Sony Alpha Series cameras are over performers, they have been discreet but brilliant. Those who know the potential of the Alpha series do not usually prefer any other cameras. With Competitors like Canon and Nikon munching over a mouthful of chunk, the smaller players have little or no chance into providing the DSLR users any options. It’s been quite a while since Sony first introduced its DSLT or translucent mirror, cameras, and it seems as if consumers and the industry are now au fait with the idea. You can usually find upgraded versions of these cameras once in a year and Sony has done just that by bringing out the Alpha A58 camera that replaces the A57 DSLR.
Let’s take a focused look at this camera along with the 18-55 mm as well as the 55-200 mm lens kit.
The Alpha A 58 DSLR supersedes both the Sony A37 and A57 DSLRs in one fell swoop and offers the user various advanced level photographic features and picture-taking skills at a very consumer-friendly price Rs. 38,000*/-.
The A 58 features a sharp and advanced 20.1-megapixel APS-C sensor and it delivers pictures that are sharp and detailed, its pictures are much more detailed and quality rich than much more expensive cameras. Sony had to make a few tough decisions while planning this camera so as to curtail the costs and so, the camera uses a plastic lens mount rather than a metal one as well as a few basic touch have been added to this camera. The new APS-C sensor on this camera is much better than the one found on the A 57 (16.1 Mp).
This camera also features Sony’s new and improved electronic viewfinder (EVF), which now boasts OLED technology for improved brightness and contrast. The Alpha range DSLT cameras use only EVF’s and so Sony has ensured that the quality of the VF’s been absolutely pristine and clear. A few users aren’t in favor of the EVF system however; this has a few advantages for amateur photographers who can see the changes made to settings displayed in real time via the viewfinder. This also saves plenty of time rather than.
Removing the camera to glance at the LCD screen as the image pops up in the viewfinder and letting you judge if you have clicked the perfectly framed shot or not. The A 58 has a 15-point AF system, which includes three cross-type sensors and users can very well shoot at 8fps in tele-zoom continuous advance priority AE mode, else shoot at 5fps at the camera's highest resolution that gives the user faster burst rates than most other cameras belonging to the entry level market. As a part of Sony’s strategy, the users with cameras belonging to the compact range entering into the DSLR or DSLT range as well as the DSLR cameras are being targeted.
Sony has added yet another relatively new feature on this camera that is quite interesting. The Auto Object Framing, a step-up from the Auto Portrait Framing system that made its appearance a while back that not only uses the camera’s crop feature automatically and give proper composed pictures, it can also be applied on macros or moving subjects too. Sony has also added a lot of fun centric features on this camera that sound simple and easy to use, for instance; Sweep Panorama is a feature first introduced in the company's range of Cyber-Shot compacts, and a range of Picture Effects and Picture Styles, the Clear Zoom Feature, that is Sony’s alias for Digital Zoom that uses By-Pixel Resolution Technology, which is designed to double the effective focal length of which ever lens the user uses, while maintaining the same resolution. This feature is effective for mainly those customers who do not want to invest much on additional lenses; this is a great feature that is unique in the Alpha A58. There is another advantage of the translucent mirror on the camera; it delivers AF during high speed shoots. The camera shoots up to 8fps and this is definitely not an everyday feature on an entry level camera.
Build, Handling and Display:
Sony has not done much to this camera’s design and it adapts the looks from its predecessor. If you place both cameras next to each other, you won’t be able to differentiate this camera with the A57. The main difference lies within the camera. It has a large, chunky grip, which is particularly useful when shooting one-handed, and is reasonably weighty enough to give it a quality feel. There is a dial switch on the top of the camera that allows switching between the various modes it has to offer, such as fully automatic, semi-automatic and fully manual modes. Sony has also included the Picture Effects mode that was found hidden in the main menu. The Pictures Effects mode can also be activated while you are using other modes.
There is a scrolling dial built into the hand grip that can be used to alter aperture or shutter speed, depending on the mode the user is on. The camera has dedicated buttons on its back that enable easy and quick access to key settings such as ISO and exposure compensation along with the liberty to customize the settings. There is a -inch tilting screen on the rear side with 4,60,000 dots and has a poor resolution as compared to the other high resolution screens on other devices. This is not a touch screen and this gets a little disappointing here. Sony has used a standard hot shoe rather than the Alpha proprietary hot shoe.
Overall this is a greatly built camera and handles quite well.
Sony is known for its high performing range of cameras that lives up to its high expectations and the A 58 doesn’t fail us there. The images have fine details along with great color portrayal and the images appear well exposed. The Bright colors are quite prominent on this camera, the White Balance performance is quite well and this camera does a great job there, even at high ISO ranges such as ISO 2500- ISO 3200, the performance is quite good and the details appear great. The video performance is also very good and this camera shoots HD videos (Full HD 1080p@ 60 fps) that appear very appealing.
18-55 mm and 55-200 mm lens:
The A 58 comes with an 18-55 mm kit lens as well as the 55-200 mm lens and this is a pretty sweet deal. Although Sony doesn't have quite the proprietary lens range of Canon and Nikon, the number of A-mount lenses now tops 50, with seven premium optics available manufactured by Carl Zeiss. The 18-200 combination is quite good for amateur photographers who would like to experiment with their photography skills.
The Picture Effects is a new addition and is quite attractive to use, this camera also shoots good images in Low Light. Not to forget the great EVF on this camera. However, you might not like the slow AF and the Raw format use might test your patience and finally this camera does not have the best of screens but it is manageable. Overall this is a great camera and has top notch features and specs.
Sony SLT A58Y Rivals:
Canon EOS 1200D
Canon EOS 600D
Canon EOS 700D