Sony A55 video

Cannon Hill Park - Birmingham with Sony A55 + 18-55mm kit lens.
Click on the youtube link for 720HD version.

On a freezing cold cold day I went to Cannon Hill park in Birmingham and shot this short video on the Sony A55. This is again very impressive. This was entirely hand held using the body stabilisation and full auto, with the 18-55mm kit lens. As you can see the SSS system works very well. I've never had any hand held results anywhere near this good before. Apparently its the SSS system that causes the camera to overheat, though in the sub-zero conditions I was shooting in there was no danger of that!

I had noticed shooting some footage at home that the image was very steady and wanted to to give it a try with something moving. I'm particularly pleased with the shot of the birds taking off from the water and the squirrel section. While I'm never going to challenge David Attenborough, this is pretty good for my limited video skills. The pans are smooth and the sections where I'm shooting as I'm walking have a real steadicam feel. Its not entirely the camera since I edited this in iMovie which has image stabilisation correction in the software. The combination of this plus the camera system gives a very pleasing result to me. Much better than I'd hoped for.

I had it set on autofocus and as you see its very quick to cope with changing focus. However if I was doing this seriously I would probably use manual focus much more. 

Its another huge plus for the A55, and while I can see the benefits that full manual control would bring, I personally am grateful for this full auto mode. Some of the assumptions on forums that we all want to be able to shoot movies is somewhat exaggerated. I can envisage many work situations where this mode would be incredibly useful.

The quality of the video is like the stills, very good indeed. Having used the Canon video enabled DSLR's and the GH1, this is the most user friendly camera of them all as far as I'm concerned. With the articulated screen position, which I'm starting to prefer over the GH1, I was able to hold the camera lower and it felt it lot more stable.

Also as regards the rolling shutter issue, the bicycle shots look pretty good to me. I can't see any distortion in the background.

Again I have nothing but good things to say about the A55. If the SSS does cause overheating then that will be a negative since its so good and makes handholding a real possibility. But I haven't experienced it yet, so can't really comment. 

Certainly the A55 is easing my frustration at the GH2 not being available yet. Its going to be a real competitor to that camera and when my Panasonic eventually arrives I will do some serious comparison between the two. Its certainly a good time to be a photographer at the moment with all these amazing tools at our disposal. Without breaking the bank or our backs at the same time.