Top Deck: Custom Settings and Focus Mode
Next up, we have a C button, the custom button, and just, we're not on the back of the camera yet but we'll mention there's a C2 button back there and these are as well as there are a number of other buttons on the camera, buttons that you can customize to do whatever it is that you want them to do. And so, in the custom setup of the camera, page seven, seven is custom key settings. And you can go in and program this camera to do a wide variety of things. So let's take a look at the list of things that you can program and let's discuss in-depth every single one of these items. Okay, maybe not. So there's a lot of different ways that you can customize your camera, and to be truthful, we are gonna talk about most of these things as we go through the menu system. A lot of these are items that are listed in the menu, and if you want a shortcut to it, you can assign this button, the C1 or the C2, to controlling these particular things. There is actually one that I wanna talk about, and that...
's just because there isn't another good way of turning this on and off. And there is something called Eye AF. And this is where the camera can do facial recognition and it can recognize an actual eye of a face, and it will focus on the eye rather than the nose or the cheek or the hair, or something else on someone's face. And many portrait photographers will tell you what they really want in focus are the eyes. They don't want the nose in focus with the eyes out of focus most likely. And so if you wanna have the camera automatically focus on the eye, you could program that to one of the buttons and the camera would, when pressing that button, would go into that particular mode to help you focus just on that one eye. Now, that's just one of the many, many different features that you saw there, but that one, I think is of particular interest to some photographers. And we're gonna see more about these customizable buttons in other places on the camera but these are two of the ones that they just kinda are pretty blank right now and you can program in as you want. For right now though, the C1 button is the focus mode button, which controls the way that your camera focuses. Now there are a few different ways that your cameras can focus. The main, primary way that most of us are gonna have our cameras set is in AF-S, whish is single-shot auto-focus, which is perfect for subjects that are not moving towards us or away from us. The other notable different one is AF-C, and this is designed for subjects that are moving forwards and backwards, and so action photography, dance, athletics of any sort, the camera will track our subject, and we're gonna talk more about the focusing system and how it locks on and the different brackets that we can use but this is just how the camera is gonna be controlling the lens' focusing ability. The other one is AF-A. Now, AF-A is where the camera determines if your subject is stationary or moving, and most photographers that I have found do not like AF-A, and it's because it's inconsistent. Sometimes, it'll look at that runner. Sometimes it'll look at the grass and not wanna focus on the runner that's running across the grass. And so it's a bit inconsistent, and photographers do not like things that are inconsistent, and so for most situations I would say AF-S. For action photography, you wanna go to AF-C. But we also have a manual focus option and a DMF, which is a manual focus option as well, but with a camera, the camera is in auto-focus but allows you to do a little manual focus touch-up on it. And so I wanna do a quick little demo of how that works, so let me actually get back one slide here. And so I wanna do a little demonstration, and I wanna check my menu system real quick, so give me just a moment. I wanna make sure that something is turned on appropriately. Okay. So I am going to point it over at our little camera stand over here. And if I focus down on the shutter release halfway, the camera will focus. All right. But if I wanna jump in and check the focus or adjust it, I can turn, wait a minute. I gotta make sure that something is set on my camera. I was playing around with my camera before, and I need to have it in DMF, which is what I said I was gonna be talking about but I forgot to actually move it there. That was my fault. Now let's try this again. So I focus on my subject, and it stops. But now, as I grab the focus ring of the lens, it zooms in and I can see if my subject is sharp or not, and if that's not the subject, let's see so as I turn this, it zooms in. If that's not where I want it, I can use the control pad in the back of the camera to move the focusing frame around. So now, I can turn this focus. Now, for anyone who's been around a while, the focus is a little touchy. It is a fly-by-wire system and you are not actually physically turning lenses by turning the focusing ring. It's a fly-by-wire system, and you're electronically telling the lens to move forward or change. And so for somebody who likes auto-focus but occasionally wants a touch-up on it, you can use the DMF option. Let me go ahead and change this to full-on manual focus. And so in manual focus, we can see that just on its own, it zooms in, and I'm gonna actually just readjust here so we can lock it in. And I'm just gonna look at it as closely as I can, trying to get