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Sony A58 - Handling, Image Quality and Verdict

By Phil Hall



Our Score:


Sony A58 - Handling

In use, the Sony A58 is a relatively simple camera to use and benefits from a host of settings to hand should you need them. One slight grievance is Raw shooting – as with some previous Alpha models, you're limited by some of the shooting modes you can use when looking to capture Raw. For example, should you want to shoot any of the Picture Effects mode, the A58 simply won't let you, instead forcing you to shoot in JPEG only.

The screen is disappointing, too. The downgrade in size and resolution in comparison to its predecessor means that the Sony A58 now lags some way behind its rivals, such as the Canon EOS 650D and Nikon D3200. Not only that, but the new configuration of hinge means that, while it can be pulled away from the body, it doesn’t have the same range of movement as the A57.

Sony A58 2

Sony A58 - Image Quality

Overall, the Sony A58 delivers reliable shots. The white balance system delivers consistent results and pleasing skin tones across a wide range of lighting conditions, and should you wish to alter the results in any way there are a host of presets to hand to help you. The exposure and metering system is also fairly reliable, and the slight tendency to under-expose is easily remedied with the camera’s exposure compensation.

Sony A58

Click the image above to see the gallery of full-res sample shots

The new 20.1MP sensor delivers an impressive amount of detail in comparison with its competing DSLRs. It’s worth noting, however, that to get the very best and sharpest results we recommend investing in another lens to replace the adequate, but not outstanding, supplied 18-55mm kit lens.

A side effect of this higher resolution is that the camera is likely to suffer with noise control at higher ISO settings, and unfortunately this is the case with the A58. Images are generally noise free at the lower settings, although luminance and colour noise becomes and issues at ISO 1600. The effect of noise increases therein, and we’d certainly think twice about shooting above ISO 6400.


The entry-level DSLR market is one of the most competitive in photography and, as a result, anything that a camera can do to stand out is more than welcome. Sony had achieved this with past SLT range cameras, but the Sony A58 is a step back. The full resolution continuous shooting rate of 5fps isn’t even best in class – other similar DSLRs shoot faster and maintain that speed for longer.

The Sony A58 is a decent camera, but it’s difficult to recommend it above several other models in a competitive market.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Build Quality 7
  • Design & Features 7
  • Image Quality 7
  • Value 7


May 9, 2013, 6:51 pm

Looks like the predecessor, the A57, was just too good for its price and actually performed better than the A65/A77 in certain areas (e.g. noise and in low-light), thanks to the 16.1 MP APS-C sensor. It was also ahead of Canon and Nikon's equivalents at the time. I'm glad I got the A57 before SONY decided to downgrade their successor. The A57 is a really good and snappy camera with fantastic video capabilities and I think it can be found at a very reasonable price since it's getting discontinued.

I just wish I used my A57 more often though. It's not a bulky camera by any means but I've been looking for a more compact camera when going to New York in summer. The new Fuji cameras could be a good option or even SONY's own RX100 might be a good choice.

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