Camera Operation


Sony® A6300 Fast Start


Lesson Info

Camera Operation

All right, so this last section is on the camera operation and what sort of things do you need to be thinking about and concerned about when you are actually out ready to go shoot photos. So obviously charging and installing the battery. Get that memory card formatted as we've been talking about. The image quality is obviously very important. Most people are gonna be on RAW. Some people on JPEG, but make sure it's set where you want it to be. You may need to go through the rest of your menu system if you've been using your camera in an unusual way. If you've been out doing star shots the night before or a light painting and you're gonna be out shooting a sunrise the next morning, probably very different settings. And so just think back to your last shooting session with the camera if you've done anything unusual. If you're gonna be shooting a really important event like a wedding or you're gonna be taking a big trip you're gonna be traveling overseas someplace, you're gonna wanna proba...

bly make sure that your sensor is as clean as possible. And that's a good time to do a test shot of a white wall or a white piece of paper at ap and see if there's any dust specs on your sensor that need to be cleaned off. Trust me, it's far easier to deal with that at home than it is while you are on the road. The main settings that you're gonna be changing on the camera, for the most part, are gonna be dealing with exposure. So we have our exposure mode. We have our aperture dial on the back of the camera. We'll be changing our shutter speeds, our ISOs, exposure compensation. And we have a few other things like the drive mode, self-timer, single continuous shooting. And then to get to the rest of the modes we're gonna need the function button, if you haven't already programmed one of the custom buttons, to get to things like our focusing options; focusing mode, focusing area, and our white balance. And so if I had to narrow down the 10 things that you really need to know on this camera it's these 10 right here. So let's take a look at how we would set the camera up using these 10 modes for a variety of situations. We're gonna start off with super simple. So if you just wanted to hand the camera to a friend or family relative to take photos or you wanted to put the camera in the mode that you had to make the fewest decisions possible, how would I set this camera up? I'm gonna recommend the program mode over the auto mode simply because if you wanted to jump into one of those other things you could still do it. The camera's gonna set shutter speeds and apertures according to what it thinks it needs. And if you really want it to be automatic you set it in auto ISO and then really watch out for all three parameters. And you should get some pretty decent exposures for everything that you do. Make sure that your exposure compensation is at zero unless you're intending it to be something different. The metering, the multi-metering system is the most versatile and works the best under different lighting conditions. White balance would be auto unless you were under some very specific lights that you know don't look right there and they need to be changed to something else. Focusing; I'm not normally a big fan of AFA where the camera switches back and forth. But if you wanted things in the very simplest of modes this is normally gonna be in the AFS mode and it will switch to continuous if it thinks it needs it. The focusing area would be at wide so it's looking at the entire area for focus. It will be focusing on whatever is closest to the camera, so be aware that that's the system that it uses and that may affect how you compose your images. And then for the drive mode, putting that in the single mode. Now my hope is that you're gonna want to take more control over your camera than using it in the super simple mode. So let's try a little bit different thing here with landscape photography. So in this case we know our subjects are not moving around. We know we want lots of depth of field. And just maybe, maybe we're using a tripod. That would be nice. Okay, so in this case we can use manual exposure. So we can figure out exactly the shutter speeds, apertures, and so forth. Now what's probably most important is getting the cleanest, best quality image, which means setting an ISO as low as possible. 