Why is the SLT-A58 so cheap, any obvious reasons?

Started Oct 17, 2013 | Questions
James_lpool
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Why is the SLT-A58 so cheap, any obvious reasons?
Oct 17, 2013

Hi, I have owned Sony Slr's before, A100, A350, A580 (which i loved).

I currently have the Sony RX100 compact which is an excellent compact.

I was just hvaing a look about at some of the more newer cameras and i noticed that the A58 is extremely cheap, i can currently but it new from amazong with a 18-55mm kit lens for just £330, probably a little cheaper if i looked on ebay etc..

Im just wondering why this camera is so cheap, is there an obvious reason why its this cheap, i am assuming its a  more entry level camera, but it's specs look pretty decent.

Thanks

James

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Anderton
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Re: Why is the SLT-A58 so cheap, any obvious reasons?
In reply to James_lpool, Oct 17, 2013

James_lpool wrote:

Hi, I have owned Sony Slr's before, A100, A350, A580 (which i loved).

I currently have the Sony RX100 compact which is an excellent compact.

I was just hvaing a look about at some of the more newer cameras and i noticed that the A58 is extremely cheap, i can currently but it new from amazong with a 18-55mm kit lens for just £330, probably a little cheaper if i looked on ebay etc..

Im just wondering why this camera is so cheap, is there an obvious reason why its this cheap, i am assuming its a more entry level camera, but it's specs look pretty decent.

Thanks

James

Non-fully articulated rear LCD and plasticky build quality (plastic body mount for example) compared to more higher end APS-C cameras.

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Greynerd
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Re: Why is the SLT-A58 so cheap, any obvious reasons?
In reply to James_lpool, Oct 17, 2013

Having bought the A37 for £299 it is annoying the A58 price has dropped so quickly but no great problem as it would have happened eventually. The Alpha system is a bit confusing at the moment. I am not going to say why I think they are dumping these cameras as people will just get far too excited.

Hi, I have owned Sony Slr's before, A100, A350, A580 (which i loved).

I currently have the Sony RX100 compact which is an excellent compact.

I was just hvaing a look about at some of the more newer cameras and i noticed that the A58 is extremely cheap, i can currently but it new from amazong with a 18-55mm kit lens for just £330, probably a little cheaper if i looked on ebay etc..

Im just wondering why this camera is so cheap, is there an obvious reason why its this cheap, i am assuming its a more entry level camera, but it's specs look pretty decent.

Thanks

James

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Vikas Rana
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Re: Why is the SLT-A58 so cheap, any obvious reasons?
In reply to James_lpool, Oct 17, 2013

James_lpool wrote:

Hi, I have owned Sony Slr's before, A100, A350, A580 (which i loved).

I currently have the Sony RX100 compact which is an excellent compact.

I was just hvaing a look about at some of the more newer cameras and i noticed that the A58 is extremely cheap, i can currently but it new from amazong with a 18-55mm kit lens for just £330, probably a little cheaper if i looked on ebay etc..

Im just wondering why this camera is so cheap, is there an obvious reason why its this cheap, i am assuming its a more entry level camera, but it's specs look pretty decent.

Thanks

James

The reason when A58 is cheap is:-

  1. Small 2.7" lcd screen
  2. Low Screen Resolution
  3. shoots slower than other SLTs (5 fps) but still equal to nikon or canon
  4. Smaller Viewfinder 0.65x
  5. Can not take 3d photos

New stuff in A58 which was not there in its predecessors:-

  1. 20mega pixel true resolution
  2. Large Image sensor APS-C 23.5x15.6mm
  3. Much better image quality than A57, A37 or any predecessors
  4. OLED viewfinder with 100% coverage, although its smaller than its predecessors LCD viewfinders but A58's VF is very accurate, you will get what you see.
  5. Longer battery life, sony says it can take 700 shots
  6. Comes with SAM-2 kit lens which is better than its predecessors

Source:- http://snapsort.com/compare/Sony-SLT-A57-vs-Sony-SLT-A58

I also bought A58 and quite happy with it, since I can live with slow shoot rate, the lcd screen size and resolution. The picture will finally go in my hard-drive.

