Sony A390

Sony Alpha DSLR-A390 front
  • 14MP - APS-C Sensor
  • 2.7" Tilting Screen
  • ISO 100 - 3200
  • Sensor based Image Stabilization
  • No Video
  • Sony/Minolta Alpha Mount
  • 549g - 128 x 97 x 86mm
  • Announced July 2010
  • Earlier Model is Sony A380
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Lenses
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Sony A390 summary

Sony A390 is Sony's Entry-Level DSLR digital camera first announced on July of 2010. The camera includes a 14MP, CCD APS-C sized sensor and has a full resolution of 4592 x 3056.

Sony brought out this model to replace the previous Sony A380 (Read Full Comparison)

The A390 is ranked #46 out of 80 in Entry-Level DSLR cameras and over all #381 out of 1465 for digital cameras in our collection. Please look at our Advanced camera finder to get camera results based on your personalized factors.

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Below is a diagram of different factors used in the rating system.

Sony A390 history

The Sony A390 is part of a family of products. You can see the complete range below.

ModelVisualizeResolutionSensor SizeMax fpsReleased
Sony-SLT-A68 front thumbnailSony A68
A390 vs A68
24MPAPS-C8.0 fps2015
Sony-SLT-A58 front thumbnailSony A58
A390 vs A58
20MPAPS-C8.0 fps2013
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Sony-SLT-A57 front thumbnailSony A57
A390 vs A57
16MPAPS-C12.0 fps2012
Sony-SLT-A37 front thumbnailSony A37
A390 vs A37
16MPAPS-C6.0 fps2012
Sony-SLT-A65 front thumbnailSony A65
A390 vs A65
24MPAPS-C10.0 fps2011
Sony-SLT-A35 front thumbnailSony A35
A390 vs A35
16MPAPS-C6.0 fps2011
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Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A580 front thumbnailSony A580
A390 vs A580
16MPAPS-C7.0 fps2011
Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A560 front thumbnailSony A560
A390 vs A560
14MPAPS-C5.0 fps2010
Sony-SLT-A33 front thumbnailSony A33
A390 vs A33
14MPAPS-C7.0 fps2010
Sony-SLT-A55 front thumbnailSony A55
A390 vs A55
16MPAPS-C10.0 fps2010
Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A390 front thumbnailSony A39014MPAPS-C3.0 fps2010
Samsung Releases Faster Versions of EVO MicroSD Cards
Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A290 front thumbnailSony A290
A390 vs A290
14MPAPS-C3.0 fps2010
Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A450 front thumbnailSony A450
A390 vs A450
14MPAPS-C7.0 fps2010
Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A550 front thumbnailSony A550
A390 vs A550
14MPAPS-C7.0 fps2009
Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A500 front thumbnailSony A500
A390 vs A500
12MPAPS-C5.0 fps2009
Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A380 front thumbnailSony A380
A390 vs A380
14MPAPS-C3.0 fps2009
Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A330 front thumbnailSony A330
A390 vs A330
10MPAPS-C3.0 fps2009
Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A230 front thumbnailSony A230
A390 vs A230
10MPAPS-C3.0 fps2009
Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A200 front thumbnailSony A200
A390 vs A200
10MPAPS-C3.0 fps2008
Japan-exclusive Leica Leitz Phone 3 features big sensor and new modes
Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A350 front thumbnailSony A350
A390 vs A350
14MPAPS-C3.0 fps2008
Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A300 front thumbnailSony A300
A390 vs A300
10MPAPS-C3.0 fps2008
Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A100 front thumbnailSony A100
A390 vs A100
10MPAPS-C3.0 fps2006

Sony A390 Pros and Cons

Below is a shortlist of pluses and minuses of the Sony A390 based on things that are oftentimes regarded as useful in a digital camera.

above average minimum ISO (100)
change lenses (Sony/Minolta Alpha mount)
decent megapixels (14MP)
delivers RAW formats
has built in flash
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
has manual focus
includes HDMI socket
sensor has phase detect AF
sensor size is nice (APS-C)
supports face detect focusing
tilting screen
bad battery life (230 per charge)
can't shoot video
doesn't have headphone socket
doesn't have mic socket
doesn't have Time Lapse recording
does not posses selfie friendly screen
pixelated screen (230 k dots)
screen is small (2.7 inches)
slow continuous shooting (3.0 fps)
Photography Glossary

Sony A390 Sensor specifications

The Sony A390 is run by the Bionz processor chip. The specification of the sensor on the Sony A390 is 23.5mm x 15.7mm (APS-C). The 369 mm² sensor can capture 4592 x 3056 pixels and aspect ratios of 3:2 and 16:9. The camera boasts Image Stabilization (Sensor based). In body stabilization is superior than digital stabilization since the latter may lead to cropping.

