**Front The front of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H9 has a chunky SLR-like hand grip on the left with a cradle for the middle finger near the top of the grip. The grip itself is covered in a textured rubber material that looks like leather. At the top of the grip, the silver domed shutter release button peeks out. To the right of the grip at the bottom is a white printed label: "8.1 Megapixels." At the top of this central area on the body is the auto focus assist lamp, with an oval-shaped remote control sensor above it. The right side of the H9’s front is occupied by the large 15x optical zoom lens with the flash protruding just above it and the Sony logo prominently placed on front. Around the rim of the lens, it is labeled "Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 2.7-4.5/5.2-78." The strap eyelets can be seen hanging on either side of the camera. Back**The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H9 has a funny look from the back. The camera’s shape is different than most SLR-like models with its tall and very boxy viewfinder and rounded barrel-like left edge. The LCD screen takes up most of the space on the back. The Sony logo graces the bottom of the 3-inch screen, and the monitor separates from the body and can flip up or down. Above the left side of the LCD is the tall viewfinder. To its right are the EVF/LCD and playback buttons. To the right of the LCD screen is a host of controls. At the top of this space is a sunglasses-shaped zoom control with "W" on the left and "T" on the right. Below is a circular Menu button that matches another Home button that is below the multi-selector. Indeed, the two buttons are separated by a large control that consists of a traditional multi-selector surrounded by a control wheel. The multi-selector has functions on each of its sides, and a central button to make actual selections. The control wheel around the edge isn’t ribbed like a mode dial, but it has long bumps on its edges to enhance grip. **Left Side The left side of the camera hardly looks like a camera. It is very boxy and very thick. The camera body is very wide and curved as if the lens barrel extends straight to the very back of the H9. The chrome-colored lens protrudes from the front and is labeled "15x Optical Zoom" on its side. Behind that label is more evidence of Sony’s branding strategy since the Cyber-shot logo appears here. Behind this is a vertical switch labeled "NightShot" to turn on and off the infrared technology. Above the logo and switch is a neck strap eyelet that looks similar to a flattened bull ring. On the back of the left side, the separate LCD monitor can be seen split from the rest of the body. Above it is the overhanging electronic viewfinder with the circular diopter adjustment in plain view on this side. At the very base of the left side is a tiny plastic panel with a rubber connector; it is unlabeled and barely noticeable, but it covers the USB jack. ****Right Side The right side is where the hand grips the camera, and Sony built the H9 with a wide SLR-like grip. It has textured rubber material that wraps around it and a cradle near the top for a finger grip. At the top of the right side is a neck strap eyelet, and near the bottom is a rubber cover to the power adaptor jack. ****Top The top has very distinct sections that don’t meld together as nicely as on other digital cameras. The left side of the top is the bumpiest with the large lens barrel and the tube-like viewfinder looming over it. On the right side of the top is the hand grip with all of its cluttered controls. The tip of the hand grip has a chrome shutter release button. Behind it are two smaller buttons: metering on the left and burst on the right. The mode dial resides at the back of this section. It is crammed with icons of exposure modes. Between the left and right sections is a space of camera body with only two features: the power button and the microphone. ****Bottom**The bottom of the Sony H9 has a chunky look with the pronounced hand grip and humongous lens. The battery and memory card compartment is located below the hand grip on the left. The tripod socket is located in the middle. There is a rubber pad at the bottom of the lens, and this cushions the lens if set down on a table or other flat surface.
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