100 is the lowest setting that's gonna be the best setting. The next one I would work with is the aperture so that I could get lots of depth of field, 8, 11, 16, 22 would be numbers that I would probably be looking at depending on the exact composition. I'm gonna end up with the slowest shutter speed, and it's really gonna be determined by the amount of light. But it's often gonna end up around 30. I'm not recommending 30. It's just indicating where it might end up, depending on the light. We don't use exposure compensation because we're in a full manual mode. Metering, I'm fine with it at full. Light balance at auto. Is my subject moving? No. I'm gonna keep it in auto focus single. Where do I wanna focus? Well, I wanna be pretty specific about where I wanna go. And so using the flexible spot will allow me to move the frame anywhere I want within the larger frame to figure out exactly what I want and focus. And for the drive mode I'm either gonna choose single or I'm gonna choose self-timer so that I can get my hand off the camera while it's on a tripod perhaps if I don't have a cable release with me. So hopefully that makes sense for landscape photography. And let's try portrait photography. So here we have a subject that might be moving around a little bit as well as we, the photographer, might be moving around a little bit. If I can have kind of a consistent lighting on my subject I'm gonna choose manual. And this is where I'll probably choose my aperture first where I kinda like shooting with a wide-open aperture to blur the background. So if you have an aperture like 2.8 on your lens, that would be a good choice. After that I'm gonna wanna make sure that I have a shutter speed fast enough to stop my action and my subject's action. And so 125th or higher would do a good job for that. And I will, of course, wanna have the lowest ISO possible, but I'm pretty willing to compromise here. If I need to get a higher ISO I would just bump it up according to the needs of the light level that I'm in. I'm gonna be fine with multi-metering. I'm fine with auto light balance unless it needs changing. And for focus because my subject's not moving around, I'm gonna choose AFS for single focusing. And I wanna be very precise about my focusing. And so using the flexible spot, perhaps even using the small box in this so that I can focus on my subject's eyes. And most of the time I would just keep the camera in single. So that is portrait setup. All right, for action photography we're gonna need faster shutter speeds to stop the action and we're gonna need a focusing system that tracks the movement. Now as long as the subjects are in consistent light I'm gonna stay with manual metering or manual exposure mode. If they were changing from bright light to shadowed areas and so forth I'd probably go with aperture priority. But most of the time I would go with manual. And this is where I'm gonna wanna faster shutter speed. 500th of a second or faster. Next up I'm gonna wanna have one of those faster lenses that gets down to 2.8. This is where they really pay dividends. And I of course want the lowest ISO. But with really fast shutter speeds you're probably gonna be at ISO 400 or higher. We'll go ahead and stick with multi-metering and auto white balance. And one of the most important setting changes is focus where we send that to the AFC for continuous focusing. For the focus area it's too hard to keep a spot on a subject that's really moving around. And this is where the lock on AF and choosing one of the focusing points. You could choose the zone area or perhaps the flexible spot large to start with. But in this lock on AF it will track the subject throughout the frame wherever there are focusing points. A very good system, but does require a little bit of practice. And then if I am wanting to get a burst of shots at different moments I am gonna wanna choose the continuous. In particular I would probably choose continuous high so that I could shoot at a very high frame rate per second. Let's do the last one here is basic photography. And this is where you just don't know what your next shot is. So I kinda think of this as travel photography. You're walking down the street and who knows, you might shoot a door handle or somebody coming down the street. And this is where I like a little bit of automation just to speed up the process. And so aperture priority and choosing a moderate but reasonably fast aperture like 5. is a pretty good safe call to make. If you need more depth of field you can dial it in when you need it. I like keeping my ISO as low as possible, but I kinda adjust it according to the light levels. As I go into a darker environment I'll start bumping up that ISO so that I can get faster shutter speeds. I'm keeping one eye on the exposure compensation. I may use it; I may not use it. But by default I wanna make sure that it's at zero so that it's not whacked out and getting crazy results, too bright or too dark. Metering, I'm fine with multi-metering. I'm fine with auto light balance. Most of the time I'm not photographing subjects that are moving rapidly towards me or away, so I'll choose single focus. And I do like the flexible spot, the medium size box. I think that's a good geneal purpose focusing area. And if I'm not really shooting action I just wanna get one good shot here ane there. I'm gonna keep the camera in the single mode. All right, folks, I can now congratulate you if you have completed this class! You are now an expert of this camera. So hopefully you've got their entire camera figured out. But let's jump in and finish off the class with a few questions. All right, let me know if you guys have-- I'm gonna go ahead and take one from the internet first and then we'll head over to you. So first of all, a comment from Ron Croft who says, "A big thanks, John, very impressive presentation "explaining a complex camera." And that is what these classes are all about. Quick