Skip to main content

photo & video

Sony A6300 Fast Start

Lesson 12 of 18

Camera Settings: Pages 4-6

John Greengo

Sony A6300 Fast Start

John Greengo

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

12. Camera Settings: Pages 4-6

Lesson Info

Camera Settings: Pages 4-6

Making our way over to page four, the AF drive speed. Now notice the little film symbol. So this is only dealing with movies here. And so our options are, we can focus fast, normal, or slow. And you might be thinking, well wouldn't we wanna focus fast? Isn't faster better than slow? Well when you're shooting video and the camera is changing focus, it doesn't necessarily look good to change focus too quickly. And so that's why the camera is kind of inherently set on normal. Now if you find that that doesn't meet your needs, you can either bump it up or bump it down in speed. But focusing should be fairly gentle and you don't wanna draw attention to your camera movements when you're shooting video. The idea is not to have the attention on you, the camera. It's to have it on your subject. And so that's why you probably would want to leave this on normal. And you might even want even to move it to slow in some cases. AF tracking. So once again, only dealing with a movie. This has to do wit...

h tracking subjects that are moving. As I said earlier in the class, in the movie mode, the camera is in a continuous focusing mode or it's in manual focus. But if it is in auto focus, it's gonna be continually tracking your subject moving forwards and backwards. Now how fast do you want it to track that subject? And we once again get to that focusing issue of how jumpy do you want your camera to be. And that's why this camera is set right now at normal is that it doesn't wanna be too jumpy. Now you can adjust it up to high if you want to. But be aware that the camera might be jumping around and changing focus and that might be distracting from your videos. There needs to be a right compromise depending on the type of video that you're shooting. Next up is exposure compensation. And this is something that there is a button on the back of the camera for so there's much better access to it. But if you wanted to assign it to a different custom button, this gives you the opportunity to do that or to dive into the menu to find it. Exposure steps deal with how finely we wanna make those steps with exposure compensation or with our shutter speeds and apertures. Most photographers these days prefer 1/3 step apertures and shutter speed adjustments because 1/3 stop is about the smallest amount of light difference that we will notice between one image and the next. It's pretty hard to see much less than that in a still image. But if you wanted to change it to 1/2 stops, you could. Most people are gonna leave it at the 1/3 stop EV setting. We have our ISO setting. Once again there's a button on the back of the camera for this. It is also in the function button. But this gives you the opportunity to program another button with it. When you are using the auto ISO, one of the things that you can determine is how slow of shutter speed do you use. And so you can either pick a number here. So if you thought that you could hand-hold the camera at 1/60th of a second, but no slower, you'd set a 60 and your camera would never go below 1/60th of a second when the auto ISO is engaged. If the light level gets low, it would use slower and slower shutter speeds until it got down to 1/60th of a second and then it would start raising the ISO. Another option is that you can set this, let me see if we got this to, you know I wanna jump in my camera real quick and take a look for something just a moment. I'm going to jump in right here. Where are we? What page are we on? We're on page four. So page four ISO, auto ISO setting in here. And so standard, and then we go into all the different numbers here. And so if we choose standard, what it's gonna do is it's gonna look to see where the camera is in its zoom range. And it's gonna try to give us, let's set this ISO in auto right now,. Okay, come on. Nope, that's because I got the focusing on. Now let's get to auto ISO right here. And if I zoom in, you'll notice that it's giving me 1/80th of a second. If I zoom back, it's coming down to a little bit slower shutter speed at 1/60th of a second. It generally won't go much below 1/60th of a second. But if you had a big 300 millimeter lens, it's probably gonna give you 1/300th of a second. And it's gonna bump the ISO up. And so the standard setting on this will kinda follow along where you are on your lens and your current needs for a minimum shutter speed to be a little bit faster because you have a greater magnification to work for. And so for, I think for a lot of people, I think standard might be a good option. Or you could simply pick a number that you like in this case. And so standard is gonna be a good option for people with different lenses, especially those telephoto lenses. Okay, what do we got next? Number five, the metering mode on this. So this is the metering mode. We talked about this in the function setting. The multi setting is using that 1200 point meter reading. And it's gonna be very good for a multitude of lighting situations. White balance. Once again, another item that we saw in the function menu. We're seeing a lot of things that are duplicated in there. And there we go. And so same settings as we talked about for. I think auto works very well for most people in most situations. Do keep an eye on the color and see if you need to change it at some point. So one of the options in there is to do a custom white balance setup. And what you would do there is you would photograph a white sheet of paper. And you can see I photographed a white sheet of paper here. Doesn't look very white 'cause I'm using a