Camera Operations

 

Sony® A6000 Fast Start

 

Lesson Info

Camera Operations

So, let's talk about camera operation. This is kind of the final thoughts we did, I don't know, it was like a hundred and some items. You don't need to set all these all the time, let's talk about the key settings on the camera, what you wanna be thinking about. So if you're gonna take your camera out for a big shoot, or you're gonna take it out for a vacation, or something really important. Obviously you wanna charge and install the battery. I would wanna have a reformatted memory card, so that it's brand new, fresh, ready to-go, lots of space on it. I've made my choice whether I'm shooting RAW, or high quality JPEGs. I've made sure that my camera hasn't been left in some other fancy setting that I was going through in the menus. And if I was gonna go on like a big trip to Europe or Africa, or any sort of big trip, I wanna make sure that my sensor doesn't have dust on it. So I'd shoot a photograph of a plain white wall, and I'd wanna look for any black specks on the photograph. And if...

there's a problem, I wanna take care of it where it's a lot easier to take care of with, which is my home, than dealing with that on the road. So, once you get out there shooting, there's really ten controls that you're likely to be using on a more regular basis. And they're gonna have a lot of controls, right there on the outside of the camera, a lot of them controlling the exposure, shutter speeds, and apertures, and so fourth. The function button is gonna allow us to get in and make changes on a variety of other areas that are also very important. A lot of focusing features in here, metering, and white balance. And so these are the ten most important controls and let's look at how we would set these for different types of operations. And so this is showing you all the options in those ten most common settings. Let's first get our camera set up for what I call, Super Simple Photography, just trying to get our camera set for really basic work, maybe wash duty with the camera, maybe we've given the camera to somebody else to shoot with. So, I like the Program Mode, the camera sets shutter speeds and apertures, but it still gives you access into the menu and the function controls for making other changes. I prefer to set the ISO setting myself, but in the Super Simple Mode, I'm willing to let the camera do it automatically. Make sure the Exposure Compensation is at zero, unless you are needing it lighter or darker than average for your photographs. Metering, the Multi segment system on this works very well, I recommend it most of the time. As does Auto White Balance, works really good, I would only change it really if necessary. For focusing, AF-S, is single focusing, it focuses on a subject and then stops. Focus Area, the Wide just looks at the entire scene and picks out basically whatever's closest. For a very simplistic system, it's a very easy system that most people have a very easy time working with and won't have a problem with. And for the Drive Mode, you'd probably just wanna get one shot at a time. So let's look at a couple of different types of particular scenarios. First is Landscape photography. Here's where we have a subject that's not moving, where we want lots of depth of field, and lots of things in focus. And we also probably have a little bit of time to make some setting adjustments. So I really prefer to be in Manual in these cases. And what I'm definitely gonna want is a low ISO, so I can get the best quality image on the sensor. And here if I want lots of depth of field, I'm gonna want an aperture that's close down to F-8, F-11, F-16, something in that range. I'm probably gonna end up with a little bit of a slower shutter speed, which would make it nice to have a tripod, and that's why a lot of landscape photographers have a tripod. So be aware of what that shutter speed is, if it's too slow you're gonna have to maybe change your aperture so that you have a slightly faster shutter speed. I'm gonna keep it on Multi segment for the Metering, and Auto White Balance. Since my subjects are not moving, I'm gonna use AF-S for single focus. And I'm gonna wanna be a little bit particular about where I focus, and so the Flexible Spot will allow me to move the box around the frame to choose where I want it to focus. And for the Drive, Single will work pretty good but I could also use the Self-timer that way I'm not touching the camera when I'm actually firing the shutter. So I think that would be a good setup for a landscape style photograph. Next up, let's try setting our camera up for a Portrait situation. In this case we wanna be aware of our subjects movement, and our movement, and we may want shallower depth of fields so our subjects in focus, but the background is out of focus. If I have a little bit of time to work with things, I prefer the Manual Exposure. And in this case, what I probably want is shallow depth of field, like an aperture of 2.8, or 2.0, depending on what my lens has available. I want to make sure that I have a fast enough Shutter Speed so that I'm not moving the camera and my subject