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Sony SLT-A58 review

Sony is a global manufacturer of high-tech products. She specializes in the production of televisions, cameras, smartphones and other electronics. The Japanese company is a leader in the production of mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras. But in the DSLR segment, Sony has powerful competitors Nikon and Canon. The company is trying to differentiate its devices from competitors and make them more accessible to professional photographers and hobbyists.

Sony SLT-A58 is a budget SLR camera designed to replace two previous models on the market at once - SLT-A37 and SLT-A57.

Ergonomics and design

The camera body is made of high quality plastic with a rough structure. The thumb and grip area are rubberized for added comfort. The device fits comfortably in the hand.

The camera has a smooth body shape. The matte materials used to make the device prevent the camera from slipping out of your hands. All buttons on the camera body are easy to touch. They can be pressed blindly without leaving the viewfinder, making it quicker and easier to operate the camera.

The camera is completely made in black, against which the white lettering contrasts.

Sony SLT-A58 is well built. The body of the device does not play or squeeze.

The dimensions of the device are 129x96x78 mm. The camera is light enough to comfortably hold for extended periods with one hand. The weight of the Sony SLT-A58 with a battery and a DT 3.5-5.6 / 18-55 SAM II lens is 805 grams. Without a lens, the device weighs 573 grams.

Location of controls

There is a bayonet on the front panel of the device. In previous Sony cameras, the mount was made of metal. In the SLT-A58, the lens mount is made of plastic. This change made it possible to make the camera cheaper and lighter. The bayonet teeth remained metal, so this change did not affect the quality of the mount.

On the right side of the mount, the developers have placed a lever for switching the focusing mode (automatic or manual), a little higher is the built-in flash raise button.

On the back of the device is a 2.7-inch rotary liquid crystal display with a resolution of 460,800 pixels. The colors on the screen are slightly distorted. The display does not have a large margin of brightness, therefore, in conditions of bright sunlight, the image on it becomes difficult to see. At the same time, the screen has wide viewing angles, it slides out of the body and allows shooting at any angle of the camera.

The viewfinder is located above the screen. On the right side of the display, you can see a functional navigation pad, as well as buttons for entering the on-screen menu (FN), switching to playback mode and deleting images. The last key also performs the function of calling help.

It is worth considering separately the Navipad buttons. The top DISP key allows you to hide or show information on the screen of the camera. The right WB button allows you to control the white balance. The bottom Picture Effect key lets you apply one of 11 creative styles. Using the left "Drive Mode" button, you can select Continuous Shooting, Time-Lapse Shooting, Self-timer and one of three bracketing modes. The center of the navipad is occupied by the AF key, which allows you to select the focus area.

The top panel of the Sony SLT-A58 has a stereo microphone hole, a built-in pop-up flash and a hot shoe for attaching an external flash. "Shoe" is not covered with a lid.

To the left of the hot shoe are the shooting mode dial and the MENU button.On the right side are the button for switching between the display and the viewfinder (FINDER / LSD), the ZOOM (zoom) and ISO (sensitivity values) keys, the shutter button, which is surrounded by the camera on / off lever.

On the inclined bevel of the top panel, the developers placed the buttons for enabling video recording (MOVIE), locking the exposure (AEL) and introducing exposure compensation. The last two keys are responsible for zooming in and out in view mode. The MOVIE button is highlighted in red, it allows you to instantly start shooting video regardless of the selected mode.

There is a memory card slot on the left side of the device. The device has support for SD cards (including SDXC and SDHC), PRO-HG Duo and Sony Memory Stick PRO Duo.

The right side panel of the case contains a microphone jack, an HDMI port, a Multi Interface Shoe connector, to which you can connect the RM-VPR1 remote control and the HVL-F20M flash.

On the bottom end of the device there is a battery compartment, next to which there is a socket for mounting a tripod. The battery is securely fixed, which prevents it from accidentally falling out when opening the battery compartment cover.


The Sony SLT-A58 is equipped with an Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor with a resolution of 20 megapixels. A new BIONZ processor is responsible for image processing, which ensures high detail and no noise in the images.

The camera has a 4x digital zoom.

It will take 1.5-2 seconds to turn on the camera, focus on the subject, press the shutter button and see the taken photo on the display. Most of the time is spent on photo processing. You can press the shutter button within half a second after turning on the camera.

The manufacturer claims a continuous shooting speed of 8 frames per second. In practice, the speed is 5 frames per second in RAW + JPEG mode. Unfortunately, the device does not have the most capacious clipboard. It can only hold 5 RAW + JPEG pictures, 6 RAW pictures and 7 JPEG pictures. The write speed from the buffer to the memory card is 18 megabits per second.

