You are previewing Sony a7 Series: From Snapshots to Great Shots.
O'Reilly logo
Sony a7 Series: From Snapshots to Great Shots

Book Description

Now that you’ve bought the amazing Sony a7 series camera, you need a book that goes beyond a tour of the camera’s features to show you exactly how to use the camera to take great pictures. With Sony a7 Series: From Snapshots to Great Shots, you get the perfect blend of photography instruction and camera reference that will take your images to the next level! Beautifully illustrated with large, vibrant photos, this book teaches you how to take control of your photography to get the image you want every time you pick up the camera.


Follow along with your friendly and knowledgeable guide, Pulitzer Prize—winning photographer and author Brian Smith, and you will:

  • Learn the top ten things you need to know about shooting with the Sony a7 series cameras

  • Learn to use the camera’s advanced camera settings to gain full control over the look and feel of your images

  • Master the photographic basics of composition, focus, depth of field, and much more

  • Learn all the best tricks and techniques for getting great action shots, landscapes, and portraits

  • Find out how to get great photos in low light

  • Learn the basics behind shooting video with your a7 series camera and start making movies of your own

  • Understand the nuances of your menu settings and how to customize your camera

  • Learn more about lens mount adopters, creative compositions, and accessories through three downloadable bonus chapters

  • Grasp all the concepts and techniques as you go, with assignments at the end of every chapter

  • And once you’ve got the shot, show it off! Join the book’s Flickr group, share your photos, and discuss how you use your camera to get great shots at flickr.com/groups/sonya7-a7rfromsnapshotstogreatshots.

