Body & Design
The only physical difference between the A35 and the pre-existing SLT models is the loss of the articulated screen. This is a shame, because it was a feature that combined very well with the camera's full-time live view and fast AF, and was particularly useful for video work. It seems odd to remove this capability just as it's becoming commonplace on DSLRs that can't really make good use of it, but savings have had to be made somewhere to help get the MSRP down.
In most other respects, it's only the fact that the viewfinder is electronic that substantially differentiates between the SLT design and that of DSLRs. There are circumstances in which very bright light sources can result in 'ghosting' - a faint secondary image caused by internal reflections as light passes through the design's fixed mirror. But, having taken several thousand shots with this camera and its predecessors, we don't believe this will be a significant problem for many people or in many images. You can read more about the SLT design in our SLT-A55 review.
Whether you like working with an electronic viewfinder or not is pretty much a question of taste, but the unit used here is one of the better examples, offering 800x600 pixel resolution.
In the hand
Thanks to its design with an electronic viewfinder the SLT-A35 is one of the smaller cameras in the entry-level bracket, making it a slightly more portable option than some of its direct competitors, such as the Canon EOS 1100D or Nikon D3100.