Next up is the flash mode. And so this is whether you are using the built-in flash or an add-on flash. There is a number of different modes. A lot of it has to do with the types of shutter speeds that you're getting and the synchronization of the flash. The auto flash will just tell the camera, or the flash, to fire whenever it's dark out. Fill flash forces the flash on, even under the brightest of conditions, so that you can fill in the shadows with a little bit of extra light. Slow-sync will allow you to use a slow shutter speed, so that you can get either a little bit of blurriness in the background, or you can get a more ambient light in a dark environment. Rear-sync synchronizes the flash with the second curtain closing rather than the first curtain opening, for interesting effects with subjects that move. And something this class does not have time to get into is the wireless off-camera options, where you are using a strobe on the camera as well as off the camera, to fire at diff...
erent power ratios, but if you want to take better-quality portraits, one of the most important things is getting the flash off the camera and getting flash light coming from different areas. And so that can be a great way for improving your portrait photography. Also controlling the flash and controlling the power of the flash is the flash compensation. So the camera normally will fire when it's firing the flash, the flash will fire in what is known as the TTL mode, which is a through-the-lens, automated power system, which will put out as much power as it thinks it needs. The problem is, is that sometimes it's a little too much power. It might be technically correct, but aesthetically, it's a little too powerful. And so a lot of times, people will recommend and use their flashes at about a -1 to -2, depending on the scenario, and it depends on the other colors and the tones in the photograph as to how much power the flash will put out. And so -1 is a good standard, I think, in this case, -2 gives us a better skin tone. But this is one of those cases where, if you do a lot of people and flash photography, you might wanna set this to -1, maybe -2/3, maybe -1 and 1/3, depends on what your thoughts are on what your images are getting. Next up is a mode that we've actually already talked about. And that is the white balance. And so we can do it here if we reassign one of the buttons on the top of the camera. So we're not gonna go into it, we already talked about it, but it's always going to be here until you change this menu setting. Next up is our creative style. So when you are shooting photos, if you are in the .jpeg mode, the camera is controlling the final look of the photos, the color tone, the contrast, the saturation, the sharpening of those images. And there are a lot of different opinions about what looks good, and it kinda depends on what you are shooting. And so this camera has all these different slight styles. The best analogy to this is, back in the days of film, we had different types of Kodak film and different types of Fuji film, and they each had their own look because the color and the contrast and all of that was a little bit different. And so all of these has a little different, subtle look to them, so I went out and I shot images using all the different modes here. And you know, at first glance, these look all exactly the same, except for maybe the black-and-white ones down in the bottom right. But if you look at the neutral one, you'll look at the sky there compared to vivid, it's definitely not as vivid of a blue in the sky. And so each of these has a subtle little distinction, and if you are shooting .jpegs and you wanna get the .jpegs to look a certain way, you may wanna play around and see which one of these you like the best. I typically am shooting raw in these cameras, and so I'm gonna be getting an image that I can adjust later on to any way that I want. But if I do shoot .jpegs, I usually just leave it in a neutral or a standard position, so that I have as much room to tweak with things later on. If you are gonna be shooting a large number of pictures that are under a particular style, like portraits, yeah, you might be better off changing this to portrait so that you have less work to do later on, on the .jpegs. If you're shooting raw, this doesn't really matter. It's only for .jpeg shooters. Speaking of raw and .jpeg, this is where you can choose the file formats that you get from the camera. So let's take a little closer look at the options that you have in here. First option, is to shoot raw, which is the original information off of the sensor. You get an ARW file, which is a Sony proprietary file, and in order to look or work on that file, you're gonna need to have either Sony software or somebody's software that's figured out how to get the image off of that image. Adobe software like Lightroom and PhotoShop, and there's a bunch of other programs out there, will also read that raw software. So normal, this camera is a 24-mega-pixel image, which is 6,000 by 4,000 in the number of pixels on the resolution, will get you a file size of around 27 megabytes in size. That'll vary according to the scene and how complicated the detail in the scene. If you want, you can shoot raw and .jpeg, where you get two files for every single picture you take. I don't recommend this unless you have a specific, clear need for .jpegs right away. If you shoot raw, and you have the processing setup for dealing with raw images, you can create .jpegs later on, but if you need .jpegs right away, or you use them for something else, that is an option here, but it does use up more file space on the cards and in the memory of your computer, so there's no sense storing raw and .jpeg in most cases. We then have different sizes of .jpegs, so this is the compression ratio of how much this information is compressed. And that has a lot to do with the color information, how much color information is it keeping in here? And so you're gonna end up with potentially three different options on file sizes. And so beyond the compression option, there is also a size option, and you can choose to shoot this in small, medium, and large size, which we will talk more about in the menu system. And so most people are shooting on the large-quality .jpegs, and depending on what compression setting you have, you will get different file sizes. Needless to say, if you want the highest quality images, you need to be shooting with the largest file sizes, which means a raw file size, or at the very least, an extra-fine, large quality .jpeg, which would be a 24 megapixel image. The large .jpeg is a little bit smaller than the raw in size, but if you want the best quality, you want to go with the raw, but the large .jpeg is a pretty good second option. The final little box in there is just simply showing you where the mode dial is set on the camera. And anytime you have the camera set up on a tripod, where it might be up kinda high, and you don't have a good view of the mode dial, it's kind of a nice little piece of information to know what you have there. So those are the dozen items that we have in here. And if you don't like where they are, you can move them around any place that you want. And if you don't like the ones that are there, you can delete them. And you can take them out, and if you have other things that you wanna add in there, you can add in anything else you want. So whatever dozen items available on the list, you can put into this function menu. And because it's accessed with a quick button press, I recommend that you put anything that is relatively important in here. If it's super important, it should probably have a button on the outside of the camera. If it's kind of on the next level of importance, then I would put it into here, and we'll be doing that when we get into customizing the camera, when we get into the menu section later on. So that is the function button.
John Greengo is an award-winning photographer specializing in outdoor and travel photography. Shooting for over 3 decades, John has developed an unrivaled understanding of the industry, tools, techniques and art of photography. When he's not traveling for a new shoot,
GREAT CLASS. I HAVE JUST ENTERED THE 'MANUAL' CAMERA MODE AND ACQUIRED THE SONY A6500...THIS CLASS TOTALLY HELPED WITH THE CAMERA BASICS. I WILL DEFINITELY TAKE MORE. JOHN GREENGO IS FABULOUS. CLEAR AND EASY TO FOLLOW.
a Creativelive Student
I've owned the A6000 since it came out and still learned a TON from John's A6500 class. I will definitely be getting his original A6000 class. I'm SO glad he's doing Sony cameras now. Thanks John G. - You are a truly great teacher!
I bought the a6000 course a while back and when I upgraded to the a6500 this was a no-brainer. I love how comprehensive the coverage is and it was a great refresher on previous features. If you're a newbie to the Sony a6500 this is a must!