Sony Alpha DSLR-A580 vs Sony SLT A55

Sony Alpha DSLR-A580


Sony SLT-A55



Reasons to buy the Sony Alpha DSLR-A580

Great viewfinder
Great battery life
Battery life
1050 shots
More storage slots
Storage slots
Full HD
Movie format
1080p @ 30fps

Reasons to buy the Sony SLT A55

Viewfinder size
Large viewfinder
Continuous shooting
Rapid fire
10 fps
Movie continuous focus
Movie continuous focus
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
Shutter lag
Barely any delay taking photos
220 ms shutter lag


Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Sony Alpha DSLR-A580.
Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Sony SLT-A55.


Sony Alpha DSLR-A580 Competitors

Sony Alpha DSLR-A700

Sony Alpha DSLR-A700

Entry-level DSLR

Viewfinder size Significantly larger viewfinder
Viewfinder Has a pentaprism viewfinder
True resolution Much lower true resolution
Sony SLT A58

Sony SLT A58

Entry-level DSLR

$781 with 18-55mm lens

True resolution Much higher true resolution
Supports 24p Supports 24p
Screen resolution Much lower resolution screen

Canon EOS Digital Rebel

Entry-level DSLR

$349 - $499 body only

$359 - $599 with 18-55mm lens

Lens availability Significantly more lenses available
Size Much smaller
True resolution Much lower true resolution

Sony SLT-A55 Competitors

Sony SLT A58

Sony SLT A58

Entry-level DSLR

$781 with 18-55mm lens

True resolution Much higher true resolution
Supports 24p Supports 24p
Screen resolution Much lower resolution screen
Sony Alpha A6000

Sony Alpha A6000

Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

$379 - $548 body only

$490 - $648 with 16-50mm lens

True resolution Much higher true resolution
Movie format Lower frame rate movies
Autofocus Slower autofocus
Nikon D3200

Nikon D3200

Entry-level DSLR

$550 body only

$329 with 18-55mm lens

True resolution Much higher true resolution
Supports 24p Supports 24p
Image stabilization No image stabilization


Sony Alpha DSLR-A580
Alpha DSLR-A580

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Sony SLT-A55

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Showing 25 comments

Mikesarmy (9:47 PM, March 17, 2012)
I have had my SLT-A55 for 5 months now and the only thing I can agree on is the auto focus not being able to focus in low light unless you use a f2.8 or faster lens. The only other problem with my A55 is a known one when recording HD video with image stabilization the camera sensor overheats rapidly. When the light gets low I use a Polaroid Flash with focus assist and it can focus in very low light conditions. The 10 FPS works wonderful, just used it at a motocross event and I was able to get hundreds of photos at the event. I do use a SanDisk Extreme SD cards and have two additional batteries. Before I had the Extreme SD cards I had to wait several minutes for the camera to write the images to the card, with the Extreme the time got reduced by at least 50%(guess since I never timed it). I take bursts of 5-6 pictures since 10 is alot of pictures to get from the same subject. At times I had people around me amazed how I was constantly taking bursts of pictures, I found that 3-5 seconds between bursts of pictures can keep me shooting for hours at an event. I really like my A55 and can only recommend it. 
Avatar for adhib97 adhib97 (8:51 AM, February 12, 2012)
The A580 is such an underrated camera, sadly the stupid SLT A55 ruined it, the A5xx line was getting better each year
Xnasakex (5:44 AM, December 08, 2011)
I believe the awards are based on the class/group of the camera, meaning the A55 is pitted against other SLT's  and its competitors. The A580 has different opponents though, so it's based differently.
Jonnygrotter (8:26 PM, December 03, 2011)
After hours of searching i think i like the look of the A580 but have been looking at the d5100, EOS600D and these sonys. What Digital SLR give a very different rating to this one it gives the A55 91% and the A580 86% and they also give the image quality as 17 out of 20 but give the EOS1100D 18?? is this just rubbish? Will i miss the lack of auto focus in video on the a580? pretty much all the theory is done i better get testing a few cameras now! thanks for all of the info on this site makes things much easier.
Dave G (7:17 AM, November 17, 2011)
The A55 is currently available for around £525, in addition there is also a £50 cashback offer on, meaning you can get an A55 for around £475, making the A55 cheaper than the A580, which is running out of stock, not being produced & lacking Sony support.
Dave G (9:59 PM, November 16, 2011)
I had an A500 for 2 years and I was going to get the A580, sadly though the A580 just seemed to be a glitzy version of the A550, it lacks Sony's support (no firmware updates), and with Sony going full steam ahead with SLT's getting possibly the last Sony D-slr, did'nt appeal.  The only other option was the A65 or A55, I read several reviews of the A77 and it became apparent that at low iso's the 24mp rules, however above iso 1600 things look less rosey, and as a person that uses iso 3200 a lot the over crowded sensor looked less appealing, not to mention that the A65 has the same AF module as the A55, so the A55 it was then, by chance the A55 has a £50 cashback offer on at the moment.   To say I am impressed and love the A55 is an understatement, concerns over it's small size were instantly brushed aside, it actually feels far more comfier in my hands than any of the Alpha's I've had before (A100, A200 & A300), yes battery life is poor but for less than a tenner you can pick up a spare battery. IQ is a tad under the A580, but still very good, when a Sony 18-250 or Tamron 18-270 is fitted the A55 becomes the ultimate bridge camera, it does'nt wake up the neighbourhood when you press the shutter release, is fast does have all the creative a normal user would want, is supported by Sony; 2 firmware updates thus far ;-)  

