The camera's 20.1-megapixel sensor has a 1.5x focal length conversion factor on the included 18-55mm lens. Images shot at all focal lengths looked great, with sharp, crisp detail and well-balanced color. As with other cameras in this class, ISO to 800 was fairly clean and noise-free. At ISO 1600 you start to see more noise, and by ISO 3200 images exhibited more noise still. What was different, though, is that at ISO 3200, I didn't see as much degradation in sharpness as I've seen elsewhere.
Focus speed seemed reasonably fast. So, too, did the five frames per second capture speed, which is competitive for cameras of this price. This speed will work well to capture fast-moving action, though some sports may benefit from more frames per second.
This model has a microphone input for shooting video, as well as a dual-microphone on top of the camera. Sony says the camera's battery can last for approximately 700 shots.
I found a lot to like in the Sony Alpha a58, which continues to stack up well to its entry-level competition. If you're not wedded to either Canon or Nikon and their lens selection, and don't mind the complexity of deep menus, the a58 is a great value, one that can grow with you as you grow creatively.
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