I this Hands On Review of the Sony Alpha a580 I will go over all the real world stuff you need to know! The A580 is the latest and possible last traditional SLR in the Sony Alpha line. The A580 is one the least expensive and best quality studio cameras on the market in my opinion, and after reading this review and seeing the photos this camera can take, you will understand why I feel that way.
The A580 goes for ~$750 (body only) US, and is totally worth the money considering the features and image quality. I received this camera about 1 month ago along with the 85mm f/1.4 Carl Zeiss lens, the Alpha 77, and the 16-50mm f/2.8 Kit lens. So for both the A77 review and this A580 review I used these lenses extensively and exclusively.
Sony Alpha 580 Summary:
In this Traditional SLR we have an awesome 16.2MP Exmor™ HD CMOS APS sensor capable of 1080/60i Full HD movies, anti-dust technology, Sony BIONZ image processor, Live View w/fast auto focus, 15-point TTL phase detection AF, SteadyShot image stabilization, up to 7 fps shooting speed, sensitivity up to 12800 ISO (ISO 25600 in Multi Frame Noise Reduction Mode), and a 3″ articulating LCD screen.
The A580 is geared more for the tradition SLR user who prefers an optical viewfinder as apposed to the EVF offered on the comparable Sony A55. The sensor is the same, but the flavors of technology are different which is great for those who prefer one technology over the other.
One of the best new features of the Sony A580 is the introduction of the second live view mode. The A580 has a small secondary sensor in the viewfinder to provide live view with fast phase-detection AF, but can also utilize the slower but higher-resolution main-sensor live view system as well. Contrast detect AF is now available by pressing the Focus Check Live View button. Great new feature for those live view shooters like myself 😉 I love using this feature with product photography and macro work in particular.
We will go over most of these features in more detail with sample photos and video, so don’t worry if you don’t know what some of these modes and/or terms are 😉
Below are the official specs and features of the Sony A580:Sony A580 Official Specifications
- Lens Compatibility : Sony A-mount lens
- Lens Mount : Sony A-mount
- Camera Type : Sony A-mount interchangeable lens digital camera
- Media Type : Memory Stick PRO Duo™/Pro-HG Duo™ media; SD, SDHC and SDXC memory card
- Color Space : sRGB, AdobeRGB
- Still Image Mode : JPEG (Standard, Fine), RAW, RAW+JPEG
- Still Image Size 16:9 : L: 4912 x 2760 (14M)M: 3568 x 2000 (7.1M)S: 2448 x 1376 (3.4M)
- Still Image Size 3:2 : L: 4912 x 3264 (16M)M: 3568 x 2368 (8.4M)S: 2448 x 1624 (4M)
- Panorama Still Image Size : Horizontal Wide: 12,416 x 1,856 (23M)Horizontal Std.: 8,192 x 1,856 (15M)Vertical Wide: 2,160 x 5,536 (12M)Vertical Std.: 2,160 x 3,872 (8.4M)3D Sweep Panorama:Horizontal Wide: 7152 X 1080 (7.7M)Horizontal Std.: 4912 X 1080 (5.3M)16:9: 1920 X 1080 (2.1M)
