The Sony A290: the perfect DSLR for those on a small budget? The What Digital Camera Sony A290 review tests it out...
Value & Verdict
Sony Alpha A290 review – Value
The official Sony Store lists the A290 at £410, however if you shop around it’s possible to pick one up from a reputable retailer for around £330. For that price there are few other DSLRs on the market. The 10.1MP Canon 1000D is perhaps the nearest competitor in terms of price, and for the extra £30 it costs, you will gain live view functionality but at the expense of a smaller screen and a lower overall resolution. It’s also worth pointing out that the 1000D was released in 2008, which in digital camera terms at least makes it something of al old model. If live view is a must then the next Sony model up from the A290 – the Sony A390 – does include this, along with a tilting LCD screen. Expect to pay at least a £50 premium for one though. Overall, there can be few grumbles about the cost of an A290 – it does represent good value for money.
Sony Alpha A290 review – Verdict
For the first-time DSLR user, the A290 is a solid performer that offers good value for money. Simple to use, and offering good image quality, there’s really not much to criticise. Yes, it does lack advanced features, and its construction errs on the side of plasticky, but for a first-time DSLR user it offers a solid entry point to the ever-expanding Sony DSLR system. While the supplied 18-55mm kit lens is a bit flimsy, the addition of a better quality lens would make this a solid performer. If you are looking for a first DSLR on a tight budget then the A290’s current sub-£330 pricing is definitely its strong point and is likely to find its way onto your budget DSLR shortlist.