4 expert reviews - 0 user reviews
We have collected 4 reviews of the Sony Alpha DSLR-A580. Experts rate Sony Alpha DSLR-A580 7.8/10. Reviewsor.com helps you find reviews, best prices, user reviews of the Sony Alpha DSLR-A580 and Sony Digital cameras.
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Sony announced no less than six new Alpha branded cameras in 2010, but only two of those cameras were actual traditional DSLRS. Of those two the Alpha A580 is the higher end model sporting a new 16.2 mp HD CMOS sensor and HD 1080p video capture. Just as well the A580 hosts many new improvements and additions compared to the DSLR it replaces in Sony's lineup, the Alpha A550. Sony's Alpha A580 retails at a lower initial cost than the A550 at introduction selling for $799.00 body only, and $899.00 w/the 18-55mm SAM kit lens in the US market. Although the NEX and SLT models have received most of the attention of the press this year, DSLR shooters shouldn't count out the A580 and A560 models or they could be looking over buried treasure. A580 Review- Overview * Update 1-29-2011: The Alpha A580 has the highest ranked image quality of any Alpha to date, here, and now other sites as well. I don't usually defer to other websites information in support of my conclusions, but in this particular case I thought it relevant. My determinations of image quality come from a photographers handling and using perspective, with much experience reviewing and printing image quality from cameras.
Review based on a production Sony DSLR-A580 with firmware version 1.11 The Sony DSLR-A580 is near-identical in terms of design and operation to its predecessor the DSLR-A550, and in terms of image quality very similar to its sister-model the SLT-A55. For this review we have therefore slightly shortened our usual review format, concentrating on the differences to the A550 and A55 respectively. To learn everything about the camera you are interested in, we recommend reading not only this review but also the full reviews of the DSLR-A550 and SLT-A55. The Sony DSLR-A580 was announced, together with the SLT-A55, in August 2010. In Sony's slightly convoluted DSLR line-up it is firmly located in the mid-level bracket, competing with cameras such as the Canon EOS 600D/Rebel T3i and Nikon D5100. Both the A580 and the A55 continue Sony's tradition of designing cameras which are 'a bit different' from the rest. This is especially true for the A55 which, with its translucent fixed mirror and electronic viewfinder, can't even technically be called an SLR. The subject of our review though, the DSLR-A580, comes with a moving mirror and is therefore more of a 'traditional' SLR, but its second live view mode still sets it apart from the more conventional competitors.
Announced alongside Sony's attention-grabbing Translucent Mirror cameras, the A33 and A55, the launch of the Sony A580 was probably robbed of some attention -- and that's maybe a little unfair, because when compared to its predecessor, the A580 sports some genuinely useful changes. The Sony A580 is based around a new 16.2 megapixel, APS-C sized image sensor, which now carries Exmor APS HD branding. (Compared to the A560, alongside which it is also announced, the A580's sensor is the main difference.) Perhaps the most significant change between the older A550 and the A580, though, is a brand new autofocus system, based around a 15-point AF sensor, of which three are cross-type points. From the fifteen total points, eleven can be addressed directly, and four serve as assist points. Also new to the Sony A580 is its high-definition movie recording capability, which is fast becoming a common function even among entry-level DSLRs, and an absolute must-have feature for enthusiast cameras. The Sony A580 can record movies at up to 1,920 x 1,080 pixel (Full HD) resolution, with stereo audio -- either from a built in microphone, or an external mic with a 3.5mm jack.
The 16.2-megapixel Sony Alpha DSLR-A580 ($799.99, body only) is an impressive digital camera with great photo and video quality and several innovative in-camera software tricks. Autofocus is off-the-charts fast, whether you use the optical viewfinder or the LCD to frame your shots. Video recording is little trickier; there's no autofocus whatsoever in video mode, and you can't select frame rates. (Sony leaves these features to the Sony Alpha55 ($849.99, 4 stars). If you're not picky about video, though, the A580 is an easy camera to fall in love with. Like its competitors, the Editors' Choice Canon EOS Rebel T2i ($899.99, 4.5 stars) and the Nikon D3100 ($699.95, 4 stars), the Sony A580's body is pleasantly heavy on controls. The many buttons offer quick access to features and settings (ISO, timer shooting, and video mode, for example) without having to dig through menus. The buttons are all the same small size, clearly labeled, and placed around the LCD, and on top of the A580. At 1.3 pounds and 4.1 by 5.4 by 3.3 inches (HWD), the camera is comparable to other entry-level D-SLRs. It can write to Memory Stick Duo or SD/SDHC/SDXC cards. For sharing photos and videos, you can connect the A580 to a computer through a miniUSB port, and to an HDTV through a mini-HDMI port.