a58 - some thoughts and first impressions

Started May 5, 2013 | Discussions thread
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thephased
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a58 - some thoughts and first impressions
May 5, 2013

I went ahead picked up an a58 after having used an a57 for a short period of time. I returned the a57 for an a77, which also went back. Nothing terribly wrong with either camera. The a57 is certainly a better value. I couldn't justify the a77 for the price at this time.

The OLED viewfinder on the a58 is a lot better than the a57. No more color tearing and flashes of RGB light when looking around. The 460K LCD on the a58 is nothing to write home about. In fact, I find it a difficult to discern levels of sharpness when reviewing images. If something is reasonably in focus it will look sharp while something with near perfect focus will appear similar. I can see more detail in the OLED viewfinder for image review. That makes sense since it has a greater resolution. The LCD also struggles in low light with a lot of noise/artifacts in live view, but thankfully, of course it's not rendered in the image. Looking through the viewfinder is a lot better in that aspect. Build quality on the body is not as nice as the a57. The plastic feels more plasticky (if that makes sense). The hand grip still feels good compared to the a57. The new 18-55 SAM II kit lens feels like its a little better higher quality. Looks nicer too. Manual focus adjustment seems a bit smoother as well too, but I could of just had a stiffer SAL1855 SAM I.

For a lot of people, the flaws of the a58 have already ruled out potential buyers. Notwithstanding the lower burst mode, weaker buffer, lower res LCD, lesser build quality, and whatever else I'm leaving out that the a57 is better at. For me, in the end it boils down to an EVF vs. LCD dilemma. If you use the viewfinder a lot, you'll really appreciate the OLED viewfinder of the a58. I'd say it's pretty close to the a77 in terms of contrast and clarity. But I can't help but wish the LCD was sharp like the a57 (and higher models).

Some may say, go for the a65 if you want the OLED viewfinder and a good LCD or even jump up to the a77. To my knowledge and certainly after using the a77, I was pretty displeased with the ISO performance. Even at lower ISOs, the a77 seemed to struggle. I know pixel peeping is kind of considered OCD by many on here, so take that as you wish. Anyways, the a65 is an older camera like the a77. Ostensibly, the a58 may have a slight advantage in noise compared to the a57. And the a58/a57 noise performance is better than the likes the a77 (and a65 I would think too). Hopefully we'll see some a58 vs a57 raw noise comparisons. I wonder if dpreview will do a review of the a58.

Sony SLT-A57 Sony SLT-A58 Sony SLT-A65 Sony SLT-A77
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