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Sony SLT-A58K Digital SLR Kit with 18-55mm Zoom Lens, 20.1MP SLR Camera with 2.7 -Inch LCD Screen (Black)
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- 20.1 MP Exmor HD APS sensor with 5 FPS shooting
- Translucent Mirror Technology accelerates AF performance
- 1080/60i/24p Full HD or 1080/30p MP4 movies w/ Quick AF
- Lock-on AF for even easier focusing of moving subjects
- SVGA OLED True-Finder optimizes eye-level framing
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|Auto Focus Technology|
|Battery Average Life||690 Photos|
|Compatible Mountings||Sony/Minolta Alpha|
|Continuous Shooting Speed||5 fps|
|Display Fixture Type||Fully articulated|
|Display Resolution Maximum||460000|
|Effective Still Resolution||20.1 MP|
|Expanded ISO Maximum||25,600|
|Expanded ISO Minimum||100|
|Exposure Control Type|
|External Memory Included||No|
|File Format||RAW, RAW + JPEG, JPEG Fine, JPEG Standard|
|Flash Memory Type||SD/SDHC/SDXC/Memory Stick Pro Duo/ Pro-HG Duo|
|Flash Sync Speed||1/160_sec|
|Flash Type||Built-In Flash|
|Flash Type||Hot-shoe, Wireless|
|Focus Description||TTL 15-point Phase Detection|
|Focus Type||Includes Manual Focus|
|Form Factor||Compact SLR|
|HDMI Type||Mini Type C|
|ISO Range||Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800, 16000 (25600 with boost)|
|Item Dimensions||3.74 x 3.07 x 5.08 inches|
|Item Weight||1.08 pounds|
|Maximum Focal Length||55 mm|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/160 of a second|
|Maximum horizontal resolution||5,456|
|Metering||Multi, Center-weighted, Spot|
|Optical Sensor Resolution||20.1 MP|
|Optical Sensor Technology||CMOS|
|Photo Sensor Technology||CMOS|
|Remote Control Description||Optional|
|Shipping Weight||5.25 pounds|
|Style Name||w/ 18-55mm|
|Supported Battery Types||Rechargeable NP-FM500H battery & charger|
|Video Capture Format||mpeg-4;h.264;avchd|
|Video Capture Resolution||1080p_hd|
|Viewfinder Description||1440000 dots|
|Water Resistance Level||Not Water Resistant|
You get incredible detail and gorgeous enlargements. Thanks to the 20.1 megapixel APS-C sensor size and Sony Exmor APS HD CMOS technology, the camera achieves high resolution with no penalty in low-light sensitivity or sensor noise.
From the Manufacturer
Capture decisive moments like a professional with the new SLT-A58K. It unites high-end camera technology with innovative new features and user-friendly operation to enable comfortable, carefree shooting with stunningly attractive results. In fact, every curve and detail of the sophisticated, taut body has been painstakingly refined to enhance your handling ease. Whether shooting photos or HD movies, it’s easy to bring all the clear advantages of interchangeable-lens photography to your images.
The Perfect Composition
Large 2.7” Tilt-able,
Sony Suggested Accessories
1. Play back AVCHD™ media on Blu-ray Disc™ players, PlayStation®3 systems or PC with supplied software. AVCHD media should not be used in standard DVD players because it may fail to eject disc or erase its contents without warning.
2. Records in up to 29 minutes segments.
© 2013 Sony Electronics Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Sony, BIONZ, Exmor, InfoLITHIUM, Sweep Panorama, Tru-Finder and the Sony make.believe logo are trademarks of Sony. AVCHD is a trademark of Panasonic Corporation and Sony Corporation. Mac OS and iMovie are trademarks of Apple Computers, Inc. HDMI is a trademark of HDMI Licensing LLC. All other trademarks are trademarks of their respective owners. Sony is not responsible for typographical and photographic errors. Features and specifications are subject to change without notice.
Top Customer Reviews
I found this site justafax.com/dslr and what's great about it is that it literally does a side-by-side comparison of the top 12 cameras in this category, based on all of the factors that should affect your purchasing decision.
I found the information on justafax.com/dslr extremely helpful, especially in comparing the types of desires and features I was getting for my $. I think you owe it to yourself to check it out, the info is very concise and easy to read and should help inform your purchase. It's not a cheap purchase, so do your homework!
