If you're interested in testing the DSLR waters, but you're not ready to shell out close to three grand just to get your feet wet, the newly announced Sony SLT-α58 might be just what you need. Boasting a 20.1MP APS-C sensor, translucent mirror technology, and OLED viewfinder, this camera will not only take great pictures, but can introduce curious videographers to the world of interchangeable lenses at an entry level price. (about $600 with a new and improved 18-55mm zoom lens)
You read it correctly, the α58 has a 20.1 megapixel Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor and an improved BIONZ image processor, which allows for an ISO range of 100-3200 when shooting video, ensuring great footage in full HD in all types of lighting conditions.
The α58 utilizes the Sony A-mount camera system which has 35 lenses available today that span a wide range of prices to fit your budget. There is a 1.5x crop factor, so don't forget to do the math if you're interested in additional lenses.
Other notable features include a tiltable LCD screen (about 135 degrees upward and 55 degrees downward) for shooting high and low angles while monitoring, a 3.5mm stereo mic input, Sony's multi-shoe interface that can mount a variety of accessories including external mics and lights, and an HDMI mini output.
The α58 shoots 1920x1080 AVCHD footage at 60i and 24p at 24Mbps (or 17Mbps if you want to save space), or 1440x1080 MP4 footage at 30p at 12Mbps. One notable missing feature for videographers who want that glass smooth slow motion is the lack of a 60p mode (not even at 1280x720). For those who like to play with their shutter speed, there a full range from 1/4000 to ¼. The dual compatibility memory card slot accepts SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards as well as multiple types of Memory Stick PRO cards.
So if you've been tempted by the advantages of DSLR's, but hesitant to jump in with both feet, the α58 might just be the right way to dip your toe in. See what Sony has to say about it on their blog (they talk about the α58 at about 4:40), or check out the full press release below.
Sony Introduces Speedy α58 Digital SLT Camera Featuring New 20.1 MP APS-C Sensor Powered by Translucent Mirror Technology
Exciting New DSLT Model Features OLED Viewfinder, up to 8 fps shooting, Auto Object Framing and more
SAN DIEGO, Feb. 25, 2013 – Lightweight, easy to use and packed with a variety of powerful imaging capabilities, the new Sony SLT-A58 camera is an ideal choice for consumers eager to explore the world of DSLR-style interchangeable lens photography.
The new α58 camera is the latest to feature Sony’s acclaimed Translucent Mirror Technology, which delivers a potent combination of fast shooting, non-stop phase detection autofocus and continuous live image preview during still and full HD video (60i/24p) shooting. This innovative technology also allows the camera to shoot sharply focused images at up to eight frames per second (in Tele-Zoom High Speed Shooting Mode), ensuring that every important detail of any precious moment is fully captured.
At the heart of the new α58 camera is a brand new, highly advanced 20.1 (approx.) effective megapixel Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor teamed with an improved BIONZ image processing engine, which individually adjusts levels of noise reduction and sharpness in different imaging areas. This powerful combination of sensor and processor gives the camera an extra-wide sensitivity range of ISO 100 to 16000, and ensures that it can produce exceptionally detailed, low-noise still images and full HD videos in all types of lighting conditions.
“With the new α58 model, we are bringing unparalleled levels of performance, speed and design to the world of affordable-class DSLR cameras,” said Mike Kahn, director of the Alpha business at Sony. “Featuring our innovative Translucent Mirror Technology, a brand new, high-resolution image sensor and a variety of new, convenient technologies all packaged at a great price, it is perfect for consumers looking to upgrade from the world of point-and-shoot cameras or replace an older DLSR.”
To improve the framing, focusing and image playback experience, the α58 camera features a bright new OLED Tru-Finder electronic viewfinder. Using the EVF, shooters can instantly see the result of adjusting exposure compensation, aperture, ISO, white balance, Picture Effect and other parameters while they are composing - not afterwards. It’s a great teaching and learning tool, and a huge help for framing and creating that “perfect shot” with full confidence.
To complement its high-speed shooting capabilities, the α58 camera has a high-performance 15-point AF system that features new Lock-on Autofocus technology for speedier, more accurate subject tracking. This makes it easier for shooters to focus on and capture fast moving subjects like birds in flight, kids playing sports and virtually everything in between.
The new α58 also introduces new Auto Object Framing technology, an evolution of the innovative Auto Portrait Framing feature introduced last year in Sony’s lineup of interchangeable lens cameras. With Auto Object Framing, the α58 camera judges what’s 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. Cropped photos are boosted back to full resolution using Sony’s unique By Pixel Super Resolution technology, and both the original and re-composed image files are saved for review.
Additionally, the new camera features a total of 15 artistic ‘in-camera’ Picture Effect treatments including Toy Camera, Mono and Partial Color and much more, all of which can be accessed instantly from the mode dial.
The α58 model is Sony’s first A-mount interchangeable lens camera that offers support for new TRILUMINOS Color, which allows consumers to experience an expanded palette of colors when content from the camera is played back on any BRAVIA TV that supports TRILUMINOS Display.
The Sony A-mount camera system now features a total of 35 interchangeable lenses - including several Carl Zeiss® and G-series optics - that offer the ultimate in performance, sharpness and clarity.
Pricing and Availability
The α58 digital camera will be available as a kit with a brand new 18-55mm zoom lens (model SEL18552) this April for about $600 at Sony retail stores (www.store.sony.com) and other authorized dealers nationwide.