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Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 Kit
14.2-megapixel digital SLR camera with 18-55mm lens
Item # 158A550L | MFR # DSLRA550L
This item is no longer available.
Our take on the Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 Kit by Crutchfield's Dave Bar
Discover a new level of picture-taking performance with the Sony Alpha DSLR-A550. This versatile digital SLR comes packed with an array of helpful features that makes it easy to explore your creative side. You can tilt the high-resolution LCD to snap pictures with a different point of view. Or, capture crystal clear photos in challenging low-light conditions thanks to enhanced, on-board noise reduction. The 'A550's advanced CMOS sensor delivers stunningly detailed 14.2-megapixel images for printing gorgeous photo enlargements. The supplied 18-55mm Sony zoom lens gives you crisp pics and versatile, all around performance for everyday use.
3" high-res tilt-screen LCD for easier shooting
Unlike some digital SLRs, the 'A550 gives you two ways to compose and shoot your pictures. You can frame your photos with the camera's traditional optical viewfinder. A handy autofocus feature begins focusing your picture as soon as you bring your eye to the viewfinder no need to press down the shutter-release button halfway. Or, spot your subjects and frame your shots using the responsive live view LCD, just like you would with a point-and-shoot camera. The LCD's tilt-screen design lets you adjust it up or down for creative shooting from tricky high or low angles, and its exceptional resolution gives you a clear window to check for critical focus on fine details.
Built-in image stabilization for blur-free pictures
The 'A550's built-in image stabilization technology minimizes blurry pictures caused by accidental camera movement. This system physically shifts the position of the image sensor to compensate for camera shake, maintaining optimum picture sharpness. Because the system is built into the camera instead of the lens, you can take advantage of its benefits with any lens you use. And your images will look spotless thanks to anti-dust technology that uses ultrasonic vibration to shake dust off the sensor.
Capture fantastic, high-speed action sequences
Sony's sophisticated image processor provides near-instant camera startup and shutter response. It also makes it possible to shoot images continuously at up to five fps (frames per second) using the viewfinder, or four fps with the LCD in live view mode. A special Speed Priority mode even lets you capture shots at a blazing seven fps for high-quality photo sequences, like a horse and rider clearing the fence at a steeplechase or the expressions on your child's face when she blows out the candles on her birthday cake.
- 14.2-megapixel effective recording
- APS-C-size CMOS image sensor (23.4 x 15.6 mm)
- DT 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 SAM Sony zoom lens (35mm equivalent focal length: 27-82.5mm)
- 3X optical zoom (approximate)
- built-in sensor-shift SteadyShot INSIDE image stabilization (works with all attached lenses)
- Sony BIONZ image processor for accurate, low noise images and responsive shooting
- 3" high-res tilt-screen LCD (921,600 dots) with live view mode for composing shots on-screen in real-time (adjusts up to 90 degrees upward and 90 degrees downward)
- optical SLR viewfinder (with diopter adjustment)
- Eye-Start® Autofocus System begins focusing your picture as soon as you bring your eye to the viewfinder
- face detection AF fine tunes exposure and white balance for more natural skin tones (live view only)
- smile shutter automatically shoots when subject smiles (live view only)
- Quick Auto Focus live view uses a second built-in image sensor to eliminate focus delay
- Manual Focus Check mode allows accurate fine focusing when in manual focus mode (live view only)
- built-in anti-dust technology for spotless photos
- 9-point autofocus with center cross-type sensor for accurate, high-speed focusing
- auto High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode takes two exposures in rapid succession and combines them to capture increased shadow and highlight details
- Dynamic Range Optimizer
- built-in auto pop-up flash with flash compensation
- user-friendly on-screen menus with built-in help guide
- warranty: 1 year
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- compatible with Sony Alpha, Minolta, and Konica/Minolta A-type bayonet mount autofocus lenses
Exposure Modes and Controls:
- continuous shooting mode: 5 frames per second (using viewfinder), 4 frames per second (using LCD in live mode)
- Speed Priority mode allows shooting with viewfinder at up to 7 frames per second
- shutter speed range: 30-1/4,000 seconds
- sensitivity or ISO (film speed equivalent) range: 200-12,800
- program auto, shutter-priority, aperture-priority, manual, flash off auto, and fully automatic exposure modes
- auto exposure, flash, and white balance bracketing (3 frames for each)
- preset scene modes for accurately exposed images in various shooting environments
- flash sync at 1/160 second
File Formats and Storage:
- image storage modes: JPEG, RAW, and RAW+JPEG (Fine or Standard)
- 3:2 JPEG options (pixels): 4,592 x 3056; 3,344 x 2,224; 2,288 x 1,520
- 16:9 JPEG options (pixels): 4,592 x 2,576; 3,344 x 1,872; 2,288 x 1,280
- dual media slots accept optional Memory Stick® PRO Duo, SD and high capacity SDHC memory cards
Connections and Dimensions:
- high-speed USB interface
- mini HDMI output for sharing images on a compatible HDTV (cable not included)
- 5-7/16"W x 4-1/8"H x 3-5/16"D (without lens)
- weight (body only): 21.1 oz.
