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Sony A7 Mark II Series Fast Start

Lesson 2 of 36

Sony A7 Mark II: Overview

John Greengo

Sony A7 Mark II Series Fast Start

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

2. Sony A7 Mark II: Overview

Lesson Info

Sony A7 Mark II: Overview

All right so this class follows this flow we're going to go through a little overview of sony you know after all nobody's been shooting sony for twenty years with interchangeable lenses because they're fairly new to the markets so let's talk a little bit about sony this isn't a basic photography class but we're going to run through just a few basics just five minutes or so just to give extra everybody's up to speed most of the class is on the controls where we talk about the buttons and dials on the outside then we go through the menu system and finally we end up with kind of how do you actually operate the camera and set it up for different types of photography oh the instruction manual okay so here's what's kind of interesting is you get an extremely small instruction manual with this camera it's three hundred and four page manual which is next to nothing and almost worthless now there is available online something else called help guide which is much longer in length but still lacki...

ng in information now if you add the two of them together it's just a mess again and it's just terrible so if you are confused by looking through the instruction manual I was confused I had to consult it a lot teo make this class obviously on it still has some value there will be some things that you want to look up but just be aware that you might want to go to sony's website and download the pdf for that helped guide because there is much more information than there is in the actual instruction manual now this class being much shorter than the time it would take to read the instruction manual. How is it possible for us to include everything? And I can't I have chosen to look at the features that are most important for taking the highest quality images there's a lot of other fun things that you could do, for instance, and we'll talk a little bit about this. You can download aps to your camera so you can buy and get free apse for your cameras from sony and download him, and there is a whole instruction process on each one of the app, but we're not going to go into that. You could hook your camera upto a printer into a computer for doing slide shows, and we're not going to concern ourselves too much with that. We're gonna be looking at how to get the highest quality images, I guess a quick word on video I am much more of a still photographer that has a minor interest in video, and so we will talk about the video modes on this camera. I'm not the next steven spielberg that's for sure but I do like shooting video so I do want to make sure that my camera's set right so we will be talking about video in all of these cameras as well. Next this is not a photography wanna one class? And so if you are new to photography and this is your camera well you're starting out with quite a camera start with that's for sure and we're not going to be covering all the basics like shutter speeds and apertures in this class will go through a few quick things very, very quickly but if you are looking for more of a photography class in general, there are plenty of other good choices at a place that I've heard of called live create creative live that was it something like that all right, so let's talk just real briefly about sony so sony has been around since nineteen fifty eight just footnote there first product was a tape recorder they had did have one of the very first digital cameras the mavica I remember this and took all floppy desk. They had these cybershot cameras and they really dove in and they were just coming at it from a completely different angle than the mainstream favorites like nikon and cannon. So minolta was a very famous, well known manufacturer that went out of business in the early two thousand and sony acquired the technology the lens mount the flash system and they took over all of their minolta cameras re badged imus sony's and then started innovating and bringing out new technologies and for the most part it's hard to believe how much progress they've made in ten years they've completely transformed what it is that minolta did, but in many ways so innit sony is carrying on the minolta flag because even twenty years ago oh, there was things that nikon did and so need eric uh nikon and cannon and then there was minolta and minolta was one of the first companies to bring out a lot of new technologies, and sony has really taken that place where they are bringing out a lot of new technologies and then they brought out their muralist camera system with their small sensors and then finally in two thousand twelve, they came out with what I kind of considered at the time the holy grail of cameras, the first full frame muralist cameras, something that we've been building up towards for quite a while it holds a lot of promise in the future of photography, and so I really see this as the direction going forward, so this three cameras that we're gonna be talking about what is so new and so great about them? Well compared to the first siri's of cameras thie a seven the a seven are in the a seven s. We now have a slightly beefed up camera body, which has a five access image stabilization, and this is a real boone, especially for people who are using cannon or nikon or other brands of lenses, because now you can have a camera that stabilizes a lens that doesn't have stabilization on its own. We have an improved auto focus system, the original system, the a seven was okay. And now it's getting to be quite good and it's really starting to compete with some of the other main players out on the field. We have four k video in the camera, easy to dio, and so this is something