Sony® A9 Fast Start


Lesson Info

Bottom, Front & Sony Lenses

Looking towards the bottom of the camera, you have your standard Tripod Socket for all sorts of Tripod accessories, mounts, tripods, monopods. Serial number, note that for your insurance purposes, of course. There is an Alignment Pin, if you want to get the GP-X1EM Grip Extension, and this is about $150 or so, and it gives you just a little bigger grip, for anyone who's got kind of a big hand that just wants a little bit better grip on the camera. The other type of grip that a lot of people are going to look at is the vertical grip, the VG-C3EM, and this allows you to shoot vertically more comfortably, if you plan to use larger lenses, and let's hope Sony comes out with many more large lenses. You're probably going to want this grip, and if you shoot a lot of sports, a lot of people, shooting vertically is much more comfortable with one of these grips. It houses two batteries in the bottom. It has a little plug that goes up into the battery socket, so you do not get to use the battery ...

in the camera. So it will hold two batteries, so it lasts twice as long before you need to do a battery change. And that's gonna sell for about $400, or excuse me, I forgot, around that price. Now, there is a little door that opens up in the battery compartment door, and this is for this wonderful name, I love this name, NPA-MQZ1K, Multi Battery Adapter Kit, which I have never seen anything quite like this before, and this will take four Sony batteries, you'll plug it in, and you can have four batteries for an extremely long lifespan. You can also charge four batteries at one time, which is actually relatively quick for charging four batteries. You can put it into a two or four battery configuration, it's got USB charging ports on it, so you can charge your phone on this if you wanted to. It's got quarter 20 mounting, so you can mount it on any sort of ribcage system that you might have for shooting video. So, if you're shooting video, and you just need to have power for a long period of time, great little system for that. Very, very versatile, multitude of ways for using it. Just, or simply for just charging four different batteries at the same time. All right, now we get into our regular battery compartment here. Uses a new battery, which is about 50% larger than the previous Sony battery, so it's no fun if you've got the A7, to get the A9, you've got to get a new battery and new battery charger. But it does last longer. They are estimating about 500 shots of shooting, with a battery charge. But I guarantee you if you put your camera in the continuous mode, let's see, it can shoot 20 frames a second, so five seconds gets you 100 shots, so this would only last you a few seconds in that mindset. You're gonna actually get many many more than that. That's the very conservative setting on that. So, it does also come with a Sony charger. And that is supplied with it. But it does come with this long, annoying cord and so I want to show you and I have stashed over here on our table, a couple little items for the charger that I find very useful, because that big old cord is kind of annoying. And so what you can do with this is-- get our charger here-- is you can buy a right angled adapter like this. I went on the internet some place, a place that sells a lot of little stuff, and you can buy these little right-angled adapters and I knew that I would lose these so I bought four of them because they're only about $3 a piece and with shipping it barely cost any more to order a spare in there. And so this is a right-angle plug adapter that you can get. For those of you who own Apple products, you probably recognize one of these. This is known as a duckhead. As you can see, that little duckhead, nice little curved head there. And so you can use this as well and plug this into a wall outlet. If you don't want to use that cable, and get caught in knots, and have to wrap it up each time, I would recommend either the duckhead. Don't confuse it with the duck-face. That's something completely different. I won't get into that now. And so, the other one is the right-angle adapter. And so either one of these can be purchased for just a few bucks from any sort of online electronics retailer. And they're pretty simple, and they're not gonna damage anything, or cause any problems. What else do we have? Oh, in the battery door, on the underside, there's gonna be a release and so, if you are using the vertical grip, you need to take off the battery door so you can use that. Once again, if you want those little charger accessories, which are not supplied, it's called a right angle adapter and a duck head adapter and so one or both of those will make charging a little bit easier for a lot of you, I know. Looking on to the front of the camera, we have our mount index, which is how we want to align our lenses on the camera. We get a good view of the sensor in here, our 24 megapixel sensor with an anti-aliasing filter. We have our contacts which communicate with the lens and we have our lens release with our alignment pin. So, if this is your first interchangeable-lens camera, do not fear interchanging your lenses. That's what these cameras are all about and so, you're gonna press the button to release it and the main thing is that you just