It is worth noting that during continuous shooting, Live View is automatically turned off and the captured frames are displayed on the display. Therefore, there may be a problem with focusing accuracy.

The device uses an OLED electronic viewfinder Tru-Finder with a resolution of 1,440,000 dots. It covers 100% of the frame.

The Sony SLT-A58 features electronic front curtain shutter technology that allows exposure to be metered almost simultaneously when the shutter button is pressed.

The camera covers a sensitivity range from ISO 100 to 16,000. In manual shooting mode, the ISO value can be set automatically. At low ISO values, the camera outperforms its predecessors in image quality, but at medium and high ISO values, noise appears in photos.

The automatic white balance and metering systems are working correctly.

In HDR mode, the camera takes three shots and combines them into one photo.

The face recognition function allows you to remember the faces of friends and family in order to automatically focus on them in the future.


Autofocus works quickly in sufficient lighting conditions. In low light conditions, the built-in flash is automatically activated for the backlight during focusing. The camera uses a phase focus system with 15 sensors, of which 3 sensors are cross-type.

The camera has three focus areas: wide (over the entire frame), zone (the frame is divided into three zones - right, left and center), spot and local. In zone focusing, the user can control three sensors located in the respective zones. With spot focusing, you can control only one sensor - the central one.With local focusing, any of 15 sensors can be controlled. To select a focus point, you need to press the center AF key, after which you can select a point using the navigation buttons. Pressing the center button again confirms the sensor selection.

The center AF button activates the AF tracking function. The camera starts tracking the subject in the center of the frame when the center button was pressed. This function is disabled via the function menu.

Shooting modes

Sony SLT-A58 has a large number of shooting modes. There are 12 of them in total. In active intelligent automatic mode, all settings are selected by the camera. The user only has to press the shutter button. The super-automatic mode allows the photographer to only correct the blur of the background. In programmed auto, the user can set all parameters himself, except for aperture and shutter speed, which are automatically adjusted.

In aperture priority mode, the photographer independently adjusts the depth of field. It sets the aperture value and the camera automatically adjusts the shutter speed. Shutter priority mode is the exact opposite of aperture priority mode. It implies control of the exposure by the photographer with automatic aperture setting. For those who prefer to set everything on their own, there is a manual mode for setting the shutter speed and aperture. The device also has a shooting mode without a built-in flash.

Scene mode allows you to select the genre of photography: portrait, handheld twilight, sports, sunset, landscape, macro, night or night portrait.

In addition to the above modes, there are also modes: video shooting, panorama shooting, burst shooting and picture effect (11 styles to choose from).

You can select one of these modes using the dial located on the left side of the top panel of the device. Such a variety of shooting modes allows even beginners to use the camera comfortably.


Sony SLT-A58 menu consists of 7 sections: camera settings menu, shooting mode menu, memory card operation menu, custom settings menu, video recording mode menu, playback mode menu, date and time setting menu.

The menu is easy to understand even for an inexperienced user.


The Sony SLT-A58 can shoot videos in MP4 and AVCHD formats (.mts files) with a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels (Full HD). The shooting speed is 50 or 25 frames per second. Video is recorded with stereo sound. It is possible to connect an external microphone. Maximum resolution is available only in AVCHD format. In MP4 format, the maximum recording resolution is 1440x1080 pixels at 30 frames per second.

In AVCHD format, the maximum video recording time is 29 minutes, and when the stabilization function is on, it is only 9 minutes. In MP4 format, the video is limited to 2 gigabytes.


The Sony SLT-A58 is powered by a 1600mAh (7.2W) NP-FM500H InfoLithium M lithium-ion battery. Most of the Japanese company's SLR cameras are equipped with the same battery.

One battery charge lasts for 276 minutes of video recording or 690 photos. The number of shots can be increased up to 1150 without using a flash.


Sony SLT-A58 is the simplest camera in the Japanese manufacturer's lineup. She replaced the SLT-A37. The reviewed camera is budget and therefore it has a good quality-price ratio.

The advantages of the camera include the presence of a rotary display that allows you to take unique shots from any angle, high quality of the resulting images, a capacious battery, high continuous shooting speed, light weight, an ergonomic body and a convenient electronic viewfinder.

The main disadvantages of the Sony SLT-A58 are the small volume of the series in the RAW + JPG format, the small size of the clipboard and the appearance of noise in photographs at high light sensitivity values.

The camera is primarily intended for beginner amateur photographers. It has a simple and intuitive menu, not overloaded with various options and a large number of automatic modes.

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