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Sony A99 - DSLR Fast Start

Lesson 1 of 10

1:00 pm - Product Overview

 

Sony A99 - DSLR Fast Start

Lesson 1 of 10

1:00 pm - Product Overview

 

Lesson Info

1:00 pm - Product Overview

Welcome everybody for my dslr faster and I don't know that sony actually calls their cameras dslr is in fact they don't and we will talk about that and so maybe that name is going to be changed a little bit for this class all right, so here's what we're going to doing in this class I want to give you a little bit of overview on this camera because some people don't know the history of sony cameras and so he's got actually quite a big history and they kind of bought into a lot of history you might say that we're going to talk about most of the class so we're going to be going over all the buttons on the camera and so all the dials and buttons have very specific things and for anyone who shoots nikon and cannon there's a lot of things that are done very differently here and it's sometimes better sometimes it's just interesting but we're going to go and we're going to check some of those out because I've had a chance to go around and shoot some photos and I got some fun photographs toe to...

share with you some things that this camera does well quite uniquely different than anyone else and they were going to talk a little bit about some of the lenses that are out there we have a really nice twenty forty seventy carl zeiss he got to say that with a special well, inflection on it because they come out of germany and they're really nice lenses on they were going to go in and talk a little bit about some of the displays that you see, and we're going to die through the menu system as well. I'm going to give you a bunch of recommendation recommendations on how I think the cameras best set up and some of the best options on how to set it up, depending on your level and what you're trying to do, and then I'm going to give you tended to sum it all up with some of my favorite setups for different types of photography. All right, so with this camera, this camera is notably different than your typical night cons and cannons that are out there. And so let's talk about the headline features of this camera number one it's, a twenty four megapixel camera, which puts it right there on the top tier of all the cameras that are available today, full frame sensors so it's right up there with that very top group. Now, this has an electronic viewfinder, and this is something that none of the cannons and nikon center and direct competition with this have and that's kind of a unique thing, and we're going to talk plenty more about what it's like to have an electronic viewfinder, single lands translucent it's not a single lens reflex camera. And I have some great slides going to show you exactly what that means in this camera. It's the on ly camera of this type that has a dual auto focus system, there are two different auto focusing systems that are complimenting and working with each other to help focusing on actions. So arguably, you could say at this price point with what this does it focus is better than anything else. But that gets into some touchy ground and we'll talk about where it might be better and maybe not as good as other cameras in body stabilization. With any lens that you put on this, you get stabilization, which is a great benefit. Really nice to have s o that's that's a unique feature in this as well. And then it has built in gps. We're starting to see this on a few other cameras now. So it's not the only one on the market that has this but that's kind of a nice feature and show you how that works. I used adobe light room and I can see exactly where I wass when I shot a particular photograph. All right, so let's talk first about traditional single lens reflex cameras. So this is your typical mike on typical cannon, typical pentax camera, the typical camera from ten or twenty years ago. This is what has come to dominate the market. We have a single leads, a very high quality lens that we get to look through. We get to see what angle of view we get to see filter effects, whether it's in focus there's a lot of reasons why we want to look through that lands, but in order to do so, we need the light to bounce off of amir and up to a focusing screen and some of you who are into old retro cameras you might be using a twin lands rowley where you would have little pop up viewfinder and you look down at a ninety degree angle, you stone a hassle black that had the same system it's really nice because it's, small and getting used both eyes on it. But in order for viewing more easily, light has bounced up through a prison system, and once again, this is on a traditional single lens reflex camera. Now, when you want to take a picture, that means going to have to get up and out of the way. But before it does, one of the things that most people don't know about those cameras is that behind the main mir is a secondary mir and that mir is letting a little bit of light through the main mir two the second near bounces down to the auto focus sensor and this is so that the camera can auto focus and this is what the other guys, the cannons and icons this is how they auto focus this is what they've been doing for the last twenty five years. Now when you take a picture, the mere both miers need to get up and out of the way so that light can