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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
I've been using a Sony A200 since I bought it in 2009 and decided it was time for an upgrade since I've got into product photography. My main needs included a good quality, tiltable liveview so that the camera could be set up at a low level on tripod without me having to crouch down to look through a viewfinder. I was also looking for better low-light performance and an incremental step up in picture quality both from the higher pixel count and improved technology. After attempting to buy a second hand A390 I gave up and plumped for the more expensive, but brand new, A58 - and I'm glad I did.

This is a cracker. First and foremost, whilst it's technically not an SLR since the mirror doesn't "Reflex" when a photo is taken, this makes absolutely no difference whatsoever - except that the clunky sound the A200 made when taking a photo has been replaced with a quieter click. I've experienced very good low light performance and I absolutely love the LCD viewfinder- something I wasn't sure about before I began using the camera. I've found a new love of photography simply by using this camera. I enjoyed and appreciated my A200 very much but the A58 produces better photos more consistently and with the minimum of fuss. I was able to use my Sony 50mm Prime lens and Sony 55-200mm telephoto without problems.

I only have two reservations. Firstly, the kit lens isn't top drawer. In fact, it's inferior to the A200's kit lens which, in fairness, is famously excellent - so I use my new camera with the old lens. Having said that, it's possible to get the official 55-200mm telephoto refurbished on Amazon for around £90 and that's a great investment - although the 50mm prime is my favourite for product photography. My second reservation is that the A58 uses a new remote connector and the remote itself is hideously expensive - this is awkward for astrophotography and self portraits. Hopefully a cheap clone will come out at some point.

Overall, however, this is a superb camera and offers astonishing value. I was prepared to look at Canon and Nikon alternatives but nothing from either of those manufacturers touches the A58 at this price point. So I got a better camera and was able to reuse my lenses.
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68 of 74 people found the following review helpful
on 20 June 2013
Style Name: 18-55 Lens KitVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
While the Sony A58 is clearly intended to compete with the likes of the the Nikon 5100 and the Canon 600D, the Sony is not the 'me too' it initially seems.

Unlike Nikon's and Canon's fairly conventional take on the enthusiast level D-SLR, Sony's translucent mirror technology provides an interesting twist on the theme. In your hands it feels just like it's rivals (its proportions are virtually identical to the Nikon 5100), but in use it very effectively combines some of the more useful features of bridge and compact camera.

Normally with a D-SLR you look through an optical view finder to compose your image, and use the rear screen for image playback and changing settings. Live view, if available, is often comparatively slow and is usually reserved for video. Without bogging you down with details, the A58 works differently, having an electronic view finder (EVF) and a rear screen that is every bit as quick to use as the view finder. You can jump between the two at any time without having to switch modes.

Ok so it's got a few techie tricks up it's sleeve, but is it any good? For the most part, yes. In use use it feels just like a regular D-SLR, the EVF works well in pretty much any situation (but you can still tell it's an EVF). The camera automatically switches from EVF to screen when you move eye away from the eye piece, and does so pretty much instantly. Buttons, and dials are logically placed and even though I'd not used a Sony before found my way around without need of a manual. The 18mm-55mm kit lens is pretty good if unremarkable. It's subject to a little distortion (as are rival kit lens), but will be fine for most casual users.

The 20 mp files are plenty big enough for A3b inkjet printouts - or even larger without signs of pixelation. However I found JPEG image quality to be good, rather than brilliant, and left me a little underwhelmed. It's not bad but I was expecting more. I think part of the problem is that by default the camera tends to select very high ISO settings, and can over exposes at time too - both of which can be over ridden of course, but it shouldn't really happen as often as it does. The high ISO has an impact on image sharpness with JPEG's looking a bit soft due to noise suppression. Of course you could shoot RAW and get around it that way, but at the time of writing neither Apple's Aperture* or Photoshop CS5 supported the A58, so how much leeway is available with the RAW files is unknown to me. Having said that, I'm sure with a good prime lens on and a the ability to edit the RAW files I'm sure the A58 could output high quality images.

