Operations and controls
Top of camera controls
There isn't much to see here - an exposure mode dial and just visible, the 'menu' button, nestled above the rear LCD screen. The A65's exposure mode dial is where you'll find access to the traditional PASM shooting modes, as well as its sweep panorama (2D and 3D) and special 10fps shooting functions.
There is slightly more going on over on the right hand side of the A65's top-plate. This is where you'll find the integrated on/off switch and shutter release, as well as dedicated exposure compensation and ISO buttons. As well as changing ISO sensitivity (which for obvious reasons is the default) the ISO button can be re-assigned to any one of 27 possible functions, to access features ranging from DRO dynamic range optimization to image quality settings.
To the right of the A65's 'pentaprism' hump is a finder/LCD button for manually switching from the electronic viewfinder to the rear LCD screen, and just behind it, on the slope down to the A65's south face can be found a small outcrop of three more buttons. These are (from left to right in this view) a dedicated movie record button, a customizable AEL button and the 'smart teleconverter' button. By default, this activates the A65's smart teleconverter function (essentially 1.4x or 2x digital zoom, available in JPEG mode only) but it can also be assigned, more usefully, to activate one-press focus magnification. In image playback mode, the AEL and smart teleconverter buttons are used to zoom in/out of captured images (as indicated by their associated blue - and + icons).
Rear of camera controls
The SLT-A65's rear controls will look familiar to anyone who has used a previous generation Sony SLR or SLT. Unlike the A77 the camera has only one control dial which is located at the front. The rear four-way controller is a simple X/Y axis pad, and does not incorporate a dial (or accommodate diagonal inputs). This is usually not much of an issue but there are a few occasions when a second dial would come in handy.
When the A65 is used in manual exposure mode you have to press the 'AV' button above the thumbrest on the rear of the camera to change between shutter and aperture control. Manually selecting AF points with the A65 is slightly more involved than on the A77 too (you have to press 'AF' then use the four-way controller whereas with the A77 you simply jog the rear joystick) but again, this is hardly a major issue.
On the rear of the A65 you can also find the main menu and playback buttons and a help '?' button. The 'Fn' button activates a useful quick menu for easy access to key shooting parameters.