Sony® A9 Fast Start

Lesson 18/27 - Menu: Camera Setting 1 Page 10-13


Sony® A9 Fast Start


Lesson Info

Menu: Camera Setting 1 Page 10-13

All right, on to page 10 of 13. We have our white balance. We have seen this a couple of times before. We currently have a button programed for it. It's in the Function menu. If you wanna assign it someplace else or if you wanna find it in the menu system, we have that same option here and wherever you set it last is where it's gonna be set at. So with white balance, you can get a custom setup if you want. And so if you are working under unusual lighting scenarios, what you would do is you would go to Custom Setup into the Set option. You would press the control wheel while pointed at a neutral colored object and then select where you want it to be preset, one, two or three. And then you press the center button to lock that in. And so if you wanna do that, something like this little color checker is a great device for this. It's got a lot of different colors here, but on the second page, it has a very neutral white. And this is what I'm gonna use to calibrate and get my camera set for ...

the lights here in the studio. So let's go ahead and set this up in front of the camera to start with and get my camera in position, and we're gonna do a custom white balance on this. So I'm just gonna leave my camera in the program mode for right now and let's see if I get this setup and get this setup in a lot of different ways and we're gonna zoom in on our subject here. All right, we don't need to focus but it's nice to have it in focus. So for the custom shooting mode, we are gonna go into the menu system. And if I can remember where I was, I think I'm on page 10 of 13. So I'm gonna be over here on 10 of 13. White balance, auto. And so one of my options that I can go down to, there's a bunch of florescents, don't get confused by those because there's numbers by them. Down here towards the bottom, there's one, two and three. And these are preset modes. And what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna program the light here in the studio into one of those three, but I need to go to set first. So I'm gonna choose the Set option, and I've got this little circle here in the middle. And I wanna put my circle on something that is neutral white. Doesn't have to be white, it can be gray, just can't have any color. And then press the center button, that's what that button means, to capture the data. So I'm gonna press the center button. The camera's gonna take a picture and it's now correcting for that. And that looks very clean and white to me. And so now I can choose one, two or three as to the place that I wanna set it. So I'm gonna set it as custom spot number three. So now when I go to my white balance, which I also have up in here as C1, I believe... Actually, where is it, C2? Or did I reprogram that into something else? So if I come in here to the menu, go to white balance, you can see the different color that I'm getting with all these different options in here. And the one that is best for this environment is the one that I set, custom, right there at number three. And so then I would just set number three and then I'm gonna get the correct color in this particular lighting. And so if you work in any particular area that has unusual lighting, whether it's a gymnasium, an office or any other sort of building, get one of these gray cards, get a little color checker chart and you can then do your own checks and get exactly perfect white balance in any particular place that you're shooting. So I think it's a good feature to have kind of in your back pocket when you're going to those sorts of places on a regular basis. All right, priority set in auto white balance. So if you are in auto white balance, we do have little tweaks on how much correction you want the camera to do. If you want it to do an absolute full correction because you need absolutely pure, perfect, clean colors, you would go to white. And if you prefer to leave a little bit of that warm light in, because that tungsten light does have kind of a nice look in a lot of photographs, a lot of people would prefer to leave it in standard. It's not pure, pure white but it gives you just a little bit of that nice warm color in there. You can leave it on ambience, which leaves quite a bit more of it, and so you can test between those three to see which kind of flavoring you like the most. All right, DRO and auto HDR. We talked about this a little bit before. This is a JPEG-only mode, and we can shoot in a dynamic range optimizer. And what it's gonna do here, let me go ahead and show you some photos as an example, it's gonna try to lighten those shadow areas, it's gonna hold back on the highlights so they're not overly bright. If you're shooting only to JPEGs, this is a way to make sure that your photos are within the dynamic range that you are shooting. Like if you are a wedding shooter and you are doing reception photos and you're just shooting JPEGs because you're shooting a lot of photographs, this might take care of some of those dark shadows and overblown highlights that you would normally have to go into some sort of program and deal with later on. And there's clearly just five different levels that you're gonna have to check between to see which one works for you. The other option in here is high dynamic range, and this is where the camera shoots multiple images. So you do need to be careful about camera movement, which means using a tripod, and subject movements. So it does not work on action photography. And so in this case we have different options between one and six EV, where the camera is shooting multiple photos at different exposures. And if we look at the histogram, you can look at that highlight information on the right side of the histogram and you can see how in the 6.0EV, it has held that highlight information back from being overexposed. And so how bright do you want those