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Sony A58 vs RX10

The Sony Alpha SLT-A58 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2013 and October 2013. The A58 is a DSLR, while the RX10 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (A58) and an one-inch (RX10) sensor. The A58 has a resolution of 19.8 megapixels, whereas the RX10 provides 20 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Sony A58 versus Sony RX10
Sony A58 Sony RX10
Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
Sony A mount lenses 24-200mm f/2.8
19.8 MP, APS-C Sensor 20 MP, 1" Sensor
1080/60i Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-16,000 (100 - 25,600) ISO 125-12,800 (80 - 25,600)
Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots) Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots)
2.7 LCD, 460k dots 3.0 LCD, 1229k dots
Tilting screen (no touchscreen) Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
5 shutter flaps per second 10 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilizationLens-based stabilization
not weather sealedWeathersealed body
690 shots per battery charge420 shots per battery charge
129 x 95 x 78 mm, 492 g 129 x 88 x 102 mm, 813 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Sony Alpha SLT-A58 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Sony A58 and the Sony RX10. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Sony A58 vs Sony RX10
Compare A58 versus RX10 top
Comparison A58 or RX10 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony RX10 is notably smaller (7 percent) than the Sony A58. It is noteworthy in this context that the RX10 is splash and dust-proof, while the A58 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the RX10 has a lens built in, whereas the A58 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.

Concerning battery life, the A58 gets 690 shots out of its NP-FM500H battery, while the RX10 can take 420 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 power pack. The power pack in the RX10 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left 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 camera comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Sony A58 129 mm 95 mm 78 mm 492 g 690 n Feb 2013 599i
 
Sony RX10 129 mm 88 mm 102 mm 813 g 420 Y Oct 2013 1,299i
 
Canon 80D 139 mm 105 mm 79 mm 730 g 960 Y Feb 2016 1,199i
 
Canon 70D 139 mm 104 mm 79 mm 755 g 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199i
 
Canon 100D 117 mm 91 mm 69 mm 407 g 380 n Mar 2013 549i
 
Canon 700D 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649i
 
Nikon D3300 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 430 g 700 n Jan 2014 499i
 
Nikon D7100 136 mm 107 mm 76 mm 765 g 950 Y Feb 2013 1,199i
 
Nikon D3200 125 mm 96 mm 77 mm 505 g 540 n Apr 2012 599i
 
Sony RX10 III 133 mm 94 mm 127 mm 1051 g 420 Y Mar 2016 1,499 i
 
Sony RX10 II 129 mm 88 mm 102 mm 813 g 400 Y Jun 2015 1,299i
 
Sony A68 143 mm 104 mm 81 mm 610 g 540 n Nov 2015 699i
 
Sony A7 II 127 mm 96 mm 60 mm 599 g 350 Y Nov 2014 1,999i
 
Sony A5100 110 mm 63 mm 36 mm 283 g 400 n Aug 2014 549 i
 
Sony A6000 120 mm 67 mm 45 mm 344 g 360 n Feb 2014 599i
 
Sony A3000 128 mm 91 mm 85 mm 411 g 470 n Aug 2013 329i
 
Sony RX100 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 240 g 330 n Jun 2012 649i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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

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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Sony A58 features an APS-C sensor and the Sony RX10 an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the RX10 is 68 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 2.7. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Sony A58 and Sony RX10 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the RX10 offers a slightly higher resolution of 20 megapixels, compared with 19.8 MP of the A58. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 2.41μm versus 4.31μm for the A58). However, it should be noted that the RX10 is a somewhat more recent model (by 7 months) than the A58, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage.

The Sony Alpha SLT-A58 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 16000, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 are ISO 125 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-25600.

A58 versus RX10 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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"). Of the two cameras under review, the A58 has a notably higher overall DXO score than the RX10 (overall score 5 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.4 bits higher color depth, 0.1 EV of lower dynamic range, and 0.7 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Sony A58 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.312.575374
 
Sony RX10 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.912.647469
 
Canon 80D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.2113579
 
Canon 70D APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668
 
Canon 100D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363
 
Canon 700D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161
 
Nikon D3300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.8138582
 
Nikon D7100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.213.7125683
 
Nikon D3200 APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/30p24.113.2113181
 
Sony RX10 III 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p23.112.647270
 
Sony RX10 II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p23.012.653170
 
Sony A68 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60i24.113.570179
 
Sony A7 II Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.913.6244990
 
Sony A5100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.812.7134780
 
Sony A6000 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782
 
Sony A3000 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.712.8106878
 
Sony RX100 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.612.439066

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the RX10 provides a faster frame rate than the A58. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the A58 is limited to 1080/60i.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The A58 and the RX10 are similar in the sense that both feature an electronic viewfinder, which is helpful when framing images in bright sunlight. Moreover, their viewfinders offer an identical resolution of 1440k dots. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Sony A58 and Sony RX10 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Sony A581440 n 2.7 460 tilting n 1/4000s 5.0 Y Y
 