doesn't get blurry from their movement, so, probably a 125 of a second, or faster. And of course if I have the light I would prefer to have an ISO around 100, but I'll change it up to or 400 if necessary. I'll leave the Metering in the Multi Metering, and I'll leave the White Balance in Auto. And as long as my subject is stationary, I'm gonna leave the Focusing at AF-S for single focusing. For Focus Area, this is where I'm gonna wanna be a little bit more particular and I'll probably use that Flexible Spot, maybe the smallest eye. And in fact this is possibly where you could pull out the Face Detection and the IAF option on the camera because that will be able to focus right on the eyes. And for the Drive Mode, I'll probably just leave it in the Single Shot Mode so I can get one good shot at a time. So, that makes sense to me for Portraits, there's a few other little tweaks you could make in there. This is a good starting point and you can adjust it according to your own needs. Next one we'll do is Action photography. And so the big difference here is that we have subjects that are moving, and so we're gonna need faster shutter speeds to stop their action, and we're gonna need a focusing system that tracks their movement. Once again, if I have the chance to set things up, I prefer to be in Manual so that these numbers do not change on me. Very important here is getting a fast shutter speed in order to stop the action. Five hundredth of a second or faster in many cases, depending on the subjects you're shooting. This is where it really pays off to have a faster aperture lens, those ones that go down to 2.8 are really handy for this type of work. And as much as I would like to be at ISO 100, I am probably gonna be at ISO 200, or 400, or higher depending on the light levels. We'll leave the Multi Metering on, and we'll leave it on Auto White Balance. For Focusing, a very important change here is to change it into the Continuous Focusing System, so that it can track those subjects back and forth. And, the Flexible Spot is nice but it's just not big enough to track an object that's moving around a lot, and so this is where using a Zone, a box of I think it's like nine boxes that you can move left, right, and up, and down to kind of figure out where your subject is mostly going to be within the frame. And then in the Drive Mode, because we never know when the exact best moment is going to be usually, the Continuous Mode allows us to fire, down on the shutter at least, and get upwards of 11 frames per second with this camera in some situations, its got a very fast motor drive on it. So it can be very good for the Action photography. Alright, last one here for you is Basic photography. And this is often where you don't know what your next photograph is gonna be. How do you leave your camera set up for just about anything that might come your way. And this is where I do appreciate a little bit of automation. And so I think Aperture Priority is a great mode for this. You get to choose the Aperture, and I would choose something relatively wide open, maybe like 5.6, if you need more depth of field dial it down to F-11 or 16, if you need wider and you have it available you can dial that in very quickly. Keep an eye on that shutter speed, make sure that you have a shutter speed that is appropriate to your subject and your hand holding abilities of the camera. I prefer to leave the camera at ISO 100, until I get into low light situations and then I start bumping it up as necessary. Make sure your Exposure Compensation is at zero, unless you are specifically needing your picture lighter or darker. I'm gonna leave it in Multi Metering, and Auto White Balance, cause it's good for most things unless there's a particular issue that I'm trying to deal with. And for Focusing, since most of my subjects are not moving, I'm gonna choose AF-S, so I can focus on a subject and recompose. And I like to be a little bit flexible about where I choose to focus, and I like to be able to move that focusing point around, and so that Flexible Spot, usually the medium size is about right for what I like to do. And then in Drive Mode, leaving it in Single shot so that I can shoot one shot at a time is usually fine for most types of subjects. So, folks congratulations! You have made it to the end of the class. You are now considered an expert on the Sony A 6000. So thanks a lot, and hopefully this was helpful in getting you get your camera set to the way you like it to work.

Class Description


Dense technical manuals make for a terrible first date. Get the most out of your new Sony A6000 with this complete step-by-step walkthrough of the camera’s features. Join expert photographer John Greengo for a fast-track introduction, and unlock your camera’s full potential.

In this fast start, you’ll learn:

  • How to use the autofocus system
  • How to use and customize the menus
  • How to use the A6000’s video capabilities

This fast start includes a complete breakdown of your camera’s exposure, focus, metering, video and more. John will also explain how to customize the A6000’s settings to work for your style of photography.