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David Busch’s Sony® α DSLR-A350/A300/A200: Guide to Digital SLR Photography

Book Description

The Sony Alpha DSLR-A350, A300, and A200 are loaded with the best features of more advanced digital SLR cameras, in easy-to-use models perfect for budding photographers. As the new owner of a Sony Alpha, you are serious about photography and want to take outstanding pictures. You also want to quickly and easily discover how, when, and why to use the most important features of your cuttingedge camera. David Busch's Sony Alpha DSLR-A350/A300/A200 Guide to Digital SLR Photography will show you 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 Alpha's exposure modes, focus controls, and electronic flash options. With information and tips that apply to all three Alpha models, 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 Alpha, and use it well.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
    1. Dedication
  2. Acknowledgments
  3. About the Author
  4. Preface
  5. Introduction
    1. Why the Sony Alpha dSLR Needs Special Coverage
    2. Who Am I?
  6. 1. Setting Up Your Sony Alpha dSLR
    1. Differences between the A350/A300 and A200 Models
    2. Contents of the Table
    3. Initial Setup
      1. Battery Included
        1. Power Options
        2. Charging the Battery
      2. Final Steps
        1. Mounting the Lens
        2. Adjusting Diopter Correction
        3. Inserting a Memory Card
        4. Turn on the Power
    4. Selecting a Shooting Mode
    5. Choosing a Metering Mode
    6. Choosing a Focus Mode
    7. Selecting a Focus Point
    8. Other Settings
      1. Adjusting White Balance and ISO
      2. Using the Self-Timer
    9. Reviewing the Images You’ve Taken
    10. Transferring Photos to Your Computer
  7. 2. Sony Alpha DSLR-A350/A300/A200 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
    1. Anatomy of the Sony Alpha’s Menus
    2. Recording Menu 1/2 Options
    3. Recording Menu 1/2
      1. Image Size
      2. Aspect Ratio
      3. Quality
        1. JPEG vs. RAW
      4. Creative Style
      5. Flash Control
      6. Flash compensation
      7. Priority setup
      8. AF Illuminator
      9. Long exp. NR/High ISO NR
      10. Rec mode reset
    4. Custom Menu
      1. Eye-Start AF
      2. AEL button
      3. Ctrl dial setup
      4. Red eye reduction
      5. Auto review
      6. Auto off/w VF
    5. Playback Menu 1/2
      1. Delete
      2. Format
      3. Protect
      4. DPOF setup
      5. Playback Display
      6. Slide Show
    6. Setup Menu 1/2/3
      1. LCD brightness
      2. Info. disp time
      3. Power Save
      4. Video output
      5. Language
      6. Date/Time setup
      7. File number
      8. Folder name
      9. Select folder/New folder
      10. USB Connection
      11. Audio signals
      12. Pixel mapping
      13. Cleaning mode
      14. Reset Default
  9. 4. Getting the Right Exposure
    1. Understanding Exposure
    2. How the Sony Alpha Calculates Exposure
    3. Choosing a Metering Method
    4. Choosing an Exposure Method
      1. Aperture Priority
      2. Shutter Priority
      3. Program Auto Mode
      4. Making Exposure Value Changes
      5. Manual Exposure
    5. Adjusting Exposure with ISO Settings
    6. Bracketing
    7. Dealing with Noise
    8. Fixing Exposures with Histograms
    9. Scene Modes
  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. Getting into Focus
      1. Improved Cross-Type Focus Points
      2. Focus Modes
    5. 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. Setting the AF Area
    6. Continuous Shooting
    7. Setting Image Parameters
      1. Customizing White Balance
      2. Setting Color Temperature or Color Filter Effects
      3. Setting a Custom White Balance
    8. Image Processing
      1. D-Range Optimizer
      2. Using Creative Styles
    9. Working with Live View
      1. What You Can/Cannot Do with Live View
  11. 6. Working with Lenses
    1. But Don’t Forget the Crop Factor
    2. Your First Lens
      1. Buy Now, Expand Later
    3. Your Second (and Third...) Lens
      1. What Lenses Can Do for You
      2. 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. Super Steady Shot and Your Lenses
  12. 7. Making Light Work for You
    1. Continuous Illumination versus Electronic Flash
    2. Continuous Lighting Basics
      1. Daylight
      2. Incandescent/Tungsten Light
      3. Fluorescent Light/Other Light Sources
      4. Adjusting White Balance
    3. Electronic Flash Basics
      1. How Electronic Flash Works
        1. Ghost Images
        2. Determining Exposure
        3. Guide Numbers
    4. Using the Built-In Flash
      1. Flash Exposure Compensation
    5. Using External Electronic Flash
      1. HVL-F58AM Flash Unit
      2. HVL-F42AM Flash Unit
      3. HVL-F36AM Flash Unit
    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. 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-A350/A300/A200: Troubleshooting and Prevention
    1. Update Your Firmware
    2. Protect Your LCD
    3. Troubleshooting Memory Cards
      1. All Your Eggs in One Basket?
      2. What Can Go Wrong?
      3. 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. Tape Cleaning
  15. Glossary