Setup Menu


Sony® A6500 Fast Start


Lesson Info

Setup Menu

The setup menu is gonna be controlling a lot of the features that you're not gonna be coming back to on a regular basis for the most part there's a few notable exceptions in here. So these are the types of things you can get set up once and likely you can forget about it, if there's something going wrong with the camera you might check back into this category. First up is the monitor brightness. This is a way that a lot of us judge the exposure of our images so it's good to leave this on something that's kind of consistent and standard and right in the middle of the road, so probably leaving it on zero would be the best choice. The times that I will change this is when I'm trying to show somebody a photo on the back of the camera and it's really, really bright out. I'll pump it up sometimes as bright as it needs to be so you can see it out in the bright sunshine. But normally this should be left at zero. You can also change the brightness of the viewfinder, once again just leave that a...

t zero unless it really needs to be changed for a specific reason. If the color is off once again I hope you don't have to change the color, but you can change the color if necessary. Okay we talked before about the gamma display, and this is for the people who shoot video that want to shoot a very, very flat tonality video so they can color grade improve it and adjust it later on. Now the downside to doing that, the upside, first off the upside is that you have a very good image to work with for color grading later on. Downside is when you're composing, recording and viewing through the camera, it's kind of hard to see what your subject is and what it's gonna look like in the end. So what this does is it automatically corrects for the color and gives you the good color that kind of the final image is going to look like in the view finder, but what it's recording to the card is a very, very flat image, and so it basically makes composing and shooting easier when you are getting the very flat logs and so there is an auto version and then there's ones that are specifically designed for the S Log settings. If you're playing back movies you can adjust the volume settings here. Back in the old days with Sony they had a tile system for their menu, and so they had these six little blocks and you would dive in to each one of these tiles to get into the different tabs. And they have since gone to a standard menu which have these more common tab systems that's being used in other cameras. If you like the old system you can go with the tile system, but if you're, I find it a little bit harder to work with so I would try to avoid the tile system and move on to the standard system because that is the direction they are going. The mode dial guide, we talked about this towards at the beginning of class. If you want to turn the dial and get some helpful information about what you are doing there, it might be kind of nice if you're new to photography or new to this camera, but once you get used to it it's just gonna get in the way, so I think you'll probably wanna leave this turned off after a fairly short period of time. Delete confirmation, this is gonna deal with the idea on how many button presses to delete a photograph. Now inherently you have to press three buttons. You have to pretty the garbage can button, you have to confirm that it is the photo that you want to delete, and then you can press the final button for deletion. And this is just too much button pressing in my mind, and so if you put on delete first, it would take the initiative and realize when you press the delete button you actually want to delete something and all you have to do is one confirmation on it. So I guess it depends a little bit on how sure fingered you are in the button presses and how many button presses you like. If you like just two, do delete first. Display quality, this has to do with I believe the compression ratio of the image that you're looking at in the viewfinder. And so I have gone back and forth between these two and I can barely see any difference at all. And so I believe leaving it in Standard is gonna save a little bit of battery power. How much, it's hard to say. The high setting gets you a little bit better image quality. Now remember the frames per second was a separate setting that was in someplace else in the camera and this is a different thing than the frames per second, as I say I believe they are not real clear about it but I believe it has to do with the compression of the image, and so I believe their compressing the image a little bit smaller, a little bit smaller file size in the standard setting. Take a look for yourself, see if it makes a different to the way you look and see and shoot through the camera. Power Save Start Time. And so in this case how quickly do you want the camera to power down before, how long do you want the camera to be on before it powers down into an off and sleep position, and usually one minute is fine for a lot of types of shooting so that you're relatively conservative on the battery power. But adjust it as necessary according to your needs. All right, and so Auto Power Off, let's see. This one standard high, if you're gonna be shooting a lot of video and your camera's gonna get very hot this is that auto power off temperature. There was a problem in the A where the camera would power down, or excuse me it would turn off if the camera got too hot. And so they put a new high setting on this so you can let that camera get pretty hot before it shuts down. So if you don't mind the camera getting hot and you really want it to record, especially video, then you would want to set this to the high setting. If you want to baby the camera a little bit, you don't want it to get too hot, for either reasons holding it it gets too warm, or a potential damage that might happen in the long term, it's really hard to say on this one. You can set it in the standard setting. All right, setup number three, depending on what part of the world you live in is gonna determine what type of video you shoot. And so NTSC here in North America like the United States and Canada, and then PAL is gonna be all of Africa, Europe, lot of Asia. The cleaning mode on this is something that gonna be automatically turning on and off when you turn the camera on and off, but if you do want to go in and manually clean the camera there's a couple different steps. The first step is something that everybody should have, and that is one of these little rocket blowers, and this is for blowing clean air into the sensor and knocking off any sort of dust. If something's kind of sticky there's a number of different options out on the market for swiping the sensor clean. And so I often use, or when I do need to I use this Eclipse fluid, it's alcohol based and you put a couple of drops on the clean Q-tips, you might say, they're very clean room type Q-tips sensor cleaners, and then swipe across the sensor to clean off any sort of dust on there. Luckily it's not too much of