Sony Alpha SLT-A65/A77 For Dummies Cheat Sheet - dummies
Cheat Sheet

Sony Alpha SLT-A65/A77 For Dummies Cheat Sheet

From Sony Alpha SLT-A65 / A77 For Dummies

By Robert Correll

Taking photographs with a Sony Alpha A65/A77 means choosing shooting modes and adjusting exposure and aperture settings. Location and lighting determine your scene choices: Night View, Portrait, or Sports Action are options. Identifying your A65’s or A77’s dials and buttons helps you quickly play back photos for review.

Finding Buttons, Dials, and Controls on Your Sony Alpha A65/A77

Where are the buttons — like Preview and flash — on your Sony A65 or A77? The playback and exposure buttons aren’t explicitly labeled, and the USB port control dial aren’t easy to find. The following images can tell you where everything on your camera is.


Choosing Sony Alpha A65/A77 Shooting Modes

What shooting mode should you use? Your Sony Alpha A65/A77 has modes you can choose based on how the photo should look, the situation, and your photographic experience level. Are you taking action shots of a sports game? Are you taking portraits for the holiday card?

Basic and Advanced Shooting Modes
Name Description
Auto Automatic mode. Your camera makes most decisions. Use when
you’re getting to know about your camera and photography, or when
you want to relax and have fun.
Auto+ Auto, plus recognizes some shooting conditions.
Flash Off (A65 only) Auto, but with flash disabled.
Scene Selection Choose a scene, such as Portrait or Landscape, that matches the
shooting conditions and your subject.
Sweep Panorama Create panoramas.
3D Sweep Panorama The same as Sweep Panorama, only in 3D photos.
Continuous Advance Priority AE Achieves the fastest frame rate.
P (Program Auto) Automatic exposure, but you control creative settings.
A (Aperture priority) You set aperture; the camera sets the rest for proper exposure.
Good for portraits, landscapes, and close-ups.
S (Shutter speed priority) Aperture priority but instead, you set shutter speed. Good for
action (yours and your subject’s).
M (Manual exposure) You make all exposure and function decisions.
Movie A more advanced movie mode, with P, A, S, and M sub-modes.
Memory Recall (A77 only) The A77’s mode that stores and recalls up to three
different presets that you create.

Choosing Sony Alpha A65/A77 Scenes

In the Sony Alpha’s A65/A77 Scene Selection mode, you choose a scene per the kind of photo you’re taking: portraits, action, and nighttime shots benefit from different Scene Selection modes; and macros and panoramas are two ends of the shooting spectrum in Scene Selection.

Scene Selections
Name Description
Portrait Creates a pleasing photo with a blurred background.
Sports Action Tries to take a sharp photograph of moving objects.
Macro Takes close-ups.
Landscape Takes sharp photos so things at a distance are in focus.
Sunset Takes good photos of bright sunsets.
Night View Keeps city lights bright but the night sky dark.
Hand-held Twilight Takes hand-held photos at night.
Night Portrait Takes photos of people at night.


Special Effects on the Sony Alpha A65/A77

The Sony Alpha A65 and A77 have a Picture Effect mode. Picture effects are with Scene Selection on the mode dial. Each effect is unique and makes your images and videos pop.

Name Effect
Posterization (Color) Creates abrupt changes in tone with no or very little gradient
and using a limited palette. Posterized photos look like something
out of a graphic novel.
Posterization (B/W) Creates an effect similar to Posterization (Color) but in black
and white. Photos taken with this effect look like pen and ink
Pop Color Adds zing to colors.
Retro Photo Reduces contrast color, creating a photo that looks aged,
complete with subtle sepia tones.
Partial Color (Red) Singles out and shows reds while converting everything else to
black and white.*
Partial Color (Green) Singles out and shows greens while converting everything else
to black and white.*
Partial Color (Blue) Singles out and shows blues while converting everything else to
black and white.*
Partial Color (Yellow) Singles out and shows yellows while converting everything else
to black and white.*
High-Key Takes bright, happy, softer-than-normal photos.
High-Contrast Monochrome Creates a black-and-white photo that has more contrast than
Toy Camera Simulates a photo taken with a really cheap camera. Colors are
bright but corners are shaded (vignetted).
Soft Focus Very softly focused photos.
HDR Painting Three exposures are processed into a single HDR image.
Rich-Tone Mono Three exposures are processed into a single, black-and-white
HDR image.
Miniature Simulates Tilt Shift, focusing on a small part and blurring
everything else. Results look like a miniature scene.

*The challenge with partial color is finding the right scene with the right colors to show off the contrast between the selected color and the rest of the black and white photo.