You are previewing David Busch’s Sony® α DSLR-A850: Guide to Digital Photography.
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David Busch’s Sony® α DSLR-A850: Guide to Digital Photography

Book Description

With the Sony aDSLR-A850, Sony has combined 24 megapixels of full-frame resolution with the compact body and ease of use that the Alpha models are known for. David Busch's Sony aDSLR-A850 Guide to Digital Photography shows discerning photographers like you how to take outstanding pictures with this sophisticated and cutting-edge camera. You'll learn how, when, and, most importantly, why to use all the cool features and functions of your camera to take eye-popping photographs. Introductory chapters will help you get comfortable with the basics of your camera before you dive right into exploring creative ways to apply the Sony aDSLR-A850's exposure modes, focus controls, and electronic flash options. This book is chock full of hands-on tips for choosing lenses, flash units, and software products to use with your new camera. Beautiful, full-color images illustrate where the essential buttons and dials are, so you'll quickly learn how to use your Sony aDSLR-A850, and use it well.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
    1. Dedication
  2. Acknowledgments
  3. About the Authors
  4. Preface
  5. Introduction
    1. Why the Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 Needs Special Coverage
    2. Who Are You?
    3. Who Am I?
    4. Meet My Co-Author, Alex
  6. 1. Getting Started with Your Sony Alpha DSLR-A850
    1. Your Out-of-Box Experience
    2. Initial Setup
      1. Battery Included
        1. Charging the Battery
      2. Final Steps
        1. Mounting the Lens
        2. Adjusting Diopter Correction
        3. Inserting a Memory Card
        4. Turn on the Power
      3. Formatting a Memory Card
    3. Selecting a Shooting Mode
    4. Choosing a Metering Mode
    5. Choosing a Focus Mode
    6. Selecting a Focus Point
    7. Turning on SteadyShot
    8. Other Settings
      1. Adjusting White Balance and ISO
      2. Using Exposure Compensation
      3. Using the Self-Timer
    9. Reviewing the Images You’ve Taken
    10. Transferring Photos to Your Computer
  7. 2. Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 Roadmap
    1. Front View
    2. The Sony Alpha’s Business End
    3. Going Topside
    4. Underneath Your Sony Alpha
    5. Lens Components
    6. LCD Panel Readouts
    7. Looking Inside the Viewfinder
  8. 3. Setting Up Your Sony Alpha DSLR-A850
    1. Anatomy of the Sony Alpha’s Menus
    2. Recording Menu 1/2/3/4 Options
      1. Image Size
      2. Aspect Ratio
      3. Quality
        1. JPEG vs. RAW
        2. RAW vs. cRAW
      4. D-Range Optimizer
      5. Custom Button
      6. Creative Style
      7. Color Space
      8. Flash Mode
      9. Flash Control
      10. Flash Compensation
      11. Exposure Step
      12. ISO Auto Range
      13. AF-A Setup
      14. AF Area
      15. Priority Setup
      16. AF Illuminator
      17. AF w/ Shutter
      18. Long Exp. NR/High ISO NR
      19. Memory
      20. Rec Mode Reset
    3. Custom Menu 1/2/3 Options
      1. AF/MF Button
      2. AF/MF Control
      3. AF Drive Speed
      4. AF Area Display
      5. Focus Hold Button
      6. Auto Review
      7. Preview Function
      8. AEL Button
      9. Ctrl Dial Setup
      10. Dial Exp. Comp
      11. Ctrl Dial Lock
      12. Button Ops.
      13. Release w/o Card
      14. Rec. Info. Disp.
      15. Exp. Comp. Set
      16. Bracket Order
      17. Custom Reset
    4. Playback Menu 1/2 Options
      1. Delete
      2. Format
      3. Protect
      4. DPOF Setup
      5. Playback Display
      6. Slide Show
    5. Setup Menu 1/2/3/4 Options
      1. LCD Brightness
      2. Info. Disp. Time
      3. Power Save
      4. Video Output
      5. HDMI Output
      6. Language
      7. Date/Time Setup
      8. Memory Card
      9. File Number
      10. Folder Name
      11. Select Folder/New Folder
      12. USB Connection
      13. Mass Strg. Card
      14. Menu Start
      15. Delete Confirm.
      16. Audio Signals
      17. Cleaning Mode
      18. AF Micro Adj.
      19. Focusing Screen
      20. APS-C Size Capture
      21. Reset Default
    6. Quick Navi Screen
      1. Settings on the Quick Navi Screen
  9. 4. Getting the Right Exposure
