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Rear of camera controls

The rear of the camera is almost identical to the Alpha 700, and like that camera is dominated by the large 3.0 " LCD monitor and is absolutely covered in switches and buttons. Running down the left side of the screen is a column of four buttons (Menu, Display, Delete and Play). To the right of the viewfinder are the AE lock (surrounded by a circular dial for changing the metering pattern) and AF/MF buttons, and the rear control dial. Below these is the Multi Selector - a 'joystick' style four-directional controller with a central OK button. Below this are a customizable 'C' button and the Fn button (used to activate the quick select functions of the information display). Finally the prominent Super SteadyShot switch sits at the bottom right of the body.

Shooting mode controls

Control
 
Function
 
MENU Menu

Enters or leaves the current mode menu, all menus are accessible once in the menu system but pressing this button in Play mode will take you directly to the Play section.
DISP

Display

Select recording information display mode:

 • Detailed display
 • Enlarged display
 • No display

Delete (record review).

During record review (image playback immediately after taking the shot) you can press this button to delete the image. This displays a Delete / Cancel confirmation box.
Play

Enters play mode, displays the last image taken or the last image browsed.
Multi Selector

The multi selector is used to navigate menus and make selections (using the center button). If the AF area is set to 'Local' the controller is also used to select your focus point when shooting. Pressing the center button forces the camera to focus on the center spot (irrespective of the focus area or spot currently in use).
AF/MF AF/MF button

If auto focus is active, pressing and holding this button temporarily switches to manual focus mode (and vice-versa). Alternatively the custom menu allows you to change the operation to a toggle mode (press once two switch between AF and MF, once again to switch back)
C

Custom button

By default pressing this button activates the Creative Style menu, though it can be customized to control any of the following:

 • AF Lock
 • AF/MF control
 • D.O.F preview
 • ISO
 • White Balance
 • Exposure Comp.
 • Flash Comp.
 • Drive Mode
 • AF Area
 • Image Size
 • Quality
 • Creative Style (default)
 • D-Range Optimizer (DRO)
 • Flash Mode
 • Memory

Fn Function button

Activates the Quick Navi screen, allowing direct control of all settings shown on the information display.
AEL AE Lock button / Slow Sync / M-Shift

By default acts as a standard AEL lock button (hold it down to lock the exposure), though you can change the behavior to 'Hold' (press once to activate AEL).

If the flash is on and you are not in M or S mode this button also activates the slow sync mode.

It can also be customized to act as a spot meter button.

In manual exposure (M) mode holding this button down activates a 'Manual Shift' option, which allows you to retain a fixed exposure but to change the aperture and shutter speed combination by turning the front dial.
Super SteadyShot

Used to enable or disable the 'Super SteadyShot' CCD-shift anti shake system.

Metering mode switch

Button
 
Action
 
Multi Segment Metering (40 segment)

Uses a honeycomb-pattern with 39 segments (plus one metering element that covers the rest of the frame) to calculate the best possible exposure. The metering is linked to the autofocus in order to ensure the main subject is correctly exposed
Center Weighted Metering

Measures light over the entire area of the image extra emphasis given to the center area.
Spot Metering

Uses a circular area in the center of the frame (as indicated in the viewfinder) to calculate the light value. This is used to meter individual subjects in the frame.

Play mode controls

Control
 
Function
 
MENU Menu

Enters or leaves the current mode menu, all menus are accessible once in the menu system but pressing this button in Play mode will take you directly to the Play section.
DISP

Display

Select play mode display:

 • Image with information overlay
 • Just image
 • Film strip (thumbs and single large image)

Also used to change the number of thumbnails in index view

Delete (play only)

In play mode press this button to delete the currently displayed / selected image. This displays a Yes / No confirmation box.
Play

Leaves play mode and returns to shooting. Note that you can achieve the same function by simply half-pressing the shutter release button.
Histogram

Switches to a histogram display view of the current image.
Multi Selector

Press left or right arrows to browse through the images, note that you can also use the control dial to achieve the same function. When magnified the controller is used to scroll around the image.
Rotate

Allows you to rotate the displayed image through 90, 180 or 270 degrees.
Magnify (zoom in)

In play mode enters the camera's magnify mode, press again to magnify the image further (up to 19x). Interestingly the A900 memorizes the last magnify 'level' used and returns to that when the button is pressed.

Index

Toggles index (thumbnail) mode on and off. To change the number of thumbnails use the DISP button.

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