Video was pretty good, but again not perfect - although this isn't something I use a lot, so I may be missing a few tricks here. Sound was good, but does pick up all sounds in the immediate area (as do most built in mic's) - get a directional mic if video is really important too you (there is a mic mini-jack socket on the side). If you leave the camera on auto the mic's picks up the focusing motors (again, as do most built in mic's).

There are a few other niggles too; the lens mount is plastic - which seems a cost cut too far (particularly as the whole point of an D-SLR is that you can change the lens). The supplied paper 'manual' is little more than a check list with a lot of small print. No software is supplied, although there is a link to Sony's website in the box - but as it's leads to a PC only download, and I use a Mac, I'm not sure what you get (the website does not make it clear), or whether it's any good.

In spite of my whinging the Sony A58 is a good camera, and most of my complaints can be easily overcome (plastic lens mount aside), and compares well with it's rivals. Whether it's for you will partly depend on how much you like to use the rear screen to take pictures, but it's got a good basic spec, some interesting features and a decent selection of lenses and accessories are available. It's certainly worth shortlisting if you're after a D-SLR in this price bracket.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
*UPDATE

Apple's Aperture does now support the a58 and I'm pleased to say image quality is improved by using the RAW format (you can save RAW & JPEG at once if you want both). Using aperture I found it was possible to pull blown highlights back, and noise control was improved. It's definitely worth using RAW if you want to get the best from this camera.

My (old) version of Photoshop (CS5)/Camera RAW still does not support the a58, and I suspect probably never will. I'm guessing an upgrade to CS6 will be needed in this case.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
I had a chance to use the A58 for a few days so will convey my thoughts on the camera; as a Minolta/Sony user I have quite an investment in the system, and have used a lot of camera bodies from Sony and other makers. I tend to be more on the fussy side v some reviewers, so bear that in mind when reading my reviews. I'll be comparing it directly to the A57 which was the previous model, the information here allows you to make an informed choice about if this camera meets your needs. Like all cameras it can take nice photos.

I'll kick off with my usual pros and cons list.

Pros:
+ 20mp sensor is decent (but I feel it's not improved v the 16mp CMOS) 4mp isn't much of a step up either in low light or other areas dynamic range.
+ AF is fast, but accuracy was not as good as the A57 I have, could be sample variation or more cost cutting to parts used.
+ Battery life is better than previous SLT Models from Sony, they say 690 odd for the viewfinder and in field use the battery life is quite good and somewhat better than the A57
+ EVF is now an OLED type v the previous model LCD, this removes the "rainbow" effect you got on the LCD EVF's if you moved your eye quickly across the frame. The resolution is the same as the A57's EVF, but it's now quite a bit smaller in size. Still has issues in bright contrasty light as do the other EVF's
+ Auto ISO in M is now available, users were asking for this for some time
+ Bracketing is now a much more respectable 3.0 EV v the previous 0.7 which is way better. (3 frames, but 5 frames at max 0.7. Would be great to have 5 frames at up to 3.0 EV but this is an improvement
+ Kit lens has a quieter (but not silent) SAM motor v the previous 18-55mm, build is better too. Optics looked the same to me as the older kit lens. At 20mp you really need something better here, but it's ok to start you off.
+ Has a new Auto Object Framing, which is similar to the Auto Portrait Framing on previous models. I don't use these features much as I feel they are gimmicky.
+ Supports tethering, but I didn't have a chance to try this (ie remote control from pc to camera) Still seems odd to me that this budget model has this, but Sony's premium A77 doesn't.
+ Has wireless flash and HSS as per all previous Alpha models, and still supports screw driven lenses with the in body motor.
+ Metering is mostly consistent and overall tends to give somewhat more exposure than previous SLT models I've used (not a bad thing) keep an eye in high contrast shooting conditions though