a problem if you're carefully about exchanging lenses and you use step one on a regular basis. The camera has touch operation, I haven't spent a lot of time on it because it's somewhat limited in the modes that you can use it in. I prefer using the buttons on the camera because that way I don't get fingerprints on where I'm looking at my images and so I just prefer the buttons, but you can use the touch pad as I showed you before on how to focus and selecting certain items in there. Now the touch panel and pad, when you are looking through the viewfinder it is considered a touch pad, and then when you're using it as a monitor, it's a touch panel. So you can have this turned off completely, you can have it turned on no matter what finder system you are using. Or you can turn it on only using the viewfinder or on only when you're using the LCD so you can turn it on and off no matter which mode you might happen to be in. When you hold the camera vertically sometimes depending on which eye you use that touch pad which is the LCD on the back of the camera, may get in the way, like if you use your left eye, your nose is potentially going to be bumping up against the touch pad and that would be moving your focusing point so you can turn this off just for the times that you are in vertical. And so lots of different customization on how you use and when that touch pad is operational or not. You can also control the area of the touch pad that you're using. Because some people are left-eyed and they're only able to reach and touch the right portion of the screen you could do that. If you are right-eyed you'd probably want to set this to the whole area. If you're left-eyed you might want to use only the half recorder. But it may vary according to how far you fingers reach across and which eye you use, so you may want to play around a little bit with that to see which one works best for you. Probably not gonna need to use the demo mode, that is for people who are in stores who have this hooked up at Best Buy or some sort of electronic shop, that's leaving it turned on all the time. All right, next up we're gonna be getting into a lot of the metadata for shooting movies, and so this is for the cinematographers out there. You're probably gonna know more about this than I do, but there's a lot of metadata that gets stored with the video and you can control how that metadata is created and recorded to the video. And so the TC/UB display settings are gonna be the timecodes. The recording time, did you record for ten seconds or ten minutes, what time of day was it when you were doing this? And you can go in and you can have it control whether it's recording how long your clip are or what time of day, or whether that's matched with another camera, so you might have multiple cameras all running and you could then coordinate the editing of them because if you know when their time frames are all the same, then you're able to go from one cut to another and it's gonna be easier in the editing process. And so there's a number of different options, I'm not gonna through all of these, but they're for people who are pretty intensely into video and they probably already know about what most of these do, and so there's gonna be a couple of different pages of turning these on and off and getting them reset to zero and so forth. There is a remote control that you can get for the camera if you do want to use this you do have to turn the remote feature on here, there is that little sensor in the front of the camera where it's reading it so it does not read it from the back of it, it will use a little bit more battery power because it is trying to read that signal whenever that's turned on. If you want to send any information out of the HDMI port you can come in here, there's gonna be a submenu with information about how that is sent out. First up is the resolution. Do you want to send out HD or 4K video from there? We have the option of 24 or 60 frame output. Now the reasons that you'd be sending out from the HDMI output is potentially either just sending it as a video signal to a TV to do a slideshow, or like in the example I have on screen an external monitor or potentially recording device so you can be recording the video outside of the camera, you're just using the camera to acquire the image. Do you want to see information display on top of the image? If you're recording it you probably want to turn that off. If you're using it just as a confidence-type monitor just to see what you are recording, you're not recording actually from it, you're recording in the camera. You might want to have all that shutter speed and aperture information on it for you to work with. So the TC is a timecode. Do you want to have that output onto the external device or not? And that's gonna add timecode information onto the external device that you hook in. Do you want to have the record button on the camera control the recording of the external device? That would save you from pressing two different record buttons potentially. And control for the HDMI. If you are hooking this up to a TV you can potentially use your TV remote for controlling the forward and back going through a slideshow. Next up we have our 4K output selection and in here if you are outputting you can control where it is getting recorded. Do you want it recorded to the memory card? Do you want it to be recorded to the memory card and being sent out on and HDMI or only on HDMI, and at what framerate? 24, 30, 25 frames per second. And that's specifically for shooting 4K. I mentioned before that when you are doing a connection with your camera to the computer for downloading the apps, that I believe setting this to MTP was the preference, it seemed to work better on my computer. Normally you can leave this in auto for downloading and working with the computer, but if you do need to specify one particular setting, whether you're hooking it up for tethering, downloading or downloading apps you may find that one works better than the other. Next up is our logical unit number, and so in this case it enhances the capability by limiting the USB functions and so if you're having a hard time getting it to connect up with the device this is another setting that you might need to play with. All right, page five in the setup menu. USB Power Supply. So for good or for bad when you hook this camera up to your computer your computer's battery is gonna send some of that juice over to the camera to charge the camera battery which is great for your camera but not so good for your computer. If you don't want to drain the battery on your computer, you just want to download the images, you would turn this off. If you want to charge the camera battery from your computer, which is I think pretty common, then you would want to leave this turned on. If you do want to hook your camera up to a computer there's gonna be a little submenu in here about how the images are saved. And so still image save destination, do you want to save it on the computer, do you want to save it on the computer and the camera? And