- Video Format : AVCHD / MP4 (MPEG-4 AVC (H.264))
- Video Mode : AVCHD: 1920 x 1080/ 60i (59.94i Interlace recording, 29.97 progressive image sensor output) Approx. 17Mbps (Average bit-rate)MP4 HD: 1440 x 1080/ 30p (29.97 Progressive) Approx. 12Mbps (Average bit-rate)MP4 VGA: 640 x 480/ 30p (29.97 Progressive) Approx. 3Mbps (Average bit-rate)
- Video Resolution : 1920×1080/60i (59.94i, 29.97p sensor output)
- Video Signal : NTSC color, EIA standards
- Audio Format : Stereo Dolby Digital (AC-3) / MPEG-4 AAC-LC
- Microphone/Speaker : Built-in Stereo Microphone
- LCD Type : 3.0″ TFT Xtra Fine™ LCD (921,600 pixels)
- Angle Adjustment : Yes(Up/Down by 90 degrees (from the camera back))
- Brightness Control : Auto/Manual (5 steps between -2 and +2)/Sunny Weather
- Coverage : 100%
- Live View : Continuous Live View (LCD/EVF Auto, selectable)
- Real-time image adjustment display : Reflects: exposure compensation, white balance, creative style
- Histogram : Yes (On/off)
- Grid Display : Yes (On/off)
- Customization : Grid, Histogram display, Digital Level Gauge, Grid Line, Magnified display for playback
- Burst Buffer : JPEG Standard (45 shots)JPEG Fine (44 shots)RAW (22 shots)RAW+JPEG (20 shots)
- Continuous Shooting Speed : Continuous (up to 5fps(OVF), up to 3fps (Live View))Speed Priority (7fps)
- Drive Mode : Single-shot, Continuous shooting (Hi/Lo selectable), Self-timer (10/2 sec delay selectable), Remote commander (RMT-DSLR1 Sold Separately)
- Flash Sync Speed : 1/160 seconds
- Self-timer : 2-sec. or 10-sec. delay,
- Shutter Speeds : 1/4000 to 30 seconds, bulb
- Shutter Type : Electronically-controlled, vertical-traverse, focal-plane shutter
- Microphone Input : Yes
- Accessory Shoe : Yes (Alpha)
- BRAVIA® Sync™ : Yes, via HDMI with compatible BRAVIA HDTV
- DVDirect : Yes, via USB
- HD Output : HDMI (TypeC mini)
- Memory Card Slot : Dual memory card slot: Memory Stick PRO Duo™/Pro-HG Duo™ media – SD, SDHC and SDXC memory card
- PhotoTV HD : Yes, with BRAVIA Sync™ enabled HDTV and HDMI cable
- USB Port(s) : USB2.0 Hi-speed (mass-storage, PTP)
- Lens Mount Type : Sony A-mount
- Focus System : TTL phase detection AF (CCD line sensors)
- Focus Points : 15 points (3 points cross type), 11 points in Viewfinder mode
- AF Modes : Single-shot AF, Automatic AF, Continuous AF, Manual Focus
- Focus Area : Wide, Spot, Local (15 local areas selectable, 11 local areas in Viewfinder mode)
- Focus Sensitivity : -1 EV to +18 EV (at ISO100 equivalent)
- Focus Features : Predictive Focus Control, Focus Lock
- AF Illuminator : Built-in flash, Range: approx. 3′ – 15′ (1m-5m)
- Flash Compensation : +/-2EV in 0.3EV steps
- Flash Coverage : 18mm (focal-length printed on the lens body)
- Recycling Time : Approx. 4 sec.