want to line up the white dot on the lenses and the white dot on the lens mount. You can see our lens contacts in here that shouldn't be obstructed in any way and there's a little spring-loaded pin over here that's gonna drop into its appropriate spot here when you have that mounted in the proper location so just line up those white dots and give it a turn until you hear that click. Let's hear that click again. (pin clicking) Right there, that means that you've got it in there correctly and because it is a mirrorless camera and there is nothing protecting the shutter when the lens is off, I wouldn't leave the camera without some sort of cover on it in any general situation for very long. If you're switching lenses, that's fine. If it's blowing sand and dust out, I would try to find a better place. Maybe it's in a vehicle or in a building or inside your coat to change lenses. I wouldn't leave your camera sitting out on a table without a lens on it. Use the body cap. Use the lens. You generally want to keep that fairly well covered. Right in the bottom of the grip, hidden behind there is our WiFi antenna, just in case you were wondering where it is in the camera. We have a remote sensor. There is a wireless remote, the RMT-DSLR2 remote, which will allow you to shoot photos, start video recording, even allow you to zoom in and out on the lens and make a few other adjustments in the video mode as well. So, if you use this with one of their special video lenses, it can be quite handy. It is infra-red so it does have limited distance. Front dial we've been using for a lot of different things and then our AF illuminator and self-timer lamp. This will turn on to help in low-light focusing or when you're in the self-timer mode. It can be kind of handy or it can be kind of annoying if it's in somebody's eyes and you don't want that distracting light turned on. If you want to turn it off, you can do so. You dive into the menu system, look for something called AF illuminator and you can just turn that off so it does not come on at all. One of the things to note about the front of the camera there is that we now have a new beefed up lens mount system. They've put six screws instead of four screws so it will hopefully be able to hold the weight of heavier, bigger lenses that we will hopefully see from Sony in the near future. Talking about some of the lenses, you need to be very clear when you are buying Sony lenses, because Sony has four different systems of lenses available on the market. Now, you remember, earlier, I told you that they took over what Minolta and Minolta-Konica were producing as far as the lens mount system and this was their SLR, which they turned into an SLT system. So, that uses something called the A Mount and there's a lot of lenses out there for the A Mount camera system. Now, also with the A Mount, they have a cropped frame sensor that shoots with the aspect ratio for the APSC, the smaller size sensors, and they use special DT lenses. Now, you can still use the normal lenses on those smaller SLRs, the ones using the smaller sensor, but they do have the dedicated lenses that are specifically designed for that little lens mount. Now, kind of on a completely new front, they've then developed a mirrorless system and their most popular mirrorless camera right now, or at least one of them, is the A-6500. This is a smaller, cropped frame sensor. It's an APS sensor, but it's using a mirrorless system and they came up with a new mount. This is called an E-Mount and they have E lenses that are specifically designed for this cropped frame sensor E-Mount system. Now, this camera, the A9, is an E-Mount camera but it uses FE lenses. FE is their full-frame lenses that have an E-Mount to them and so you're gonna want to use the FE lenses as your primary source of lenses. You could use, and you can use, an E lens on your camera but you're not gonna get the full image area as I will diagram here in the next image. So, for the most part, you want to kind of look at the FE lenses as your primary source of lenses. So, here's the difference between the E lenses and the FE lenses when you're talking about the different sensor sizes. So, both these cameras have the same mount system, but they have a different set of lenses that are designed as their primary lenses. So, the FE-Mount lenses are designed for full frame sensors. The E-Mount is designed for the cropped frame, which Sony calls E. The full frame produces an image circle big enough to cover the entire image area so that you get the proper coverage and the proper image. The E-Mount lenses cover just enough image area to cover the frame of the APSC Mount. Where things get interesting is when you start switching lenses and so if you do want to use an E-Mount lens on your A9 camera, you are not gonna get the full image area. You can still get an image. It's gonna be in the middle. Rather than 24 megapixels, you're gonna be at around 10 megapixels, so you're throwing away a lot of information. If you want to take your FE lenses and mount them on your cropped frame camera, you can do so without any harm. You're gonna get good image quality from it. It's gonna cover the sensor from corner to corner. The lens is doing more than it needs to as far as projecting the image, but you're gonna be able to be perfectly fine