- rechargeable NP-FM500H lithium ion battery
- battery charger
- adjustable neck strap
- USB cable
- software CD-ROM
What's in the Box:
- Sony DSLR-A550 camera with attached body cap
- SAL1855 Lens (DT18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM) with attached front lens cap and rear lens cover
- NP-FM500H rechargeable InfoLithium battery (7.2V/11.8Wh)
- BC-VM10 Battery charger
- 62" AC cord
- 56" USB cable (has a USB type A connector on one end and a mini-USB connector on the other end)
- Adjustable camera strap
- Viewfinder eyepiece cover
- CD-ROM (Application software)
- Instruction Manual
- Operating Instructions (for lens)
- Precautions Before Using (for lens)
- On-line registration sheet
- Limited warranty sheet
- "Portrait Macro Flash" guide to photography
- Lens brochure
- Accessory brochure
Features and Specs
|LCD Screen Size||3"|
|Lens 35mm Equivalent||27mm-82.5mm|
|Sensor Size||23.4 x 15.6mm CMOS|
|Image Stabilization||Sensor Shift|
|Highest Resolution||4592 x 3056|
|Weight With Battery (ounces)||23.9|
|Parts Warranty||1 Year|
|Labor Warranty||1 Year|
Tiltable 3.0" LCD Screen: The DSLR-A550 uses a 3" TFT Xtra Fine LCD screen with 921,600 pixels, and Sony's Clear Photo LCD display technology. The LCD can be tilted 90° up or down to help you frame high and low angle shots that would otherwise be hit or miss. You can switch the camera to Live View to frame your shots using the 3" LCD. If you're using the optical viewfinder to frame your shots, the LCD displays the camera's recording information. The LCD turns off automatically when you bring the camera up to your eyes.
Optical Viewfinder: The fixed eye-level penta-Dach-mirror optical viewfinder provides approximately 95% field of view. In addition, it offers viewfinder magnification of 0.8x (with 50 mm lens at infinity), allowing you to see an image nearer to its actual size. The DSLR-A550 comes with an eyepiece cover which can help shield against light entering the camera and prevent exposure errors.
Versatile Recording Formats: Images can be captured in the following modes:
- RAW+JPEG (Fine)
- JPEG (Fine and Standard)
Dual Media Options: The DSLR-A550 camera accepts two types of media for capturing still images: Memory Stick PRO Duo (including Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo) up to 16 GB, and SD and SDHC Memory Cards up to 32 GB. The maximum number of images that can be recorded on a memory card formatted with this camera varies between the two types of media:
Capacity based on images taken at L 14M/Aspect Ratio: 3:2:
|Memory Stick PRO Duo|
|Size \ Capacity||1 GB||2 GB||4 GB||8 GB||16 GB|
|RAW & JPEG||43||92||184||370||752|
|SD & SDHC Memory Card|
|Size \ Capacity||1 GB||2 GB||4 GB||8 GB||16 GB|
|RAW & JPEG||51||103||209||423||860|
Image Sensor: The DSLR-A550 features an APS-C Exmor CMOS image sensor (23.4 x 15.6mm). It has approximately 14.6-million total pixels and 14.2-million effective pixels.
