Sony A99II free unofficial guide, tips and tricks

Sony A99II unofficial guide, tips and tricks
Besides the advanced customizable autofocus functions, The Sony A99 II has some more hidden features that you might want to familiarise yourself with.
I’ll start with some of my settings after a few weeks experience with the A99 M2.
12fps and Bulb Mode
Cont. Priority AE (12fps dial)
This mode uses a fixed fast aperture (camera does not change the aperture during shooting) and allows you to shoot images continuously at high speed. Pressing the middle button of the multi-selector (even while the shutter button is pressed) changes your focus from whatever focus area mode you’re in (like wide) to the centre of your image. This way, you can switch from wide mode to the centre your subject and follow technique during shooting. A very powerful feature.
Make sure you set the mode dial (front lower left dial) to C (Cont. Priority AE). The camera will lock-on focus and exposure while shooting. If the focus mode dial is set to MF or S (Single-shot AF), the focus is locked on the first image.
Remember that ISO Auto range can be changed in this mode dial function, so I’d advise setting the upper limit to ISO 3200 or 1600.
Besides that I have my camera set to:
AF drive speed to slow (the camera takes a bit more care with AF, resulting in a larger number of in-focus shots)
AF track duration is set to 3 or 4
Bulb Mode
 
Setting the A99II to Bulb mode is also an often requested feature. This mode allows you to shoot trails of light with a long exposure.
You should use a tripod to get good results.

Set the mode dial to M
Turn the rear dial clockwise until Bulb is indicated.
Select the aperture value (like f/8) using the front dial.
Press the shutter button halfway down to adjust the focus.
Press and hold the shutter button for the duration of the shooting.

After shooting, noise reduction will take about as long as the time that the shutter was open. Remember cannot shoot anymore while noise reduction is in progress.
If Bulb mode isn’t accessible, make sure:

Cont. Priority AE is OFF
Smile Shutter is OFF
Auto HDR is OFF
Picture Effect is not set to HDR Painting or Rich-tone Mono.
Multi-Frame NR is OFF
Drive Mode is NOT set to Cont. Shooting, Cont. Bracket or Self-timer Continuous

Eye AF
 
You’ll need to assign this function to a button for it to work.
MENU – Custom Settings (the wheel pictogram) – page 6 – Custom Key Settings – assign the Eye AF function to the desired button.
The Eye AF feature will let the camera focus on the subject’s eyes while you keep the button pressed.

Point the camera at a face, and push the button to which you have assigned the Eye AF
Press the shutter button while pressing the button

The Sony A99II may not be able to focus on the eyes depending on the circumstances, like when no
Eyes can be detected within the autofocus area. In such cases, the camera focuses on the face.
You cannot use Eye AF when the focus mode is set to C, set it to A.
When the camera focuses on the eyes and Smile/Face Detect is on, a detection frame is.
Displayed on the face after it is shown on the eyes. When Smile/Face Detect is off, a detection frame is affixed to the eyes.
Auto Obj. Framing (not available in RAW)
 
Menu – Camera Settings – page 7 – Auto Obj. Framing – desired setting (On or Off)
When the A99II detects and shoots faces, macro shooting subjects or subjects that are tracked by Lock-on AF, the A99 M2 automatically trims the image into an appropriate composition and saves it.
Live View Display
 
MENU – Custom Settings (the wheel pictogram) – page 2 – Live View Display – desired setting
Live view shows your images as they’ll appear out of the camera, with effects of the exposure compensation, white balance, Creative Style, or Picture Effect on the screen.

Setting Effect ON (default setting and Intelligent Auto, Superior Auto, Sweep Panorama, Movie or Scene Selection): Displays Live View in conditions close to what your picture will look like as a result of applying all your settings. This setting is useful when you want to shoot pictures while checking the results of the shot on the Live View screen. Live View is always displayed with the appropriate brightness even in Manual Exposure mode.
Setting Effect OFF: Shows Live View without the effects of exposure compensation, white balance, Creative Style, or Picture Effect. This is useful for precisely checking your composition in particular conditions. Like when you use a third-party Flash, such as a studio flash, Live View Display may be dark for some shutter speed settings.

Aperture Preview
 
You’ll need to assign this function to a button for it to work. Can be useful for portraiture or macro shots where you want to have full control over the effects of your aperture settings.
MENU – Custom Settings (the wheel pictogram) – page 6 – Custom Key Settings – set the Aperture Preview function to the desired key.
With the screen or viewfinder, you may see an image with an aperture that differs from the shooting result. Since the blurring of a subject changes, if the aperture is changed, the blurriness of the actual picture will vary from the image you were viewing before shooting.
While you press and hold the key to which you assigned the [Aperture Preview] function, the aperture is stopped down to the set aperture value, and you can check the blurriness before shooting.
Shot. Result Preview
 
MENU – Custom Settings (the wheel pictogram) – page 6 – Custom Key Settings – set the Shot. Result Preview to the desired key
With the monitor or viewfinder, you may see an image with an aperture that differs from the shooting result. Since the blurring of a subject changes, if the aperture is changed, the blurriness of the actual picture will vary from the image you were viewing before shooting. While pressing down the key to which Shot. Result Preview is assigned; you can check the picture preview with the DRO, shutter speed, aperture and ISO sensitivity settings applied. Verify the shooting effect preview before shooting.
Some effects cannot be previewed depending on the shooting settings. Even in that case, the settings you have selected will be applied to the images you shoot.
e-Front Curtain Shut.
 
MENU – Custom Settings (the wheel pictogram) – page 5 – e-Front Curtain Shut – desired setting ON or OFF
Yes the Sony A99 II has an electronic front curtain shutter! This shortens the time lag between shutter releases.
Remember that when you shoot at high shutter speeds with a large diameter lens attached, the ghosting of a blurred area may occur, depending on the subject or shooting conditions.
When a lens made by another manufacturer (including a Minolta/Konica-Minolta lens) is used, turn this function off. If you set this function to On, the correct exposure will not be set, or the image brightness will be uneven.
Lens compensation features
 
The Sony A99 II has a range of built-in lens compensation functions. I can see this being useful for journalism and sports shooters who want to quickly get their jpegs to their editors with the minimum amount of editing.
Shading Comp.
MENU – Custom Settings (the wheel pictogram) – page 6 – Lens Comp – Shading Comp – desired setting ( Auto or Off)
Compensates for the shaded corners of the screen caused by certain lenses.
The Shading Comp function is only available with certain A-mount lenses.
Chromatic Aberration Compensation
 
MENU – Custom Settings (the wheel pictogram) – page 6 – Lens Comp – Chro. Aber. Comp – desired setting (Auto or Off)
Reduces the colour deviation at the corners of the screen, caused by certain lens characteristics.
The Shading Comp function is only available with certain A-mount lenses.
Distortion Compensation
MENU – Custom Settings (the wheel pictogram) – page 6 – Lens Comp – Distortion Comp – desired setting (Auto or Off)
Compensates for the distortion of the screen, caused by particular lens characteristics.
The Shading Comp function is only available with certain A-mount lenses and with some cannot be turned Off.
Memory card issues
Some people have reported problems with certain memory cards. These problems include:

Unable to magnify images on the card.
Buffer related problems.
Inability to read the memory card.

SD, SDHC, SDXC memory card and Memory Stick PRO Duo, Pro-HG Duo, PRO-HG HX Duo media are all supported.
Before contacting Sony support desk, make sure you:

Format the memory card once you’ve inserted in the camera.
If you’re using fast burst speeds, use a fast card (32GB 95MB/s read and 45mB/s) write is my recommendation to take advantage of A99 II FR and Buffer.
If you’re using larger cards (64 or 138GB), make sure you get the fastest available.
An SDHC UHS-I card (stands for “Ultra High Speed”) is recommended for best performance in burst mode.
Sandisk Extreme Pro SDHC UHS-I cards seem to work very well.

Conclusion
There you have it; Sony A99 II advanced features guide late 2014. The more I use it, the more I realise how customisable this camera is.
There is a steep learning curve, though, but referring to the manual and reading tutorials like this one will help you grasp its’ full potential.
If you have any more questions on the Sony A99 II, feel free to comment.
Sony A99II autofocus tips and tricks

The new Sony A99II autofocus capabilities are probably one of the significant improvements over the A99.
Its advanced AF system has 79 phase detection AF points and includes 15 cross points within the central area of the sensor.

The new A6500 represents better value-for-money and has an autofocus system that in some ways exceeds the capabilities of that in the A99II. But the added flexibility and customizability of the latter will appeal to many actions and wildlife photographers.

We’ll go over some settings that influence the performance of the focus area settings first.
Autofocus functions and Focus Mode dial

AF functionality is quickly set by the dedicated Mode Dial on the bottom left on the front of the camera.
The usual choice of Single-shot AF (S), Continuous AF (C), Automatic AF (A, which switches automatically between S and C) or Manual Focus.

Tip: Set this to Continuous AF for action photography.
AF Track Duration

The extent of subject-tracking duration can be fine-tuned in five steps in AF-C mode.

A low setting is best for slow-moving subjects with predictable movements.
A high setting delivers more responsive focusing for shooting different subjects at different distances, such as wildlife or sports photography.

These settings are also available in Full HD movie shooting. Tip: It might be a good idea to assign this to a button you don’t use much, or at least adjust this setting depending on the shooting conditions.
AF Drive speed

AF drive speed is switchable between slow and fast.
Slow mode

This method is best used for critical focusing. It’s linked to the rate at which the camera acquires key focus, either when the lens has to bridge a significant change in focus distance, or when the conditions force the camera to hunt when trying to lock-on.
Different lenses behave differently, for instance; a wide prime lens has much less travel than a telephoto.
The main advantage of the slow mode is to cut down on hunting in low light and with tricky subjects. Overall focus speed is only slightly affected.
Slow mode just takes a tiny bit more care, when approaching focus lock, not to overshoot or miss minor details in certain conditions.

Fast Mode

Sports and action photography might benefit from using Fast.
Note that switching from slow to fast does not necessarily mean you’ll get better results, as focus acquisition might differ only in the order of microseconds, which may be insignificant.

Drive mode settings
Much depends on your drive mode settings.

I found that in Continuous Shooting Lo, the camera performs better with AF Drive Speed set to Fast.
In Continuous Shooting Hi, I got the best results when AF Drive Speed was set to Slow.

AF range control
This feature is accessible via the C button.

The AF range control allows you manually to select a foreground and background distance to which the AF system will not respond.
This is similar to the focus limiter on some zoom lenses that restricts the range of distance the camera will attempt to focus on.

Tip: This in-camera feature is especially useful for shooting fast-moving subjects with a complex background that commonly distract camera AF systems.
Center Lock-On AF

Turning on Center lock-On AF in the menu enables a feature where you can use the Multi-controller centre button to tell the camera on what to focus.

Procedure: frame your image so that your subject is in the centre, press the Multi-controller to select that is what you want to focus on, and it will follow your subject.Pressing the Multi-controller middle button twice will cancel your selection. This software can recognise and track an item based on colour and position.The active AF area is illuminated in white upon focus lock as a visual reminder of which point was manually selected.

Tip: An interesting aspect of this feature is that if you lose track of the subject, it can resume the Lock-on AF function when the subject re-appears on the screen.

Activating the Center Lock-on AF with the Multi-controller centre button (when Center Lock-On AF is set to ON) will override your selected Focus Area when your subject moves beyond the area and reverts to the Wide Focus Area.
Deactivating it will go back to your selected Focus Area. It is not always dependable for fast-moving subjects, but it is a great way of reverting to Wide Focus area in whatever Mode you are (except Lock-on AF Wide) when your subject moves beyond that field.

This does change the function of the Multi-controller middle button in all modes (except Lock-on AF Wide) as when it is OFF; it acts as a centre focus button.

Tip: After some experimentation, I found that switching it OFF yielded better results, as I prefer having the option of a dedicated centre focus button as opposed to a lock-on follow focus button. Before going to the selectable Focus Area settings, you should know that all selective zone Focus Area settings are easily adjustable on-the-fly to other areas using the Multi-controller.

Focus areas

There are a six different Sony A99II autofocus area settings selectable.
For subject tracking in action photography, the Expanded flexible spot placed in the centre and physically tracking your subject after locking on with a half-press of the shutter button will generate the most number of in-focus images.

Tip: This mode activates adjacent points if it is in danger of losing focus, a very useful feature.
Wide focus area
The default option is the 79 point Wide Focus mode.

When using this mode, the camera decides which of the focus points to use to set the focus.
This method is somewhat random, in the sense that it will lock-on to any movement in your image.
If you have a lot of activity going on with different subjects, it will switch to any of the 79 focus points depending on what the camera thinks you want to lock-on too.

Great if you don’t mind what is in focus (as long as something is) but not so great if you want to track one subject.
Zone

The 72 AF points are divided into 9 zones.
The three horizontal zones count 9 points while the two vertical zones adjacent to the centre each count 7 and the four corners each have 8.
Zone mode lets you choose one of these 9.
The camera will autofocus in the same way as the wide focus area, but only in the selected zone.

Tip: Works well if you find the wide focus area setting too unstable in focussing on what you want, but you still want the camera to do some follow focusing without physically moving the A99II itself too much. Remember that you can always quickly switch to different zones using the Multi-controller.
Center
 

Setting your focus are to one centre spot, limits it to focussing on that centre spot in the middle of the frame.
If all else fails, using centre spot focus and tracking the subject yourself (keeping it in the middle of the frame ) is a proven technique of keeping focus.

Tip: Expanded flexible spot does the same with the added benefit of switching to adjacent points.
Flexible spot
 

Flexible Spot is a manual AF area selection mode and lets you manually set the main AF point by using the Multi-controller to highlight one of the 15 points.
This is comparable to the Center mode, except without the benefits of the dedicated centrally mounted AF sensor.

Related: Flexible spot points

A similar setting For both Flexible Spot and Expanded Flexible Spot is Flexible Spot Points.
You can select if you want to use all AF area points or just 15 points spread out over the entire AF area.

Tip: I’d recommend setting it to 15 points and Expanded Flexible Spot if you want to use a Flexible spot zone, as this area setting activates surrounding AF points if it loses focus anyway.
Expanded flexible spot
 

Expanded Flexible Spot mode keeps focusing steadily even if the selected AF point loses track of the subject, by activating eight surrounding AF points that recognise the subject.
This is my favourite setting for action photography, as it gives you the most control over what the A99 MII is focussing on

It’s easy to run through the flexible spots (more so if you’ve set the limit to 15 Flexible Spots). Tip:

switch to other zones by using the Multi-controller
pressing the Multi-controller button puts focus on the centre of your frame

Lock-on AF: Wide
 

Using all AF points, the camera will try to identify your target and follow it as the target moves in all directions.
It adjusts target frame size based on subject characteristics and makes use of the optimal AF point for the smoothest possible autofocus. Just press the shutter to activate it.

Tip Works well if your scene is not too busy, and is what I would call one of the advanced functions of the A99 M2. If you’d like to know more about the Sony A99II autofocus system and other features, you can check all my posts here.

Link to this post!

Sony A6300: settings, tips and tricks

Sony A6300: settings, tips, and tricks
Introduction
The a6300 Sony is a versatile APS-C format camera system designed for the semi-pro and amateur photographer. The camera has a re-developed 24.2 megapixel Exmor CMOS sensor that uses copper wiring to reduce noise and facilitate faster sensor readout speeds. Photographers will also benefit from the fast BIONZ X processor, which provides continuous shooting of 11 fps to 21 raw frames in burst as well as 14-bit RAW file output. Autofocus has also improved compared to earlier models and now has what Sony calls 4D FOCUS, which combines an extensive 425-point phase detection with 169-area contrast detection system. This new algorithm also allows for more efficient and accurate tracking of moving objects on the extremes of the picture frame.

