On Wednesday, Sony announced two new additions to the company’s Alpha D-SLR line.
Both cameras will feature a 14.2-megapixel image sensor that is APS-C size (23.5 mm by 15.7mm). Since the image sensors use the cheaper CCD sensors, both cameras are priced under $600 (with lens), as opposed to more expensive D-SLRs which use CMOS sensors.
First up is the new Sony Alpha A290; based on the photos and specifications, it looks very similar to the $450 Sony Alpha A230, with a 2.7-inch LCD, 9 focus points, HDMI out, and storage via SDHC and USB memory sticks. The most noticeable difference is the bump from 10.2 to 14.2 megapixels. Like the A230, the A290 will include a 18-55mm lens but sell for $499.99. Sony will also continue to sell the A230.
Sony’s A390, meanwhile, will replace the A380. This new camera is nearly identical to the A290 but adds two features; the first, and most obvious, is that its 2.7-inch LCD is mounted on an arm that tilts up and down.
The other feature that differentiates the A390 is that while shooting in live view (a mode which uses the LCD as a viewfinder) the A390 has a second image sensor dedicated to autofocus. This allows autofocus in Live View to be as fast as autofocusing while using the optical viewfinder. (For more on this exclusive feature only found in Sony D-SLRs, read our Sony A550 D-SLR review). The Sony A390 D-SLR with sell for $599.99 with an 18-55mm lens.