- Flash Bracketing : 3 exposures in 0.3/0.7 EV steps
- Flash Metering System : ADI, Pre-flash TTL
- Flash Modes : Auto, Fill-flash, Slow Sync., Rear Sync., Hi-speed sync., Red-eye reduction (on/off selectable for Autoflash and fill-flash mode), Wireless
- Flash Type : Built-in, Pop-up Auto
- Guide Number : 12 (in meters at ISO100)
- Imaging Sensor : Exmor™ APS HD CMOS sensor (23.5 X 15.6mm)
- Processor : BIONZ™ image processor
- Anti Dust : Charge protection coating on Low-Pass Filter and Image Sensor-Shift mechanism
- Pixel Gross : Approx. 16.6 megapixels
- Effective Picture Resolution : Approx. 16.2 megapixels
- Focal Length Conversion Factor : 1.5x
- Color Filter System : RGB primary color filters
- Type : Optical Viewfinder
- Diopter Adjustment : -2.5 to +1.0m-1
- Field of View : 95%
- Focusing Screen : Spherical Acute Matte Screen
- Magnification : 0.80x (with 50mm lens at infinity, -1m-1 )
- Metering : Advanced 1200-zone evaluative metering (In Viewfinder mode: TTL shutter-open metering)
- Metering Modes : Multi-segment, Center-weighted, Spot
- Metering Sensitivity : Live View Mode: 1 EV to 17 EV on all metering mode (ISO 100 equivalent with F1.4 lens)Viewfinder Mode: 2 EV to 20 EV (4 EV to 20 EV on spot metering mode) (ISO 100 equivalent with F1.4 lens)
- Exposure Compensation : ±2.0 EV (in 0.3 EV steps)
- Exposure Settings : Auto (AUTO), Program Auto (P), Aperture priority (A), Shutter-speed priority (S), Manual (M), Sweep Panorama (2D/3D), Continuous Advance Priority AE
- Scene Mode(s) : Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports action, Sunset, Night portrait, Night View, Handheld Twilight
- D-Range Optimizer : Yes: (Auto, Level 1-5, off)
- Auto Exposure Lock : Yes (AE Lock button)
- Color Temperature : 2500 – 9900 k with 19-step Magenta / Green compensation
- Creative Style : Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, B/W(Contrast, Saturation, Sharpness adjustable in +/-3 steps)
- ISO : Auto: 100 – 1600; Selectable: 100 – 12800; Multi Frame NR (up to ISO 25600)
- Noise Reduction : Long exp. NR: (On/Off, available of shutter speeds longer than 1 sec.)High ISO NR: (Auto/Weak)Multi Frame NR: (Auto/ISO100-25600)
- White Balance Mode : Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Flash, Setting the color temperature, Custom
- Advanced User Interface : Easy-to-understand Graphic Display and on-screen Help Guide User-friendly function menu
- Auto High Dynamic Range : Yes, (Off/On, Auto Exposure Difference, Exposure difference Level (1-6 EV at 1.0 EV step)
- Sweep Panorama : Yes (2D/3D)
- Face Detection : Off, Auto, Child Priority, Adult Priority (up to 8 faces detectable)
- Smile Shutter™ technology : Yes – Off, Slight, Normal, Big
- Image Stabilization : SteadyShot INSIDE in-body image stabilization
- Battery Type : InfoLITHIUM® NP-FM500H (7.2V)
- Number of Still Images : Approx. 1050 images with viewfinder, 560 images with LCD monitor (CIPA standard)
Weights and Measurements
- Dimensions (Approx.) : Approx. 5-3/8 x 4-1/8 x 3-1/3” (137 x 104 x 84 mm) (W/H/D) excl grip & lens mount
- Weight (Approx.) : Approx. 24 oz (679g) (excl battery & media)Approx. 21.1 oz (599g) (w/battery & media)
Service and Warranty Information
- Limited Warranty Term : 1 Year Parts & Labor
- Supplied Software : PMB (Picture Motion Browser) 5.3.01 Image Data Converter SR 3.2 Image Data Lightbox SR 2.2
- Operating System Compatibility : Windows XP SP3 (64-bit and Starter Editions are not supported,Windows Image Mastering API(IMAPI)Ver.2.0 or later is required to use the function for creating discs.)Windows Vista SP2 (Starter Edition is not supported)Windows 7; Mac OS X(v10.4-?10.6) (Image Data Converter & Image Data Lightbox only, PMB is not Mac compatible)
In the Box
- Rechargable Battery (NP-FM500H)
- USB Cable
- SAL-1855 SAM lens, lens cap
- Shoulder Strap
- Battery Charger (BC-VM10)
- Body Cap
Don’t let life pass you by. Capture fast action that other cameras miss thanks to Sony’s Quick AF Live View and its accurate display of your subject’s movements. You can also take in the landscape with 3D Sweep Panorama™ mode and harness gorgeous details in dark scenes with Handheld Twilight and Multi-Frame NR modes. Want to shoot video in the same quality as some major TV networks? This model records Full HD 1080/60i movies that look fantastic on your compatible HDTV. Finally, the 3.0″ (diag.) LCD is tiltable, allowing for easy framing of extra low or high-angle shots.
