Sony® A9 Fast Start

Lesson 7/27 - Drive Dial


Sony® A9 Fast Start


Lesson Info

Drive Dial

Then we have our Drive Dial which has a lock button on the camera, so let's go through the different options over here. First up is our square for Single Shooting, technically it's a rectangle, I know that, thank you math people. This is for basic photography it's gonna shoot one shot at a time, it's where I would image most of you are gonna leave your cameras for a good portion of the time for your basic photography. We then have three different motor drive modes, continuous shooting modes. We have a high, medium, and low. Now in the continuous high, it will shoot at 20 frames per second, but you need to have the camera with the electronic shutter turned on, you need to have your camera set to Compressed RAW, and you need to have you camera F/ or wider cause it doesn't have time to shut the aperture down and if you don't then, you're gonna be down at five frames per second. Now if you have your camera set to the Uncompressed RAW, you're gonna get 12 frames a second and so we're gonna ...

talk more about the electronic shutters as we go in the class, we're gonna talk more about the Compressed RAW and we'll clarify some of these issues that we've been talking about in here. So, in the medium, you're gonna get ten frames per second, and you still need to have the electronic shutter to get to that. And then with the low setting, we're gonna be at five frames per second and we'll get down to two and half if you want to be shooting with the mechanical shutter, in that case. And so when you are shooting in these high, medium, and low with these continuous modes, the image file goes from a 14-bit file to a 12-bit file. Now the difference between those two is of somewhat significance to pixel peepers who are trying to look, to try to exact as much information as possible. The difference between a normal person looking at a 12 and 14 bit image is extremely small, there is very little data that you are losing, but it does need to compress that file just a little bit in order to get that 20 frames per second. We do also have a self-timer mode that is very customizable. We can shoot with delays of two, five, or ten seconds. We can shoot a continuous option of three or five shots, if you want to get something more than a single shot. You will do that by jumping into the menu system, and going into the self-timer type and programming what kind of self-timer you want in there. We also have a bracketing option and bracketing is anytime you want to shoot a series of photos with something different between them. We can do exposure bracketing with a lot of options. We can also do a white balance and DRO bracket, which I'll be talking more about and giving you examples of as we go through the class. And that can be changed in the bracket settings, in the menu system. So, we wanted to take the camera out in the field and we wanted to test when does 20 frames a second actually make a difference and so we got the following little video for you. So one of the headlining features of the Sony A9 is the 20 frames per second. So, if you want to get the maximum frames per second there's a number of things you need to watch for in this or any other camera. The first is what file type you're shooting. This camera can shoot at 20 frames per second in RAW or JPEG RAW plus JPEG, but you do have to be careful on whether it's the uncompressed or the compressed RAW file. If you're shooting the compressed RAW file, you can get 20 frames per second. If it's uncompressed, you're gonna get 12 frames a second. You also need to be careful what aperture you set. You need to have a aperture, I believe it's F/ or wider open, cause it doesn't have time to close down to F/22, which actually works out pretty fine in most fast action situations, you're not gonna have a really closed down aperture. In this particular situation, I'm gonna be shooting something that's happening in a very small area and I'm at F/5/6, cause it's just this action right here. The other thing that effects your frames per second and how fast it actually turns out being is whether you're focusing and how well you're focusing is doing. So, right now I kind of have it set it up as far as hyperfocal distance, I'm getting everything in the general area I want action to be. So, just to get as many frames per second as possible so the camera is not working any harder than necessary. I have the camera in manual focus, because I know exactly where the action is gonna happen and I know almost when it's gonna happen. And so I've tried to get everything on here set to the fastest possible setting. And of course I have my drive set to the high-speed motor drive. So, what we're gonna do now is bring in Isaac. And let's see what we can get. (camera lens clicking) Alright, so 20 frames a second. We're gonna be able to go through those frames one by one and pick out the frame that's very best. Alright, so let's take a look at 20 frames a second. Do you really need it? Well, maybe, it's sure nice to have though. In a series like this, you can really hone in and say, okay, where is the best action? And whereas some of the traditional cameras might give you one or two frames in this little split second right here I can decided exactly which frame that I like the most, like the hands up in the air in the blue sky, I like being able to see the board real easy and it makes that shot, to me, just a little bit better, than the other ones. So, if you are shooting really fast action, yes, having that 20 frames a second is just gonna give you more options for getting exactly the best shot possible. Whereas before, with any of those shots, anything within 10 shots of there, 20 years ago, I would have just been happy to get something in that general area. Like, I caught him and he was in the air. Here I get like 15 different shots of him in the air and get to choose exactly which one of those moments is the best, and so very nice feature to have for that. So we have lots of different options, I imagine a lot of people are gonna be shooting this in the continuous high or continuous medium. You may find in certain types of sports, you just don't see much difference. And so for instance, I shoot a lot of running, and I don't think running is gonna benefit from 20 frames a second over 10. I found running is perfectly fine around six, seven, eight, frames a second, and so ten would be more than enough. So don't feel like you have to use this in 20 frames a second. There are many things, auto racing, you don't need 20 frames a second, it's only where action is happening really, really quick. So, if you're shooting football, what we call soccer here in the United States, and you're trying to get, when they're heading the ball, and you're trying to get that ball either right before or right after, right as it's hitting their head. That 20 frames a second is gonna help you time that much better. So, something that obviously a lot of fun to shoot with on this camera, cause it's the first camera that shoots at 20 frames a second in this manner. Alright on the top of your camera, kinda hard to see, at least in this particular photo on the key note, you got stereo microphones, so that when you are recording video, you are getting stereo sound. Obviously if you want to get great quality sound you need to have a real microphone, but it's better than mono-sound, so, it's a little nice thing.

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