Rear of camera controls
The A380's rear is dominated by the 2.7" tilting LCD which protrudes slightly from the back of the camera. Other than that there is a remarkably small number of controls on the A380's back plate. The camera is slightly smaller than its predecessor and the new model makes more efficient use of the available real estate by assigning the display, drive mode, flash and ISO functions to the four-way controller (the A350 had a bank of buttons to the left of the screen for these functions). However this comes at the cost of the ability to select a specific AF point directly, which is now a convoluted menu-driven process. Around the controller there are only three additional buttons for the Fn-menu, deleting images and playback mode. The AEL and Steady-Shot buttons that were available on the A350 have become victims of rationalization.
ON-screen setting adjustments
When pressed the camera's hard buttons activate an adjustment screen (on the LCD) where a setting change can be made using the multi-controller or the control dial. Below you can see the screen for ISO and flash mode adjustment.
Shooting and Playback Function Menu
Unlike most of its competitors the A380 does not give you direct access to most shooting parameters through a Quick Control Screen type interface on the LCD. Instead you get access to some functions by pressing the Fn-button. In recording mode this will take you to the Shooting Function menu, if you do the same thing in playback mode the Playback Function menu screen will appear on the LCD. This works in both live view and OVF mode (in live view the menus are overlaid on top of the live view image). In the Shooting Function menu Sony has gathered the functions that are not deemed important enough to have their own hard buttons but will still be regularly used by at least a proportion of users. This includes AF mode, metering mode and D-Range optimizer.
In the Playback Function menu you'll find a number of functions that are also available through the Play menu in the A380's menu system. The Image Index function in this menu is the only way to review images in a thumbnail format. Unlike most cameras the A380 does not offer a thumbnail view in magnification mode (on most cameras you get there by 'zooming out' further than 1x magnification).
Shooting mode controls
When shooting with the optical viewfinder pressing the DISP button switches between Graphic and Standard shooting display. In live view you select the recording information display mode:
|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.
Enters play mode, displays the last image taken or the last image browsed.
|Drive mode (turn front dial or use four-way controller to change setting)
• Single frame advance
• Continuous advance
• Self-timer (Press left/right to choose 10 or 2 seconds)
• Continuous self-timer (Press left/right to choose 5 or 3 frames in 10 sec)
• Continuous bracketing (press left/right to select exposure step)
• Remote control
Flash mode (turn front dial or use four-way controller to change setting)
ISO (turn front dial or use four-way controller to change setting)
In recording mode the Multi Selector gives access to Display mode, Drive mode, Flash mode and ISO. In the graphical user interface and menus it is used for navigation to make selections (using the center button). Pressing the center button in recording mode forces the camera to focus on the center spot (irrespective of the focus area or spot currently in use).
Play mode controls
In play mode press this button to delete the currently displayed / selected image. This displays a Yes / cancel confirmation box.
Leaves play mode and returns to shooting. Note that you can achieve the same function by simply half-pressing the shutter release button.
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.
Sony Alpha A380L 14.2 MP Digital SLR Camera
with Super SteadyShot INSIDE Image Stabilization and 18-55mm Lens
Sony A390 Digital SLR Camera - Black
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Sony Alpha A380 Digital SLR 14.2 MP, Super SteadyShot INSIDE Image...