Back Side: Electronic ViewFinder


Sony® A9 Fast Start


Lesson Info

Back Side: Electronic ViewFinder

We've got the LCD on the back of the camera. Pretty good resolution on that. It is a touch screen, touch screen in a minimalistic way. You can use it to change focusing points. It's not something that you're gonna be using for navigating the menu and using in a lot of different ways and so, it's a very minimalistic touch screen on the camera itself. And so, the main area that it's probably gonna be good is when you're doing live view focusing and you wanna change focus from a foreground to a background. You'd also use it in the movie mode, as well, for changing focus. For the best resolution, in looking and composing at your images, you wanna use the EVF. It's upped the standard a little bit from previous Sony cameras. It's got 3.6 million dots. Previous ones were around 2 million and so they're calling this a quad VGA. Looks very good and, from somebody who's come from a long line of SLR usage, I find the electronic view finder very comfortable to work with on a regular basis. I do li...

ke an EVF over an SLR in a new situation and that is because I'm now over 40 years old, I have a harder time seeing the back of the camera. If its, is that really in focus? And, when you're out shooting in bright sunlight, you can hit playback or, even if you need to get into the menu system, hold the camera up to your eye and you have a nice, bright, clear, sharp view of your images, of the menu system, of everything the camera is doing. And so, it's a great way for controlling your camera under bright light shooting conditions. There is a little rubber eye cup. You can replace that, if you want. It doesn't cost too much money, but they will wear out eventually, 'cause it is kind of a nice, soft rubber. Works against glasses. It has a sensor in here that will automatically detect whether your eye is up to the view finder or if it's away from your face and it turns on the LCD. I have been, personally, a little bit. Well, no, I've been very frustrated with the previous versions of the Sony cameras, the a7 series, as have a lot of people in the sensitivity. It's a little too sensitive and there's no control of that in any of these cameras. It's just kind of set from the factory, as to how sensitive it is to that switching back and forth. And this one seems to be more on par with other cameras out in the field and it's pretty easy to work with. Hold it up to your eye, it flips over to the EVF. Hold it just a little bit away from your eye, flips over to the LCD. Not really visible in this image on the keynote, but kind of just around the side of the view finder there is the diopter and this controls the focusing of the view finder. Has nothing to do with the final image. It's just the comfort and ease of your view, looking in the view finder. So, what you want to do is look in the view finder, press down halfway on the shutter release, so that there's information in there. Don't worry about the image that your camera is pointed at. You wanna look at the information, the numbers, the graphics that are in there. You wanna make sure that those are nice and sharp, as you adjust that diopter. Now, if you want to change the eye sensor on the camera from changing back and forth, you wanna turn on the finder all the time or the monitor all the time. You can do that by going into the menu system, which we'll talk more about. And there's also a number of controls in the live view display about turning the effect of the exposure on or off, which will be very important for people working in the studios or do you want the view of the view finder to mimic the brightness of the final image that you're gonna get. There's some more variances and we'll talk more about these as we get into the menu system on these. But first, let's talk a little bit about what you see inside the electronic view finder itself. So, as you look through the view finder, of course, the framing that you get here with an electronic view finder is 100% accurate, which is always nice, so that you know that you're getting things lined up properly. You'll see a variety of different focus frames. They might be in black. They might be in white. They might be in green. It kind of depends on exactly what you're doing at the time. Are they just sitting there for you to look at? Are you moving them around? Has focus been achieved? Is focus being tracked on a subject? And so, as I say, white, black, green. You might also see a face-tracking one, which will show you where it's tracking that particular face and that's just gonna depend on what mode you happen to be in. If you like grids for compositional reasons or leveling the horizon, there are three different grids that you can turn on, by diving into the menu system, under the Grid Line option, page 6 of 9 in the camera settings, and you can go ahead and turn on whichever one of these that you like to see. As you're looking through the view finder, if you press the Display button on the back of the camera, which is the up button on that dial, you can have it cycle through the different options you see on the bottom of your screen there, depending on how much information and what information you like to see in the view finder. Now, you can control which one of these you see. For instance, let's