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Basic Controls

Lesson 4 from: Sony A7 Mark II Series Fast Start

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

4. Basic Controls

Next Lesson: Panorama Controls

Lesson Info

Basic Controls

All right, folks, it is time to get started on the camera itself, so let's jump into the controls on this sony camera so let's first talk about the basic controls that were going to be using throughout the class. Obviously, you're going to need to have your camera turned on that way. You could make all your adjustments the camera because it uses a battery and we need to have batteries in order to take photos. It goes to sleep very, very quickly, and a lot of times in my classes I will give somebody instruction, turn this dial and you'll see this change and they turned the nile, and they're like my camera's broken. It doesn't work now, it's just gone to sleep, he just pressed halfway down on the shutter release. It wakes your camera and it's going to go to sleep, depending on how you have it set anywhere from every about five to ten seconds. And so photographers who are ready and wanting to work with their cameras are often just pressing halfway down on their shutter release. On a regul...

ar basis. We have two dials for main input on this camera. We have the front dial and the back kyle, these are going to be used for things like shutter speeds and appetizers as well is navigating through out the menu system. As well as some other controls as well so these air what are called soft controls which means they don't have a hard to find function we will be working with them in many different ways it is a control wheel on the back that not only spends but is an up down left right navigator will use this for moving the focusing points and navigating through out the menu as well. Sometimes the control wheel and the dials will duplicate their actions so that you can choose to use one or the other it doesn't matter and then in the middle of the control wheel is kind of the enter button on the camera the set but so when we highlight a feature will often be selecting it with that particular center button so starting on the top of the camera be off on we've already mentioned that one of the things that is going on when you turn the camera on or off is the camera goes to an automatic censor cleaning system and it has ah vibration system that tries to knock any sort of dust or particles on the sensor off and that can be a little bit more of a problem in a mirror list camera like this than an slr because we don't have a shutter protecting the sensor or a mere in front of it when we take that lens off it's right there in fact let's just if we'll get a good tight shot on this camera. I'm going to go ahead and release the lands, and that right there in there is the sensor I don't if I can move this surrounding there, we get some light on it, so that's the sensor and there, and so you want to be very careful about changing your lenses in there, and so I'm going to leave this lands on because I don't want to introduce too much dust in there, and so you want to have a minimum amount of time when you are switching between lenses on these cameras. As I mentioned before, the shutter release pressing halfway down activates the camera pressing halfway down also activates the media ring and the autofocus system, and you press all the way down to take the photos, so get very comfortable with that halfway press on this because that is something your finger will be doing a lot. Now if you don't want your camera two focus by pressing half way down and there's a lot of serious photographers out there who prefer a system called back button focusing yes, you can do it on this camera, and we will get to that later on in the class, in fact, I'm gonna give you a shortcut right now throughout this class. I know that there's a lot of you that have a lot of experience that are just going, hurry up, get to the section I want you to talk about, and so every once in a while I'm going to give you a shortcut. So if you want to go in and you want to turn this camera in the back button, focusing, what you need to do is you need to turn off the auto focusing on the shutter button, and you would do that by going into customs setup menu number to looking for a f with shutter and then turn that feature off. And so, as we go through this class, I know you want to jump ahead and speedily make that change on your camera just follow these set up are these shortcuts as we go through the class? All right? The mod dial on the top of the camera is arguably one of the most important dials anywhere on the camera. This controls how the camera sets his shutter speeds and apertures, and we do have the lock dial on the r and the s, which makes it a little bit more firm and staying in place. I don't know that it's completely necessary because it has a very nice, tactile feel on it, so let's go around and take a look at the different modes in this camera. So first up is the green auto mode and this is kind of the same as it is on many cameras, it says shutter speeds apertures and then it goes throughout your camera and sets a whole bunch of other things according to what it thinks it needs now when it's in this mode it is in a scene recognition mode, which means it is actually trying to analyze what you're photographing and as you can see that list they're on the left side of the screen it is trying to choose which one of these fits the category that you are shooting and it does eh a reasonably good job it's not a good as good a job as I bet you could do, but if you just want to let the camera do it on its own, it could do it now. My guess is that if you are willing to take a class like this, you're going to want a lot more out of your camera than the auto mode. And so I think, really the purpose of this auto mode for all of us really users of the camera is when we hand our camera off to somebody else, a friend or a family member to shoot photos and we don't want them to mess up the photo or mess up the camera this is a perfect mode teo to put the camera in because it just puts a lot of child safety locks on the features of the camera. Now, there is a little bit of an option that we do have in here. There are a couple of ways that we can set up the auto mode. The standard way is what's called intelligent auto, and it goes through these different scenes, tries to recognize them and implement them when necessary. The other option is something called superior auto, and the camera will use if it needs it composite images, so if it has a very high s o, for instance, set, it may shoot multiple photos to try to reduce the amount of noise, and you probably want to really be aware that it's in that mode, because it will be shooting a number of photos, and you have to be very careful about camera movement in that mode. And so this is something that will be able to change in the menu system, and if you want the short cut it's in camera settings, page seven on that, where you can switch him back, back and forth between the two. But I think the standard intelligent mode is probably the best place for most people to keep it most of the time. Next up is the scene mode, and this is kind of like the auto mode, but you get to choose which one of these modes the camera's working it? So here you get to identify what type of scene maybe it's a landscape or a macro shot and dial in on the camera, and the way that you dial in on the camera is by turning the front dial of the camera and it's going to give you a little icon let's do a little in class demos, let's take a look at my camera, I'm going to put it in the scene mode, make sure my cameras on I'm going to turn the front dial and you can see the little icon in the upper left is changing with these two different scenarios, and so you kind of have to learn what the icons are doing up there, and it is making very subtle adjustments you can see down here in shutter speeds and apertures as we go between certain ones and so there's, other things going on beyond what you can see here. And so if you were going to be doing the county triathlon and you're going to be giving the camera to your brother to shoot photos and your brother doesn't know howto work your camera, I would probably put it in the sports mode and say good luck and have fun. Because it's going to be too hard to explain how to do sports photography in a short time in a scenario like that. But one of the key things that I want to let you know is that in the scene mode, the camera is not doing anything that you can't do on your own. So if you know what you're doing, you can outperform the camera. Now, if you don't know what you're doing, then it's. Maybe a good idea to let the camera take over. But if you learn the camera, you will be able to outdo the scene mode on the camera.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Sony® A7II Info and Menu List
Sony® A7RII info and Menu List
Sony® A7SII Info and Menu List