highlights in the frame? And so this, once again, it's for JPEG users. If you shoot raw, you'll be able to do this adjustment yourself after the fact. So normally, you would be leaving those turned off. Creative style. And so this is gonna be for the JPEG shooters, and this is controlling the color, the saturation, the vividness of your photographs. Standard is gonna be fine. We saw this before, this was in the Function menu. If you do wanna change this on a regular basis, you can do it there a little bit more quickly. The black and white is a good option, as I mentioned, but this is just kind of the look of your JPEGs. And if you shoot raw, you'll be able to make this adjustment afterwards, but you'll need to do so yourself later on. Picture effect. Okay, so we're gonna have a little bit of goofy fun in here. And so here is where we have a lot of very strange filters if we wanna get a very different type of look out of our image. And so let's go ahead and take a look at some of the different options that we can do here. We'll start off with a standard image. We have a toy camera, which gets a little bit contrasty. We have a pop color, which gets a really saturated version. We have a posterization, which I'm not quite sure on how to describe that, but highly contrasty. A retro faded photo, a soft high-key photo. And some of these we'll have further controls over which color, like partial color. You could choose different colors that you would see. It'd be all black and white, except for the one color that you choose. A high contrast black and white with a rich tone one. And so a lot of different options in here. These are for JPEG shooters. And if you just wanna get something different, you don't own a copy of Photoshop and you wanna do Photoshop in your camera, do it here. Be real careful about leaving this mode on when you're not intending it. Generally don't wanna do that but can be kind of fun for playing around. All right, focus assistant. Now first one here is focused magnifier. And so in this case the camera will jump in and let you focus magnify. Now this is something that would be best added to one of the custom buttons. So let's go ahead and give that a try in our camera. And so in our camera, if we were to put our camera in manual focus over here, so now when we press C4, we're gonna get this gold box and we can choose where we want this box to be. And let's say we wanna be up here on the flowers and then we can hit the center button and then we can manually focus on that. And so there's a couple of different ways to bring this focusing up, and that's one of the ways. If you wanna be able to select where you want it to be, you would use that focus magnifier. And then press it again and we turn that particular feature off. And so that's the focus magnifier. Focus magnification time. You can select a particular amount of time that it zooms in, and this is how long it will hold it after you have manually focused. So you can spend as long as you want manually focusing, and then after it feels like there's no controls being adjusted, it kicks back to the full image. I personally like to have it at no limit because sometimes it takes a while to check on things. But if you like to have it kicked back into the full image, you'd wanna set that on two or five seconds. Initial focus magnification. And so when it jumps into the magnification, how far do you wanna get? 1.0 or 4.7? And so it kind of depends on how sure you are where you wanna go. And so if you're not sure and you're constantly changing where in the frame you wanna magnify, it probably would be best to leave this at the 1.0. If you know that you kind of always wanna jump in to the center or one particular area, if you put it at 4.7, that's the maximum magnification you can go into, and that's where you're gonna wanna go into to get the sharpest focus. So it really depends on if you know where in the frame you wanna get started. Autofocus in focus magnification. So while the camera is manually magnified in its focus, do you want the camera to be able to autofocus? Some people say no because they're touching it up manually. A lot of people are gonna be fine, that's okay, I just wanna look at it really closely as it's focusing. And so I think on is gonna be fine for most people in this case. Manual focus assist. And so what happens here is that the camera will automatically turn on, and this is what I was showing you just a moment ago, it was automatically jumping in and assisting you. And so you probably don't need the focus magnifier along with the MF assist. So you can kinda choose which one works for you best. And so in this case it's just enlarging the image as soon as it feels that you're starting to turn the manual focus adjustment on the lens. The peaking level. And so this is another way of judging if you have sharp focus. What's gonna happen is the camera will shimmer pixels in bright colors to let you know that, that part of the scene is in focus. And so I'm gonna do a demo on this but I need to go one more slide because I wanna tell you about the other half of this peaking level, which is on the next page, which is on 12 of 13, the peaking color. And so you can choose the color and the intensity of this. So let me go into my camera and let's go ahead and set this up. And so we're on page 11 and 12 of 13, and let's turn on the peaking level. And let's go to the highest setting possible so that you can see it as clearly as possible. And Kena, would you pick a color, red, yellow or white? Red. Okay, so we're gonna go with red. And so we now have focus assist turned on. And you can see it working right there, but I wanna show it to you without focus magnification. So I'm gonna go back and turn off my manual focus assist because I want you to see this in the full frame view. And I'm gonna move this camera just back a little bit. And so now, as I focus manually, when it's in focus on something, and let me just do a little handheld, wider