June 10, 2010: Remember when Sony waited a full 18 months to introduce a new dSLR after releasing the A100? Now it seems they seldom wait more than 18 days before releasing a new model. Okay, that may be a slight exaggeration, but the Sony dSLR factory will soon be cranking out two new entry-level models: the A290 and A390.
Sony is aiming the new A-mount cameras at first time dSLR users, and the specs are similar to earlier Alpha starter dSLRs. The new cameras are obviously closely related, the principle difference being the tilting live view system on the A390.
Both cameras will use a 14.2 megapixel sensor, and they include the usual Sony Alpha feature set: Steady Shot image stabilization, Sony and Minolta A-mount lens compatibility, pop-up flash and 9-point auotfocus system.
A couple of things set the new modles apart from earlier editions. There is a new grip design, which Sony claims is more comfortable to use. in addition, both cameras include HDMI output and BRAVIA Sync, so you can view images on your big-screen television if you are so inclined.
Because Sony is targeting first time dSLR buyers with these cameras, both models include Sony’s on-screen Help Guide and Graphic Display program.
The tilting live-view follows the design first offered in the A350 and A300.
Sony of Europe has announced that the A290 and A390 will be available in Summer 2010. Will the new cameras be sold in the United States? So far, there is no mention of the new cameras on Sony’s US web site. The Sony A450, profiled here some months back, has been on the market for several months…but it is not sold in the US.
Will Sony offer the A290/A390 in the USA? Or do they have something else in mind?