosted ISO
Min native ISO
Focus manually
Autofocus touch
Continuous autofocus
Single autofocus
Autofocus tracking
Selective autofocus
Autofocus center weighted
Autofocus multi area
Autofocus live view
Face detect focus
Contract detect focus
Phase detect focus
Total focus points
Cross type focus points
Lens mount type
Sony/Minolta Alpha
Available lenses
Focal length multiplier
Display type
Fully Articulated
Display sizing
3 inch
Resolution of display
921 thousand dots
Selfie friendly
Touch friendly
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder resolution
1,150 thousand dots
Viewfinder coverage
Viewfinder magnification
DXO scores
DXO All around rating
DXO Color Depth rating
DXO Dynamic range rating
DXO Low light rating
Lowest shutter speed
30 seconds
Highest shutter speed
1/4000 seconds
Continuous shooting rate
10.0 frames/s
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manual mode
Exposure compensation
Set white balance
Image stabilization
Built-in flash
Flash distance
10.00 m (@ ISO 100)
Flash settings
Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow Sync, High Speed Sync, Rear Curtain, Fill-in, Wireless
External flash
White balance bracketing
Highest flash synchronize
1/160 seconds
AF area
Center weighted
Video features
Video resolutions
1920 x 1080 (60, 29.97 fps), 1440 x 1080 (30fps), 640 x 424 (29.97 fps)
Highest video resolution
Video data format
MPEG-4, AVCHD, H.264
Microphone port
Headphone port
Eye-Fi Connected
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmental sealing
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
500 grams (1.10 lb)
124 x 92 x 85mm (4.9" x 3.6" x 3.3")
Battery life
380 images
Battery type
Battery Pack
Battery ID
Self timer
Yes (2 or 10 sec)
Time lapse shooting
Type of storage
SD/SDHC/SDXC/Memory Stick Pro Duo/ Pro-HG Duo
Card slots
Retail pricing