Although this is a relatively easy camera to use, it is still very customizable, and this might seem daunting at first.
No worries, I’ve assembled a guide to essential functions of the Sony A6300, including some tips and tricks.
First things fist: setting up your camera for your use and getting to know the MENU system.
Diving into the MENU system
When you switch on your camera, you’ll be asked to enter a date, time, and timezone. This setting is necessary, as all images captured will have a timestamp, making it easy to find your favorite pictures in the future.
After this is setup, press the MENU button. You’ll see a range of icons and pages.
We’ll start at page 1 of the camera Icon (camera settings)
(MENU → Camera Settings → page 1)

Image size:
Large, medium or small is selectable (when you set Quality to jpeg). Set it to large for optimal quality, if SD card space is an issue, you can set it to Small.
Aspect ratio:
You can choose 3:2 (which uses the full sensor surface) or 16:9 (crop but a more broad view). Leave as is at 3:2, you can always crop your pictures later.
Quality:
Do you edit your pictures on your desktop? If so, set to RAW or RAW+jpeg. A RAW file saves all information the camera pixels register during shooting and will make for better quality images if you want to edit in something like Adobe Lightroom.
A jpeg is a compressed image (available in FINE (larger) and STANDARD (smaller, less quality) which takes up less space on your SD card but is less suited for editing afterwards. Jpeg images will also have in-camera noise reduction applied, something you might or might not want to take care of yourself later, depending on your use.
Panorama size
(when in panorama shooting mode) Size is selectable between standard and wide. Wide means your picture will cover a larger area. Set it to standard, having to scan an even broader area when making panoramas will take some experience with the camera to do efficiently.
Panorama direction
A panorama picture (only available in jpeg) is a composite of several images stitched together. When in this mode, you’ll see an arrow that guides you in what direction and speed you should pan the camera to take the sequential images that will be stitched together. You can choose the path in this menu (either, up, down, left or right)
(MENU → Camera Settings → page 2)

File Format (video)
You can choose between XAVC S, AVCHD or MP4. AVCHD is a far superior codec than plain MPEG-4. AVCHD is based on MP4 but is a much cleaner, much more advanced.
You have the following compression options: XAVC S: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 AVCHD: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 MP4: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264
Record Setting (video):
You can choose the quality of recorded video here. Select the image size, frame rate, and image quality for movie recording. The higher the bit-rate, the higher the picture quality.
When File Format is set to AVCHD you have these options:

60i/50i: Movies are recorded at approximately 60 fields/sec (for 1080 60i-compatible devices) or 50 fields/sec (for 1080 50i-compatible devices), in interlaced mode, with Dolby Digital audio, in AVCHD format.
24p/25p: Movies are recorded at approximately 24 frames/sec (for 1080 60i-compatible devices) or 25 frames/sec (for 1080 50i-compatible devices), in progressive mode, with Dolby Digital audio, in AVCHD format.
60p/50p: Movies are recorded at approximately 60 frames/sec (for 1080 60i-compatible devices) or 50 frames/sec (for 1080 50i-compatible devices), in progressive mode, with Dolby Digital audio, in AVCHD format.

When File Format is set to MP4, movies shot are recorded in MPEG-4 format, at approximately 30 frames/sec (for 1080 60i-compatible devices) or about 25 frames/sec (for 1080 50i-compatible devices), in progressive mode, with AAC audio, mp4 format.

HFR Settings
This setting is used for shooting super slow movies. By shooting with a higher frame rate than the recording format, you can record a smooth super-slow-motion video.
Select the desired settings for HFR Record Setting like Frame Rate], HFR Priority Setting], and HFR REC Timing. You can set other shooting settings such as focus area, focus mode, and frame rate, and perform zooming on the HFR setting screen.
As a shortcut, all you need to do is press the center of the control wheel while in movie mode to enter the HFR shooting screen. Once set up, use the regular Movie button to start your slow motion recording.
These are the available settings within the HFR Menu:

Record Setting: Selects the frame rate of the film from 60p 50M, 50p 50M, 30p 50M, 25p 50M or 24p 50M (last one only available when set to NTSC)
Frame Rate: Selects the shooting frame rate from 240fps, 250fps, 480fps, 500fps, 960fps, and 1000fps.The larger the number, the slower your recording will be.
Priority Setting: Select Quality Priority or Shoot Time Priority. If you select Shoot Time Priority, the recordable duration is longer than it would be in in Quality Priority mode.
HFR REC Timing: Selects whether to record a set amount of time after pressing the MOVIE button or if you want to record for a set amount of time until you press the MOVIE button.

Drive Mode
Do you want to take a single picture when you press the shutter button or multiple images? You can select this here, as well as self-timer functions and bracketing.
Bracketing is taking a series of pictures, each with different settings, useful for combining your images with various exposures for HDR effects in software afterwards, to name just one example.
(MENU → Camera Settings → page 3)

Flash Mode:
(Also available in the Quick Menu accessed by pressing the FN button)
As the A6300 has a pop-up flash, you might want to get into the different Flash Modes. If you’re new to photography, I’d suggest setting it to Auto, where the camera will decide when and how you need the flash.
If you’d like to get more into flash photography, you should read up on the different possibilities and what their effect would be on your images. This is a basic explanation of what the different modes do:

fill flash: A fill flash is useful even in daylight to fill the shadows with light (like a person in the shade).

Slow sync: Tells the camera to use a longer shutter speed along with a flash, and thus is better for night shots. In manual and shutter priority modes, there is no difference in flash power. But when using aperture priority, program, or auto, choosing slow sync tells the camera to use a longer shutter speed than it would ordinarily pick.What the slow sync flash mode does is a first fire the flash for the subject exposure, then allow for a longer shutter speed that will allow for more ambient light to be captured by the sensor.

Rear Sync: Capturing an image involves two shutter actions: one when the capture starts and on when it stops. Rear Sync tells the flash to fire right before the shutter closes. Moving objects will show a streak where they came from and a sharp image where they were at the end of the exposure. This conveys a sense of speed with moving objects. Rear Sync is a creative technique, if you’d like to know more about this type of photography, I’d suggest doing a Google search on ‘Rear Sync Flash Photography.’
Wireless: Select wireless is if want to use the in-camera flash to trigger an external flash like the Sony HVL-43M (with TTL!). Using an external flash is helpful when shooting weddings and dimly-lit subject matter, You can use your main flash to light the subject, and your external flash to light the background.

Flash comp or Flash compensation:
Especially when using Slow Sync or Rear Sync Flash modes, you might have to lower the power of the Flash to get a decently exposed image. (Also available in the Quick Menu accessed by pressing the FN button)
Red Eye Reduction:
This anti-Red Eye setting quickly fires the flash before your image capture starts, reducing the red-eye effect often seen when using a flash
Focus Mode
Here, you can select how the autofocus engine will behave when you half-press the shutter button. Novice users should set into AF-A. This functionality is partly dependent on what focus area you select (see next)

AF-S: With a half-press of the shutter button, the camera will focus only once. Suitable for capturing stills.
AF-A: AF Automatic intelligently switches between S and C, depending on whether the camera detects movement or not. This is the standard setting and the easiest to use.
AF-C: The camera will continuously focus on any movement when you half-press the shutter button.
DMF: The ILCE-6300 focuses on your subject and allows you to fine-tune your focus area further using the manual focus ring on the lens.
MF: No autofocus is used, and you focus manually using the focus ring on the lens.

Focus area
The Sony 6300 sensor has a dual phase/contrast detect system embedded in the sensor itself, covering over 90% of it. This makes it one of the fastest and most reliable AF systems in a compact camera and is even better than some AF systems in cameras that cost over three times as much. You might think it is best to leave it on the wide factory setting (as this uses all AF points), but for certain scenes, it is often better to use a zone or flexible spot to get it to focus on what you want.

Wide: Wide focus area uses all focus points on the sensor. Ideal for action scenes where there is a lot of movement going on in your frame.
Zone: Zone allows you to select one of 9 predefined areas where autofocus will be active. These zones each cover about 25% of the screen, with a slight overlap. You can quickly change the area by pressing the multi-controller button and navigating to any of the other areas.
Center: Focusses on whatever is centered in your images. A fail-proof way of getting the camera to focus on what you want. If you have any problems using the autofocus and are in a situation where you don’t want to miss any shots, revert to Center and just make sure you have your subject centred.
Flexible spot: Flexible spot area selects a place anywhere on the screen where the camera should focus. (similar to Center spot, except not.. in the centre) You can set it to small, medium or large. If you want to use this focus area, set it to medium or large, as the camera will struggle to find focus when setting to small (except perhaps for close-up portraits where you’d want to focus on the iris of the eye)

AF illuminator
The AF illuminator is a little red light allowing the camera to focus more easily when the shutter button is pressed halfway. It automatically is switched off when you fully press the shutter. Leave it on except if you are using an underwater housing.
(MENU → Camera Settings → page 4)

AF Drive speed (Movie mode)
You can select the autofocus speed to Fast, Normal or Slow. You might think faster is better, but in real life, you’ll often find that Fast focusses on any slight movement and that it’s best to set it to Normal or Slow.
If you conclude that the Sony A6300 does not focus fast enough for your needs, this setting and the next are worth experimenting with!
AF track sens (Movie mode):
High is useful when recording movies with fast action scenery. The Normal mode works fine in most situations.
Exposure Comp
(Also available in the Quick Menu, accessed by pressing the FN button):
If you find that your image is overexposed (for instance when you are shooting at large apertures for a shallow depth-of-field in bright daylight), you can tweak the exposure compensation here in a plus or minus 5 (exact EV dependent on next step) range.

Exposure Step:
This determines the Exposure Compensation levels, used to darken or lighten the exposure if you feel the auto setting isn’t giving you the right ‘mood.’ The hard clicks on that wheel to the right of your top plate can be changed from 0.5EV to 0.3EV steps for a more precise control.
ISO
You can select at which ISO value you’d like to capture your image or change the Auto ISO range.
I have this range set between 100-3200 as this range is virtually noise free, and I don’t like the ISO performance above 3200. In a pinch, when you’re getting blurred images due to a too long shutter speed at low ISO, you can experiment with higher ISO settings. It’s better to get a sharp but noisy image than a blurred one….
Iso Auto Min SS.
This is a useful and exciting setting. If you select ISO AUTO you are in P (Program Auto) or A (Aperture Priority) mode; you can set the shutter speed at which the ISO sensitivity starts changing.
You have three possibilities here:

FASTER (Faster)/FAST (Fast): The ISO sensitivity will start to change at shutter speeds faster than the Standard (normal). This will help you prevent getting blurred images when shooting action or sports. This at the cost of raising the ISO and noise in your images. Remember this is linked to your Auto ISO settings, so it won’t go any higher than your upper limit, even if the camera is capable of doing so.
STD (Standard): The camera automatically sets the shutter speed based on the focal length of the lens.
SLOW (Slow)/SLOWER (Slower): The ISO sensitivity will start to change at shutter speeds slower than the Standard setting. This enables you to shoot images with less noise. Never to be used if you want to shoot action, but can be useful if you are a landscape or architecture photographer who likes to walk around without a tripod yet takes some time to frame and shoot images carefully.

(MENU → Camera Settings → page 5)

Metering Mode
Metering mode refers to the way the camera reads the light and sets the exposure.
In multi, it considers the whole frame and sets exposure according to internal algorithms programmed in camera.
In spot or centre, the camera only considers what is in that spot or the centre (per example, if your subject is completely black, the camera will try to compensate by overexposing the image).
White Balance
You can either set the white balance to Auto, where the camera tries to guess what the neutral grey value is use one of the preset white balance settings for different lighting conditions customises the white balance according to your preference or using a grey card.
DRO/Auto HDR
DRO:
This stands for Dynamic range optimise and analyses the contrast of your scene in real-time. It produces an image with optimal brightness and recovered shadow detail. You can use this function even while the subject is moving or during the continuous shooting.
Auto HDR:
(not available for RAW captures) this feature Shoots three images with different exposures and then overlays the bright area of the underexposed image and the dark area of the overexposed image to create a picture with an extended range from highlight to shadow.
The highlight detail in auto HDR is better than that in DRO and with reduced noise. The shutter is released three times, so using this function for moving subjects is not recommended.
Creative Style
The Sony creative styles can best be explained as being film emulations (as it some other camera manufacturers implement this). There is a range of styles available from vivid colour to black and white. If you’re shooting RAW, these styles are embedded, but can always be zeroed after importing them to you RAW editor of choice. Jpegs are saved with this styling applied. It is always useful to try some of these, and can be a real boost for your creativity, as you will notice that you make different images in say black-and-white as opposed to colour.

Picture Effect
Think of this menu as an Instagram app right in your camera, with all kinds of retro filters and effects. These are only available when quality is set to Jpeg (Not in RAW).
Picture Profile (movie)
You can change the settings for the color, gradation and detail for movies here. As your picture profile will mostly set the mood, look and feel of your film, it’s a critical setting. You’ll find a bunch of Sony preset picture profiles here, but it’s also possible to fully customise this if you want to.
These are the available settings:

Black Level Sets the black level from –15 to +15.

Gamma Selects a gamma curve. Movie: Standard gamma curve for movies. Still: Standard gamma curve for still images. Cine1: Softens the contrast in dark parts and emphasizes gradation in bright parts to produce a relaxed color movie. (equivalent to HG4609G33). Cine2: Similar to [Cine1] but optimized for editing with up to 100% video signal. (equal to HG4600G30). Cine3 Intensifies the contrast in light and shade more than [Cine1] and [Cine2] and strengthens gradation in black. Cine4: Strengthens the contrast in dark parts more than [Cine3]. The contrast in dark parts is lower, and the contrast in bright regions is higher than for [Movie]. ITU709: Gamma curve that corresponds to ITU-709. ITU709(800%): Gamma curve for confirming scenes on the assumption of shooting using [S-Log2]. S-Log2: Gamma curve for [S-Log2]. This setting is based on the premise that the picture will be processed after shooting.

Black Gamma: Corrects gamma in low-intensity areas.Range: Selects the correcting range. (Wide / Middle / Narrow) Level: Sets the correcting level. (-7 (maximum black compression) to +7 (maximum black stretch))

Knee: Sets knee point and slope for video signal compression to prevent over-exposure by limiting signals in high-intensity areas of the subject to the dynamic range of your camera.

Mode: Selects Auto/manual settings. Auto: The knee point and slope are set automatically. Manual: The knee point and slope are set manually.

Auto Set: Settings when [Auto] is selected. Max Point: Sets the maximum position of the knee point. (90% to 100%) Sensitivity Sets the sensitivity. (High / Mid / Low) Manual Set: Settings when [Manual] is selected. Point: Sets the knee point. (75% to 105%) Slope Sets the knee slope. (-5 (gentle) to +5 (steep))

Color Mode: Sets type and level of colors. Movie: Suitable colors when [Gamma] is set to [Movie]. Still: Suitable colors when [Gamma] is set to [Still].Cinema: Suitable colors when [Gamma] is set to [Cine1]. Pro: Similar color tones to the standard image quality of Sony professional cameras (when combined with ITU-709 gamma). ITU709 Matrix: Colors are corresponding to ITU-709 standard (when combined with ITU-709 gamma) Black & White: Sets the saturation to zero for shooting in black and white.S-Gamut: Setting based on the assumption that the pictures will be processed after shooting. Used when [Gamma] is set to [S-Log2].

Saturation Sets the color saturation from-32 to +32.

Color Phase Sets the color phase from -7 to +7.

Color Depth: Sets the color depth for each color phase. This function is more effective for chromatic colors and less effective for achromatic colors. The color looks deeper as you increase the setting value towards the positive side, and lighter as you decrease the value towards the negative side. This function is effective even if you set [Color Mode] to [Black & White].[R] -7 (light red) to +7 (deep red), [G] -7 (light green) to +7 (deep green) , [B] -7 (light blue) to +7 (deep blue) , [C] -7 (light cyan) to +7 (deep cyan) , [M] -7 (light magenta) to +7 (deep magenta) ,[Y] -7 (light yellow) to +7 (deep yellow).

