Sony has launched its first DSLRs with full high definition (HD) video recording. The alpha a560 and a580 models promise higher video quality, and also claim up to seven frames per second stills shooting.
Appearance and most features of the alpha a560 and a580 are similar – the main difference between them is the sensor. The a560 has a 14.2Mp CMOS sensor, whereas the a580 has a 16.2Mp CMOS sensor.
If you’re not quite sure whether a digital SLR is for you, see our video buyers guide to the best digital cameras to help you choose
Sony alpha a560 and a580 first look video
High definition video recording
Sony has chosen AVCHD 1080i as the recording format for the alpha a560 and a580. AVCHD is a popular HD video format seen on many HD camcorders. There’s also an MP4 video recording mode which produces smaller file sizes. This is often better for posting video to the web.
Both video and still images are stored on memory stick or SD card – these are sold separately.
Both cameras also claim seven frames per second in still shooting mode, which puts them roughly on a par with the Canon EOS 7D and Nikon D300S that they will be competing against in an ever expanding DSLR market.
Sony v Canon, Nikon and Panasonic
Christopher Christoforou, Which? digital camera expert, said: ‘It was only a matter of time before Sony launched full HD DSLRs, to join the existing ranks of Canons, Nikon and Panasonic. We look forward to testing the new Sony DSLRs, especially as some existing Sonys have done very well in our tests. We will be particularly interested to see how their video quality compares.’
According to Sony, the alpha a560 and a580 will be available from October onwards. Prices are yet to be announced, but we anticipate them being around £700-£800.
For Which? test results of other Sony DSLRs, such as the alpha a350, and a first look of the top-end alpha a900 and loads of other models, see our Which? DSLR reviews
If you’re more interested in a compact camera, check out hundreds of models in our Which? Digital Camera reviews
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