Sony's latest addition to its range of translucent mirror cameras is the A58. Designed to replace the Sony A57 and slot into the Alpha lineup between the A37 and A65, this new model features a brand new Exmor APS-C sized sensor, which boasts a higher 20.1MP resolution than the 16MP output as previously offered by its predecessor.
Teamed alongside the sensor is Sony's Bionz image processing engine, which enables the camera to shoot as fast as 8fps in the cameras Tele-zoom Continuous Advance Prority AE mode. The ISO range spans widely from 100-16000, and just like previous Alpha models, the A58 uses the tried and tested SteadyShot INSIDE method of image stabilisation to prevent camera shake and keep handheld shots sharp.
Targeting those who are looking to take the next step up to a more advanced camera, or entry-level DSLR users looking for a replacement camera, one of the most interesting new features on the A58 is its OLED Tru-Finder. This advances on the LCD viewfinder as found within the A57 and is claimed to offer better contrast and rendition of colour. It has a 1.44m-dot resolution - the same as the A57.
Elsewhere, the A58 features a 15-point AF array, with three cross type sensors. This is identical to the AF arrangement as found on the A57. The key difference however is that the A58 now features Lock-On Autofocus, which Sony claim to be faster with more accurate subject tracking.
Another area that has seen development is the A58's Auto Portrait Framing capabilities. This has now evolved into the more versatile Auto Object Framing - with the idea that it can help achieve better looking images with minimal effort. The α58 judges what is in the scene - one person, two people, even moving objects or macro subjects - tracking, framing and cropping the shot to create powerful, professionally-framed compositions. With Sony's Pixel Super Resolution Technology, cropped images also preserve the same resolution as the original exposure.
The Picture Effect mode that's found on the mode dial also allows photographers to pick from a palette of 15 artistic ‘in-camera' treatments, including Toy Camera, Mono and Partial Colour.
Expected to arrive and be made available to buy by mid-April, the A58 will cost £450 with an 18-55mm kit lens. Sony has also announced that the A58 will be made available as part of a twin lens kit (18-55mm & 55-200mm) for just over £600.
Image Sensor: Exmor APS HD CMOS
Effective pixels: 20.1 megapixels (approx.)
Sensitivity range: ISO 100 - 16000 (25600 with Multi Frame NR)
Autofocus system: 15-point phase detection Live View AF with 3 cross sensors; with AF tracking in Tele-zoom Continuous Advance Priority AE mode
Continuous burst shooting: (max.) 5 fps (8 fps in Tele-zoom Continuous Advance Priority AE mode)
Movie recording: Quick AF Full HD Movie (AVCHD 1920×1080, 50i/25p)
Electronic viewfinder: OLED Tru-Finder with 100% field coverage
LCD: 460k-dot 6.7 cm (2.7-type) with adjustable angle
Image compositing functions: Auto HDR; Hand-held Twilight; Sweep Panorama; Anti Motion Blur; Multi Frame Noise Reduction
Image stabilisation system: SteadyShot INSIDE
Built-in flash: GN 10
Interfaces: HDMI; Multi Interface Shoe; Multi Terminal; Memory Stick Duo / SD card slots
Picture Effect: 11 modes, 15 effects
Dimensions: 128.6 x 95.5 x 77.7 mm (approx.)
Weight (body only) 492g (approx.)
Shooting stamina: Using Tru-Finder: 690 shots, Using LCD: 700 shots