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The CCD sensor boasts 14MP and features a standard ISO range of 100 to 3200. RAW format is saved which means that the user has wider margin for error.

The picture below illustrates the A390's sensor dimensions in comparison to other popular sizes. The A390 sensor comes with a crop factor of 1.5 and is presented in green.

Sony Alpha DSLR-A390 sensor size Body cameras now worn by bakery staff to deter stealing

To get a sense of different aspect ratios, you should refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Sony A390 dimensions

Sony A390 has a weight of 1.21 lb (549 gr or 19.37 ounces) and the measurement of the camera is 128mm x 97mm x 86mm (5.0" x 3.8" x 3.4"). The weight of average Entry-Level DSLR camera is 540 gr and the Sony A390 is similar as compared with various competitors.

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Below is a visual of the Sony A390 next to a soft drink to help you to have a sense of its scale.

Sony Alpha DSLR-A390 dimensions scale

The top view here will provide the button layout on the A390.

Sony Alpha DSLR-A390 topview buttons dials

Sony A390 Lens specifications

The A390 fits the Sony/Minolta Alpha mount and has 145 lenses that are available. Below is a few of the lenses we have in our collection which will fit the A390.

ModelVisualizeFocal LengthApertureStabilizedWeight
Schneider-PC-TS-Super-Angulon-2.8-50-HM-Sony-Alpha lensSchneider PC-TS Super-Angulon 2.850 HM50mmf/2.8 1400g
Sigma-APO-Macro-180mm-F2.8-EX-DG-OS-HSM-Sony-Alpha lensSigma APO Macro 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM180mmf/2.8 1640g
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Sony-DT-16-50mm-F2.8-SSM lensSony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM16-50mmf/2.8 577g
Rokinon-85mm-F1.4-Sony-Alpha lensRokinon 85mm F1.485mmf/1.4 539g
Sigma-28mm-F1.8-EX-DG-Aspherical-Macro-Sony-Alpha lensSigma 28mm F1.8 EX DG Aspherical Macro28mmf/1.8 500g
Sigma-10-20mm-F3.5-EX-DC-HSM-Sony-Alpha lensSigma 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM10-20mmf/3.5 520g
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Sigma-120-400mm-F4.5-5.6-DG-HSM-Sony-Alpha lensSigma 120-400mm F4.5-5.6 DG HSM120-400mmf/4.5-5.6 1640g
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Sony A390 Connectivity

The A390 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Digital cameras which include NFC or Bluetooth connectivity are able to be controlled wirelessly with smartphones. You can easily transfer images and at times alter camera settings without connecting physically to the camera.

Many applications even provide a Liveview and release the shutter if you are not near the camera. If the camera has a HDMI out, it can easily be hooked up to an external display. The majority of cameras will allow you to recharge the battery pack using the USB port.

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Sony A390 Video specifications

Sony A390 does not record video. If you are looking for a digital camera to take only photos, this might not be a concern.

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Sony A390 Weather Sealing

There is no environment sealing in the Sony A390 so you need to be careful in rainy and dusty conditions.

Sony A390 Screen and Viewfinder

The Sony A390 includes a 2.7" tilting screen supporting a resolution of 230k dots.

Please be aware that the screen offers no touch support.

Sony Alpha DSLR-A390 screen and viewfinder Samsung Releases Faster Versions of EVO MicroSD Cards

The ViewFinder details regarding Sony A390 are as follows:

  • ViewFinder Optical (pentamirror)
  • Coverage 95 percent
  • Magnification 0.49x

In those bright outdoor conditions which make the camera displays washed out and tricky to view, viewfinders are pretty valuable.

Sony A390 Shutter specifications

Sony A390 can shoot continuously at 3.0 fps. The max shutter speed is 1/4000 sec.

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Sony A390 Flash and Hot shoe specifications

Sony A390 boasts both built-in flash and also external flash support. The maximum flash sync speed is 1/160 sec.

Sony A390 Autofocus specifications

Sony A390 boasts both Phase Detect Autofocus and Contrast Based Autofocus. Phase Detection focusing is more faster and exact when compared to Contrast Based focusing. The camera includes Face detection which is handy for portraits.

The Sensor includes 9 focus points to pick from. Sony A390 boasts manual focusing in case it is needed during low light conditions or you want to have more exact control on focusing.

Photography Glossary

Sony A390 Battery life

The battery life (NP-FH50) in the Sony A390 is made to last for 230 shots as per the CIPA specifications which is lesser when compared to its competitors. The average Entry-Level DSLR camera battery life is 589. Pentax K-x has got the best (1900) battery life within this category of cameras.

