Sony® A6500 Fast Start


Lesson Info

Application Menu

The application is something that is unique to the Sony camera. There are downloadable apps, kinda like the apps you get on your phone that you can download to your camera. Now, one of these apps is the WiFi connection for actually hooking up your phone to the camera so that you can use your phone as remote control device, and you can upload photos from the camera to the phone. So, this is where we are gonna talk about how to hook your camera up in WiFi. But first, lets just talk about the general applications from Sony. So, under Sony's name, there is something called the Play Memories Camera Apps. And you can do a search on the internet. Do a google search for Play Memories Camera Apps, and you should find Sony's site that has all these different camera apps that you can download for your camera. Yes, some of them cost money, but some of them are also free. I was taking a look at it this morning in prep for the class, and I just quickly added up what would it cost to buy all of the a...

pps that you have to pay for, and it was around $135. They have about a half dozen, maybe ten of them that are free. Some of them are just like changing the keyboard on the camera, or something. Some of them are kind of cool on the camera. So, if you want to get these, you're gonna need to sign up for an account with the Play Memories Camera App. And so you can go search that out on the internet. You can take a look at all the listed options. You'll need to create an account with them. You're gonna collect your camera via it's USB connection up to your computer. And I've found it best under the USB settings, which we have not got to in the menu, if you set that LUN setting to single, it tends to hook up a little bit better with the computer and able to be, communicate with it. You can then take something that you like in the camera apps market place and you can download it. As I say, it may cost money, or it may not cost money. And so, let me go ahead and show you the back of my camera because I have purchased and downloaded free apps, as well. And so, let's go ahead and turn the camera on, that always helps. Press the menu button, and let's go over to the camera apps list. And so there's an introduction which really doesn't do much other than say "this is the application," so, we're gonna go to application list and I'm gonna hit the center button. And everything in here, including the downloading, is a little bit on the slow side. And so, you're gonna find there's a little bit more delay as we go back and forth. So, if you have a brand new camera you probably don't have all of these. You probably just have the ones on the bottom row. And so, I have downloaded Sound Photo, Time-lapse, and Touchless Shutter and each of these does something different. Lemmie go over to Touchless Shutter. And so, that's still in beta version, right now, and it's been there for about a year. And, I'm gonna press the center button. And you can see it doesn't open right away. It takes a little while to turn this on. So now, under the Touchless Shutter, which is very interesting, let's get locked onto some subjects here, is that, it uses the sensor in the eyepiece to determine when to shoot a photo. So if I, (camera shutter) cross is front of there. Well let's see, (camera shutter) it'll do so without touching the camera. (camera shutter) And so, let's turn this to the side so that you can see as I get closer. (camera shutter) That wasn't in front. (camera shutter) So, it's not 100% perfect, but it's a way of triggering the camera without actually touching the shutter itself. So, if I hit the menu button, one of the things you'll notice, is that our menu has changed. We don't have the normal amount of tabs. It's kinda gone into a special mode in this mode in here. So I can exit this application, and I do wanna exit, yes, I already told ya I do. It takes just a little bit of time. It's a little bit on the slow side. Let's turn this on, let's go to Sound Photo. Okay, and so in this case, it does something kind of unusual. This is a free app folks, so is the Touchless Shutter. And what this does, and you'll see there's a little microphone down here at the bottom. What it's doing is it's recording my voice right now, and all the sounds around here, and it's storing it in a buffer. And when I take a photo, (shutter click) it's recording the sound before and after the shutter. And when I play back the image we're gonna hear some of that sound that was occurring whenever that photograph was taken. And so if I play back this image, I'm gonna lean in here so we can, actually I'm gonna turn the camera around so you can get a, where is the speaker on this? There it is, okay, so let me play back the image. Actually, I will let you see the image playback. Okay, playing back the image. and all the sounds around here, and it's storing it in a buffer. And when I take a photo, (shutter click) it's recording the sound before and after the shutter. And when I play back-- Okay, so in this case it's recording a little bit of time before, and a little bit of time after. I think I can go into the menu on this, and autoplay sound, let's see, there is. I thought there were some other options in here, let me check. That was in the playback options, let's check this. Sound recording settings, and so here it's recording five seconds before, five seconds after. And I can adjust that to be, less than that, if I want just a couple of seconds in and around. And so, you can change the timing of it and how many seconds, and so, if you wanna record more before or more after you can select to do that. So, that's just one app. There are a couple of dozen of that apps, and I'm not gonna show you how to use all the apps. I'm just gonna show ya a few that I have right here, right now, so let's go ahead and exit. So, I paid 10 bucks to get an app. There are some apps in there, the most expensive is about $30. And so, let's go into the application list. And I purchased Time-lapse. I wanted to be able to do time lapse, and that's a valuable feature to me. And so, let's go into Time-lapse. And