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

Product Overview

Overall rating:


Sony Alpha A580

Overall score:87%
Image Quality:85%


  • Quick AF Live View, fast burst mode, decent movie


  • Lack of movie controls, burst mode exceeds focus potential


Sony Alpha A580 Review


Price as reviewed:


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.


Cable Release:Yes
AF Points:15-point system with 3 cross-type sensors
Sample Photos:https://www.whatdigitalcamera.com/equipment/galleries/sample-images/sony/32351/1/sony-alpha-a580-review-test-images_pg_Inspire.html
PC Socket:No
Max Flash Sync:1/160th sec
Built-in Flash:Yes, GN10 Max Flash Sync 1/160th sec
DoF Prview:Yes
Colour Temp Control:2500 – 9900 Kelvin
White Balance Bracket:Yes, 3 frames, Selectable 2 steps
Colour Space:sRGB, Adobe RGB
Exposure Comp:Yes, ±2EV (in 1/3 stops)
Focusing Modes:Single, Automatic, Continuous, Manual Focus
Dust Reduction:Yes, Charge protection coating on Low-Pass Filter and electromagnetic vibration mechanism
Built-in Image Stabilisation:Yes, sensor-based
Movie Mode:Yes, 1080i HD capture
Dimensions:137 x 104 x 84mm
Power:Rechargeable li-ion battery
Live Mode:Quick AF Live View
Connectivity:HDMI (c-type), USB (standard mini connection)
Field of View:95% coverage
Memory Card:SD (HC/XC), MS Duo
Viewfinder Type:Optical Viewfinder
White Balance:Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Flash, Setting the color temperature
Drive Mode:Single, Continuous, 10 seconds and 2 seconds Self-timer, max 7fps in Continuous Advance Priority AE, max 5fps in Drive Mode
Metering System:1200-zone evaluative metering
Exposure Modes:P, A, S, M, Sweep Panorama, Scene, Flash Off, Auto
Compression:Fine or Standard (JPEG)
Shutter Speeds:30 – 1/4000th second (plus Bulb)
File Format:Raw, JPEG, RAW + JPEG
Lens Mount:Sony A-mount
Focal Length Mag:1.5x
Output Size:4912 x 3264
LCD:3in, 921k-dot, tilt-angle, TruBlack LCD
Sensor:16.2 megapixels Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor
  1. 1. Sony Alpha A580 Review - Features
  2. 2. Performance
  3. 3. Design
  4. 4. Image Quality
  5. 5. Movie Mode
  6. 6. Value and Verdict
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