Sony Alpha A580 review
Value and Verdict
Sony A580 Review - Value
For the spec and feature list on offer, including the 7fps burst rate, the A580 is priced in the right area. Canon's EOS 600D is priced at around the same level with a marginally differing feature list, making the system employed more of a consideration.
The A580's supplied 18-55mm kit lens is fairly basic in order to keep the price down, but there's plenty of scope to replace it.
The issue with the A580 is how much more the A55's performance supercedes this camera. Of course the image quality is virtually identical but the addition of constant focusing in movie mode and a faster burst rate is worth an extra few pounds. The only real reason to buy the A580 over the A55 is personal preference for a traditional mirrored assembly and thus an optical viewfinder.
Sony A580 Review - Verdict
In an age of making minor adjustments to cameras between generations and repackaging the results as a new model Sony has made the A580 a perfect example of choice for choice's sake. The differences between this model and the A55 are as minor as the change in mirror type would allow, although it's understandable that a number of consumers wouldn't immediately trust the technology.
The most important element of the Sony A580, the image quality, is impressively consistent if not quite as eye-catching as it should be. Results are of an equivalent level to the chasing pack and the camera performs reasonably well in low light, although above ISO 800 image noise becomes apparent. The burst rate, although impressive at 7fps, can be difficult to utilise in anything but the best lighting conditions and longest depth of field settings due to the inability of the camera's focus to quite match up to the burst rate ability
The A580's LCD screen is excellent from a detail and colour point of view, making it extremely useful in combination with the tilt-angle hinge. Similarly the optical viewfinder is perfectly serviceable for framing images, although the substantial manner in which the two are switched between seems a little unnecessary.
In all the Sony A580 ticks a number of boxes for the mid-range DSLR genre, but doesn't differentiate itself enough from the A55 or other similarly-specced models to make it anything more than another solid DSLR in a crowded market.