Sony® A6500 Fast Start

Lesson 14/24 - Camera Settings 1: Pages 1-3


Sony® A6500 Fast Start


Lesson Info

Camera Settings 1: Pages 1-3

We're gonna dive into the menu and we have six different tabs along the top. You want to navigate to the tab on the left. You want to come down and we're gonna have 14 pages of information. There will be a graphic representation down on the bottom. But a lot of times I conceptually think of it as one of 14 because there is only one tab in there that has 14 pages. And I forget what the other tabs, I forget, it's like 14, nine, one, two. And so one of 14. I know it sounds a little Star Trekkie, seven of nine. Those of you who know about that, get it. If you don't, google it. So first up, we have quality image size, page one of the camera settings. The first is, the first item in there is the quality setting. This is for still images, which is why you see the little landscape icon next to it. We talked about this before. And RAW is gonna get you the highest quality, original information off the censor, an extra fine quality is gonna be the highest quality JPEG. Now as we go through this y...

ou'll see my recommendations on the right side of the menu in here. The ones in gray are gonna be who I would recommend for a general user, and for the little bit more advanced users that will be in red. And sometimes I have a hard time picking what is the best setting for this. It depends on what you're doing. And of course, you're gonna be making your own judgment, and making your own settings that are different than what I'm recommending here. But this is a good starting position. Image Size. So if you are shooting JPEGs, and there we see that JPEG ONLY sign. That means it does not effect RAW images at all. If you wanted to shoot a smaller 12 megapixel or six megapixel image, you could. Most people are gonna want to leave it on large. Aspect Ratio, so if you want you can record in the 16: HD Aspect Ratio and this is gonna crop it in the viewfinder so you can see exactly how your final image is going to be viewed. So you can shoot with this in RAW, and it's gonna help you compose and frame things up, but it throws the information away when it actually, you get your actual RAW image. Because you're gonna get the original 3:2 Aspect Ratio which is what the censor is. Next up, what do we have? Panorama: Size. So this is gonna be grayed out and you won't be able to access it unless you have the top dial of your camera, the exposure mode dial set to the Panorama mode. Then you can get in here and change this. And so, this is a Standard or Wide option. The Wide is really long and skinny. So probably Standard is a good place to keep it until you know that you need that extra, extra long length. The direction is something that can be changed on the camera when you're in the Panorama mode. So it's really rare that you would ever need to come here and make this change. But if you want to, you can. Long Exposure Noise Reduction. Well what this does is when you have the camera set to a Long Exposure like 30 seconds, you do your 30 second Exposure and then it goes through 30 seconds of processing. So you can't do anything until that next 30 seconds is come up. And there is a problem when you do shoot Long Exposures. You can get noise in your images. But I've always been a little dubious about how good of Noise Reduction the camera is gonna do and how much noise problems do we have in the first place? And so I decided to run my own little test. And so I did a 30 second Exposure and looked at the normal results, then I turned on Noise Reduction and I can pick out some small differences between the photos, but I can't really say that the Noise Reduction ON is a better photo. It did waste an extra 30 seconds of my life, and I had to wait. And I know when I'm doing night time Exposures, at night it's often cold out and I don't want to stand around waiting for the camera to process if it's not doing me any good. And so this just doesn't appear to be doing much good to start with, so I don't think it needs to be turned on. You may want to test it in your own scenarios. Maybe it's different than what I shot. But I do not see that, that really does much good. I don't think it's worth the extra 30 seconds of time that may take up of yours. Alright very quickly we're on to page two, dealing with things in the Quality/Image Size. Next up is High ISO Noise Reduction. And this is similar to the Noise Reduction we just talked about, but this is dealing with Noise shot at higher ISOs. For instance, if you're at 6400 or 12800. And so I wanted to do a little test to see how well it does here. And so, shooting my standard little test shot here. This first one is at ISO 6400. Turning the Noise Reduction On, or excuse me, Off. And then we have three different levels of turning it on. Excuse me, two levels. Low and Normal, and then I just decided to take a normal one and reduce Noise Reduction myself. And it's probably gonna be fairly hard to see on your screen the big difference. And that's because there is not a big difference. The Noise Reduction Off does have more Noise, and as you turn this on, on a higher level, like the normal level, it's gonna lose a little bit of detail. And so you might want to be careful about setting this too high. I moved it up to 25000, and in this case here we are able to reduce the Noise by setting this to Low and Normal. It is something that you can do better than the camera can do with reasonable software like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom, and there's a wide variety of other programs out there which can give you more specific control over that balance between smoothing out the Noise and losing detail. And so if you have the time and the patience and the knowledge on how to fix it yourself, you can just turn this completely off and do it later. If you want the camera to do a little bit of it for you, I could see leaving this on Low or Normal. Next up is the Color Space. So this once again is for people shooting JPEG. This controls the range of colors that your camera will record when it's shooting in the JPEG format. If you are shooting in RAW, you get the AdobeRGB Color Space. When you're shooting JPEG you can get either one. If you wanted all of your images just to go on the internet and nothing more than that, you're fine with the sRGB. If you want to print, you want to work on your images, develop them, you have higher kind of ambitions for your images, that's when you would probably want to switch it over to AdobeRGB. Next up we have Lens Compensation, and so there's a lot of little issues that happen with the lens. Let's dive into this sub menu and see what we have. So first up is Shading Composition. And let me give you a little example of what this is. Shading