tungsten bulb to illuminate it. And so first thing we're gonna do is we're gonna go into custom setup. We're gonna press the control wheel while we're pointed at this neutral colored object. And then we're gonna register the white balance by pressing the control wheel button. And the camera is gonna basically figure out what color is illuminating that subject and correct for it. And so if you wanna get correct light, just make sure that you have something that is neutral in color. A white piece of paper or a gray card, for instance, would do the job. DRO and HDR, something else we talked about earlier in the function menu setting. This is where it shoots either a single shot or multiple shots to kind of open up the shadows and give you more detail in those areas. It only works with JPEG images. And remember, the HDR setting shoots two photos or multiple photos in order to get that better exposure latitude. And it's something that, it works. It's kind of interesting. It has its place as to where you might wanna use it. But in general, it's something that you're probably gonna wanna leave turned off. Creative style. All right, so here's where you get to be a little bit creative about choosing how your camera looks. This is kind of like the old days of film where we have different films that we used. And you can go in and you can tweak these. So beyond just choosing a different one, which will have a different look, you can go in and you can change the contrast, the saturation, and the sharpness of each of these so that you're getting exactly what you want out of your JPEGs. Now once again, this is only to JPEGs and the only way that it would work with RAW is if you were using Sony's image data converter which is their software. You could then apply it to their images in RAW. But normally it's not gonna do anything else in RAW with other post-production software. So picture effect. Well this, come on. There we go. All right, so this is our Instagram filters, for those of you who like Instagram. So this is having a little bit of fun and goofiness with the camera. And so let's take a look at some of these. So here we start off with a standard photo and then we do our toy camera and then we do our pop photo where we have lots of saturation. Some more examples. We have a posterization, retro photo, and soft high-key. Now onscreen you'll see arrows beside some of these. And that means that you can go in and you can tweak that setting to maybe a high setting or a low setting. So beyond the examples that I'm showing you here, they can be further adjusted into even more varieties. So for instance, the partial color, you could choose red, green, blue, or a variety of different colors in there. Our standard black and white one. We have our soft focus. And then we get into some unusual ones. And some of these are using multi shot techniques. And HDR painting one, for instance. We have a miniature one which blurs out part of the top and the bottom of the photo to make it look like a miniature even if it isn't a miniature. I think the illustration looks pretty cool in this case. It makes those branches look very interesting on that tree. And then back again to our normal photo. And so this is something that will be recorded as a JPEG image. And it's something that you wanna be a little careful with on any sort of important situation because it's a little goofy and fun. But if you wanna have a different look straight outta the camera, it does it and can do some interesting things to it. All right, picture profile. And so on this one, this is for people mostly who are shooting video. And what's going on here is that when you shoot video you don't get a RAW image. You get this compressed file out of the camera. And there are many people who shoot video who are very specific about what they want that file to look like. And so there is a number of these different options in here that has different tone curves and a different way of compressing the data. One of the more popular ones are some of the S-Log, S-Log2, S-Log3 for people who are shooting for films, for movies and so forth. And it's got a very flat look to it. And so what they're trying to do is they shoot it with a very flat non-contrasting look. And then when they get in post-production, they're gonna do color grading on it and they're gonna tweak the color and it's gonna give them as much information to work with as possible. But on many of these modes, if you'll notice, if you dive in there, and we're gonna do this just in a moment on my camera, but I wanna bring up one more thing here, there are all sorts of things that you can get into as far as controlling the exact shape of these tone curves that you are getting. And so I got to be honest with you folks. I do a little bit of video here and there. Yeah I worked on a TV show one time and I've done video in college and stuff. But there's only so much video that I do. And so this camera is very well tweaked for anyone who wants to get very serious into video. So let's go take a look on my camera. I just wanna show you how to get into this mode right here. So we're on menu. It looks like we're on page five. So let me move over to page five. And under picture profile, we're gonna go in here and you're gonna see down here, we're gonna have all these PP1, PP2. And these are all the different modes that we had set. And so if you use that little cheat sheet on the previous page, I told you what they were. They're also buried in the instruction manual. But if you'll notice, there's a little arrow. A little tiny arrow. Means that we go to the right. And if we go to the right, we can control the various parameters of the color, the saturation, the contrast, and all the different detail about these different settings in here. And so each of these different modes, which