    Table of Contents

    1. Title Page
    2. Copyright Page
    3. Dedication
    4. Acknowledgments
    5. Contents
    6. Introduction
    7. 1. Sony a7-Series Top Ten List
      1. Ten Tips to Make Your Shooting More Productive Right Out of the Box
      2. Poring Over the Camera
        1. Camera Front
        2. Camera Front – Mark II
      3. Poring Over the Camera
        1. Camera Back
        2. Camera Back – Mark II
      4. Poring Over the Camera
        1. Camera Top
        2. Camera Top – Mark II
      5. Poring Over the Camera
        1. Camera Side
        2. Camera Side – Mark II
      6. 1. Charge Your Battery
      7. 2. Turn Off the Auto ISO Setting
      8. 3. Set Your JPEG Image Quality
      9. 4. Configure Your LCD and Viewfinder
      10. 5. Set Your Autofocus Area and Mode
      11. 6. Set the Correct White Balance
      12. 7. Set Your Color Space
      13. 8. Know How to Override Autofocus
      14. 9. Review Your Shots
      15. 10. Hold Your Camera for Proper Shooting
      16. Chapter 1 Assignments
    8. 2. First Things First
      1. A Few Things to Know and Do Before You Begin Taking Pictures
      2. Poring Over the Picture
      3. Choosing the Right Memory Card
      4. Formatting Your Memory Card
      5. Updating a7-Series Firmware
      6. Cleaning the Sensor
      7. Using the Right Format: RAW vs. JPEG
        1. So what does RAW have to offer?
        2. Advice for new RAW shooters
        3. Selecting RAW+JPEG
      8. Lenses and Focal Lengths
      9. Understanding Exposure
        1. How is exposure calculated?
      10. Motion and Depth of Field
      11. Chapter 2 Assignments
    9. 3. Menu Settings
      1. Navigating the Menus
      2. Poring Over the Menu
        1. Sony a7-Series Menu
        2. Sony a7-Series Tile Menu
      3. Camera Settings
        1. Image Size
        2. Aspect Ratio
        3. Quality
        4. Panorama: Size
        5. Panorama: Direction
        6. File Format
        7. Record Settings
        8. Drive Mode
        9. Dual Video REC
        10. Flash Mode
        11. Flash Comp
        12. Red Eye Reduction
        13. Focus Mode
        14. Focus Area
        15. Focus Settings
        16. AF Illuminator
        17. Movie AF drive speed
        18. Movie AF Track Sensitivity
        19. Exposure Comp
        20. Exposure Step
        21. ISO
        22. ISO AUTO Minimum Shutter Speed
        23. Metering Mode
        24. White Balance
        25. DRO/Auto HDR
        26. Creative Styles
        27. Picture Effect
        28. Picture Profile
        29. Zoom
        30. Focus Magnifier
        31. Long Exposure NR
        32. High ISO NR
        33. Center Lock-on AF
        34. Smile/Face Detection
        35. Soft Skin Effect
        36. Auto Object Framing
        37. Auto Mode
        38. Scene Selection
        39. Movie
        40. SteadyShot
        41. SteadyShot Setting
        42. SteadyShot Focal Length
        43. Color Space
        44. Auto Slow Shutter
        45. Audio Recording
        46. Audio Rec Level
        47. Audio Out Timing
        48. Wind Noise Reduction
        49. Memory Recall
        50. Memory
      4. Custom Settings
        1. Zebra
        2. MF Assist
        3. Focus Magnify Time
        4. Grid
        5. Marker Display
        6. Marker Setting
        7. Audio Level Display
        8. Auto Review
        9. DISP Button
        10. Peaking Level
        11. Peaking Color
        12. Exposure Set Guide
        13. Live View Display
        14. Display Continuous AF area
        15. Phase Detect Area
        16. Pre-AF
        17. Zoom Settings
        18. Eye-Start AF
        19. Finder / Monitor
        20. Release w/o Lens
        21. Release w/o Card
        22. Priority Set in AF-S
        23. Priority Set in AF-C
        24. AF w/Shutter
        25. AEL w/Shutter
        26. Silent Shooting
        27. e-Front Curtain Shutter
        28. Superior Auto Image Extract
        29. Exposure Comp Set
        30. Reset EV Comp
        31. Bracket Order
        32. Face Registration
        33. APS-C Size Capture
        34. APS-C/Super 35mm
        35. AF Micro Adjust
        36. Lens Comp
        37. AF System
        38. Video Light Set
        39. Function Menu Setting
        40. Custom Keys Settings
        41. Dial Set-up
        42. Dial EV Comp
        43. Zoom Ring Rotate
        44. MOVIE Button
        45. Dial / Wheel Lock
      5. Wireless
        1. Send to Smartphone
        2. Send to Computer
        3. View on TV
        4. One Touch (NFC)
        5. Airplane Mode
        6. WPS Push
        7. Access Point Set
        8. Edit Device Name
        9. Display MAC Address
        10. SSID/PW Reset
        11. Reset Network Settings
      6. Application
        1. Application List
        2. Introduction
      7. Playback
        1. Delete
        2. View Mode
        3. Image Index
        4. Display Rotation
        5. Slide Show
        6. Rotate
        7. Enlarge Image
        8. 4K Image PB
