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Sony a58 Review

The new Sony A58 is a camera that accepts interchangeable lenses and utilizes Sony’s proprietary Translucent Mirror Technology to provide high-speed shooting in a chassis that is far more compact.

The 20.1-megapixel A58 has a burst shooting speed of 8 frames per second with a new Lock-on Autofocus, the ability to record full HD video at 25 frames per second with control over exposure and continuous autofocusing, a 15-point phase-detection autofocus system with 3 cross sensors, an ISO range of 100-16000, a 2.7-inch tilting LCD screen, a high-resolution OLED Tru-Finder with 100% coverage, Sweep Panoramas, Auto HD.

The body of the Sony A58 with the 18-55mm zoom lens can be purchased for $600 in the United States and £450 in the United Kingdom. Buying both lenses together will set you back $600.

Sony a58 Build Quality.

The new Sony SLT-A58 replaces the older model known as the A57 and is virtually indistinguishable from that device. The Sony A58 is a little more compact and lightweight model than the A57, with dimensions of 128.6 x 95.5 x 77.7 millimeters and a mass of 492 grams, respectively.

The A58 is a solid piece of kit with build quality that is on par with rival DSLR cameras in the same price range, despite the fact that it feels a little plasticky in hand. However, we are disappointed that the A57’s metal lens mount has been replaced with a less durable plastic version.

As was the case with its before, the A58 lacks an optical viewfinder in favor of an electronic one. It uses a fixed semi-translucent mirror instead of the movable non-translucent mirror found in DSLRs.

Because the mirror of the A58 is translucent, sufficient light can pass through it to the sensor, which enables the sensor to remain fixed at all times. Additionally, the A58 can reflect some of the light onto a phase-detection auto-focus array that is located at the top of the body of the camera.

Because of this combination, the A58 can offer full-time DSLR-like focusing speeds, even while recording video. Additionally, it can offer an excellent Live View system with 100% scene coverage and a quick continuous shooting rate of 8fps, all while being physically smaller and lighter than a comparable DSLR.

Sony a58 Image Quality

During our evaluation, the Sony A58 captured photographs of exceptionally high quality. The Sony A58 features an impressively wide ISO range of 100-16000, which is also quite useable. The range from 100 to 800 ISO is noise-free, while the range from 1600 to 6400 ISO delivers results that are more than acceptable, and even ISO 12800 and the fastest setting of 16000 are appropriate for usage in an emergency.

However, the RAW examples show exactly how much processing the camera undertakes by default since they are significantly noisier than their JPEG counterparts across the board, regardless of the ISO value.

The 20-megapixel images come out of the camera a little soft when using the Standard creative style as the default. For the best results, you should sharpen them some more by utilizing an application like Adobe Photoshop; alternatively, you can adjust the level of sharpening that the camera applies automatically.

The built-in flash performed admirably indoors, preventing red-eye and producing photographs with adequate exposure overall. The night shot turned out well thanks to the camera’s maximum shutter speed of 30 seconds and its Bulb mode, which allow lots of room for creative experimentation during nighttime shooting. When shooting at slower shutter speeds while holding the camera by hand, the built-in SteadyShot anti-shake feature performs quite well.

Sony a58 Specs

Body typeCompact SLR
Max resolution5456 x 3632
Effective pixels20 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors20 megapixels
Sensor typeCMOS
ISOAuto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800, 16000 (25600 with boost)
Boosted ISO (maximum)25600
White balance presets9
Custom white balanceYes (1)
Image stabilizationOptical
Image stabilization notesSteadyShot INSIDE
Uncompressed formatRAW
AutofocusPhase DetectMulti-areaSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousFace DetectionLive View
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points15
Lens mountSony/Minolta Alpha
Focal length multiplier1.5×
Articulated LCDFully articulated
Screen size2.7″
Screen dots460,000
Touch screenNo
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder resolution1,440,000
Aperture priorityYes
Shutter priorityYes
Manual exposure modeYes
Subject / scene modesYes
Built-in flashYes (Pop-up)
Flash range10.00 m (@ ISO 100)
External flashYes (Hot-shoe, Wireless)
Continuous drive5.0 fps
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedSpot
WB BracketingYes (3 frames, H/L selectable)
Resolutions1920 x 1080
FormatMPEG-4, AVCHD, H.264
Videography notes50i or 25p in PAL countries
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC/Memory Stick Pro Duo/ Pro-HG Duo
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (Mini Type C)
WirelessEye-Fi Connected
Remote controlYes (Optional)
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionRechargeable NP-FM500H battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)690
Weight (inc. batteries)492 g (1.08 lb / 17.35 oz)
Dimensions129 x 95 x 78 mm (5.08 x 3.74 x 3.07″)

Sony a58 Conclusion

The new Sony 58 delivers mid-range performance and features to the entry-level market, thereby replacing both the cheaper A37 model and the older A57 model. This allows the new Sony 58 to replace both versions effectively.

It is perhaps understandable that the A58 has a few downgrades compared to its more expensive predecessor, the most notable of which are a smaller LCD screen with a lower resolution, slower and more limited burst shooting, and a plastic rather than a metal lens mount. Considering that the A58 costs roughly the same as the capable RX100 compact camera, it is perhaps understandable that the A58 has a few downgrades.

Despite this, the brand new OLED viewfinder, resolution of 20 megapixels, and useful Lock-on Autofocus option are all enhancements that make the far more affordable Sony A58 a true steal.

The Sony A58, just like the rest of the SLT family, flips the conventional design on its head to provide what is, in many ways, a better user experience than traditional DSLRs are capable of achieving. It does so at a competitive price that must indeed have Canon and Nikon worried about their position in the market.

The A58’s excellent OLED electronic viewfinder provides good enough resolution and real-time feedback to take on a more conventional optical viewfinder. At the same time, the translucent mirror and EVF combination gives fast auto-focus to both stills and video, as well as 100% scene coverage. On the other hand, the burst shooting mode is disappointingly slower and more limited in buffer size and file format than previous SLT cameras.

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