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Sony A6300 Fast Start

Lesson 6 of 18

Backside: Function Button Part 1

John Greengo

Sony A6300 Fast Start

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

6. Backside: Function Button Part 1

Lesson Info

Backside: Function Button Part 1

Alright, next up is our Function button. Now, when I think of a camera and all of the controls of a camera, there are three different levels of controls. There are things that are super important and if it is super important there is probably a button or dial on the outside of the camera. And there's the full list of features of the camera which is going to be the Menu, we'll get into that in a little bit. And in between those two are things in the menu that you want to get to right away. And that's what this is, the Function is the shortcut to the most important features that you might go for in the Menu system. And so, by pressing the Function button, you will see a list of twelve items on the bottom of the screen that you can have access to going in and changing. Now, these are the ones, I'll let you know right now. These are ones that you can add, replace, subtract and change in here but these are the ones you get by default and so if you haven't played around too much with your ca...

mera you're going to have the same ones that I'm going to go through right now. So let's dive into the Function button. You'll be pressing Function Button and then pressing the control wheel on the back of the camera to navigate your way left, right, up, down to the feature you want and pressing the Center button to activate and make changes on that particular feature. First up is our Drive Mode. And so, on this one you're controlling what happens when you press down on the shutter release. And so, we have Single Shooting which is where I keep the camera most of the time. We have, Continuous Shooting which is available in a couple of different flavors. And so, let me show you real quickly on my camera And let's make sure we've got this kind of set right. I'm going to make sure, we're just going to go back to the Program Mode. Come on, there we go. So, on the Function Button in here I'm going to go over to the left hand side. I'm going to select the Drive Mode. I'm going to come down and be very aware when you have an icon whether to the left or to the right if there is an arrow. Let me get that straightened up for you there. And so, it is currently set on High Speed Motor Drive but we also have a Mid and a Low speed so let's just do a little test and waste some pixels here. So here's Low Speed. (multiple camera shutters) Alright. Let's go back into Function, select it, and change it up to Mid. (Faster camera shutters) Tad bit faster and then we're going to go up press it again and get up to High speed. (Rapid camera shutters) Alright. So you have three different speeds that you can choose and so as you go through that list, oops. It's currently disabled. It's writing all the pictures to the memory card. As you go up and down the list, and so for instance, we have the self-timer right here. You can change that to five seconds, two seconds, or 10 seconds, and you can just keep scrolling through the left and right to figure out which one works for you. And then we have a continuous self-timer, which will shoot a number of photos after a period of time, and this is real good for group shots, because somebody always blinks on the first shot. Don't shoot one, shoot two or three or four shots after a bit of time. And then down here towards the bottom we do have have some other modes, bracketing modes, and so let's go back to the Keynote and take a look at some of the bracketing options in this camera. So let's go to the next page here. So bracketing is where the camera will shoot automatically a series of shots. You can choose how many shots and you can choose how far apart they are bracketed. Now when you do this, you'll see a little symbol that says the bracketing is turned on. You can shoot with this in a continuous or a single mode. You would use single if you specifically want to time each one of the shots. I like to shoot them in the continuous mode so that they are shot at as near to the same time as possible. You can choose a different number of exposures, you can choose either three, five or nine exposures. And then you can choose, finally, the exposure increment, how far apart each of the photos are. For most of the bracketing that I like to do, I like to do about a one stop bracket. I think a third stop just isn't enough difference between one image and the next, but one stop seems to be about right. Sometimes I go actually even more than that, but everyone has their own needs, and you can really customize this to work exactly the way that you want to. And so that's part of the bracketing. Now down towards the bottom of the list, you're gonna see a white balance bracketing and a DRO bracketing, and so there are things beyond the exposure that you can bracket. We will talk about some of these other features as we go through the camera. These are ones that are not used very commonly. Most of the time, people are gonna leave this in single shooting. They'll occasionally when they're shooting action go to the continuous shooting, and then every once in a while they'll use the self-timer or the bracketing modes. And that is the Drive Mode. Next up is the Flash Mode and this is where you get to determine how the flash works when it is popped up. You could turn it off, I don't know why you would want to pop the flash up and turn it off, but it is conceivably possible. Let's look at some of these other flash modes that you can work with. Auto Flash is where the flash fires whenever it's dark. Fill Flash is where it will fire even though it's bright and doesn't think that it would normally need flash. Slow Sync will allow you to use very slow shutter speeds so you can get interesting blurs with subjects that are moving but you are also adding flash and stopping the action with it. Rear Synch is very much like Slow Sync, the only difference is that the flash is synchronized to time with the second shutter curtain rather than the first shutter curtain, which can give you some even extra interesting blur in your subjects that are moving. The camera can also be hooked up to additional Sony flash units for wireless off-camera multi-strobe techniques. And there's a whole, there's probably a whole class of information in how to do the off-camera flash, and we're not gonna totally get into it, other than the fact that I can tell you it does it and can do a very good job with it. And just as a side note, the top shutter speed when you are using flash, is 1/60th of a second on the camera. Next up is a little tweak to the flash, which is the flash compensation. And so the camera, when it fires with the flash and the flash fires a certain amount of light, how much light does it fire? Well, it fires as much as it thinks it needs, and it uses a system called TTL Flash, and this is a Through The Lens metering system and it's measuring the light, and it's trying to do it the best it can. But for a lot of people photography, it's better to power the flash down just a little bit. I always think of flash a little bit like the way I like spice on my foods. I want a bit of spice, to have some taste to it, but I don't want to have too much spice on it. And the same is with flash. I like a little bit of flash to illuminate those shadows, but I don't want too much flash. It starts looking like a Department of Motor Vehicle photo, which we don't like. And so in many cases, a minus one on the TTL Flash is gonna work. In some cases, depending on the other colors and tones in the photograph, you may need to go down to minus two before you are getting natural skin tones. And so anywhere from minus 2/3 of a stop to minus 1-1/3 stop is a good default position. So minus one is not a bad place to keep your camera on a regular basis, if you're going to be doing people photography with your flash. Next up is our Flash Mode, and if this seems familiar, yes, we have already talked about this. This is the C1 button on the top of the camera. But there's a reasonable chance that you may reassign that C1 to something else. You can get to it still pretty quickly in here, so we're not gonna talk again about this. You can refer to the earlier portion of the class on that subject. Next up is our focusing area, and we have a lot of interesting things going on here, so we need to dive in and talk a bit about this. So the focusing area in your camera is broken up into different areas, and to start with, you have 25 contrast auto-focus points. And so these are different areas that you can select to focus on. You either select one or a group of them, and it covers nearly the entire frame. Now these are very good for accuracy reasons. They will get you perfectly sharp focus as long as you have a subject that has a little bit of detail and contrast to it. In addition to the contrast points, you have 425 Phase Detection auto-focus points. And so these are special, now they're not quite pixels, but they are kind of embedded into the sensor between the pixels, that determine