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DaPonti
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Re: Why is the SLT-A58 so cheap, any obvious reasons?
In reply to James_lpool, Oct 17, 2013

Camera sales are down and the best seling dslrs are two years old models from Canon and Nikon, which are discounted too. Sony probably thought they would have more chance to sell anything if they offer their entry level as cheap as possible, rather than as complete as possible (see a3000).

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havoc315
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Re: Why is the SLT-A58 so cheap, any obvious reasons?
In reply to James_lpool, Oct 17, 2013

It's a very entry level camera compared to other Sony dSLTs and Sony isn't putting any muscle into promoting the camera.  Dpreview didn't even find the camera warranted a review.  It's not being sold in big box stores.

It it was basically just a "last of the line" release, with Sony aggressively pricing all dSLTs now to clear inventory.

For now, Sony is heavily promoting the e-mount.  And they suggest that next year, there will be newly designed a-mounts.

Personally, I'd rather grab a used a55 or a57, over buying a new a58. (The low burst rate, small buffer, lack of articulating LCD, lower resolution LCD...would frustrate me).

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allenns
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Re: Why is the SLT-A58 so cheap, any obvious reasons?
In reply to havoc315, Oct 17, 2013

Yup SLT days are over.

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tqlla
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Re: Why is the SLT-A58 so cheap, any obvious reasons?
In reply to allenns, Oct 17, 2013

It got panned because it was a slight downgrade to the A57 in some ways. The screen size, resolution, articulation is worse. It shoots slower(A still fast 5fps), and it doesnt shoot 3d or 1080p@60.

The A58 is an awesome camera for the price. Its head and shoulders above the A37, and better in some ways than the a57. It has that 20MP sensor and a really nice OLED viewfinder.

IMO, get the A58 and be happy. Its a great camera. 5FPS and 1080P@30 is still very good.

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Oleg L K
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Re: Why is the SLT-A58 so cheap, any obvious reasons?
In reply to tqlla, Oct 17, 2013

There are much more reports on focus errors with A58 than for the previous generation of A-mount cameras.

Looks like we are back to the days of A100/A200/A230/A300/A330/A350. In the later cameras the focus became better, but now screwed-up again.

Which is unacceptable of course.

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Vikas Rana
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Re: Why is the SLT-A58 so cheap, any obvious reasons?
In reply to Oleg L K, Oct 17, 2013

Oleg L K wrote:

There are much more reports on focus errors with A58 than for the previous generation of A-mount cameras.

Looks like we are back to the days of A100/A200/A230/A300/A330/A350. In the later cameras the focus became better, but now screwed-up again.

Which is unacceptable of course.

I am totally disagree with you, I've A58 and used it in 8 to 10 trips in last 2 months and never faced a single problem. If your A58 have any issue than pls get it checked by service center

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havoc315
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Re: Why is the SLT-A58 so cheap, any obvious reasons?
In reply to tqlla, Oct 17, 2013

nned because it was a slight downgrade to the A57 in some ways. The screen size, resolution, articulation is worse. It shoots slower(A still fast 5fps), and it doesnt shoot 3d or 1080p@60.

I will respectfully disagree about the 5fps being "still fast."  I found the burst rate on the A58 to be useless, even compared to entry level dSLRs from other makes.

If you could continuously shoot at 5 fps, then I would agree it was still a decently fast burst rate.  But unfortunately, the A58 also suffers from a small buffer and/or slow processor.

If you shoot raw, you can only get that 5fps for about 1 second --- After just 6 shots, you slow down and need to wait for the buffer to clear.  Even shooting jpeg, you get only 8 shots.  Raw+jpg, just 5 shots, and then need to wait 8 seconds for the buffer to clear.

In comparison, the Nikon D3200, *only* shoots 4fps ---  But it can shoot continuously for 20 jpeg frames or 12 RAW frames.

