Camera Operation


Sony® A99 - DSLR Fast Start


Lesson Info

Camera Operation

So this final little section is just general camera operation what would I think about in generally operating the camera? Cause we really broken it down first off when I go out and shoot with camera especially this one you want to make sure that you have your batteries charged up battery usage is a little bit heavier on this so I would recommend a spare battery definitely depending on what you're shooting, you might want to have more than one battery make sure that your cards air formatted and ready to go anytime you get it brand new card anytime you get a card from a different camera, you're going to want to form at it and that's just one of the procedures that professional photographers d'oh before they go out and shoot a wedding or project of any sort they reformat all the cards. If there is a really significant problem that card, they will realize that right then and there when they form at that card just a standard procedure to clean house before he's go out. Make sure that you ha...

ve your image quality set where it is supposed to be. Maybe you were goofing around and you were playing around with low quality j pigs you don't want to have that set like that when you're doing an important shoot and then in general just kind of scroll around your menu settings remember where you were last night taking pictures of the stars and now you're out taking pictures in bright sunlight you might have changed a number of features on the camera, so just make sure you have gone into those settings and then if it's a really serious situation, you want to go in and check and see if you have dust on the sensor, so shoot a white piece of paper at f twenty two and look for dust on the sensor so that you can address it before you go out, go out on vacation or go out with a big job now on screen right now is a link and I'll give you a moment to kind of look at that link and in my research for this class I was bouncing around all over the internet looking for opinions and reviews and technical information, and this website probably had the best technical information. It's what it's, the u k sony support site that seemed to have a really good information about what works with what? What is this feature? Do what these acronyms mean? And so if you kind of want a good place to put a tab in this would be a good place to go back to, okay, the cameras got about one hundred fifty different features, but there are ten that you're going to be using on a regular basis and they're ones that are dealing with exposure focus and maybe a few other little things here and so these are the ten settings that I really think are very, very important for all photographers and so let's go through how I would set the camera for different scenarios so landscape photographs hey, that photograph looks familiar do we recognize that photograph? There it is mount rainier national park ok, so when I'm shooting landscape photographs, I am definitely in manual exposure. I have specific control over shutter speed in aperture and I have enough time to make my adjustments. You know, the shutter speed generally doesn't matter because I often have my camera on a tripod, but just for example I might be down around a quarter of a second. The aperture is critical for landscape photography. Typically landscape photographers want to have a lot in focus f sixteen f twenty two f thirty two it depends on the scenario depends on the lens, the angle of you and a lot of factors, but f sixteen would be a good general linda throw out there. I definitely want to have the s o setting at the best possible setting and that would be I so one hundred you don't use exposure compensation because we're in manual at least I'm not in auto I s o so I can't use it metering I'm fine with multi segment metering, it does a very good job with it white balance I'll either be an auto white balance. I might move it into sunny or cloudy or whatever situation I'm in, but generally I just leave it in auto white balance and if there's a little tweak and I'm shooting raw images, I can fix it later in post for focusing, I'm gonna want to focus and stop. I don't want to continually track subjects back and forth, so I'm just going to use the city and I'm going to use the spot focused so that I can very precise about focusing in one particular area and for the drive system will you got a number of options here? You could use a single shooting if you have a cable release hooked up. If you don't have a cable release, a good way of saving about fifty bucks is used the two second self timer now you can't time things perfectly, so if you're trying to time something it's better to have the cable release, you could also use the wireless remote control for portrait pictures. In this case, you're not going to be on a tripod. You're thinking very carefully about your shutter speed you don't want blur if you don't want blur, you want shallow depth of field, and you want to be very critical about what's in focus. In these cases I usually I like to kind of set themselves set it up a little bit ahead of time so I'm using manual exposure you're going to need a little bit faster shutter speed probably one hundred twenty fifth or faster it depends on if you or your subject or moving around a lot or possibly what lends you might be using this is where it's really nice to have one of those fast lenses that