Sony Alpha 550 Review / Test Report - Resolution
DSLR Reviews - DSLRs
Thursday, 18 February 2010 19:21


After the introduction and the body tour it's time for some words about the resolution of the A550. As already mentioned, Sony joined the pixel race and put two million pixel more on the - compared to the Nikon D5000 - slightly smaller sensor. This results in an average pixel pitch of 5.1 µm, which lies exactly between the Canon EOS 500D (5.5 µm) and the Nikon D5000 (4.7 µm). Let's have a closer look to the maximum normalised resolution of the Sony and how it compete to other DSLRs out there.
The following chart compares the Sony A550 to the Canon EOS 500D, 50D and 7D as well as Nikon's D5000 and D90 based on RAW files, transformed to DNG and converted to JPG using the same Adobe Camera RAW version.

Not all cameras with the same number of mega-pixels provide the same output resolution. The output quality depends on a variety of factors: lens quality + AA filter + sensor resolution + in-camera processing + (optionally) external (PC-based) post-processing. Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) Tests are among the most accurate and scientific tests to compare the resolution of different sensors. If you want to find out more about MTF, check out our technology section

The maximum resolution of the A550's raw files is about average and on a par with the Canon EOS 500D as well as Nikon D5000. However the JPEG output is a good deal worse and no appropriate option if maximum resolution is needed. Let's check how the Sony compares to Canon and Nikon regarding dynamic range and tonality...