You are previewing The Sony SLT-A77.
O'Reilly logo
The Sony SLT-A77

Book Description

This book provides enthusiastic photographers with a wealth of information about the unique features of the Sony SLT-A77, an interchangeable-lens camera with an electronic viewfinder and a fixed, translucent mirror. The A77 differs from the current crop of DSLRs in its ability to use a phase detection focusing system throughout the entire picture-taking process, for both still photographs and videos. This provides an immediacy and responsiveness when using burst shots and creating HD videos that is unavailable in any other camera.

In this guide, authors Carol Roullard and Brian Matsumoto teach you how to obtain exceptional photographs and videos as they cover everything from the basics of using the camera's automatic modes, to the more advanced aperture-priority, shutter-priority, program, and manual exposure modes. You'll also learn how best to take advantage of features such as the built-in dynamic range adjustment, sweep panoramic, GPS, colorization modes, facial detection and recognition, multiple shot exposures, and HD video.

The authors provide you with an opportunity to improve your skills even further by discussing how third-party software and accessories can improve Sony's standard commands. You'll also learn about how the electronic viewfinder, fixed mirror, and Sony's novel shutter design improve the camera's utility for scientific photography through the microscope and telescope.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Acknowledgements
  4. Preface
  5. Camera Body Reference
  6. Chapter 1: Getting Started
    1. Introduction—The Sony SLT-A77: New Features
    2. Using This Book
    3. Setting Up Your New Sony A77
    4. Battery
    5. Memory Card
    6. Setting Up the Camera
    7. Protecting the Lens
    8. Protecting the LCD Screen
    9. Viewing Menu Commands
      1. Menu Structure
      2. Menu Command Nomenclature
      3. Menu Navigation
      4. Navigating with the Front and Rear Control Dials
      5. Recommendations for Menu Navigation
    10. Error Messages
    11. Important Command Reset Capability
    12. Fn Button
      1. Fn Button Nomenclature
      2. Fn Button Navigation
    13. In-Camera Guide Button
    14. Cleaning the Sensor
    15. Setting the Area, Date, and Time
    16. Dual Viewing System
      1. Diopter Adjustment Dial
    17. Recommendations
  7. Chapter 2: Photography Basics and the A77’s External Buttons
    1. Introduction
    2. File Formats
    3. Shutter Button
    4. Focusing
      1. Advanced Focusing Features: Face Detection and Object Tracking
      2. Exposure (Shutter Speed, Aperture, ISO)
    5. White Balance and the Appearance of Colors
    6. Drive Mode Button
      1. Single Shooting
      2. Continuous Shooting
    7. Recording Movies
      1. How to Take Movies
      2. Transferring Movies to Your Computer
  8. Chapter 3: Managing Your Images
    1. Introduction
    2. The LCD Screen
    3. The Viewfinder
    4. Top LCD Display Panel
    5. Data Display Formats
      1. Previewing Data Display Formats
      2. Reviewing Still Picture Data Display Formats
      3. Reviewing Movie Data Display Formats
    6. Preview Images
      1. Compositional Controls
      2. Magnifying Images During Preview
    7. Review Recorded Images
      1. Displaying Recorded Images
      2. Auto Review or No Auto Review
      3. Reviewing Files with the Playback Button
      4. Playing Back Still Pictures
      5. Playing Back MP4 or AVCHD Movies
      6. Reviewing Multiple Pictures and Movies
      7. Reviewing Still Pictures with the Slide Show Command
      8. Zooming In on Recorded Images
    8. Evaluating Exposure with Histograms
    9. Protecting Saved Pictures and Movies
    10. Deleting Saved Pictures and Movies
    11. Working Outside the Camera
      1. Overview
      2. Downloading Pictures and Movies to Your Computer
      3. Delivered Sony A77 Software
      4. Image Data Converter
      5. Picture Motion Browser (PMB)
      6. Playing Pictures and Movies on Your TV Screen
      7. Printing Your Pictures
    12. Recommendations
  9. Chapter 4: Automatic Settings
    1. Introduction
    2. Functions Available for Automatic Modes
      1. Drive Mode Function
      2. Flash Function
      3. Object Tracking Function
      4. Face Detection and Registration Function
      5. Activating Face Detection
      6. Registering Faces
      7. Assigning Priorities to Registered Faces
      8. Keeping Face Recognition Up to Date
      9. Using Face Detection and Registration
