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Sony A6000 Beginner


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I'm new to photography and really don't know where to go for direction.  

 

But my main issue today is I'm in Mississippi and it's snowing!!!   This is rare and I would love to take some pictures... good pictures.

 

I have a Sony a6000, if anyone could just help me with settings, I would really appreciate it. 

 

Thanks!

 

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Be sure to have your battery fully charged, then set camera to "auto" (green symbol):

 

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Image taken from Sony product page.

 

 

Point and shoot. 

 

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There are literally scores of helpful youtube tutorials that will help you learn visually and with practice the exciting potential of your camera.  Go to you tube and search sony a6000 tutorial and you can review the help there.  Gary Fong, John Sison, the Northrups are all experts that present their information in a concise and clear manner.

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There are literally scores of helpful youtube tutorials that will help you learn visually and with practice the exciting potential of your camera.  Go to you tube and search sony a6000 tutorial and you can review the help there.  Gary Fong, John Sison, the Northrups are all experts that present their information in a concise and clear manner.

 

 

@tinplater: of course you're absolutely right if you want to teach her how to learn it right. But, as I understand it, snowfall in Mississippi is such a rare occurrance, that I thought there was no time for any lengthy explanations. Otherwise she'd have missed this opportunity.  B)

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Guest Jaf-Photo

It's never too soon or too late to learn a bit about how the camera actually works.

 

Snowy scenes often lead to underexposed (dark) photos. That's because a large part of the frame is white, but the automatic light metering system thinks it should be medium grey. Therefore, the camera reduces exposure until the snow looks grey. But it is also easy to get over-exposed parts of the picture, if there are differences in the lighting.

 

What you should do is to check the histogram:

https://www.picture-power.com/images/histogrammeasureswithwords3.jpg

 

If the auto setting gives you a normal exposure, you can use it. But if it gives you an underexposure or over-exposure, you should switch to manual settings and make adjustments until you get a normal histogram.

 

It's also good to use raw because you can make adjustments on the ckmputer afterwards.

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It's never too soon or too late to learn a bit about how the camera actually works.

 

Snowy scenes often lead to underexposed (dark) photos. That's because a large part of the frame is white, but the automatic light metering system thinks it should be medium grey. Therefore, the camera reduces exposure until the snow looks grey. But it is also easy to get over-exposed parts of the picture, if there are differences in the lighting.

 

What you should do is to check the histogram:

https://www.picture-power.com/images/histogrammeasureswithwords3.jpg

 

If the auto setting gives you a normal exposure, you can use it. But if it gives you an underexposure or over-exposure, you should switch to manual settings and make adjustments until you get a normal histogram.

 

It's also good to use raw because you can make adjustments on the ckmputer afterwards.

    

   

I just checked. Thaz NOT a problem. 

It's snowing right now [not rare here, 

but first of the season] and I have an 

a6000 and the green mode insists on 

the matrix metering pattern and so is 

not confused by snow. Point & shoot. 

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Guest Jaf-Photo

The SCN mode must use the whole matrix, that's one thing. Another thing is whether the camera corrects for underexpose in snow. I just don't know because I never use SCN - and I would never listen to anyone who suggested it.

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So much power in these cameras using auto mode seems disrespectful.

 

 

The lady who started this post was new to photography, yet wanted to take good pictures immediately, because of a rare opportunity. She seems to have owned the camera for a while already, but never bothered to familiarize herself with it. And now she finally was motivated to use it for the 1st time. 

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Guest Jaf-Photo

I agree that there's an argument for using an auto mode in this case. I just threw in a bit about the histogram to provide an opportunity to learn at the same time.

 

However, snowy scenes are typically a challenge for auto modes. Auto modes tend to get both exposure and colour temperature wrong. That means you,ll end up with a weird tint on the snow and some areas that are burnt out without any detail. I don't know if A6500 has any improvements in this regard, though.

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Guest Jaf-Photo

So much power in these cameras using auto mode seems disrespectful.

For some shots, I find going 1 stop bright on the exposure meter is near bang on for final shot exposure.

Indeed. I would never tell anyone to use auto modes. I would tell them how to work the settings. If they were unwilling to do so, I would tell them to sell the camera.

