Tips and Tricks for using Sony Alpha SLT cameras

Tips and Tricks for using Sony Alpha SLT cameras

Most of the instruction describe the A77 but aren’t necessarily just for the A77.

Quick Reboot
If you press the MENU + REC + Playback together and then turn the power on (without dropping it that is) the a77 will do a quick reboot and your on your way again.

Extended Battery Life
Turn on manual switching for LCD/EVF and leave it switched to EVF. The EVF will only be on while your eye is at it. The LCD stays on longer so actually consumes more power.

Studio Manual Mode
If your using manual mode in a studio with flash lighting your likely to get a dark EVF or LCD. You need to turn off Display Effects on LCD in the menus.

Video Playback Mode
On the a77 it is quite easy to Record video by accident. Of course you hit playback and delete them. Now the a77 doesn’t automatically switch back to still mode playback.
A.If you now take a still image it should switch back to still mode.
B. If A doesn’t work, you need to go to the menus and the 4th Tab (Playback) and then chose the playback view mode to still.

If after taking a Video you want to view stills, either ff the video to the end to get to thumbnail view or better still press the AEL button to get to thumbnail view. From there if you move the Joystick to the left and press select you’re presented with the View Mode option that allows you to view stills.
Instead of going to menu and selecting still mode again, you can press the AEL button during video playback and toggle to the sidebar on the left and select it, it will bring up the choice of playback from the still, mp4 or avchd folders
Memory Recall
If you shoot RAW, Save one of your MR “memory recall” modes to jpeg. That way when you want to fool around with the picture effects you just switch to MR and avoid the “this function not available in RAW” screen.

Menu Start

Change the “menu start” option from first to last (used setting), then access the option for turning Live view display on/off and exit the menu. This way you can quickly turn it on/off when switching from dark (studio shots ) to brighter environments (Again this option should be programmable to a button)

Auto Review

Turn Auto Review off, especially when shooting fast moving subjects. There’s virtually no black out in the EVF when you’re last photo doesn’t get in the way. (there should be an option for auto review on lcd only) This is another reason to use my number two trick since live view on/off and auto review off/2/5/10 sec are on the same menu page.

DOF Preview

Set your DOF preview button on the camera to shot result preview. This is great when Live view display is off. A quick tap of the DOF button removes all the noise in the EVF when in low light. Try playing around with this feature for yourself, it’s the same as intelligent shot preview on the a900
GPS settings
To turn GPS on/off, hit MENU, then left with the joystick 3 times, should be at the wrench #1. GPS settings is the 4th item on the list. Click the joystick to select and first option is to turn it on/off. It seemed to take turning the camera off, then back on, in order to get the GPS to pick up a signal after turning GPS on.
In 12 fps mode, pay attention to the shutter speed. Since it is controlled automatically, you may want to change Auto ISO to explicit higher ISO to get faster SS and better capture the fast movements (that 12 fps is all about).

Say, you shoot indoor sports or show. You typically choose the S mode, set the acceptable SS, like maybe 1/250, set the AutoISO boundary to 6400 (or maybe even 12800). Then, you feel good, b/c you know you get the guaranteed SS and the best ISO you can have for the particular moment or zoom level. Then, you remember that your brand new A77 has so cool 12 fps mode and you can make the neighbour CanonNikon owner feel jealous 🙂 And you switch to it and shoot. And shoot. And shoot. And it sounds and feels so cool 🙂 Then, you see that all your cool shots are blurry, b/c A77 selected 1/100 and ISO 2000 and not 1/250 and ISO 6400 as you expected. And you feel … er… bad. Switching to explicit higher ISO seems to be the only option I see so far…

Credit: Users of Flickr forums and Sony Alpha users

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2 Responses to 'Tips and Tricks for using Sony Alpha SLT cameras'

  1. Pete A350 says:

    Hi Scott. Thank you for putting that together

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