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Sony Alpha SLT-A55V photos

The A55V operates and feels very much like a dSLR, with the notable exception of the viewfinder; while it has a very nice EVF, it's not the same as an optical viewfinder.

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Lori Grunin
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1 of 7 Sarah Tew/CNET

Traditional body design

Unsurprisingly, the A55V looks, feels, and operates much like Sony's traditional dSLR models--a bit clunky, but functional.
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2 of 7 Sarah Tew/CNET

AF switch

Sony uses a large, unmissable switch for toggling between manual and autofocus. It'd be nice if the AF options--continuous, single, and auto--were available here as well rather than in the interactive control panel.
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3 of 7 Sarah Tew/CNET

Tilt/swivel display

While I tend to prefer flip-out LCDs, the flip-down-and-twist model on the A55V comes in very handy for overhead and waist-level shooting.
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4 of 7 Sarah Tew/CNET

Top controls

Maybe it's just me, but wouldn't a direct control for metering be more useful than for the D-Range Optimizer?
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5 of 7 Sarah Tew/CNET

Mode dial

The A55V's relatively sparse mode dial contains the usual PASM, auto, flash off, and scene modes, as well as the new Auto+ a late-to-the-party automatic scene selection mode; 10fps Continuous Advance Priority AE mode; and Sony's Sweep Panorama mode.
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6 of 7 Sarah Tew/CNET

Features

As the "V" in the model name indicates, the A55V includes a built-in GPS for geotagging photos. It can add location metadata for video, but it's only accessible from within the bundled PMB software. You can also see one of the stereo mics on the side of the EVF.
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7 of 7 Sarah Tew/CNET

Back controls

Unsurprisingly, the controls on the A55V are the same as on Sony's dSLRs. The Fn button pulls up an interactive display where you can set drive, flash, autofocus mode and area, face detection and smile shutter, ISO sensitivity, metering, flash compensation, DRO/Auto HDR, and Creative Style. The AF button initiates autofocus.

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