Sony SLT-A55V Review
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Sony Alpha A55 Design
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Sony A55 Front. Only a couple of controls are to be found on the front of the Sony A55. These include the Control dial at the top of the handgrip, the Lens Release button just to the right of the lens mount, and the Depth of Field Preview button at the lower left of the lens mount. The short vertical plastic strip in the handgrip hides a self-timer lamp at its lower end, and also conceals the infrared receiver for use with an optional remote control.
Sony A55 Left Side. This side includes a button to raise the built-in flash strobe, a focus mode selector switch that's only functional when the lens attached to the camera doesn't have its own duplicate switch, the left-hand microphone on the side of the viewfinder / flash housing, and three compartment doors behind which the microphone jack, wired remote, HDMI, and USB connectors can be found.
Sony A55 Right Side. From this angle, the Sony A55 is free of controls, with the only notable feature being the right-hand microphone on the viewfinder / flash housing. You can also see the diopter adjustment dial, tucked just inside the bottom of the viewfinder eyecup.
Sony A55 Top. Many of the A55's controls are to be found on its top panel. These include the power switch, shutter button, and mode dial, as well as D-Range button (which accesses dynamic range expansion and high dynamic range-mode options), and a Finder / LCD button (which switches between using the electronic viewfinder, or the rear-panel LCD display). The A55 can also switch between displays automatically, using a proximity sensor located just below the viewfinder eyepiece; it isn't possible to use both displays at once. Angled for good visibility either from above or behind the camera are four more buttons -- the Menu, Movie shutter, Exposure Compensation, and Auto Exposure Lock buttons, respectively..
Sony A55 Back. The rear panel of the Sony A55 is dominated by a 3.0-inch, 921,600 dot LCD display mounted on a mechanism that allows it to be tilted downwards 180 degrees, and swiveled 270 degrees. Controls on the camera's rear include a four-way controller with central OK button, as well as the Function, Playback, and Delete buttons. The Function button calls up a Function menu, providing quick access to adjust common exposure variables. With space at a premium, the four-way controller and OK button are only labeled with their Record mode functions, with it being left to common sense (or reading the manual) to ascertain that it's also used to make menu selections, browse captured images and movies in playback mode, and pan the image when using playback zoom.
Sony A55 Bottom. There's not a lot to see on the base of the Sony A55, beyond the metal tripod mount (centered on the lens' axis), and the battery / flash card compartment door. The door contains a small cutout flap that provides an entry point for the optional AC adapter's dummy battery cable. The single flash card slot is dual-format, accepting either Secure Digital or Memory Stick PRO Duo media. SD cards are inserted with their electrical contacts facing the front of the camera, and Memory Stick PRO Duo cards with their contacts facing the rear. A card access lamp is just barely visible immediately above the left-hand end of the LCD display in the picture above.
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Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.