sharp focus. And then when I press down on the shutter release, it'll jump back. And right now, if you're doing this on your camera and it's not working, there is one additional thing that I have turned on that may not be turned on on your camera. And that is I have manual focus assist turned on in the menu system, which lets the camera zoom automatically in. So you can see, this is my framing, all right, but when I start focusing, it automatically jumps in and you can see a little thumbnail down in the left corner of where it is in the frame, and if I don't like where it is, I can choose somewhere else to focus. By moving the four-way controller in the back of the camera. And so there's a lot of good manual focus options. The manual focus feel, it takes a little getting used to. It's not quite the same direct feel of a traditional manual focus lens. But it does give us two interesting options, and so I think there are a number of more serious photographers that will like that DMF option. It gives them auto-focus, but if you manually wanna go in and touch it up, you can. It's kind of a different way of using back-button focusing. And so those are, there are two different options for focusing the lens. And we'll talk more about back-button focusing as we go through the class later on. So that is the focus mode. And so as I said, oh, one other thing on the magnify, let me just show you one more thing, I always gotta show you one more thing. So let's make sure, all right, so I'm focusing in here. If I wanna get even closer, I can hit the center button, and it can go back and forth between close and really close. So if I wanna go in very close, I can get up here. You know I can focus in exactly on that one if I want a little bit wider angle, or we call it wide angle, it's less telephoto is what it is. And so by just pressing that center button, you can change your magnification, and that's gonna be both in manual focus and in the DMF. And so the DMF stands for direct manual focus. All right. We do have a flash built in to the camera. There is a flash button on the back of the camera you'll be able to see. That you'll push in to pop up the flash. It's not real powerful, and then we also have a hot shoe on top of this camera. That is a hot shoe plus that they actually call a multi-interface shoe, which means it's powering the flash, but it can also do other things because there are some electronics kind of tucked under the forward lip of that paneling under there. And so let's talk about some of the things that you can plug in here, so obviously, this is where you're gonna plug in your additional flash units. Sony has a number of different units. The smallest of them, the F20, I can't say that I would highly recommend because you already have a small built-in flash and that one doesn't give you much advantage over the built-in one. If you do need more power, I would probably look at the F43. And something that's kind of interesting is that the numbers that you see for these flashes, they're not random numbers. They're not numbers like 6300 is the name for the camera. These numbers actually relate to the power of the flash. They're part of the guide numbers measured in meters. And so it is a direct relationship as to how powerful these are between the 20, 32, 43, and 60 on that. And so the 60 would be good is if you were doing subjects that are very large groups of people, for instance, or you need very fast recycling time. Think okay, graduation with graduates walking off the stage every five seconds, you need to fire a full-powered flash over and over and over again. Now the multi-interface shoe is where there's power and electronics for other types of devices, and so Sony, as we all know, has a lot of different video and electronic devices. So they have different types of microphones. They have a wireless mic and a zoom mic that you can plug into the hot shoe. They do not require batteries, and they will run off the batteries of the camera itself. And so very convenient because there's very little in the way of cords and power and extra things that you need. Very simple, you plug them on and they work. All right, so, lots of fun stuff on the top there. All right, finally we have our focal plane on the camera and not that you will probably ever need this, but if you ever needed to measure the distance from your subject to the focal plane, that's where you're measuring. And it's possible that you could do that if you get into macro photography or you're doing very precise focusing in cinema photography. If you've ever seen someone behind the scenes of a movie set where they're holding out a tape measure from the actor's face to the camera, this is the mark that they're holding it to on that particular camera. All right, folks, well that covers the top deck. I think this might be a good time to check in and see if we have any questions of what we've covered so far.
All right, John, well first I want to give a shoutout to Marco Marcovich who has said John is such a great instructor. Great graphics, and that of course, is one of the things that John Ringo is known for is all of his animations in Keynote and really for us visual learners, bringing those things to life. So John, we had a couple of questions that came in earlier. These might be things that you're talking about later, but I'm gonna ask them anyway.