distance. And they can enable and help your camera focus very, very quickly. And so this is the type of a system, similar to a system that you're gonna find in the single-lens reflex cameras, which are the kings of focusing at this point in time. But with 425, this camera does an unbelievably good job. Now one of the little footnotes about these, is that these work best with vertical lines and you'll find that if you have subjects that have strong horizontal lines but no verticals, the performance with these will not be real good. But between these and the contrast detection points, you have a variety of them working for you and it's gonna do an amazing job. And in the world of mirrorless cameras, at the time of the recording of this class, this may very well be the best focusing mirrorless camera on the market. It's a fairly safe bet that is right now. I'm sure that'll change in the future, of course. But right now, it's got some of the best technology working for it. So, there are five main ways of focusing in the camera as far as where you focus. The first up is a wide area, where it simply looks at everything. And it tries to focus on whatever it can. Now whatever it can pull focusing on, it will have to make a decision on subjects that are either close to you or further away from you. And they're gonna show up in green boxes as to what is in focus. So let's just do a little live demo here. I'm wanna show you that mode in practice and let's go into the Function mode and go over to our focusing area. And I want to make sure that I am on wide, and I am indeed on wide area. Now, one of the things you'll notice is that I have a subject in the foreground and we have subjects in the background. And so what is, what's the camera gonna focus on when I press halfway down? And you can see the green box is choosing the subject that is closest to me. Well, let's just move that somewhere else in the frame over here, where does it choose? Well, it's kind of choosing this entire area and it didn't really pick that up in the foreground. If I tip it down a little bit, now it picks it up a little bit. And over here, well let's see, it's now picking up a little something over there. Let me just check one other thing, 'cause we should probably, well, yeah, we do have it in single. And so now we're over here and so it's usually gonna pick up whatever is closest to the subject. And so that's the default parameter that it chooses on these is whatever is closest. All right, so the next option we have is Zone Focusing, which allows us to choose a group of nine focusing boxes, and we can choose those in the middle, left, right, top, bottom or any of those different combinations. And we can move that around, and so that would be pretty good for a somewhat erratic subject that we kind of really wanted to narrow a little bit more into one particular area. And in order to move that around, you're simply gonna use the up down left right controller on the back of the camera to move things around back and forth. And so I'm gonna do another little demo here. Let's go ahead and change my camera over into the Area Focusing. So now I have a particular area that I can move around in. And so I can just use this back tab to move around. Now one of the tricky things, and we haven't got to this yet, but this back dial also controls ISO display and some other things that we're gonna talk about. But right now, it doesn't do that. It doesn't go to the ISO, it moves the brackets to the left. And you can switch back and forth between this being a Mode button, changing these modes, or a Focusing Point button by pressing the Center button. And so you'll see the Select Focus Point on and off and so now if I press to the right, it goes into ISO. And if I press up, it changes the display, and I'm gonna change the display around a little bit to get back here. If I press left, it's gonna do the Drive mode, which we'll talk a little bit more about. But if I press the Center button, then I get my focusing points back and I can start moving them around left and right. So it kind of depends, are you more actively moving focusing points or changing functions on the camera itself. Okay, back on the Keynote. Next one is the Center, pretty obvious. This is the least useful one at all. It's locked in the center, you can't move it, you can't do anything with it. So this is one that you may never use. It's one I don't like to use at all. Because I like flexibility, I like to be able to move things around. And the next one is a great one for that. The next one is a Flexible Spot, so rather than being a zone of nine boxes, it is just a single box, and you get to choose whether it's a small box or a medium box or a large box. And because I'm a Goldilocks fan, I'm gonna go with the medium sized box, just seems to be about the right size for a lot of focusing. And so this is something that you will be able to use with that same control dial on the back of the camera to move that around. Remember just press the Center button to go between the different modes on the dial versus moving the focusing point around itself. Then we have an Expand Flexible Spot. And what this is, is it's very similar to what we just talked about, but it is a very, very small bracket. And it's gonna look in the bracket, try to focus there, and if it can't get it there, it then looks to its nearby neighbors for some help. And so with the other boxes, you're telling it be very specific, only look within the box. In this case, it gives you a little bit of help if you might happen to need it. Which is a pretty good choice as well, as far as a general focusing. But I think my favorite is the medium sized Flexible Spot. Now all five of these are duplicated in a slightly different form with something called Lock-on auto-focus, and this is designed, when you are in the AF-C continuous mode, and it can track your subjects and arguably this camera can do it better than any other camera on the market in the mirrorless world of tracking a subject. And so let's do a little demo here. And let's first get our camera, let me get our camera out here, and I need to change it into the continuous focusing mode. So I'm gonna get this into AF-C, so that is a very important setting, because it only will be available, it'll be grayed out and you will not be able to get to it. Next step, we're gonna go in and we're gonna go down past the medium one, yeah, like that guy, and now we're at this Expanded Flexible Spot. If we go further, all right, the Expanded Flexible Spot, here's the Lock-on option, and if we go down beyond that we go up to the Wide, so what we want to come in down here, and if you'll notice there's a left and right arrow here, and so there are five different modes in here. And so what I'm gonna choose, is I'm gonna choose Flexible Spot, where's the large one, I'm gonna go with the large one right here. And I'm gonna ask Kenna for a little bit of help in here, because we are gonna track Kenna's movement. So if you can stand over there by the camera table. I am gonna point, I'm gonna just lock off the camera here, so I'm not gonna move the camera but I am gonna move the focusing point over onto Kenna. I'm gonna press halfway down, and you can see the little green boxes on her. Now Kenna, walk over to, let's see, let's try this again. Kenna, walk over the the screen. Okay. And so you can see the boxes are tracking her. Now come towards the camera a little bit. And walk back towards the table now. And you can see how those boxes are tracking her. Take a few steps to your right, see if it follows you in front of that light wall, yep. Over there, all the way over there on the edge of the frame, she's on the very, very edge, and then go ahead and step off. And once she steps off then it kind of loses it. But it does an amazing job at tracking subjects. Now she was moving really slow here, but it actually works very quickly if you have a cyclist or runner or any sort of action athlete, what you can do is set your box up where you want that subject to start, press halfway down, and it will follow it anywhere else in the frame. And so on the Lock-on focusing, choosing the starting point, choosing this box is just the starting point. So you can choose any size you want. But I would choose something reasonably small so that you can really lock it on to that particular subject. And so if you do sports photography, this camera is pretty good at that. And so, give that a try. And remember, one of the key things about that particular mode is that you do have to be in the AF-C continuous focusing mode in order for that to work. And so, I wasn't quite able to mimic that on my graphics, 'cause they've got so many boxes moving around, but it basically will follow your subject, it'll change size with your subject wherever it goes in the frame. It won't do a good job if it goes way off to the very, very edge because that's not where any of the focusing points are, but it'll do a great job at about the middle 80% of the frame, so a very good focusing system. So all of that is your focusing area, right next to where your focusing mode is, because those two often go hand-in-hand with the way that you change them.