        9. Protect
        10. Specialty Printing
      8. Setup
        1. Monitor Brightness
        2. Viewfinder Brightness
        3. Finder Color Temp
        4. Volume Settings
        5. Audio Signals
        6. Upload Settings
        7. Tile Menu
        8. Mode Dial Guide
        9. Delete Confirm
        10. Display Quality
        11. Power Save Start Time
        12. NTSC/PAL Selector
        13. Cleaning Mode
        14. Demo Mode
        15. TC/UB Settings
        16. Remote Control
        17. HDMI Settings
        18. HDMI 4K Output Select
        19. USB Connection
        20. USB LUN Setting
        21. Language
        22. Date/Time Setup
        23. Area Settings
        24. Copyright Info
        25. Format
        26. File Number
        27. Select REC Folder
        28. New Folder
        29. Folder Name
        30. Recover Image DB
        31. Display Media Info
        32. Version
        33. Certification Logo
        34. Settings Reset
      9. Chapter 3 Assignments
    10. 4. Customizing Your Camera
      1. Personalizing an a7-Series Camera for the Way You Shoot
      2. Poring Over the Picture
      3. Using the Control Wheel to Select an AF Point
      4. Avoid ISO Surprises
      5. Setting Up Back-Button AF
      6. Configuring the Function Menu
      7. Saving Custom Key Settings
      8. Saving Custom Shooting Modes
      9. Chapter 4 Assignments
    11. 5. Shooting Modes
      1. Get Shooting with the Shooting Modes
      2. Poring Over the Picture
      3. Intelligent Auto Mode
      4. Scene Selection Modes
        1. Portrait mode
        2. Landscape mode
        3. Macro mode
        4. Sports Action mode
        5. Sunset mode
        6. Night Portrait mode
        7. Night Scene mode
        8. Hand-held Twilight mode
        9. Anti Motion Blur mode
      5. Sweep Panorama
      6. Why You May Never Want to Use the Full Auto Modes Again
      7. Picture Effects
      8. P: Program Auto Mode
        1. When to use Program Auto (P) mode instead of automatic modes
      9. S: Shutter Priority Mode
        1. When to use Shutter Priority (S) mode
      10. A: Aperture Priority Mode
        1. When to use Aperture Priority (A) mode
      11. M: Manual Mode
        1. When to use Manual (M) mode
      12. How I Shoot: Here Are the Camera Settings I Use
      13. Chapter 5 Assignments
    12. 6. Portrait Photography
      1. Settings and Features to Make Great Portraits
      2. Poring Over the Picture
      3. Automatic Portrait Mode
      4. Using Aperture Priority Mode
        1. Go wide for environmental portraits
      5. Metering Modes for Portraits
      6. Using the AE Lock Feature
      7. Focusing: The Eyes Have It
      8. Classic Black-and-White Portraits
      9. The Portrait Creative Style for Better Skin Tones
      10. Using Face Detection and Registration
      11. Portraits on the Move
      12. The Rule of Thirds
      13. Tips for Shooting Better Portraits
        1. Choose the right lens
        2. Know your glass
        3. Don’t cut them off at the ankles
        4. Tame the midday sun
        5. Frame the scene
        6. Get down on their level
        7. Capture candid portraits
      14. Chapter 6 Assignments
    13. 7. Moving Target
      1. Tricks to Shooting Sports and Action
      2. Poring Over the Picture
      3. Stop Right There!
        1. Direction of travel
        2. Subject speed
        3. Subject-to-camera distance
      4. Using Shutter Priority (S) Mode to Stop Motion
      5. Using Aperture Priority (A) Mode to Isolate Your Subject
      6. Keep Them in Focus with Continuous AF and Autofocus Area Selection
      7. Keeping Up with Continuous Shooting Mode
      8. Manual Focus for Anticipated Action
      9. A Sense of Motion
        1. Panning
      10. Tips for Shooting Action
        1. Give them somewhere to go
        2. Freeze action with flash
        3. Get in front of the action
      11. Chapter 7 Assignments
    14. 8. Landscape and Cityscape Photography
      1. Tips, Tools, and Techniques to Get the Best Landscapes and Cityscapes
      2. Poring Over the Picture
      3. Sharp and In Focus: Using Tripods
        1. The reciprocal rule
        2. Choosing a tripod
      4. Selecting the Proper ISO
      5. Using Noise Reduction
      6. Selecting a White Balance
      7. Using the Landscape Creative Style
      8. Shooting Beautiful Black-and-White Landscapes
      9. Golden Light
      10. Shooting Compelling Sunrises and Sunsets
      11. Making Water Fluid
      12. Composing Landscapes and Streetscapes
        1. Rule of thirds
        2. Creating depth
      13. Where to Focus
      14. Easier Focusing
      15. Using Manual Focus Assist
      16. Using DMF Focus Mode
      17. Expand Your Range
      18. Shooting Panoramas
        1. Sweep Panorama mode
        2. The multiple-image panorama
      19. Look for the Unexpected
      20. Chapter 8 Assignments
    15. 9. Mood Lighting
      1. Shooting When the Lights Get Low
      2. Poring Over the Picture