has a really wide aperture if you went out and spent the money on a one point four lands you're probably gonna want to shoot it there two to eight is going to be justice is going to be nice as well, but if you want that shallow depth of field, you'll get that at one point four I'm definitely going to want to leave the ice so is lowest possible I'm going to go ahead and leave the meter in back at the multi segment has a greatjob auto white balance is fine for focusing I'm going to want to focus on that subjects I you want to have that I in focus the eye that is closest to the lands and for focusing points used the local point you can adjust it around the frame a little bit so if they're a little bit off to the side you could move it off to the side potentially so you don't have to recompose the photograph and for the drive mode, I like to have it on continuous because people's gestures change, their facial expressions changed, and sometimes they have really good moments and you just want to make sure that you captured at six frames a second. You have a good chance of getting it. Ok, let's do a little action photography, so in this case, we're definitely not on a tripod focusing is critical here because we're tracking their movement. We need a faster shutter speed to stop their movement. We have to have a few of how fast they are moving. I like shooting manual. I'd like to have specific control over my shutter speed and my aperture, this is where you're going to need a faster shutter speed like one five hundredth of a second sports photographers, action photographers love lenses that go down to two point eight and so if you have a lens that goes down to two point eight, this is where it's really going to come in handy if your lens can't go down to two point eight, you're gonna want a lens that goes down to two point eight. You don't have to have it, but very handy to have because you need those faster shutter speeds. Ideally I would be a tie so one hundred but the reality of the world is is that there's not that much light and we need that light for our shutter speed so we often have to bump our eyes so up to four hundred sometimes further depends on the situation I'm gonna go ahead and stick with multi segment metering I'm going to stick with auto white balance here's the most important change is going to a f c for continuous now the sony camera does have the a f d which we touched on a little bit and this is where the camera is using the distance information in some of their lenses and the a f d might outperform the a f c in some scenarios the fc I would say is more reliable and consistent the a f d might have a peak speed that is faster and so you'll have to judge which one is better with your type of photography it's going to depend on what you're shooting where you're shooting the lenses that you're shooting with as to which one is better but the sea is kind of the safe choice to go with to start with you can use a number of different scenarios the focusing area isn't that huge so I would probably go with wide if you can you could work with his own left middle or right but because it's not that wide I wouldn't mind using all focusing points with the white area and of course for the drive we're going to put it in continuous so that we can shoot up to six frames per second in the standard mode all right let's kind of in this class with basic photography and this is where you don't know what your next picture is going to be how do I leave my camera when it's just in the camera bag and I want to be ready for anything that comes along all right I will actually use just a teaspoon of automation here okay? This is where I will use some aperture priority so I'm going to pay attention to my shutter speed but I'm going to let my camera choose my shutter speed for me and I'm gonna leave my aperture relatively wide open maybe f four I have yet to encounter a situation that I suddenly need depth of field not very often that you suddenly need depth of field much more common that you suddenly need a fast shutter speed something is happening urgently and you want to get that picture now I like to leave my camera s so one hundred just to always be aware that it's at one hundred and I'll bump it up as necessary so I'm keeping kind of my first thing I take a look at is where's my shutter speed if it's not fast enough I bump up the isil you do have to be careful with your exposure compensation make sure that zero you don't want to be like one of the students I had where they walked into class in their cameras camera was set to minus three and they were wondering why they were getting very dark pictures is an easy problem to fix as you've figured out, I'm pretty good with multi segment metering an auto white balance pretty easy choices here for focusing I prefer to be an access to single focus on focus is it stops focusing and aiken recompose if necessary and with this camera I'll leave it in either the zone or the local area maybe the middle area is pretty good just because it gives you a few more points to grab onto with with his own or with local excuse me being able to choose a single point probably start in the middle but I could quickly move it off to the side and then finally for the drive on this I'm just going to leave it in single shot and I can go up and down if I need to take a syriza pictures and so that's how I would leave the camera in my camera back and if you have paid attention