Does Sony's latest DSLR offer anything new over the previous A380 model? The What Digital Camera Sony A390 review investigates...

Product Overview

Overall rating:


Sony Alpha a390

Overall score:85%
Image Quality:85%


  • Live View, help guide, improved grip over previous design


  • No AF-assist lamp, small screen, no new technology over the previous a380 model


Sony Alpha a390 Review


Price as reviewed:



Sony DSLR-A390 review – Design

The A390 benefits from subtle redesign over the previous A380 model. Its top plate sits the shutter slightly further forward for a more natural press and the grip to the right hand side is now sizeable enough to grip firmly for long periods of use. The camera’s fairly small though and you may find a lack of space for your little finger, though not unlike other cameras of this level.

Sony a390 product image front angle sideThe layout is quick and easy to grasp, with the mode dial to the top left hand side, a Live View/Viewfinder switch to the right hand side, next to the Smart Teleconverter which digitally crops into an image at 1.4x magnification when in Live View mode.

On the rear the tilt-angle screen has a fair border around it; a shame that a bigger screen didn’t feature as there’s more than enough space for it. Also the d-pad to the right of the screen is very close and when thumbing the drive mode setting to its left you’ll find the raised screen restricts movement. It doesn’t make use difficult, but could have been ever so slightly repositioned.

Sony a390 product image rear backOn the far left is a slide-door that reveals the mini USB and HDMI ports, plus the SD and Memory Stick Duo card slots. Both card types cannot be used simultaneously, with an MS/SD switch to choose between the two – a shame that an auto-detect function couldn’t be employed and yet, realistically, most users will only ever have the switch set one way for the ongoing use of a single card or two of the same type.

Interior menus are relatively basic yet functional as per similar Alpha models, yet its with the variety of user interface displays (adjusted using the Display) button where things excel a step further. The shutter speed and aperture relationship is well illustrated and quick access to the most important settings via the Fn (Function) button is seamless.

  1. 1. Sony Alpha A390 review - Features
  2. 2. Design
  3. 3. Performance
  4. 4. Image Quality & Value
  5. 5. Verdict
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