16.2 megapixels; amazing pictures
You get incredible detail and gorgeous enlargements. Thanks to the APS-C sensor size and Sony’s Exmor™ APS HD CMOS technology, the camera achieves high resolution with no penalty in low-light sensitivity or sensor noise.
Quick Auto Focus Live View
Unlike competing cameras, the DSLR-A580 is just as responsive in Quick Auto Focus Live View mode as in optical viewfinder mode. That’s because, unlike the others, the A580 uses the same “phase detection” auto focus for Live View as for the optical viewfinder. While other Live View systems are severely restricted, Sony’s performs superbly any time—even if you’re shooting handheld or chasing after moving subjects like kids or pets.
Experience incredible low-light shooting without a flash. The camera captures six images in a fraction of a second. Combining the data from all six, it creates a single image with a reduction in noise equivalent to two additional steps of ISO sensitivity. Sensitivity selectable up to ISO 25600. (Recommended for still subjects.)
Sweep Panorama™ mode
Capture expansive landscapes automatically. Press the shutter and sweep vertically or horizontally. The camera does the rest, continuously shooting images and stitching them together. Up to 23 MP image size.
7 fps continuous shooting
Up to 7 frames per second in Speed Priority mode can capture the decisive moment in sports or get the ideal baby photo. You can also shoot at up to 3 fps with Quick Auto Focus Live View.
Face Detection technology
The A580 enhances Quick AF Live View shooting with Face Detection technology, which helps you get the best shot by recognizing faces and applying the proper focus, exposure and white balance.
Clarifies the relationship between aperture and shutter speed, as well as the effect each has on photographic results.
BIONZ® image processor
The newest version of Sony’s BIONZ® image processor uses chroma noise reduction to deliver high-resolution, low-noise photos even at ISO 12800 sensitivity. This powerful Sony® Large Scale Integrated circuit (LSI) also delivers fast processing for quick response on data-intensive 14.2 megapixel images.
Low noise sensor processing
The camera gives you clean photographs, even in low light, thanks in part to two stages of noise reduction right in the Exmor™ image sensor.
HDMI™ output for HD viewing4
Connect your camera to a compatible HDTV and play back your images in stunning high definition.4 The A580L includes an HDMI™ output (HDMI cable required, sold separately). In addition, the BRAVIA® Sync system works with compatible Sony® BRAVIA HDTVs to let you control camera playback using the television’s remote5.
Built-in Auto Pop-Up Flash
To help you shoot more effectively, the built-in flash automatically pops up and fires as needed when the camera is set to certain scene selection modes. The built-in flash can trigger a wireless accessory flash (sold separately). The integrated hot shoe enables you to expand your lighting options with a range of accessory flashes (sold separately).
Slot for two media types
For cost-effective, convenient storage and sharing of your images, the camera accepts Memory Stick PRO Duo™/Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo™ and SD/SDHC/SDXC media (Class 4 or higher recommended). (Media sold separately.)
RAW image capture
Saves your pictures as compact JPEG files or ultra-high quality RAW files or both. RAW files save images prior to de-mosaicing, white balance, sharpness and color enhancement. This retains maximum latitude for enhancing the image on your PC.
Works with the RMT-DSLR1 Remote Commander® wireless remote control, sold separately.
APS-C size HD CMOS image sensor
With 19.5 times the area of the typical camcorder8 image sensor, APS-C makes the difference between amateur and professional-looking video. The DSLR-A580 delivers an exceptional combination of high resolution capture, high sensitivity performance, and gorgeous, defocused backgrounds.
Focus Check Live View
For critical focus in macro and tripod shooting, the A580L also offers Focus Check Live View. Temporary 7x and 14x zoom views enable you to focus on extremely fine detail while the 1x view shows 100% framing in the LCD.
