Sony’s A390 and A290 DLSR cameras have been the subject of rumor, speculation, and leaked information for several months, so it’s a little anticlimactic now that Sony has officially announced the cameras and detailed their specifications. The A290 and A390 are designed to serve as entry-level DSLRs for photographers frustrated with teh limitations of standard point-and-shoot cameras and who want an inexpensive way to get into the world of interchangeable lenses and (when needed) complete manual control of a shot. Both offer a 14.2-megapixel resolution, live view LCD viewfinders, HDMI output, and creative and automatic options that should make the cameras comfortable to users from the point-and-shoot world while easing them into the DSLR universe.
That said, the A290 and A390 are essentially upgrades to Sony’s existing A230 and A380 DLSRs: in addition to the 14.2 megapixel sensor, the cameras feature an updated button layout, 2.7-inch LCD viewfinder (the A390 has a tilt-out display for angled shooting), support for Bravia Sync to connect up to Sony Bravia televisions, the capability to shoot down to ISO 3200, and a new grip design. The cameras feature an Eye-Start autofocus (which kicks in the camera’s autofocus capability when it senses a users has put an eye to the viewfinder), along with a built-in pop-up flash. The cameras also sport an onscreen graphics display to help folks new to the DSLR world understand how shutter speed and aperture adjustments impact their shots.
Sony hasn’t officially announced pricing and availability information, but reports have both the A290 and A390 going on sale in July in the United States, with the A290 starting at $499.99 and the A390 starting at $599.99.