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Sony Alpha 290 Specs and Scores

Storage & Battery
Sony Alpha 290
Alpha 290
Refers to the year this camera was officially made available for sale.
Announcement Date
Refers to the date the manufacturer publicly announced the upcoming release and general specs of this camera.
June 01, 2010
Camera Type
Camera Size
Camera Weight

The Sony Alpha 290 receives a score of 40/100, reflecting its general specifications for a DSLR camera. Announced on June 1, 2010, and released the same year, this camera initially retailed for $499. With dimensions of 128 x 97 x 86mm and a weight of 549g (1.21 lbs), the Alpha 290 offers a compact and lightweight option for photographers.

In today’s market, the Sony Alpha 290 has modest specifications compared to newer models. Despite this, it remains a viable choice for those seeking a budget-friendly, entry-level DSLR camera.

Sony Alpha 290 Overview and Optics

The Sony Alpha 290’s optics score is 46/100. The camera features 14.2 megapixels, a shooting speed of 2.5, and a CCD sensor type. The processor is Bionz, and the DXOMARK score for the sensor is 66. The sensor size is APS-C, with a Sony Alpha DT lens mount. Image stabilization is available, and the aspect ratio is 3:2.

When comparing these specifications to current market offerings, the Sony Alpha 290 falls short. The 14.2-megapixel count is low, with modern cameras boasting higher resolutions. The shooting speed of 2.5 is also below average, as faster shooting speeds are now common. The CCD sensor type is outdated, with many cameras using CMOS sensors for better image quality and low-light performance.

The Sony Alpha 290’s optics may not be competitive in today’s market. Its low megapixel count, slow shooting speed, and outdated sensor type limit its appeal. However, the inclusion of image stabilization and a 3:2 aspect ratio are positive aspects of this camera.

The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
14.2 MP
Image Resolution
Image resolution is measured in pixels and megapixels, width by height. The higher the number, the higher its resolution.
4592 x 3056 px
Sensor Type
The camera sensor captures light and records the image. Sensors vary in physical size, the number of pixels, and quality.
Sensor Size
The sensor size contributes to the overall quality as well as the dynamic and tonal range a camera can capture. As a rule of thumb, the more surface there is to read the light, the more information it will capture.
15.8 x 23.6 mm
Sensor Format
Refers to the most commonly used sensor sizes.
Frame Rate
The number of sequential frames per second the camera can write to the memory card when shooting in burst or continuous mode.
2.5 fps
Lens Mount
The lens mount will tell you what type of lens range you can fit onto the camera body. Often the same camera company will have different lens ranges for different cameras.
Sony Alpha DT
Image Processor
The image processor in the camera converts the information collected on the sensor for digital storage on the memory card.
Aspect Ratio
The aspect ratio refers to the proportional difference between width and height. The most popular aspect ratios are 3:2 and 4:3.
Minimum ISO (Native)
Refers to the lowest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Lower ISO are less sensitive to light but make a cleaner image.
Maximum ISO (Native)
Refers to the highest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Higher ISO is necessary for low-light situations or night photography, but higher ISOs often introduce grain or noise.
Minimum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Maximum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Minimum Shutter Speed
The minimum shutter speed will tell you the longest exposure your camera can take without using an external accessory.
30 s
Maximum Shutter Speed
The maximum shutter speed tells you the length inside 1 second the camera will capture. These can sometimes be extended with accessories such as extra external batteries.
1/ 4000 s
Autofocus Points
Autofocus points show where the camera is focusing graphically as squares or brackets in Live View or on an electronic viewfinder. These points are also used for light meter readings.
In-body Stabilization
In-body Stabilization means the camera has a certain technology embedded that counteracts camera shake.
Viewfinder Type
The viewfinder type is either electronic or optical. Electronic viewfinders will have a small screen in the viewfinder. Optical viewfinders will use prisms and mirrors to look through the lens.
Optical (pentamirror)

Sony Alpha 290 Video Performance

The Sony Alpha 290 lacks video capabilities. This camera focuses solely on photography, not offering any video recording options.

Indicates if this camera is capable of recording video.
Time-Lapse Built In
A built in time-lapse mode will allow continuous shooting throughout a prolonged period of time to be compressed into a sped up video.

Sony Alpha 290 Features and Benefits

The Sony Alpha 290 receives a feature score of 34 out of 100. This camera is equipped with a 2.7-inch screen, which has a resolution of 230,400 dots. The screen is not a touchscreen, but it does have a flip screen for added versatility. However, the camera lacks modern connectivity options such as GPS, WiFi, and Bluetooth.

In today’s market, the Sony Alpha 290 falls short in terms of features when compared to other cameras. The absence of a touchscreen and the low screen resolution make the camera less user-friendly. Additionally, the lack of GPS, WiFi, and Bluetooth capabilities limits its practicality for sharing and transferring photos.