Auto HDR built into camera
Captures more scene dynamic range than a single exposure can handle—and more range than photo film. Combines the best highlight detail from one shot, the best mid-tones from a second and the best shadow detail from a third for one incredible shot. Captures in a split second. (Recommended for still subjects.)
Tiltable 3.0″ LCD3
Even if you’re completely comfortable with the optical viewfinder, Sony’s tiltable LCD empowers your photography with a different point of view. Helps you frame high and low-angle shots that would otherwise be hit or miss. The LCD tilts up or down 90 degrees to capture a child’s first steps or shoot over a crowd.
15-Point Auto Focus Sensor
To get the best shot under a wide range of situations, the A580L uses 11 AF points with four assist points make for flexible shot composition. Three cross sensors maximize precision.
Provides ready reference to advanced camera functions, helping to develop your confidence and skills as a photographer.
Powerful Supplied Software
To help you refine and manage your images, the A580 is equipped with comprehensive computer software, including Image Data Converter SR, Image Data Lightbox SR and Picture Motion Browser (PMB).9
Sony® Exmor™ technology
Conventional image sensors use only a handful of analog-to-digital (A/D) converters, which can slow you down. The Exmor™ sensor provides more than 4,000 column-parallel A/D converters. This helps enable continuous shooting at up to 7 frames per second.
Up to 5 fps continuous shooting
Up to 5 fps with continuous Auto Focus and Auto Exposure (optical viewfinder mode). Up to 3 fps continuous shooting (Quick AF Live View mode).
Six Creative Style settings
Control how the camera processes your images with six finishing styles: Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset and B&W. You can even fine-tune contrast, saturation, and sharpness to your personal taste.
Up to a 1050 Shots of battery life6
Take up to 1050 shots on a single charge (optical viewfinder mode)6; up to 560 shots (Live View mode)6 with Sony® Stamina™ battery power. Sony’s InfoLITHIUM® battery system enables you to see the percent of power remaining, so you can keep shooting in confidence.
PhotoTV HD compatibility7
Optimizes compatible BRAVIA® televisions7 for gorgeous display of digital pictures.
Index and Slide Show Display
Quickly review your photos using 4- or 9-frame index views, or as an automatic slide show with fade-in/fade-out effect.
Full HD 1080/60i movies2
The DSLR-A580 captures Full HD video at 1920×1080/30p and records in 1920×1080/60i and is one of the very few DSLRs with exactly the same resolution and frame rate as most broadcast and cable HDTV channels. You also have the option of recording HD video in 720p in web friendly MP4 format.
More responsive Live View
Some Live View systems take a painfully long time to focus. Some even black out the LCD before focus. Either can cause you to miss shots. Sony’s Quick Auto Focus Live View solves these problems, making it easier to get the best shot.
Get cleaner and sharper nighttime pictures—beyond the capability of traditional cameras—without using flash or a tripod. The camera captures six images in a fraction of a second. Combining the data with separate algorithms for still and moving parts of the picture reduces blur, minimizes noise and enables extraordinary detail.
3D Sweep Panorama™mode1
Capture vast scenic vistas and 16:9 shots in spectacular 3D. As you sweep across the panorama, the camera records separate right-eye and left-eye images that make landscapes come alive on your 3D television1. Records both JPEG and MPO file formats.
ISO 12800 sensitivity
Sony’s Exmor™ CMOS image sensor employs new low-noise processing, for uncommonly clear pictures. The BIONZ® image processor with chroma noise reduction helps achieve low noise all the way up to ISO 12800, without sacrificing resolution.
Smile Shutter™ technology
Another Quick AF Live View enhancement, Smile Shutter™ technology automatically takes the shot when your subject smiles. Works with Quick Auto Focus Live View to capture spontaneous moments, making the difference between a missed shot and a cherished memory.
