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Rear of camera controls

The first thing to attract your attention on the back of the A350 is the 2.7" tilting LCD, mainly because it protrudes from the back of the camera. Other than that, there is nothing particularly unusual on the back of the A350: a bank of buttons down the left-hand side that are only really useful in playback mode, plus a four-way controller and exposure compensation and lock buttons within thumb reach.

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:
 
• Enlarged display
• Detailed 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).

Fn

Function button

Provides access to the function menu, that provides control over the camera functions you may want to change fairly regularly that don't have direct access buttons.

• Flash mode
• Auto focus mode
• White balance
• Metering mode
• AF area mode
• D-Range Optimizer

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).

When the exposure is locked, the display also shows the current spot metered value to help you judge the correct exposure.

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 Steady Shot

Used to enable or disable the 'Super Steady Shot' CCD-shift anti shake system.
Digital teleconverter

Engages 'Digital Teleconverter' mode, in which the camera crops the image size to simulate 1.4x or 2x zoom. This only works when shooting JPEG images. The button is unused at any other time.

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.
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.
Zoom in

In play mode enters the camera's magnify mode (at 7.2x, initially), press again to magnify the image further (up to 14x). Pressing the 'Fn' button jumps back to full screen.

Index/Zoom out

From playback mode, toggles index (thumbnail) mode on and off. (Pressing the DISP changes the number of thumbnails). When zoomed in, the button zooms back out.

Invalid operation button

Douglas Adams once described a button that, upon being pressed, lit up a sign saying: "please do not press this button again." And its difficult not to think of him every time you press the 'Digital Teleconverter' button and expect it to do something useful. The 'Digital Teleconverter' is a gimmick that uses the center portion of the sensor to yield a 7.7MP or 3.5MP crop that simulates a 1.4x or 2.0x teleconverter.

Yet despite being of questionable value, it is given its own button. A button that does nothing else (and nothing at all in playback mode). And, just to add a sense of farce to the proceedings, a button that only works in Live view mode when you're shooting JPEGs. The result is that, if you're taken by the urge to press the button, you'll almost always be confronted by the message "Invalid operation."

It's slightly annoying that an external button on a DSLR should be used for such a witless feature. It's downright aggravating that the feature isn't available terribly often yet the button doesn't have a secondary use, so for much of the time it just tells you to stop pressing it. But it's pretty much unforgivable that it's one of the most conveniently located buttons on the whole camera. Giving the button over to any of the other features on the function menu would make it more useful or, better still, making it customizable.

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