come into the image sensor now that's all well and good but here are three problems with a traditional slr camera first off that mere needs to get up it out of the way very, very quickly and the faster it gets out of the way, the more impact it causes, the more my more vibration it causes. So a lot of people who are into landscape photography or product photography will use a technique called near lock up where they lock the mere up they wait a few seconds and then they take a picture so as to avoid this impact problem. The second thing is is that there is image blackout in my standard photography classes. I like to tell people if you saw it, you missed it because you're looking through the viewfinder before and after the pictures taken, you're not seeing what's actually happening during the picture and the third problem is that while the mirrors in the upper position there is no auto focus okay your camera has zero information in which to focus in a traditional system now a lot of cameras kind of are predicting how fast something's moving but on its own it can't focus with the mere up in that position now cameras are starting to be able to focus with light just on the sensor but in general it's pretty slow and doesn't work very well and it frustrates a lot of professionals to the point at which they just turn off the entire auto focus system and they manually focus and so we need to see some more improvement with the slr and so what sony is done is they've changed the game around okay? And what they've done is that they have taken out the mir and this is with the new eighteen, ninety nine that we're talking about as well as some other some of their other cameras they've taken out that main near which means it's no longer a traditional camera it's no longer a reflex camera they don't need the focusing screen they don't need the prison system but they have added in a different type of mira translucent mir which means it lets some light through that lens that mere excuse me and so and what's happening here is that it lets two thirds of the light through to the sensor so the sensor is getting a full reading of the light one hundred percent of the time now, here's the downside is that you are getting two thirds of the light and not one hundred percent of the light. Sony makes really good sensors, and they can kind of make up for this with a slight boost in the sensitivity of the sensor, and it doesn't seem to really affect the image, but it is a small downside that I'd have to admit with the system now. The advantage is is that they've taken the auto focus module, they've moved it to the top of the camera and the camera now takes one third of light coming in the lands and takes it directly to the autofocus sensor. Now the advantage here is that it has information about how to focus one hundred percent of the time where, as in the other cameras it's not doing it up to fifty percent of the time while that mirrors in the upper position. And so sony can focus one hundred percent of the time. And when you take the picture of the light, just come straight through the sensor, you get to see what's going on through the elektronik viewfinder, and so the elektronik viewfinder, in my opinion on this camera is really the make or break of what this camera is, and you know, if I worked for sony and I had to come up with one of those you know, those tag lines where they have like, you know, creativity is your your job or something like that for every camera the tagline that I would come up with is the camera the future because I think this is the direction we will pretty much all be in ten years and this is this is trading early ground this is breaking ground now it's not the first camera that's tight but this is what cameras are going to be like in the future at least I'm convinced because there are so many advantages to taking out that flopping near in the camera having a digital viewfinder gives you a lot of advantages we're going to talk about here in just a second but it's also potentially the weak link if it doesn't have a good view finder I will chuck that camera to the side I won't even look at it if it's a poor quality viewfinder now the viewfinder on this one is the best on the market right now two point four million dots and from somebody who's come from a long line of looking through nice glass prisms the view finder is pretty good I'd like it to be better it's better than anything else on the market and it's a very workable tool when you're out in the field there are a few little downsides when we get out there but let's talk about the main benefits of this completely different system then what's being used by the other guys the digital viewfinder allows you to do some cool things that nobody else could do for instance let's say you want to focus looking through the viewfinder sony can magnify the image a whole bunch so that you can get in really close and focus yeah, I can do that on my cannons and night guns, but I've got to use the screen in the back of the camera next up digital focusing the camera well actually did I just explain that? I think I just explained digital focusing so I was a step ahead of myself one hundred percent of coverage we talked about that video shooting with the viewfinder anyone who shoots with a traditional camera that has a traditional slr if if you want to shoot video you've got to be doing this, you have to hold it out