• 1/1.7 inch 43.3mm2
  • 14.7 megapixels
  • 36.00mm - 133.00mm (35mm eq.)
  • APS-C 369.7mm2
  • 14.2 megapixels
  • ISO 200 - 12,800

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Differences

Canon SD990 IS advantages over Sony DSLR-A550

  • Less expensive
    $400 vs $1050 (MSRP)
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • Thinner
    27 mm vs 84 mm
    Thinner
  • Higher max flash sync
    1/500 vs 1/160 sec
    Reduce the effect of ambient light in flash shots
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    Unlimited vs 15 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)

Sony DSLR-A550 advantages over Canon SD990 IS

  • Larger sensor
    APS-C vs 1/1.7 inch
    More sensor area. Bigger is (generally) better.
  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 5.16 vs 1.72 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Tiltable Screen
    Tiltable vs Fixed
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • RAW file ability
    Yes vs No
    Gives you more flexibility to develop your photos later
  • Fast startup
    ~0.50 vs 1.7 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 950 vs 280 shots
    Capture more photos
  • HDMI out
    HDMI out vs None
    Use HDMI output to monitor or review video
  • More dots on screen
    922k vs 230k dots
    Can mean greater resolution or a brighter screen
  • Hot shoe
    Hot shoe vs None
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • Less shutter lag
    0.18 vs 0.50 sec
    Focus and take a photo quickly (wide angle)
  • Longer exposure
    30 vs 15 sec
    Long exposures for night shots
  • Bulb shutter
    Bulb vs No bulb
    Hold the shutter open manually for long exposures
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    6.7 fps vs 1.4 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Faster shutter
    1/4000 vs 1/1600 sec
    Shoot wide open in bright light
  • Higher extended ISO
    12800 vs 3200 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Rear display
    Both provide
    Review photos on the back of the camera
  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Both provide
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Both provide
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • Internal flash
    Both provide
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • Manual focus
    Both provide
    AF is for the weak. Real photographers focus manually.

Common Weaknesses

  • Focus peaking
    Neither provide
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • Touchscreen
    Neither provide
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • In-camera panoramas
    Neither provide
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Neither provide
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • Built-in Bluetooth
    Neither provide
    Always-on wireless connectivity
  • Built-in GPS
    Neither provide
    Geotag your photos
  • On-sensor phase detect
    Neither provide
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance
  • Integrated ND filter
    Neither provide
    Shoot in daylight with a large aperture or slow shutter
  • External Mic Jack
    Neither provide
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • Dual card slots
    Neither provide
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • Headphone jack
    Neither provide
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Slow-motion videos
    Neither provide
    Shoot slow-motion videos

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Review Excerpt

The Competition

Compared to Sony DSC-W300

Canon SD990 IS
Sony DSC-W300
  • $400
  • 1/1.7 inch
  • Fast startup
  • More telephoto lens reach
  • $350
  • 1/1.7 inch
  • Longer exposure
  • Faster JPEG shooting
Sony DSLR-A550
Sony DSC-W300
  • $859
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
  • $350
  • 1/1.7 inch
  • Less expensive
  • Thinner

Compared to Panasonic DMC-FX150

Canon SD990 IS
Panasonic DMC-FX150
  • $400
  • 1/1.7 inch
  • Eye-level viewfinder
  • More telephoto lens reach
  • $400
  • 1/1.72 inch
  • RAW file ability
  • Shoots 24p video
Sony DSLR-A550
Panasonic DMC-FX150
  • $859
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Eye-level viewfinder
  • $400
  • 1/1.72 inch
  • Less expensive
  • Thinner

Compared to Nikon S710

Canon SD990 IS
Nikon S710
  • $400
  • 1/1.7 inch
  • Eye-level viewfinder
  • More telephoto lens reach
  • $380
  • 1/1.72 inch
  • Wider angle lens
  • Higher extended ISO
Sony DSLR-A550
Nikon S710
  • $859
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Eye-level viewfinder
  • $380
  • 1/1.72 inch
  • Less expensive
  • Thinner

Compared to Canon 50D

Canon SD990 IS
Canon 50D
  • $400
  • 1/1.7 inch
  • Less expensive
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $1000
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
Sony DSLR-A550
Canon 50D
  • $859
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $1000
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup

Compared to Nikon D300S

Canon SD990 IS
Nikon D300S
  • $400
  • 1/1.7 inch
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Thinner
  • $1299
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
Sony DSLR-A550
Nikon D300S
  • $859
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Tiltable Screen
  • $1299
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
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