Articulated screen

The A77 has possibly the most flexible articulating screen yet seen on any stills-orientated camera. It uses a swivel-and-tilt joint, that is itself affixed to an arm that folds out from the back of the camera. This allows a huge range of positions to be adopted, including setting the screen facing forwards over the top of the viewfinder housing. (About the only thing you won't be able set it up for is a self-portrait with the camera on a tripod using on-camera flash.)

The screen sits on an articulated joint, on an arm that can tilt up from the back of the camera

Body elements

As befits its high-end status, the A77 has external controls for many of its settings. It may have lost the A700's metering dial but it retains a focus mode control on the front of the body.
The A77 is unusual amongst modern cameras in gaining a top-panel LCD. With its extensively articulated rear screen, we don't really feel it's necessary, since you can show more information, more clearly on the bigger screen. Still, some people like them and they can be nice when working with tripods.
The A77 features both a standard Alpha hotshoe and a stereo microphone. There's no control over microphone volume but there is a 'Wind Noise Reduction' option.
A preview button on the front of the A77 on the lens throat can act either as a conventional depth-of-field preview, by stopping down the lens to the taking aperture, or as a 'shot preview' which captures a preview image at your current exposure settings (allowing you to preview the effect of shutter speed).
An AF illuminator lamp is built into the front of the A77, beside the hand grip. When the light levels get low, it provides enough illumination to allow automatic focussing on subjects within fairly close range of the front of the camera
This is an IR receiver, which allows the A77's shutter to be triggered using the RMT-DSLR1 infra-red 'Wireless Remote Commander'.
As we'd expect in a camera of this level, the A77 offers a wide range of connectors, including flash sync, external mic, remote control and HDMI.
Unlike its predecessor, the A77 takes SD or Memory Stick cards. With the latest UHS-I SDXC cards, there should be little need for concern about either speed or capacity.
The Smart Teleconverter button (center) allows you to shoot a 1.4 or 2x crop image, but only in JPEG mode. You can assign the button to engage manual focus magnification if you'd prefer. Oddly this is the only option you have for the button we feel you're most likely to reconfigure.

The '?' button gives access to a shooting guide or an explanation of the current menu option.
The A77 uses the familiar FM500H battery that dates back to the A700. It's an 11.8Wh battery that the A77 can get 530 shots out of when using the rear display and 470 shots when using the viewfinder, according to CIPA standard testing.