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Camera Operation

Lesson 36 from: Sony A7 Mark II Series Fast Start

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

36. Camera Operation

Lesson Info

Camera Operation

So the final section. Now that we have talked about everything this camera does, your cameras are totally set up. When we go out and use this camera, how do we actually, What are we actually working with? What are we doing? So let's take this camera out and operated. So what are we thinking about as we head out the door? So the basic checklist is number one. You gotta have a charge. Battery should probably have a backup battery, too. I like to go out with a clean memory card that has been formatted and I have asthma. Much room is possible on it. I want to make sure that the quality setting is where it is appropriate for what I'm shooting, which in most cases is going to be raw. I might want to do a quick check through any sort of the other settings that I might have gone through recently and made changes on my camera. And if I'm gonna go on like an overseas trip or have a big job with a camera, I'm gonna want to make sure I have a clean sensor. And so that's where I might shoot a photo...

graph of a blank white wall or a white piece of paper and see if there's any dust spots when I shoot it F 22 to make sure that I have to clean up those dust spots later on something you want to do, we want to head out the door with everything in the proper working condition. So despite the fact that this camera has, like 150 different features that we can turn on and off, the 10 controls that we really use on the most part are going to deal with exposure and focusing in a couple of other items. So let walk through a few of the more common setups. The first is what I call a super simple set up. If you said, you know what, I just give me full training wheels. I need all the protection possible. I just want to take some really simple basic photos. I would recommend the program mode, and I'm gonna recommend the program mode over the auto mode because it allows you to jump in and make a few of those changes that we have talked about. This is where the camera's going to set shutter speeds and apertures, and the only thing you need to worry about is setting the eso. If you said it on auto, then you don't need to worry about anything for exposure. Make sure your exposure compensation dial on the top of the camera is at zero. I prefer that multimedia ring system you need to use thief function button in order to get in this or it's in the menu system. It doesn't have a direct button, at least on the outset. You can program that, though White balance at auto is going to do a very good job most of the time and find with that for most of the types of focusing, we're gonna be doing a F s focusing and so single focusing for the focusing area. The wide area is gonna look at the almost entirety of the frame to focus, and it's gonna be good for general photography. But remember, it always focuses on the first solid object. And then for the drive mode, we're gonna be setting this in the single shot mode. Now, remember a lot of these we had specific buttons program to our camera, but we can move these around So, for instance, if you change the meat oring a lot you like to use spot Metarie. You find it very handy. Change it to one of the custom buttons. But remember, you only have about 12345678 buttons that you can change too. So you can't have too many custom functions saved him. But there are quite a few that you could have. All right, if we were to do landscape photography, how would we set the camera in these situations were generally wanting great depth of field. So a lot of things in focus and were typically shooting hopefully from a tripod. Or at least we're not moving the camera around too much and are subject is not moving around too much in these modes. You usually have a little bit of time to work with, which is where I prefer shooting in the manual mode so that I could be very specific about shutter speeds and apertures. I'm first probably gonna change the aperture. Excuse me, I'm gonna set the I Isoda 100 because that's the best city. But then I'm going to set the aperture to get a fair bit of depth of field of 16 in many cases. And then I'm going to set the shutter speed wherever it needs to go. The chances are it's gonna be a relatively slow shutter speed, which is why landscape photographers used tripods. We don't worry about exposure compensation because we are in a manual mode. I'm gonna be fine with multi metering. I'm gonna be fine with auto white balance. Unless I see a particular problem, then I will make a change. Since my subject is not moving around, I'm gonna go for auto focus single, and then I am gonna probably choose a more particular area to focus on, not just wide area. I'm gonna want to choose exactly where I want my camera to focus. And for the drive mode, there's a number of options I could choose single. If I'm using the cable release, I can use my self timer where I might be doing the continuous bracketing so that I could get a series of photos at different exposures, and I will work with them later or I'll pick the best one leader. And so hopefully these make sense to you. All right, let's do another type of photography portrait photography so people photography could be animal photography anytime you want to get a portrait. Now, what's different about this is that your subject is in focus. But there's a good chance that your background might be out of focus and your subject is moving around. So you're a little bit more concerned about shutter speed. In this case, if I have a chance to, you know, set things up, I prefer to be in manual. In this case, I'm gonna want shallow depth of field, maybe up aperture. Around 2.8, I'm gonna need a shutter speed appropriate for stopping the type of action that I'm shooting for most portrait. So I'm going to say 100 25th of a second Will Dio, and then I'll I prefer to have the isso at 100 but I may adjust it as necessary. From there. We're gonna go ahead and keep the metering at multi will keep the white balance at auto as long as my subjects not moving around too much, I'll do single auto focus for focus area. I don't want to go wide because that might choose the shoulder of my subject, I'm gonna probably choose a flexible spot that I can put on the face or the eye of my subject. But remember, on this camera we also have that I focus, which, if you do a lot of people photography, that might be an even better addition on top of this standard setting for focusing on persons on a person's face. And you could set it to continuous or single here, depending on how many shots you wanted to get in any single burst. And so that's how I would set it up for portrait photography. Let's try action photography. So here, obviously we have subjects that are moving very quickly. We need fast shutter speeds to stop their action. We need a focusing system that will track their action back and forth. I would prefer to be in manual exposure so that I can choose a shutter speed that it's fast enough to stop that action 500 there faster for human action, for instance, this is where a 2.8 lens really pays off. Having a wider aperture lands is gonna help out getting those faster shutter speeds. I would prefer to be it. I s a 100. But the reality is is because of the fast action and needed a faster shutter speed. I often need a higher eso. Usually it's 400 or higher. I'm gonna leave it at multimedia, and I'm gonna leave it at auto white balance and for focusing. This is a really important change, changing it to a F. C, the continuous focusing option. So it's gonna track the action back and forth, and this will allow me to go in and choose the lock on option of the different focusing system. So either using the nine point zone with the lock on, focusing or using any of one of the other sizes, depending on where your subject is starting in the frame and how big it is in the frame. And then, of course, in the drive mode, I would probably put it in continuous. Remember, on the some of the models, we have a low speed at a high speed that you can further dictate how many photos you're getting per second. So those are the critical settings for getting action type photography. Let's do one last one, and I just call this basic photography where you don't know what your next photo is gonna be. How would I keep my camera bag? How? What? I keep the camera in the camera bag ready to shoot the next photo. And here is where I do actually use a little bit of automation. Aperture priority. I think it's a great note. So in this case, I'm gonna set a relatively wide open aperture to 8456 Something in that range. I'm gonna want to leave the isso at 100 until I get toe a darker environment and then I'll bump it up as necessary. I want to make sure that my exposure compensation to start with is that zero I may adjust that as necessary. We're gonna leave it on multimedia ring and auto white balance. Unless I need to change it, we're going to switch the focusing back to a F s because normally I'm focusing on subjects that aren't moving around that much for focusing. I like to have some control over where I'm focusing. And so the flexible spot gives me a lot of control. Probably the medium or large focusing boxes, what I use most of the time and then for the drive mode. I would just leave it at single because I'm gonna be shooting one shot at a time. And so that's how I would leave my camera in kind of a general basic photography mount. Hopefully that makes sense to you. All right, folks, you have made it to the end of class. So congratulations. You are official graduates now. And experts in the Sony A seven mark to losing my voice. The A seven are marked you in the A seven s, Mark two. Nice job, everybody.

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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