      10. Smile Shutter Function
    3. Mode Dial
    4. Auto Mode
    5. Auto+ Mode
      1. Auto+ Menu Commands
      2. Auto+ Scenes
      3. Auto+ Shooting Functions
    6. SCN Predefined Scene Modes
    7. Recommendations
  10. Chapter 5: Customizing the Camera
    1. Introduction
    2. Assigning Button Functionality
      1. Assigning Button Functionality Recommendation
    3. Memory Command
      1. Setting Memory Group Values
      2. Recalling Saved Memory Settings
      3. Overriding Recalled Memory Settings
      4. Memory Mode Recommendation
    4. Utilizing Predefined Color Schemes
      1. Creative Style Function
      2. Picture Effect Function
      3. Creative Styles and Picture Effect Recommendation
    5. Customizing Camera Commands
      1. Display Menu
      2. Delete Confirmation Step
      3. Mode Dial Guide
    6. Recommendations
  11. Chapter 6: Taking Control of the Camera
    1. Introduction
    2. Exposure Compensation
      1. Fine Tuning Automatic Exposure
      2. Focus Mode: Identifying Where to Focus
      3. Choosing an AF Area Function
      4. ISO
      5. Letting the Camera Set the ISO
      6. Multi Frame Noise Reduction
      7. WB (White Balance)
      8. Fine-tuning WB: Fine Adjustment
      9. Summary of WB
    3. Customizing Automatic Focusing
      1. Automatic Focusing: Speeding up Focusing
      2. Automatic Focus in Dim Light
      3. Controlling Autofocus Speed
      4. Manual Focus: Overriding Automatic Focusing
    4. DRO/Auto HDR Function
      1. DRO Function
      2. Auto HDR Function
      3. Using DRO and Auto HDR
    5. Three Semi-automatic Modes: Shutter-Priority (S), Aperture-Priority (A), and Program (P)
      1. Shutter-Priority (S) Mode
      2. Aperture-Priority (A) Mode
      3. Program (P) Mode
    6. Recommendations
  12. Chapter 7: Manual Operation of the Camera
    1. Introduction
      1. Manual Exposure Mode Controls
      2. Extremely Long Exposure “B” Shutter Speed
      3. Noise Reduction with Long Exposure
      4. Noise Reduction at High ISO
      5. Metering Modes
    2. Manual Focusing: Overriding Automatic Focusing
    3. Fine Adjustment Screen for Color
    4. Lens Compensation
    5. Fine Tuning Autofocus
      1. Bracketing and Dynamic Range
      2. White Balance Bracket
      3. DRO Bracket
      4. Bracket Shooting Cont. and Single Bracket
    6. Recommendations
  13. Chapter 8: Additional Features
    1. Introduction
    2. Panoramic Modes
      1. Sweep Panorama Mode Commands
      2. 3D Sweep Panorama Mode Commands
      3. Shooting a Panoramic Picture
      4. Panorama Results
      5. Panning Problems
    3. Continuous Advance Priority AE Mode
      1. Continuous Advance Priority AE Mode: Throughput
      2. Continuous Advance Priority AE Mode: Focusing
      3. Continuous Advance Priority AE Mode: Feature Capabilities
    4. GPS Feature
      1. GPS Command
      2. Initiate GPS
      3. GPS Date and Time Correction
      4. Speeding up GPS Retrieval
      5. Viewing GPS Data
    5. Recommendations
  14. Chapter 9: Using Accessories
    1. Introduction
    2. Choosing a Kit Lens
    3. Sony A-Mount Lenses
      1. Manual Focusing A-Mount Lenses
      2. Used Lenses
    4. Buying New Third-party Lenses
    5. Microscopes
    6. Cable Release
    7. Tripod
    8. Telescopes
    9. Recommendations
  15. Chapter 10: Flash Photography
    1. Introduction
    2. Principles of Electronic Flash
    3. Flash Artifact: Red-Eye
    4. Flash Function
    5. Using Flash in Auto and Auto+ Modes
      1. What You Can Do with Flash in Auto or Auto+
      2. What You Can’t Do with Flash in Auto or Auto+
    6. Flash Options in P, A, S, or M Modes
      1. Using the Flash in P, A, S, or M Mode
      2. M Mode and Viewfinder Brightness: A Note for Studio Photographers
      3. Controlling Flash Output
      4. Sony Accessory Flash Units
      5. Bounce or Indirect Lighting: Flash Accessories
      6. Sony Wireless Flash
      7. Slow Flash Synchronization
    7. Recommendations
  16. Chapter 11: Recording Movies
    1. Introduction
    2. Glossary of Movie Terms
    3. Choosing a File Format
      1. AVCHD
      2. MP4
    4. Movie Quality
      1. Interlaced Scanning
      2. Progressive Scanning
      3. Bit Rate and Frame Rate
      4. AVCHD Record Setting Command
      5. MP4 Record Setting Command
    5. Additional Movie Controls
    6. Framing and Starting the Movie
    7. Movie Mode
    8. Recommendations
  17. Appendix A—Menu Commands
    1. Sony A77 Menu Commands
  18. Appendix B—Common Error/Warning Messages and Resolutions
  19. Index
  20. Get in the Picture!