Good luck guys, I hope you find the camera of your dreams.
First, lets dispel some myths. For starters, the plastic mount is not an issue and should not be a concern for most buyers. It is a tough plastic that is solidly built and shows no signs of weakness. After mounting the lens over and over again, I can't see any signs of wear. If you somehow manage to break the mount, then it is likely that you would have done so with a metal mount. Just use common sense, if your lens weighs 10 pounds, then it is probably wise to support its weight independently from the camera body (enough said). Secondly, the build quality is slightly different than the A57, but every bit as good. If anything, the grip material feels slightly tackier and better. The plastic used on both cameras is of similar quality, but of slightly different texture. They both look and feel good. The buttons feel similar, but I do like the feel of the shutter on the A57 a little bit more. Not a huge difference; it's more of a personal preference and not a quality issue. As for the highly touted High ISO capability of this camera, the pro reviewers missed the mark and were fooled by Sony's clever trickery (more on this below). It performs well, but not substantially better, if at all, than the A57.
So which one is better?!!! Well....it all the depends on the features which you value more and here's why...If you like the newest camera, marketed as having more megapixels, better high ISO, better EVF (viewfinder), with new technological wizardry like lock on object tracking, then stop reading and go buy the A58. Unfortunately, things aren't so clear cut when you look under the hood.
For example, 20.1 Mp's sounds like a great increase over the 16 Mp's found in the A57. In practice, however, the 4 extra megapixels do little in terms of cropping ability. I took the same shots with both cameras and tried cropping them to see if there was any tangible difference. In real world cropping, the answer is "no". If you crop 200%, then you might see a difference. And if you are doing that, then you're engage in some activity, but I would not call it photography.
***ISO Performance (the truth and why)***
As for ISO, this camera really performs well. Depending on how demanding you are, you can get acceptable results even as high as 6400 or 12800. I don't recommend shooting at such high ISO's because a point and shoot camera with a flash will yield better results than this camera at 12800. But the capability is still there. So how does it compare to the A57? They actually perform similarly, with the edge going to the A57. WHAT? What did I just say? It's true!
Sony has improved the JPEG processing on this camera allowing it to perform well despite having more MP's. They did this by employing very high levels of Noise Reduction at all ISO's, especially at the upper range. Because of the slightly higher MP's, this gives a cleaner appearance at first blush, but upon closer inspection, you see that a whole lot of detail has been lost. If you don't crop at all, this may not be an issue. If you do, then you will be disappointed because it severely limits your ability to do any cropping at higher ISO's and even moderate ISO's. When you do, you end up with a picture that lacks detail and pop. Again, not a huge difference between the A58 and A57, but I like the JPEG output of the A57 better at all ISO's. This was confirmed when I compared RAW files from both cameras. Indeed, the A58 has much more visible noise at all ISO's. I must give Sony credit for increasing MP's while maintaining noise levels in JPEG's. However, in practice, this is just an illusion and results will be no better with this camera than those coming out of the A57. Believe me, I shot both cameras under all types of conditions, metering, creative style settings, etc. and the results were consistent.
It should be noted that the A58 fixes an issue I found with both the A57 and Nex-6. Those two cameras tend to underexpose by as much as two thirds to a full stop under low light conditions when using the standard multi segment metering (that is what most people, including many reviewers, use when shooting). Many people ignore metering, but it is extremely important in getting the right exposure and for controlling noise. Initially, it appeared that the A58 did indeed have much better ISO capabilities than the A57 (about half a stop to a full stop). However, this only held true when using multi segment metering. With multi segment, the A58 demonstrated substantially better noise performance at high ISO's. However, when using center weighted or spot metering, the A57 performed as well, if not better than the A58 do to its less aggressive processing. I believe this is why many have touted the A58 as having much better high ISO performance than the A57. Underexposing at high ISO's invariably leads to much higher noise levels, especially in the shadows. So don't buy the camera for it's perceived high ISO capabilities, because they are good, but no different than the current market options. You will have better results in JPEG if you pay attention to your settings. If you want better results, make sure your creative style is set to standard, drop down the contrast and sharpness and your images will look substantially less noisy than if shot in Vivid with boosted contrast and sharpness. Be sure to meter correctly. Underexposing shots (even a little), can create much more noise at high ISO's. (Just my two cents)
Now for the EVF. The EVF in the A58 is nice. It has nice contrast and good colors. In that sense, it is better than the one found in the A57. The A57 looks washed out with much less contrast by comparison. On the other hand, the A57 has greater magnification and looks bigger. The A58's EVF looks like you are looking through a tunnel when comparing it next to the A57. The A58's viewfinder is also more difficult to use in bright conditions. I found myself constantly cupping my hand over the viewfinder in bright daylight in order to see better. It also displays a lot more noise/grain in low light situations. After using both cameras extensively, I wouldn't get the A58 just for the improved EVF. It is both good and bad and certainly not Sony's best implementation. What you will find is that it is reasonably good and you will not be disappointed under most conditions.