angle lens here. And so if I focus on the foreground, you can clearly see that it's starting to shimmer in highlights as the foreground is in focus. As I go to the background, that shimmers when I hit the strongest focus back there. And so not only do you get to see that it's in focus with the viewfinder, but the red just gives you an outline. And so if that red is a little bit much for you, remember we had it set on that really strong setting. If you don't like the color, you can choose a different color on that. And so good way of telling if you are in focus or not. I think this is gonna be very helpful. It's also very annoying when it comes to the composition. And so it's a type of feature that might be nice to be put onto a shortcut button that you can turn on and turn off just whenever you need it. But good feature to have, we'd like to see that on more other cameras but glad to have it here. That's for sure. Moving on to page 13 of 13, face detection. All right, so the camera does an amazing job on focusing on eyes. It can also do it on face tracking. And so let's go ahead and put this to the test and go out to the field and show you what this looks like when we're shooting skateboarding with face detection. So one of the features we've been seeing in a lot of new cameras is facial detection. But we're gonna really put it to the test here because Isaac is gonna be coming up to the top of this rail, going back down and he's gonna be moving very quickly. And so this is a good chance to see how well this camera works with focus tracking. And so I have it set right now, as far as a focus area, just the flexible spot large with the box kind of in the top part of the frame because I want it to be kind of close to where his face is. But we're gonna take a look and see how this works in this fast action situation. Okay. (shutter clicking) That time, it did not capture his face. It was a little too fast. (shutter clicking) It looked like it caught it that time. (shutter clicking) And it definitely caught it that time. And so it's not something that's 100% in really fast action like this, but it does work some of the time. And so if your action is not moving too quickly, give it a try if you really wanna make sure that the face is in focus. Okay, so here's some of the photos from the face detect. And if you have the chance to go back and watch the video, in the first one it didn't work very well because I did not coordinate with my skateboarder and he was doing a turn away from the camera where you couldn't see his face, so it makes perfect sense why it was not capturing his face there. And so using that face detect works pretty good in a situation like that. Got a bunch of the details down there so you can see what lens I was using and what settings I was at to get those shots as well. And so let's do our own little test because I wanna show you what it looks like and what you can expect to see in the viewfinder. So Kena, if you would help out, stand over here in front of the prop table. And what I'm gonna do on the camera first is I'm gonna go ahead and turn this feature on. So under here, there's face detection and we're gonna talk about face registration in a moment where the camera can actually memorize not just generic faces but specific faces and prioritize them. But under face detection, we can go in here, we can turn it on for registered faces, which we're not gonna worry about; or just regular on right here. And so in this, I am going to choose just a wide area focusing. So it's looking at everything and you can see immediately that it's catching Kena's face. And so Kena, why don't you walk towards the camera and move around a little bit, following up close. Walk, walk off camera. And okay, you're off, now come back on. And you can see at how quickly it catches her. And so if I was to put this camera into this shooting mode, okay, I'm gonna have you walk out of frame real quickly, are you ready? And wait, as soon as you hear the camera start, just walk off frame. (shutter clicking) Oh, see I had it, let's go back do it again. I had it in single focus so it was locking on single. So let's have you walk a little bit forward and out of frame as soon as you hear the camera. Okay. Okay, so here you go. Three, two, one. (shutter clicking) And so you can see there on the back of the camera, thank you Kena, on how it was just tracking her face. And so it can do an incredible job of tracking a subject like that. Now if you have multiple faces, it might be a little bit more difficult. So that's where you might wanna look at the face registration, which is what we're gonna talk about next. So the camera, as I said, can register, I believe it's eight faces on here. And you can go in and you can register a face and you can prioritize them. And so if you are photographing, whether it's a football or a basketball team, if you can get head shots, and you don't need to actually take photos of the people, you could probably just take their mugshots, their team photo shots and use those as your registration, and your camera is gonna register those and gonna be able to prioritize those over the opponents that they might be playing with. And it's gonna be able to focus on them more easily. And so you can go in here, you can do a new registration. Normally you're gonna just take a photograph of the person. You can do order exchanging according to who's the most important that you want the camera to photograph, and then of course you can delete or delete all of them once you get in there. And so if you are gonna use facial registration on people that you see on a regular basis, this might be a great way to prioritize and have it lock on to those faces rather than all of the other faces that might be in the scene as well. So interesting great new feature. Actually, I shouldn't say it's new, it's been around in a number of other cameras for a while now.

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