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jmark18

Sony A6500 settings

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I have changed from my beloved Nikon D7000 to A Sony A6500 since my wife refuses to allow me to carry such a heavy amount of gear anymore. I was so used to the menu settings and shooting in manual that it was easy to get decently exposed shots a lot of the time. I feel like a fish out of water with the Sony with its page after page of menu options and a new set of button pushes to learn. I am looking for suggestions for settings to start with to ease my transition. I plan to shoot in manual and have the option of both sync cords or fiber optics to trigger Inon Z330 flashes. Thanks for any advice

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I have seen that page. I am looking for more in depth information as there are so many damn settings available

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Honestly, it isn't that complicated... Looking through my A6300 menus, I have, among those that are relevant:

  • Quality: RAW - there is no real reason to shoot JPEG underwater
  • Drive mode: single - can't really shoot bursts with strobes and pop-up flash, maybe with a LED trigger and low power
  • Flash mode: rear curtain sync
  • Focus mode: DMF for macro, AF-C for wide-angle
  • Focus area: Center
  • AF illuminator: Off
  • AF drive speed: Fast
  • AF track sens: High
  • ISO: 100 for macro, auto 100-800 for wide-angle
  • Metering mode: Center
  • White balance: Auto
  • SteadyShot: On
  • Zebra: Off - it's useful for video, kind of useless for stills with strobes
  • Grid line: Rule of 3rds
  • Auto review: 2sec - wish there was a 1sec option
  • Peaking level: low for macro, off for wide-angle
  • Peaking color: yellow
  • Live view display: Setting Effect OFF - this is important, as if you turn it on, camera will focus with aperture at your set setting rather than wide open. With it off, it will let it maximum light for focusing, and close the aperture as you take the shot.
  • Priority set in AF-S: AF
  • Priority set in AF-C: Balanced emphasis
  • AF w/shutter: On, but I use a trigger extension. If you want to use back-button focus, this goes to off.
  • Exp.comp.set: Ambient & Flash
  • Monitor brightness: Sunny weather
  • Power save start time: 1 min

As far as shooting goes, I keep it in manual mode, f/8-f/13 for wide-angle with 10-18mm or 16-50mm, f/11-f/16 for macro with 90mm, f/22 for supermacro with 90mm and +13 close-up lens, 1/160 shutter most of the time, a bit slower if I want a brighter blue background. Sometimes I play with flash compensation a bit if I feel that TTL isn't doing the best job. Display mode is almost always the electronic level; it makes a very handy reference. I shoot with both hands on tray handles, triggering via an extension on the right side. Don't really push buttons much while diving; right hand only really leaves the tray handle to adjust aperture via top knob or shutter speed via rear knob.

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@Barmaglot apologies for piggybacking in this thread, but would those settings also apply for an a6000? At least as a starting point for a newbie?

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A6000 should be pretty much the same, apart from lacking an electronic level, so you'd need to pick a different display mode.

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I like back button focus assigned to my AEL/MF button (custom), assigned to both to use the rear trigger on my Nauticam for focus and front trigger for shutter only. I have Pre-AF (Screen 1, Page 6) turned off to conserve battery and potentially speed up AF.  I have C1 set to AF mode and C2 to WL command toggle ON/OFF for my TTL trigger configuration. Power save time is set to two minutes but with the aux. battery installed (Nauticam) the display screen will always be on. My new camera is a A6400. 

What the world really needs is a camera with only Aperture, Shutter and Focus controls, all Manual all the time only, oh, and ISO. We purchase all of these AF, auto exposure driven cameras with 100 menus and sub menu options, all to get around or trick the camera into doing what we want it to instead of what it wants to via software. How about no software and no auto anything? Let me have control of my camera please, with FOUR controls. 

James

Edited by Captain Fathom
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Most cameras have the option to be full manual, so I don't really see the problem. I don't think Auto-exposure and AF are the energy hogs of cameras anyway. The reason for low battery life on mirrorless is that the sensor is always active to provide live view. If you don't want that you can still get SLRs though.

