Camera Overview


Sony® A9 Fast Start


Lesson Info

Camera Overview

Welcome everybody to the fast start for the Sony A9. This has been a groundbreaking camera as a lot of us have been watching the new cameras come around and every once in a while a camera really does take strides over its predecessors or against its competition, and the A is definitely one of those cameras, and so it's generated a lot of excitement and we've got a chance here to take it out and shoot it and I've been going through it just with a fine tooth comb for the last couple weeks, and I think I got together a really good class for you on this. It's a very in depth camera, there's a lot of new features that I've not seen on cameras before, and so we're going to be covering some new territory. It's a very very detailed in a lot of the controls you can have. There are more customized controls that I've seen on most cameras out there right now. It's a pretty amazing camera. So along with this class, there is a PDF for the entire menu system of the camera all laid out so it's nice an...

d easy to see, and I've given you some of my recommendations of where I think it'd be good to start this out. Now on the second page is the exact same thing without my recommendations 'cause I know you are gonna customize the camera the way that you want to do it, and so you can write your own in there or you can just use that page as your reference guide and then there's a couple more pages with some setting recommendations on how I would set the camera up for a variety of other situations and so we'll get into that more in the second half of this class, so let's go ahead and talk a little bit about what we're going to be doing with our time here in this class. So to start with, I want to kind of introduce people to this camera and just talk a little bit about what we're going to be going over in the camera. We're going to go through a few photo basics for anybody that's kind of new to photography, and then the main section is we're going to be getting in to the camera controls, and that's basically a tour of the outside of the camera. We're going to go through all the buttons and dials, we'll talk about what they would do and then how you would set them for a variety of situations. The second half of the class is the menu functions and we're going to go through the entire menu from top to bottom, and we're going to talk a little bit about everything that's in there. Now I do want to tend to stay on the controls of what this camera does, and there's a lot of things you can do to hook this camera up to other devices and expand its capability, but we're not going to have time to go into the detailed nuances of how this camera works with all the off camera flashes. We're not going to go into hooking this up onto a network system for instance, and so if you are going to be using the new ethernet port, we're not going to be going through what you need to do on your computer to hook everything up. We'll talk about the basic setups on the camera and what it can do and things that you'll need to do from there. So you should have a really good idea on how this product works, that's what we're concentrating on and then finally under camera operation, I'm going to give you some tips on how I would set this camera as far as focusing and motor drive and exposure for different types of scenarios and that is also backed up in the PDF that comes along with the class. So Kenna I'm going to check back with you and see if we've got some answers or feedback. Would you consider the A9 an action sports camera? I would consider it an action and sports camera, but I wouldn't say it's limited to that because I know there's a lot of wedding photographers and event photographers that have got a keen interest on this camera because it's the first camera that can shoot silently without any sort of distortion which is something we're going to get into during the class. And so I've been shooting a lot of sports over the years and this camera was fantastic at shooting sports and if I was a professional sports photographer, I was photographing major league, professional sports I would own this camera. If I could afford it, if it fit in the budget, if I could find it where I wanted to need a place to use this I would want to have this camera. Now I couldn't switch over from Canon and Nikon because Sony doesn't have the big lenses, the 300, 400, 2/8 and so on, and so it's not gonna be a really viable camera for an all around sports photographer, but the 70 to 200 to 2/8, the 100 to and a few of their other telephotos along with some of their wider angles could be used as a special case wide angle camera, normal telephoto lens camera without having those super telephotos right now, and it's because what it does is leaps and bounds in front of what's available in the competition right now and I'm sure they're going to be coming down with some of their own lenses, but this is a game changer, folks. So let's get in and let's talk about this. All right, Sony has an instruction manual and they also have a help guide and combined with them you're going to spend about 28 hours going through the information. Now I have been combing through this very carefully trying to find what is the most important information and that is what's going to be packed into our class which I expect to be around five hours. Now the camera does come supplied with the instruction manual which is real good for specifications on exactly what happens here and there. There's a lot of little parameters. When you have this set to this, then this one is limited to this and if you want to get into some of those little nuances that's what the instruction manual will be very good at. The other thing is as far as compatibility with different lenses and limitations. I'll talk about some of the main ones you're going to encounter here, but there is further information that you may want to reference in there. But hopefully I'm going to be covering most everything that you need. Now to get the help guide, which does not come with the camera. That is a downloadable PDF that you can get, and what you need to do is you need to go to Sony's website and you need to type in the official name of the camera and it's not the A9, it's not going to come up. It's not going to come up if you say Alpha 9, so it's the ILCE 9 camera and it stands for interchangeable lens compact camera with an E mount, and so that's what ILCE 9 stands for and that's why you need to know what the official name of the camera is. All right, so this is gonna be a class on how to use this camera. It is not a class in photography. It's related to photography, but it's not composition and lighting and all those other important elements in photography and so if you want to know more about photography, there's lots of other classes here at Creative Live. I have a couple of them that are pretty popular out there. One's a nice short three hour one that gets you out the door with the basics and for those of you who really want to dig in to the details, I have a in depth series that's 27 hours in length, so you might want to take a look at those two if you want supporting material that would go along with the information of how to use