Excerpt: The Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 (from $899) is a midrange digital SLR that features a 14 Megapixel CMOS sensor, built-in image stabilization, live view, a tilting LCD display, full manual controls, and the kind of expandability that you'd expect from this type of camera.
Summary: Introduced in late August 2009, the Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 slots into the Sony lineup at the top of their entry level/consumer DSLR fleet of five bodies (in addition to the three other Alpha models comprising the prosumer and up class).
Pros: Excellent Live View, Dynamic range options, Articulating LCD
Cons: Plastic body material, Card slots not linked
Summary: Sure, the A550 is more expensive that the baseline entry-level cameras; however, it offers some features that other cameras in the same price range and below just can’t match. Up to 7 fps shooting speed and even 5 fps with autofocus and auto exposure engaged.
Summary: Thankfully for anyone doubting the Alpha range, Sony has delivered not one, but two highly compelling mid-range DSLRs which not only keep-up with the competition, but surpass them in a number of key regards.
Pros: Fast continuous shooting at 5 or 7fps., Built-in IS which works with any lens., Fuss-free Live View with continuous AF., Large and detailed articulated monitor.
Cons: No movie mode., Minimal customisation., No Program Shift or DOF preview., Relatively small viewfinder with visible lines.
Summary: The a550 is quite the live view photographer’s camera – it ousts competitors at a similar level with class-leading, super-fast live view autofocus and quirky modes such as Quick Tele 1.4x or 2x crop factors.
Pros: Tilt-LCD, improved image quality, excellent live view
Cons: Build quality a bit ‘plasticy’, noisy AF with kit lens, no video mode
Summary: Virtually identical to the A500 model, the Sony A550 marks a return to form for Sony in the mid-range DSLR market after the backwards step of the A330 / A380 models, offering more megapixels, faster 7fps burst shooting and a better LCD screen than its cheaper sibling.