A DSLR with an impressive 7fps burst rate, the Sony Alpha a580 looks to offer the aspiring photographer a well-featured alternative to Nikon and Canon
Sony A580 Review – Movie/Video Mode
A580 review – Movie/Video Formats
Being able to chose between MP4 and AVCHD has pros and cons beyond the processing of the files, in that the MP4 option is smaller in both resolution and bitrate. The results are a narrower colour gamut and more obvious compression, although in practice the difference between the two file formats is minimal.
A580 review – Movie/Video Focusing
Unlike the A55 the A580 doesn’t continually focus during recording, instead needing manual adjustment as soon as the record button is pressed. Although this is something of an annoyance when moving the camera between subjects the kit lens is relatively easy to adjust and the LCD of decent enough quality to make finding a decent level of sharpness very straightforward.
A580 review – Movie/Video Manual Control
The only real control possible is over focus and exposure compensation. Fortunately the auto controls do an excellent job of keep the light levels and white balance under control, although it’s obviously a touch difficult when going from indoor to outdoor. Thankfully metering can also be altered between spot and multi-zone modes to prevent too many mid-shot exposure issues.
A580 Review – Movie/Video Sound
With a standard omni-directional stereo mic the A580 often picks up the sound of the lens moving and the operator as well as the subject. A directional mic can be attached via the 3.5mm connection under the HDMI socket, although the Sony hotshoe would require an adapter to place any standard microphone on it.