Okay, first question was from Rosa. She started playing around with her A6300, taking family photos. She's noticed that some of the images seem to have been stretched along the edges, so the heads appear larger. Is there a best setting for family photos to avoid that stretching?
I guess I would be really interested to know what lens she used. Because that could be a natural phenomenon that you're gonna get with any camera if you are using a very wide angle lens. Now one of the more popular lenses is this little 16-50mm super compact lens. And the camera, well, I wanna tease something because I, this is one of the worst lenses ever, but it's also one of the most convenient lenses ever and Sony does something to correct the fact that it's a bad lens and I am going to show you in the next section how bad this lens is. And if you turn the camera on and off, you'll get a glimpse of it, but I'm gonna show you how to actually see what's going on. It's a little secret I found out that I haven't seen anyone else talk about anywhere else, so we've got that in the upcoming section. But, if you have a wide-angle lens and you put a subject's head off to the side, it's gonna distort them because of your perspective of being so close. If you are doing a group shot, I would suggest trying to get your camera set to a medium focal length. Not a wide-angle, not a telephoto. So on this lens doesn't have the markings, so it's kinda hard to work with in that regard and I know a lot of you have this lens. But don't have it at the extreme wide-angle setting. Have it more towards the middle or a little bit more telephoto, and if you can back up, you're gonna get much more normal perspective on the people and so it's, it's best to find the biggest room that you can, get it in between and back yourself up to frame people, and what you wanna try to avoid and the one that's impossible is you all go out to eat dinner, and you're all sitting at this round table, and you can only back up to the next person's table and you're shooting with a really wide-angle lens. That's just not the best scenario because somebody over on the edge is gonna becoming a cone head because that's how the camera stretches out to get all that wide-angle.
All right, great, that was something that Jerry online had also asked about. If you would be speaking about the focus fall-off at the edges of that 16-70mm lens.
Yeah, and so the camera, as we're gonna talk about, that's gonna be more in the third section of the class, where we go onto the menus. The camera can automatically fix the vignetting or the darkening of the corners and so that's a common phenomenon. And it's not a Sony problem, it's a physics of light problem. And this happens with faster lenses and other certain lenses, depending on how their designed and so you can correct for that if you want and there are other photographers who kinda like that look. They like the little darkening of the corners and you can just let it be if you want. So that's one of the manual or automatic options you'll see as we go through the rest of the class.
From PhotoDJ, a regular here, who says, how do I convince the wife that I need to upgrade from the A6000 to the A6300?
Oh, well, I used to work at a camera store and so I've heard a lot of stories. And so let me give you a tip. This may not work for you, but the idea is is that you just go buy what you want, okay? Just buy what you want, take the box, put it behind the living room couch. Let it gather dust for a few months, and then eventually, when somebody's cleaning out behind there and she goes, what's this? Oh I've had that forever. Oh no, that was always the one that I had. And so that system may work for you. I'm not sure, but it's something that somebody else tried. Next to that, the 6300 compared to the 6000, 'cause I'm sure there are some people who are watching this class that have the 6000, as a note, I do have a class specifically on the 6000, and I did that class not too long ago here, and it was very easy for me to make this class because the 6000 is physically, I think it's about the exact same size and all the buttons are in the same spot. So it's a very easy upgrade. You don't have to learn a lot of new stuff going from the 6000 to the 6300. What they've done is they've changed the focusing system, they have a new sensor in there, it's the same megapixels but it's a new sensor that has more face detection points for focusing. We'll talk about that more in the next section. And they've added 4K video and they've added a bunch of things in the menu system. And so the upgrade, it's a very simple upgrade. Very little is changed as far as the operation of the camera, but the performance has gotten higher.
John, I have a question. When you're in the AF single-shot mode, you can leave the DMF on without problems?
Yeah, I don't see any problems with that at all. So the DMF, remember, that's just a manual touch-up if you want it. And so if you don't touch the lens, the camera operates the same as it would normally in its single-shot focusing.