Sony A290 and A390 are familiar dSLRs

Sony's newest dSLRs offer some minimal enhancements.

Lori Grunin Senior Editor / Advice
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
Expertise Photography, PCs and laptops, gaming and gaming accessories
Lori Grunin
Nearly identical to its predecessor, the A230, the A290 has bumped-up resolution, and Sony fixed the problems with the too-low grip. Sony Electronics

Rumors have been floating around the Web about Sony's two new dSLRs, the Alpha DSLR-A290 and DSLR-A390, and I've ignored them because they seemed too boring to be true. Well, Sony officially announced the cameras and it turns out the rumors were true. And still boring.

My review of the A230 says "A modest update over its predecessor, the Sony Alpha DSLR-A200, the Alpha DSLR-A230 offers the same essential feature set in a redesigned body with sufficient quality and performance-enhancing firmware tweaks to merit the term 'upgrade.' And like its predecessor, the result is a generally solid, if not stellar, entry-level dSLR option."

For the Alpha DSLR-A390, Sony fixed the bad grip of the A380. Sony Electronics

History repeats. The A290 bumps up the resolution from about 10 megapixels to 14MP, the same sensor that's in the A380 and A390. It also incorporates a normal grip, rather than the uncomfortable three-quarter-height grip that graced the A230.

But as far as I can tell, the only significant difference between the A390 and the A380 is the improved grip and single-tone body.

The best thing about the A2xx series? The cameras are dirt cheap for dSLRs. The A290 kit (with 18-55mm lens) will run $499.99, which is about $50 more than the current price of the A230 kit. The A390 will be $100 more; you're basically paying for the tilting LCD. The cameras will be available in July.