let's hit the menu to back out of that. We can go choose another one. And you can see, let's go up to PP1. And just notice what we have the camera pointed at right now. And notice how the color and contrast changes as we get down, especially to the S-Log down here. And you see how that becomes very gray and muddy. And so it doesn't look good here. It's not intended to look good here. It's intended to be a file that can be worked with very easily in video editing programs. And if you said, well you know that's pretty close to what I want, but I wanna go in and adjust the knee. Haven't you always wanted to adjust your knee? Well you can go in here and adjust all the different parameters. We're not gonna go through all of 'em. It's kinda beyond the scope of this class here. But for anyone that shoots video and they have a very specific look that they're trying to get out of the camera, well you can do this for still photography and shoot those photos like that, but this is mainly designed for people shooting video. All right, that is picture profile. On to page six. So this camera has a digital zoom. And digital zoom is something that you should be very wary of because what it's doing is it's cropping in on the sensor and it's just showing you a small portion of what the sensor sees. And so you're not gonna get 24 megapixels out of it. It's not a true 24 megapixel. It's just simply cropping in. And if you really need it telephoto and you wanted to compose it in the viewfinder, I can see turning this on. But I think for most everyone, most all the time, this is something that you're gonna wanna turn off. The focus magnifier is pretty important for anyone who likes to do manual focusing. And so let me show you on my camera here. So let's get my camera turned around. And let me get to page six. And focus magnifier is turned off because I probably have something going on. What do I have turned on? And so I'm gonna press the center button here. And this is one of the things that I do like about the Sony system. I've complained about the Sony menu system, so let me give it a little bit of credit points here. Here's what's good about Sony and other companies could learn a good lesson on is, and right now, let's see. You'll notice I wanna get to my focus magnifier, but it's grayed out. Okay. And if I go in here and I select it, why can't I use this? Thank you Sony for telling me why I can't use it. It's telling me I can't do it because my focus mode is in continuous auto focus. So now that I know that, I'm gonna go in and I'm gonna change my focus mode to single. I'm gonna come back into the menu. And now my focus magnifier is illuminated. And so I can get in here. And so what this is is this allows me to pick an area and then I can move it around and I can press the center button. And now I can zoom in. And so this is something that buried here in the menu, it's not of much use. But if you assign it to one of the shortcut buttons, it becomes a much more useful device. And so I can zoom in. As you can see this is 11.7x magnification. And so now I gotta dive back into the menu, focus magnifier. As I say, this is something you would normally assign to a shortcut button. But this allows you to just one press of a button jump in and take a look at something very closely. And so that is the focus magnifier. So, can be very handy for anyone who does a lot of manual focusing. Next up is long exposure noise reduction. So if you do a long exposure, we're talking over one second in length, there is gonna be a bit of heat buildup on the sensor and you may get more noise. And so I wanted to run a little test to see, well how much noise do I get and how much noise reduction really helps me out? So I just ran it through a quick test in the studio. Did a 15 second exposure with the long exposure noise reduction turned on and off. And I stared at these two photos until my eyes went cross-eyed. And I just have the hardest time trying to see any difference between this at all. And so you might wanna test it yourself, but my thinking is that it is generally not worth its weight because the problem with this is that if you shoot a 15 second exposure, the camera needs that to get the exposure. But then it's gonna go through processing of that image, which takes another 15 seconds. And so that means you are out of commission from shooting photos until that 15 second period is up. And for very very little benefit from it, it just doesn't seem like it's worth its weight. And so it's not something that I would use because it's just gonna slow down the shooting process which is probably the most important part of the whole thing. Next up, kinda related, is high ISO noise reduction. So when you shoot at higher ISOs, maybe 1600, 3200 and on upwards, you're gonna get more noise. You can either let the camera do some in-camera processing to reduce the noise. Or you can try to do it later yourself. So once again I'm just gonna do a little test shot. And this is at ISO 6400, which is a fairly high ISO for this camera. And I can see a lot of noise in that image. And as you can see, between low and normal, it has done a pretty good job at reducing the noise in the camera. So if you shoot at higher ISOs, you shoot JPEGs, you don't wanna work on things later, I would say shooting it at normal is not a bad thing. But if you're willing to a little bit of work in a program like Adobe Lightroom, you can go in and do the processing noise reduction fix yourself. And you'll be able to tweak it and adjust it for each individual photo according to its own needs. And my bet is that with a little bit of practice, you'll figure out how to do this better than the camera can on its own. And so here's an example at 25000. And the problem with turning the noise reduction on is that you do lose a bit of