SteadyShot™ INSIDE stabilization
Image stabilization helps you take blur-free shots by compensating for camera shake. Typical DSLR systems build image stabilization into selected lenses only. SteadyShot™ INSIDE image stabilization is built into the camera body itself. You’ll reduce blur with every a-mount lens, including macro and wide-aperture standard zoom lenses.
921K dot Xtra Fine LCD™ screen
Sony’s Xtra Fine LCD™ monitor has 921K dots for superb resolution. The Anti Reflection (AR) coating increases visibility in direct sunlight.
Dynamic Range Optimizer
Improves results with backlit subjects and recovers details hidden in shadows. Settings include Auto, Level with a choice of five operating levels and Off.
Eight Scene Selection Modes
To help you get the shot, Scene Selection Modes optimize the camera settings for common shooting situations. Just turn the Mode Dial to select from Portrait, Sports Action, Macro, Landscape, Sunset, Night View, Night Portrait and Hand-held Twilight modes.
Anti-Dust Technology helps keep the CMOS imager clean, resulting in consistently better pictures. First a static-free coating on the sensor’s low-pass filter helps repel dust. Then vibration automatically dislodges dust from the sensor each time you shut off the camera.
For maximum speed, Eye-Start Autofocus begins focusing as soon as you raise the camera to your eye. So the camera is ready to catch the perfect moment.
P/A/S/M exposure modes
The camera offers a full range of controls from the beginner’s AUTO+ mode to P/A/S/M: Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual. On-screen prompts help you refine your skills, build your confidence and exercise greater creative control.
A580 Glamor Shots and Build Quality Impressions:
Thew A580 really is a gorgeous camera and looks very clean from the front. No clutter and all business! These product photos were taken with the Nex-5N encase you were wondering. Normally I use the Canon 5D Mark II and the Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8 L IS for the product stuff, but the Sony Nex-5n with the 55-210mm lens was in hand, and did just as good of a job for my purposes!! 😉
Be sure to CLICK on the photos for a nice large crisp 1200px version!!
Missing from the top is the LCD screen that most other cameras like this have. I kind of prefer this design though, because I personally don’t use the top lcd on the A77 for ex, as all the info is displayed on the rear LCD just like the A580, thus making a semi-redundant display. Without the LCD their is a little more room on top for buttons which makes it a little easier to find the particular button your looking for when your eye is looking through the viewfinder. Also notice the Live View/ OVF (Optical View Finder) slide switch.
Interesting thing I noticed about the memory card slots is that little slide switch just above them. You physical must choose which kind of card you are using. Mine was set to the Sony Duo Setting as you can see below, and my SD Memory card would not work until I switched it to SD. Makes perfect sense, I just thought it was worth noting as I missed it at first 😉 Also note the nice semi-textured speckled finish. You can also see the Manual/ AF slide switch down low.
The LCD Screen looks pretty good, but it’s not as nice as the new lcd screen on the A77 for comparison. It’s great for normal use, though but I prefer the optical view finder, especially in the sunlight!
The articulation of the screen is very well done. It’s tight yet smooth and can articulate easily for over the head shooting or on the ground type shooting. I used the camera low to the ground often, and the screen worked great for this as I prefer not to put my shoulder on the ground when it’s wet. Even in the daylight although it was hard to see, the screen was usable.
The A580 has a nice large grip which makes it easy to hold with one hand, even with a heavy lens like the 85mm f/1.2 Carl Zeiss mounted. I have pretty large hands, but no huge and the grip works very well for me, and I can reach every button with ease.
Below is the A580 (left) and the A77 (right). As you can see it’s physically about the same height, but it’s not as bulky up top by the shoulder area. It’s also not as wide. The a580 has the 16-50mm lens mounted and the A77 has the 85mm f/1.4 lens mounted in the image below. Sony A77 – In Depth Hands on Review >>
Menu System Overview:
In this video I’ll go over the different display screens in both Live view and OVF view with the Sony Alpha 580. I will also go through the camera menu quickly with some comments and impressions along the way. The video is available in HD, so be sure to select the 720 option once the video starts playing!!
