Sony has released the DSLR-A390 and DSLR-A290, its latest entry level digital SLRs. As suggested by the images leaked on the internet, the cameras essentially add a new grip design to the existing A230 and A380 models. The other major change is that both now get the image-stabilized 14.2MP CCD sensor seen in the A380. As with the previous models, the higher-priced A390 features the company's fast liveview system and a 2.7 tilting LCD, while the A290 has a fixed LCD, no liveview and larger viewfinder. The rest of the features are shared by both cameras including on-screen camera guides and HD outputs. The A390 and A290 will start shipping next month at a retail price of $600 and $500 in the US market and €500 and €450 in the European market.

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Press Release:

More style and value by Sony for first-time DSLR users

Easy-to-use DSLR-A390 and DSLR-A290 with 14.2 megapixels

  • 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

June 9, 2010: The α (Alpha) digital SLR range from Sony grows further with two stylish, affordable new entry-level cameras.

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 beautifully 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 an attractive new grip design that allows even more comfortable handling. Upper control areas of both models have 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 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 BRAVIA™ models.  BRAVIA™ 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 digital SLR cameras by Sony are available from summer 2010.

Sony DSLR-A390 & DSLR-A290 specifications

  A390 A290
Sensor • 14.2 million effective pixels
• 14.9 million effective pixels
• 23.5 x 15.7 mm CCD sensor
• RGB primary color filter
Anti-dust measures • Sensor shake system
• Static-free anti-dust coating
Anti-shake • SteadyShot in-camera stabilization
Image sizes • 4592 x 3056 (Large, 14.0 MP)
• 3408 x 2272 (Medium, 7.7 MP)
• 2288 x 1520 (Small, 3.5 MP)
• 4592 x 2576 (Large, 12.0 MP, 16:9)
• 3408 x 1920 (Medium, 6.5 MP, 16:9)
• 2288 x 1280 (Small, 2.9 MP, 16:9)
Image quality • RAW
• JPEG Fine
• JPEG Normal
Color space • sRGB
• Adobe RGB
Lens mount • Sony Alpha lenses
(also compatible with Minolta and Konica Minolta AF lenses)
Autofocus • TTL phase dectection
• 9-point
Lens servo • Single-servo AF (AF-S)
• Continuous-servo AF (AF-C)
• Automatic AF-S/AF-C (AF-A)
• Manual focus (M)
AF Area mode • Single-shot
• Automatic
• Continuous AF
AF Assist Pop-up flash strobes
Exposure mode • Programmed auto (P) with flexible program
• Shutter-priority auto (S)
• Aperture priority auto (A)
• Manual (M)
• Auto and 7 scene selection modes
Metering Multi-pattern metering:
• 40 Segment
• Center weighted
• Spot
Exposure compensation • +/- 2.0 EV
• 1/3 EV steps
AE Lock Exposure locked at detected value with AEL button
Sensitivity • Auto
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
• ISO 1600
• ISO 3200
Shutter • Electronically-controlled, vertical-traverse, focal-plane type
• 30 to 1/4000 sec (1/3 EV steps)
White balance • Auto
• Seven manual modes with 7-step fine-tuning
    • Daylight
    • Shade
    • Cloudy
    • Tungsten
    • Fluorescent
    • Flash
• Custom
Image parameters • Preset modes: Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Night view, Sunset, B&W
• Contrast (–3 to +3 steps)
• Saturation (–3 to +3 steps)
• Sharpness (–3 to +3 steps)
• D-Range Optimizer (Off, Standard, Advanced)
Viewfinder • Optical fixed eye-level
• Pentamirror type
• Frame coverage 95% (approx.)
• Viewfinder magnification approx. 0.74x with 50mm lens at infinity; -1.0 m-1
• Spherical Acute Matte focusing screen

• Optical fixed eye-level
• Pentamirror type
• Frame coverage 95% (approx.)
• Viewfinder magnification approx. 0.83x with 50mm lens at infinity; -1.0 m-1
• Spherical Acute Matte focusing screen

LCD monitor • 2.7" tilting TFT LCD
• 230,400 dots
• 2.7" TFT LCD
• 230,400 dots
Live View • Pentamirror tilt system
• 1200-zone evaluative metering
• Frame coverage 90% (approx.)
• Magnification: 1.4x or 2x selectable
• Histogram display, real-time image adjustment display (Exposure compensation, white balance, Sunset/B&W of Creative Style)
Built-in flash • Auto pop-up in Auto
• Guide number approx. 10 at ISO 100
• ±2EV (in 0.3 EV steps)
Flash mode • Auto
• Fill-flash
• Red-eye reduction
• Rear flash sync
• Slow sync
• High speed sync
• Wireless off-camera flash
(with external flash HVL-F58AM, HVL-F56AM, HVL-F42AM, HVL-F36AM, HVL-F20AM)
Continuous shooting • 2.5 fps with viewfinder
2.0 fps with Live View
• JPEG: Limited only by storage
• RAW: Approx. 6 frames
• RAW+JPEG: Approx. 3 frames
• 2.5 fps with viewfinder
• JPEG: Limited only by storage
• RAW: Approx. 6 frames
• RAW+JPEG: Approx. 3 frames
Self-timer 2 or 10 sec
Connectivity • USB 2.0 (Hi-Speed)
• HDMI mini connector (Type C)
Power Lithium-Ion battery pack NP-FH50
Battery life Approx. 500 shots (CIPA standard)
Dimensions Approx. 128.1 x 97.1 x 83.5mm Approx. 128.1 x 97.1 x 79.6 mm
(no batt)
Approx.497 g Approx.456 g

Additional images