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Sony A6000 Fast Start

Lesson 11 of 15

Menu Functions: Custom Setup

John Greengo

Sony A6000 Fast Start

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

11. Menu Functions: Custom Setup


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2 Top Deck: Mode Dial Duration:12:55
3 Top Deck: Other Functions Duration:03:28
4 Back Side Duration:05:18
5 Back Side: Function Button Duration:21:08
6 Back Side Other Functions Duration:05:46
8 Bottom & Card Reader Duration:03:47
9 Front & Lens Duration:07:00
11 Menu Functions: Custom Setup Duration:24:54
13 Menu Functions: Playback Duration:03:32
14 Menu Functions: Setup Duration:10:32
15 Camera Operations Duration:09:46

Lesson Info

Menu Functions: Custom Setup

Alright, so we're now into the custom setup menu, and while it has a different name, it is very much same type of basic shooting settings that we've been looking at so far in the menu system. So, first here are the zebras. And zebras are gonna show you overblown highlights. And I'd like to show you a little demo of what this looks like. And we're gonna go ahead and turn this camera on. Get into that first tab of the custom settings. And we have a choice as to how sensitive we wanna make these to the light. And I'm just gonna choose 80, just a number in the middle here. And what I'm gonna be, is I'm gonna be in manual exposure. I'll zoom in a little bit here. Oops, now where's our zoom? There's our zoom in. And you can see that we have zebras in here. I'm gonna change the display, so that we, less clutter on the screen. So there we go. And you can see all these highlights. This is where we're getting blown out information. I am at 1/13th of a second. And so let me change my shutter spee...