I still shoot with the A55.  It's burst problem is that the buffer clears very slowly after a long burst.  But still, the burst is much much longer than the A58 -- Can shoot 10 fps, for 32 jpegs or 19 raw images!

So as you can see, the burst rate of the A58 is pretty pathetic.    Sony A55 --- A 19 RAW shot burst, at 10 fps.  The Nikon D3200, a 12 RAW shot burst at 4fps.  Or the A58, a 6 shot burst at 5fps.

(all stats come from Imaging-Resource)

If you just look at the fps rate, it is deceiving.  You need to look in conjunction with the buffer rate, to determine how usable the burst is.  As you can see, the burst on the A58 is nearly useless.  For example, I'll do burst shooting to capture my son at bat in little league.  I'll start the burst as the ball approaches, and follow through the swing.  This timing would be impossible with the A58, but with the A55, I get a nice 10-15 shot presentation of the entire atbat.

The A58 may be a very good camera in terms of still image quality, but it simply isn't as useful as the A55/57.  (An articulating LCD is useful, a faster more effective burst rate is useful.... these are things that help you GET the shot.)

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Oleg L K
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Re: Why is the SLT-A58 so cheap, any obvious reasons?
In reply to Vikas Rana, Oct 17, 2013

Vikas Rana wrote:

Oleg L K wrote:

There are much more reports on focus errors with A58 than for the previous generation of A-mount cameras.

Looks like we are back to the days of A100/A200/A230/A300/A330/A350. In the later cameras the focus became better, but now screwed-up again.

Which is unacceptable of course.

I am totally disagree with you, I've A58 and used it in 8 to 10 trips in last 2 months and never faced a single problem. If your A58 have any issue than pls get it checked by service center

In the older A100+ generation the focusing error was _not_ a malfunction of a specific camera, but exaggerated tolerance in the design and/or production. You are either lucky or not at the time of purchase. If you are unlucky, there is nothing you can do. The camera may focus with 2-3 lenses you checked in store, but then you buy another lens and you eat it. Moreover, where I live there's no option to buy Sony DSLR in a local store.

I don't have A58, and won't buy it unless I have no choice. I have two A100 bodies that are 100% perfectly fit from Sony's point of view, but they have severe focus errors with some lenses. And since the bodies alone match design specs, they cannot be serviced. Newer A55 works fine with the lenses "rejected" by both my A100-s.

The problem with A58 is that there's considerable probability to buy a poor focusing camera, and if you get one you are stuck. They won't replace it (since it's OK by the specs).

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Vikas Rana
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Re: Why is the SLT-A58 so cheap, any obvious reasons?
In reply to Oleg L K, Oct 17, 2013

Oleg L K wrote:

Vikas Rana wrote:

Oleg L K wrote:

There are much more reports on focus errors with A58 than for the previous generation of A-mount cameras.

Looks like we are back to the days of A100/A200/A230/A300/A330/A350. In the later cameras the focus became better, but now screwed-up again.

Which is unacceptable of course.

I am totally disagree with you, I've A58 and used it in 8 to 10 trips in last 2 months and never faced a single problem. If your A58 have any issue than pls get it checked by service center

In the older A100+ generation the focusing error was _not_ a malfunction of a specific camera, but exaggerated tolerance in the design and/or production. You are either lucky or not at the time of purchase. If you are unlucky, there is nothing you can do. The camera may focus with 2-3 lenses you checked in store, but then you buy another lens and you eat it. Moreover, where I live there's no option to buy Sony DSLR in a local store.

I don't have A58, and won't buy it unless I have no choice. I have two A100 bodies that are 100% perfectly fit from Sony's point of view, but they have severe focus errors with some lenses. And since the bodies alone match design specs, they cannot be serviced. Newer A55 works fine with the lenses "rejected" by both my A100-s.

The problem with A58 is that there's considerable probability to buy a poor focusing camera, and if you get one you are stuck. They won't replace it (since it's OK by the specs).

Ok, I understand what you are saying & I totally respect that. I found only this thread after doing google for A58 A/f issues. Well it might be true but only in 0.1% of productions.