I picked my A500 up yesterday (while packing it following being sold), big & clunky spring to mind.
Marcg60 (9:59 PM, November 12, 2011)
Wen I look at the reviews from both camera's at they say there is almost no difference in noise levels between these camera's..Because they use the same sensor. And the a55 has earned a gold award.  
Scott Baker (4:18 AM, October 04, 2011)
good insurance company... I had my 350 damaged on holiday (water) and all my company would give me was enough money to purchase half of a camera... :(....depreciated amount...grrrrr
Siouxzbear (8:40 PM, July 16, 2011)
i had all minolta equipment and decided it was time for an upgrade...i'm VERY happy with my choice of the SONY a580, my minolta lenzez fit but of course i have upgraded my lenzez as well, i have also purchased the vertical battery grip which even tho' has added some weight has made my life a lot easier...i love the fact that i'm different from everyone with the canon & the nikon & still get same great only problem with it is i work so much that i dont have enough time to shoot more...
Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (0:52 PM, June 15, 2011)
Hi Deep, from what I can tell its a single "dual purpose" slot, dpreview has a photo of it on this page:
Deep (6:33 PM, June 14, 2011)
The comparasion says A55 to be having one card slot but the specs at Sony says it has 2. Please review.
Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (1:20 PM, June 14, 2011)
Could you expand on this, what was wrong?
Otto (3:04 AM, June 14, 2011)
False advertisement! I felt for it and know I'm waiting for Amazon to credit my money back to my credit card.
Randall E. Partin (2:50 AM, June 10, 2011)
I have the A55 and have been dissatisfied with several of it's features.  Auto Focus refuses to focus in low contrast situations or in scenes with repeating patterns. I find myself using manual focus the majority of the time because I just don't trust Auto Focus. I find that face tones are too red for my tastes. Every portrait requires Photoshop to deal with the over saturated red face tones. The kit lens, that I was required to buy with the camera, was a waste of money. I replaced it within weeks. Since I have so much money invested in my Sony system, and liked my A100, I will be buying the A580. 
Avatar for nkalu nkalu (4:15 PM, June 02, 2011)
I saw the Sony DSLR-a580 at Amazon for $749 with 3 lenses and other items in the kit. I was wondering if the item is original or of inferior quality considering it costs $899 with only the kit lens and $799 without at Sony website.
Peter (9:20 PM, May 31, 2011)
Good choice on passing up the a55.

I have an a55. It's a piece of junk. I bought it precisely because of the 10fps, but it's the slowest camera I've ever used. You get a rapid burst, but then it sits and thinks for minutes. If you use normal mode, you either don't get any picture review, or you wait a ton of time for it to go from picture preview to live shooting mode again. The UI is also unusable, and the thing overheats. I've had pre-ordered it, and I've had it since October of last year, and I've been very disappointed. SLT is a nice technology, and the picture come out pretty, but the usability is bad enough that I tried to return it. Sony calculated returns from order date (not shipping date), and I had pre-ordered it well enough in advance that the last day to return it was before it shipped.

The a5xx series is quite nice for the price. Usability is still a step backwards from Minolta and the early Sony cameras (e.g. Sony broke the wonderful automatic mode and a number of other things), but no worse than Canon or Nikon.

I really wish Sony would ship a camera just like the a700, but with a modern sensor. That's by far the most usable camera I've used of any brand...
Avatar for nkalu nkalu (0:47 AM, May 31, 2011)
The links:
Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (11:24 PM, May 30, 2011)
If you post the links to the pages I can take a look!
Avatar for nkalu nkalu (11:10 PM, May 30, 2011)
I saw this camera (Sony a580) at Amazon with a kit of 3 different lenses, a tripod, a bag, and more for $749. In the same instance I saw the same camera without lens for $799.
I was wondering if there was a mistake, or whether the build quality of one was better than the other?

The links:
Tsjayan (6:01 PM, March 12, 2011)
I was in a confusion to select my choice in between a580 and a55...but now it is clear that I will go for a580. Your information highlighted some of the special but important aspects other than given by others...
Thank you very much.
Avatar for John John (6:22 AM, March 09, 2011)
I've had my Sony A350 stolen, and the insurance company offered me an A580 or A55 as a replacement. I chose the A580 precisely because it was bigger; it fitted much more comfortably into my hand than the awkward little grip of the A55. And the A580's optical viewfinder doesn't flicker when you traverse quickly. A big bonus of the A580 over the A350 is more frames per second, 7 fps instead of 2.5, much better for snowboarding terrain park tricks. And it captures images at a much lower light level than the A350.

Andyemp (8:50 AM, March 02, 2011)
The main reason for me opting for the a580 was the superior battery life compared to that of the a55 (more than double). this fact should be mentioned on your site as it can be a relevant decision (cost of spare batteries)
Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (1:52 PM, February 23, 2011)
Hi Vic, the A580 is an awesome camera, let us know what you choose! Our site pulls in prices automatically, and it has a bit of trouble with the Sony model names unfortunately, which is why I think its showing a price from Denmark (converted to GBP) instead of a UK price. We'll look into that, thx.
Vic (0:53 AM, February 23, 2011)
I am looking to buy my first DSLR (had film SLR's in the past + digital compact). My "front runner" is the Sony A580 and I am comparing that with anything close. Can I compliment you on your site. I've just discovered it and it is making my task very much easier. So far I have compared the 580 with the 560, Canon 550D, Nikon 3100 and Pentax K-r. Your information has highlighted many specifications that I hadn't realised before and it looks like my instinctive choice is proving correct. However I think you are doing the A580 a bit of a dis-service by giving it's price as £771. It actualy sells for about £600 in the U.K.
Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (5:46 PM, January 31, 2011)
Hi Rey, looks like we made a mistake there. According to the specs from Sony, the camera doesn't support 24p, we'll revise that.