using those lenses on there. So, when it comes to lenses, one of the great things about mirrorless cameras is that it has a very short flange distance, which is the distance from the lens mount to the image sensor, which allows you to hook on a great variety of lenses. So, Sony has their own lenses which are designed to be mounted with this perfect short flange distance, but if you want to mount other lenses, whether they be different brands like Canon or so, the Canon DSLR, Canon SLR lenses, are designed to have a much larger throw distance because they have a mirror in there that they're usually working with and so even if you could mount them right onto the camera, the focusing distance isn't right and everything would be out of focus. That's where a lot of third-party manufacturers have come in and made lens adapters and there's lot of these out there that allow you to hook up lenses originally designed for an SLR for use on a mirrorless camera. Now, there will be some problems with this but you can get very, very good image quality from doing this. Now, Sony's made a couple of adapters themselves so that you can use those Sony lenses, A-Mount lenses on this E-Mount camera and so if you have have a whole collection of old Minolta lenses, or some of the original Sony SLR/SLT lenses, which they are still currently, actively selling, you can use those on this camera, albeit there's gonna be a few things that you don't get in full, you might say. One of the adapters I've worked with is the Metabones lens adapter so that I could use Canon lenses on the Sony camera and I've got fantastic image quality. Not so great auto-focus, but really good image quality so depending on the types of things you're shooting, they can be very, very valuable tools. So, when it comes to these lens adapters, there's gonna be a lot of issues with them and on this particular camera, I don't recommend using the lens adapters if you are shooting any sort of action. They're just gonna slow everything down quite a bit because the camera cannot focus nearly as fast with any of the adapters that I have seen out on the market and so you're gonna get a lot of restrictions when you do use any of these adapters out there. So, try to look for native Sony FE lenses if you are doing action photography. We don't have time to go through all of the Sony lenses but let me just give you a peek at some of my favorite lenses. Some of their good lenses are their F4 series. I'm a big fan of the F4 series of zoom lenses. They're a little bit lighter and smaller. Less money, but they're optically very good. The 100-400, not an F4, but 4-5 to 5-6. A good big lens. These lenses tend to be very sharp, very well-made. Highly competitive with anything else that's out on the market. Pricewise, they're gonna range anywhere from $1200 to $ depending on the exact model. Sony's been really trying to capture more and more of the pro market and for pro market you need pro lenses. The pros often like the 2.8 zooms and so they have the full collection of zooms: the standard 24-70, the wide, and the telephoto zooms in here and so, if you need those, they're really good. The word on the street with the Sony lenses is that they are very good in quality, they're big, they're heavy, and they're expensive. So, that's why I kind of like the F4 version for anybody who doesn't absolutely need the F2.8. Now, they, like everyone else in the industry, uses a lot of letters so I threw out my little key card here so that you can figure out what the different lenses are. One of the things to be aware of is Zeiss. If you haven't heard of them, they are a German manufacturing company that has been around for, I think, well over 100 years designing lenses. Sony partnered with Zeiss many, many years ago because Sony's expertise was in electronics and they wanted to learn about making better lenses and they wanted to have better lenses on their camera. Something you may have not noticed on your camera, and here, take a look on the side of my camera real quickly. One the side of the viewfinder is this red t-star and this is a coding that indicates that it's Zeiss lens and so the viewfinder on this camera is a Zeiss lens in here and so these Zeiss lenses will have a t-star on their best lenses. I'm not gonna get into what t-star technically means from a physics standpoint but it's their best glass. So, you'll see a lot of Zeiss combined lenses that uses Zeiss technology and Zeiss standards in their lenses. They're also rapidly coming out with a good collection of prime lenses. So, if you want a really fast lens, wide-angle, normal, telephoto, they're coming up with some really good lenses. They've also got a good macro lens out there and they're really, really coming on strong with their lenses. When I did my first Sony class a couple of years ago on their full-frame camera, pickings were really thin on what you could choose and now there's a very good collection. The next round that they're gonna hopefully cover is in the big telephoto lenses. We want to see 300 and 400 2-8s, 500 F4s. Maybe even a 600 F4 one of these days. So, we've got some very good lenses. We'll hopefully see more in those long ranges.

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  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 😏
  • Thank you Great Work