this particular camera. So, we all know about Sony. Sony's been around for a long time with a lot of different electronics. They've been making digital cameras since the very early days of 1981. They've been making point and shoots, their cyber-shots for a couple of decades at this point now. They wanted to get into the interchangeable lens game and so when Minolta and the Minolta-Konica brand basically went out of business, they sold all their technology to Sony and so Sony took that and they came up with SLT cameras which we're not going to get into right now. It's related to SLRs and then they came up with their mirrorless cameras and this was the NEX series which is their crop frame series which is the E mount, which is what we are using here on this camera, and then in 2013 which I thought was a pretty revolutionary camera was the Sony A7. It was the first full frame mirrorless camera which means that with adapters you could use Nikon and Canon and all the other brands of lenses on there and so it was a camera for kind of all lenses although it was limited in autofocus and how many other things you could do with it, but this is a development from the A which went onto the A7 mark two series which we have a class on and this has just taken things in a new direction in sports and action which is an area that mirrorless cameras have struggled since their inception and this is a camera that is in some ways taking a jump past what SLRs are doing, and so it's a big camera in my opinion. So as far as the care and handling of the camera, there's all sorts of obvious things that they say don't do with it, you know? Don't be stupid with it, so I think that's pretty simple. The next thing is the camera is designed to be dust and moisture resistant, and then just a little while later it says but is not waterproof or splash proof, so one area where this falls behind some of the top end cameras from Canon and Nikon is in the weather resistance and it's really hard to rate these things with a specific number or category, it's just not as weather resistant as the very best of the Canon and the Nikon cameras out there. I would imagine with a product like this, if you go out into a light rain for a short period of time, you're probably going to be fine. If it's a heavy rain, if it's a long period of time you're really putting yourself at risk and the camera at risk because not only does the camera need to be weatherproof, the lens does too and so if you're going to need to shoot like a football game that's going to last two or three hours out in the rain, you had best get a rain cover for this. This is not designed to be out in the rain for a long period of time, and so for light little sprinkles, not a problem but just be careful for either long term or heavy water intrusion on it. Using this camera with products from other manufacturers may affect its performance. Perhaps we should add a duh after that, of course. One of the things that you can do with Sony cameras is something that I like to do is put on an adapter and use a different brand of lens. I use some Canon lenses on my Sony products and to be honest with you the focusing is not so hot. It works, it's accurate, it's just not real fast. And so if you want to shoot at 20 frames a second, autofocus, you're going to want to get the Sony lenses. There are other brands of lenses that will focus their autofocus native right on the camera, I think Sigma is making some as well as some other brands and those should work pretty well as to, and so I'm not too concerned about other brands of lenses, although you're going to get a little bit less performance. There are other brands of flashes that you can get, although I prefer Sony's. I prefer the communication. Flash is one of the most complicated areas of photography and having one unified system just makes life a lot easier to deal with. Now as far as the durability of the camera, the camera has a shutter durability rating of 500,000 cycles which means the shutter is designed to last 500,000 cycles which considering how this camera is likely to be used without the mechanical shutter even working with the electronic shutter working, I don't know how we're going to rate cameras anymore because the shutter is becoming much less important than it has in any previous camera. And so it's quite possible that the shutter will never break on most people who ever use this camera for a long period of time because they're not going to use it that much and it would take a really long time to go through 500,000 cycles. All right, let's make sure that your camera and my camera is ready for today. I charged the battery last night. It takes about 2 1/2 hours. You can expect to get around 500 shots on a battery charge. You may get many, many more if you are using the camera in the electronic shutter mode and depending on exactly how much you're reviewing images and looking at the menu and so forth. You'll need a lens attached of course. You want to have a memory card in there. You can have one or two, we'll talk more about that and I'm gonna go ahead and turn my camera on right now. It feels a little weird turning the camera to the full auto mode, but we're just going to keep things real simple here to start with. Now if you have been playing with your camera and you would like to get it back to the factory reset, you can do that by going to the setup menu and resetting your camera. Now this is a box that will come on screen from time to time and will give you a shortcut for all of you watching this class who says hey, that sounds interesting, I want to jump ahead and make that change right now. So let me give you a little demo in how this would work. So it says set up seven of seven setting reset. All right, so on the back of my camera what you're going to want to do is go into the menu system over here and along the top we're going to use this dial to navigate across the different tabs. We're going to go into the little setup menu over here and then we're going to come down and this is page one of seven, and we're going to go over to page seven of seven, and we're going to have a setting reset so we press the center button here 'cause we want to enter this, and we can do an initialize or we can do a camera settings reset. Now I've already done an initialize which takes a little bit more time and you gotta reset the clock and the time zone and everything. I've reset it before this class, but you can go in here and you want to reset all the settings. And so I just want to get my camera back to the factory default mode, and so the camera settings take care of just some of the basic I think shutter speeds, apertures, white balance, things like that and then the initialize is going to go through and change all your network settings and any sort of custom setup back to the factory default system there, and you can always hit the menu to back out of it or you can hit the shutter release to get back into the shooting mode right there. So if you want to reset your camera, that's how you do it. Keep an eye on those shortcuts as we go through the class 'cause some of you like to jump ahead and get those settings inputted into your camera right away.

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