so, this is typically gonna be a little bit better cause, you know, it's in the high-end, 10 bucks! And so, it takes a little while to get into the Time-lapse mode cause this is an app, it's not built into the regular software of the camera. And let's see if we can get into the menu here. No, I don't wanna exit. Okay, so it has a number of preset themes for shooting time-lapse over here on the left. And I have not played around with all of these. Let's just choose standard for right now. Hit the center button, and actually I wanna get in and control the features of this, come on. Press the menu button, application top, application settings, let's try this one. Do not know my way around this perfectly well. So, file formant, do I wanna shoot a movie? Do I wanna shoot still images, or both? That sounds kinda cool. The interval, what's the difference, or how much time do I want between shots. You can see down here in the bottom left 10 seconds, maybe I only wanna have five seconds. The duration right now is at 19: because I'm shooting 240 shots. I usually like to do time-lapse of at least 300 shots, maybe 360. That'll get me about 12 seconds of video. Maybe I wanna shoot more shots. So, you're determining how many shots, and this is determining how long it's going to take, and how long of video it's gonna be. So, this is great, it does all the math for you. It's gonna take you 32 and a half minutes to shoot, and you'll get 16 seconds of video, a total of 390 frames, if you like that, you would press this center button for enter, and then you could start shooting your time-lapse. And so, I'm not gonna bother doing that right now, so I'm gonna go ahead and hit menu, and then I'm gonna exit the application. And just real quickly I'll go through, you'll see that there's different pages of information, so there's a few basic things that you can change. We had a question earlier about shooting JPEG and RAW, let me just see if I can change it to RAW in here. So right here, I can shoot JPEG, but I, can I shoot RAW? There's RAW. So I can select, woo, it's grayed out. Invalid with the current file format. Interesting, so I can shoot RAW and JPEG. So, it may not allow me to shoot RAW in this. And so in any case, limited menu options when you get in here, let's go ahead and exit this. And so, once again all of this is in the menu section under application. And so, what we're gonna be doing is we're gonna be going in to the one that you get free loaded on the camera already which is the Smart Remote Control. So let's go back to the key note. Cause I got some other things to talk about here. So, feel free to go in there and download some of those free apps, see if you like those. Like the Touchless Shutter and the sound option, it's not really gonna harm anything. There is I think a limited amount of space on the built in memory in the camera as to how many things you can have on there. So it's possible that you may fill that up, and the uh, the fact of the matter here is this is a great idea. This is a fantastic idea, the problem is they have not opened this to app developers. This is all just built in from Sony. These are the apps they've made, the things that they wanna do. I think if they open this up to the Marketplace, this would change the way cameras are made and operated because if people said, "Oh, I wanna do a certain type of "photography, I'm gonna create a special app for it, "could go right in your camera." It seems like a no brainer, but no camera company has done it to date. This is the best so far and it's okay. It works pretty well, but it's not perfect. Alright, so if you do wanna hook your (clicking) camera up to your phone, there are things you need to do with both devices to make sure that they can communicate. So, on the phone you need to download the Sony app. It's called Play Memories Mobile It's a free app, you can go to the app stores and you can just pick one up, and download it to your phone. That's the first step. Next step, is in your camera going into your application list and opening the Smart Remote Control and we'll do this here coming up in just a moment. Once you do that, there are a couple of different ways that you can do it on your phone and I'm gonna see if I can show you both ways of doing it. In general, you're gonna need to make sure that the WiFi is on in your camera so it can communicate. You'll need to select the camera that you want to communicate with. One of the options is scanning a QR code and installing a profile, or you can just select the camera and have a passcode go in, is another option. And then, you'll need to open the Play Memories. So now is the dangerous part of the class where I am going to take my phone out, and I'm gonna try to hook my camera up to the phone. So, let's work with the camera first. I'm gonna go into the menu system. I'm gonna go into the application. We're gonna select the Smart Control right down here. It's gonna start up the smart app, that's gonna take a moment. while it's doing that, I'm gonna get out my phone right here, and what I'm gonna do is, uh, because I'm teaching a class I don't wanna get any phone calls right now. I've turned off a bunch of settings. And so, I am going to make sure my WiFi is turned on, right now. And I'm gonna be looking for something from this camera. The I-L-C-E- is what I want. Now because I have done this in practice, back and forth, I've already had the password put in there. So, if I select this, um, there is a password that I can enter in here. And so now, I'm gonna hit this center button, and it should, I need to hit the garbage can down in here, it says use the garbage can. And so, now I have a password that I can enter in here. And so, I could type that password in here. And I'm not even gonna bother doing it right now cause I'm not great at typing on the keyboard, and I'm gonna try to do it in another way. And so, I'm gonna see if I can go menu, exit. I'm just gonna exit out of this. I'm gonna try it again, cause I know I can get in with the passcode, but I wanna show you the other way of getting in that I think some people will wanna do. So, we're gonna go ahead and start that up again. And so, now it's giving me this little QR code on here. So what I'm gonna do is, I'm just gonna make sure the WiFi is turned on, and I'm gonna open up my app in here, which is, I have a little collection of WiFi for all the cameras that I teach on. I have a Play Memories App right over here, this little yellow one here. So, that is the Sony app, gonna turn that on. And it tells me that I'm not connected to the camera, but it gives me the option to scan the QR card of the camera, so, I'm gonna press that. And, yes, this I wanna do this. And so, it's gonna turn on my phone camera here, and now I just need to get this in here. And as soon as it sees it, it figured it out, I'm gonna press okay. And so, now I need to load this profile and install the profile for the I-L-C-E-6500. So, I'm gonna install this. I'm gonna secretly type in my passcode. 