    1. Getting a Handle on Exposure
    2. How the Sony Alpha Calculates Exposure
    3. Choosing a Metering Method
    4. Choosing an Exposure Method
      1. Auto Mode
      2. Program Auto Mode
      3. Aperture Priority
      4. Shutter Priority
      5. Making Exposure Value Changes
      6. Manual Exposure
    5. Adjusting Exposure with ISO Settings
    6. Bracketing
    7. Dealing with Noise
    8. Fixing Exposures with Histograms
    9. Adjusting Exposures with Intelligent Preview
  10. 5. Advanced Techniques for Your Sony Alpha DSLR
    1. Exploring Ultra-Fast Exposures
    2. Long Exposures
      1. Three Ways to Take Long Exposures
      2. Working with Long Exposures
    3. Delayed Exposures
      1. Self-Timer
    4. Remote Control
    5. Time-Lapse/Interval Photography
    6. Getting into Focus
      1. Phase Detection
        1. Improved Cross-Type Focus Point
        2. The Alpha A850’s AF Sensors
      2. Contrast Detection
      3. Focus Modes
    7. Focus Pocus
      1. Adding Circles of Confusion
      2. Making Sense of Focus Sensors
      3. Your Autofocus Mode Options
        1. Single-Shot AF
        2. Continuous AF
        3. Automatic AF
        4. Manual Focus
      4. Setting the AF Area
    8. Fine-Tuning the Focus of Your Lenses
    9. Lens Tune-Up
      1. Evaluate Current Focus
    10. Continuous Shooting
    11. Setting Image Parameters
      1. Customizing White Balance
      2. Setting White Balance by Color Temperature
      3. Setting a Custom White Balance
    12. Image Processing
      1. D-Range Optimizer
      2. Using Creative Styles
  11. 6. Working with Lenses
    1. Don’t Forget the Crop Factor
      1. Do You Need a “Cropped” Camera, Too?
    2. Your First Lenses
      1. Buy Now, Expand Later
    3. Your Second (and Third...) Lens
      1. Sony’s Alpha-bet Soup
      2. What Lenses Can Do for You
      3. Zoom or Prime?
    4. Categories of Lenses
    5. Using Wide-Angle and Wide-Zoom Lenses
      1. Avoiding Potential Wide-Angle Problems
    6. Using Telephoto and Tele-Zoom Lenses
      1. Avoiding Telephoto Lens Problems
      2. Telephotos and Bokeh
    7. Add-ons and Special Features
      1. Lens Hoods
      2. Telephoto Extenders
      3. Macro Focusing
      4. SteadyShot and Your Lenses
  12. 7. Making Light Work for You
    1. The Elements of Light
    2. Continuous Lighting—or Electronic Flash?
    3. Continuous Lighting Basics
      1. Daylight
      2. Incandescent/Tungsten Light
      3. Fluorescent Light/Other Light Sources
      4. Adjusting White Balance
    4. Electronic Flash Basics
      1. How Electronic Flash Works
        1. Avoiding Sync Speed Problems
        2. Ghost Images
        3. Slow Sync
        4. Determining Exposure
    5. Using the External Electronic Flash
      1. HVL-F58AM Flash Unit
      2. HVL-F42AM Flash Unit
      3. HVL-F36AM Flash Unit
      4. HVL-F20AM Flash Unit
      5. Setting Flash Exposure Compensation
      6. Setting Flash Mode
    6. More Advanced Lighting Techniques
      1. Diffusing and Softening the Light
      2. Using Multiple Light Sources
        1. Basic Flash Setups
        2. Studio Flash
      3. Other Lighting Accessories
        1. Soft Boxes
        2. Light Stands
        3. Backgrounds
        4. Snoots and Barn Doors
  13. 8. Downloading and Editing Your Images
    1. What’s in the Box?
      1. Picture Motion Browser
      2. Image Data Lightbox SR
      3. Remote Camera Control
      4. Image Data Converter SR
    2. Transferring Your Photos
      1. Using a Card Reader and Software
      2. Dragging and Dropping
    3. Editing Your Photos
      1. Image Editors
      2. RAW Utilities
  14. 9. Sony Alpha DSLR-A850: Troubleshooting and Prevention
    1. Update Your Firmware
    2. Protect Your LCD
    3. Troubleshooting Memory Cards
      1. All Your Eggs in One Basket?
      2. Preventive Measures
      3. What Can Go Wrong?
      4. What Can You Do?
    4. Clean Your Sensor
      1. Dust the FAQs, Ma’am.
      2. Identifying and Dealing with Stubborn Dust
      3. Avoiding Dust
      4. Sensor Cleaning
        1. Placing the Shutter in the Locked and Fully Upright Position for Landing
        2. Air Cleaning
        3. Brush Cleaning
        4. Liquid Cleaning
        5. Magnifier Assisted Cleaning
        6. Tape Cleaning
  15. Glossary