Image Sizes: You can record still images in a 3:2 or 16:9 aspect ratio. The image sizes include:
|Aspect Ratio||Image Size||Resolution|
|3:2||L: 14M||4592 x 3056|
|M: 7.4M||3344 x 2224|
|S: 3.5M||2288 x 1520|
|16:9||L: 12M||4592 x 2576|
|M: 6.3M||3344 x 1872|
|S: 2.9M||2288 x 1280|
Bionz Image Processor: The camera uses the newest version of Sony's Bionz Image Processor with chroma noise reduction to deliver high resolution, low-noise photos, even at 12,800 sensitivity. The powerful Sony Large Scale Integrated Circuit (LSI) also delivers fast processing for quick response on data-intensive 14.2 megapixel images.
SteadyShot INSIDE In-Camera Image Stabilization: Building on years of expertise, Sony has developed a body-integrated image stabilization solution for the DSLR-A550. The SteadyShot INSIDE in-camera image stabilizer actually shifts the image sensor to compensate for camera shake without sacrificing image quality. The compensation effect is equal to as many as four shutter speed steps, giving you more creative freedom when shooting in low light. And, because it is integrated into the camera body, SteadyShot INSIDE technology works with all compatible α (alpha) system lenses.
Smart Teleconverter: In the Quick Auto Focus Live View mode, you can extend the optical zoom of the lens with a digital zoom. One touch zooms in at 1.4x, while a second touch advances to 2x zoom. The system reproduces pixels on a 1:1 basis so there's no degradation in picture quality.
9-Point AF System: The A550's high-performance autofocus system uses 9 focus points to deliver fast and precise focusing. You can choose from the following Auto/Manual Focus Modes:
- AF (Auto focus) Mode: You can select between 3 modes:
- Single-Shot AF: The camera focuses and the focus is locked when you press the shutter button halfway down.
- Continuous AF: The camera continues to focus while the shutter button is pressed and held halfway down.
- Automatic AF: This mode automatically switches between single-shot AF and continuous AF depending on the movement of the subject.
- AF (Auto focus) Area: You can select between 3 settings:
- Wide: The camera determines which of the nine local focus frames is used in focusing with the wide focus frame.
- Spot: The camera uses the AF area located in the center area exclusively.
- Local: You can choose a local focus area from the 9 areas using the controller.
- Manual Focus: When it is difficult to get the proper focus in auto focus mode, you can adjust the focus manually. This mode allows you to set the distance of a subject by rotating the focusing ring of the lens to achieve a sharp focus.
Focus Lock: If a subject is off-center and outside of the AF area, you can lock the focus of the camera.
AF Illuminator: When you press the shutter button halfway down a red illuminator is emitted until the focus is locked. Under dark lighting conditions or when you shoot a low contrast subject, the AF illuminator allows the camera to focus more easily on the subject. The AF illuminator has a range of approximately 3.3 to 16.4 feet.
Drive Modes: The camera offers the following shooting modes:
- Single Shot Advance: Default setting for standard picture taking.
- Shooting Continuously: When you press and hold the shutter button, the camera
records the images continuously at a maximum 5 images per second (4 ips in
Live View mode) when set to High, and a maximum of three images per second
when set to Low. The
maximum number of continuous shots varies with the recording format:
- RAW: 14 images
- RAW & JPEG: 7 images
- Fine: 32 images
- Standard: 116 images
- Speed Priority Continuous: In this mode, the camera shoots continuously at a maximum of seven images per second. The exposure and focus are set at the first shot. This mode is not available when using Scene Selection modes (except Sports Action). Face Detection may slow the speed of continuous shooting.
You can set the camera to two different self-timers:
- 10 Second: After you press the shutter button, the shutter will be released about 10 seconds later. This is convenient when the photographer wants to appear in a photo.
- 2 Second: After you press the shutter button, the shutter will be released about 2 seconds later. This is convenient to reduce camera-shake.
- Exposure Bracket:
The camera can shoot three continuous images with the exposures shifted
automatically. It uses two settings:
- Ambient Light: This setting shoots images continuously with exposure value shifted by plus or minus 0.3 steps.