that anyone who wants to shoot video this very important will be talking about this these settings as we go through the camera on the r at least we have forty two megapixels it's on ly, slightly overshadowed by the cannon five d s and d s r fifty mega pixels, but next to that one it's number two on the market when it comes to the total number of mega pixels. So if you're looking for sharp resolution there's, a lot of people that are picking this up because of that we do now have reasonably good auto focus for people who are switching over safe, most commonly with cannon lens because of their electronic hook up and so you can stick on a third party adapter oftentimes from metal bones put on a cannon lands and get some very good quick auto focus now just as a personal side note it's not as good as having the native sony lenses on there it's not as good as a canon camera with cannon lenses but it's often good enough for most of the work that most people dio I don't know that I would want to have an assignment shooting professional sports with an adapter with a third party with another lens on there but I think is good enough for most people so if it's something that you I think you would like I would encourage you to give it a try because it's probably going to work for most uses so the a seven syriza's I mentioned kind of a holy grail and photography of full frame muralist camera which allows us to use a lot of different lenses they came out with three different models at three different resolution levels the twelve twenty four and the thirty six and before I knew a lot about these cameras and did a lot of investigation I kind of thought they were three identical camera's simply with different sensors in him and that's not true at all I have to admit that the r and the s model are much higher and models when it comes to the features of the camera and the capability and so the a seven mark too I think it's kind of the entry level cameron get in it's kind of an in between model when it comes to resolution but you are going to get a fair number of mohr features for the serious photographer in the ar and for if you're interested in video the s model is probably the way to go with cause there are additional video functions within that camera the difference between these three cameras as we go through obviously the number of megapixels is the big difference they are the big one at forty two megapixels there is a slight difference in the size of the vue fighters so when you hold it up to your eye how big is that image when you look through the viewfinder little bit bigger on the r and the s however that means it's a little bit shorter of a viewpoint I point for how close your eye needs to be to the screen now we do have a interesting option I will show is thie silent shutter so if you wanna have completely one hundred percent silent taking of the picture but it does come with a lot of implications and I'll talk about that in the class we do have a completely silent shutter so if you're going to be working on a movie set or in a theater where you needed to have absolute quiet. This is one camera that can do it. The esso has been changed according to the type of sensor and the number of pixels that it has. And so generally the more pixels it has generally you want tohave ah, lower I s o but it does very a bit between the cameras here. The focusing system is quite different, and this is one of those areas where these cameras are not equal. This is where the are definitely has an advantage because it has these three hundred ninety nine phase detection points. I'll show you some workings of that, and I know exactly where that is on the frame. They all have the same contrast point. So this is just kind of the native way that the muralist cameras work, so that at least, is equal and the video we have four k video on the r and the s, but they just have a few more features if you are getting into it for the s model that is going to help somebody who wants to shoot in a very serious manner in that regard. And then there's a little locking modi allowed on the top of the camera, which some people like and some people don't like, but it helps. Keep from being bumped accidentally as it's going in and out of the bag, or from one hand to the next. So those are the did the main key differences from the cameras. You will seymour as we go through the class, but these are the most important ones to know about. All right, if you do get into the instruction manual fairly early on, you're going to come across all sorts of warnings about stupid things not to do with the camera and these air mostly pretty obvious we're not going to go through all of them, but one of the things that people do have questions on is the camera is said to have some dust resistance cameras designed to be dust stand moisture resistant but it's not waterproof or splash proof. And so there is a very, very light weather ceiling. And so when you take a camera out in the rain or somehow have spilled something on it, it's not just the camera, it's also the lens and all the connections and all the dials and everything that turn and this is very modestly protected. And so do not try to test this at the sprinkler park it's probably not going to survive very long in that type of water environment. And then also sony kind of wants to separate themselves from any sort of third party accessories that you might work you might put on the camera and a lot of people are interested in this camera because they want to hook up other brands of lenses using for instance, lens adapter well it's not going to damaged the camera in any case that I've seen but it means that not all the features are going to be available and the performance level of some features like auto focus are going to be a step lower than they would be with the native sony lenses or lenses designed specifically for the camera for instance from