Sony Alpha a390 Brief Review


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  • 14.2 megapixels
  • CCD sensor
  • 2.5 fps continuous shooting
  • 2.7" Tilt-and-swivel LCD monitor
  • Fast autofocus even in live view
  • Captures to SD/SDHC memory cards
  • Release Date: 2010-07-09
  • Final Grade: 83 4.15 Star Rating: Recommended

Sony Alpha a390
14.2 megapixels; CCD sensor; 2.5 fps continuous shooting; 2.7" Tilt-and-swivel LCD monitor; Fast autofocus even in live view; Captures to SD/SDHC memory cards
By , Last updated on: 9/29/2014

Released alongside the $100-cheaper A290, the Sony A390 is one of the least exciting upgrades we’ve seen in a long while. The only difference between this model and the A380 it replaces are a slightly larger handgrip and a re-positioned shutter button. This is not to say it doesn’t have its charms: the A390 is one of the few dSLRs on the market with a speedy autofocus in live view. A tilt-swivel LCD makes the live view that much more useful. Unfortunately, the 14.2 megapixel sensor doesn’t compete with the best of the 12 and 15 megapixel sensors by Sony and Canon. JPEGs are soft throughout the range and the optical viewfinder is the smallest on the market. The live view mode is also incredibly battery-hungry; expect no more than 300 shots before needing to recharge. It's a cheap camera, yes, but you can do much better for just a few more bucks, even within Sony's range now that the A33 and A55 SLT models have been released.

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Sony Reviews

Sony has been at the forefront of the market for consumer electronics for the past 30 years by offering innovative imaging products in response to changes in the market. Sony has made cameras that are ideal for casual users, hobbyists, and professional photographers through their dedication to implementing the most current technology with a sleek and minimal style, resulting in an end result of the highest quality.

Sony was the first to put a full-frame sensor inside of a mirrorless camera, the A7 and A7R, and a little later, the A7S. While the first-of-its-kind cameras aren't without flaws, Sony executed their ideas fairly well and made some pretty solid cameras to start the new line.

Speaking of first-of-its kind, Sony also designed a “camera-without-a-camera,” the QX10 and QX100. These cameras have a sensor and lens, but no operating system—instead, consumers use their smartphone via wi-fi or NFC to operate the camera. While the cameras certainly have flaws (mainly in the slow response due to operating through wi-fi), we still have to applaud Sony for the way they've responded to the rise in smartphone photography (plus the cameras have actually sold remarkably well).

Sony has also been highly successful with the RX compact camera line that began with the RX100, a compact camera with a 1” sensor, excellent image quality and full manual modes. The camera has since seen some solid updates, and remains a good option. Sony also added the RX10, a camera with a 1” sensor but instead of focusing on compact size, adds a much bigger zoom.

While their focus is on more advanced models, it’s usually a pretty safe bet to pick up a Sony compact, even a budget priced one, and still get a lot of bang for your buck. We're also big fans of Sony's designs, making their cameras easy to use and adjust, like the HX400 that has an automatic sensor on the electronic viewfinder as well as a control ring around the lens.

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