123456, oops, I failed it. Okay. This profile is not signed, install, install. So it's installing, basically, the WiFi for this system. And we are done. Ooh, this is good news there, it's connecting up. Done. And, we're gonna open in Play Memories Mobile, which is the app that we were trying to work with. Not connected, but this is good. It's connecting up, it takes a little bit of time, but this is what it's supposed to do. And, I think we're there, folks. We're just about there, it should be showing up on my phone here in just a moment, there we go. So now, we can turn this sideways, and we now have control on the back of the camera. I can shoot a photo if I want. I can go in and I can change, so it's actually downloading that photo to my phone. I can change my display on here. Now, these apps change, and so I'm not gonna go through and explain everything that you can do on this app, I'm gonna let you explore that, but there is a menu down here, and you can get in, and you can control a number of different features of the camera, here. And so, you know, if you wanna turn on the grid lines. You could turn on, let's see, whoops, back setting. Grid lines I want the diagonal and the square grid, and then press done. And so now, I have this in here. So, what I'm gonna do is, we're gonna do a group shot, me and Drew, and I'm gonna get this backed off so I can get us both in the frame. And so, the idea on a lot of this, is if you wanna be someplace away from the camera. We'll just have you stand over there, stand me over here so we can kind see, actually lets have you more on the other side. We wanna see this great prop table, here. And so, you can actually see it's focusing on our faces here. Wow! Which is kinda, I tell you what, just go walk up closer to the camera. I wanna see if it focuses on you or focuses on me. And, it looks like it's staying focused on me, so it knows it's priorities. Sorry to say that. (laughing) you set yourself as number one, right? (laughing) I have no registered myself, okay. So, looking at the camera, one, two, three. (camera shutters) There we go. Cool! And so, we got a nice little photo there. It was fetching that photo and bringing it back to my phone, and so now that is on my phone. So if I wanna go on my phone, what I can do is go ahead and open up my photos and see if it has downloaded to my photos, and there it is in my photos, and if I wanna send this off, and, uh, send this in any way I want, it's just automatically right down to my photo. Now I believe this is a smaller size file than the 24 megabyte file, megapixel file from the camera. So this is smaller, designed for use in here. But, nice sharp photo in here. Turn this horizontal, and it's got good detail on it, and, um, great little system. So that's kinda the basics on how to get it, and anytime you wanna get the camera in it, interesting location, you wanna get in the photo yourself for compositional reasons, being able to see it remotely from that is a great deal, so luckily that worked out, actually, I connected up very easily. A lot of times it can be a little, slow, and you gotta have patience in the way you hook it up. And so, that QR code system works pretty good. If it doesn't work, you can do the password system, which is what I skipped earlier one. And so, that's a little bit on the WiFi system and how to hook it up. Now one of the things I did mention about being in any of these applications is that you're gonna have a limited menu system to deal with, and so you're not gonna have the normal tabs that you have in the other part of the camera. And so, there's limited collection of items that you can go in and adjust from these settings when you are in the operation of any of the applications. And so, it will vary a little bit from application to application, but just realize that you're not gonna get to everything. You'll have to exit the application, and the go into some of the other tabs of the camera to make those other changes. And so, feel free to check out the applications that are available from Sony, cause they're gonna change over time and I'm sure they're gonna add more. It seems like a natural area where they could have a lot of growth, and they do have a number of very interesting ones. They had one for star trails, they had a number of filter ones that you could add on filters, some of those were free, um, as I say, feel free to check it out and start playing around with it cause it really does expand the capabilities of the camera.

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  • How to set and work with the advanced video capabilities
  • How to maximize the autofocus system
  • How to set and customize the menu 

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 A6500 settings to work for your style of photography.



  • I've owned the A6000 since it came out and still learned a TON from John's A6500 class. I will definitely be getting his original A6000 class. I'm SO glad he's doing Sony cameras now. Thanks John G. - You are a truly great teacher!
  • I bought the a6000 course a while back and when I upgraded to the a6500 this was a no-brainer. I love how comprehensive the coverage is and it was a great refresher on previous features. If you're a newbie to the Sony a6500 this is a must!