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Sony Alpha A58 Hands-On First-Look Preview

We go hands on with the new 20.1 megapixel Sony Alpha A58, a new Digital SLT designed to replace the A37 and A57.

|  Sony Alpha A58 in Digital SLRs
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Sony Alpha A58 (2)

The new Sony Alpha A58 is Sony's latest mid-entry level Digital SLR offering with Sony's Translucent Mirror Technology, and a new 20.1 megapixel APS-C sensor, it is designed to replace the Sony Alpha A57, as well as the Sony Alpha A37 which will be discontinued in April. It features a new OLED TruFinder electronic viewfinder, lock on AF tracking, and auto-object framing. It will be available for £450 with the new 18-55mm SAM II kit lens from April.

Sony Alpha A58 Features

Sony Alpha A58 (3)
The camera features a new OLED TruFinder electronic viewfinder, an improvement over the LCD viewfinder in the A57, although the resolution is the same with both cameras featuring the same 1.44 million dot resolution.

Auto object framing, will automatically frame portraits, macros or AF Tracking subjects, and crop accordingly while also retaining the original image. This feature is an update to auto-portrait framing on previous models, and can be switched off if unneeded.

Lock on AF is another new feature that will automatically detect the subject size and track the movement accordingly. The new 20.1 megapixel sensor offers ISO100 to ISO16000, with area based noise reduction for improved low light performance.

Key Features

  • 20.1 megapixel APS-C sensor
  • OLED TruFinder, 1.44m dots
  • Lock on AF object tracking
  • Auto object framing
  • 2.7inch screen, 460k dots
  • 15 point AF, with 3 cross type
  • Full HD video with stereo sound
  • 8fps continuous AF shooting (tele-zoom)
  • 5fps continuous shooting at full resolution
  • New ISO standard hot-shoe with Multi Terminal (Ni) accessory port
  • ISO100 - ISO16000 (ISO25600 with Multi-frame NR)
  • New area-based Noise Reduction
  • Improved BOINZ image processing engine
  • Steadyshot inside image stabilisation

Sony Alpha A58 Handling

Sony Alpha A58 (6)

The Sony Alpha A58 has a plastic front lens mount, however, on closer inspection of this camera and the A57, the next ring in is also plastic, followed by a silver metal ring on both. Sony assured us that this shouldn't cause any issues in use.

Sony Alpha A57 Vs A58 (3)

The rear has a 460k dot screen, and an OLED Trufinder electronic viewfinder with 1.44million dots - and it appeared to look better than the A57 in comparison with a more life-like view. The remote socket has gone from the A57, and instead a new RM-VPR1 wired remote commander accessory is offered.

Sony Alpha A58 (7)

On top you'll notice that the A58 has followed other recent Sony Alpha and NEX cameras and features a more ISO standard flash hot-shoe, with the Multi Terminal Ni accessory port. The camera offers a battery life rating of 690 to 700 shots depending on where you use the EVF or LCD display, with the LCD offering slightly better battery life.

Sony Alpha A58 (1)

The OLED TruFinder has eye-detection and will automatically switch to the electronic viewfinder when you hold the camera up to your eye, or alternatively you can use the button on the top to manually choose. We will be putting the Sony Alpha A58 through our full review when available.

Read the Sony Alpha A58 Announcement.

Sony Alpha A58 Hands-On Photos of Equipment

Sony Alpha A58 Specifications

Effective Magnification1.5x
Image Sensor
Pixels20.1Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)5456
Pixels (H)3632
Sensor TypeExmor CMOS
Sensor SizeAPS-C
Sensor Size (width)23.5mm
Sensor Size (height)15.6mm
Aspect Ratio
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor2.7in
Screen resolution460k
Touch ScreenNo
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Face Detection
  • Spot
  • AF Tracking
  • Multi
  • Centre
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/4000sec
Shutter speeds longest30sec
Bulb modeYes
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
  • Centre-weighted - Average
ISO sensitivity100 - 16000
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Bracket
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Shade
  • Flash
Exposure Comp+/-3
MagnificationNo Data
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting5fps
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
  • 640x480 VGA
Video FPS50p, 50i, 25p
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Card Type
  • Memory Stick (Sony)
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • RAW
  • JPG
  • RAW + JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeInfolithium NP-FM500H
Battery Life (CIPA rating)690shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsLens cap, Micro USB cable, Body cap, SAL-18552, rechargeable battery, Eyepiece cup, battery charger, shoulder strap, power cable

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Photographs taken using the Sony Alpha A58

Pushkar LakeKuala Lumpur city skylinedhanyavaad   (thank you).............An old lady from Haridwarthe magic of PushkarAmong the believers 4............passerby at HaridwarLal Qila (Red Fort) DelhiOn a clear night.......International Women's DayIn the early morning light........Urban mosaicMorning walksmile......a moment of serenity........