- Flash Bracket: This setting shoots images continuously with the exposure value shifted by plus or minus 0.7 step, and flash compensation -1.0
- White Balance Bracket Shooting:
Based on the selected white balance and color temperature, three pictures
are taken while automatically shifting the color temperature. One shot
records three frames of an image in following order - image with "normal
white balance", image with "paler colors", and image with "reddish colors".
The camera uses two settings for this feature:
- Low: This setting shifts the white balance by 10 mired (a unit to indicate the color conversion quality in color temperature filters) when taking a picture.
- High: Shifts the white balance by 20 mired when taking a picture.
- Wireless Remote Commander: You can shoot using the "SHUTTER" or "2SEC" buttons on the optional RMT-DSLR1 Wireless Remote Commander. Using the Remote Commander reduces camera shake and continues the exposure without pressing and holding the shutter button.
Exposure Modes: The camera offers the following exposure recording modes:
- Auto: This mode allows easy shooting with settings adjusted automatically depending entirely on the camera.
- Face Detection Function: The camera detects faces, adjusts the focus, exposure, performs image processing, and adjusts flash settings.
- Scene Selection: You can select an appropriate mode for the
subject or the shooting conditions to allow you to shoot the image with a
suitable setting for the subject:
- Portrait: blurs away backgrounds and sharpens the subject; expresses skin tones softly
- Landscape: shoots the entire range of scenery in sharp focus with vivid colors.
- Macro: for shooting close subjects such as flowers, insects, dishes, or small goods.
- Sports Action: for shooting moving subjects outdoors or in bright places.
- Sunset: for shooting the red of the sunset beautifully
- Night Portrait/View: for shooting portraits in night scenes, or shooting night scenes at a distance without losing the dark atmosphere of the surroundings.
- Program Auto: This mode allows you to shoot with the exposure adjusted automatically (both the shutter speed and the aperture value), while keeping the custom settings for ISO sensitivity, Creative Style, D-Range optimizer, etc.
- Aperture Priority: This mode allows you to shoot after adjusting the aperture value manually, letting the camera set the appropriate shutter speed. This mode gives you greater control over the depth of field.
- Shutter Speed Priority: This mode allows you to shoot after adjusting the shutter speed manually, letting the camera set the appropriate aperture. With a high shutter speed, the moving subject appears as if it is frozen on the image. With a slow shutter speed, the moving subject appears as if it were flowing.
- Manual Exposure:
This mode allows you to shoot after adjusting the exposure (shutter speed
and aperture) manually.
- Manual Shift: You can change the shutter speed and aperture value combination without changing the exposure in manual mode.
- Bulb (Long Exposure) Shooting: In this setting as long as the shutter button is pressed, the shutter remains open. You can shoot trails of light, such as fireworks.
Smile Shutter: The A550's Smile Shutter function can detect a smile on the subject, and automatically capture the shot. You can set the sensitivity of the Smile Shutter function for detecting smiles to one of the following three options: Slight Smile, Normal Smile, and Big Smile. The Smile Shutter function only works when the camera is set to Autofocus in the Live View mode.
Exposure Compensation: Exposure compensation is used to alter the camera's standard exposure setting. You can make the image look lighter (increased exposure) or darker (decreased exposure). The exposure compensation amount can be set up to +/-2 EV in 1/3-step increments.
AE Lock: You can fix the exposure before deciding on the composition when taking a picture. This is effective when the metering object and focusing object are different or when you want to shoot continuously while keep the same exposure value.
Metering Mode: A 40-segment honeycomb sensing system provides multi-pattern measuring for superior exposure control accuracy in a wide range of lighting conditions. You can select the method for measuring the brightness of a subject from the following three methods:
- MultiSegment: This method uses the whole screen divided into 40 segments to measure light.
- Center Weighted: While emphasizing the central area of the screen, this method measure the average brightness of the entire screen.
- Spot: This method measure light only in the spot metering circle in the center of the frame.
White Balance: You can adjust the color tones according to the lighting conditions. You can choose from the following WB options:
- Auto WB: This mode adjusts the white balance automatically.
- Daylight: This mode adjusts for outdoors and sunlit subjects.
- Shade: This mode adjust for shady conditions on a clear day.
- Cloudy: This mode adjust for a cloudy sky.
- Incandescent: This mode adjusts for incandescent lighting.
- Fluorescent: This mode adjusts for florescent lighting.