ds, and you can see the areas of blown out information are changing. And if I said I didn't want any of that information blown out ... Let's keep changing it down. And so it's very, we're in a very tricky lighting situation because we're showing areas that are getting lots of blown out information. And so this is just a little bit helpful when shooting certain types of exposure. And you can set this on different levels. I'll set it on 100, I'll set it on 100. And so things I think are gonna have to be very, very bright here. And so I can darken them down and so that they're not blinking. And so, it's just a visual way of seeing what is overexposed, and it can be very helpful when shooting movies. It's also a little annoying to look at, from a compositional standpoint, and so I normally leave that turned off unless I'm just kind of checking the exposure, but something that you can turn on and off, perhaps with one of these shortcut buttons, which is available for turning that on and off. So that is the zebras. Okay, manual focus assist. We looked at this a little earlier, where we can automatically have the camera magnify the image when we're manually focusing it, so we can get a good look to see if we're focusing properly. And so it's just an enlarged image when we are manually focusing. How long do you wanna leave that magnification going that we just talked about? And the options are two seconds, five seconds, or as long as you want, which is my favorite, because I like to have it there as long as I need it to. And we can kind of turn it off by pressing the shutter release halfway down, and that returns it back to the normal composition, full frame, of which you're going to be capturing. There are grid lines that you can turn on for compositional or horizon reasons. And there's three different types of grid lines that you can choose to turn on. I do like these, but in general I leave them turned off unless I'm using them for a particular application. After you shoot a picture, do you want the camera to show you the photograph that you just took? I think in the beginning, it's very helpful to see what did the camera actually record. But because this is a mirrorless camera, and it has an electronic viewfinder that allows you to see a very good preview of what the final image is going to look like, it gets to be kind of unnecessary once you get used to the results that the camera is delivering. And so that's why I'm recommending for the advanced user to turn this off, because you get to see what you're going to get. You don't need to have it reviewed afterwards. And so, it kind of changes the way that you shoot photos, not having to look at the back of the camera to see what photo you just got. The display button on the camera. If you want to have a button on the camera ... Oh so this, I'm sorry, the display button is the display which is the top of the wheel in the back of the camera. Which info screens do you want to see, by cycling through the different options? If you find that one of these is of no help to you, for instance you don't like the histogram. Whatever reason you just don't wanna see the histogram, you can uncheck that box, and you won't have to see it when you cycle through the different display screen options. Alright, page two. So, peaking level. And so this is going to help us in our manual focusing. Earlier what we saw was the option for magnifying the image to see if it's in focus. Well we do have another option with peaking level here, and this is gonna kind of go hand in hand with the next feature on this, which is the peaking color. And what this is doing is, it's gonna adjust the color. And so I wanna do a little demo on the camera, to help show you what's going on with these two features. And so let's jump into the menu. And we're gonna go to the peaking section. And on the peaking level, we're gonna make sure that we turn this on, we're gonna turn it on high, so that we can see it very, very clearly here. And then we're gonna go down to color, and we'll take a look. We're gonna change it over to red, to make it as easy as possible to see. And actually, I'm gonna put out the little notes here in front, so I have something close up to focus on. And hopefully, yeah, looks like we can still see that. Let's change this to aperture priority real quickly, so we get a nice even exposure. Now you can see the area in red, well, let's see ... Yeah there we go, we can see it. As it is in focus, it shimmers in red. And so you can see as I focus from the foreground, to the background, it's mostly in red here, and now it's in red up there. And so anything that's in really good focus, it's gonna show you in red. And I'm gonna try changing this, getting this magnification turned off. Manual focus assist, I'm gonna turn this off, and see if we can still see it. So we can see it at the bottom of the paper, and at the top of the paper. And even in the back of the room you can see it turn on, depending on what we're focusing on. And so it's a different way to visualize your depth of field, and what you're going to see in focus. I find it, once again, in a technology standpoint of view, it's very clear and very easy to see what's going on. But, from an aesthetic point of view, it's a little annoying, so I tend to wanna leave it turned off, unless there is something very particular I'm using it for. But it's a handy tool to have, to help focus in some situations. So that is peaking. Alright, exposure set guidelines. This is just an extra line of information, and you don't really need this, because you have that information one line below it. It's just a couple millimeters away. And so this is showing you your shutter speeds, and your apertures. And it's just a bigger display, and I love big displays, but I hate displays that are on top of my composition. And so I'd recommend turning this off. Just seems to be unnecessary. Alright, live view display. And so on this one, do you want the display to show you what the relative brightness in the final picture is going to be? And in most cases, I find this really helpful. I can just simply look at the screen, and if it seems dark, I need to change my shutter speeds or apertures, or ISO's. If it's light, I need to make some changes. The only time that I want this turned off, is if I'm working in a studio, or I have a flash hooked up to the camera, where what I am looking at in the camera, is not really representing what the final picture is gonna look like, because there's gonna be extra lights turning on. And so in a flash situation, I would probably turn this off. But for most of the other times, I like leaving it turned on. It makes it very easy to see if you are over or underexposed. Alright, display continuous AF area. So, when you are focusing continuously, the camera will show you where it is focusing, by these little green boxes that turn on and off, as the subject is moving around. And, this can be very helpful for understanding how the camera is focusing, and if it is actually tracking the subject that you want it to be tracking. And so, I have found this to be relatively helpful in shooting action type subjects. Alright, page three on the custom setup menu. Pre auto-focus is something that will help the camera focus a little bit quicker, at the expense of the battery power. What it does is it's focusing all the time. Even when you're not looking through the camera. And so that's gonna wear down on the batteries, and it isn't really necessary, and by simply pressing halfway down, that should