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Big and sturdy

Top controls

Back controls

Transformer-like LCD

Ports and connectors

Focus modes

Though it's actually lighter than its competitors, the A77V is still a relatively heavy camera, especially when equipped with the also-heavy 16-50mm lens. The built-in flash is one of the better implementations I've seen; though it seems to overexpose by default, it delivers even coverage.

One of the few annoyances I have with the design is the placement of the preview button, which you can see just below the lens. I accidentally press it on a regular basis.

Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Sarah Tew/CNET
1
of 6

Big and sturdy

Top controls

Back controls

Transformer-like LCD

Ports and connectors

Focus modes

As per Sony's usual design, the mode dial sits on the left shoulder. It has the usual selection of manual, semimanual, and automatic modes, plus a Memory Recall (MR) mode that holds three custom settings; dedicated movie mode, which allows manual adjustment of aperture and shutter speed; Continuous Advance Priority autoexposure mode, which fixes the exposure for a 12fps burst; and Sweep and 3D Sweep Panorama.

On the top right are direct-access controls for ISO sensitivity, exposure compensation, white balance and burst modes, plus a somewhat awkwardly placed button for switching manually between the EVF and LCD. In the center is the excellent built-in stereo microphone and hot shoe.

Zoom photo.

Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Sarah Tew/CNET
2
of 6

Big and sturdy

Top controls

Back controls

Transformer-like LCD

Ports and connectors

Focus modes

On the back, almost of the controls are reachable via your right thumb. The most important ones--AF/MF override, AE lock, movie record, quick adjustment menu access (Fn), and the navigation joystick--are positioned for easy reach without contortion.

Maybe it's my lack of gaming experience, but I find most joystick navigation controls on cameras awkward and imprecise to use. I've gotten used to them on some cameras, but I never really enjoy using them. The A77's is no exception.

Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Sarah Tew/CNET
3
of 6

Big and sturdy

Top controls

Back controls

Transformer-like LCD

Ports and connectors

Focus modes

Sony created a fairly complex mechanism to enable its LCD to tilt as well as swivel. It's really useful, though I can never get it into the position I want quickly because of all the different twists and turns.
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Sarah Tew/CNET
4
of 6

Big and sturdy

Top controls

Back controls

Transformer-like LCD

Ports and connectors

Focus modes

Ports and connectors include flash sync and wired remote terminals, mic jack, and HDMI and USB.

Zoom image.

Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Sarah Tew/CNET
5
of 6

Big and sturdy

Top controls

Back controls

Transformer-like LCD

Ports and connectors

Focus modes

The focus-mode dial offers manual, single, continuous, and automatic AF options; it's large and prominently placed, but difficult to operate without looking at it.

Zoom image.

Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Sarah Tew/CNET
6
of 6
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