As for the LCD, there are many reviewers panning the smaller screen and its lower resolution. Again, in practice, when compared to the A57's there is no real disadvantage. It's good enough! I never caught myself noticing the difference in size or resolution in actual use and I was using both cameras at the same time. Yes, the A57's is bigger and has better resolution, but you won't be missing out by not having the size or resolution. The same thing goes for the articulating aspect of the LCD. The A58's is similar to the implementation on the Nex-6 (which I also own) and I would not classify the A57's as being better. It's just different and just as good under most circumstances.
***Important Differences (FPS, Buffer Depth, Object Tracking and Auto ISO in Manual Mode)***
Now here is where we do get to some important differences. If you like sports photography and are used to shooting in bursts, you should probably go with the A57 or something else. There is the obvious 8-10-12 FPS advantage that the A57 has over the 3-5-10 FPS of the A58. Remember that the A57 can shoot at 8 FPS while changing focus and exposure, the A58 can only do 5 FPS. The A57 can even go to 10 FPS while locking exposure at full resolution. The A58 cannot. The A58 can do 8 FPS, but this it at a reduced resolution and with locked exposure. The A57 does the same at 12 FPS, with an even still larger file size.
Unfortunately, the buffer/processor on the A58 has not been updated to cope with the demands of higher MP's and processing requirements. As such, with normal-high noise reduction and/or lens distortion correction set to "auto", you will get 3-4 shots before the camera slows down. Sure it will shoot at five FPS, but you'll only get three in practice before it slows down. You will then need to wait a second or two to let the buffer catch up before shooting another burst. It's not an issue for most photographic scenarios, but it is a deal breaker for high ISO sports shooting. And this is a real shame because the new object auto-lock function is really great and superior to that found on the A57. You can work around this by lowering your noise reduction to "low" and setting lens distortion correction to "off". This will allow you to shoot at 5 fps without limitations, but be prepared to do more noise reduction and/or distortion correction in post-production. Not an issue for some, but it is one for me. By contrast, the A57 can shoot an acceptable amount of frames with both these settings on and can go on endlessly (or so it seems) if you turn off lens distortion correction. The A57's much larger effective buffer and its ability to shoot at much higher FPS for far longer, is more desirable in my opinion. In that category, the A57 wins hands down. All is not lost for the A58. You can still use it for sports in a pinch. It does manage to shoot at 8 FPS, albeit at a reduced MP level. Unfortunately, this mode automatically reduces your resolution and cropping ability. As mentioned above, the A57 can do the same, but at an even higher resolution and at 12 FPS. This is where Sony cut corners in order to keep the price low.
Both cameras have object tracking. The function sets up a focus rectangle the follows the object being tracked as it passes through the various focus points. However, the A57 often fails to lock focus on the object despite following it, relying on standard focusing processes to lock focus when releasing the shutter. It works well enough on the A57, but it's at another level on the A58. In the A58, the camera actually changes the shape of the box and its size to match the actual object being followed. In my testing, the A58 managed to lock focus (green borders) on the subject much more so than the A57 did on the same objects. This allows for much easier tracking when shooting moving subjects. Having said all of that, I never felt at a disadvantage when using the A57. Its version works well enough and its face recognition works just as well. All in all, this is a cool feature, but not a deal maker on it's own and I wouldn't buy an A58 just for this feature.