and follow this entire class congratulations you are now a sony a ninety nine expert congratulations every right on all right great well can we take some more? Yes absolutely absolutely be fantastic any final questions here in the studio they were gonna go straight to the internet I think we are let's see a question from quincy from cat can you please tell me that I can turn off the time and date ok so they know you cannot but don't worry this is not like the old cameras were printed the time and date on the photograph remember when they used to print printed on the picture itself no it does not do that it's part of the meta data so this is the extra data that comes with the photograph and so it's very very handy in the long term but you can't turn it off but it's not on the photo ok? Because she was saying that somewhere images will print with it and some not so that is a functionality of something else something else just turned on great on then rubble and ex says how can trigger a sony flash with an infrared trigger? I'm not using the pop out flashed the cameras there waited too trigger flashes off camera yes if you want to trigger your flash off camera that gets into kind of a separate sony flash class which I don't have a slide for the way that the professionals do it is they usually use radio triggers and so the most popular one of the marked market is pocket wizards and so you put a pocket wizard here and it sends a radio signal and a radio signal is better noted that they were saying an infrared signal correct that's so infrared signal will be blocked by a piece of paper so any physical blocking it won't work a radio signal goes through walls and so in case you know your got a wall or some sort of scrim or something blocking it radio signals are much more guaranteed and that's why the professionals like unfortunately you have to buy a transmitter and you have to buy a receiver and they have some they were called transceivers that working either location but that's that's what the serious folks doing now unfortunately those costs one hundred hundred fifty bucks a pop and you need two of them a question from patty seven zero nine three if you're using that grip does this lengthen your battery usage well the grip itself will have a second battery in there and actually let me correct myself it has a third that it holds two batteries so this is the onley cameron the market that you can have a battery in the grip of the camera and be changing the two batteries in the grip and put him back in so you have constant power even while you're changing fantastic so that's kind of unique another question it goes back a little bit earlier in the day talking about focusing areas in the camera you have the cross type in the vertical is there anything that you see in the viewfinder? Can you tell which type of focusing area you're on whether it's across type or a vertical focus here? You know you can't tell the vertical versus horizontal and in fact I was working on this class up to this morning and up to this morning I hadn't figured out because there is no literature from sony anywhere that tells me which ones are vertical and which ones are horizontal and then I went, I contest it myself and so I just put out each focusing point to see if it would grab onto verticals or horizontal and no, it doesn't show you that, but it does show you which focusing points you have activated, which are really nice because it does a great job of onley showing you the ones that you need to see, which is one of the attributes of a digital viewfinder is it can take away all those other ones that it doesn't need yeah, we've a request from laura harris if you could it took just a little bit more again about how to set the back button focusing teo set the back button, focusing the main thing that you have to do because it already allows you to focus well, now I guess they're gonna have to do two things good question number one is you need to remove auto focusing from the shutter and so you need to go to that customization I forget it's like custom three or four I think and remove focusing from the option on the shutter and then you need to turn a deaf on and you could either go with the f imf button or the a l button whichever one at first I went with the imf button because it's pretty close to argues to it, but I like the e l but because that really protrudes and it's really easy to get to and so it's your your choices to which one of those buttons you want activate it on but you got to turn it off and you got to turn it on someplace else. On the question from hendricks who looks like they're going to go buy a sony a ninety nine on dh maybe on a little bit of a budget what would be your first lens toe by for the ninety nine if you could only purchase one with the first one you know kind of the desert island lens how big is the desert island? Does it have mountains? The twenty four to seventy this ice one is clearly the best they still do have a twenty eight to seventy that's a two eight as well it's not a zeiss but it is a two point eight aperture and that's the workhorse for a lot of photographers I I've done a bit of research you getting light room as to which lenses I use more than anything else. And the lens that I use more than anything else is a seventy two, two hundred. But that would be a hard only lends tohave because sometimes you need to shoot a wider angle shot. And so the seventy two two