question from Priscilla Reed who says do you have a recommendation for an additional lens for the camera? She just has the kit lens and wants an additional lens for travel photography. Well, the kit lens is pretty good for travel photography in most cases. I think the two areas that you're gonna wanna look at most closely is something that has more telephoto. And so the kit lens, the one that I have, is 16 to 50, and that's a pretty popular one. And so it's getting something up around 100 or 200. And so look at the other lenses that zoom upwards of around 200. And so if you're gonna be photographing in a place, if you're gonna be doing any sort of wildlife or there's action and sports going on you're gonna want that longer telephoto lens. If you're gonna be going to an area where it's very dark, maybe you're gonna be visiting churches in Europe, you might wanna lens that is faster that lets in more light. This one's okay and it does have the stabilization on it so you can shoot at relatively low shutter speeds, but having a 1.8 or a 1.4 lens could be a huge benefit in dark environments. And if you're doing portrait photography, those fast lenses like the 518 is really nice for getting shallow depth of field. So those are the directions that I would point you in. But you'll be able to make the best choice because you know what you're gonna be doing. John, I like shooting in manual mode. But there are times when, say at sunset or sunrise, where I'll switch over to aperture and then bracket. Is that a wise thing to do or not? It's not unwise, and so it's certainly one way to solve the problem. And there's many ways to solve the problem. And so with shooting sunsets, the reason that I don't shoot the in aperture priority is because let's just say I get my sunset lined up and I take my first photo and okay, that's not right. Let's do exposure compensation. I'm gonna set it over to minus one, take the picture, okay, that looks good. Oh, I have a different idea. Rather than the sun in the middle I'm gonna do the sun off to the side. So I move the sun over here and now my picture has gotten a different level of brightness because the camera's metering is changing it. When really all I wanted was the same lightness, same brightness just a different composition. And so in that case I would put the camera in manual, check out the exposure, okay, little brighter, little darker, find out where I like it. And then if I said, okay, now let's make it lighter and darker, I would then adjust the shutter speed from there. But at any point I said, oh, this looks good, I'm gonna do one with the sun here and one with the sun here and one with the sun here, now I have three versions. And so it's just part of the process as to what makes it simplest for you. And that's how it works simplest for me. [Man Audience Member] Thanks very much, great course. Sure, thank you. Well, thank you to everybody who tuned in at home. Thank you guys for being here. Do you have any final words for us, John? All right, folks, so if you've been watching this class, this is a fast start class. And I do have these on many other cameras. And so if you get a camera in the future beyond this one or you have other cameras or you have friends who have cameras that really don't understand how to work them because you're so much smarter than they are, why are you so smart? I watch the class. All right, so I have classes, I'm trying to keep up with all the different cameras out there. And so if you want them, look for them. You can find them all at Creative Live. I do have other camera classes as well. The starter kit is the nice little three-hour short course in getting you up to speed on shutter speeds, apertures, and the basics. I have a free class-- how about a free class, that's pretty nice, on how to choose your first DSLR camera. But honestly, it doesn't have to be your first. It could be your second. It could be a mirror-less camera. I talk about all the cameras in there. The biggest, most comprehensive class I have is my fundamentals class. And this is a five-day course. At least it takes me five days to teach all the materials. I actually just got a Facebook message from somebody who has been watching that class, binge watching the class, well, I don't know if it's binge watching. But they've been watching it for the last three months and they finally made it through, there's like 27 hours in the class. And they finally made it through. And they're all of a sudden lost. Like, I don't know what I'm gonna do. I've been watching this every day for an hour a day or something. So that's a big one, but it's got a lot of good information. I do have a couple of specific classes if you're interested in nature and landscape or travel photography. And then I do also have a couple of lens classes. These are dedicated either for Nikon or Canon lenses. And who knows, maybe down the road I'll do a class on Sony lenses, we'll see. I wanna have a little more, few more lenses. They don't have quite enough lenses for me to do a class on it yet. But a lot of that information would apply to other lenses as well.

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.