Composition deals with Lenses that have natural vignetting. Which is a darkening of the corners. This happens on a lot of the fast prime lenses that you shoot wide open. The camera knows how much it darkens in the corner and can automatically fix this, if you want to turn this on. And it's a nice feature to have if you want to have a consistent tone in the sky from side to side. However, there's a number of images, a lot of times with people, it's nice having a little bit of vignette in the images. In fact, I would have to say that I probably add a vignette to more of my images than I'm trying to take it off. So it's a nice feature to have in some cases depending on what you're doing, depending on the lens that you shoot with. And so, you may want to leave this at auto to leave it fixed, but there's a lot of people who do like to just leave this turned off and get what they naturally expect from any particular lens. Next up is Chromatic Aberration Compensation. So this is dealing with a color ghosting. That is what Chromatic Aberration is. And when you are shooting a subject that has a very bright background, you'll get these colors. Like there's this magenta and slightly greenish color which outlines your subject. And it's where the colors are just not going through the lens and landing on the sensory exactly where they're supposed to. And I haven't met any photographer yet that likes Chromatic Aberration. And so this is something that we generally want to have fixed and corrected. So it's probably good leaving this turned on. And so Auto is a good option there. Next up is Distortion Compensation. And so this is gonna deal, especially with wide angle lenses that show a little bit of distortion. So as an example, we have an image here that has the horizon just a little bit bent. If we go to the next image and come back, and go back and forth between these, you can see the difference between. Go back, there we go. Fixing that with the Distortion Compensation. And so most photographers don't like distortion, and this is a good thing to get fixed. If you do like it, you end up usually buying a fish eye lens. And so those are all of our Lens Compensation. And once again, that is only effecting JPEG images. If you're shooting RAW, you're gonna get what the lens is naturally giving you. If you are shooting RAW, there's nothing wrong with going in and adjusting these. If you ever do set your camera to JPEG, it is going to correct or set it according to the way that you set it in here. Alright, moving on to page three. Shooting Mode and Drive. So I talked to you at the beginning of the class how the Auto mode had two options, Intelligent Auto and Superior Auto. The difference is that Superior Auto uses a multi image technique. In some cases, where it sees the need. It's gonna do it in high contrast situations and low light situations. It will shoot multiple photos, combine those photos together to get one solid result. You do have to be more careful about not moving the camera around. So to leave it in the simplest possible mode, I would leave it in the Intelligent mode. If you want to use it in the Superior mode you can change it, but just be aware that if you hand the camera to somebody else, they're not gonna have that understanding of what's going on, unless you explain it to them. Alright, the Scene Selection. So in the cameras, when we have it in the scene mode, you can choose any of these modes simply by turning the dial. That's the quicker, easier way of doing it. You can come in and do it in the menu system here if you want as well. Alright, so this is the Superior Auto mode Image Extract. So if you remember from about 30 seconds ago, I told you that in the Superior Auto mode the camera shoots multiple images, combines them together to get one image that fixes either a high contrast or a low light problem. Well in this case here if you wanted to... Turn this off. (quick mumbling) So what this does is this saves all the individual images as you shoot. So let's just say it shoots three photos and then it saves one. It's gonna save four images, all the three original building images and the one final image. And so if you wanted to have access to those original images, you could have that by turning this on Auto. Where it automatically records it every time it's in that mode and uses it. The Drive Mode, well we've seen this a couple times before. There's a button on the back of the camera. There's a setting in the function key that allows you to get to this. So we're not going to spend any more time in there on this one. We can go in and control some of the Bracket Settings. So let's take a look at this sub menu in here. First option is, do you want to use the self timer during Bracketing? So one of the problems on this camera is that Bracketing and Selftimer are kind of in the same area. So if you want Bracketing and the Selftimer, you got to come in here and turn it on and select which one you want to use. The Bracketing order can be changed. And I have to admit to you, Sony does a weird way of Bracketing. So if you were to do five shots, it shoots the normal one first and then a little bit darker, a little bit brighter, and then much darker and then much lighter. And you end up with this real odd collection of images in an order that doesn't make a lot of sense. And so a lot of people, not everyone but a lot of people like to switch this over so it shoots the minus, darkest one first and the lightest one last. It looks much better when you're looking at the images on the computer and you see them all lined up. It's really clear which group is with one group. And if you shoot multiple Brackets, you're less likely to get confused because it's very clear where each group of Bracket begins and ends. So there's our minus to plus option. Okay, so Recalling memorized positions. Remember the C or the one and the two on the top dial is where you can have the camera set to record Shutter Speed, Aperture mode, Drive, Metering, Focusing. All those sorts of different things in here. You can come in here and recall those modes, by setting it to any one of those options. So remember we have the one and the two on the dial, but we have four memorized positions that we can select from in the menu system itself.

Class Description

We know what it’s like to dive right into taking pictures with your new camera. But reading dense technical manuals can be time-consuming and frustrating. Get the most out of your new Sony A6500 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. In this fast start class, you’ll learn:
  • 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.


Nichola Johnson


a Creativelive Student

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!

Lee Kneisz

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!