- Flash: This mode adjusts for flash conditions.
- Color Temperature/Color Filter: Sets the white balance by the color temperature. The higher the number, the more reddish the image and the lower the number, the more bluish the image.
- Custom: In a scene where the ambient light consists of multiple types of light sources, use of the custom white balance is recommended in order to accurately reproduce the whiteness.
Image Processing (Creative Style): This camera is pre-programmed with image styles optimal for various scenes and purposes. For each setting, you can adjust the contrast, saturation, and sharpness. You can choose from the following settings:
- Standard: This setting reproduces various scenes with rich gradation and beautiful color.
- Vivid: This setting reproduces memorable scenery such as blue sky, sunsets, spring greenery, and autumn leaves with deep and vivid colors.
- Portrait: This setting accentuates the subject and softly reproduces skin tones.
- Landscape: This setting reproduces the scenery with vivid and sharp colors.
- Sunset: This setting beautifully reproduces the red of the sunset.
- B & W: This setting is for monochrome images.
ISO Settings: ISO is a unit of measurement of sensitivity to light. The larger the number, the higher the sensitivity. The camera's ISO can be set manually or automatically. You can set the the camera's Manual ISO to 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, and 12800. When set to Auto ISO, the camera's ISO ranges from 200-1600.
Built-in Flash: In a dark location, using the built-in flash, or optional flash, allows you to shoot the subject brightly, and it also helps prevent blurred photos due to camera shake. The DSLR-A550 features a pop-up flash, and an accessory shoe for attaching an optional external flash. The DSLR-A550 offers the following flash modes:
- Autoflash: In auto mode the flash automatically fires if it is dark or against light.
- Fill-Flash: In this mode the flash fires every time the shutter is released.
- Slow Sync: Slow sync shooting allows you to shoot a clear image of both the subject and the background by slowing the shutter speed.
- Rear Sync: In rear sync mode, the objects illuminated by other light sources are captured first, then the flash is fired right before the exposure is completed.
- Wireless: The camera can use the flash light to transmit signal to an external off-camera flash to produce a more three-dimensional image. (Requires optional wireless flash unit such as HVL-F58AM, HVL-F42AM, HVL-F56AM, or HVL-F36AM).
Noise Reduction: The camera offers Long Exposure and High ISO Noise Reduction (NR) to automatically reduce the grainy noise found in photos during long exposures or high ISO settings.
Anti-Dust Technology: Changing lenses in a DSLR can allow dust to enter the camera. To help keep the CMOS imager cleaner for better pictures, the A550 utilizes a static-free anti-dust coating on the imager's filter. The camera also has a cleaning function which vibrates the image sensor for a short time to knock off any dust that may have settled in the imager.
Lens: The included Sony DT18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM (Smooth Autofocus Motor) lens has a 35mm lens equivalent focal length of 27-82.5mm. The lens is useful for snapshots, portraits, interiors, and general photography.
- Maximum: f/3.5 (wide) to f/5.6 (telephoto)
- Minimum: f/22 (wide) to f/36 (telephoto)
- Filter Diameter: 55mm
- Minimum Focus Distance: 0.25 feet (9.84 inches)
Playback Options: You can view images on the LCD monitor with 3 options: with recording data displayed, without recording data, or histogram display. A histogram is the luminance distribution that shows how many pixels of a particular brightness exists in a picture. The histogram display of this camera shows the brightness on the horizontal axis (left side is black, right side is white) and the number of pixels on the vertical axis.
Auto Review: After an image is recorded, you can have the camera automatically display it on the LCD monitor for two, five or 10 seconds. You can also turn off auto review.
Image Rotation: Vertical shots can be rotated automatically so that they are displayed upright during playback. This can be done manually or automatically.
Playback Screen: You can view your photos back as a single image on the LCD monitor, as an Index or as a Slide Show . During Index Mode you can view 4 or 9 images at once. You can adjust the Slide Show mode interval from 1, 3, 5, 10, or 30 seconds.
Image Enlargement: During single image playback you can enlarge an entire image or a select area of an image from 1.1 to14x depending upon the image size. Small images can be enlarged up to 7.2x, Medium images to 11x, and Large images up to 14x. Once you have enlarged the image, you can pan around the image to view the desired portion.
