Sony Alpha A77 review
Sony Alpha A77 review - Design
Compared to the original Alpha A700, the Alpha A77 looks a sleeker affair thanks to a more refined, sculptured body. With the absence of a pentaprism, it appears to be much more lower-slung than both the Alpha A700 and its rivals. While it's a touch squatter than both the Canon EOS 7D and Nikon D300s, it's larger than the D7000.
The chassis of the Alpha A77 is constructed from tough magnesium, but most of the exterior is coated in a high-impact plastic with a high-end splatter effect. Don't be put off by the plastic skin of the Alpha A77 - while metal would have been preferred, it still feels very solid in the hand. The handgrip underlines this feeling - its large and nicely sculptured, with a pleasing rubberised coating that runs round to the rear of the camera. Key buttons and controls that are dotted round the body are also protected from dust and moisture.
As you'd expect for a camera aimed more towards the enthusiast, the Alpha A77 is sprinkled with quick access controls, meaning less time spent in the main menu of the camera. On the top-plate, there's access to ISO, exposure compensation, white balance and drive mode. The top-plate is also home to a LCD display - something all but disappeared from entry-level DSLRs. While all shooting information is either displayed on the rear screen or EVF, it can be quite handy for a quick reference out in the field. The rear of the camera has a multi-directional thumb joystick, along with a host of other controls including dedicated movie and Function buttons. Around the front, and at the bottom of the camera, either side of the lens mount has a Preview button and Focus mode dial, allowing you to toggle between AF modes and manual focus.