Detail Sets items for Detail. Level: Sets the [Detail] level. (-7 to +7) Adjust: The following parameters can be selected manually.Mode: Selects Auto/manual setting. (Auto (automatic optimization) / Manual (The details are set manually.)) V/H Balance: Sets the vertical (V) and horizontal (H) balance of DETAIL. (-2 (off to the vertical (V) side) to +2 (off to the horizontal (H) side)). B/W Balance: Selects the balance of the lower DETAIL (B) and the upper DETAIL (W). (Type1 (off to the lower DETAIL (B) side) to Type 5 (off to the upper DETAIL (W) side))Limit: Sets the limit level of [Detail]. (0 (Low limit level: likely to be limited) to 7 (High limit level: unlikely to be limited)). Crispening: Sets the crispening level. (0 (shallow crispening level) to 7 (deep crispening level)). Hi-Light Detail Sets the [Detail] level in the high-intensity areas. (0 to 4)

(MENU → Camera Settings → page 6)

Zoom
Settings for the digital zoom functionality. I would not recommend using the digital zoom feature, as it deteriorates image quality.
Focus Magnifier
When focussing manually or in DMF mode, you can set the camera to magnify a part of the screen so you can check focus. This sub-menu allows you to select the part of the image that will be magnified during shooting.
Long Exposure NR
Set if you want the processing engine to apply noise reduction for images captured with a long exposure time. Leave it ON as there is no way of duplicating this process in post production, except to take a black frame of the same length in the same atmospheric conditions.
High ISO NR
Here you can select the amount of noise reduction applied to images with high ISO settings (when quality is set to jpeg). As Sony has rather aggressive noise reduction, I would change it to Low. (if not, you run the risk of getting paint-like, smeared images at higher ISO values)
Center Lock-on AF
This is a very powerful autofocus feature. When turned ON, it allows you to track a subject. In iAuto mode, you can access this feature (when turned ON and camera is set to AF) by pressing the Center button of the multi-controller. You’ll see a square on your screen, then centre your desired tracking subject and the camera will continue to track it, even when it exits your frame and reappears.
Smile/Face Detect
This is another powerful feature. It can be set to detect automatically and focus on (registered) faces and enable a function called Smile Shutter. When the latter is enabled, the camera will automatically capture an image when a smile is detected. Did I hear you say Selfie? Yes, it’s the ultimate selfie tool, along with the pivoting screen.
(MENU → Camera Settings → page 7)

Soft Skin Effect
If you’re using this camera mainly for pics of friends and family, this is an excellent feature, as it will soften and smooth skin tones make you and your beloved ones look their best. (only available when quality is set to Jpeg)
Auto Object Framing
When enabled, the Sony 6300 will automatically crop your captured image to what it deems best. Meaning it will cut the picture for a nicer composition. Only available for Jpegs, though, a nice feature if you don’t want to bother too much with the technical side of photography.
Scene Selection
This is more easily controlled via the right thumb wheel when you’re in SCN mode, but you can also select the presets for different scenes (like sports or portrait) from here.
Movie
The ILCE-6300 has a dedicated movie shooting mode. In this mode (accessed via the mode dial) you can either select Program, Aperture, Shutter speed priority or full manual mode. These methods offer the same functionality as the modes on the mode dial (see explanation further down) only in movie mode.
(MENU → Camera Settings → page 8)

SteadyShot
You can turn the lens image stabilisation ON or OFF here. Should be OFF for taking time-lapses with the app for example.
Color Space
You can choose between Standard and Adobe (extended colour range) RGB. This is only important if you shoot JPEG and not RAW. Adobe RGB would be preferable if you print many images because of the extended colour range.
Auto Slow Shutter (movie mode)
Sets whether to adjust the shutter speed automatically during video recording in case if the subject is dark/ Set to ON.
Audio Recording
You can switch off audio recording in movie mode.
Wind Noise Reduction
This helps reduce noise from the wind during video recording.
(MENU → Camera Settings → page 9)

Memory
You can save three often used presets to the memory in this menu, and later recall any of these using the MR shooting mode dial.
(MENU → Custom settings (wheel) → page 1)

Zebra
The zebra function shows a zebra pattern on the screen while shooting in any area that is in danger of highlight clipping. You can switch this OFF or anywhere in a range between 70 and 100.The Zebra Pattern is a highlight warning indicator that is common in video cameras. It does not control exposure but just warns you that your highlights are blown out. It is not recorded into the resulting image.I have it set halfway at around 75, and it is a very useful indication of correct exposure of the full picture. As I capture in RAW, I am very careful not to have any highlight clipping, to be able to possibly fully recover highlights in Lightroom.
MF assist
This works in conjunction with the Focus Magnifier on Page 5 of the camera settings. You might remember that you can select the area to magnify there when using manual focus (MF). MF assist will need to be turned on if you want to use this feature.
Focus Magnif Time
You can set how long to hold the magnified area during MF assist. 2 sec, 5 seconds or no limit. 2 seconds is how I have it set up.
AF in Focus Magnif Time
You can choose to use Focus magnification while in Autofocus mode too. Here, you can adjust the duration of Magnification while in AF mode.
Grid Line
Having a grid line on your screen is a helpful aide for the composition of your image.
The human brain is hard-wired to recognise structure and most people find a well-composed image more eye-pleasing.
During photography history, rules have been developed on how to best compose the different elements within a scene. Many landscapes you’ll see have the horizon run through the middle of the image for instance, but this is just composition in its simplest form. Many photographers with a thorough understanding of these techniques go far beyond that.
A good starting point is using the in-camera grid to make your brain aware of the possibilities in composition.
The Rules of 3rds, Square and Diag +square are available in the Sony Alpha ILCE-6300.
Marker Display
Select if you want guidelines in movie mode.
(MENU → Custom settings (wheel) → page 2)

Marker Settings
Same settings as the Grid Line on the previous page, except for movie mode.
Audio Level Display
Select if you and how you want sound levels displayed on your screen for video recording.
Auto Review
Choose the amount of time the camera shows your image directly after capturing the image. 10, 5 and 2 sec is available, or you can turn this feature OFF if it annoys you.
Disp button
Selects the functionality (what is shown) on the screen when you press the DISP button (on the control wheel). You can choose Graphic Display, all info, no disp info, and histogram.
Peaking Level

Peaking Level is a manual focusing aid which works when you have your camera set to MF or DMF.
You’ll see a type of noise outlining the parts of your image where the focus lies, and you can adjust the sensitivity to high, mid or low.
Which setting is best depends on what lens you use, as with a sharper lens it can be configured to low, while more soft lenses benefit from a medium or high setting to clearly visualise what you’re focusing on.

Peaking Color
You can choose the colour of this Peaking between Red, white and yellow. I have it set to red, as this contrasts nicely with most scenes you capture.
(MENU → Custom settings (wheel) → page 3)

Exposure set guide
Sets the guide displayed when exposure settings are changed in the shooting screen. Excellent tool when you’re getting to know the functionality of your new camera. If you’re familiar with Sony’s feature, turn it OFF.
AF Area auto clear
Sets, whether the focus area should be displayed all the time or should disappear automatically shortly after focus is achieved. On or Off.
Live view Display
Live view display allows you to see the image you’re going to capture with the settings you have dialled in like aperture and shutter speed. Some users report easier autofocusing in low light when it’s turned OFF, and you’d need to turn it off when using external flashes too that can’t be used with Sony’s TTL (through the lens) functionality.
Disp cont AF Area
You can set whether or not to display the focus area that is in focus when[Focus Area] is set to Wide or Zone and Focus Mode is set to Continuous AF.
Pre AF
When pre-AF is set to ON, the camera will continuously focus, even without half-pressing the shutter button. This can be draining to the battery, especially when using some lenses like the Zeiss Touit range. Set it to OFF.
Zoom settings
Set to Optical zoom only (using the optical zoom capabilities of your lens
Two other settings are available which use digital zoom (cropping of the original image):
Digital zoom:
Pictures captured by the image sensor of the camera are enlarged using digital signal processing. As the magnification level increases, signals to be also estimated growth and can reduce the picture quality.
Clear Image Zoom:
Zoomed images are captured close to the original quality when shooting a still picture. The camera first zooms to the maximum optical magnification, then uses Clear Image Zoom technology to enlarge the image an additional 2x, producing clear, sharp images despite the increased zoom ratio. If you don’t have a zoom lens, this might be an option as the camera uses the RAW file to zoom; although still some image quality will be lost.
(MENU → Custom settings (wheel) → page 4)

Eye Start AF
This configuration starts AF once the EVF sensor has detected your eye near the viewfinder. I’ve never used it personally, but some people might find this setting interesting as it can prolong battery life.
Finder/Monitor
You can set the behaviour of the EVF and screen here. Do you want your screen on all the time, switch between screen and EVF once your eye has been detected near the viewfinder? Or turn the screen off and only use the EVF? It can all be selected here.
Release without lens
Makes it possible to capture images even if a lens is not supported by the camera. (Like when using an adapter with vintage lenses)
Release without card
If set to Off, you won’t be able to engage the shutter when there is no SD card in the slot. This is a useful failsafe to prevent you from shooting images without the ability to save them.
MENU – custom Settings – page 5

Priority Set in AF-S
Sets if you want to release the shutter even if the subject is not in focus when Focus Mode is set to Single-shot AF, DMF or Automatic AF, and the subject is still.

AF: Prioritizes focusing. The shutter will not be released until the subject is in focus.
Release: Prioritizes the shutter’s release. The shutter will be released even if the subject is out of focus.
Balanced Emphasis: Shoots with a balanced focus on both focusing and shutter release.

Priority Set in AF-C
Sets whether to release the shutter even if the subject is not in focus when Continuous AF is activated and the subject is in motion.

AF: Prioritizes focusing. The shutter will not be released until the subject is in focus.
Release: Prioritizes the shutter’s release. The shutter will be released even if the subject is out of focus.
Balanced Emphasis: Shoots with a balanced emphasis on both focusing and shutter release.

AF with shutter
Selects whether to focus automatically when you press the shutter button halfway down. Leave ON.
AEL w shutter

Auto (default setting): Fixes the exposure after adjusting the focus automatically when you press the shutter button halfway down when Focus Mode is set to Single-shot AF.
On: Fixes the exposure when you press the shutter button halfway down.
Off: Does not adjust the exposure when you press the shutter button halfway down. Use this mode when you want to change focus and exposure separately.

The camera keeps adjusting the exposure while shooting in Cont. Shooting or Spd Priority Cont. mode. Operation using the AEL button is prioritized over the AEL w/ shutter settings.
E-Front curtain shutter
The electronic front curtain shutter function shortens the time lag between shutter releases. When you shoot at high shutter speeds with a large diameter lens attached, ghosting of a blurred area may occur. In such cases, set this function to Off. When you’re using non-Sony lenses, it’s best to disable this too, as you can get incorrect exposures when using the e-front curtain shutter with those lenses.
MENU – custom Settings – page 6

S Auto Img Extract
When in Superior Auto, the camera often takes multiple images and combines them into one (jpeg only). You can either save all images captured (OFF) or only the combined image (ON). Turn it OFF; I’ve tried this functionality, and the combined image feature does not work well.
Exp comp set
Selects if the Exposure compensation function (+-5 in 0.5EV or 0.3EV steps) also reduces flash power or not. Leave it to Ambient And Flash.
Face Registration
You probably know that the A6300 has a face recognition feature. To further enhance the effectiveness of face recognition, you can register up to eight faces and organise them to give one priority over another. This is an impressive functionality, as you can register faces of your subject (like at a wedding the bride and groom) and the camera will automatically detect these registered faces and give autofocus priority to them. You can register up to 8 faces (by taking a picture of them within this menu) and set a priority order.
Works well, and helps to get the right people in-focus in busy shots.
AF Micro Adj.
The AF Micro Adjustment function allows you to adjust and register an auto-focused position of an A-mount lens attached with the LA-EA4 mount adaptor. You can use a lens alignment tool like the Datacolor Spyderlenscal to do this.
This is the procedure

Select AF Micro Adj.
Select AF Adjustment Setting.
Select On.
Select Amount.
Turn the control wheel to adjust the value.
Press the center button on the control wheel when finished.

Lens Comp
The A6300 allows you to select whether you would like to apply various lens compensations (shading, chromatic aberration, distortion) even when shooting in RAW. I leave this ON.
MENU – custom Settings – page 7

On Page 7, you’ll find all customizable keys and functions of the Sony 6300 buttons and wheels. The Function Menu allows for quick access to the most-used settings like ISO, focus area, flash functionality.
MENU – Custom Settings – page 8

Further button settings like on Page 7.
MENU – Wireless functionality – page 1

Send To Smartphone

You can send one or several images directly to your wireless device (phone or tablet) by pressing this button.
You can either decide to choose which images you want to transfer on the camera or the wireless device (via the Sony PlayMemories app, available for free in the apple or android store).
You’ll have to connect the-the camera via Wifi first (it makes a Wifi access point), using the instruction on the A6300 screen.
It works just like connecting to any other access point with your phone or tablet.
You should do this as quickly as possible, just to get it out of the way.
When your phone has wirelessly connected to the camera once, and you’ve entered the password, it will remember this, and make it a lot faster to connect later.

Send to Computer
You’ll need to connect the computer physically to the camera using the supplied USB cable, and you can push selected pictures to your Sony PlayMemories desktop software (installed from the CD or downloaded from their website). This can even be set up to continue pushing images after the camera has turned off.

View On TV
If you have a Wifi-enabled TV, you can see pictures and slideshows directly from your camera through your home wireless network.
One Touch NFC
Enables Quick, one-touch connection (as opposed to first accessing the camera’s wireless network and then navigating to the Playmemories app) with NFC (near-field communication) capable devices.
I have not tried this (as my iPhone does not have NFC), but it looks a lot easier to use.
Airplane Mode
Disables all wireless functionality, just like airplane mode does on your phone.
MENU – Wireless functionality – page 2

WPS Push
If your access point has the WPS button, you can register the access point to the camera quickly by pushing the WPS button.
Access Point Set
Here you can setup an access point for your camera to the internet.
It enables the Sony ILCE-6300 to install PlayMemories apps directly from the web. Works just like setting an access point (WiFi connection) on your phone.
Edit Device name
If you wish, you can change the name of the Device Access point) perhaps to make it easier to identify which A6000 is yours in particular situations.
Disp MAC address
You can see the MAC address of the camera here, might be useful for some advanced configuration or troubleshooting
SSID, password reset
Reset the name and password of the wireless network the camera creates.
Reset Network set
Resets all network settings.
If something does not function properly, and you want to start from scratch, can be useful.
MENU – Application List Menu

You’ll find The Smart remote control camera app (which allows you to use your phone as a remote control via PlayMemories phone app for iPhone and Android) and the Playmemories Camera app here.
You can access your online PlayMemories account here, or create an account (once you’ve set up your camera connection with your Wifi network).
You’ll also be able to download new apps available for purchase in the Sony Playmemories online app store like the Time-lapse and smooth reflection app.
If you do not want to connect your camera to the internet, you can always install new apps (and updates) if you connect the camera to your Mac or PC with the supplied USB cable, using the Sony PlayMemories desktop application.
MENU – playback options – page 1

Delete
Delete one or multiple images stored on your SD card.
View Mode
select how the camera will arrange captured pictures in the viewing browser.
Image Index
Choose whether you want the image browser to display 12 (larger) or 30 (smaller) images per page.
Display rotation
Select whether you want the camera to rotate images automatically when you rotate the camera or not.
Slide Show
Select whether you want the camera to repeat slideshows when all pictures are viewed or not, and choose the interval between slides.
Rotate
Change the orientation of images in-camera.
MENU – playback options – page 2

Enlarge
Select an image and expand a portion of that picture. Useful for checking details and focus.
Protect
Protect images (selectable or per date) from accidentally being erased
Specify Printing
Specify Printing is a feature that allows images to be marked for printing later. Registered images are displayed with the DPOF mark. (DPOF stands for Digital Print Order Format)
MENU – Setup – page 1

Monitor Brightness
Manually set the Monitor brightness (recommended leave to zero) or change to a brighter setting for Sunny Weather.
Monitor Brightness
Set to Auto, which adapts to the lighting circumstances or manually changes to your preferred setting. There are color and grayscale charts displayed on the screen to allow you to set it up to your liking.
Finder Color Temp
Change the color temperature of the viewfinder (colder-warmer) to you liking. I don’t make any adjustments here.
Volume settings
Modify the playback volume for recorded video or demos.
Audio Signals
You can turn off audio signals like the beep when the camera achieves focus. Useful if you want a more clandestine operation (although you’ll still hear the second curtain shutter).
MENU – Setup – page 2

Title Menu
choose between tiles or a tiled front page when accessing the MENU or a linear tab style menu layout.
Mode Dial Guide
Turn the description for each shooting mode ON or OFF. Can be handy at first for a novice user to get familiar with what the different shooting modes do.
Delete Confirm
When deleting images on your SD card, you’ll have to confirm every deletion (to make sure you don’t accidentally delete anything). You can turn Off this confirmation here if you wish.
Pwr Save Start time
Selects the time it takes for the camera to go into sleep mode if you don’t use it.
MENU – Setup – page 3

PAL/NTSC mode
change to either of this broadcasting standards according to which region of the world you live in.
Cleaning Mode
Sets your camera in sensor ultrasonic cleaning mode. If you put your ear to it, you’ll hear some mechanical movement followed by some high-frequency squeaks.
Demo mode
A demo, mainly used in stores. Nothing to worry your pretty little head about.
TC/UB settings
Timecode (TC) and the user bit (UB) information can be recorded as data attached to movies. This is used for synchronization of video in post production. The time code can be set between the following range: 00:00:00:00 to 23:59:59:29.
Remote CTRL
When the Sony A6300 is connected via USB to a PC, you can use the Remote Camera Control (RCC) software to take pictures or change settings on the camera from the computer. ( Both Mac and PC versions downloadable via the Sony website). If you would like to do so, you’ll need to turn this ON here. There is now a special version of Capture One available (free) for Sony cameras which also has this functionality.
MENU – Setup – page 4

HDMI Settings
You’ll find all the HDMI settings here:

HDMI Resolution: Set the Resolution of images and video sent to your TV with an HDMI cable (1080p or 1080i)
CTRL for HDMI: With the “Control for HDMI" function, Sony BRAVIA Sync helps communicate with BRAVIA Sync-compatible equipment using HDMI CEC.
HDMI Info display: another feature for viewing images and video on a TV through HDMI connection. Select whether to show the shooting information when this product and the TV are connected using an HDMI cable.

