Sony A58 Comparison Review
The Sony Alpha SLT-A58 is a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera that was officially introduced in February 2013 and is equipped with an APS-C sensor. It offers a resolution of 19.8 megapixel.
Is the Sony A58 a good camera? The A58 has a Camera Elo of 1683. This rating puts the A58 among the top 50 percent of all digital single lens reflex cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (APS cameras), the A58 ranks below average. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 3-star performance rating.
|Digital single lens reflex|
|Sony A mount lenses|
|19.8 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|ISO 100-16000 (100-25600)|
|Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots)|
|2.7" LCD, 460k dots|
|Tilting screen (no touchscreen)|
|5 shutter flaps per second|
|690 shots per battery charge|
|129 x 95 x 78 mm, 492 g|
Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.
Body comparison with a credit card
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size of the Sony A58 vis-à-vis a credit card. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Sony A58 alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.
|Sony A58||5.1 in||3.7 in||3.1 in||17.4 oz||690||n||Feb 2013||599||Sony A58|
|Canon SL1« »||4.6 in||3.6 in||2.7 in||14.4 oz||380||n||Mar 2013||549||Canon SL1|
|Canon T5i« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.5 oz||440||n||Mar 2013||649||Canon T5i|
|Nikon D5600« »||4.9 in||3.8 in||2.8 in||16.4 oz||970||n||Nov 2016||699||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D3300« »||4.9 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||15.2 oz||700||n||Jan 2014||499||Nikon D3300|
|Nikon D3200« »||4.9 in||3.8 in||3.0 in||17.8 oz||540||n||Apr 2012||599||Nikon D3200|
|Sony A68« »||5.6 in||4.1 in||3.2 in||21.5 oz||540||n||Nov 2015||699||Sony A68|
|Sony A7 II« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.4 in||21.1 oz||350||Y||Nov 2014||1,999||Sony A7 II|
|Sony A5100« »||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.4 in||10.0 oz||400||n||Aug 2014||549||Sony A5100|
|Sony A6000« »||4.7 in||2.6 in||1.8 in||12.1 oz||360||n||Feb 2014||599||Sony A6000|
|Sony A3000« »||5.0 in||3.6 in||3.3 in||14.5 oz||470||n||Aug 2013||329||Sony A3000|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Sony A58 was launched in the US market at a price of $599. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tent to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
The Sony A58 features an APS-C sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.5. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Sony A58 among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.
For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Sony A58||APS-C||19.8||5456||3632||1080/60i||23.3||12.5||753||74||Sony A58|
|Canon SL1||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.8||11.3||843||63||Canon SL1|
|Canon T5i||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||681||61||Canon T5i|
|Nikon D5600||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||14.0||1306||84||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D3300||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.3||12.8||1385||82||Nikon D3300|
|Nikon D3200||APS-C||24.1||6016||4000||1080/30p||24.1||13.2||1131||81||Nikon D3200|
|Sony A68||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60i||24.1||13.5||701||79||Sony A68|
|Sony A7 II||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.9||13.6||2449||90||Sony A7 II|
|Sony A5100||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.8||12.7||1347||80||Sony A5100|
|Sony A6000||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||13.1||1347||82||Sony A6000|
|Sony A3000||APS-C||19.8||5456||3632||1080/60i||23.7||12.8||1068||78||Sony A3000|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The A58 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the A58 can use is 1080/60i.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the A58 has an electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 1440k dots. The viewfinder offers a field of view of 100% and a magnification of 0.57x. The following tables report on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Sony A58 and comparable cameras.
|Sony A58||1440||n||2.7||460||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||Y||Sony A58|
|Canon SL1||optical||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.9||Y||n||Canon SL1|
|Canon T5i||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon T5i|
|Nikon D5600||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D3300||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D3300|
|Nikon D3200||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n||Nikon D3200|
|Sony A68||1440||Y||2.7||460||tilting||n||1/4000s||8.0||Y||Y||Sony A68|
|Sony A7 II||2400||n||3.0||1230||tilting||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||Y||Sony A7 II|
|Sony A5100||none||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n||Sony A5100|
|Sony A6000||1440||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||n||Sony A6000|
|Sony A3000||202||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||n||Sony A3000|
One convenient feature of the A58 is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Sony Alpha SLT-A58 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Sony A58||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony A58|
|Canon SL1||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon SL1|
|Canon T5i||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T5i|
|Nikon D5600||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D3300||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D3300|
|Nikon D3200||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D3200|
|Sony A68||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-||Sony A68|
|Sony A7 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A7 II|
|Sony A5100||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A5100|
|Sony A6000||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A6000|
|Sony A3000||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony A3000|
It is notable that the A58 has a microphone port. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.
While the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the A58 handle or perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable. This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Sony A58 FAQ
Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the A58.
What type of imaging sensor is used in the A58?
The camera has a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor at its core.
Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?
Sony equipped the A58 with the BIONZ image processor.
What is the ISO sensitivity range of the A58?
The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 16000.
What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Sony Alpha SLT-A58?
Sony mentions a shutter rating of 100 000 actuations for the A58. This number represents a Mean Time before Failure, that is an average value. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust the expected shutter life of the A58 over, say, three years, one would have to take about 100 pictures each and every day.
How do I find the shutter count on my Sony A58?
Sony embeds the number of shutter actuations in image metadata. You can check the number of shots that your A58 has taken up to now by uploading a recent image to the online shutter count app.
Is it difficult to use manual focus lenses with the Sony A58?
The A58 offers focus peaking as a manual focus aid. This feature works by placing a colored highlight on in-focus zones within the image.
Does the Sony A58 feature an autofocus assist light?
Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.
What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?
The A58's flash sync speed is 1/160 sec.
Which battery does the A58 use?
The camera gets its power from the NP-FM500H (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.
Is there a vertical grip available for the A58?
Sony does not offer an optional battery grip, but third party suppliers do (see here on eBay).
Camera to camera comparisons
If you would like to see a side-by-side review of this and another camera, just make your choice using the following search menu. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
|Camera Model||Sony A58|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Sony A mount lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 599|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.5 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||366.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||19.8 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5456 x 3632 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.31 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.41 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60i Video|
|ISO Setting||100-16000 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100-25600 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||74|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||23.3|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.5|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||753|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1440k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.7 inch|
|LCD Resolution||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi|
|Battery Type||NP-FM500H power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||690 shots per charge|
129 x 95 x 78 mm
(5.1 x 3.7 x 3.1 in)
|Camera Weight||492 g (17.4 oz)|
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