be enough time for the camera to focus for you. But it is an option. I just don't think it's a good option. Alright, the zoom setting on this. There is a way to use a digital zoom for taking still photographs. I don't recommend it, so I would just simply leave it on optical zoom only. That way you can get the full resolution of the 24 megapixel sensor. Eye-start AF is something that is only going to work with these adapters. These are adapters for using the SLR style lenses from Sony. The A mount series lenses. And if you do that, by simply holding the camera up to your eye, it'll start automatically focusing, and you don't have to press lightly on the shutter release. And so this is something that's gonna apply to very few people who use this camera, because very few people are using these adapters, and those older lenses, but that's why it's there. The finder monitor. So, this camera has an automatic sensor, that will turn on the monitor or the EVF, according to whether your eye is up to the screen. And I have found, I've had a little bit of problems with the camera, finding that this eye sensor is a little overly sensitive. And sometimes it wants to turn on, and I had a strange situation, where I was out shooting, and there was just an ever so slight bit of rain, and a raindrop landed on the sensor, and it thought that I was looking through the viewfinder with my eye, but I was really trying to hold the camera up away, looking at the monitor on the back of the camera, but it wouldn't turn on, because there was a little drop of rain on the sensor. And so I had to go into the menu system to force the back screen monitor turned on. And so anytime you wanna force one on or the other, you can go in here, and you can also assign this to one of the custom buttons, if it's something you do on a regular basis. The camera can be hooked up to a lot of external devices, like if you wanted to hook it up to a telescope, where there isn't an acknowledged lens attached to the camera. Do you wanna be able to fire the shutter? In most cases, I would say leave this disabled. That way you can't accidentally take photos with the lens off the camera, which can potentially cause a problem. But for an advanced user, who's using it for a special application, that would be a reason to enable it, if you are gonna use it with other types of lenses that do not have the electronic communication that the standard lenses have in them. Alright, for those of you who wanna do back button focusing, listen up. This is the feature that you wanna turn off. You wanna turn off the auto-focus of the shutter release, if you want to do back button focusing. And so this is the first step of it. The second step is that you'll have to reprogram the AEL button on the back of the camera. But this is step one of doing that. Now the average user probably isn't gonna wanna do this. They probably like the convenience of focusing and taking the picture, with the same button at nearly the same time. The more advanced user might like to separate these two acts out, so that way they can focus in one area, recompose, and then shoot the photo, and shoot as many photos as they want without refocusing. And so if it's something that you haven't tried, and you're getting more advanced in your own photography, it's something I would say give a tryout, because I have yet to meet a photographer who has learned how to use back button focusing, and then has gone back to the old system. And so it's a very good system, but it does require just a little bit more thinking. Moving on to page four of the custom setup menu. So when you press down on the shutter release, it does not normally lock the exposure. If you move the camera around after pressing halfway down, the camera will continue to read the light, and make adjustments for it. If you do want it to combine locking the exposure with pressing the shutter release halfway down, you can do so here. Most people who are kind of serious about photography don't like it doing this, and that's why I have it turned off. For basic users, just on auto, it will figure out if it needs to do it or not. It kind of depends on whether it's in the AFS, for single focusing mode, or the continuous focusing mode, which is where it won't do it. Alright, this camera has a mechanical shutter, for the first curtain and the second curtain, but it has the option of using an electronic first shutter curtain, in order to reduce shock and vibration, which might cause blurriness in the cameras. And so here's our sensor. Normally the first shutter comes down, opens up, and causes a little bit of vibration, which might cause a problem with blurriness at certain shutter speeds, in some situations. And then when you're done with the exposure, the second curtain comes in and closes, and blocks the light off. What the electronic does, is it electronically turns the pixels on, when the mechanical shutter will then follow it, and finish off the exposure. And so there really isn't a large downside to leaving this turned on all the time. And so I would recommend just leaving this turned on all the time. That way you do not get any sort of vibration when you have your camera on a tripod, or you're at a relatively slow shutter speed. And so this is a way that most people will leave this camera, is with this electronic front shutter curtain activated. S Auto Image Extract, is in the superior auto mode, and if you recall back to this mode, this is where the camera automatically shoots, sometimes multiple photos, in order to get one good photo. And in this mode here, this, or with S auto image extract, it will save all the images that it took, in order to get that one finalized image. And it's something that most people who are shooting in this mode probably don't need or want, which is why I have this turned off. But you could turn it on auto, where it will save them if those shots are done. Alright, exposure compensation set. So this is where you can combine flash exposure, with ambient exposure, and your basic photographer is probably just gonna wanna say, when I'm using flash, I wanna make the picture lighter or darker. But the more advanced photographer is gonna wanna separate out the ambient light, versus the flash light, in what they're making stronger or weaker. And so if you wanna have more finite control, you want to have ambient only, so that when you set the exposure compensation on your camera, it's only setting features of your camera. And so this only in effect when you are using a flash. If you wanna do bracketing, where you shoot a number of photos at different exposures, you can specify the exact order that it is done here. The normal order on this camera is a little out of order in my mind, because what it will do is it will shoot the normal one first, and then an underexposed one, and then an overexposed, and then a more underexposed, and a more overexposed, so you get this kind of real hodgepodge collection. And I think for a lot of people, it'll be little bit more logical to change it to minus, zero, plus. That way it shoots the darkest photo first, and the lightest photo last, and they'll all be in a nice series. Next up is our face registration. We talked about the facial recognition properties of the camera. This is where you can go in and do a new registration. You just simply take a photo. It's like a passport photo of someone's face. You can do order exchanging, determining who is the most important that you want the camera to focus in on. And so if you do a lot of people