Cons:
- Plastic lens mount, this is the first time a DSLR has ever had a fully plastic lens mount (only super budget 35mm film bodies had it before) and it is most unwelcome. Other makers have "full metal mounts" and I see no reason for penny pinching here from Sony.
- Build is a step down from the A57 too, rather than the speckled nicer finish Sony have gone for a cheaper/less dense smooth plastic one and it doesn't feel as solid. The body is a bit smaller than the A57, and not as comfortable, but it's "ok" for a budget camera. It won't fall apart, but you can feel they cut the build back a bit.
- The rubber looking rear thumb pad is in actual fact just plastic with a texture on it.
- Tiny buffer of just 6 frames in raw. This compares quite badly with the A57's rather big 20+ raw buffer. I got about 10 frames at 5fps in jpeg fine with a Sandisk Extreme 45mb/s card, that's not really very good and well below the A57 and rival bodies.
- FPS cut down to 5fps for full resolution images and 8 fps for crop v the 8/10fps full res and 12fps on the A57. Sony have lost one appeal point of the SLT design the fps is now just normal and not crazy fast.
- 2.7" LCD is single hinged and resolution is down to 460k dots, that's better than the A37's low res LCD, but it's smaller than the 3" one one the A57 and half the resolution. By no means bad, quite usable - just another step backwards. The previous model has a double hinge too so another area where it's been downgraded. (and you can't turn the LCD in to the body to protect it)
- No IR remote port, and no standard wired remote! The normal wired remote has been used since Minolta days and across Sony's DSLR/SLT range for a while, it's of no use here as there is no port! The IR remote won't work either. The only option is a new remote (and quite expensive too) that fits on in a new multi port on the side (RM-VPR1 is the part you are looking for)
- No level gauge, this has been taken out of the A58 which is a shame as it was quite useful
- Video mode has no 50p option it's now a 50i only (25p is available), 3D panoramic feature removed also.
- Usual annoyances like the nag screens and not being able to use certain modes with raw are still here. Jpeg processing is said to be better, but I didn't notice any significant improvement, again stick to raw to get the best out of the camera. Sony moved the exp comp button to the back (which is fine) but put the zoom button near the shutter, again this button is quite useless if you shoot raw and the limited customisation issues on the A57 are still here too.

On a side note the Multi Interface Hot shoe, is a proprietary hot shoe based on the Standard ISO shoe. However Sony have added front contacts to the hot shoe, and an off central sync port (other makers have one exactly in the middle) this means some standard ISO hot shoe accessories (like radio triggers) might not fit fully as the front contacts are "in the way". This is a mixed moved IMO, and will mean that most A mount compatible flashes need an adaptor to work with these new hot shoe cameras. So bear that in mind if you have other Alpha/Minolta models around. There is now some third party support for the new shoe (Metz have a few models and Sigma have updated the shoe on some, double check though some stocks might have the older shoe)

So overall we have (mostly) a cut down A57, with a model number that suggests it's an update! To be fair there are some improvements here, better bracketing, new OLED EVF, Auto ISO in M. But countered with some downsides too, lower fps, smaller lower res LCD, plastic mount, no IR or wired remote, much smaller buffer. It feels like Sony really cut too many corners on this model. 3 steps forward and 5 backwards. If you can hunt around and find an A57/65 that might prove a better longer term bet. Whilst I was ok using the camera, I found the A57 overall a better rounded and more capable camera, and would not replace it with this model.

Really it's more an A38 than an A58. With a big price drop over time it might be worth a look as an inexpensive second body/back up (maybe at £250 odd).

Update 10/14:
The price is falling on this model not quite to the £250 level but not far off, at that price it's a reasonable buy but a bit of a shame a few corners were cut (esp buffer size which renders the fast fps rather redundant) and I'm not a fan of plastic lens mounts. Still if you are looking for a bargain A mount body this is a bit more appealing now.