Before getting my A58 I was confused between A58 & Nikon D5200, but later i found some posts on internet questioning the A/F & sharpness on the nikon. So finally I took my SD card and take some shots from dealer's demo pieces. Picked both cameras for handling & operations and found A58 better at that price, D5200 can give a 10% large 24mp image & few more A/F points but intimately the sensor size is same.

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DaPonti
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Re: Why is the SLT-A58 so cheap, any obvious reasons?
In reply to Oleg L K, Oct 17, 2013

Oleg L K wrote:

In the older A100+ generation the focusing error was _not_ a malfunction of a specific camera, but exaggerated tolerance in the design and/or production. You are either lucky or not at the time of purchase. If you are unlucky, there is nothing you can do. The camera may focus with 2-3 lenses you checked in store, but then you buy another lens and you eat it.

Interesting. My a58 has spot on focus with 2 out of my 3 lenses. I can follow F1 cars driving in diagonal to or from the camera and get a burst of clear shots in continuous AF, I can take macro shots with AF and not be able to do significantly better with MF and focus peaking.

However, my 50 f/1.8 has issues. I went to Sony store and tried my body with another 50 f/1.8: no problem at all. I tried it it with the 50 f/1.4 and the 85 f something (1.4?) wide open, still spot on. So I assumed the issue was my lens. Are you saying it's a body issue and it would work fine on another camera (not talking about an a77 with MF adjustment)?

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Oleg L K
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Re: Why is the SLT-A58 so cheap, any obvious reasons?
In reply to DaPonti, Oct 18, 2013

It' a damn play between camera and lens tolerances. And maybe too much priority put into AF speed at the expense of accuracy.

E.g. body-A may work with lens-X but fail with lens-Y, while body-B will work with lens-Y. It is possible to make one given camera + lens combo work together; this is what Sony (Canon/Nikon) service usually offers to do. But this may make things worse for other cameras and lenses, so I'd not go this route.

My brother used to shoot with a Pentax; his internet research revealed that in Pentax land focus errors were much more rare - their cameras work harder (and slower) to achieve focus - make another hunting step or so.

The best thing for us is to boycott problematic products. It doesn't sound nice, but I'm already stuck with two A100 bodies with focus errors; I cannot even sell them without lying to a buyer. So enough is enough.

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tqlla
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Re: Why is the SLT-A58 so cheap, any obvious reasons?
In reply to Oleg L K, Oct 18, 2013

Oleg L K wrote:

The best thing for us is to boycott problematic products. It doesn't sound nice, but I'm already stuck with two A100 bodies with focus errors; I cannot even sell them without lying to a buyer. So enough is enough.

THe good news is, the A100's aren't worth much.  So you wont lose much by selling an a100 that misses.

The other good news is, its easy to adjust the focus on the A100.  I am sure there are instructional videos on Youtube.

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tjensen
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Re: Why is the SLT-A58 so cheap, any obvious reasons?
In reply to havoc315, Oct 18, 2013

havoc315 wrote:

nned because it was a slight downgrade to the A57 in some ways. The screen size, resolution, articulation is worse. It shoots slower(A still fast 5fps), and it doesnt shoot 3d or 1080p@60.

I will respectfully disagree about the 5fps being "still fast." I found the burst rate on the A58 to be useless, even compared to entry level dSLRs from other makes.

If you could continuously shoot at 5 fps, then I would agree it was still a decently fast burst rate. But unfortunately, the A58 also suffers from a small buffer and/or slow processor.

If you shoot raw, you can only get that 5fps for about 1 second --- After just 6 shots, you slow down and need to wait for the buffer to clear. Even shooting jpeg, you get only 8 shots. Raw+jpg, just 5 shots, and then need to wait 8 seconds for the buffer to clear.

In comparison, the Nikon D3200, *only* shoots 4fps --- But it can shoot continuously for 20 jpeg frames or 12 RAW frames.