here and there has been an entire industry strung up on making these rigs so that you can mount him over your shoulder so that you can walk around and you got have special eyepieces and it's they call him franken franken cameras because they look like frankenstein there's all these pieces up to him but with this camera because you have a digital viewfinder if you're shooting video you can just hold it up to your eye where it's very comfortable you don't need any other accessory so it's a little bit easier to do if you want now those other devices air still handy for holding the camera in a very steady position but it's just another advantage here you don't need a lot of the accessories if you don't really need it novy mir vibration did some slow shutter speed tests and the camera is really great at some of those really awkward shutter speeds and if you're not familiar with the awkward shutter speeds it's around an eighth of a second where you get a lot of mere slap and vibration and this camera doesn't have it because there's nothing moving around the shutter opens and closes but there's no mere moving up and down and so that's some of the advantages that you're going to get with this and it's only going to get better in the future and we're going to see more and more of cameras like this in my opinion now to understand where this come from we need to step back a little bit all the way into the world of minolta because that's where the lineage of this camera comes from and so minolta founded a long time ago they made a lot of cameras and I don't know I haven't checked the record books but I think they have mohr first in making first things they were the first really commercially successful autofocus camera the maxim seven thousand and they went along and they would go in quite quite good making cameras financial times kind hit them kind of hard, so they merged with konica and they brought out the five d's everyone thought cannon had the the notable famous five d well, actually, it was konica minolta that had the first five d camera, and what happened is they ended up going out of business and they sold all their technology to the lens mouth, the flash, the whole camera system over to sony so we can go over to sony and this is where sony picks up now. So he's been around obviously for a very long time, and they've actually been in the digital photography game for a really long time back in those early days, the mad because I remember shooting on one of those a really long time ago had a floppy drive in the back of the camera. I mean, you were shooting, you know, less than one megapixel images and you're only getting a couple of amount of memory. It wasn't memory card, it was a memory floppy at the time, and so sony has a long history in digital photography. They've just been in the game well, since they kind of merged and got all the technology from minolta, which happened about two thousand four, five and six or so but they are acquired, minolta, and they quickly kind of rebranded, and they restarted everything. And so in two thousand ten, they introduced the first s lt camera, single lens, translucent camera, and they have since come out with another smaller version of the n e x cameras a lot of you are familiar with, and so it's, very interesting from someone who's been in this industry for a long time when I think cameras, I don't think sony, I think, well, sony makes great video cameras, I remember having a video camera from sony, and they make a lot of broadcast tv stuff, so they've got a lot of chip technology. They've got a lot of video technology, but when it comes to sl ours, they're the new kids on the block, and they've kind of bought into the game, but they come with so much resource, and, you know, they see nikon and cannon just duking it out, going after each other, doing the same thing. I mean, if anyone's been paying attention, look at the last, I don't know eight announcements from nikon in canada, and they produced basically exactly the same camera within a few hundred dollars of each other at exactly the same time, and, you know, I remember when I was a kid in our basement, we had a poster that it was for eva said, it was a vis we're number two, we try harder, and to me it really seems like sony is back there at third in nightgown in canada are kind of, you know, they're one and two, one and two, they're pretty close, but sony's back there a little bit and they're they're just coming at it really hard with all sorts of new technology, and this kind of takes on the mantle of where most minolta was in the old days and back when minolta was around and I was selling these cameras, we always knew that minolta it was more likely than anyone else to bring out something for the first time, we're the first ones on the block to have it, and then if it was successful, nikon and cannon would pick it up and run with it, and pretty soon everyone but every once in a while, something they would introduce something were like that didn't work out, and so so when he seems to have kind of taken on that little mantle, you might say of doing things first, but now they have so many more resource is I would keep an eye on him even if you shoot canon and nikon, and you're just totally locked in those systems. I would keep a real close eye on sony because their affiliation with this ice lenses their technology with sensors there, video technology and