hundred is what I would consider the most valuable lands. But it's still got to be kind of the second winds of the bunch. And then another question from fellow who just keeps hitting us with the good stuff john, did you get to evaluate the in any nines noise performance it's at various eso settings how's it too in low light, I did go in and I brand a test with it up to the highest esos and I didn't include the test here, but if I recall correctly, everything from one, eight hundred was quite clean. Sixty four hundred was pretty good. It was pretty bad after sixty four hundred it's one of those things that you know you go a cz faras you have to go and go no further, and it depends on your own standards, but I would say that it is extremely close to the cannon five d mark three and extremely close to the nikon there are those people out there watching right now that are going. Those two cameras aren't extremely close. They're miles apart. Some people theres pixel papers. You guys know what pixel peoples they go in and they examine and they make up big deal about a third of a stop difference. You know, general looks pretty close. I saw an example, whereas some photographers took a phase one sixteen megapixel camera and they tested it against an iphone and they printed eight by ten photographs and they handed him to people on the street. Which picture is better? And people would look at him. I kind of like the guy's face over here, like, you know, you're supposed to be looking at the quality, they're looking at the content, and so sometimes we get a little too technical, at least that's where I draw the line. Fantastic. Well, john, we have heard you rave about a number of the features on this camera. Could you just kind of sum it up by telling us what you really love about the sony ninety nine? Well, I'm not paid by, so we don't have to say everything so thie digital viewfinder both has positives and negatives, and you've got to see it to test it, you got to put this in your hand. I can't just say ordered over the internet you're gonna love it because it's gonna work really well for some people and for some other people they're not going to be so hot on it it does give you some really cool advantages with the focus speaking there's some other those digital advantages I don't take complete use of but there are practical reasons why you you can get in there and use those the zeiss lenses I wish I could put him on my camera because they're just so nice I mean that's frankly that's maybe the best thing so he's got going with this zeiss is they they have them coming along I love the screen I don't know if we did a full flip out on the screen but normally well it's the only full frame camera that has a screen that pops out and most screens kind of either flip out to the side this one pops down, which doesn't make any sense but you can flip it around clips, wrong direction flip it around here and you can flip it up here and you could go appear and so you can get it in all sorts of different positions that you can't get any other screen it's the most articulated screen out there and that is pretty goal pretty cool and it's it feels pretty sturdy it's actually got a little bit of flex to it so it it's not so rigid that it's going to break off and you can turn it around and protected on there and so that's completely unique and I love I'm very much about point of view getting the camera down to a really low position like this and not having to put your knees and your face in the mud to get the shot and then turning around and getting a high overhead shot as well or just any other position and so I like I like that aspect of it I look forward to new cameras that have even more resolution this one you know I know they've given me the best that they got but I want more I want more from that you know they always want more I want to see more focusing points I want to seem spread out all over there let's see what else I love that sweep panorama about that was fine and it does a good job I mean it's stitch those things together really, really well and that was a lot of fun let me say real quickly I do kind of like that joystick and back that gets kind of addicting because it's pretty easy to navigate around there they could use a little bit better navigation in the menu system system you can go from page to page but you can't jump from group to group and it would be nice if you could jump from playback controls to custom controls. Rather than going through each individual page on it. Uh, as faras, just the general feel of the camera. It feels especially the finger area right here just totally said, you know, I kind of like the cameras that you can kind of kind of rest in your hand totally like this, and it just feels very, very nice. I think it could use just a little bit more bump in here with my hands, but it's got a very, very nice feel to it. I would say, having used a five d mark three nikon d eight hundred, I think overall, it's got the best grip of all three of those cameras on it. And so it feels very, very good in hand and it's got the coolest. I don't feature adjuster menu, but knob, frankly, on any camera out there right now, I think that's that's a great one. And well, I hope for their purposes that they have patented or trade market or whatever they need to do with it. But I hope they did it so it will see it on other cameras.

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.