      3. Raising the ISO: The Simple Solution
      4. High ISO Noise Reduction
      5. Using Fast Glass
      6. Using OSS Lenses
      7. Mark II: 5-Axis Sensor-Shift Stabilization
        1. Sony E-Mount lenses with OSS
        2. Sony E-Mount lenses without OSS
        3. Sony A-Mount lenses using the LA-EA3 or LA-EA4 adapter
        4. Third-party lenses using lens adapters
        5. Manual SteadyShot settings
      8. Focusing in Low Light
        1. Using focus peaking
        2. Autofocus Illuminator
      9. Shooting Long Exposures
      10. Using Flash
        1. Sync speeds
        2. High-speed sync (HSS)
      11. Compensating for the Flash Exposure
      12. Flash Modes
      13. Using an External Flash
        1. Using off-camera flash
      14. Taming Flash Reflections
      15. Chapter 9 Assignments
    16. 10. Advanced Techniques
      1. Take Your Images to the Next Level
      2. Poring Over the Picture
      3. Spot Meter for More Exposure Control
        1. Metering for sunrise or sunset
      4. Manual Mode
        1. Bulb photography
      5. Avoiding Lens Flare
      6. Using the Sun Creatively
      7. Macro Photography
      8. High Dynamic Range Photography
      9. Using Dynamic Range Optimizer
      10. Wireless Remote Capture App
      11. Installing and Updating Sony PlayMemories Camera Apps
      12. Sharing Photos with Send to Smartphone
      13. One-Touch Connection with an NFC-Enabled Android Smartphone
      14. Tethering Your a7-Series Camera
      15. Chapter 10 Assignments
    17. 11. Lights, Camera, Action!
      1. Getting Professional-looking Video from a7-Series Cameras
      2. Poring Over the Camera
        1. Camera Back
        2. LCD Monitor
        3. Video quality
        4. Sound
        5. Better sound for your movies
        6. Keep it rolling
        7. Focusing the camera
      3. It’s All About the Lenses
        1. Manual focus lenses
        2. Cine lenses
      4. Movie Shooting Modes
      5. Getting a Shallow Depth of Field
      6. Giving a Different Look to Your Videos
        1. Using creative styles
        2. Using picture effects
        3. White balance
      7. Picture Profiles
        1. Picture profile settings
      8. Shooting 4K
        1. Internal 4K
        2. Recording 4K to an external recorder
      9. Accessories for Video
        1. Extension tubes and close-up filters
        2. Polarizing filters
        3. Neutral density filters
        4. Tripods
        5. Camera stabilization
        6. Viewing options
      10. Tips for Better Video
        1. Shoot short clips
        2. Stage your shots
        3. Focus manually
        4. Tame your highlights with Zebra
        5. Avoid the quick pan
        6. Use a fast memory card
        7. Turn off the sound
      11. Watching and Editing Your Video
        1. Watching video
        2. Editing video
        3. Expanding your knowledge
      12. Chapter 11 Assignments
    18. Index
    19. 12. Lens Mount Adapters
      1. Lens Mount Adapters to Expand Your Camera’s Lens Choices
      2. Poring Over the Picture
      3. Sony Alpha
      4. Canon EOS
      5. Contax G
      6. Leica M
      7. Nikon
        1. Lensbaby Tilt Transformer for Nikon lenses
      8. Pentax K
      9. Legacy
        1. Leica R to Sony E-Mount
        2. Contax/Yashica and Contax N to Sony E-Mount
        3. Contax G Lens to Sony E-Mount
        4. Minolta MD to Sony E-Mount
        5. Canon FD to Sony E-Mount
        6. Hasselblad V to Sony E-Mount
        7. Mamiya 645 to Sony E-Mount
      10. Activating Focus Peaking
      11. Using the Focus Magnifier
      12. Chapter 12 Assignments
    20. 13. Creative Compositions
      1. Improve Your Pictures with Strong Compositional Elements
      2. Poring Over the Picture
      3. Depth of Field
      4. Work the Angles
      5. Point of View
      6. Patterns
      7. Color
      8. Contrast
      9. Light and Shadow
      10. Leading Lines
      11. Frames within Frames
      12. The Simplicity of Black and White
      13. Chapter 13 Assignments
    21. 14. Pimp My A7
      1. Accessories to Expand Your Camera’s Creative Potential
      2. External Chargers and Batteries
      3. Vertical Grips
      4. Filters
        1. UV
        2. Polarizing
        3. Neutral Density (ND)
        4. Graduated ND
      5. Tripods
        1. Quick-release plates and L-brackets
      6. Remote Commanders
      7. Macro Photography Accessories
        1. Extension tubes
        2. Close-up filters
      8. Hot-Shoe Flashes
      9. Flash Triggers
      10. Reflectors and Diffusers
      11. Neck Straps and Wrist Straps
      12. Camera Bags
      13. Video Accessories
        1. Sound
        2. Video monitors
        3. Video rigs
      14. The Small Stuff
        1. SD card cases
        2. External hard drives
        3. Air blowers
        4. Sensor brushes
        5. Sensor Gel Stick
        6. LensPen
        7. Microfiber lens cloths
        8. Updates on a7-series camera accessories