Ten frames per second with continuously active AF is no mean feat, especially in a camera costing £700. Whether it is worth the loss of the optical viewfinder is another matter
White balance and colour
Image: The piano was lit with a tungsten bulb from above. Using tungsten WB produces neutral and pleasing results, while AWB is slightly warm
Shooting in bright sunlight, overcast conditions and in both daylight and at night proved that auto white balance (AWB) is generally reliable. For the odd scene where I did not entirely like the results, the preset white balance settings can be adjusted by ±3. In tungsten light the Alpha 55’s tungsten setting produces slightly cooler results compared with AWB, although at +3 the difference is barely distinguishable. Somewhere in the middle between AWB and tungsten was as my eye saw the scene, but I leaned towards AWB, which was less clinical.
The 10fps high-speed continuous shooting mode is only available in auto exposure (AE) when using continuous AF, which can be frustrating because the exposure and AWB can change when panning the camera with the subject, and as the light in the scene changes. When this happens, the consistency of a sequence of images is compromised.
However, this is not an issue for single-frame images. To have manual control over white balance when shooting at 10fps, then single-frame AF must be selected.
Colour modes can be accessed quickly via the Fn button and, alongside the usual standard, vivid and black & white modes, there are portrait, landscape and sunset modes. Sunset mode is fun, with more saturated colours and a warm hue applied to colourful skies, but the effect may be too garish for some.