• APS-C 369.7mm2
  • 14.2 megapixels
  • ISO 200 - 12,800
  • 1/1.7 inch 43.3mm2
  • 12.0 megapixels
  • 28.00mm - 112.00mm (35mm eq.)

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Differences

Sony DSLR-A550 advantages over Pentax MX-1

  • Larger sensor
    APS-C vs 1/1.7 inch
    More sensor area. Bigger is (generally) better.
  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Eye-level vs Rear display only
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 5.16 vs 1.90 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Fast startup
    ~0.50 vs 2.2 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Higher effective ISO
    807 vs 208 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 950 vs 290 shots
    Capture more photos
  • Hot shoe
    Hot shoe vs None
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • More pixels
    14.2 vs 12.0 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    6.7 fps vs 4.0 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    15 vs 10 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)

Pentax MX-1 advantages over Sony DSLR-A550

  • Less expensive
    $500 vs $1050 (MSRP)
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • In-camera panoramas
    Yes vs No
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • Integrated ND filter
    Yes vs No
    Shoot in daylight with a large aperture or slow shutter
  • Thinner
    51 mm vs 84 mm
    Thinner
  • Newer
    6 years vs 9 years old
    Newer cameras often support more advanced features
  • Shoots 1080p video
    Yes vs No
    You'll want this if you shoot video
  • Shoots 60p video
    Yes vs No
    A faster framerate can give you more editing options
  • Slow-motion videos
    Yes vs No
    Shoot slow-motion videos
  • Faster shutter
    1/8000 vs 1/4000 sec
    Shoot wide open in bright light

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Rear display
    Both provide
    Review photos on the back of the camera
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Both provide
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • Tiltable Screen
    Both provide
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • RAW file ability
    Both provide
    Gives you more flexibility to develop your photos later
  • Internal flash
    Both provide
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • Manual focus
    Both provide
    AF is for the weak. Real photographers focus manually.
  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use HDMI output to monitor or review video
  • Bulb shutter
    Both provide
    Hold the shutter open manually for long exposures

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
  • 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
  • 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

User reviews

Buy From

Review Excerpt

  • Good image quality for a compact camera in its class; Sharp, bright f/1.8-2.5 lens with 4x optical zoom; Cool retro-styled design with brass top and bottom plates; Tilting LCD; Exposure compensation dial; Speedy and accurate autofocus; Full HD video recording.

  • Image detail starts dropping off noticeably above ISO 800, and noise becomes problematic at ISO 3200 and beyond; Sluggish cycle times and burst performance; Issues with purple fringing in some shooting scenarios; Heavier and larger than other cameras in its class.

The Competition

Compared to Canon 50D

Sony DSLR-A550
Canon 50D
  • $859
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $1000
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
Pentax MX-1
Canon 50D
  • $400
  • 1/1.7 inch
  • Less expensive
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $1000
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Eye-level viewfinder

Compared to Nikon D300S

Sony DSLR-A550
Nikon D300S
  • $859
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Tiltable Screen
  • $1477
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
Pentax MX-1
Nikon D300S
  • $400
  • 1/1.7 inch
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • In-camera panoramas
  • $1477
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Eye-level viewfinder

Compared to Sony DSLR-A500

Sony DSLR-A550
Sony DSLR-A500
  • $859
  • APS-C
  • More dots on screen
  • More pixels
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
Pentax MX-1
Sony DSLR-A500
  • $400
  • 1/1.7 inch
  • Less expensive
  • In-camera panoramas
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Eye-level viewfinder

Compared to Canon G15

Sony DSLR-A550
Canon G15
  • $859
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
  • $598
  • 1/1.7 inch
  • Integrated ND filter
  • Thinner
Pentax MX-1
Canon G15
  • $400
  • 1/1.7 inch
  • In-camera panoramas
  • Tiltable Screen
  • $598
  • 1/1.7 inch
  • Eye-level viewfinder
  • More telephoto lens reach

Compared to Canon G16

Sony DSLR-A550
Canon G16
  • $859
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
  • $599
  • 1/1.7 inch
  • Focus peaking
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
Pentax MX-1
Canon G16
  • $400
  • 1/1.7 inch
  • In-camera panoramas
  • Tiltable Screen
  • $599
  • 1/1.7 inch
  • Focus peaking
  • Slower slow-motion
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