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The SCN mode must use the whole matrix, that's one thing. Another

thing is whether the camera corrects for underexpose in snow. I just

don't know because I never use SCN - and I would never listen to

anyone who suggested it.

   

The matrix system and green mode seem to be programmed 

to "realize" that a snow field or large bright sky is NOT really 

the subject to reduce to middle gray. It's not hard to imagine 

many simple algoriddms that "warn" the meter about it. And 

it works. One small piece I DO know about: If the exposure 

for the average of the complete frame would close the iris or

speed the shutter past "sunny 16" level, the matrix doubts the 

reading and checks the "regional" readings, seeking another 

more likely probable subject to expose for.   

  

The weird tint you mention is a typical problem but is rather 

easy to fix in post. OTOH gross underexposure is fatal. If the 

green mode allows raw+jpeg that would also be a good safety 

net, even if it would take weeks or month before the user has 

the skill to go back and rescue the shot. IIRC, image quality 

is allowed to be set independent of mode choice. 

   

Like yourself, I have no use for SCN modes ... worst offence 

is that they undo back button AF. But for a noob who has a 

a rare and vanishing subject to handle immediately, the SCN 

system and/or green mode will deliver the snow as snow and 

not as soot :-) I didn't check, but very likely there is either a 

"beach" or "snow" choice in the SCN selections.  

   

Point and Shoot has come a loooong way. It may not allow 

any personal "artistry" but it does avoid common errors such 

as snow and backlighting. This has been true for decades at 

this time. I tested the 9 zone matrix on my Maxxum 9 back in 

the dark ages of film. AMAZING. And that was waaaay crude

in comparison to today. I knew every trick to confuse an AE  

system and its resistance to my efforts was most impressive. 

Acoarst, I never used the matrix after testing it .....

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I know now why I never got into forums for help.  Always a critic, a judge or a jerk in the group.  Whether, I have spent 2 weeks, 2 months or 2 years trying to figure out my camera, should have no place in responses to my original question for help to take picture of snow.  Merry Christmas and yes the snow is gone!   

 

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Guest Jaf-Photo

Yup, the old Minolta film cameras were the best for photographing snowy scenes, thanks to their matrix metering. But in those days, the wide exposure latitude of films helped too.

 

Anyway, I accept the premise of this thread. I just couldn't contain my disdain for auto features. I need to mellow out a bit.

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.........  Whether, I have spent 2 weeks, 2 months or 2 years trying

to figure out my camera, should have no place in responses to my

original question for help to take picture of snow. ......

     

Even tho I myself am one of the respondents who kept  

to the theme of the thread, that being that a beginner

needs an easy answer to an immediate situation, I find 

your remark quoted above to be total bullschidt. It is you

yourself who titled this thread, making your inexperience 

a centerpiece of the conversation.     

   

As to the photograph that you might possibly have failed 

to execute successfully, or maybe you did mange to get 

a successful result, the real problem is one of "much ado 

about nothing". Snow in Mississippi may be rare, but no 

amount of technical success in executing the photo will 

assure that the picture actually tells that story. While the 

camera can be counted upon to do its job, conveying a 

message of the specialness of any event is entirely the

user's job.  

   

It is no stretch of the imagination to say that those who 

are experienced and able at conveying the message are 

bound be those who already know how to use their gear, 

the desire to communicate going hand-in-hand with the 

drive to use the gear and know it well. IOW chances are 

that any images not successfully made of the event are 

images that were never going to convey the message of 

the event even if the images were technically OK. So, a 

case of no harm, no foul. A lack of visual communication 

skills cannot be remedied by robotic imaging machines. 

   

To show someone a souvenier shot of snow and to tell 

them "this snow is rare in Mississippi" is no better than

having no picture and telling them "I saw some snow in 

Mississippi". Pictures prove nothing. And if you have to 

narrate the picture, then it also says nothing. 

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Guest Jaf-Photo

Oh sure. Just abandon me. Leave me

to be the only grumpy, self-righteous, 

disdainful SOB around here .....

TBH we'd both fill that niche single-handedly ;) I'm trying a new approach, though, with less grump. Last week I failed but today a new week starts.

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