Plan on getting something a bit better than the 18-55mm kit lens it's not going to get you anywhere near the advertised 20mp of the camera ok for a first lens but you'll need something sharper if you grow into this later on. Not a bad super budget offering in a lot of ways if you're not too fussed about some of the weaker areas.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 26 February 2014
The original remote control for A58 is very expensive. If you need one, please try a free android app from google play store: RCCDroid. This app provides full tethering of SONY A58.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 29 July 2014
Even though I am a beginner, I believe that this camera wil suits all my needs. I'm sure that it will be enough for me for long time. Very happy with the acquisition!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 16 March 2015
Brilliant camera very well made , and my A mount Minolta lenses also fit . Great price also, am very pleased with my purchase.
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30 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on 20 July 2013
I have had this camera in use now for 3 days and as an avid photographer I am positively surprised regarding the features and the ease of use both in manual and automatic settings. This is my 3rd Sony with interchangeable lenses and while the Alpha 100 was noisy and clumsy this A58 feels more like a camera for semi-pros and certainly a nice camera for beginners.

I bought this camera for the sole purpose to use existing lenses of which I have many but also because my Nikon D800 is to complex and heavy for day-to-day use and I rather break this Sony than the Nikon considering the price which is quite nice for a camera with almost all preferences one may need, professional or a hobby photographer.
So it feels a bit plastic… and it is mostly plastic, but it fits my hand like a glove and does not feel slippery at all. Actually it feels surprisingly solid although its quite light I weight. Many have complained about the lens mount. The metal lens mount is now replaced with plastic and it might not be as durable as the metal mount. Well, that is not quite true. The mount is not plastic as in He-Man, but rather a composite material not unlike the materials used in high end racing cars and space exploration. It is lighter, but as hard and durable as you ever might need. I don’t think that Sony would put their reputation on the line because of a bit of plastic. It has been tested and it has passed. I’m satisfied and can’t feel any difference between the metal mount on my Nikon and this composite mount. Actually the kit lens slides very easily and effortlessly in place and even the kit lens feels solid and produces some quite stunning pictures. Certainly the best ones I have ever managed to snap “right out of the box”.

I will not go into technical specifications but must emphasise that the OLED viewfinder is magnificent and the tilting rear LCD screen is adequate. It is not the fastest camera on the market and the auto focus might have some difficulties in focusing in poorly lit conditions. However, you may always use a manual focusing and then you see how good the OLED viewfinder is. In normal daylight I have seen no problems at all and fast moving objects (dogs) freeze nicely and in perfect focus. I like to experiment a lot with all the possibilities the camera offers and one can do magic, but in the end it’s the composition and your own abilities that determine the outcome of a nice picture. Certainly my Nikon is a “better camera”, but having had this in use both professionally and fooling around a bit, I must say that one gets quite a lot of value for money. As it happens the size and the weight is perfect even for me with I bit large hands, so at this point I’m actually quite astonished regarding the picture quality and the robust feel of this camera and do indeed recommend it to anyone who’s keen on wanting more than just compact camera holiday shots.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 July 2014
Excellent camera, took some amazing shots on trip to Cyprus. Worth the money, especially with the 2 lens pack :- ) Used to use a Nikon D7000 through work and to be honest, was too complicated. The pics with this on auto are as good, if not better than the Nikon for less than half the price!
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on 19 June 2015
Coming from an owner of an a99 and a7ii shooting weddings - i use the a58 as backup camera - for me to get the best out of this camera - shoot in RAW and keep ISO generally down to 800 and below. Can get a little noisy if you use iso 1600 depending on lighting conditions so if you do a lot of low light photography then probably should look at other models. Other Minor criticisms is that I can only adjust in 1 stop increments for ISO ie 50,100,200,400,800,1600 etc and a bit fidgety to acess the camera local focus points so its a bit trickey to be creative and trying to access the focus points as the same time , however these are minor issues - the a58 is geared towards the amateur and still a solid camera.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 May 2014
Sony Alpha A58 Translucent Mirror Interchangeable Lens Camera with 18-55mm takes great pictures and is very fast. Very easy to use.
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