Summary: The Sony A390 is worth a look if price means everything to you, but there are definitely better DSLRs on the market, and in this case it's probably worth spending a little more on something like the Canon EOS 1100D. Sure, in some ways the Sony has more to offer – the tilting screen for instance – but the Canon has it firmly beat when it comes to image quality.
Summary: The Sony Alpha 390 isn't a bad camera as such, but there are so many better options on the market that it is hard to recommend. Ultimately, so little has changed compared to its predecessor that its specifications and performance do now look very out of date. The A390 has some cool tricks up its sleeve in the form of SteadyShot INSIDE and DR+, but they aren't enough to make it stand out from its DSLR and mirrorless competitors.
Pros: Good RAW resolution, Reliable metering (most of the time - see 'cons'), Fastest AF in live view among 'traditional' DSLRs (but see disadvantages below), Coherent ergonomics for live view operation, Much improved handgrip over A380 (but still less comfortable than A350), Probably the easiest DSLR to use for a compact camera user, Tilting screen useful for over-head or waist-level shooting (not in portrait orientation though), Effective image stabilization system (Stead...
Cons: Soft JPEGs at all ISO settings, High ISO performance not on the same level as direct competitors, Smallest viewfinder of any APS-C DSLR, Protruding screen obstructs use of viewfinder, especially if you're wearing glasses, Limited external controls, No on-screen user interface for changing of shooting parameters, Sometimes convoluted operation (AF-point selection, index-view), No magnification and only 95% frame coverage in live view make precise framing and selective ...
Sony's DSLR-A390 captures clear and vibrant images, but doesn't feel good to use
Good Gear Guide.au
20 November 2010
Summary: Sony's DLSR-A390 is capable of capturing vibrant and clear images, but its body could use some work. For starters, we'd like a dedicated button for the flash and for zooming in on photos in playback mode, and it's awkward to change the aperture in manual mode. The camera also lacks video mode. If you don't care about video and just want a good quality D-SLR, then the DSLR-A390 is worth considering, but it will take time to get used to it.
Pros: Good clarity, vibrant images, menu system provides helpful hints, uses SD in addition to Memory Stick Pro Duo, ships with good quality 55-200mm lens, good Live View implementation
Cons: Feels uncomfortable, needs more and better placed buttons, no video mode