just say you do not like the histogram. You don't wanna see it. You don't wanna use it. You don't wanna know about it. Well, you can just uncheck that box and not see it and have it cycle through the other four options. At the bottom, there'll be a little green light that lets you know that the camera is in focus or it's tracking focus or it's had a problem and it can't get focus and so, be aware that that might be flashing or steady green and that's just an additional way to check did the camera actually focus the way I wanted it to. There's lots of different display information, a lot of exposure settings are gonna be along the bottom. Those are gonna be your places judging your key settings. A lot of kind of your background camera settings are gonna be up on the top. I'm not gonna go through those individually. Most of them are pretty obvious. We'll talk about them more, as we go through the class. There's a graphic display. And, you know, folks, I love graphics and I love visuals and I think this is a pretty neat one, but I really hate the fact that it covers up the area in the image that you're gonna be shooting and capturing. And so, I tend to wanna leave something like this turned off. If you're new to photography and you wanna, like, have a little additional aid about depth of field and shutter speeds, it does give you that little bit of information, at the expense of covering up a bit of your subject matter there. Another one that I think is useful for a lot of people is the histogram and this is a graphic display of your exposure levels. And so, a mountain in the middle is kind of a nice option to have and so you can have that right there in the bottom right-hand corner. And, once again, if you don't like clutter over your image area, you can turn this off or you can just not use this display. For people who have a hard time getting the horizon correct, sometimes like me, there's a little pilot's type little view in here, where it will tilt back and forth and, when you get it correct, it becomes green and it also does it forward. And so, as you tilt forward, up and down, and when you get that correct, it turns green, as well. And so that can be helpful if you're doing sort of like a landscape or architectural photography and you really wanna get the camera lined up perfectly, looking straight forward. And so you'll be able to see and work with all of those by hitting that Display button, as you're looking though the view finder. And so, as you have your eye up there, just reach your thumb over there and press it and cycle through all the different options. The frame rate in the view finder can be adjusted. In the menu system, you can change how fast the refresh rate is. There's a standard and a high, which they're not totally clear on, but we're pretty sure it's around 60 frames or 120 frames a second. And so, if you're shooting a lot of very high-speed action, you might get a little bit clearer, easier-to-see view, by setting your camera on the high. If you are not shooting action much, let's say you're a wedding photographer and things move a little bit more slowly and deliberately in that field, you can get a little bit more battery power out of the camera and not notice any difference by having the view finder set to 60 frames per second. So, it has nothing to do with final image quality. It's just your view of the image. And, if your subjects are not moving around quickly, you're not gonna see a difference. And so, you may wanna think about setting 60, unless you're doing a lot of high-speed action. And then finally, because this is an electronic view finder, you can go in and control the brightness and the color of the view finder. So, if it's too bright or not bright enough or it seems to have drifted in color, hopefully, you don't need to do that. You could go in and you could tweak the settings of the particular view finder itself by going into the Setup section in the menu and adjusting these controls. All right, so that's your information on the LCD and the EVF in the back of the camera.

Class Description

We know what it’s like to dive right into taking pictures with your new camera. But trying to understand the manual can be a frustrating experience. Get the most out of your new mirrorless Sony A9 with this complete step-by-step walk-through 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:

  1. How to utilize the 20 frames/second with full autofocus feature
  2. How to understand the new menu systems
  3. How to use the camera's 4K video capabilities

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 A9 settings to work for your style of photography.



I've taken lots of John's classes as my photography journey has unfolded. Like all good teachers, John has a fantastic ability to take concepts which are complex and could be overwhelming, and making them accessible and much simpler. I'm lucky enough to own this amazing camera, I'm sure I'll get even more enjoyment from using it after taking this class - John has done so much of the hard work of learning away, now I feel like I can just start enjoying it!


Great information as always, John's approach is amazing, well paced and very informative. I own so many of his amazing tutorials, I feel like he's part of my family - but a lot more knowledgeable 😏

Alexander Zlatev

Thank you Great Work