4K Still Output Sel.
Outputs still image in 4K resolution to an HDMI-connected TV that supports 4K.
USB connection
Selects what will happen when you connect your camera to your PC or MAC.
USB LUN Setting
Improves compatibility with external devices by limiting the functions of the USB connection.
Older devices that are not able to connect to the camera might work when set to single. Otherwise, use Multi.
USB Power Supply
You can extend battery life by providing a power supply over USB.
MENU – Setup – page 5

Language
Set your preferred language. The advantage of setting it to English is that you’ll find much more information online when you need any troubleshooting.
Date Time Setup
Change date, time, date format and Daylight savings time
Area setting
Select your region, or change area when abroad, the camera will automatically change time and date for you.
Copyright Info
You can add your credentials here, and this will be written in the Metadata of every image taken with this camera.
Format
Format your SD card before use; this will erase any images still on the memory card.
File Number
Name your files according to some shots or reset it to start from 1.
MENU – Setup – page 6

Set File Name
Use the standard file naming system, or a customizable one.
Select REC folder
Selects where the camera will store newly captured images
New Folder
Make a new folder for quickly organising events and locations
Folder name
Choose whether to have folder names in standard form (DSC) or create a new one by date. Setting folders by date will make organising your images easier.
Recover Image DB
If you have a storage card error, you can try to rebuild the database to retrieve lost images possibly.
Display media info
You can check how much space is left on your SD card (have pictures in your desired quality and how many minutes of video)
MENU – Setup – page 7

Version
Check what version of the operating system your camera and the lens is running. Sony sporadically releases updates with new features, so it might be worth checking if any new firmware versions are available.
Setting Reset
Fully resets the camera to factory settings.
The Next Chapter is about the various shooting Modes Available, another concept that is necessary to understand fully.
Shooting modes available via the Mode Dial ( or via MENU → Camera Settings → Shoot Mode→ desired setting)
Intelligent Auto:
This mode automatically detects the type of scene you’re shooting and adjusts the scene automatically. You’ll see the icon for the recognised scene appears on the top right hand of the screen.
These scenes are the same ones which can be selected individually in SCENE mode.
The Sony A6300 will also use the most appropriate FOCUS AREA, and ISO value (the ISO range cannot be changed in iAuto though).
Drive Mode (single shooting, continuous shooting Lo-Mid-Hi), Self-timer and Self-timer cont (multiple images with the self-timer) can be changed by using the Fn button.
Works for both RAW and JPEG shooting.
Disadvantage: ISO range is fixed to 50-6400 (you can’t change the range).
Superior Auto:
Superior Auto is similar to iAuto, as it also detects scenes automatically, except it uses more complex processing.
This includes composite layering (layering different shots on top of each other for HDR style pictures) and automatically choosing what it thinks is the best image.
You can either choose whether you want the camera to save all images captured or just the composite image, by selecting S. Auto Img. Extract in the MENU system.
Disadvantage: ISO range is (like in iAuto) fixed and only useable for jpeg shooting.
P (Program Auto):
Program (P) mode automatically adjusts exposure and aperture according to your desired setting.
See this as a more advanced iAuto mode, as you’ll be able to change all other settings through the touch screen (Focus area, creative style, exposure compensation,…);
tip: lower the automatic ISO range to 100-1600 for better image quality (ISO-Auto range in MENU SYSTEM)
A6300 ISO 1600
A (Aperture Priority):
Allows you to adjust the aperture and shoot, for example when you want to blur the background (large aperture like f/1.8), or want a sharp corner-to-corner image (around f/5.6-f/8).
The aperture value can be changed during movie recording, a technique that will be familiar to videographers.
Smaller F-value: The subject is in focus, but objects in front of and beyond the subject are blurred (what is called Bokeh).
Larger F-value: The subject and its foreground and background are all in focus.
If proper exposure cannot be set, the shutter speed on the shooting screen blinks.
S (Shutter Priority):
The go-to mode if you can’t shoot fast-moving subjects, by manually adjusting the shutter speed. You can express the movement of a moving subject in various ways by changing the shutter speed, for example, at the instant of motion with a high-speed shutter, or as a trailing image with a low-speed shutter. The shutter speed can be changed while recording movies. The aperture is automatically adjusted to obtain proper exposure.
If a correct exposure cannot be obtained, the aperture value on the shooting screen blinks.

Use a tripod to prevent blurring when you use a slow shutter speed.
The SteadyShot warning indicator does not appear in shutter speed priority mode.
When the shutter speed is 1 second(s) or longer, noise reduction will be applied (Long Exposure noise reduction in the Menu ON/OFF) after shooting for the same amount of time that the shutter was open. This will temporarily freeze your camera, and you want to be able to capture images while noise reduction is in progress.
The brightness of the picture on the monitor may differ from the actual image being shot (there is no Live view on Sony cameras for long exposures).

M (Manual Exposure):
Both shutter speed and the aperture value can be changed in this mode, also during movie recording.
Press the bottom side of the control wheel to select the shutter speed or aperture value, then turn the control wheel to select a value.
When ISO Auto is used, the ISO value automatically changes to achieve the appropriate exposure using the aperture value and shutter speed you have set.

If the aperture value and shutter speed you have set are not suitable for adequate exposure, the ISO value indicator will blink.
When the amount of ambient light exceeds the metering range of the Metered Manual, the Metered Manual indicator flashes.
The SteadyShot warning indicator does not appear in manual exposure mode.
The brightness of the image on the monitor may differ from the actual image being shot.

Bulb Mode in Manual exposure
Bulb is the mode used to shoot a trailing picture of a subject’s’ movement with a long exposure time. Think light trails from cars, or fireworks.

Press the bottom side of the control wheel to select the shutter speed, then turn the control wheel counterclockwise until BULB is indicated.
Press the shutter button halfway down to adjust the focus.
Press and hold the shutter button for the duration of the shooting.
As long as the shutter button is pressed, the shutter remains open.

Tips:

Use a tripod for long exposures.
Use the PlayMemories remote or a wired remote control to eliminate any movement of the camera.
After shooting, noise reduction will be applied (as noise builds up quickly with long exposures). This will take as long as your long exposure did, and you won’t be able to use the camera until this is finished.

Can’t get the shutter speed to Bulb Mode? Check these settings and turn them OFF:

Is Smile Shutter activated?
Is Auto HDR enabled?
Is Picture Effect is set to HDR Painting or Rich-tone Mono?
Is Drive Mode set to Cont. Shooting, Cont. Bracket or Self-timer(Cont)?

Movie:
Although you can capture movies in any mode, it is easiest to change all related settings for video recording here. You can adjust the shutter speed or aperture value to your desired settings for recording movies. You can also check the image angle before shooting.
Press the MOVIE button to start recording and again to stop recording
Menu:

Program Auto: Allows you to shoot with the exposure (both the shutter speed and the aperture value) adjusted automatically. Other settings can be set manually, and the settings are retained.
Aperture Priority: Allows you to shoot after adjusting the aperture value manually.
Shutter Priority: Allows you to shoot after adjusting the shutter speed manually.
Manual Exposure: Allows you to shoot after adjusting the exposure (both the shutter speed and the aperture value) manually.

When a zoom lens is mounted, you can also zoom by operating that lens. When a motor zoom lens is mounted, move the zoom lever of the zoom lens to enlarge subjects.
Sweep Panorama:
Allows you to shoot a panoramic image by compositing the footage.

Panorama mode will capture a series of images in succession.
You’ll be guided through this process using an arrow on-screen that shows the direction and speed of the camera panning.
The 6300 will automatically detect and capture the series of images while panning.
Afterwards, it will stitch together all these pictures into a broad view of the scenery and save it as a Jpeg.

TIP: Panorama size (standard or wide) and panning direction can be changed in the MENU on page 1.
Scene Selection Mode (SCN)
Allows you to shoot with preset settings according to the scene. iAuto and Superior Auto detect these scenes automatically for you and applies the presets it deems best, and does an excellent job at that. However, in certain circumstances (when you know what you are going to capture) it is better to select the appropriate scene yourself, as it takes the guessing work out of the equation.
The Sony A6300 has a decent range of well-designed presets:
Portrait:
Blurred background for a beautiful Bokeh, and sharpens the subject. How good this will look relies heavily on the lens you’re using. A zoom is less suited to this kind of photography; best use a prime, fast lens.
This preset accentuates the skin tones softly (you can select skin softening for all Modes in the Menu system too).
Sports Action:
Shoots a moving subject at a fast shutter speed (lso that the subject looks as if it is standing still. AF-C and continuous shooting hi is on, so you’ll be able to snap away while the shutter button is pressed.
Macro:
Shoots close-ups of the subjects, such as flowers, insects, food, or small items.
Landscape:
Shoots the entire range of scenery in sharp focus with vivid colours. The camera will go to a smaller aperture to achieve this, as lenses are sharper corner-to-corner at smaller apertures.
Sunset:
Shoots the red of the sunset beautifully.
Night Scene:
Shoots night scenes without losing the dark atmosphere. Will go to higher ISO values and larger apertures to achieve a useable shutter speed, enabling you to capture sharp images without blur. The A6300 does have its limitations when it comes to shooting dark scenery.
Hand-held Twilight:
Shoots night scenes with less noise and blur without using a tripod. A burst of shots are taken, and image processing is applied to reduce subject blur, camera shake, and noise. This does not work well in my opinion.
Night Portrait:
Shoots night scene portraits using the built-in flash.
Anti Motion Blur:
Shutter Priority mode, which will use the fastest shutter speed possible, to counter motion blur.

Conclusion
The Sony ILCE-6300 is certainly an accomplished camera, and image quality rivals that of the A7 and A77II. At this price-point, that is almost unbelievable, and I’m sure many novice photographers will jump at the chance to get all this technology.
You’ll probably start using it in iAuto mode, and this is well-implemented, except for the fact that the ISO range cannot be changed. After you’ve familiarised yourself with this method, it is well worth getting to know the advanced functionality of this camera, as it often will yield better results than just setting it to iAuto.
If you have any questions, feel free to comment below.

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Lost plugins after Adobe Photoshop update?

Lost plugins after Adobe Photoshop update?
Introduction
Yes, it’s update time again! Many Adobe Photoshop CC users that your plugins are not working or are not there at all in your new Photoshop CC 2015.5 update. Here’s how to fix it.
How to reinstall third party plug-ins in Adobe CC 2015.5
Windows

Close all open Photoshop applications
Navigate to C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CC 2014\Plug-ins
Copy all the Plugin files you see there (including folders)
Navigate to C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CC 2015\Plug-ins
Paste all the files you copied from the 2014 folder
Restart Photoshop CC 2015, and you should see your plugins!

Mac

Close all open Photoshop applications
Navigate to Applications/Adobe Photoshop CC 2014/Plug-ins
Copy all the Plugin files you see there (including folders)
Navigate to Applications/Adobe Photoshop CC 2015/Plug-ins
Paste all the files you copied from the 2014 folder
Restart Photoshop CC 2015, and you should see your plugins!

 
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Fujifilm X70 leather case BLC-X70 review

Fujifilm X70 leather case BLC-X70 review
Introduction

Alongside the release of the Fujifilm X-PRO 2, the Japanese camera manufacturer also released a very compact APS-C camera with a fixed 18.5 mm lens called the X70. It’s always a good idea to purchase a screen protector and carrying case to protect your investment, and Fuji has a beautiful little leather half case called the BLC-X70 available.

Description

The BLC-X70 Leather Case is a genuine leather fitted case that protects the camera from scratches and bumps and also adds some heft to the grip. This makes it easier to hold and better balance this very small camera while shooting. It is made from leather for a luxurious feel, offers access to the battery compartment while attached and comes with a matching hand strap. You’ll also find a protective cloth in the box to store and transport the X70 with extra peace of mind. All other controls, dials and flip-up screen are also accessible in this beautifully made case.
Installation

Installing the BLC-X70 is an easy affair as it screws into the tripod thread on the bottom plate. As usual with Fuji half cases, you will need a coin to properly fasten it. but once installed you’ll never really need to remove it since the battery (and SD card) compartment is reachable thanks to a flap.
Conclusion
Besides the obvious functionality of protecting your X70, the BLC-X70 also adds some grip to this very small camera. The case also comes with a fetching little hand strap that I actually find easier to use with this lightweight APS-C camera than using a neck strap. It’s great that both battery and SD slot are accessible without having to remove the case.

The BLC-X70 is a very well designed leather half case for the Fujifilm X70 that offers an extra level of protection. It retains all the functionality of dials, buttons and flip screen and also adds just a bit more grip to this great little camera. Highly recommended product.
 
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FujiFilm X70 review

FujiFilm X70 review
Introduction
The Fujifilm X70 is a compact fixed lens camera with an 18.5mm wide-angle lens and Fuji’s old 16MP X-TRANS II APS-C sensor. It’s their smallest and lightest APS-C camera weighing just 340gr and features a touch sensitive 180 degree tilting LCD screen. This wide angle mirrorless camera features an 180-degree tilting and touch sensitive LCD screen.

On the top plate, you’ll find the on/off switch a shutter speed dial, an exposure compensation dial and an Auto switch. When enabled, the auto mode will automatically detect the type of scene you are shooting and adjusts the camera accordingly. It’s a feature inherited from the X-T10 and I’m sure will be welcome for some.There is also a hot shoe to add a flashgun, although the X70 has a small TTL capable flash built-in. You’ll find an aperture ring on the lens barrel in true Fuji style.
There is also a hot shoe to add a flashgun (or optical viewfinder), although the X70 has a small flash built-in.

You’ll find an aperture ring on the lens barrel in true Fuji style, allowing you to easily switch between auto and your desired setting. There is also a rotary switch to change your shooting mode to either Continuous, Single or Manual focus. There is a small yet decent manual focusing ring on the barrel that works when you switch to MF.
There is also a wide angle and teleconverter available if you need to go wider or want to get closer to your subject. These have the same thread and optical formula as the X100(s) equivalent options, and these can be used on the X70 too. This camera is also WiFi capable, meaning you can use the Fuji Shutter remote app and transfer images to your phone or tablet wirelessly.
The battery is not the same type used in the larger sized Fujifilm APS-C bodies, instead, it’s the Fuji NP-95, and you’ll also find the SD card slot on the bottom plate next to the battery slot. This camera is not weather proofed either, understandable at this price point.
18.5mm f/2.8 lens, no Image stabilization
The fixed 18,5mm lens was designed especially for the X70. It has an optical construction of seven elements in five groups with two aspherical lenses to correct distortion. Unlike with an interchangeable lens, much of the bulk is hidden inside the body, making it appear almost like a pinhole lens. Fuji has definitely been pushing the limits of APS-C in the last few years, and this is one of the things that make this camera so interesting.

