Sony has just announced the Alpha A58, a low-cost, 20 megapixel SLT interchangeable lens camera. The new camera is a wonderful illustration of how far we have come in digital camera development.
In 2006, Sony introduced its first dSLR, the venerable Alpha A100. The A100 was a conventional dSLR with a flip-up mirror, based around the 6mp Minolta 5D, the last major camera design from Minolta.
The A100 garnered plenty of interest, principly because it was the first commercially available dSLR to offer a 10mp sensor in a camera that sold for under $1000. Fast forward seven years and the photographic landscape is a drastically different place.
Alpha A58 List Price: $600 with Lens
The all new Sony Alpha A58 is 20mp translucent mirror camera with an electronic viewfinder. When the A58 ships sometime in April, it will sell for under $600, including a 18-55mm kit lens. Whether or not you appreciate the SLT direction that Sony has adopted, you have to admit that is a whole lot of progress in just seven years. The A58 isn’t Sony’s first dSLR/SLT to sell for under $600, but it is certainly the most camera the company has offered at that price point to date.
The A58 can shoot at 5fps, offers an ISO range of 100 to 16000, and lets users choose from 1080/60i/24p AVCHD™ or 1080/30p MP4 video. Inside the A58, you will find a new 20.1 mp Exmor CMOS APS sensor. The camera features Sony’s new Lock-On auto focus system that Sony claims “dramatically increses the in-focus rate.” The Hand-held Twilight mode racks up a quick sequence of six photos, then combines them into single image that is claimed to eliminate blur and noise, providing exciting nighttime photos.
Focussing is controlled by a 15 point phase-detection AF system with three cross sensors. Following the path of the Alpha A99 and the NEX-6, the new camera uses the new Multi-Interface Sony Hot Shoe. The A58 also uses the new RM-VPR1 Remote Commander, Sony’s new wired remote that can control video operation as well as still image capture. Like most of Sony’s recent SLT cameras, the A58 has a single memory card slot that accepts either Memory Stick Duo or a SD, SDHC or SDXC media.
A lot of camera for the money
I think the Sony Alpha A58, represents a whole lot of camera for $600. It is no Alpha A99, but it looks like a wonderful starter camera for those wanting to enter the world of translucent mirror, interchangeable lens cameras. When you compare it to what was available seven years ago, you won’t feel too bad trading six hundred bills for a camera with twice the megapixels and whole lot more features.
Pre-order the Sony Alpha A58 at B&H Photo
You can also Pre-order the A58K Package at SonyStyle