zeiss and so you're free to use other types of lenses you're going to be using a variety of memory cards I would probably stick to the sony batteries they tend to be the best and I would probably stick to the sony flashes just because everything else just doesn't communicate quite a swell and it's a little bit more difficult to use and so I would stick with those name brand products but as faras lenses go I think there's going to be a wide open door to the different types of lenses that you can put on this so let's make sure all of you have your camera's ready so if you're at home grab your cameras hopefully you've charged the battery takes a couple hours to do that one of the things about this camera that has been a little bit of a great for some people is the relatively short battery life, and this is a very tech heavy camera that drains the batteries because it's doing so much, and so when you by the are at least the model that I got in the country that I'm in, it came with two batteries and to the s model. I haven't checked that box, but the, uh a seven mark to only comes with one battery, and so this is a camera. You definitely want an extra battery, perhaps two extra batteries on attach your lands, put in a memory card. We're gonna be taking some practice pictures as we go throughout the class, turn the camera on, and then kills me to say this, put your camera in the auto mode. I really don't like putting the camera in the animal, but just for simplicity, purpose is put it in there and then press the shutter release to take a picture, and I'm going to do that right now just to make sure that my camera is all fired up. So it's, zoom in on our table here, we're focusing, we got the beep, and we're shooting pictures just fine, so my cameras all warmed up, hopefully yours is as well, so one of the things that you should check on and this is something that is likely to change in the future. So if you are watching this class in the future and my guess is is that you are going to be watching this in the future, wow, you're in the future, what's the future like, you probably want to check what the firmware settings are and potentially do a reset on this on your camera, there's a lot of functions and I so here's the problem that I have, can I can I personally gripe about something? I don't like teaching these classes because I get a camera and I get it home and I instantly want to customize it to the way that I want it to work, and so I take all the buttons and I reassign them and then as I put the class together, I have to reset the camera back to the factory standards, and then it just drives me nuts because I want to have the camera my way. So I go back and I reconfigure it, and then I come in to class to teach it, and I have to reset everything again, so every once in a while in the class, you'll see we'll just turn this on we'll wait it's not turning on its because I normally amused to reassigning the batons and so I am going to actually do this right now let's let me show you on screen what we need to do let's let's go back to the keynote all right? So you need to go into the menu into the set up on page six and we're going to check which version of software we have on our cameras because it's quite likely at some point in the future after I've recorded this class so he's going to have a firmware update that is going to improve the performance or add features to the camera it's quite likely it's very common with manufacturers right now so let's go to my camera right now and turn this on I'm going to hit the menu switch and I think I needed to go to the setup menu, which is over here in the far right on page six and we're going to look at the version number of the camera that I'm using right now, which is two point oh now I tell you what let's just grab one of the other cameras and this is the s model here we're going to do the same thing we're going to hit the menu and we're going to see what version this one is this one is that version one point oh forget about the lens version we don't need to worry about that right now and let's take a look at the a seven mark to camera and I'm going to go the other direction, so I go there even faster. We're going to check the version on this, and this is version two point. Oh, so they obviously they came out at version one point. Oh, I've upgraded the r and the a seven mark two to these new version to software, and so that lets us know where it's at now, what we can do is we can go down to setting reset, and I'm not going to go down to initialize. That is scary. Um, I have already downloaded aps to my camera, and if I go to initialize it's going to clear off the apse it's going to clear the time and everything and the camera settings are going to do the most basic camera settings and it's going to reset everything. So now my camera is factory default, the same in operation. So if you want to reset yours, just be aware that the button customization that you've done and different changes on the camera may go away then.

Class Description

Learn how to get the most out of your Sony® A7 Mark II series camera. Whether you've chosen the Sony A7R Mark II, the Sony A7S Mark II, or the Sony A7 Mark II, this class will give you in-depth instruction on your camera’s critical functions. 

John will guide you through the features, menus, and buttons on your camera, giving you the confidence you need to take pictures like a pro. You’ll learn about: 

  • The features, menus, and buttons on all 3 Sony models 
  • How to use the cameras in different shooting situations 
  • Maximizing the use of the cameras 

This in-depth class will help everyone from amateurs to professionals, get the most out of the incredible Sony® A7 Mark II series cameras. 

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

Student Work

Related Classes


a Creativelive Student

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!