so it will figure out where you want those images saved to if you are doing tethering with the computer. And then what do you want to have saved, RAW or JPEG, RAW and JPEG, just JPEG, RAW only? So what type of images do you want to have saved, and so this is gonna be a little different than the previous quality settings that we had for RAW and JPEG, this I only if you're tethering. Choose the appropriate language that you want in the menu system We have a date and time setup submenu, so when you first get the camera started or do an initialize you'll have to go in and tell the camera if you are on daylight savings time, what the date and time is and the format that you would like it to be. Hey, I guessed the time pretty closely on that one. All right so yeah, then the date format you can choose whether you want the year first, the month first or the day first. And then you can of course go into the area mode where it allows you to change which region of the world you happen to live in, and so that when you travel to a new one it's very easy to change the times without changing the actual clock on it, you just change the timezone that you are in. Copyright information is kind of cool because you can actually enter your name into the camera. And so I encourage you to do this if it ever gets stolen or lost at least there's some information in the camera if someone wants to be honest and get it back to you, and so you can turn this on but you will need to get into the next settings and then you can put your information in here. Your name, your email address, copyright information, all rights reserved or something like that and that will be attributed to the metadata on the photo. Now it can be written over, it can be deleted, it can be erased, but if somebody wants to be honest this gives them the opportunity for being honest. And then you can just simply display that copyright information that you do have and so that is all within copyright. All right the one item in setup that you are gonna come to on a regular basis I would hope is the format option, and here's where I wanted to show you the structure of the file system that Sony creates, which I have to admit is a little bit more cumbersome than on other cameras. And so there's gonna be a folder called the DCIM folder, digital camera image management folder, and in that will be a folder where your Sony RAW and still images are. It creates a different folder for the MP4 movies, and it has yet a different folder where the AVCHD movies are, and so if you are a professional photographer and you tell your assistant, "Hey, grab all the images off my camera," and they put the card in the computer and they go into the DCIM folder and they pull out all the images, they haven't gotten any of the movies, and so you kind got to dig through all of these different folders to get the movies. Inside of the other folders are some other information, not gonna get into here. But be aware that if you are downloading, if you are shooting movies and stills you are gonna need to go into multiple folders and there's no way of changing this. This is a Sony thing and I'm sure there's a great logical reason why it is like this, I just don't know the reason for it, I just know it is. The file numbering system of the files as you shoot them go through a 10,000 number count system and then resets back to one. If you wanted to reset it at a given time you could, normally it's just gonna continue counting on its own accord. You can change the first three letters, three of four letters of the file name if you wanted to put your initials or a short word in there, that's gonna be changed as the way it writes the file name of your images as it records them. Under select record folder you can dive in here and you can choose which folder you want your images to go into, and that makes a lot more sense when you see the next item in the list which is new folder. You can create a folder, so for instance if you were shooting for business and for clients you could create a folder for a particular client and get all of their images put in there, at least all of their still images, I don't think videos are gonna go in there, but you could create a folder for all the still images to go in there and then another folder and that's for a different client and you can do that all within the camera. And then you can go in and you can change the folder name from a standard form to a date form. So normally it'd just give you a number like 100, 101, 102, 103, if you wanted to add a date to the system and work it from a date system that could make a very good organizational sense for a lot of people. All right folks we're onto the last page, I hope you never have to use this. Another one of those hope you never have to use it features. Recover image database. If you were to say copy an image from a computer onto this camera, the camera may not be able to read it just because it didn't create that image, and so if you do a recover image database it looks at the files on there and it tries to figure out what type of image files they are and it sees if it can read it. If you shot with a Nikon or Canon RAW, it's not gonna be able to read that, but maybe a JPEG or TIF from some other device, it might need to recover the image database to figure out how to do it, and so it's basically repairing filenames and structure so that you can see it in the camera itself. Display media info is kind of helpful, you might want to check this out every once in awhile, it's gonna tell you how much space it left on your card for still images or for movies. The version number is the firmware version of the software in the camera. So they've had a couple of updates, it got shipped at 1.00 and so they've had a couple of minor updates, I don't even recall what they've updated but I think they've just been small bug enhancement fixes. And so in order to do an update to this what you're gonna need to do is hook your camera up using the USB connection to the computer with the supplied USB cable. Do a look for the new firmware, for the Sony ILCE-6500, you're gonna download that software into your camera itself, and so there'll be information on Sony's website exactly how to do this. I believe you're gonna need the system software updater. So you need to download an updater from Sony and then you need to download the firmware upgrade itself and then it will install it onto the camera itself and give you the new firmware, potentially adding some new features to the camera. One of the first things we did in the class was a setting reset, or gave you the option of doing that. And so if you wanna go in here you can set a camera settings which is basic camera operation, the first and second tab of shooting operations, initialize which resets everything. It does not format the card but it does delete all the camera apps that you've downloaded so be aware of doing that, you don't want to have to do that and have to go back and download all your apps again. Be aware of that.

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!