essentially the merging of still and video sony's. So when he's not want tio ignore at this point and so pay attention to them now with sony's current lineup of cameras, they are catering mostly to the amateur intermediate, and this is the one camera that they have that really addresses the professionals it's the only camera they have in this mount system that is full frame, they do have one other full frame camera, it doesn't have interchangeable lenses, and so they make another a number of other cameras. Thie, a seventy seven, is pretty notable for anyone who owns this who would like a second camera that's, maybe even faster at shooting it's, a very good kind of sports camera you might want to think about now. They also have another lineup of cameras, thie, any x cameras, and while it is potential that there is some linds interchangeability between these, they don't mount directly on you would need adapters, and they kind of on legal one direction, but it's kind of a separate system, so there's not really likely chance that you're going have a lot of cross work between them, but the n e x cameras are really nice cameras that are also using a digital viewfinder, they're not the translucent mir. There are mirror lis cameras so it's it's a different technology that we're not going to be going into today and I don't know, maybe there's a few questions that people have had this point just off of some of the initial thoughts that I've had. So check back with you for just a moment. Yeah, let's, take a look. Any questions in the audience before we get teo internet stuff? We do have one down. I was just wondering what the method if there, if we know what it is behind the naming system, like the n e x and I guess the a the alfa numbers or make sense, but the n e x and a cz and any ex? Well, I was in a bit of a I was in a crunch time getting this class together, and I don't have time to do the research on the n e x, and so maybe we'll get an answer from our sony any ex rep during the break or something? Sure, a question from online fella, aso light is falling on the sensor all or most of the time does the a ninety nine have a traditional shutter? It does have a traditional shutter and so what's actually happening, and I'm sorry I don't have a slide for this way, john quested what's happening is that the shutter? I'll have to use my fingers ok is the shutter is open so that you can see it during all the the whole time now when we get into the menu system, we're going to talk about the e shelter which is the elektronik first curtain cheddar and so normally the camera will elektronik lee just start recording, which means that there's no or extraordinarily short shutter leg there is zero movement before picture is actually taken and then there is a physical second curtain that closes, but you can't have a physical curtain close and then open and then a second curtain close it and so you have the option of mechanical or electronic first curtain but it's a mechanical second curtain and that elektronik first curtain is kind of nice because I ran into a macro photographer who did really, really high magnification work with special lenses and reversing lenses and so forth and of course he's going to lock me up that's like baby steps he's concerned about that first shutter opening up because that little shudder with lightweight titanium blades would cause a little bit of vibration in the picture and so he was really excited because there was a camera that he was using that haddon elektronik start and this is what's known as a global shutter and eventually I look forward to the day and I bet you anything so he's going to be the first one that does it but they haven't done it so far and that is an all electronic shutter no physical device one of the ways we rate cameras is by how many shutter cycles the camera can handle right now this camera is at two hundred thousand a traditional average slr is at fifty thousand ah pretty good cameras at one hundred thousand this is at two hundred thousand now there are some other cameras at similar prices there two hundred thousand the only camera that I know beyond it is the one d x which is I think at four hundred thousand and while I don't know the number, I'm sure the nikon d for would be above two hundred thousand as well but I don't know the specific number on that so that's the shutter curtain answer thank you just a quick question from kai do you know how long is the delay between taking an image and the image no longer being shown in the viewfinder? Well, that depends a little bit on if you are pressing halfway down on the shed a release because if you do shoot a picture and you want to look at it, you take your finger off and you can see it there for a couple of seconds you have control over how many seconds I believe you, khun not have it you can have it for two seconds or five seconds but if you press down on that shuttle release it's going to go for the next picture now one downside to this camera that I'm not real fund up is that there is what some people on the internet are calling a slide show mode and if you shoot a syriza pictures normally imagine a scenario where you're doing a panning technique so you're panning someone that's coming down the street with a traditional camera you have that line of sight view whenever the mirrors in the down position well with this camera it's showing you the picture you just