Ratings and Reviews

Diane Schulman

INCREDIBLE Class! I couldn't find anything on the internet that truly explained this camera, explained what it can and can't do and what accessories would work with it. I have had my Sony A7II for awhile now, but was so overwhelmed by it, I rarely even took it out of its case. It was just easier to use my Canon 5D III. After this class, I am so excited to finally practice with and use my Sony. John is an incredible teacher. He is thorough, professional, fun and knowledgeable! Buying this class was the best investment!!! I feel like I just got the gift of a new camera because I can finally use my Sony!!! Thanks John and Thanks Creative Live!!!

Enrique Vega es

I stored my Sony A7II for more than a year since I've been Canon's user for 7 years and I felt unsure of taking this new camera which implied a different menu system, different functions, a little bit intimidating. Finally, I took a bit of valor, put my camera next to the computer monitor for then start watching this guide and I spent a great time actually. I'm amazed at how helpful and clear is the sequence of the chapters. It was enough to get to chapter ten to know all the basic controls and start taking pictures with an equivalent confidence of my good old Canon, or even better since in the chapter 8th I learned how accurate and easy to use is the focusing system, either, manual or auto (For stills I've always used manual focusing). Very informative, enjoyable and now I became a new fan of the mirrorless cameras, at the point that I'm considering to buy another two :D


John is an excellent teacher! In fact his Fundamentals of Digital Photography 2014 was the first ever class I watched on CreativeLive, and since then I'm in love with his teaching style as well as with CreativeLive! I bought my Sony A7II in March 2015 and when I found out that John is giving a class on it I was very excited! As I expected I learnt many secrets about my camera which I had been using for 9 months already. For example about the option of focusing on the eyes, setting the buttons, making panoramas etc. The camera is still smarter than me I must admit. I am enjoying my Sony even more now since after the class I feel much more confident. Thank you John and CreativeLive for such an opportunity! I would recommend to everyone who has a Sony a7II camera and the other cameras in this line to watch this class. It's a concentrate of useful information, very detailed and to the point. I spent two days just watching the class and practicing new knowledge with my camera straight away. I had to postpone all the other life chores. And I would be ready to watch the class again after some time as it's a professional camera which needs a lot of practice!

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