sharpness. It does throw away, it compromises sharpness in order to try to blur out some of that noise problem. And so this is something, it's a personal choice as to whether you wanna do this later or not. For an average user who doesn't wanna go in and do that sort of work, I think normal is gonna be pretty good in most situations. But for the more serious photographer, they're gonna wanna turn this off and adjust it on a per image basis. Center lock-on AF. Now this is a bit of an older feature from Sony cameras that have carried forward. And it's not really necessary in most cases. If you remember when we went through the focusing areas, there was a lock-on focus option. And if you remember Kenna doing the test. We were tracking her moving back and forth. That is the new system and it works better than this because you don't have to dive into the menu system to work. But unfortunately that lock-on system is not available when you're in the movie mode. And so if you are in the movie mode, you would need to use this system. So you would need to either assign this to a shortcut button or you would need to come here in the menu system. And what you do is you simply press on the center button at the back of the camera when you want and when you have your focusing point on the subject that you're gonna try to track. And so you have to leave your finger on the back button while you are tracking that subject. And it's a little bit slower, more cumbersome system of tracking. And it can be done in still photography. But the newer system works much better in the lock-on focusing. Okay, smile and face detection. Okay, so this one is kind of interesting. And what I wanna do is I wanna, let's see, look into the menu system to show you a few things and then we'll do a little demo. All right, so we're gonna jump into the menu system. And we are on page six. And smile and face detection. I'm gonna go ahead and turn this, go into this mode. And over on the left side of the screen, it's turned off which is where I would normally recommend most of the time. And so one of the options on here, let's see if I can turn this to manual and change my shutter speed to something really fast so I have a dark screen so that I can see what's on the menu system a little bit more easily. And so here we have on with registered faces. And so what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna be showing you somewhere else in the camera where you can register different people's faces. And it will remember, if I remember correctly, six different faces. And so if you have six kids, have fun with that first. Secondly, you get to order them by your favorite child or your oldest or your favorite first. And then through all the six. And the camera will understand and recognize these faces. And it will focus on face number one before it will focus on face number two. And so you can choose it to focus on registered faces or just on faces themselves. But it also has a normal, or it has a face detection, but with a smile shutter that can actually track a smile. And Kenna can I ask you to come up on stage here? Join me up here. We're gonna do a little demo. Let's just do a facial detection. So I'm gonna go back and I'm gonna put this camera in program. And so we have Kenna here. And let's see where our camera focuses. Let me make sure, did I actually put it in face detection. So let's see if I have chosen, whoops, a focus point. And I think what I need to do, did I actually get this turned on? It is on and let's see. Oh can you see that box around Kenna's face? Even though I have chosen this other area, it is finding her face. Let's give a little bit of zoom in here. And you can see that box that is tracking her face around. Sorry about the reflections there. But you can see that it's tracking her face. But what we're gonna do now is we're gonna go into the menu and we're gonna go down to smile detection. Now we can go and we can choose big smile, slight smile, and normal smile. We'll go with normal smile. And Kenna, if you could give us a frowny face. All right. And now gives us a little bit more of a smile. More of a smile. And you can see as soon as we get to a certain smile level, it'll automatically just take the photo. So I'm gonna go in and let's change this to big smile. Whoops. Uh-oh we gotta get back to what, what page are we on, six. And we wanna go down here to smile detection. And we're gonna do big smile. Now if you'll notice over here on the left side of the screen, we have our smile indicator. So frowny face. Slight smile. Little bit more. Okay now we're starting to come up on the meter. And (laughs) automatically takes the photo. And so, look at that gigantic smile there. There was a huge smile. Your smile was off the charts there. Okay, thank you Kenna. So that can be a fun feature if you are wanting to do a self-timer shot or you wanna do a selfie shot. It's a way for the camera to just automatically trigger without you being concerned about tripping the actual shutter yourself. You can simply do it by smiling. So thank you Kenna. That was fun to do. Hey, it just took another photo of you. I'm gonna have to turn this feature off and point it away from you. You smile too much. Okay, so that was smile and face detection. And so, okay, here's another one of those areas that I griped about Sony. So where do you register faces? Well that will be in the custom settings, page six which is very far away from where you would actually turn this on. And so we'll talk about registering faces in an upcoming section.

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.       

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Sony A6300 Fast Start Recommeded Settings

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


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!