Average Camera Review Rating [6 reviews]
On June 9 2010, Sony announced two new DSLR cameras
- the Sony Alpha A290 is an entry-level DSLR camera that is similar to the existing A230 and A330 models. The Sony Alpha A390 is replacing the existing A380 model. Both cameras features a resolution of 14.2 Megapixels for low-noise images and A390 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 A290 is the most affordable new DSLR from Sony, it comes with a compact body that weighs just 456g (excluding battery and media).
Both cameras feature an attractive new grip design that allows more comfortable handling. Upper control areas of both models have also been revised with a clear, uncluttered new button layout. Both new cameras will ship from July 2010. With an 18-55mm kit lens included, pricing is set at about $500 for the Sony Alpha DSLR-A290, or $600 for the Sony Alpha DSLR-A390. Here is the summary of a review by TechRadar, giving the camera a rating of 3 out of 5:
"The image quality is good, but there's no sign that the A390's 14-megapixel sensor resolves significantly more detail than a 12-megapixel APS-C sensor. At a pixel level, detail is slightly unsharp, and doesn't improve noticeably if you shoot RAW and process images in Sony's own Image Data Converter or Adobe Camera Raw. Images sharpen up pretty well in software, but there would still be little point in choosing the A390 on the basis of megapixels alone. The metering system is good, though. Unlike many D-SLRs, the multi-pattern metering system doesn't favour shadows at the expense of highlights. Instead, it achieves a good balance between light and dark, and in high-contrast lighting Sony's D-Range Optimiser successfully brings shadow tones and highlights closer together without producing unrealistic-looking images. It's a shame you have to estimate the level to apply manually, though, and that there isn't some kind of automatic option. The white balance is good too, though there is a slight shift towards green if you use Adobe Camera Raw to process its RAW files (that's an ACR trait rather than the camera's).
In fact, Sony's own Image Data Converter is a very good alternative to Adobe Camera Raw. It's a bit slower to use, but much more faithful to the camera's own colour rendition and picture styles and has a decent set of image enhancement tools. The high-ISO performance of Sony's 14-megapixel NEX-5 was impressive, but that used a CMOS sensor. The A390, which uses a CCD, is alright up to ISO400, but at ISO800 colour noise creeps in, and while ISO1600 is acceptable, ISO3200 is a step too far, with blotchy colour noise, over-processed edges and smoothed-over textures.
The A390 is a decent enough camera for the money, but its build, finish and general lack of refinement are a constant reminder that it's a budget model. It's so similar to the A380 you wonder why Sony bothered launching a new version. Sony should be worrying about the latest hybrids, like Panasonic's G-series cameras and the Samsung NX10, which are smaller, lighter, nicer to use and offer full-time Live View (with smooth and responsive AF) and HD movies. Sony's been making D-SLRs for a while now, and it's surprising it hasn't progressed further. You get the feeling it's devoting attention to marketing existing camera technologies rather than developing new ones."
Sony Alpha DSLR-A390 Camera Reviews Roundup
|NeutralDay: "We'll have a brief review of the Sony A390 (and the A290 as well) posted soon, but in the meantime we're posting the good stuff, ISO and image samples. A more detailed analysis will be included in the review, but our basic feeling is the A390 delivers average image quality for a DSLR, the 14.2 megapixels do deliver detail, but RAW files and especially JPEGs will be needing sharpening in post processing. Meanwhile, I..." - Oct 15 2010 More »||N/A|
|Photography BLOG: "The Sony A390 represents one of the most minor upgrades that we've ever seen, effectively adding a better handgrip to last year's model. The A380 didn't really add much to the A350 model that it replaced, so the 2010 Sony A390 is effectively still using 2008's technology, and is subsequently looking dated compared to the competition. The Sony A390 still doesn't offer HD video like those rivals - quickly it seem..." - Sep 13 2010 More »|
|ePhotoZine: "As manufacturers squeeze more and more pixels into the same space, this reduces each pixels surface area to react with the light forming each image, which in turn generally results in more noise in the final image at high sensitivities. Great advances have been made in the past few years in terms of noise performance, although most of the class leaders in this respect utilise CMOS sensor technology, rather than CCD..." - Aug 09 2010 More »|
|dpreview: "The Sony Alpha 390 is a minor upgrade to its predecessor, and ultimately, the new model can be safely summarised as 'the same camera with a new grip'. As far as its performance and image quality are concerned, the A390 is an exact match for its predecessors, which is to say that it was fairly respectable two years ago but now sits towards the bottom end of its large group of competitors. In essence, the A390 is a de..." - Jul 28 2010 More »|
Sony Alpha DSLR-A390 Reviews Roundup [Total 6 Reviews] »
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