Many people might wonder why you’d need a fixed lens camera with a tiny lens. But optimizing the lens design to a specific sensor yields superior results in terms of sharpness and transmittance.

The new 18,5mm lens translates roughly into 28mm on a full frame camera. Probably not by accident, this is the same focal length as the lens featured on the Leica Q. Where 35mm used to be the ‘ideal’ focal length for a fixed camera, we see more and more photographers wanting a wider option for street photography, landscape, and architecture.

An f/2.8 maximum aperture might not be as fast as what you’d expect in a fixed lens camera of this magnitude, but my guess is that Fuji wanted to make the X70 as small as possible without too much of a compromise in sharpness and quality.
With a wide angle lens, the benefit any kind of image stabilization would be marginal. So Fujifilm has opted not to incorporate this into the design, and to make it as small as possible.
Fujinon 18,5mm f/2.8 Sharpness, distortion and vignetting
There was no distortion visible in my studio test shots. Corrections are of course built into the RAW data, so I also checked these in Iridient Developer where you can easily turn this off. There is a slight bit of vignetting visible though it’s quite gradual without much problems in the extreme corners. No visible problems with CA either.

Center Sharpness
This lens is already quite sharp in the center at f/2.8, and reaches optimal sharpness between f/5.6 and f/8. Loss of sharpness due to diffraction starts around f/11 and by f/16 it’s clearly visible. Please note that Fujifilm X-Trans 2 files can always use a bit of sharpening. That’s what Fuji themselves do with the Jpegs and what happens when you import them in Lightroom automatically. This is of course turned off in these images.
Corner Sharpness
Corner sharpness lags behind the center a bit, reaching an optimal sharpness at f/5.6. Still usable up to f/11, beyond that diffraction sets in. I wouldn’t use this camera for critical landscape photography, the corners do lag behind the center a bit, but still yields good results for general shooting.
Touch sensitive LCD Screen but no EVF
This is Fujifilm’s first APS-C camera that features a touch screen. It’s a 3.0-inch, 1.04M-dot LCD panel that can tilt 180 degrees. This is ideal for shooting from a variety of angles, and you’ll often find yourself putting it on the floor or other places where you’d normally wouldn’t be able to get a good view with an EVF.

You can rotate it upwards if you want to get yourself in the shot too, yes we’re getting into ‘selfie’ territory here. Now in most reviews you’ll find a smug comment about this feature, but I actually find this quite useful. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have an Instagram account filled with selfies, but it’s always nice to be able to get a shot of you and your girlfriend, boyfriend, kids or pets whilst on holiday. And with a wide angle like this, it’s ideally suited to get some scenery in the frame too.

Now do I miss an EVF? If this was my only camera, I would. But as a second, very pocketable compact device, I prefer it to be small with a touchscreen and not incorporate one of those crappy EVF’s like the Sony RX series have. The small form and touchscreen also allows you to take your photography to places where you can’t use a bigger camera. I mean this both physically and esthetically. As I mentioned before, you can take shots from interesting angles with a tiltable touch screen like the X70 has, but it’s also a very inconspicuous camera that won’t draw much attention in crowded areas or places where you’d often feel hesitant to bring along a larger body.

The touchscreen allows you to either select a focus area and use it as the shutter release or only select your focus point. You can swipe your finger across the screen to scroll through your images too, and use more complex gestures like double tapping to zoom in on your focus point and pinching to enlarge your captured image.
All very nifty and handy, although one minor point is that the touch focus area selection is not always that precise.

Selecting AUTO on the top-plate Auto Mode Selector Lever switches the FUJIFILM X70 to Advanced SR Auto, where it automatically selects the optimal settings according to the scene. This delivers instant high-quality results with settings chosen based on 54 pre-programmed scenes.
X-Trans CMOS II
The well known X-Trans CMOS II sensor from the X100s, T and X-T1 is is also used in the X70. Fuji’s flagship X-Pro 2 now features a new 24MP sensor, but the 16MP X-trans 2 sensor is not bad at all. If you’d like to know more about how this sensor performs, you can check my ISO test of the X-T1 here.
Electronic shutter
The X70 has a mechanical shutter of up to 1/4000 sec and an electronic shutter of up to 1/32000 sec. Having a fast electronic shutter like this allows you to shoot with large apertures in bright daylight. It’s not suitable for fast moving subjects, as a rolling shutter ‘scans’ your subject pixel per pixel in about 1/30 of a second, and any movement during that time will show up in your image as bent lines or warped figures. This problem is not exclusive to the X70 though, as all CMOS sensors with an electronic shutter have this. We’re still waiting for a so called global electronic shutter that registers all the pixels at the same time. Until then, the electronic shutter is best used sparingly.
Autofocus
The Fuji X70 has both phase and contrast detection points on the sensor itself. This method of on-sensor focus detection points is used in all mirror-less cameras. Autofocus is quite fast, even in low light conditions. Expect the same AF performance as what you’d get from the X-T1 or X100T with the latest firmware.
Although algorithms and sensor coverage have improved over the last few years, AF tracking is still it’s Achilles heel. The good thing is that with a fixed wide angle lens, you won’t have many problems in this regard.

Fujifilm are very generous when it comes to firmware updates for their cameras, and this continuous development of the X-TRANS II AF system together with the EXR II processor has produced an optimized focusing engine that works very well overall. Features like advanced subject prediction in AF Continuous, split focus points in Single-point AF for greater accuracy, Face detection and Eye AF all make the X70 a very useable camera.
As featured in the latest v4 firmware for both the X-T1 and X-E2, new Zone and Wide/Tracking modes ensure that sideways movements are captured. Single point, Zone or Wide/Tracking can be combined with either Single shot mode or continuous shooting depending on your preferred shooting style and subject.

Conclusion
Even though the Fujifilm X70 does not offer their latest 24MP X-TRANS II sensor , it’s still a very useable camera capable of making high-quality images. Thanks to the many firmware updates for the XT-1 and X100T, the autofocus system has been optimized and refined, and is now very usable in most lighting conditions. The sensors ISO performance isn’t too shabby either, giving good results up to ISO 6400.

The newly designed 28,5mm lens is quite sharp wide open in the center, and the corners sharpen up nicely by f/5.6. Bare in mind that most X-TRANS II images can do with and tolerate a fair degree of sharpening without artifacts. CA is well under control and barrel distortion is not visible even without any corrections applied. There is a fair degree of vignetting, but not too much in the extreme corners that it would affect image quality.

The X70 is a fun camera to use and using the tiltable touchscreen in unconventional angles and places can boost your creativity. It’s also very inconspicuous to use for street photography, it’s so small that nobody really pays attention to what looks like a toy camera. The best part is that the quality of your images is largely what you’d expect from your X-T1 with a wide angle prime.
Purchase and availability
The FujiFilm X70 is available for purchase now at around $699 or 699 Euro
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Leica Q versus Sony RX1RM2

Leica Q vs Sony RX1RM2
Introduction
If you’re looking for a premium quality point and shoot camera, you’ll undoubtedly be considering either the Leica Q or the new Sony RX1rM2. Both cameras are in the same price range and have a full frame sensor. The RX1rII does have the size advantage over the Q, but then again the Leica has a better viewfinder, a touch screen and a faster lens.
Overview and comparison
Body and handling
Screen
Sony has yet to release a full frame camera with a touch screen, stating that the technology just isn’t there yet. Leica did manage to incorporate this into the Q camera thanks to their partnership with Panasonic, who have lots of experience with touch sensitive LCD screens in their micro-four-thirds camera range. There is nothing unprofessional about nailing shots by tapping a screen. The other alternative is focusing/recompose/shoot. That’s the ONLY alternative to most street-type shots. But what about the 50 different focus mode/ focus are options? For instance, Sony can use “flexible spot” to move the focus crosshairs to the point you want them out. Why should I have to jack around with that and miss the moment? So, just like with did decades ago, we use the focus/recompose/shutter technique. Olympus, Panasonic, and now the Leica Q found a new way with touchscreen and it rocks. I just frame the scene, click where I want to focus, and the camera grabs the shot.
Viewfinder
The Sony RX1RM2 has a pop-up viewfinder, the type you’ll also find in their RX100 series. It’s backup solution more than anything else. Hence a touch screen would have been ideal on this camera. The eyecup they provided is lame that went right back into the box… The Leica Q, on the other hand, has a fantastic permanent viewfinder. The winner is clearly the Q here.
Image Quality
ISO performance
The Sony RMyX1Rii tops the Q in low light performance for sure. The 42MP BSI sensor is the same as the one used in the Sony A7rM2 and is definitely the best Full-Frame sensor currently on the market. You’ll see much less noise in really low light situations like in clubs/concerts.
there is resolution too, but 24mp is probably enough for me except, and this is key when cropping down. If I’m using the RX1 at 42mp and I want to crop way down on something, I have that luxury. Perhaps a lot less with the Q.
Dynamic range
I’m afraid the RX1 tops the Q here too. When needed, I have gotten in the habit of shooting with my exposure compensation set to -1 or lower, and then to adjust shadows upward in post. Clearly, you can’t do that as dramatically with the Q.
28mm vs 35mm
I thought I would hate the 28. I didn’t. I have never gotten “scenes” before when shooting streets. My 50 and my 85 have reached me “subjects”, but not scenes. Standing in the middle of an inner-city bus stop and shooting away off the screen of the Q has been a rush. Standing at the top of a stairway with the 28, shooting down at some geometric scene has changed the way I see photography. Even 35mm is too wide for shots like that that I captured.

OOC colour rendition
I find myself less likely to jack with the colors from the Leica. Less of a need to bump up saturation or contrast than on my Sony.
While the body of my RX1Rii is authentic Japanese, the glass is as German as it gets. It doesn’t even say “Zeiss” on the front- it says “Carl Zeiss.” But let’s face it, a Sony doesn’t have the pedigree that Leica has.
Conclusion
The 28mm Leica Q doesn’t serve me in my profession. If you choose to purchase the Q and not the RX1, it will be to use the Q for street shooting, and as my “grab and go” camera.
When I ‘m not working, I don’t want to sling my freaking A7Rii + lens over my shoulder. No way. The RX1 and the Q are very light, small, and incognito when out and about. Yes, the Q is larger, but I haven’t felt like it “tips me off” more than the Sony. They are both easy to blend in. I notice a dramatic difference when I am using these cameras compared to my A7Rii- and the A7Rii is tiny compared to the big SLRs of course.
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Sony A7s II review: why you shouldn’t buy and why you should

Sony A7s II review: why you shouldn’t buy and why you should
Introduction
The Sony a7S II is a 12,2 MP full frame camera with expanded sensitivity to ISO 409600, 5fps continuous shooting, and fast, intelligent autofocus with low-light sensitivity to -4 EV. The original A7s was mainly aimed at videographers, and the Mark 2 now offers the added benefit of internal 4K recording to SD card and the ability to use S-Log3 Gamma and S-Gamut3 in addition to S-Log2 that increases the dynamic range values by up to 1300%.

The body has also been updated to the latests specs of the A7rM2, with a better grip, a locking Mode Dial and an improved 2.36 million dots EVF with 0.78x magnification ratio. Although this 12,2 MP camera will be mainly of interest for videographers, photographers who make their living shooting events, concerts and weddings might also be interested in this low-light wonder.
The new A7S II also has an improved mechanical shutter mechanism that it is 50% quieter than the original camera with a life of around 500.000 cycles. AF points have also gone up from just 25 to a total of 169 thanks to an intelligent algorithm that splits the on-sensor contrast detection points.

Since I’m a photographer, I’ll be reviewing the Sony A7s II as a stills camera. I should also note that I mainly shoot RAW, and won’t be talking about the in-camera JPEG processing either.

ISO Test
studio shoots (artificial indoor light)
These test images are RAW files converted in Lightroom to JPEG. These are high-resolution images, so please feel free to click to view them in more detail. No noise reduction or any other processing has been applied. The ILCE-7SM2 is noise free below ISO 1600, and still spotless up to ISO 12800. There is still a very decent amount of detail visible at ISO 51200 though doing any RAW processing at these values might not get the best results. Above this ISO value, I would say that they are not fit for publication and only useful if there is no other way to get the shot.

Compared to the original A7s, having the IBIS sensor stabilisation system does make a big difference. As with shutter speed, doubling the ISO number gives an increase of 1 stop, while halving gives it a decrease of 1 stop. Sony states about a 4,5 stop advantage over a non-stabilised sensor. This is a bit optimistic, but having a realistic two or three stops advantage, this can mean you end up with a useable image instead of one you have to drag to the trashcan.
Sony A7SM2 vs. Sony A7rM2
As you can see, the 42,2 MP Sony A7rM2 holds up quite well against the A7sM2 when it comes to high ISO shooting. There is a bit less fine grain visible from ISO 12800 with the A7sM2, and the A7s II will focus a better in low light, but for most photographers I don’t see the need to forfeit the extra 30 megapixels. I’m not just talking about print size, but those extra 30 million pixels do make a difference if you want to any RAW processing or cropping.
A7R II ISO 6400
AS7 II ISO 6400
 
A7 R II ISO 12800
AS7 II ISO 12800
A7R II ISO 25600
AS7 II ISO 25600
A7r II ISO 51200
AS7 II ISO 51200
A7r II ISO 102400
AS7 II ISO 102400
Real world ISO examples and comparison
Shooting with less or almost no light at high ISO will show more noise in your images than a decently lit scene. I’ve made a few example shots of the same scenes at different ISO’s. Click to see the high-resolution images.
ISO 12800
ISO 102400
ISO 256000

ISO 400
 
ISO 409600
 
ISO 12800
ISO 409600
Sony A7s II low-light autofocus capabilities
The 25-area contrast autofocus of the A7s has been replaced with a new 169-point AF on the A7sM2. In the new system, the centre nine AF areas are divided into 16 subsegments that give you a more accurate system. This is a software enhancement, much like what Fujifilm did with the X-T1’s version 4 firmware, but it works well. For the best AF accuracy, I would recommend using center spot or flexible spot, though.

The low light autofocus capabilities of the ILCE-7SM2 is a point where it does have an advantage over the A7r II. The combination of the stabilisation system and improved on-sensor contrast detection makes this camera focus accurately and fast. There still is a delay between pressing the shutter and the image capture, but this camera is not suited for any action photography anyway.
Conclusion
Although the A7R II was a huge leap compared to its predecessor, the A7S II is more a refinement of the original A7S. New and noteworthy features for photographers are the redesigned shutter mechanism, five axis IBIS sensor stabilisation system and an improved AF system.

If I had to choose between the A7s and A7sM2, I would choose the latter for stills. Images at high ISO look even better with more detail and less noise, and features like the image stabilisation and improved noise handling make it more appealing to event and wedding photographers.

There is, however, an A7Rm2 on the market that handles noise at high ISO below 25600 almost as well and offers the advantage of a Hybrid autofocus system and about 30 million pixels more. If the ILCE-7SM2 had a similar price as the original A7s, it might be a worthwhile investment for those few times when you’d prefer the A7s II. But as things stand (and you only sparingly do video) my recommendation would be to go for the A7r II.
 
 
 
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Best quality photo export for instagram

Best quality photo export for Instagram
Introduction
Instagram is a mobile photo-sharing and social networking platform that enables its users to share pictures and videos with other users and on a variety of social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Photos used to be confined to a square shape, similar to the old Polaroid pictures, and the mobile app allows you to add a bunch of retro filters. Instagram updated its Android and iOS apps to enable native support for full-size landscape and portrait photos.

