Seasoned DSLR users may be inclined to take the Sony A580 less seriously as a DSLR, given some if its more novelty inclusions such as the Sweep Panorama and Smile Shutter options. This would be a shame, as neither of these features should eclipse the solid feature set and fine performance of the Alpha 580 that makes it compare well with its peers.
As an all-rounder performer it shines, with its high-resolution sensor and articulated LCD screen making it ideal for still-life photography, and its speedy focusing system and 7fps burst rate meaning that it's not out of place when action presents itself either.
It's easy to see, therefore, why the camera may appeal to a range of users, from first-time DSLR buyer's with a little money to spend, through to Alpha fans looking for the next upgrade option from their current model.
The issues regarding image quality are unfortunate, although the use of a good optic, correct technique and careful post-processing can comfortably get round these.
The fine results which may be obtained from its video function also score it a few extra points, too, although anyone looking for a capable video-shooting camera should also add Sony's SLT A33 and Alpha 55 to their shortlist, both of which use the same Alpha mount as the Sony A580. While not strictly DSLRs in themselves, the fluid autofocusing available during video recording make them better suited where manual control isn't likely to be used.
Build quality: 3/5
Image Quality: 3/5
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