photography, this is something that you'll wanna play around a little bit with. AF micro adjust is only going to be for those people who are using the SLR style lenses, with the adapters, the mount adapters that use them. It's a different type of focusing system, and occasionally the lenses are not focused exactly where they're supposed to be, so you can go in and tweak them. I hope you don't need to do this. It's a somewhat involved process, but it is there if you do need to make that type of adjustment. So lens compensation deals with potential problems that a lens may have. So let's look at a few examples. A shading problem is where we have a darkening of the corners. And your camera can automatically detect which lenses, and at which apertures, you're likely to get this, and it can just lighten up those images so that you don't get that darkening of the corners. And in some cases, it's really nice to have this done. Now it's pretty easy to do this in post production software, but if you wanna have it done in camera you can. The downside is that I actually add this, as a lot of photographers do, to certain types of photographs. And so it's something that you may not wanna have activated all the time, because it's not what you always want to have done. Another little problem that lenses have, is chromatic aberration, which is another way of color ghosting, saying color ghosting. So if you have a bright background, that light as it kind of wraps around the subject, will sometimes have a bluish or reddish tint to them, and this is what you call chromatic aberration. It's a color ghosting. And it's annoying, and nobody likes it, and so it's something that you would probably generally turn on, because nobody really likes this sort of thing, but it is something that you could also fix in post production as well. Another problem that lenses have is barrel or pin cushion distortion. And let's see if I can switch back and forth between these two images. So can you see the difference between this image, and this image here? The horizon is a little bit bowed in this case, because the lens has a little bit of barrel distortion. And if you want the camera to correct for it, it can. Now once again, on all three of these modes that we're talking about, these are image manipulation modes that affect only JPEG images. And so, they're not going to affect the raw images. And so, most of these, I think a lot of people will just leave them on auto, because they can get fixed. But there's some advanced photographers that kind of like that natural vignetting effect that you're gonna get with the shading composition turned off. And so that's a bit of personal choice in there as to the look of your images, but if it's raw images you're shooting, you're gonna get the original image off the sensor. Alright, where are we now? We are moving up to, come on, come on keynote. There we go. Page six. Alright, so, you remember that function where we had our 12 most featured menu items that we're gonna get to? Well this is where you can go in, and program in, hey, what are my favorite 12 items that I like to get to with one button press? And so you can go into the upper mode of this, and you can go into the lower level, and you can reorganize all the features that you have in here. What's in there? If you only wanna have two or three things in there, that's fine. You can only have two or three things in there. But, you can change as many as 12 of them to the ones you set the most. Custom key settings. A custom key is a key that you get to adjust and assign your own meanings to. And so we do have a generic C1 and C2, but we do have a number of other buttons, for instance the left, the right, the auto exposure lock, the center button, all of these are buttons that you can program in to a wide variety of different options, depending on what you use in your camera. What you set in here really depends on what you use on a regular basis. If you just got this camera, don't program anything. Just wait and see what you do with the camera, and how you use it, and what features you go for on a regular basis. Alright, next up is a customization of the dial and wheel of the camera. If you, for some reason, did not like having shutter speeds with that top dial, you wanted shutter speeds on the back of the camera, you can switch the operation of those two. And so those are interchangeable functions that you can change by flipping this out. Not necessary for most people, but if you wanna customize the camera, one of the ways of doing it. So, when you're in aperture priority, or shutter priority, or program, and you wanna do exposure compensation, there's a button on the back of the camera that you have to press, and then dial it in. But if you wanted to, you could have the unused dial or wheel do the exposure compensation, without having to press any button at all. And so if you use exposure compensation a lot, I would try dialing in the wheel, or maybe the dial, so that you have less buttons that you have to turn, or less buttons you have to press before turning dials again. And so it just makes exposure compensation a little bit easier and faster to work with. Some people accidentally hit the movie button on the camera. It's just in a very easy to grab place, but it is recessed in there so you shouldn't have too much of a problem, but if you found that you just start bumping it for whatever reason, and you don't like to shoot movies at all, you can completely turn it off on this. Wait a minute, did I say that wrong? Oh wait, okay yeah. So you can turn it off so that it will not record movies, unless you are in the movie recording mode. And so it'll only activate movies when you have the top dial turned into the movie mode. So when you're shooting standard photos, it won't do anything. Alright, there is a way to lock, secret way, if you press the function button down, and you hold it down for four seconds, it will lock the top dial and the back wheel of the camera. Let's say you're shooting a sports event, and you know you're at 500th of a second, at F2.8, and you don't ever want it to change, hold down the function button for four seconds, and it locks in those settings, until you press the function button again for four seconds to unlock them, and then make changes with the dials or the wheel. And so for anybody who is in a situation like a studio, or a sporting event, where you know you're gonna have the same settings for a long period of time, and you don't want them to change, they can be locked in.

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.  



You've invested in the Sony A6000 so let John help you discover and understand all it can do with his terrific video class. I'm a visual learner so this was perfect for me. I printed his class materials for easy reference. Thanks to John I'm a beginner with the confidence to go out and play with my new camera!

Debbie Walker

MERCY!!! this was excellent for me!! I am not familar with cameras so this definitely helped me understand better how to use my Sony A6000; I was honestly ready to give up!!! Great explanations ! well worth the time!!!


I learned more during this class than I did in 4 months of owning the camera ! Finally able to use the focus options properly, including my favorite; Back Button Focus. John is a fantastic teacher, I enjoy all of his classes and his excellent teaching style. Watched all 3 hours of this class in one evening. From now on I will always purchase his classes when I get a new camera. 2 thumbs up !