Sony A550 vs Nikon D90

by Enche Tjin on August 28, 2009

Nikon D90 is my favorite camera in mid range DSLR camera so far because its versatility, ergonomic and features. But after I saw A550 features, I must say that Sony A550 is a great challenger for Nikon D90 in the class. With the same price (around $900-1000), Sony A550 best Nikon D90 in many areas.


Here are some aspects where A550 is winning

  • 14 mp vs 12 mp
  • 5 fps and 7 fps (Aperture and Focus lock) vs 4.5 fps
  • Tiltable LCD screen
  • SteadyShots (built-in image stabilization)
  • ISO range up to 12800 vs 6400
  • More dedicated buttons
  • Quick AF in live view, 4 fps continuous shooting speed
  • Auto HDR

Impressive isn’t it?

Nikon_d90_frontNikon D90 has some unique feature as well

  • Top LCD screen
  • Ability to record 720p movie
  • Bundled with better kit lens 18-105mm VR
  • Wireless flash commander for Creative Lighting

Selling  approximately at the same price, Sony A550 is arguable a better value camera for money. But you might want to think about Sony vs Nikon lens collection as well. Well, Sony lens collection are not as  wide as Nikon, and a little bit expensive as well. But because Sony has built-in stabilization on any lens mounted on the camera, Sony lens become more valuable.

Sony resists the temptation to put movie mode in their DSLR camera line up because they haven’t perfected Auto Focus and exposure control yet. It might be also because Sony prefers to use two sensors to make quick AF system in live view possible. This might cause obstacle on video recording implementation.

Let see what kind of lens you might want for Sony A550

and for Nikon D90

The weakness of Sony lens collection is it does not have f/2.8 aperture wide zoom lens for A550. It does have Sony-Zeiss 24-70mm f/2.8 as well, but it is more suitable for Sony full frame camera such as Sony A850/A900. But for the price, Sony are pretty competitive. So Sony lens collection are nothing to worry about.

Unlike Sony entry level models such as A230-380, Sony A550 and A500 are a real deal from Sony. It empowers serious amateur photographer and semi-professionals with many useful features.

Related link: Sony announces As550 and A500

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Richie September 12, 2009 at 5:35 am

Atlast, someone compare these new Sony with it’s main competitor. But, there’s another one, Canon 50D.

Which is better? The new sony A550 or the canon 50D.

admin September 12, 2009 at 5:44 am

I will safely say that 50D is a better camera, but it is about $200 more expensive.

dave September 17, 2009 at 4:07 am

canon 50d is the same class as the sony a700, not the a550, so it is not the main competitor of the a550…

Andy April 6, 2010 at 8:00 am

I wander how many people actually start all over again when they read a camera review. I would assume that most peoples choices depend on what they already have. So therefore comparing brands is only for self interest so that “we” can walk around knowing that the one we currently have is better than someone elses. I won’t read articles on Nikons and Canons, unless I want to know if mine is better than my friends. But each situation calls for a different camera somtimes. I use Sony becuase I have used Minolta in the past and found them to give me the results I like, I bought Sony to replace my Minolta by chance even though I love the brand. Almost all my techy stuff is Sony. It is hard to buy a bad camera and the technology is advancing at a decent rate. Its not going in leaps and bounds late it used too which is good. If you were concerned that the A550 is poor then you would not look elsewhere you would just spend more on the next model up. I never even considered the A500, I leap straight for the A550 and it is amazing.

RR Bernardino April 26, 2010 at 1:20 am

Its nice to see a review about this 2 best camera. I am considering buying either of the 2. i am a fan of Sony. but here in the Philippines most of my friends say to get Nikon. This helps me decide. and i will get a Sony A550. hehehe..thank you…

Overcalling May 10, 2010 at 1:08 am

Hi Richie,

Please have a look this link–Sony-Alpha-A500-12561

So you can see Sony and Canon which one is better.
Please take a note that this is using only Sony A500 not A550.

Hun Chieftain June 14, 2010 at 5:22 am

I just wanted to add a few points to the nice brief overview.
Sony A500/550 also has wireless flash capability. Moreover, there are excellent third party lenses for alphamount with 2.8 maximum aperture accross the whole focal range. For instance the Tamron 17-50 lens that I use, in my view matches the capabilities of the Nikon 17-55, and it costs about one third of the Nikon lens.

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