Sony RX101440 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0 Y Y
 
Canon 80Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
 
Canon 70Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
 
Canon 100Doptical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.9 Y n
 
Canon 700Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D3300optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D7100optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n
 
Nikon D3200optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
 
Sony RX10 III2359 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 14.0 Y Y
 
Sony RX10 II2359 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/3200s 14.0 Y Y
 
Sony A681440 Y 2.7 460 tilting n 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
 
Sony A7 II2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n Y
 
Sony A5100none n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Sony A60001440 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0 Y n
 
Sony A3000202 n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
 
Sony RX100none n 3.0 1229 fixed n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y

One feature that is present on the RX10, but is missing on the A58 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the A58 and the RX10 write their files to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The RX10 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the A58 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

Connectivity comparison

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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Sony A58YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Sony RX10YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-
 
Canon 80DYstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-
 
Canon 70DYstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--
 
Canon 100DYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon 700DYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Nikon D3300YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Nikon D7100YstereomonoYYmini2.0---
 
Nikon D3200YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Sony RX10 IIIYstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-
 
Sony RX10 IIYstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-
 
Sony A68YstereomonoY-micro2.0---
 
Sony A7 IIYstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-
 
Sony A5100-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony A6000Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony A3000Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Sony RX100-stereomono--micro2.0---

It is notable that the RX10 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the A58 does not provide wifi capability.

Both the A58 and the RX10 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The A58 was replaced by the Sony A68, while the RX10 was followed by the Sony RX10 II. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Sony website.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Is the Sony A58 better than the Sony RX10 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Advantages of the Sony Alpha SLT-A58:

  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (5 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.7 stops ISO advantage).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/3200s) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (690 versus 420) on a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2013).


Reasons to prefer the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10:

  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/60i).
  • Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.70x vs 0.57x).
  • Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.7") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 460k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the A58 requires a separate lens.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (7 months) more recently.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the RX10 is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 6 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

A58 06:13 RX10

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Sony A58 and the Sony RX10 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Travel-Zoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the A58 or the RX10. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Sony A58....4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2013 599i
 
Sony RX10+80/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 1,299i
 
Canon 80D+ +84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 1,199i
 
Canon 70D+ +83/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199i
 
Canon 100D+78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549i
 
Canon 700D..76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649i
 
Nikon D3300+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 499i
 
Nikon D7100+ +85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2013 1,199i
 
Nikon D3200+ +73/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2012 599i
 
Sony RX10 III+84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2016 1,499 i
 
Sony RX10 II+ +82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Jun 2015 1,299i
 
Sony A68....4/5..4/5 Nov 2015 699i
 
Sony A7 II+82/1004.5/55/55/5 Nov 2014 1,999i
 
Sony A5100+..4.5/54.5/55/5 Aug 2014 549 i
 
Sony A6000+80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2014 599i
 
Sony A3000+..4/54.5/54/5 Aug 2013 329i
 
Sony RX100+ +78/1004/55/55/5 Jun 2012 649i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods 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:
Check Ebay offers
Sony RX10:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Sony A58 vs Sony RX10

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Sony A58 Sony RX10
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Sony A mount lenses 24-200mm f/2.8
    Launch Date February 2013 October 2013
    Launch Price USD 599 USD 1,299
    Sensor Specs Sony A58 Sony RX10
    Sensor Technology CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor 1" Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.5 x 15.6 mm 13.2 x 8.8 mm
    Sensor Area 366.6 mm2 116.16 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.2 mm 15.9 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 2.7x
    Sensor Resolution 19.8 Megapixels 20 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5456 x 3632 pixels 5472 x 3648 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.31 μm 2.41 μm
    Pixel Density 5.41 MP/cm2 17.18 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60i Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 16,000 ISO 125 - 12,800 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 25,600 ISO 80 - 25,600 ISO
    Image Processor BIONZ BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 74 69
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 23.3 22.9
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.5 12.6
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 753 474
    Screen Specs Sony A58 Sony RX10
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.57x 0.70x
    Viewfinder Resolution 1440k dots 1440k dots
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.7inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 460k dots 1229k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Sony A58 Sony RX10
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/3200s
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 10 shutter flaps/s
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilizationLens-based stabilization
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium MS or SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Sony A58 Sony RX10
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Headphone Socket no Headphone port Headphone port
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication no NFC NFC built-in
    Body Specs Sony A58 Sony RX10
    Environmental Sealingnot weather sealedWeathersealed body
    Battery Type NP-FM500H NP-FW50
    Battery Life (CIPA)690 shots per charge420 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 129 x 95 x 78 mm
    (5.1 x 3.7 x 3.1 in)
    129 x 88 x 102 mm
    (5.1 x 3.5 x 4.0 in)
    Camera Weight 492 g (17.4 oz) 813 g (28.7 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

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