Real World Photography:
In this section of the review which I firmly believe is the most important section, I’m going to post sample images with the exif info so you can see exactly how I took the photograph. I’m also going to do random 100% crops so you get a very detailed view of what this camera can do in the “Real World”. These photos are also all un-edited and exported out of Lightroom 3.6 as jpeg files at 65% quality, 1200px. No Noise reduction or, sharpening was applied, but I did crop a few images. Be sure to take a close look at what the A580 can do in the “Real World”, because in the end the A580 is just a camera and what really matters is wether it can take a good picture or not.
Also be sure to Click on these photos for a nice large crisp 1200px version:
Early Morning natural light hitting the mossy brick outside in back of the house:
Layla makes for a great portrait model, but she really isn’t wanting to pose so much these days 😉 For these next few photos WB was on auto, so take note of the skin tones and how the Sony Alpha 580 handles them under different lighting conditions.
Here’s a few Landscape images I took over at the Basha Kill Wildlife Preserve. One of my favorite places to go shooting at dusk or dawn 😉
The last of the fall foliage seen here on the ground. I love the way the Sony A580 renders colors!!
AutoPano Mode works really well on the A580 as it does with all the current alpha models, and here is a few samples 😉
I had a chance to swing by this really cool tractor graveyard/ museum the other day and I managed to grab a few photos of some stuff laying around the yard.
The Holidays happen to coincide with this review, so I have a bunch of pretty cool sample shots using the Christmas lights as a backgrounds in extremely low light!! I rested the camera on something for a few of these photos, but most of these were handheld.
Here’s a few Long Exposure night photos I took the other day. It was freezing out, but the conditions were good otherwise! I used a tripod and the 2sec self timer for these photos.
Studio Photography Sample Photos:
I had a chance to test the Sony Alpha 580 with one of my studio lights and a very large softbox. I used an Alien B800 for the strobe and my remote trigger to fire the light from the camera. My remote trigger is not designed for a Sony hot shoe, so I had BHPhotoVideo.com send me a Dot Line Hot Shoe Adapter that converts the Sony A580 hot shoe mount to a Canon hot shoe mount. This allowed me to use my Wireless trigger to set off the Flash Unit. The adapter worked flawlessly and totally solved the small problem. The A580 also performed flawlessly in the studio and was an absolute pleasure to use. Coming from the Canon 5D Mark II for Studio work, I felt very comfortable with the A580 in my hands. The pics also came out pretty decent 😉
Michele took this snapshot of me with the Christmas tree in the background.
A Few High ISO “Lab Style” Test Photos:
Video Performance is very good and I actually used the A580 to record my focus testing videos on the A77, 5d Mark II, and A580. You can check that out if you want, but in summary the video is excellent, and unless you need Auto Focus and video, the A580 will do you just fine in the video department. If you want true Auto Focus and video, check out my other “Hands on Reviews” of the Sony A55, A35, or the New Sony A77!!. All of these Cameras utilize the Translucent Mirror Technology and EVF/ OLED (electronic viewfinders ) which are better for video and a several other things!!
My overall impression of the A580 is that it’s a solid camera that is capable of doing anything needed in the photography department! I really put this camera through it’s paces in all sorts of lighting conditions and the image quality is nothing short of outstanding! Seriously, even at ISO 6400 the images are totally usable with a little noise reduction applied. I would not hesitate to use this camera in the studio or on the road as it performs excellent no matter what you through at it. It won’t be able to handle serious outdoor elements as well as a pro level camera though, so keep that in mind.
I hope you enjoyed this hands on review, and be sure to ask some questions if you have any at all below!!
It also takes great video, but to be honest I don’t see that many people buying this camera for the video, as the A35 or A55 would be a better choice if video was higher on your priority than actual photography. The A580 is geared more for the tradition SLR user who prefers an optical viewfinder.
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