Rotating Images: Images can be rotated counter-clockwise 360-degrees on the camera's LCD monitor during single image playback.
Protect Images: You can protect all images on your memory card or select only certain images to be protected from accidental erasure.
HDMI Output: The DSLR-A550 provides direct mini-HDMI output to your HDTV screen, so you can view and share photos in clarity and detail. You can choose between standard 3:2 or widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio. When connected to a Sony BRAVIA TV, you can control the image playback using the TV remote. A mini-HDMI-to-HDMI cable is not supplied.
Printing Options: The camera offers the following printing options.
- DPOF Compatible: Using the camera, you can specify the images and the number of images to print before you print images at a photo-shop or with your printer.
- PictBridge Compliant: You can print images by connecting the camera directly to a PictBridge compliant printer.
- Memory Card: You can print images with a Memory Stick or CF card compliant printer.
- Computer: You can copy images to a computer using the supplied "Picture Motion Browser" software and print the images.
InfoLithium Battery: The DSLR-A550 can take up to 950 shots in the viewfinder mode or approximately 480 images in the Live View mode on a fully charged NP-FM500H InfoLithium battery (supplied) with indication in percentage of about how much battery power remains.
Charging: The supplied InfoLithium battery requires approximately 235 minutes for a full charge and 175 minutes for a normal charge. The battery must be fully charged before initial use.
Power Save: You can set different time intervals for the camera to switch to Power Save mode for the Live View and Viewfinder modes. You can set each to 10 seconds, 20 seconds, 1 minute, 5 minutes, or 30 minutes. Once the camera goes into Power Save mode, you can return to the shooting mode by pressing the shutter button halfway. When the camera is connected to a TV or the drive mode is set to Remote Commander, the power save mode defaults to 30 minutes regardless of the setting.
Application Software CD-ROM: Picture Motion Browser Ver.4.3.01, Image Data Lightbox SR Ver.2.1, and Image Data Converter SR Ver.3.1 software are included with the camera and are contained and installed from one CD-ROM:
Picture Motion Browser Ver.4.3.01: Windows Only
- Import images shot with the camera and display them on the camera.
- Organize images on the computer on a calendar by shooting date to view them.
- Retouch, print, and send images as e-mail attachments and change the shooting date.
- Still images can be printed or saved with the date.
- You can create a data disc using a CD burner driver or DVD burner drive.
Image Data Lightbox SR Ver.2.1: Windows and Macintosh
- Display and compare RAW/JPEG images recorded with this camera
- Rate the images on a scale of five
- Display an image in "Image Data Converter SR" and make adjustments to it
Image Data Converter SR Ver.3.1: Windows and Macintosh
- You can edit images recorded in RAW mode with various corrections, such as tone curve, and sharpness.
- You can save the images in a general-purpose file format
- Sony Image Data Suite (Image Data Converter SR and Image Data
- OS Pre-Installed:
- Microsoft Windows XP SP3 (64-bit editions and Starter editions are not supported)
- Windows Vista SP1 (Starter edition is not supported)
- CPU/Memory: Pentium 4 or faster is recommended, RAM 1GB or more is recommended
- Hard Disk Space: 200 MB or more (for installation)
- Display: 1024 x 768 dots or more
- OS Pre-Installed:
- Sony Picture Utility (Picture Motion Browser):
- OS Pre-Installed:
- Microsoft Windows XP SP3 (64-bit editions and Starter editions are not supported)
- Windows Vista SP1 (Starter edition is not supported)
- Minimum: Pentium III 500 MHz or faster, 256 MB of RAM or more
- Recommended: Pentium III 800 MHz or faster, 512 MB of RAM or more is recommended
- Hard Disk Space: 500 MB or more (for installation)
- Display: 1024 x 768 dots or more
- OS Pre-Installed:
Macintosh Requirements (Sony Image Data Suite only):
- OS Pre-Installed: Mac OS X (v 10.4/v10.5)
- CPU: Power PC G4/G5 series (1.0 GHz or faster is recommended) Intel Core Solo/Core Duo/Core 2 Duo or faster
- Memory: 1GB or more is recommended
- Display: 1024 x768 dots or more
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