Sony DSLR-A580 Features
When you take a closer look at the Sony DSLR-A580 features, you quickly realize that there's not all that much this camera can't do.
It's got plenty of megapixels for large prints, a huge ISO range for low-light shooting, fast performance and the ability to capture Full HD 1080i movies.
The LCD is flexible for high and low-angle shots and the camera is compatible with all different kinds of SD memory cards.
In short, this is a good starter DSLR if you'd like your camera to just "do it all" and also a potential upgrade for anyone with an older model Sony SLR looking for enhanced functionality.
|Memory Card||SD / SDHC / SDXC|
|Max. Shutter Speed||1/4000|
|Max. Photo Capture||7 per second|
|ISO Range||100 to 25600|
1920 x 1080i (60fps)
1440 x 1080p (30, 25fps)
640 x 480 (30 fps)
|LCD||Flexible 3in (921,600 dots)|
|Face Detect AF||Yes|
|Sensor Dimensions||23.4 x 15.6 (1.5x crop factor)|
|Compatible Lenses||All Sony ALPHA|
|Dimensions||5.5 x 4.2 x 3.9in|
137 x 104 x 84mm
Speedy Live View Autofocus
The Sony A580 really sets itself apart from the pack with its live view autofocus system.
On many digital SLR camera, autofocus during live view (when you're composing an image using the LCD screen instead of the viewfinder) is painfully slow, especially once you become used to the extreme speed of non-live-view autofocus.
This is because most DSLRs in live view mode resort to an autofocus system that's similar to the ones you'll find in compact digital cameras.
If you find the autofocus of most compacts frustratingly slow, then live view autofocus on a typical DSLR will make you feel the same way.
With the A580, Sony has found a way to get around this issue, keeping the autofocus in live view mode just as speedy as the 15-point autofocus you use when looking through the viewfinder.
The relative benefit of this feature depends a lot on how you intend to shoot with your DSLR: if you think you'll compose images using the LCD a lot, then it's a huge advantage. If you just want to use the viewfinder most of the time, then the Sony autofocus will run at the same speed as other camera models.
Sweep Panorama and HDR
Anyone into landscape photography will appreciate these two features.
If you want to capture a panoramic image with a non-Sony DSLR, you have to take multiple photos, moving the camera slightly each time. Then you have to use a photostitching program on your computer to combine the different images into a single panorama.
It's sometimes tricky to get the images to all blend together, but this is where the software helps out.
With the Sony A580, there's no software involved. Instead, you just set the camera to "Sweep Panorama", press and hold the shutter and pan the camera across the landscape.
The A580 automatically stitches the photos together for you to create images that encompass the entire scene in front of you.
Working with natural light is another aspect of landscape photography that is challenging. Some days the light will be perfect, others not so much.
On days where there is a lot of contrast (i.e. bright sunlight) it's hard for a camera to preserve details in both shadows and highlights - something called limited dynamic range.
The Sony A580 compensates for this with an automatic High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode that blends three different exposures together into a single image with greater detail throughout.