The Sony A580 has dual card slots, each with its own card type. One slot uses SDHC and SD cards. The other memory card slot uses Sony PRO Duo and PRO-HG Duo cards.
SDHC memory cards are supported, consequently the biggest SD card that can be used is 32GB. The PRO Duo and PRO-HG Duo slot has a max card storage capacity of 16GB.
Only one of the two of the memory card slots can be used by the camera at a time. A switch inside the card cover enables you to determine which memory card slot to store images.
PRO Duo cards are a proprietary memory format held by Sony. For that reason, SD cards are quite a bit cheaper and can offer considerably better performance than PRO Duo memory cards.
In a rush? My recommendation is this SD memory card in the A580:
64GB or larger cards are not compatible with the camera.
Need a new lens for your camera? Take a look at the 6 Best Sony A580 Lenses.
Best SD Cards
SanDisk, Lexar, and PNY are manufacturers that produce high-quality SD cards. The best SD cards I have owned have been the SanDisk Extreme Pro memory cards.
You do not need to buy a card from SanDisk for your Sony A580. Look for memory cards with impressive-sounding names. That will mean you get fast read/write speeds, dust resistance, and other features.
I have not had issues with Lexar Professional or PNY Elite Performance cards.
The problems I have experienced with SD cards has been when I have used cheap no-name brands. A low-cost card increases the possibility of card errors or corrupted data.
If you want to spend less, don't buy a cheap card. You will avoid problems by purchasing a professional-quality card with a smaller storage capacity.
Recommended SD Cards
- Best value for the money.
- Capacities from 16 GB to 128 GB.
- Transfer speeds up to 80 MB/s.
- Class 10.
- High speed card.
- Capacities from 16 GB to 1 TB.
- Transfer speeds up to 95 MB/s.
- Class 10.
- High quality card.
- Transfer speeds up to 95 MB/s.
- Class 10.
Sony A580 SD Card Compatibility
SDHC and SD cards can be used in the Sony A580. In order to get the best performance from the A580, use a card.
The latest SDUC and SDXC memory cards cannot be used in the A580.
Currently, there are four specs of SD (Secure Digital) memory cards. New card specifications add more tech that provides for larger storage capacity as well as faster data transfer rates.
- Secure Digital (SD) - 128MB to 2GB.
- Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) - 4GB to 32GB.
- Secure Digital eXtended Capacity (SDXC) - 64GB to 2TB.
- Secure Digital Ultra Capacity (SDUC) - 4TB to 128TB.
SD Card Speed
Speed ratings of an SD memory card is based on the sequential write and read speeds. The write speed of a card is very important for continuous shooting and video.
Slows memory cards can cut down the number of continuous images the Sony A580 can capture. This is due to the camera's buffer not being able to write to the card quickly enough.
When shooting video, a slow SD card can cause recording to end. The video file might also be corrupted. If you are going to capture video, it is critical the memory card you use meets the minimum requirements of the camera.
Card read speed is important for file transfers to a computer or laptop. If you have cards that are full, an SD card with a fast read speed will save you time.
Speed Class Rating
A memory card is given a Class rating based on the sustained continuous write speed of the memory card. Class 10 is the maximum rating, even though SD memory cards exist that are noticeably faster.
Here you can see all of the Classes and the applicable minimum transfer rates:
- Class 2 - 2MB/s
- Class 4 - 4MB/s
- Class 6 - 6MB/s
- Class 8 - 8MB/s
- Class 10 - 10MB/s or faster
Virtually any card worth ordering for the Sony A580 will be a Class 10 SD memory card. In the short time since the camera was made, Memory cards have gotten much faster.
Ultra High Speed (UHS)
The Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus comes in SDUC, SDXC, and SDHC cards. The UHS bus allows provides a way to increase data transfer rates.
Three different specifications exist. They are UHS-I, UHS-II, and UHS-III.
You can figure out the rating of a SD card by reading the front of the card. If the card has UHS, a Roman numeral I, II, or III can be found on the front of the memory card.
- UHS-I - Maximum transfer rate of 104 MB/s
- UHS-II - Maximum transfer rate of 312 MB/s
- UHS-III - Maximum transfer rate of 624 MB/s
Sony A580 PRO Duo Card Compatibility
There is a memory card slot for PRO Duo and PRO-HG Duo memory cards. PRO-HG shows the card can have read speeds up to 50MB/s and a 15MB/s or faster write speed.
Only PRO Duo cards with a total of 16GB or have a lower capacity will be compatible in the A580.
PRO Duo cards are about two times as expensive as an SD card. Due to the extra cost, I won't recommend finding a PRO Duo card for use in a A580.
Do Both Memory Cards Slots Need to Be Used in the A580?
No, the Sony A580 can not use both memory card slots at the same time.
Competing companies make cameras that can use both memory card slots at the same time. That provides added features such as mirroring the cards, overflow protection, and splitting up RAW files and JPEGs.
Not having the chance to use dual card slots for additional options, means that you shouldn't waste the more on a PRO Duo memory card.
Below is an approximate estimation of how many large JPEG images you can expect to store on each size of SD card.
- 4GB - 1,160 images
- 8GB - 2,320 images
- 16GB - 4,640 images
- 32GB - 9,280 images
That addresses all of the significant specs you need to understand in regards to PRO Duo and SD cards. The SanDisk Extreme Pro 32GB is the best Sony A580 memory card.
Here are a few more cameras that use the same cards as the Sony A580: