Sony Alpha SLT-A55VL

Sony refers to the Alpha SLT-A55VL as a single lens translucent (SLT) device rather than a single lens reflex device

Tags: Sony Gulf
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Sony Alpha SLT-A55VL Though the SLT-A55VL looks like a SLR it lacks an optical viewfinder and a moving mirror
By  Jason Saundalkar Published  June 12, 2011

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Key Specs

Connectors: USB, HDMI, PictBridge
Display: 3-inch
Lens included: Y
Live View compatible: Y
Memory type: SD, SDHC, SDXC

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Although the Alpha SLT-A55VL looks like a compact SLR camera, it isn't actually a SLR.

This camera isn't a SLR essentially because it lacks an optical viewfinder and a moving mirror. Sony refers to the camera in fact as a single lens translucent (SLT) device. Sony uses Translucent Mirror Technology in the A55, which grants the camera permanent access to its phase detect autofocus sensor. This in combination with the fact that the camera is built around live view, allow the camera to offer phase-detection autofocus when recording movies and also offers extremely fast shooting rates, despite a low price.

Putting the Sony through its paces we found the A55 a reasonable shooter. At low ISO settings (100, 200) the A55's photos were packed with detail and offered more or less neutral colours. Even when we ventured to higher settings such as 1,600 or even 12,800 there's sufficient detail, though magnification will reveal some detail loss, due to noise reduction.

Where the camera really excels is with auto-focusing. When shooting movies the camera's lightning quick autofocus system was unbelievable. The only issue is that the motor powering the autofocus lens is quite noisy and because the lens is constantly adjusting itself, all of the videos we captured had the autofocus motor noise captured in the background. Not ideal.

Verdict:An innovative camera packing serious autofocus punch. It also offers decent image quality, a usable interface and great ergonomics.

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