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efikim 12 7 United Kingdom
20 Feb 2013 1:47PM
so not only do we need to buy new flashguns, but we now also need to buy a new remote control, or are adapters provided for those who already have flashguns and remotes?
icemanonline 15 77 United Kingdom
20 Feb 2013 2:02PM
Not impressed at this new A58. a57 will be a better value buy now......for me anyway. Hope prices drop.

kodachrome 11 782
20 Feb 2013 2:43PM
Plastic lens mount is unaceptable for a mid range enthusiasts camera. I thought 16mp was plenty enough for my photography, oh well, they are all in the pixel race as it sells cameras.

In a way, the A58 is a backward step and to drop the A37 is crazy, people flocked to buy that because it was small and compact and got rave reviews.
I just don't get it with Sony.
I will wait a bit as A57's come on the used market as people change [I won't use the word upgrade] to the A58.
20 Feb 2013 5:29PM
Good looking design. Not having the 16:9 format is a deal breaker for me.
20 Feb 2013 6:51PM
Aside from 20.1 mp and OLED evf, I do not see any advantage of the a58 from a57. It even went backward with 5 fps (full res) and 8 fps (tele zoom) as compared to 10 fps and 12 fps respectively in a57. The LCD monitor of the 58 only tilts and not swivel as the 57's. I don't think I will discard my a57 for this one.
dudler Plus
19 2.0k 1965 England
20 Feb 2013 7:37PM
This won't tempt me, but my Alpha 900 is stiff competition (and wil lbe for a while yet, I reckon). However, as an entry-level model, this is pretty damn formidable...

The plastic lens mount is worrying - but in truth, most of hte people who will buy this won't be hanging big lenses on it, or changing primes 20 times a day, like I do...

Moving to a standard hot shoe is sensible, so that ordinary accessories fit. If my 900 had one, I wouldn't need the silly adaptor for studio triggers... This is simply getting rid of an old Minolta eccentricity, which my still-lovely Dynax 9 shares.

Yes - Sony do odd stuff. The result of a big consumer electronics firm taking over a slightly eccentric camera firm. But... Even the ones I really haven't loved (such as the Alpha 100) do deliver the goods. So I'll probably recommend this to anyone who asks me, and wants this kind of camera.
Broken 12 21 England
20 Feb 2013 7:40PM
I love my a57 and this is to be replaced with the a58. It happened when I bought the a200, too, as that was discontinued. I feel that I have upgraded and wonder if the a58 is really that much better? The price is very low, much lower than I paid for the a57 which came out last year.
kodachrome 11 782
21 Feb 2013 8:33AM
It seems from what I have been reading, Sony are simplifying their range of SLT A mount camera line up with fewer models but more focussed in the market place. The new A58 will replace the older A37 and A57 as their new entry/upper entry level camera. The next one up the line is the A65 and so on.There is some constination among Sony users especially on the Photo Club Alpha forum as just what future SLT A mount has, considering the NEX cameras are a best seller, not for me though.

AlanWillis 13 67 England
21 Feb 2013 10:29AM
The OLED viewfinder is one of the many huge advantages of Sony I could not live without.
Because it mimics the live view, I use it to change the camera settings and review my photos.
Scottelly 10 35 United States
25 Feb 2013 3:59AM
I was going to buy an A65 anyway. This thing looks crap. I like the fact that they are finally switching to a standard hot shoe mount for flash, so people don't have to buy adapters, but why didn't they just ship the old cameras with adapters, so people could use both? What would it cost for an adapter? $2 each? It's amazing to me that a company that is so smart can be so stupid. I guess, like Apple and their Thunderbolt but no USB 3.0, there is room for improvement at Sony.

I don't see how a plastic mount is an improvement though. It seems like Sony is being cheap. The image quality of the 18-135mm lens is an example. I know they wanted to make that lens cheap, but did they have to make it SO cheap? A $500 lens with that range and a better image quality, with weather seals, would have been really nice. They need a 10-18mm lens too, so they can compete against the Sigma 10-20mm and the Tamron 10-24mm.

This camera reminds me of the A99 and its slow shooting ability. It's as if they didn't want to compete against Nikon too hard, so Nikon could stay in the game. It's almost as if the big three camera makers are all in business together. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised. They ARE all Japanese companies, after-all. Maybe they don't want to hurt each other, as a matter of national pride.

Sony needs to make more weather sealed cameras and lenses. So does Nikon and Canon. I'd like to see more professional level cameras. If they can make little $250 cameras with weather seals that let them go 10 meters under water, they can make a DSLR for $600 that has weather seals.
29 Sep 2013 4:19PM
I have been looking to upgrade from my a450 and had my eye on the a58. Having read the different reports on this camera worries me. I think I might hold on for a while and see if I can get a very good condition a57 or 65. No a58 for me I think........Wink
Scottelly 10 35 United States
30 Sep 2013 12:21PM
Hey Gary your photos look fine. Unless there is a specific feature that you really want, I would wait too. I have decided to go full Foveon for the moment, waiting for Sony to introduce their next generation cameras. I may still buy a used A65 or A77, but for now I am holding back and concentrating on building a system of Sigma lenses. I do miss my Sony A55 already.

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