The Sony Alpha A290 Digital SLR with 18-55mm Lens is a compact DSLR designed around a 14.2 (effective) megapixel APS-C format CCD sensor that utilizes a Sony BIONZ image processor to capture and process image files as RAW, JPEG, or RAW+JPEG at speeds of up to 2.5 frames-per-second. The Alpha A290 features the smallest and lightest body of any Sony Alpha series camera for improved portability, as well as an intuitive button layout that allows for easy single-handed operation. Files can be stored onto Memory Stick PRO Duo or SD/SDHC memory cards.
For indoor snapshots or eliminating 'raccoon eyes' when shooting portraits outdoors on sunny days, the Alpha A290 has a built-in pop-up flash (guide number 10 in meters @ ISO 100). There's also a hot-shoe for use with Sony dedicated TTL flashguns and other Sony-compatible flashguns.
For composing images the A290's eye-level pentamirror viewfinder shows 95% of the total image area. A rear-mounted 2.7" TFT Clear Photo LCD allows you to review the images you just photographed.
To facilitate sharp, well-exposed images, the Sony Alpha A290 utilizes a 9-point autofocus (AF) system that can be used in single or multi-shot mode. There's also an 'eye-start' mode which kick-starts the AF system when you raise the camera to your eye. For on-the-nose exposure readings the A290 features a 40-segment honeycomb-pattern SPC TTL metering system and Sony's D-Range Optimizer for balanced shadow and highlight details.
Other features of the Sony Alpha A290 include a Dust Reduction system, ISO settings that can be adjusted from a native 100 through an extended ISO 3200, a wide selection of shooting modes, an easy-to-read, easy-to-use menu interface, on-screen help guide and Sony SteadyShot INSIDE image stabilization system for sharper imagery when shooting under low-light conditions with all Sony, Minolta, and Konica AF-mount lenses.
The included Sony SAL-1855 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 DT AF Lens has an equivalent focal length of 27-82.5mm in the 35mm/full frame standard. This is the perfect starter lens allowing you to shoot close-up and distance subjects. The Sony Alpha A290 powers off a Sony NP-FH50 lithium-ion battery, which can capture 500-plus images per charge.
- 14.2 Megapixel CCD Sensor
- A 14.2 (effective) megapixel APS-C format CCD imaging sensor captures sharp images capable of producing detailed, poster-size prints
- BIONZ Image Processor
- The advanced BIONZ image processor uses hardware-based Large Scale Integrated (LSI) circuitry to enhance images with rich tonal reproduction, reduced noise, and improved white balance and exposure control, for clear, sharp photos even at high sensitivity settings.
- 2.7" TFT Photo Clear LCD
- Review your images and monitor camera settings on the large 2.7" (diag.) Clear Photo LCD Plus display, which provides sharp, clear viewing, even in outdoor environments.
- Fast 9-Point AF System
- 9-Point Center Cross AF Sensor with improved focus control to help bring images into sharp definition more quickly, and predictive focus control automatically calculates the position of fast-moving subjects.
- Eye-Start Autofocus
- Eye-Start Autofocus System begins precision autofocus adjustments the moment you raise the camera to your eye, so the camera is ready to catch the perfect moment.
- High Sensitivity (ISO 3200)
- A broad sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200 enables you to capture beautiful color images even in very dim light -- with High ISO Noise Reduction technology that reduces picture noise artifacts at high-sensitivity ISO 1600 and ISO 3200 settings by eliminating noise from RAW data after analog-to-digital conversion.
- Dynamic Range Optimizer
- Dynamic Range Optimizer provides two levels - Standard/Plus to improve results with backlit subjects and recover details hidden in shadows or lost in glare. Normal DRO improves detail using standard gamma curves for fast shot-to-shot response time, while Advanced DRO adjusts dynamic range area-by-area for greater accuracy.
- 2.5 fps Continuous Shooting
- Continuous Shooting lets you shoot at up to 2.5 fps while viewing your subject through the optical viewfinder so you never lose track of the action.
- SteadyShot INSIDE In-camera Image Stabilization
- SteadyShot INSIDE in-camera image stabilization is built into each camera body, so every a-mount lens benefits from the ability to minimize blur due to camera shake.
- Creative Style Settings
- Creative Style settings give you control over how the camera processes your images. Choose from 8 finishing styles, including Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Night View, Sunset, B&W, and Adobe RGB, and fine tune them to your personal taste with the ability to adjust contrast, saturation, and sharpness settings.
- Scene Selection Modes
- Scene Selection Modes optimize camera settings for different shooting situations. Just turn the Mode Dial to select from Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports, Sunset, and Night View modes.
- Dual Slot Compatibility for Memory
- The camera is compatible with high-capacity Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo and SD/SDHC media (sold separately) for convenient storage and sharing of your images.
- Smart Teleconverter 2X Digital Zoom
- Smart Teleconverter 2X Digital Zoom lets you zoom in electronically on your subject and it reproduces pixels on a 1:1 basis so there's no degradation in picture quality. One touch zooms in at 1.4X, while the second touch advances to 2X zoom -- creating the 35mm equivalent of a telephoto effect with the camera's standard 18-55mm optical zoom lens.
- Anti-Dust Technology
- Anti-Dust Technology helps keep the CCD imager clean, resulting in consistently better pictures, by utilizing a static-free anti-dust coating on the CCD filter, as well as an anti-dust vibration that automatically shakes the CCD to help dislodge dust each time the camera is shut off.
- Integrated On-screen Help Guide
- Integrated on-screen Help Guide and Graphic Display help take the complexity out of DSLR photography. The Help Guide offers clear, concise explanations of various modes and settings, while the graphic display helps you understand the relationship between aperture and shutter speed, as well as the effect each has on photographic results.
- Function Guide Display
- Function Guide Display provides intuitive and easy to use on-screen menus that can be activated and operated with one hand using the Fn (Function) button and controller button to adjust Flash mode, Autofocus mode, White Balance, Metering mode, AF area and D-Range Optimizer.
- Built-in Pop-Up Flash
- The Auto Pop-Up Flash automatically pops up and fires as needed when the camera is set to certain scene selection modes, helping first-time DSLR photographers shoot more effectively. In addition, the A290 features an integrated hot shoe, which lets you expand your lighting options with a range of accessory flashes (sold separately).
- Lightweight and Stylish Body
- The DSLR-A290 features a stylish, modern design with an intuitive button layout for easier operation. In addition, the lightweight body and revised grip make the camera more comfortable to hold and carry.
- Stamina Battery Power
- Stamina Battery power allows you to take up to 500 shots on a fully charged NP-FM50 InfoLITHIUM battery when using the optical viewfinder mode, and you'll be able to see how much power remains in percentage increments, so you can keep shooting in confidence.
- Index and Slide Show Display
- Index and Slide Show Display enable you to quickly review your photos using 4, 9 or 25-frame index views, or as an automatic slide show with fade-in/fade-out effect.
- PhotoTV HD Compatibility
- PhotoTV HD compatibility lets you automatically create high-resolution thumbnails optimized for viewing on a compatible Sony BRAVIA HDTV.
- HDMI Terminal and BRAVIA Sync Compatibility
- An HDMI terminal gives you the option of connecting your camera to a compatible HDTV and playing back your images in stunning high definition quality (HDMI cable required, sold separately). In addition, BRAVIA Sync works with compatible Sony BRAVIA HDTVs to let you control camera playback using the television's remote (HDMI cable and BRAVIA Sync capable HDTV required, sold separately).