Class Description

We know what it’s like to dive right into taking pictures with your new camera. But dense technical manuals make for a terrible first date. Get the most out of your new Sony A6300 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.

Join expert photographer John Greengo for a fast-track introduction, and unlock your camera’s full potential. In this fast start class, you’ll learn:

  • How to work with the A6300’s outstanding video capabilities
  • How to maximize the A6300’s ultra-fast autofocus
  • How to navigate the A6300’s menus
John is a CreativeLive veteran instructor and an experienced photographer. He has extensive experience teaching the technical minutiae that makes any camera an effective tool: aperture, ISO, the Rule of Thirds, and the kinds of lenses you’ll need to suit your camera body. 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 Sony A6300’s settings to work for your style of photography.       

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Cassandra Mcd

This was so much better than having to read a manual that often times is not helpful in terms of pointing out tips on when would be the best time times to use a particular function. Love the graphics, the recommendations provided for both new and advanced users and mostly I love the fact that I can go back and watch different segments as I get more use to shooting with this camera. Great Course and I'm really glad I bought it! Thanks John!

Priscilla Read

I'm still working my way through the lessons, trying out everything as I go. I like how John shows everything with great visuals and demos. Also like that he explains when to use the various options available on the camera. Really great! Thanks!

a Creativelive Student

Great overview of this cool camera, with some handy hints and tips from an accomplished instructor. A lot of info!