/> ED I T O R S C H O I C E IN N O V A T IO N A W A R D
X

Sony Alpha SLT-A55V photo samples

The A55 is probably the best non-dSLR consumer camera I've shot with for action, and seems like a good--if expensive--step-up choice from a point-and-shoot.

LoriGruninNewHeadshot.jpg
Lori Grunin
34165092_SIC1_540.jpg
1 of 10 Matthew Fitzgerald/CNET

Noise

The A55's JPEGs fare pretty well up through ISO 1,600 insofar as the balance between noise and detail is concerned (these were shot with the 50mm f1.8 lens, so the depth of field is shallower than we usually see in our test shots.)
34165092_SIC2_540-3200.jpg
2 of 10 Lori Grunin/CNET

Noise, ISO 3,200

While it's not great, JPEG processing and noise at ISO 3,200 don't render the photos unusable unless you've got a lot of fine detail or edges where softness will be too obvious.
(1/40 sec, f4.5, ISO 3,200, evaluative metering, AWB, standard Creative Style)
34165092_SIC4_540_rawjpg.jpg
3 of 10 Lori Grunin/CNET

Noise, ISO 3,200, raw vs. JPEG

I find you can get sharper results with more attractive grain by processing the raw files, but the trade-off is more clipping in the shadows.
(1/40 sec, f4.5, ISO 3,200, evaulative metering, AWB, standard Creative Style, 18-55mm lens at 22mm)
a55-SIC3-540-6400.jpg
4 of 10 Lori Grunin/CNET

Image quality, ISO 6,400

Sony has vastly improved its noise-reduction feature in recent cameras. Though there's still some obvious artifacts here, there's a much better balance between sharpness and color noise reduction than I'm used to seeing in photos shot with older models. The light source was an LED light, which routinely causes problems for automatic white-balance algorithms, hence the golden cast.
(1/50 sec, f9, ISO 6,400, centerweighted metering, AWB, 28-75mm f2.8 lens at 75mm, standard Creative Style)
a55-SIC2-540-12800.jpg
5 of 10 Lori Grunin/CNET

Image quality, ISO 12800

I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the noise reduction at the camera's highest sensitivity. While you can certainly tell that it's boosted, the image printed well at 13x19 inches. The light source was an LED light, which routinely causes problems for automatic white-balance algorithms, hence the golden cast.
(1/50 sec, f5.6, ISO 12,800, center-weighted metering, AWB, 28-75mm f2.8 lens at 75mm, standard Creative Style)
a55-SIC4-540.jpg
6 of 10 Lori Grunin/CNET

Sharpness and color

Though the SLTs lack a neutral color setting, the standard values didn't induce too much of a color shift. And it doesn't seem to oversharpen, either.
(1/2500 sec, f2.8, ISO 100, centerweighted metering -1EV, AWB, 28-75mm f2.8 lens at 75mm, standard Creative Style)
a55-SIC1-540.jpg
7 of 10 Lori Grunin/CNET

AF speed

The new AF system can be very fast; there was a pretty stiff wind blowing everything around, and combined with the natural flittiness of the butterfly it was easier to get a lock than I anticipated.
(1/400 sec, f3.2, ISO 100, centerweighted metering, AWB, 28-75mm f2.8 lens at 40mm, standard Creative Style)
a55-SIC6-540.jpg
8 of 10 Lori Grunin/CNET

Focus

In shots like this it was easier to keep the AF system locked on the subject. On a side note, the consumer 70-300mm seems more prone to fringing than I'd like.
(1/320 sec, f5.6, ISO 100, centerweighted metering, AWB, 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 lens at 110mm, standard Creative Style)
a55-SIC5-540.jpg
9 of 10 Lori Grunin/CNET

General photo quality

The few general landscape photos I shot didn't thrill me. The images had a very point-and-shoot quality to them, and the cameras in general have an overly cool white balance in daylight. This was shot with one of the new Zeiss lenses, and the camera didn't seem to do the lens justice.
(1/250 sec, f8, ISO 100, centerweighted metering, AWB, 24mm f2.0 lens, standard Creative Style)
34165092_SIC3_540.jpg
10 of 10 Lori Grunin/CNET

Sharpness

The A55 is capable of producing sharp photos without significant post-process oversharpening.
(1/40 sec, f5.6, ISO 200, evaluative metering, AWB, standard Creative Style, 18-55mm lens at 45mm)

More Galleries

2022's best TV shows you can't miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and more

More Galleries

2022's best TV shows you can't miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and more

64 Photos
The best Nintendo Switch games to play right now

More Galleries

The best Nintendo Switch games to play right now

41 Photos
2022 Ford Bronco Raptor is ready to catch big air

More Galleries

2022 Ford Bronco Raptor is ready to catch big air

55 Photos
2023 Cadillac Escalade V: Ready to roar

More Galleries

2023 Cadillac Escalade V: Ready to roar

5 Photos
Inside the Smithsonian's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

More Galleries

Inside the Smithsonian's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

44 Photos
Best dating apps of 2021

More Galleries

Best dating apps of 2021

13 Photos
The 51 best VR games

More Galleries

The 51 best VR games

53 Photos