Below is a listing of Entry-Level DSLR cameras that have the highest battery life:

ModelVisualizeBattery LifeRAWNFCBluetooth
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Canon-EOS-Rebel-SL3 front thumbnailCanon SL3
A390 vs SL3
1070 yesnoyes

Sony A390 for different categories of photography

The following illustration indicates a rundown of the Sony A390 for different categories of photography. To learn more, check out the specific section below.

Portrait photography with Sony A390

The Sony A390 gets a score of 72 which is above average, meaning that it is a fine option for portraits. Photographing portraits leans heavily to sensor dimensions, support for RAW photos together with the capability to use off-camera lighting.

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manual focus
good MP (14MP)
sensor size is nice (APS-C)
includes face detect autofocus
saves RAW files

Sony A390 as a Street photography camera

Getting a impressive points total of 76, the Sony A390 is a brilliant option for street photography. A very good street photography camera has a fine balance of image quality plus portability.

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tilting screen
built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
nice sensor size (APS-C)
supports RAW files

Sony A390 Sports photography highlights

A reasonable sports photography points total of 60 means the Sony A390 is somewhat suited for photographing sports. A camera really should have fantastic autofocus and fast continuous shooting for sports photography.

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image stabilization (Sensor based)
megapixel count good (14MP)
sensor size is nice (APS-C)
supports phase detect AF
low frames per second (3.0 frames per second)
low battery (230 shots)

Travel photography with Sony A390

Portability is really critical in getting a travel camera. Overall, the Sony A390 gets a modest 53 for a travel camera which makes it relatively suited to take on your travels.

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good resolution (14MP)
flash built-in
missing Time Lapse mode
terrible battery life (230 per charge)
does not offer selfie friendly display

Sony A390 Landscape photography highlights

When you're looking to purchase a digital camera for landscape photography, the most essential factor will be image quality. The Sony A390 with it's above average grade of 61 as a landscape camera is a respectable pick within the current marketplace.

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you can focus manually
change lenses (Sony/Minolta Alpha mount)
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
sensor resolution is decent (14MP)
decent sensor size (APS-C)
delivers RAW formats
screen is small (2.7")
bad battery life (230 CIPA)
missing Timelapse mode

Sony A390 Vlogging highlights

A camera for vlogging really should offer a moving screen, mic input and ideally IBIS. Considering everything, the Sony A390 is not appropriate as a vlog camera as it gets a lousy rating of 9.

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lack of video recording

Sony A390 Alternatives

If you want replacements to the A390, below is a collection of the top scored cameras which fall in to the category of Entry-Level DSLR.

The diagram underneath will give you an overview of the A390 versus it's highest ranked rivals suggested previously.

These are various other cameras you might take a look at as alternative options. To look at a comprehensive comparison, simply click on the "compare" link.

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General Information
Brand Name
Model type
Sony Alpha DSLR-A390
Entry-Level DSLR
Physical type
Compact SLR
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Sensor size
Sensor dimensions
23.5 x 15.7mm
Sensor area
Sensor resolution
14 megapixels
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio
3:2 and 16:9
Peak resolution
4592 x 3056
RAW data
Highest native ISO
Min native ISO
Manual focusing
Touch to focus
AF continuous
Single AF
AF tracking
Selective AF
AF center weighted
Multi area AF
AF live view
Face detection focusing
Contract detection focusing
Phase detection focusing
Total focus points
Lens mount type
Sony/Minolta Alpha
Available lenses
Focal length multiplier
Screen type
Screen size
2.7 inches
Resolution of screen
230k dots
Selfie friendly
Touch display
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
Optical (pentamirror)
Viewfinder coverage
95 percent
Viewfinder magnification
DXO scores
DXO Overall rating
DXO Color Depth rating
DXO Dynamic range rating
DXO Low light rating
Minimum shutter speed
Fastest shutter speed
Continuous shutter rate
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manual mode
Exposure compensation
Custom WB
Image stabilization
Integrated flash
Flash distance
10.00 m (at ISO 100)
Flash modes
Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow Sync, Rear Curtain, Wireless
External flash
WB bracketing
Fastest flash synchronize
AF area
Center weighted
Video features
Highest video resolution
Mic port
Headphone port
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmental sealing
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
549 grams (1.21 pounds)
128 x 97 x 86mm (5.0" x 3.8" x 3.4")
Battery life
230 photos
Form of battery
Battery Pack
Battery ID
Self timer
Yes (2 or 10 sec)
Time lapse feature
Storage type
SD/ SDHC, Memory Stick Pro Duo
Card slots
Launch price