Sony DSLR-A580 and DSLR-A560 : overview

Boasting 16.2 and 14.2 megapixels respectively, the A580 and A560 are the latest entries in Sony’s Alpha series. These are the first Alpha DSLRs to shoot video and has many new features packed within the  redesigned frame. The α580 and α560 incorporate major advances in image sensor and processing technology to assure rich tonal gradation and reduced noise when shooting in low light.The newly developed 15-point AF system with 3 cross sensors enables enhanced precision.

With the blazingly fast BIONZ™ image processing engine continuous shooting at up to 7 fps is achieved. Continuous shooting with continuous AF is possible at up to 5 fps (High) and 3 fps (Low) with the optical viewfinder, at up to 5 fps in Focus Check Live View, and at up to 3 fps in Quick AF Live View.

They boast a maximum AUTO ISO setting of ISO1600 that enables handheld shooting by candlelight, and user-selectable ISO settings that range from ISO100 all the way up to ISO12800.

The new AF system offers 15-point coverage for live view and for viewfinder shooting, it offers 11-point coverage. AF modes include Single-shot (AF-S), Continuous (AF-C), and Automatic (AF-A), and in addition to Wide and Spot AF area settings, there’s a Local AF area setting that lets you choose any of the focus points as an AF target.

Quick AF Live View makes it easy to capture the perfect moment any time. Combining fast, phase-detection AF with proprietary Sony face-detection technology, it tracks moving subjects and optimizes camera settings to achieve natural skin tones and color.

In addition to Quick AF Live View, the α580 and α560 are equipped with a new Focus Check Live View function for accurate focus checking when taking macro shots or other photos that demand exceptionally high focusing precision.

The built-in SteadyShot™ INSIDE image stabilization is effectiveenough to enable clear imaging at shutter speeds approximately 2.5 to 4 steps slower than would otherwise be possible, SteadyShot INSIDE increases photo opportunities by making it easier to shoot without using a tripod or flash.

The cameras accept both Sony’s own Memory Stick Pro Duo memory cards, and the more common SD variety. They also support higher-capacity SDHC and SDXC cards.

The 921,600-dot, 3-inch/7.5cm* Xtra Fine LCD monitor can be tilted up or down by a full 90˚, making it easy to shoot over the heads or below the toes with less difficulties.

Another notable feature is the dedicated movie button which triggers 1080i video in the AVCHD format with stereo sound. Priced at €900 and €800 respectively, the A580 will be available from October 2010, while and the A560 will arrive in the first quarter of 2011.

Sony DSLR-A580 and DSLR-A560 specifications

DSLR-A580 DSLR-A560
Sensor • 23.4 x 15.6 mm APS-C Type CMOS Exmor Sensor
• RGB Color Filter Array
• Built-in fixed low-pass filter
• 16.7 million total pixels
• 16.2 million effective pixels
• 23.4 x 15.6 mm APS-C Type CMOS Exmor Sensor
• RGB Color Filter Array
• Built-in fixed low-pass filter
• 14.6 million total pixels
• 14.2 million effective pixels
Image sizes 3:2
• 4912 x 3264 (L)
• 3568 x 2368 (M)
• 2448×1624 (S)
16:9
• 4592 x 2576 (L)
• 3344 x 1872 (M)
• 2288 x 1280 (S)
3:2
• 4592 x 3056 (L)
• 3344 x 2224 (M)
• 2288 x 1520 (S)
16:9
• 4592 x 2576 (L)
• 3344 x 1872 (M)
• 2288 x 1280 (S)
Image sizes (Video) • AVCHD:
• 1920 x 1080, 59.94i (from 29.97fps sensor output)
• Motion JPEG:
• 1440 x 1080, 29.97p or 25p, depending on region
• 640 x 480, 29.94 fps
File qualities / formats • RAW (.ARW)
• RAW + JPEG Fine
• RAW + JPEG Standard
• JPEG Fine
• JPEG Standard
File formats (Movie) • AVCHD
• QuickTime Motion JPEG
Dust reduction • Charge protection coating on low-pass filter
• Sensor-shift dust reduction mechanism
Lenses • Sony Alpha lenses
(also compatible with Minolta and Konica Minolta AF lenses)
FOV crop 1.5x
SteadyShot INSIDE • CMOS -Shift ‘SteadyShot INSIDE’ system
Auto Focus • TTL 15-point phase detection AF system with 3 cross sensors (11-point with optical viewfinder)
Focus Modes • Single-shot AF
• Automatic AF
• Continuous AF
AF assist
illuminator
• Yes (using built in flash)
Shooting modes • Programmed AE (Auto, Flash off, P)
• Aperture priority AE
• Shutter priority AE
• Manual
• Scene Selection
Sensitivity • ISO 100 – 12800
• Extended: ISO 25600 in Multi-Frame NR Mode
Metering modes • Multi-segment
• Center-weighted
• Spot
Metering • Live View : 1200-zone evaluative
• Viewfinder : 40-segment honeycomb pattern
Exposure compen. • -2.0 to +2.0 EV
• 0.3 EV steps
Shutter Electronically-controlled, vertical-traverse, focal-plane Shutter
Shutter Speed • 30 to 1/4000 sec
• Bulb
Aperture values Depends on lens, 0.3 EV steps
White balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Shade
• Cloudy
• Incandescent
• Fluorescent
• Flash
• Color temperature/filter (2500 – 9900 K)
• Manual (Custom)
White balance fine tuning Yes
White balance bracketing • 3 exposures
• Hi / Lo level selectable
Color space • sRGB
• Adobe RGB
Color modes • Standard
• Vivid
• Portrait
• Landscape
• Sunset
• B&W
Viewfinder • Eye-level fixed optical glass pentamirror
• Spherical Acute Matte focusing screen
• Magnification approx. 0.80x
• 95% frame coverage
Live view Quick AF Live View (pentamirror tilt system)
Focus Check Live View • Focus system TTL phase detection system
• Contrast AF selectable
• Display Real-time image adjustment display (reflects exposure compensation, white balance, Sunset / B&W of Creative Style )
LCD monitor • 3.0 TFT Xtra Fine LCD
• 921,600 dots
Flash • Built-in pop-up flash (manual release)
• Metering: ADI, Pre-flash TTL, Manual flash control
• Guide number 12 (ISO 100/m)
• Angle of coverage 18 mm (35 mm equiv.)
• Flash sync 1/160 sec
Flash modes • Off
• Auto
• Fill Flash
• Rear Sync
• Slow sync
• Wireless/High Speed Sync.
Flash Bracketing 3 exposures in 0.3 and 0.7 EV steps
Flash compensation -2.0 to +2.0 EV in 0.3 EV steps
Continuous
shooting
• Up to 7 fps in Speed Priority mode (AF/AE fixed at first frame)
• Up to 5 fps with optical viewfinder
• Up to 3 fps in Quick AF Live View mode
Self-timer • 10 sec
• 2 sec
Connectivity • USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
• HDMI mini connector (Type C),
• DC-IN
• Remote terminal
Storage • SD/ SDHC/ SDXC
• Memory Stick Pro Duo / Pro HG Duo
• Supports FAT12 / FAT16 / FAT32
Dimensions 137 x 104 x 84 mm (5.5 x 4.2 x 3.9 in)
Weight (body) No battery: 599 g (1.5lb)

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