The Sony A6000 is an amazing asset for any cameraman or photographer, almost rivaling DSLRs in picture quality, ease of use, and general utility. Further making it a favorable choice is its affordability over a DSLR.
Yet, despite its powerful specs, new users will often have trouble utilizing it fully. Fear not because this article is about Sony A6000 photography tips and tutorials, and it will help guide you and fill you in on the various functions of this camera.
Taking your camera out of the box, you may at first be overwhelmed by the number of buttons and dials on it. Each one serves a function that you will end up using if you choose to continue as a photographer, and getting accustomed to all of them is essential.
There is a wide range of settings that a photographer can switch between, but there are some recommended settings that are used to help beginners ease into. The difficulty curve isn’t too steep, and mostly, you’ll be done once you’ve familiarized yourself with the various functions.
Camera Mode Dial
This is a dial on the top plate of the Sony A6000 camera. You’ll see that it contains several symbols and letters such as P, A, S, and M. The dial allows you to switch between camera modes and allow you to control parameters in conjunction with the right dial.
And the mode dial is a very powerful tool for a digital camera, and the various modes have varying levels of complexity, and so this article will try to give you a brief explanation of the various types.
Program Mode (P)
This mode surrenders control to the camera itself, letting it decide on aperture and shutter speed for you. It does this by measuring the amount of light entering the lens.
While this might seem like a really good mode to use, relying on it will hamper your growth as a photographer. The camera doesn’t always know best, and you will often end up with better pictures if you decided to spend some time with the settings.
It’s not recommended to use this mode if you want to improve yourself as a photographer, and beginners should avoid it.
Shutter Priority Mode (S)
This mode allows you to control the shutter speed while letting the camera handle the aperture size.
It is often used to photograph objects in motion. This mode isn’t used as often because due to the aperture settings being automated, the lighting in the pictures can come out looking wrong, especially at extreme ends of lighting.
Aperture Priority Mode (A)
This mode allows the user to manually control the aperture setting while the camera handles the shutter speed. It is widely recommended and is good for beginners.
By controlling the size of the aperture, you can control the depth of field. This also allows you to control how much light enters the camera allowing you to take good photos in different lighting conditions.
The Sony A6000 has a good meter that allows it to adjust the shutter speed following the aperture size. This mode is generally recommended as it has the least risk of over or underexposure in photographs.
Manual Mode (M)
This mode allows control over both shutter speed and aperture size. It is a bit complicated and time-consuming to use when, in most cases, only manually adjusting the aperture size will give you good enough results. There are very few cases where you’ll use this mode, and it can be frustrating for beginners.
Memory Recall Mode (MR)
This mode is used in conjunction with the camera to load user-defined settings from the camera. You’ll see more use from this when you venture out and take more photos where some personal configurations will produce good results.
This button is also something you’ll use often and is located on the rear of the camera and denoted by Fn. It’s responsible for adjusting some important settings that will affect the quality of your photographs. Some of the settings you should be aware of are:
This mode is used to select how your camera takes photos. Single drive mode causes the camera to take one photo when you press the shutter button. Burst mode allows you to take multiple photos when you press the shutter button once.
Sony A6000 allows the choice between low continuous (takes a small number of photos during a certain period) and high continuous (takes a larger amount of photos during a certain period).
Self-timer allows you to set a time delay that will allow you to comfortably enter the frame before your camera goes off. This option is best used in conjunction with a tripod.
This is an important parameter that you should familiarize yourself with. ISO indicates the lens’s sensitivity to light. A higher ISO rating will make the lens more sensitive to light and increase exposure.
The Sony A6000 includes an auto ISO setting for ease of use, but generally setting the ISO at 1600 will give you good results in most cases if you can use a good gimble for stability. You can set it to 3200 for poorly lit conditions, but in other cases, you will get grainy pictures.
This sets the mode for the flash unit. Most will prefer to set it to auto.
Your digital camera tries to determine shutter speed or aperture size based on ISO and light exposure. This is called metering. The Sony A6000 has a built-in light meter that it uses to determine the correct parameters.
Center-weighted average metering works on the assumption that the essential part of the photograph is in the dead center. It is simple to use but often produces average results. Spot metering measures the light from a small part of the source and works from there.
Partial metering works similarly but covers a larger area. Multi metering is the best setting as it considers your focus settings and thus creates a more realistic view.
This allows you to use the screen to select focus points. Learning to use these will improve your photograph qualities immensely with sony a6000 lenses.
This can be accessed by pressing the menu button on the rear. This menu is quite expansive and covers aspect ratio, panorama settings, recording settings, memory, and transfer settings.
Most of these you will need much later on when editing photos, but it is quite worth it to tinker in the menu and see the options for yourself.
Tips for Taking Photos with Sony A6000
Getting used to the settings and being able to adjust them for different scenarios is the biggest hurdle. Learning to take a good photograph eventually comes after much trial and error. Here are some tips you should keep in mind:
- Invest in lenses. Sometimes a change in lenses will produce the clear photograph you need.
- For low light conditions, you will want to get as much light in as possible. This will require you to have the flash on and increase the aperture size.
- Use exposure compensation when in an environment that has both dark and light areas. You can use the meter to darken or lighten the scene and get a good picture.
- Make use of a tripod if you can, as it makes the process much easier and smoother.
- Switch to shutter priority if you want to capture moving objects. Increase the shutter speed for capturing fast motion. You can also use slower shutter speed to add a blurry effect to your photos.
The Sony A6000 is a very powerful and useful camera, but it will require some dedication and practice to make the best use out of it. Familiarize yourself with the settings and learn to experiment.