took and I found it a little hard to pan smoothly because you should be here but you're looking at him there and you're not sure where they are in your frame and so for sports photographers and pani it's a little tricky to use and I haven't quite gotten used to it yet and so there's that slide show mode which is kind of down that alley of that question right? Uh photographic elements how quiet is theeighty ninety nine ninety nine well let's uh go ahead and just take some pictures I'll hold it up kind of close to my microphone it's pretty average sound it's doesn't have the mere slap on it, which makes it a little bit quieter, but I know that ny cons and cannons both have some either quiet or silent modes and some of the cannons I would say are definitely quieter. It's pretty close to the quiet mode on the night concerts, eh? But it's a different sound, and even though something makes less noise, some people don't like the sound of it, and so it feels like it's louder and so you'll have to be the judge of that one almost a comfort issue yeah makes it comfortable now that it's making some noise, right? So the other question came up. You mentioned that the viewfinder is two point four million dots, he said, that's the best view finder that's out there can you put that into comparison with some of the other few fighters that are on the market? The olympus o m d camera, which is a great little camera, and it what it is at around one point three million dots and it was ok, so I'm I'm a little bit of a viewfinder snob, I'm sorry to say there's, wine snobs and everything else, but when it comes to cameras there's certain things, I'm very picky about viewfinder and very picky about anything less than a million dots I wouldn't even touch now there's people out there that have cameras that are like point six million for some of the little point in suits the five hundred dollars super zooms and it was always just horrible experience and a half million dots once it got to be a million it kind of got acceptable to million's pretty good yeah I'd like ten million throw twenty four million you know twenty four megapixel I don't know I would like to you know at some point two point four million you might not realize it's an electronic key finder until you get into some bright and shadow areas where it can't quite see the way our own eyes do now the advantage kind of the thing that has me excited about a digital viewfinder and not this one but in the future is that we're shooting with digital cameras right? Our picture is digital the digital viewfinder is going to be able to show us a better representation of what our cameras capturing than us looking through a mere yeah okay so our own eyes we have unique characteristics and we're not going to go into how the human eye works but that's all of the class and it's life for that there's a there's a there's a whole class for that uh and so it's nice to work with human eyes but when it comes to the camera this is kind of a long term advantage is that you get to see immediately exactly what you're getting rather than this is a close approximation of what your camera will be able to capture thank you. One more question before we keep going from photographic elements, how do you find the odometer for the camera? Like if you're looking to buy used one, or how do you find harmony? The odometer, I guess there's two parts of the question is you can go to product information about the camera to see how many shutter cycles it's good for. You could do a quick google search, and you'd probably find somebody who's figured it out, posted it, but camera clicks. There are some cameras that you can find it out on some you can't. There are some people who have built programs on the internet, where you can hook up your camera to the computer and there's little program that runs and you take a picture, and it sees how many clicks the camera has on some cameras. They hide it on other cameras, it's, much more visible on this camera. It's, not visible to my knowledge, would have to send it into a repair facility, and so it's. Not an easy answer on that.

Class Description

Join John Greengo for an in-depth step-by-step tour of the Sony®  STL-A99. With a hands-on introduction to your camera's operations, detailed instructions on how all the menus work, and instruction on how to shoot great photos with this specific camera model.

Reviews

a Creativelive Student
 

Amazing... The sony corporation should give a gold medal. Congratulations on the professionalism and elegance in worshop. Thanks 'John Greengo and all Creative Live team for providing such a wonderful experience.

a Creativelive Student
 

Congratulations CreativeLive and John Greengo for stepping outside of your more typical Canon/Nikon comfort zone and giving us this introduction to the A99. I have never seen any pro photographer treat this camera as fairly as John does - least of all with this much enthusiasm. John's course is thorough, comprehensive and very enjoyable and, once I'm able to, I will be purchasing this camera. With any luck. Now I'm looking forward to a course from John on travel photography that's just as brilliant.

Bob Wurst
 

I don’t have the Sony A99, I have the Sony A65. It doesn’t have all the features of the A99 but it has many of them and this course helped me understand them better. The material is very thorough and well presented. Thank you John Greengo!