Sony has released details of two new additions to their ever-expanding DSLR range in the forms of the Sony A290 and Sony A390. Both models are aimed at the beginner end of the market, in a similar area to the likes of Canon’s EOS 1000D and the Nikon D3000.
Both offer a 14.2MP CMOS sensor, with the major difference between the two models being the A390’s tilting screen, which also has Live View. The Sony A290 is smaller and lighter but misses out on both Live View and the tilting screen. 
Both are very similar in terms of design, offering a new grip and button layout compared with their predecessors. As that was one of the major criticisms of the previous models it’s no real surprise that Sony has decided to tackle this by reducing the amount of buttons and increasing the grip size. Sony has also continued the dual SD/Memory Stick compatibility, which certainly makes perfect sense as the majority of the Sony A290 and Sony A390’s rivals support the SD format. One missing element from both models is HD video, a feature Sony seem reluctant to include in the DSLR range.
With the NEX-5 grabbing all the headlines at the moment, and being priced at less than a number of beginner DSLRs, it will be interesting to see if Sony eats into their own market share. Needless to say the Sony A290 and Sony A390 are twice a big as the NEX-5 in some areas, although many of the functions will be easier to access.
We expect a first look preview at both cameras soon, so keep checking www.whatdigitalcamera.co.uk for more details.

Sony Announcement

Sony adds two new stylish, affordable new entry-level cameras to the α (alpha) Digital SLR range.

  • DSLR-A390 with 14.2 megapixels, Quick AF Live View and 6.7cm
    (2.7-inch) tilt LCD
  • DSLR-A290 with 14.2 megapixels
  • Compact, stylish body with new grip design and revised button layout
    for comfortable handling
  • Quick AF Live View with tilt LCD (α390) for live image preview with
    fast, accurate autofocus
  • Friendly on-screen Help Guide and Graphic Display
  • HDMI output and BRAVIA Sync

Ideal for first-time DSLR users, the DSLR-A390 (α390) and DSLR-A290 (α290) offer a dramatic step up in picture quality and creative options from point-and-shoot compact cameras. Just as importantly, they’re incredibly easy to use, even if you’ve never handled a DSLR before.
 
With a resolution of 14.2 effective megapixels for flawless, low-noise images, both cameras offer the speedy shooting responses that are prized by DSLR users.  The α390 adds the extra benefit of Quick AF Live View. This unique system teams the convenience of live image preview on the tilt-angle Clear Photo LCD with speedy, accurate phase-detection autofocus.
 
The most affordable new DSLR from Sony, the α290 offers the same 14.2 effective megapixel resolution as the α390 in a compact body that weighs just 456g (excluding battery and media).
 
Both cameras feature a sturdy new grip design that allows even more comfortable handling. The upper control area of both models has also been revised with a clear, uncluttered new button layout.
 
Even DSLR novices will find it brilliantly simple to explore the generous creative features of both new cameras. The intuitive Graphic Display makes it easy to understand the relation between shutter speed and aperture, plus the effects of your chosen exposure settings on the final picture. The Help Guide offers clear, concise explanations of camera functions, illustrated by a sample image to show the results you’ll achieve. Quick access to shooting and playback function menus is streamlined by colourful on-screen icons.
 
The α390 and α290 both include a mini-HDMI terminal for direct connection to any HD Ready TV (requires optional cable). Support for PhotoTV HD ensures even better-looking still image reproduction on compatible BRAVIATM models.  BRAVIATM Sync allows control of slideshow and other camera playback functions in comfort using your TV remote.
 
The stylish, easy to use new α390 and α290 DSLR cameras from Sony will be available from summer 2010.

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Sony Announcement
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  • John Rich

    I have the A300, and am very happy with it, bar the noise at ISO 400 plus. I use software to sort this. Sony have to produce and market their new equipment so that it is obvious to everyone that they can keep up with Nikon and Canon in this area or they will always be the poor relation within the photography family.

  • rob ellis

    Thank god they got rid of the awful grip from the a230…
    The new cameras look great :)