Sony DSLR-A350 Review
Camera Features & Controls (cont.)
The LCD monitor works as a Recording information display, allowing seamless operation with camera settings and comprehensive shooting information displayed, indicated with large, easy to read text. Aiding ease of use further, the display automatically switches from horizontal to vertical format when shooting in the upright "portrait" oreientation.
The amount of time the display remains active
is user selectable (5s, 10s, 30s, 1m). When you put your eye up to the viewfinder it automatically turns off the LCD's backlight.
You can choose the display mode to be simple (left) or detailed (right)
Mounted on the back is a large, wide-view 2.7-inch Clear Photo LCD with 230,000-pixels of resolution. Unlike most dSLRs, this display
can tilt up or down. This offers greater versatility in framing your images with Live View mode as well as allows you to better see
camera settings when shooting a fixed subject using a tripod. It can be used as the recording information display, for accessing the menus and is
an excellent display for in-field review of your pictures.
Controls on the back: The Power switch is to the left of the viewfinder, to the right is the Exposure Compensation button
(zoom-out/index display in playback), the AE lock button (zoom-in in playback) and the Smart Teleconverter (uses digtial zoom) button. To the
right of the LCD is the Fn (Function) button, which brings up the Function menu with options for Flash mode, Metering, Autofocus mode,
AF Area, White balance, and D-Range Optimizer. In playback mode it activates the image rotate option. Next is the 8-way controller
which is used for Focus-area selection and to navigate the menu system. In playback it is used search through stored images and scroll
through an enlarged image. The Super SteadyShot switch turns the image stabilizer on/off. Along the left is the Menu button to
call-up/dismiss the onscreen menus. In recording mode, the Display button switches the LCD between showing full and basic camera settings,
or off; in playback mode, depressing the Display button cycles the LCD through standard info display, full exposure info display (with
histograms), an index type playback, and all info Off modes. The Trash Can (Delete) button is used to delete the currently displayed
image; a confirmation menu prevents accidental erasure. At the bottom is the Playback mode button.
The control dial is located right in front of the shutter release; it controls a variety of settings within the context of the camera's
current mode of operation. The shutter release is ergonomically located in a depression behind the front control dial. The Live
View/OVF (Optical ViewFinder) switch is to the left. The Drive mode and ISO buttons are used with the LCD to select the desired
The Mode Dial is located on the top left, and has positions for Full-Auto, Program, Aperture priority, Shutter
priority, Manual, Night Portrait, Sunset, Sports, Close-up, Landscape, Portrait, and Flash restricted mode.
Images are stored on CompactFlash devices. The DSLR-A350 can use any capacity CompactFlash Type I or II card or IBM/Hitachi Microdrives.
I recommended buying a large capacity card for this camera, especially if
you use the RAW or RAW+JPEG quality frequently. RAW files are approx. 13 - 15MB each and
Large/Fine JPEG files are approx. 3.6 - 5MB each.
Approx Storage Capacities
I/O Ports: Inside the CF compartment is the combination USB 2.0 hi-speed digital port and the Video Out
port (selectable for NTSC or PAL television systems). On the left side of the camera is the connector for an
optional wired remote controller RM-S1AM or RM-L1AM as well as the DC IN port for the optional AC power
The DSLR-A350 is powered by a Sony 7.2v 1600 mAh NP-FM500H lithium-ion rechargeable battery pack. Sony claims the pack will allow you to capture approx. 730 pictures (using CIPA standard.) There is a 4-level battery condition indicator on the LCD display.
The supplied BC-VM10 compact charger requires approx. 235 minutes to charge a fully depleted battery pack.
The optional AC-VQ900AM AC/DC Adaptor and Battery Charger (about $149) can power the camera and rapid
charge two type M battery packs.
Shoot vertical shots with ease and stability with this handy vertical grip accessory. It's a great companion to the DSLR-A350. It not
only helps steady your hand with the camera in both vertical and horizontal positions, it also provides a stable platform for shooting
portraits, still-life shots and other subjects requiring vertical format.
For added convenience, the shutter button and other important controls are easy to use and located at your
fingertips. It also holds two NP-FM500H InfoLITHIUM® batteries (sold separately) for up to 1,500 shots,
with automatic power switching to backup battery power for uninterrupted shooting.
Here you can see the Virtical Grip (B30AM) mounted on the DSLR-A350.