I still shoot with the A55. It's burst problem is that the buffer clears very slowly after a long burst. But still, the burst is much much longer than the A58 -- Can shoot 10 fps, for 32 jpegs or 19 raw images!

So as you can see, the burst rate of the A58 is pretty pathetic. Sony A55 --- A 19 RAW shot burst, at 10 fps. The Nikon D3200, a 12 RAW shot burst at 4fps. Or the A58, a 6 shot burst at 5fps.

(all stats come from Imaging-Resource)

If you just look at the fps rate, it is deceiving. You need to look in conjunction with the buffer rate, to determine how usable the burst is. As you can see, the burst on the A58 is nearly useless. For example, I'll do burst shooting to capture my son at bat in little league. I'll start the burst as the ball approaches, and follow through the swing. This timing would be impossible with the A58, but with the A55, I get a nice 10-15 shot presentation of the entire atbat.

The A58 may be a very good camera in terms of still image quality, but it simply isn't as useful as the A55/57. (An articulating LCD is useful, a faster more effective burst rate is useful.... these are things that help you GET the shot.)

Agreed on  burst rate, but fortunately not an issue for me. What I do find more useful over the A55 is peaking for manual focus and a decent auto bracket mode. As for focus issues I've used the A58 with multiple Minolta legacy lenses, a Sony 16-50/2.8, 55-300, 18-55, and a 70-200/2.8 and none had any issues at all which is far more than i can say for the recent Nikons and the Canon 6D that I've used.

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DaPonti
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Re: Why is the SLT-A58 so cheap, any obvious reasons?
In reply to Oleg L K, Oct 19, 2013

Oleg L K wrote:

It' a damn play between camera and lens tolerances. And maybe too much priority put into AF speed at the expense of accuracy.

E.g. body-A may work with lens-X but fail with lens-Y, while body-B will work with lens-Y. It is possible to make one given camera + lens combo work together; this is what Sony (Canon/Nikon) service usually offers to do. But this may make things worse for other cameras and lenses, so I'd not go this route.

That is a bit counter intuitive for me. I would expect that if lens X works on body A and B and lens Y doesn't work on A, then it wouldn't work better on B. Well, as you say I won't take the risk to mess up the AF of my other lenses (on which I need it) for a lens I barely ever use, and on which I can accept to rely on MF.

I'll try it on other bodies in a shop though. If it has focus issues on other cameras, then I should be able to get Sony to adjust it without messing with my camera.

My brother used to shoot with a Pentax; his internet research revealed that in Pentax land focus errors were much more rare - their cameras work harder (and slower) to achieve focus - make another hunting step or so.

Considering focus peaking analyses the contrast, is there any technical limitation that prevents Sony from adding a CDAF option on their SLTs? It'd be great to be able to chose between the two depending on the situation.

The best thing for us is to boycott problematic products. It doesn't sound nice, but I'm already stuck with two A100 bodies with focus errors; I cannot even sell them without lying to a buyer. So enough is enough.

I assume in a few years all cameras will be mirrorless with on-sensor AF and we won't have to worry about it anymore (except bad lenses), will we?

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seilerbird666
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No GPS
In reply to tjensen, Oct 19, 2013

Without a GPS it is worthless to me.

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NPPhoto
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What reports of focus Errors? Do you have a link to those errrors?
In reply to Oleg L K, Oct 19, 2013

Maybe a member or two here had that issue but I googled it hard and couldn't find anything. The focusing accuracy should be no better or worst than any other SLT.

This camera (A58) is a solid piece of equipment with a decent LCD, much better EVF and a improved sensor. If you are in the market for a good camera with a host of features and solid IQ, this should be it.

I have sold all my Sony Minolta gear but am seriously considering the A58 with the Tammy 17-50mm.

Oleg L K wrote:

There are much more reports on focus errors with A58 than for the previous generation of A-mount cameras.

Looks like we are back to the days of A100/A200/A230/A300/A330/A350. In the later cameras the focus became better, but now screwed-up again.

Which is unacceptable of course.

-- hide signature --

Nick P

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