When you access your photo gallery from within the Instagram app, you’ll now see a format button above the camera roll. You can toggle this switch between square and full-size images.
The Instagram image size used to be 640px by 640px, but you can now upload pictures at a resolution of 1080px by 1080px. This to keep up with Retina and other high-resolution displays available on smartphones, tablets and laptops.
How to export your high-quality images for Instagram
These new features are great news for any pro photographer, but you need to be careful that Instagram compression doesn’t ruin your pictures. Their compression algorithm will kick in when your image size exceeds 1.6MB and 1080px, so be careful not to upload too large files.
In Adobe Lightroom, it’s easy to export your images as Jpeg via the “Export to” function.
File Settings should be set to JPEG and sRGB. If you’re not using a compression plug-in, I would also advise you to set Quality to 50.

Now you’ll need to resize your image to fit in the 1080px dimension limits set by Instagram. This resizing is done in the Image Sizing box. Set both Width and Height to 1080 pixels per inch. Lightroom export will fit your image inside these constraints, whatever the width and height of your image is.

I use a plug-in called JPEGmini that automatically compresses my images to a maximum without quality loss. It reduces the image size by up to 80% without compromising quality.
Conclusion
Now you’re all set to start uploading high quality images to Instagram. If you’d like to connect, I’m on there too: https://www.instagram.com/wim_arys_photography .

 
 
 
 
 
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How to detect dirt on my Sony A7r II sensor, and how to clean it

How to detect dirt on my Sony A7r II sensor, and how to clean it
Introduction
If you own an interchangeable lens camera, you’ll inevitably get dust and dirt particles on your sensor after a while. Whether it’s dust from the environment, oil from moving parts, fibers from a cleaning brush or even an inadvertent fingerprint, it happens to us al. You won’t notice all dust spots in every photo, though, but heavy processing will bring it out, especially in the sky. Dust is everywhere… If you use a zoom lens, you’ll suck air – and any particles in it- into the camera. So the question is not whether your sensor is dirty, it’s more when. And but when your sensor is dirty, you’re eventually going to see it in your images.
When does sensor dust become a problem
How do you detect residue or dust on a camera sensor, maybe you think that if you don’t see anything, nothing is there?
The truth is that there is always dust in the air. Dust has always been an issue, since the days of darkrooms and analog film, and you might think that digital photography is less affected by this. This statement is only partly true, as your camera sensor can look quite nasty before you realize that something is wrong.
A typical dust spot
Dust and dirt will continue to build up until you finally start noticing it in that one essential shoot that is going to make or break your career. You’ll notice this first at small apertures (f/16 to f/22) like when you’re shooting outside on a bright day.
Removing Dust spots
Each modern photo editing program now can remove dust and tiny spots by cloning another piece of the picture on that location. If you find yourself with a series of images with the same dust spots, modern image editing programs offer the ability to touch up simultaneously a series of photos.
Spot Removal in Lightroom
You select a series of pictures, use the clone stamp or healing brush on one image and then synchronize all the selected photos. All selected photos will now have the carbon retouch performed.
How to detect dirt on your camera sensor
The easiest way to find dust spots on your sensor is with a wide-angle lens. More light hits the camera sensor. Hence, it’s easier to find dust spots. Though if your lens suffers from heavy vignetting, it might be harder to find dust spots at the frame edge. You can use either Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom though Lightroom is way more efficient.
Dusty sensor detection, first a photo of a white sheet of paper
Photoshop recipe for dust sensor-check

Turn the camera on aperture priority (A) and choose the smallest possible aperture (f/22).
Choose RAW or JPG in the highest resolution and adjust the white balance to artificial light.
Set ISO to 100.
Set to manual focus, and focus at the shortest possible distance.
Take a picture of a piece of white paper, more or less evenly lit.
It’s not necessary to have a sharp image, in fact, blurry is better.
Open your image in Photoshop, and set to 100%.
Increase the contrast, for example through the levels panel, this will make it easier to recognize dirt on the sensor.

Lightroom dust Sensor test
Visualize Spots in Lightroom is the easiest way to detect dirt and dust on your sensor

Take a picture in the same way as in the Photoshop recipe.
Import the image in a Lightroom,
go to the Develop menu and choose the healing brush (below the histogram)
Left-click below the picture on ‘Visualize Spots’. With the slider next to the box, you can adjust the sensitivity by using the slider next to the check box.

A clear view of all the dust particles on my Sony A7r II
Types of dust and how to clean them
The Sony A7r II and many other cameras have an auto clean mode. You’ll find it on page 3 of the last Menu called SETUP. It’s a good idea to do this regularly to avoid dust buildup.

Confirm that the battery has been charged sufficiently.
MENU → (Setup) → [Cleaning Mode] → [Enter]
Turn off the camera
Detach the lens.
Use the blower to clean the image sensor surface and the surrounding area, with the sensor compartment pointing down.

This cleaning gets rid of small dust particles that haven’t attached to the sensor. After a while, you’ll find that heat and humidity make dust particles stick to the sensor surface.
Sony advises you to send the camera for a sensor cleaning to a service center, and this is honestly the best course of action. If anything goes wrong during the wet cleaning process, you are not covered under warranty! Replacing a sensor or a sensor glass cover is very expensive.
If you would like to attempt a cleaning yourself anyway, never use a sensor stick or Lenspen on a Sony A7rM2. The material that makes the dust stick to the pen, often wind up on your sensor. This will make your problems worse, not better.
Eclipse Sensor Solution
Sony service uses [easyazon_link keywords=”Eclipse Sensor Solution” locale=”US” tag=”wimarysdigitc-20″]Eclipse Sensor Solution[/easyazon_link] to wet clean Sensors. Eclipse is the highest purity lens cleaner available. It contains less than five parts per million (ppm) of contamination that is the whitish residue left after evaporation. It dries as quickly as it can be applied leaving absolutely no residue, making it the only recommended cleaner for CCD and CMOS sensor. You’ll also need [easyazon_link keywords=”swabs for a full frame sensor” locale=”US” tag=”wimarysdigitc-20″]swabs for a full frame sensor[/easyazon_link]. These swabs come Vacuum packed, either with cloth pre-applied or with separate cloth pieces that you need to apply to the swab.
Full Frame sensor swabs
Since the Sony A7rM2 sensor uses a 5-Axis Stabilization system, you’ll need to be very careful in order not to damage the stabilization system.

Apply one drop of the Eclipse sensor solution to both sides of the sensor swab.
Sweep across the sensor with one side of the swab once without applying pressure, and again with the other side of the swab.
Use a sensor loupe to check your work
Repeat this procedure with a new swab if there is still dust visible on the sensor.
After three tries, if you still see dust, I would strongly advise you to get a professional to do this for you. Different types of dust or residue often need different chemical solutions, and a Pro will know exactly what is required.

Not dust, but a dead Pixel, hot pixel or stuck pixel?
Dead Pixels
A dead pixel is a permanently damaged pixel that does not receive any power. This results in a black spot. All sensors have dead pixels, and more will pop-up over time. Your Sony A7r II automatically scans for these dead pixels monthly and remaps them for you. If you find any dead pixels, a trick is to set the date of your camera forward by one month. You’ll see that the dead pixel is gone.
Stuck Pixels
Stuck pixels always receive power, which results in a colored pixel that shows up when you zoom into pixel level. The colors can be red, green, blue or any combination of these colors. Unlike dead pixels, stuck pixels do not change their color from picture to picture. Stuck pixels are very common, but not permanent like dead pixels and most disappear over time.
Hot Pixels
Hot pixels appear when the camera sensor gets hot during long exposures. Hot pixels are very normal, and they will show up even on brand new cameras, although Sony do their best to map hot pixels out. Most RAW developers can detect hot pixels and filter them out by guessing the RGB value of that pixel by comparing it to adjacent pixels.
 
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Sony RX10 II setup, tips and tricks

Sony RX10 II setup, tips, and tricks
Introduction
The Sony DSC-RX10 II is the best bridge camera currently available. It features a unique 1″ type stacked 20MP CMOS sensor, 4K video recording, and improved readout speed thanks to a new DRAM chip. The body design and lens specs remain in line with the RX10, including a Zeiss-branded 24-200mm equivalent F2.8 lens.
Other new features include a 40x super slow motion video mode at 960fps, an Anti-Distortion Shutter mode up to 1/32,000sec and a new 2.35 million dot XGA OLED viewfinder. Continuous shooting is boosted to 14 fps. As in the RX10, Wi-Fi and NFC are also built-in.
Although this is a relatively easy camera to use, it is still very customizable, and this might seem daunting at first. No worries, I’ve assembled a guide to the most important functions of the Sony DSC-RX10 M2, including some tips and tricks. First things fist: setting up your camera for your use and getting to know the MENU system.
Diving into the MENU system
When you switch on your camera, you’ll be asked to enter a date, time, and timezone. This setting is necessary, as all images captured will have a timestamp, making it easy to find your beloved pictures in the future.
After this is setup, press the MENU button. You’ll see a range of icons and pages.
We’ll start at page 1 of the camera Icon (this menu is called camera settings).
(MENU → Camera Settings → page 1)
 

Image size:
Large, medium or small is selectable (when you set Quality to jpeg). Set it to large for optimal quality, if SD card space is an issue, you can set it to Small.
Aspect ratio:
You can choose 3:2 (which uses the full sensor surface) or 16:9 (crop but a more broad view). Leave as is at 3:2, you can always crop your pictures later.
Quality:
Do you edit your pictures on your desktop? If so, set to RAW or RAW+jpeg. A RAW file saves all information the camera pixels register during shooting and will make for better quality images if you want to edit in something like Adobe Lightroom.
A jpeg is a compressed image (available in FINE (larger) and STANDARD (smaller, less quality) which takes up less space on your SD card but is less suited for editing afterward. Jpeg images will also have in-camera noise reduction applied, something you might or might not want to take care of yourself later, depending on your use.
Image Size (Dual Rec)
You can set the size of still images shot while recording a movie. Very cool feature.
When Record Setting is set to anything other than VGA, L (or Large) will save 17 Mb images, S (or small) will keep 4,2 Mb pictures.
When Record Setting is set to VGA, Large will keep 13mb pictures, small will render 3,2 Mb pictures.
In either case, If you want to print images up to A3 format, select large.
Quality (Dual Rec)

Selects the quality of still images to be shot while recording movies. Extra Fine, Fine or Standard are selectable. With the low prices of SD cards on the market, and the relatively small size of Jpeg images, it is best to go for the highest quality Extra Fine setting.

(MENU → Camera Settings → page 2)

File Format (video)
XAVC S records high-definition movies such as 4K by converting them to MP4 movies using the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 codec. MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 is capable of compressing images at higher efficiency. You can record high-quality images while reducing the amount of data.
The following Movie formats are available with the RX10 M2:

XAVC S 4K: Records high-definition movies in XAVC S 4K. This format supports a higher bit rate. Audio is recorded in the LPCM format. Bit-rate is approx. 100 Mbps or approx. 60 Mbps Records movies in 4K resolution (3840×2160).
XAVC S HD: Records high-definition movies in XAVC S HD. This format supports a higher bit rate. Audio is recorded in the LPCM format. Bit-rate is approx. 100 Mbps, Approx. 60 Mbps, or Approx. 50 Mbps Records a more vivid movie compared to AVCHD with increased amounts of information.
AVCHD: Records HD movies in AVCHD format. This file format is suitable for high-definition TV. Audio is recorded in the Dolby Digital format. Bit-rate is approx. 28 Mbps (Maximum), Approx. 24 Mbps (Maximum) or Approx. 17 Mbps (Average) The AVCHD format has a high degree of compatibility with storage devices other than computers.

Notes:

In order to record movies with File Format set to XAVC S 4K, an SDXC memory card with a capacity of 64 GB or more (SD Speed Class 10) is needed.
Display] is temporarily set Off when File Format is set to XAVC S 4K . Images will not appear on the monitor when you record movies while the camera is connected to an HDMI device when set to XAVC S 4K.
Smile/Face Detect and Center Lock-on AF are temporarily set to Off when the camera is connected to an HDMI device when set to XAVC S 4K.
Even if the camera is connected to an HDMI device, images will not be displayed on that device while movie recording is in progress.
When File Forma is set to AVCHD, the file size of movies is limited to approx. 2 GB. If the movie file size reaches approx. 2 GB during recording, a new movie file will be created automatically.
When File Format is set to MP4, the file size of movies is limited to approx. 4 GB. If the movie file size reaches approx. 4 GB during recording, recording will stop automatically.

Record Setting
This setting selects the image size, frame rate, and image quality for movie recording. The higher the bitrate, the higher the image quality.
File Format is set to XAVC S 4K or HD
The camera records high-definition movies by converting them to MP4 file format using the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 codec.
File Format is set to AVCHD

60i/50i: Movies are recorded at approximately 60 frames/sec (for 1080 60i-compatible devices) or 50 frames/sec (for 1080 50i-compatible devices), in interlaced mode, with Dolby Digital audio, in AVCHD format.
24p/25p: Movies are recorded at approximately 24 frames/sec (for 1080 60i-compatible devices) or 25 frames/sec (for 1080 50i-compatible devices), in progressive mode, with Dolby Digital audio, in AVCHD format.
60p/50p: Movies are recorded at approximately 60 frames/sec (for 1080 60i-compatible devices) or 50 frames/sec (for 1080 50i-compatible devices), in progressive mode, with Dolby Digital audio, in AVCHD format.

When File Format is set to MP4
Movies shot are recorded in MPEG-4 format, at approximately 60 frames/sec (for 1080 60i compatible devices), approximately 50 frames/sec (for 1080 50i-compatible devices), approximately 30 frames/sec (for 1080 60i-compatible devices) or approximately 25 frames/sec (for 1080 50i-compatible devices), in progressive mode, with AAC audio, MP4 format.
Record Setting Menu options
File Format is set to XAVC S 4K

30p 100M/25p 100M: Records movies in 3840 × 2160 (30p/25p). Bit-rate: Approx. 100 Mbps.
30p 60M/25p 60M: Records movies in 3840 × 2160 (30p/25p). Bit-rate: Approx. 60 Mbps.
24p 100M: Records movies in 3840 × 2160 (24p). This produces a cinema-like atmosphere. Bit-rate: Approx. 100 Mbps.
24p 60M*: Records movies in 3840 × 2160 (24p). This produces a cinema-like atmosphere. Bit-rate: Approx. 60 Mbps.

File Format is set to XAVC S HD

60p 50M/50p 50M: Records movies in 1920 × 1080 (60p/50p). Bit-rate: Approx. 50 Mbps
30p 50M/25p 50M: Records movies in 1920 × 1080 (30p/25p). Bit-rate: Approx. 50 Mbps
24p 50M: Records the movies in 1920 × 1080 (24p). This produces a cinema-like atmosphere. Bit-rate: Approx. 50 Mbps
120p 100M/100p 100M: Records 1920 × 1080 (120p/100p) size movies at a high speed. Movies can be recorded at 120 fps/100 fps.
120p 60M/100p 60M: Records 1920 × 1080 (120p/100p) size movies at a high speed. Movies can be recorded at 120 fps/100 fps.

File Format is set to AVCHD

60i 24M(FX) and 50i 24M(FX): Records movies in 1920 × 1080 (60i/50i). Max Bit-rate: 24 Mbps.
60i 17M(FH) and 50i 17M(FH): Records movies in 1920 × 1080 (60i/50i). Bit-rate: Averages Approx. 17 Mbps.
60p 28M(PS) and 50p 28M(PS): Records movies in 1920 × 1080 (60p/50p). Max Bit-rate: 28 Mbps.
24p 24M(FX) and 25p 24M(FX): Records movies in 1920 × 1080 (24p/25p). Max Bit-rate24 Mbps.
24p 17M(FH) and 25p 17M(FH): Records movies in 1920 × 1080 (24p/25p).

Tip: use 24 or 25p for a cinema-like atmosphere.
File Format is set to MP4

1920×1080 60p 28M/1920×1080 50p 28M: Records the movies in 1920×1080 (60p/50p). Bit-rate: Approx. average 28 Mbps.
1920×1080 30p 16M/1920×1080 25p 16M: Records the movies in 1920×1080 (30p/25p). Bit-rate: Approx. average 16 Mbps.
1280×720 30p 6M/1280×720 25p 6M: Records small file size movies in 1280×720 (30p/25p). Bit-rate: Approx. average 6 Mbps.