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On 2/26/2020 at 12:42 AM, hyp said:

Most cameras have the option to be full manual, so I don't really see the problem. I don't think Auto-exposure and AF are the energy hogs of cameras anyway. The reason for low battery life on mirrorless is that the sensor is always active to provide live view. If you don't want that you can still get SLRs though.

I was not responding to battery life but to the complexity and work arounds needed mostly regarding focus issues that are common. A Nikonos III with a digital sensor would be enough for me but with the additions of an internal meter and a LCD for viewing. Though I still have and sometimes use my old (2) Sekonic Marine meters. Kind of like cars or motorcycles, do you want a manual transmission or an automatic, make mine manual. 

My suggestion to turn off Pre-AF does help conserve battery but it was mostly directed towards faster focus acquisition in some cases. My A6400 does seem to have much improved battery life and with the onboard auxiliary battery I should be good for at least three full dives. The TTL trigger should much improve battery life and reduce shot to shot lag to minimal. I like the back button AF rather than the half press with center spot. That way I can defeat the AF magic and pick my subject, lock on the AF to my intended subject and then recompose the shot. The focus remains the same until I hit the button again or select on C1 a different mode, but still using the back button to drive it. I can use the My Menu to set back button focus for on or off so I can quickly revert to half press shutter button engaged focus. 

 

 

 

 

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If autofocus annoys you so much, why not just use manual focus? With a Nauticam housing, you can even use the old Nikonos water-contact lenses.

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There is not a focus gear for either the 16-50 kit lens, the Sigma 19f2.8 or the Rokinon 24f2.8 which are my primary lens choices at the moment. I suppose one could be printed for the Sigma and the Rokinon. Again, it is not strictly the AF, it is the complexity per the OP and many others with similar issues most of which results from having multiple menus and sub menus and the work arounds to drive the camera to do what the photographer wants and not what the camera wants to do. 

I sold my Nikonos and Nikon SLRs years ago. Probably a mistake, well it was a mistake, but I cannot cry over spilled milk. If I ever find the S&S 12mm and can afford it I will grab it or a Nikonos 15mm. I have seen the return of vinyl LPs, maybe an all manual camera is not such a big wish.

I was offering some additional set up thoughts for the A6--- series cameras, I am sorry that my aside issue with overly complex (and fragile) automatic cameras perturbs so many. 

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6 hours ago, Captain Fathom said:

There is not a focus gear for either the 16-50 kit lens, the Sigma 19f2.8 or the Rokinon 24f2.8 which are my primary lens choices at the moment.

You're using Nauticam, right? According to port chart, #36172 is the focus gear for SELP1650. You can also get #36201 Nikonos to NEX adapter and Ebay is full of Nikonos lenses.

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Hey @Barmaglot. The #36172 is the zoom gear for the 16-50mm kit lens, I have it so mounted now. I am sure a gear could be set up or printed (by smarter people than me) for the Sigma 19 and Rokinon 24. I am still working with the little Rokinon 24mm f2.8. It will not work with the Macro Port 45 unfortunately with my UWL100/dome lens. The port  is too long. It does seem to work fine at 24mm zoom with the kit lens. Underwater testing hopefully this Monday in the pool. I think the Macro Port 35 would be ideal if I could get one. On the other hand, the WWL-1 seems to work as advertised with both the kit 16-50mm and the Sigma 19mm f2.8. Both the kit lens (zoom at 19mm) and the Sigma 19 seem to get at or very near a full 130 degree FOV. And it is very clean and sharp across the FOV with both but especially with the Sigma 19 f2.8.

Yes, after I recover some from the purchase of all this and get a few trips behind me I think I will go Nikonos lens hunting. I went around and around as you know with what system to buy into. I could have gotten the A7IV but purposely did not and in part due to portability but I am as well preserving my ability to do another upgrade down the road. I believe, after some research, that Sony will continue to innovate and provide top level cameras in all price ranges. So what I am saying is that I want to begin to invest in Sony lenses that can ride with me in a future (but several years away) upgrade. Not necessarily either to "full frame" as I do like the compactness and feel of the APS-C format and Sony's interpretation of it. 

Edited by Captain Fathom

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