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August 29, 2010

New Sony Alpha A580 DSLR is like A560 but with 16mp sensor and deeper buffer (corrected/updated)

Sony likes to release DSLRs in pairs, so coming out together with the Alpha A560 is also the new Alpha A580. The two DSLRs appear to be very similar - the one major difference between them is the sensor. The A580 has a 16mp Exmor HD CMOS sensor instead of 14mp.

But despite the extra two megapixels, Sony appears to have been able to offer the same burst mode for these two cameras. Both cameras have the same 7fps/5fps/3fps burst mode options, but there is apparently a big difference in buffer depth - the A580 can record 22 RAW or 20 RAW + JPEG while the A560 only 7 RAW or 7 RAW + JPEG. The A580 has the upper-hand in Fine JPEGs (44-27) but the A560 has two more in Standard JPEGs (45-47). This according to the specs shown in the PDF file at (see "Further Reading" below).

The cameras have a couple of other small differences, auto ISO starts at 100 (A580) vs 200 (A560), and the A580 is slightly more sensitive EV 17 vs 16. It is interesting that even though the A580 has two more megapixels and the same speed as the A560, it can record a lot more pictures in burst mode.

The A580 does not appear to be coming to the US market at least not initially. In Europe, the prices follow the typical +100 pattern. Interestingly, Europe will be getting the A580 first, and then the A560 in early 2011 according to dpreview.

Further Reading
+ Specifications in PDF file at (see via dpreview forums)
+ Hands-on with the A580 DSLR body at Photography Blog
+ eight full size samples at Let's Go
+ dpreview
+ dpnow
+ see also Alpha A560

Video (Alpha A580 starts at 3min 37 seconds mark)

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