Note: 120p and 100p cannot be selected when in Intelligent Auto, Superior Auto orScene Selection.
Dual Video Rec
Dual Video Rec actually allows you to Allows you to simultaneously record an XAVC S movie and an MP4 movie, or an AVCHD movie and an MP4 movie. Settings are either ON or OFF.
You can also capture still images while recording movies without stopping. Simply start recording with the Movie button, and press the shutter to take still images. The message Capture will appear on the screen. You can select the image size and quality of the stills in the Quality Dual Rec Menu.
HFR settings
You can select 4 different exposure mode for High Frame Rate (HFR) shooting based on the subject and effect you want. Program Auto, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority or Manual Exposure are available.
Panorama Size
(when in panorama shooting mode) Size is selectable between standard and wide. Wide means your picture will cover a larger area. Set it to standard, having to scan an even broader area when making panoramas will take some experience with the camera to do efficiently.
Panorama Direction
A panorama picture (only available in jpeg) is a composite of several images stitched together. When in this mode, you’ll see an arrow that guides you in what direction and speed you should pan the camera to take the sequential images that will be stitched together. You can choose the path in this menu (either, up, down, left or right).
(MENU → Camera Settings → page 3)

Drive Mode
Drive Mode depicts the what action the camera will take when pressing the shutter. Keep in mind that when you’re Scene Selection or Sports Action mode, Single Shooting can not be engaged.
These are the available modes:
Single Shooting
Shoots a single still image when pressing the shutter button.

Cont. Shooting
Shoots images continuously while you press and hold down the shutter button. Continuous Shooting Mode is available when you’re in Speed Panorama, Scene Selection, Auto HDR and Smile shutter.

Spd Priority Cont.
Shoots images continuously at high speed while you press and hold down the shutter button. In Speed Priority Continuous, the focus is fixed when you half-press the shutter button. However, the exposure value is adjusted for each image. By getting AEL w/ shutter in the Menu OFF, this exposure adjustment per frame is disabled.
Self-timer
Self Timer shoots an image using the self-timer after a designated number of seconds have elapsed since the shutter button was pressed. Can be set to either 2, 5 or 10 seconds.
Self-timer(Cont)
Shoots a designated number of images using the self-timer after a designated number of seconds have elapsed since the shutter button was pressed.
Self time Cont. Takes a series of images with a timer function.
You have a choice between:

10-second timer and three consecutive images.
10-second timer with five consecutive images.
5-second timer with three consecutive images.
5-second timer with five consecutive images.
2-second timer with three consecutive images.
2-second timer with five consecutive images.

Cont. Bracket
Cont. Bracket: the camera takes a series of images with different exposures continuously.
Shoots images while holding the shutter button down, each with different degrees of brightness. The last shot in the series is the one shown on the screen. When the flash is used, the product performs flash bracket shooting, which shifts the amount of flash light even if Cont. Bracket is selected. Bracket shooting is unavailable in Intelligent Auto, Superior Auto, Scene Selection, or Sweep Panorama. When ISO AUTO is chosen in Manual Exposure mode, the exposure is changed by adjusting the ISO value. If a setting other than ISO AUTO is selected, the exposure is changed by changing the shutter speed.
You can choose between:

3 consecutive images with an exposure value shifted by plus or minus 0.3 EV
5 consecutive images with an exposure value shifted by plus or minus 0.3 EV
9 consecutive images with an exposure value shifted by plus or minus 0.3 EV
3 consecutive images with an exposure value shifted by plus or minus 0.7 EV
5 consecutive images with an exposure value shifted by plus or minus 0.7 EV
9 consecutive images with an exposure value shifted by plus or minus 0.7 EV
3 consecutive images with an exposure value shifted by plus or minus 1.0 EV
5 consecutive images with an exposure value shifted by plus or minus 1.0 EV
9 consecutive images with an exposure value shifted by plus or minus 1.0 EV
3 consecutive images with an exposure value shifted by plus or minus 2.0 EV
5 consecutive images with an exposure value shifted by plus or minus 2.0 EV
3 consecutive images with an exposure value shifted by plus or minus 3.0 EV
5 consecutive images with an exposure value shifted by plus or minus 3.0 EV

Single Bracket
Cont. Bracket: the camera takes a series of images with different exposures once.
Shoots a specified number of images, one by one, each with a different degree of brightness.
Same choices as Cont. Bracket. The difference is that the sequence will fire only once here.
WB bracket

Shoots a total of three images, each with different color tones according to the selected settings for white balance, color temperature and color filter.

White Balance Bracket: Lo records a series of three images with small changes in the white balance.
White Balance Bracket: Hi records a series of three images with significant changes in the white balance.

DRO Bracket

Shoots a total of three images, each at a different degree of D-Range Optimizer.

DRO Bracket: Lo records a series of three images with small changes in the D-Range Optimizer value.
DRO Bracket: Hi records a series of three images with significant changes in the D-Range Optimizer value.

Bracket Settings
You can set the self-timer in bracket shooting mode, and the shooting order for exposure bracketing and white balance bracketing in these settings.

Self Timer during Brkt: Sets whether to use the self-timer during bracket shooting. Also establishes the number of seconds until the shutter is released if using the self-timer.
Bracket order: Sets the order of exposure bracketing and white balance bracketing.

Flash Mode
Different flash techniques can create some unique and interesting images. The default setting depends on the shooting mode, and some shooting modes don’t have all flash modes available. Another limitation is that the Wireless option cannot be used with the internal flash.
These are the Flash modes available on the RX10 II:

Flash Off: The flash does not operate.
Autoflash: The Flash works in dark environments or when shooting towards bright light.
Fill-flash: The flash works every time you trigger the shutter.
Slow Sync.: The flash works every time you trigger the shutter. Slow sync shooting allows you to shoot a clear image of both the subject and the background by slowing the shutter speed.
Rear Sync.: The flash works right before the exposure is completed every time you trigger the shutter. Rear sync shooting allows you to shoot a natural image of the trail of a moving subject such as a moving car or a walking person.
Wireless: When using a wireless flash, the shading effect provides a more 3D appearance to a subject than when using an attached flash. This mode is effective when you attach a remote control-compatible external flash to the camera, and shoot with a wireless flash (sold separately), placed away from the camera.

Slow Sync. uses a slower sync speed for a good exposure of both subject and background.

Flash Compensation
Flash compensation changes the amount of flash light only. If you use Exposure compensation, this will changes both the amount of flash light along with the change of the shutter speed and aperture. Flash Compensation does not work when the shooting mode is set to Intelligent Auto, Superior Auto, [Sweep Panorama or Scene Selection.
Red Eye Reduction
Set either ON or OFF. When enabled, the flash will pre-fire once or twice to reduce the commonly know red-eye problem in photos.
(MENU → Camera Settings → page 4)

Focus Area
The settings here apply to both Still Image Shooting and Movies. The different Focus Modes are one of the most significant tweaks one can do. The factory settings of a camera always intend to cover a broad range of shooting styles, but you’ll often find that a few tweaks here and there can iprove performance greatly for your particular style of shooting.
The following modes are available:

Wide: Focuses automatically on a subject in all ranges of the image. Wide uses all available on-sensor Phase and contrast detect points. It’s useful for a broad variety of shooting styles, but might not always focus on exactly what you want. When you press the shutter button halfway down in still image shooting mode, a green square is displayed around the area that is in focus.
Center: Focuses automatically on a subject in the center of the picture. It’s the most fundamental Focus area mode, and on a recent Sony Camera, it’s better to use the more advanced Expand Flexible spot.
Flexible Spot: Allows you to move the AF range frame to the desired point on the screen and focus on an extremely small subject in a narrow area.
Expand Flexible Spot: If the product fails to focus on the single selected point, it uses the focus points around the flexible spot as the second priority area to achieve focus.
Lock-on AF: When the shutter button is pressed and held halfway down, the product tracks the subject within the selected autofocus area. Point the cursor to Lock-on AF on the Focus Area setting screen, then select the desired tracking start area using the left/right sides of the control wheel. You can move the tracking start area to the desired point by designating the area to be the flexible spot or expand flexible spot. Only selectable when in Continuous AF mode.

AF Illuminator
Only used in Still Shooting. The AF illuminator supplies a red beam of light to focus more easily on a subject in low light situations. The red AF illuminator allows the product to focus quickly when the shutter button is pressed halfway, until the focus is locked. Set to Auto (On) or Off.
You cannot use AF illuminator in movie mode, in Sweep Panorama, when Focus Mode is set to Cont. AF, or when Scene Selection is in Landscape, Sport, or Night Scene.
Exposure Comp
You can adjust the exposure in a range of –3.0EV to +3.0EV when the exposure compensation dial is set to zero. Based on the exposure value set by auto exposure, you can make the entire image brighter or darker (i.e. for Low Key Photography) if you adjust Exposure Compensation.
For Movies, you can adjust the exposure in a range of –2.0 EV to +2.0 EV.
When the exposure compensation dial is set to other than “0," settings for the exposure compensation dial will be prioritized. For example, if you set Exposure Comp. to +3.0EV, but the exposure compensation dial is configured to +2.0EV, the “+2.0EV" setting will be prioritized.
When you use Manual Exposure, you can compensate for the exposure only when ISO is set to ISO AUTO.
ISO Auto
Sensitivity to light is expressed by the ISO number. The larger the number, the higher the sensitivity. You can change the automatically set ISO sensitivity range for the ISO AUTO mode. Select ISO AUTO and press the right side of the control wheel, and set the desired values for ISO AUTO Maximum and ISO AUTO Minimum.
ISO settings are also available through the Fn button and Menu. A Quick way of changing many of the most used camera settings.
ISO Auto Min. SS
This is another important setting if you want to get the most out of your camera. If you select ISO AUTO when the shooting mode is P (Program Auto) or A (Aperture Priority), you can set the shutter speed at which the ISO sensitivity starts changing. This function is very practical for shooting moving subjects. You can minimize subject blurring while also preventing camera shake.
Available settings:

FASTER (Faster)/FAST (Fast): The ISO sensitivity will start to change at shutter speeds faster than the Standard setting so that you can prevent camera shake and subject blurring.
STD (Standard): The camera automatically sets the shutter speed based on the focal length of the lens.
SLOW (Slow)/SLOWER (Slower): The ISO sensitivity will start to change at shutter speeds slower than the Standard setting, so you can shoot images with less noise.
1/32000―30″: The ISO sensitivity begins to change at the shutter speed you have set.

The difference in shutter speed at which ISO sensitivity starts to change between Faster, Fast, Standard, Slow, and Slower is 1 EV. Remember that when using a flash, this setting might not function as set.
(MENU → Camera Settings → page 5)

ND Filter
The Sony RX10 II has a built-in ND filter that reduces lit hitting the sensor by about three stops. You can slow down the shutter speed and decrease the aperture value for a better exposure. Also ideal for shooting at large apertures in bright daylight (for a better subject-background separation) or for special effects like cloud streaks, milky waterfalls, and misty seascapes.
Settings available are:

Auto: Automatically turns on the ND filter based on the shooting mode and brightness.
On: Always uses the electronic ND Filter.
Off: Disables the ND Filter.

Metering Mode
Metering mode refers to the way the camera reads the light and sets the exposure.
In multi, it considers the whole frame and sets exposure according to internal algorithms programmed in camera.
Multi metering mode
In spot or center, the camera only considers what is in that spot or the center (per example, if your subject is completely black, the camera will try to compensate by overexposing the image).
Center Metering Mode
Spot Metering Mode
 
White Balance
You can either set the white balance to Auto, where the camera tries to guess what the neutral grey value is, use one of the preset white balance settings for different lighting conditions or customise the white balance according to your preference or using a grey card.
Daylight White Ballance
DRO/Auto HDR
DRO:
This stands for Dynamic range optimize and analyzes the contrast of your scene in real-time. It produces an image with optimal brightness and recovered shadow detail. You can use this function even while the subject is moving or during the continuous shooting.
Auto HDR:
(not available for RAW captures) This feature shoots 3 images with different exposures and then overlays the bright area of the under exposed image and the dark area of the over exposed image to create an image with an extended range from highlight to shadow.
The highlight detail in auto HDR is better than that in DRO and with reduced noise. The shutter is released three times, so using this function for moving subjects is not recommended.
Creative Style

The Sony creative styles can best be explained as being film emulations (as it some other camera manufacturers implement this). There are a range of styles available from vivid colour to black and white. If you’re shooting RAW, these styles are embedded, but can always be zeroed after importing them to you RAW editor of choice. Jpegs are saved with this styling applied. It is always useful to try some of these, and can be a real bost for your creativity, as you will notice that you make different images in say black-and-white as opposed to colour.
Picture Effect
Think of this menu as an Instagram app right in your camera, with all kinds of retro filters and effects. These are only available when quality is set to Jpeg (Not in RAW).
(MENU → Camera Settings → page 6)

Picture Profile

Picture Profile is a menu for adjusting and changing parameters that determine an image’s characteristics. There are many parameters that can be adjusted, but they can be grouped into four types:
Parameters for selecting basic contrast and color tone.

The basic contrast and coloring are defined by the combination of [Gamma] (gamma curve) and [Color Mode] (color characteristics) settings.
Gamma

Movie
Standard gamma curve for video

Still
Standard gamma curve for still images

Cine1
Softens the contrast in darker image areas and emphasizes gradation changes in lighter image areas, producing a subdued tone overall (equivalent to HG4609G33)

Cine2
Similar results to [Cine1] but optimized for editing with up to 100% video signal (equivalent to HG4600G30)

Cine3
Stronger contrast between dark and light image areas and greater emphasis on black gradation changes (compared to [Cine1] and [Cine2])

Cine4
Stronger contrast than [Cine3] in darker image areas; compared to [Movie], has less contrast in darker image areas and more contrast in lighter image areas

ITU709
ITU709 gamma curve (low-light gain of 4.5)

ITU709 (800%)
Gamma curve for checking scenes recorded using [S-Log2]

S-Log2
Gamma curve for [S-Log2]. This setting is selected when some grading work will be performed after recording.

Color Mode

Movie
Color tones for [Movie] gamma curve

Still
Color tones for [Still] gamma curve

Cinema
Color tones for [Cine1] gamma curve

Pro
Color tones similar to standard Sony broadcast camera image quality (used in combination with [ITU709] gamma curve)

ITU709 Matrix
ITU709 color tones (used in conjunction with [ITU709] gamma curve)

Black & White
Sets the saturation to 0 for recording in black and white

S-Gamut
Setting based on the assumption that some grading work will be performed after recording. Used when [Gamma] is set to [S-Log2].

S-Gamut is a color space unique to Sony that provides a wide color space equivalent to film cameras. However, the S-Gamut setting on this camera does not support the whole color space of S-Gamut; it is intended to achieve color reproduction equivalent to S-Gamut.

Parameters for adjusting gradation (darkness-brightness tone)

Black Level
This function adjusts the black level of the image.

Parameters
Settings

Black Level
–15 to +15

As an image effect, you can emphasize the color black to create an image that gives a powerful impression, or you can weaken black to give the image a soft impression. Shifting Black Level in the minus direction emphasizes the black color in the image while changing the level in the plus direction weakens the black color.
If you want to simulate an old film or capture winter morning fog, the black level value should be increased. If you decrease the value, gradations in dark areas will be smoothed out, making the areas appear in crisp black.
When using multiple fixed cameras to shoot the same subject from different angles, the balance between subject and background often varies. This balance variation may cause the black color in the subject to appear different when cameras are switched. However, this is an optical illusion. If it occurs, you can correct it by adjusting Black Level to make the black color look the same.

Black Gamma
This function lets you alter the shape of the selected gamma curve and adjust gradations in dark image areas.

Parameters
Settings

Black Gamma > Range
Wide / Middle / Narrow

Black Gamma > Level
–7 to +7

[Range] controls the luminance range that Black Gamma influences. The [Narrow] setting keeps the field close to black while the [Wide] setting extends the range to gray. [Range] should be set narrower when you want to control the quality of dark areas. If you wish to adjust the overall image tone, [Range] should be set wider. At first, it may be a good idea to start from the [Narrow] setting.