-ISO in Manual Mode:
And finally Sony listened to its customers by adding Auto ISO in manual mode to the A58...It's about time!!! For example, in the A57 and NEX-6 you have to manually select all parameters, including ISO when in manual mode. Canon and Nikon have been implementing auto ISO in manual mode for years in all their DSLRs. I'm glad Sony finally came around. Now if they only allowed you to set upper/lower limits along with shutter speed minimums...I know, that's too much to ask for.
***Ergonomics (Size and Weight)***
Both cameras feel good in the hand and are more similar than different. As for size and weight, both cameras feel about the same, but the A58 is slightly smaller (actually shorter) and lighter. It is difficult to tell the difference, but you can feel the difference more than you can see it. If you have small hands, you will definitely like the A58 more.
***Minor Focus Issue (Back Focusing)***
I have read a few reports that the A58 has some focus accuracy issues. My testing confirms these findings, at least with my copy of the A58. The camera routinely back focused on shots without rhyme or reason. I am an experienced photographer and know for certain that it wasn't user error. I did not experience these same problems with the A57. Having said that, it wasn't too bad and mostly noticeable because I was looking for such issues. In real world use with the standard kit lens, you will likely not notice any issues. If you use large aperture lenses, you may want to test this out before the return period expires.
Conclusion and Recommendation:
So which one am I going to keep.....I'm leaning toward the A57. For my needs, it has a good enough EVF. It has better dynamic range in RAW files. It gives me better sports capabilities and I find that many of the new features that the A58 has are not absolute must haves for me. Still, I have not made a final decision and I would recommend the A58 to anyone as an incredible bang for the buck camera. Canon and Nikon cannot compete with this camera at this price point. I have owned or still own current generation Canon and Nikon bodies and I am well aware of their capabilities and I think that the A58 has a much better feature set for the money and better high ISO capability straight out of the camera than either Canon or Nikon. If you prefer shooting RAW, you may want to consider the A57 or a Canon/Nikon. If you are JPEG shooter, then don't think it twice and get this camera. You will absolutely enjoy all its features and will forgive its shortcomings when you consider how little you spent.
I am a hobbyist (at best) photographer. I got into the DSLR world when I purchased a used Sony A230 in April of 2012. I purchased this A58 in April of 2013.
The A58 works as expected with all of my Minolta A-mount lenses, a 28-85 f3.5-4.5, a 50mm f1.7, a 70-210 F4, a 75-300 f4.5-5.6, and a 28-135 f4-4.5.
Update written after One year of use, about 9,000 shots
My impressions are:
Indoor/High ISO performance is good. Unfortunately, I have never used another brand, so I have no idea how the High ISO performance would stand up to Cannon/Nikon, etc.
Macro performance is amazing.
Wide angle performance is excellent.
Portraits look excellent (I disabled the automatic object framing, as I prefer to crop my own photos)
I have shot three videos, which look great, but I do not take that many videos.
Still playing with the Panorama function. I have only tried it once with mediocre results, possibly due to intense low angle sunlight in my shot.
- Battery life seems excellent. I have taken 700 shots in a 1.5 week period, starting with a full charge, and the indicator suggested 33% of my charge was remaining. This leads me to believe the battery could regularly go longer than the 600 shots specified.
- Camera feels sold and well built.
- The "Live View" capability is awesome, and a huge advantage, especially when handing your camera to someone unfamiliar with DSLR's, and asking them to take a photo.
- The EVF is good, and clicks right on as soon as you put your eye to the eyepiece.
- In my opinion, image quality is excellent.
- Auto Focus is excellent.
- Reasonably priced.
- Not a Pro or a Con, but the plastic lens ring has held up fine. I change lenses frequently, and use heavy old Minolta lenses. I have not noticed any issues.
- The type USB interface on this camera is very "sticky" for lack of better terms. I feel like I am yanking the plug out. I much prefer the "mini USB" port on my A230.
- Even when using the Focus Peaking, I still feel that focusing using the EVF is difficult, especially in bright light.
- The camera does not have the capability of using an aftermarket remote for shots, or even a Sony remote for that matter. Very disappointing. (Sony does have WIRED shutter release available)
I started an A58 group on Flickr for myself and others to post some images.