The Sony Alpha 290’s features may not be sufficient for those seeking a camera with modern capabilities and seamless connectivity. However, the flip screen offers a degree of flexibility for those who prioritize composition and framing.

Built-in Flash
A built-in flash will often be positioned right above the lens. This will automatically pop up when you activate it.
External Flash
External flashes are often connected through a hot shoe at the top of a camera, or a cable at the side of the camera.
GPS features in a camera will include location metadata to each of your photographs.
Weather Sealing
Weather sealing capabilities will give you more confidence when shooting in unfavourable conditions.
Screen Type
Touch Screen
Touchscreen allows you to change camera settings and access menus with a swipe of your finger, instead of using buttons.
Screen Size
Screen Resolution
Screen dots indicate the resolution of the LCD screen by including each sub pixel.
230,400 dots
Flip Screen
A flip screen (or articulating screen) is a second screen which can flip out from the side or top of the camera. This rotating screen allows you more freedom to take photos at different angles.
Live View
Live View feature allows you to see a continuous live video of what is being seen through your lens.
Bluetooth capabilities allow you wireless control of your camera with other external devices.

Sony Alpha 290 Storage and Battery

The Sony Alpha 290 receives a storage and battery score of 16/100. It offers one memory card slot, supporting SD/SDHC and Memory Stick Pro Duo/Pro-HG Duo cards. While these formats are widely available, cameras today often feature multiple slots for added convenience and storage capacity.

The Alpha 290’s battery life allows for 290 shots per charge, using the NP-FH50 battery type. This falls short compared to modern cameras, which boast longer battery life. Additionally, the camera lacks USB charging capabilities, limiting its flexibility for on-the-go users.

Considering these storage and battery specifications, the Sony Alpha 290 lags behind in today’s competitive camera market.

Storage and Battery
Storage and Battery
Memory Card
SD / SDHC, Memory Stick Pro Duo / Pro-HG Duo
Dual Memory Card Slots
Battery Type
Battery Life
Approximately how long this cameras battery will last measured by how many photographs you will be able to take.
290 shots
USB Charging
Sensor scores tested by DXOMARK
Overall Score
DXOMARK overall sensor score.
Portrait (Color Depth)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Portrait score in our camera sensor reviews defines color depth performance and its unit is a number of bits. A color depth of 22 bits is excellent; differences below 1 bit are barely noticeable.'
22.6 bits
Landscape (Dynamic Range)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Landscape score in our camera sensor tests defines the maximum dynamic range of the camera sensor and its unit is an exposure value (EV). A value of 12 EV is excellent with differences below 0.5 EV usually not noticeable.'
11.5 EVs
Sports (Low-Light ISO)
Described by DXOMARK as 'The maximal value of ISO sensitivity needed to reach a given value of Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR). The greater the value, the better'
User Scores
B&H photo video

Sony Alpha 290 Alternatives

Do you want to know how the Sony Alpha 290 compares to its competitors? Try our camera comparison tool to compare specs side by side! If you’re not sure where to start, have a look at some popular comparisons for inspiration:

Sony Alpha 290 photographed on a colored background

Sony Alpha 290 FAQ

Does the Sony Alpha 290 Have Built-in Image Stabilization?

Yes, the Sony Alpha 290 features built-in image stabilization, which helps reduce camera shake and blur in photos, ensuring sharper images in various shooting conditions.

Does the Sony Alpha 290 Support 4K Video Recording?

The Sony Alpha 290 does not support 4K video recording, as it is primarily a still photography camera and lacks advanced video functionality.

What Size Sensor Does The Sony Alpha 290 Have?

The Sony Alpha 290 is equipped with an APS-C sized sensor, which is a popular sensor size in many DSLR and mirrorless cameras, providing good image quality and low-light performance.

Does the Sony Alpha 290 Have a Dual Memory Card Slot?

No, the Sony Alpha 290 features a single memory card slot, which supports Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, and SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards.

Does the Sony Alpha 290 Have a Touch Screen?

No, the Sony Alpha 290 does not have a touch screen. It features a 2.7-inch LCD screen for image composition and reviewing, but it is not touch-sensitive.

Does the Sony Alpha 290 Have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth?

The Sony Alpha 290 does not have built-in Wi-Fi or Bluetooth capabilities, which means wireless transfer of images and remote control are not available with this camera.

Does the Sony Alpha 290 Have GPS?

No, the Sony Alpha 290 does not have built-in GPS functionality for geotagging images or tracking shooting locations.

Is the Sony Alpha 290 Weather Sealed?

No, the Sony Alpha 290 is not weather-sealed, so it is not recommended to use the camera in harsh weather conditions without appropriate protection.

Does the Sony Alpha 290 Have a Built-in Flash?

Yes, the Sony Alpha 290 has a built-in flash, which is useful for providing additional light in low-light situations or as a fill-flash for backlit subjects.

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