Increasing the [Level] value brightens the image, whereas decreasing the value makes the image darker. For example, if you set [Range] to [Narrow] and reduce the [Level] value, you can create an image with dark areas that are similar to the ones seen in films. Unlike Black Level, Black Gamma Level adjusts luminance subtly.

Knee
This function sets the knee point and slope for video signal compression to prevent over-exposure by limiting signals in high-intensity areas of the subject to the dynamic range of your camera.
First, select whether to set the knee point and slope automatically or manually in [Mode], and then adjust each setting.

Parameters
Settings

Knee > Mode
Auto / Manual

Knee > Auto Set > Max Point
90% to 100%

Knee > Auto Set > Sensitivity
High / Mid / Low

Knee > Manual Set > Point
75% to 105%

Knee > Manual Set > Slope
–5 to +5

Mode

Auto:
Automatically adjusts the knee based on what is selected in the following configuration (when [Movie] or [ITU709] is selected in [Gamma]).

[Max Point] determines the maximum knee point level (white level). The knee slope is automatically adjusted according to the Max Point setting. The standard is to keep it at 100%. A lower setting will turn white grayish while a higher setting will discard gradations in high luminance areas.
[Sensitivity] changes the luminance level at which the knee’s automatic adjustment starts. When set to [Low], the knee’s automatic adjustment starts at lower input signal levels than normal. When set to [High], the knee’s automatic adjustment starts at higher input signal levels than normal.
When a parameter other than [Movie] or [ITU709] is selected in [Gamma], the gamma curve will not exceed the White clip point and over-exposure rarely occurs. When [Mode] is set to [Auto] with these settings, the Knee function is disabled. If you want to enable the Knee function, set [Mode] to [Manual].

Manual:
Sticks to settings based on the following selections.

[Point] establishes the position of the knee point output level.
[Slope] determines the inclination of the knee slope.
A negative slope setting results in a gentler knee slope angle. This expands the dynamic range but reduces the ability to produce rich gradations. A positive slope setting makes the knee slope inclination steeper. This shrinks the dynamic range but bolsters the capacity to express gradations. When [Slope] is set to +5, the Knee function is disabled.
Set [Point] and [Slope] in [Manual Set] in combination. If you select a higher setting for [Point] and a gentler setting for [Slope], you can obtain video-like sharp highlight effects. If softer film-like highlight effects are desired, select a lower setting for [Point] and a steeper setting for [Slope]. In practical terms, move [Point] and [Slope] up and down in opposite directions while checking the gradations in high luminance areas until you find the ideal settings.

Parameters for adjusting coloring

Saturation
This function adjusts the color saturation.

Parameters
Settings

Saturation
–32 (fainter in color) to +32 (richer in color)

A positive value results in more vivid colors while a negative value presents faded colors. Saturation must be adjusted in tandem with contrast. Bright and vivid settings produce video-like images while dark and vivid settings result in film-like images. The combination of bright and light creates pastel tones, whereas dark and light settings, create artistic finishes.

Color Phase
This function adjusts the color hue.

Parameters
Settings

Color Phase
–7 (Greenish) to +7 (Reddish)

As you rotate the color wheel to the left (decreasing the set value) or to the right (increasing the set value), the colors shift along the spectrum from red to yellow, green, cyan, blue, magenta and red. Because this affects all colors, it is difficult to make specific adjustments exactly as intended. Use this function when matching coloring closely between different cameras.

Color Depth
This function adjusts the luminance for each color phase. The luminance changes more drastically when the selected color is richer (higher saturation). It does not change much at all when the color is achromatic.

Parameters
Settings

Color Depth > R
–7 to +7

Color Depth > G
–7 to +7

Color Depth > B
–7 to +7

Color Depth > C
–7 to +7

Color Depth > M
–7 to +7

Color Depth > Y
–7 to +7

A higher set value lowers luminance while deepening the color. A lower set value increases luminance, making the color look paler.
This setting doesn’t only enhance the apparent vividness of colors, but also can express deep, dark colors.
Because each of the 6 colors — R (Red), G (Green), B (Blue), C (Cyan), M (Magenta), Y (Yellow) — can be adjusted individually, you can apply this function to just the colors you want to emphasize.

Parameters for highlighting image edges
This feature changes how much detail is applied to the subject’s image sides.
Because settings other than [Level] are quite complex, we recommend you start by adjusting only the [Level] setting first.

Parameters
Settings

Detail > Level
–7 (Weak) to +7 (Strong)

Detail > Adjust > Mode
Auto / Manual

Detail > Adjust > V/H Balance
–2 (Stronger Vertical (V) detail) to +2 (Stronger Horizontal (H) detail)

Detail > Adjust > B/W Balance
Type1 (Higher proportion of black detail) to Type5 (Higher proportion of white detail)

Detail > Adjust > Limit
0 (Strongly restricted) to 7 (No restriction)

Detail > Adjust > Crispening
0 (No restriction) to 7 (Strongly restricted)

Detail > Adjust > Hi-Light Detail
0 (Smaller detail amount) to 4 (Larger detail amount)

Level
This function determines the strength of detail image processing to be applied.

If you apply too much detail, the subject’s original atmosphere may be undermined, as its translucence may be lost or it may be given an unnatural luster. Excessive detail when shooting shiny leaves, for instance, may result in the leaves looking as if they are made of plastic. It is also advisable to apply detail only modestly when shooting paintings.
Because Detail makes image edges wider, the original texture of a subject consisting of very fine lines may be lost if too much detail processing is applied. (Example: thin lace curtains)
Also, be aware that Detail may fatten up the edges of noise particles that appear under a high gain setting, and may make such particles highly noticeable. In such cases, you can adjust the amount of detail processing on the noise particles by using the [Crispening] function.
The image edges become more visible when viewed on large screens. It may be advisable to ease off on Detail if you plan to display the image on large TVs or screens.

Mode
If you want to make finer adjustments to detail, set [Mode] in [Adjust] to [Manual] and adjust the following settings.
V/H Balance
This function regulates the balance between Vertical (V) detail and Horizontal (H) detail. Vertical (V) feature boosts image edges by expanding them upward and downward. Horizontal (H) feature emphasizes image outlines by thickening them to the left and right.

The results of detail processing may appear differently depending on the TV, computer display or another type of display monitor. Adjust [V/H Balance] as needed.
To emphasize the impression of a subject that has many horizontal elements, such as a human face (with eyes and mouth), you can increase the proportion of Vertical (V) detail by lowering the setting (selecting a lower set value).

B/W Balance
This function changes the balance between the amount of black detail for low-luminance areas and the amount of white detail for high-luminance areas.

Limit
This feature restricts the amount of black detail for low-luminance areas and white detail for high-luminance areas by setting a maximum value. The maximum value cannot be set independently for black detail and white detail.

[B/W Balance] and [Limit] adjust the amount of black detail and white detail added to image edges.
Black detail adds the impressions of “power," “hardness," and “presence" to the subject. But it may bring undesirable effects because it emphasizes wrinkles and pores.
The white detail gives the subject a “clean" and “glossy" impression. You can increase the proportion of white detail and reduce that of black detail when shooting jewelry and glass objects to heighten their clarity and translucence.

Crispening
This function reduces detail that accompanies visual noise to prevent noise from being emphasized.
You can use this function when you want to apply detail processing to the subject while keeping noise as unnoticeable as possible.
Hi-Light Detail
This function adjusts the detail level for bright subjects.
You can use this to emphasize the edges of a bright subject in front of a high-luminance background.

Picture Profile presets
Supporting a broad range of adjustable settings, this camera’s Picture Profile menu allows you to change a variety of settings, such as Gamma Curve, Color, and Detail. Up to 7 sets of setting combinations can be stored in the internal memory as PP1 through PP7.

Using Picture Profile presets
The RX10 II is equipped with several Picture Profile presets as a default setting. By using these presets, you can match the image texture with other types of cameras equipped with the [Picture Profile] function, or create a picture texture that is similar to that of cinematic film.

Difference from image processing using nonlinear video editing software
Picture Profile adjusts colors and the vividness of the picture during recording. You can make similar adjustments by using nonlinear editing software after shooting. But there are the following differences.
To fit massive amounts of image data in a limited memory capacity, this camera compresses image data when recording. No matter how advanced a compression format is, any data compression inevitably deteriorates image quality somewhat. Applying sharpness, gamma curve correction and other video effects to recorded images by using nonlinear editing software worsens the image condition further by processing already deteriorated images. For example, if video compression leaves the image with reduced contrast or block noise in some areas, applying video effects often make the problems more noticeable.
Because Picture Profile processes video signals before compressing, it changes the gamma curve and corrects colors before image quality is damaged by compression. This makes it possible to carry out highly precise image adjustments while keeping the quality of the subject intact. It should also be noted that recording images with proper contrast is crucial. If image contrast in dark and bright areas is not recorded correctly, this will result in underexposed dark and overexposed white areas with no gradations. This means you cannot change image contrast properly later on with nonlinear editing software no matter how hard you try because there will be no gradations to work with.
If you intend to process your video with nonlinear editing software later, it is important that you record your image in the right way.
Nonlinear editing software is a very powerful tool, but can’t fix everything. If you adjust various settings to make sure your video is recorded in a way that matches your ideal as much as possible, you will be able to create a video that will be closer to what you have in mind with minimal processing via nonlinear editing software. It will also keep rendering time short and make video editing work more efficient.

What to do with Picture Profile
If you are working on a project with ample time for editing or a short piece, record an image that is as flat as possible to allow for many different kinds of post-production image processing and color adjustments.
If you are working on a project with a tight deadline or a long piece, on the other hand, you can dramatically reduce the amount of post-production image processing and enable highly efficient production by recording the video as close to the vision of the finished image as possible. Showing the image being recorded to the director and crew as close to the tone of the ideal finished image as possible on a display monitor will significantly boost morale on the scene, which has a significant impact on the quality of the finished work. In order to avoid the problems with nonlinear editing described in the previous section, and also to create pieces with mobility that make the most of this camera’s unique characteristics, try to fully utilize Picture Profile while recording images at the proper settings.

Focus Magnifier
When focussing manually or in DMF mode, you can set the camera to magnify a part of the screen so you can check focus. This sub menu allows you to select the part of the image that will be magnified during shooting.
Long Exposure NR
Set if you want the processing engine to apply noise reduction for images captured with a long exposure time. Leave it ON.
High ISO NR
Here you can select the amount of noise reduction applied to images with high ISO settings (when quality is set to jpeg). As Sony has rather aggressive noise reduction, I would chance it to Low. (if not, you run the risk of getting paint-like, smeared images at higher ISO values)
Center Lock-on AF
This is a very powerful autofocus feature. When turned ON, it allows you to track a subject. In iAuto mode, you can access this feature (when turned ON and camera is set to AF) by pressing the Center button of the multi-controller. You’ll see a square on your screen, then center your desired tracking subject and the camera will continue to track it, even when it exits your frame and reappears.
Object tracking
Smile/Face Detect
This is another powerful feature. It can be set to automatically detect on focus on (registered) faces and enable a function called Smile Shutter. When the latter is enabled, the camera will automatically capture an image when a smile is detected.
(MENU → Camera Settings → page 7)

Auto Dual Rec
Sets whether or not to automatically shoot still images when shooting movies. Shoots when impressive compositions, including people, are detected. This function may also record versions of the automatically shot images that have been trimmed into optimal arrangements. When a trimmed image is recorded, both the image before trimming and the cut image will be recorded.

Off: Auto Dual Rec is not performed.
On: Shoot. Frequency Low/On: Shoot. Frequency Standard/On: Shoot. Frequency High: Auto Dual Rec is carried out with the specified shooting frequency.

The positions, orientation, expressions of faces are detected in order to shoot still images with the impressive compositions. If you want to change the size or quality of still images, use Quality (Dual Rec). Even when Auto Dual Rec is set to On, you can record still images by pressing the shutter button. Not that there might be a delay in pressing the shutter button and the image actually being taken if the processor is too busy.
Soft Skin Effect
If you’re using this camera mainly for pics of friends and family, this is an excellent feature, as it will soften and smooth skin tones make you and your beloved ones look their best. (only available when quality is set to Jpeg)
Auto Obj. Framing
When enabled, the Sony RX10 M2 will automatically crop your captured image to what it deems best. Meaning it will cut the picture for a nicer composition. Only available for Jpegs, though, a nice feature if you don’t want to bother too much with the technical side of photography.
Auto Mode

Intelligent Auto: The camera shoots with automatic scene recognition. (RAW and JPEG)
Superior Auto: The camera shoots with automatic scene recognition. This mode takes clear images of dark or backlit scenes. For low-lit or backlit scenes, if necessary the camera may shoot multiple images and create a composite image, etc., to record higher quality images than in Intelligent Auto mode. (only JPEG)

Scene Selection
This is more easily controlled via the right thumb wheel when you’re in SCN mode, but you can also select the presets for different scenes (like sports or portrait) from here.
The following scenes are available: Portrait, Infant, Night Portrait, Night Scene, Backlight Portrait, Backlight, Landscape, Macro, Spotlight and Low Light.
High Frame Rate
You can select the exposure mode for HFR shooting based on the subject and effect you want. These are available:

Program Auto
Aperture Priority
Shutter Priority
Manual Exposure

(MENU → Camera Settings → page 8)
 
(MENU → Camera Settings → page 9)

Audio Rec. Level
You can adjust the audio recording level while checking the level meter. Regardless of the [Audio Rec Level] settings, the limiter always operates. Audio Rec Level is available only when the shooting mode is set to Movie. The Audio Rec Level settings are applied for both the internal microphone and the Microphone terminal input.
+: Turns up the audio recording level.

−: Turns down the sound recording level.

Audio Out Timing
When using headphones, you can set echo cancelation while shooting.

Live (default setting): Outputs audio without delay when recording movies. Select this setting when an audio deviation is a problem during sound monitoring.
Lip Sync: Outputs video and audio in sync when recording movies. Select this setting to prevent undesirable variations between video and audio.

Wind Noise Reduct.
This helps reduce noise from the wind during video recording. Set to ON.
Memory Recall
Allows you to shoot an image after recalling often-used modes or camera settings registered in advance. Register shooting settings in advance by using the Memory function. If you set Memory recall after completing the shooting settings, the registered settings are given priority and the original settings may become invalid.
Memory
Allows you to register up to 3 often-used modes or product settings in the product. You can recall the settings using just the mode dial.

Set the product to the setting you want to register.
MENU → (Camera Settings) → [Memory] → desired number.

Items that can be registered:

Shooting mode
Shutter speed
Camera Settings
Optical zoom scale

To recall registered settings:
Set the mode dial to MR, then press the right/left side of the control wheel or turn the control wheel to select the desired memory number.
To change registered settings:
Amend the setting to the desired one and re-register the setting to the same mode number.
Movie
You can adjust the shutter speed or aperture value to your desired settings for recording movies. You can also check the image angle before shooting. When you adjust the aperture using the aperture ring while recording a movie, set the Aperture Click Switch to OFF. If you change the aperture value while shooting a movie with the Aperture Click Switch set to ON, the sound of the aperture ring will be recorded.
Settings:

Program Auto: Allows you to shoot with the exposure adjusted automatically (both the shutter speed and the aperture value).
Aperture Priority: Allows you to shoot after adjusting the aperture value manually.
Shutter Priority: Allows you to shoot after adjusting the shutter speed manually.
Manual Exposure: Allows you to shoot after adjusting the exposure (both the shutter speed and the aperture value) manually.

SteadyShot (stills)
Sets whether or not to use the SteadyShot function in still photography. The SteadyShot functionality will give you about two stops advantage, reducing camera shake.
SteadyShot (movie)
Sets whether or not to use the SteadyShot function while recording video. The SteadyShot functionality will give you about two stops advantage, reducing camera shake.
Color Space
You can choose between Standard and Adobe RGB. If you don’t know what this means, leave it to standard. If you do, you’ll probably set it to Adobe RGB since it has an extended color range (useful for post-processing).
Auto Slow Shutter
This function allows you to slow the shutter speed down to 1/30 of a second. When the Auto Slow Shutter feature is turned on, it helps in reducing the amount of video noise that is recorded when shooting in dark areas.
Audio Recording
Sets whether to record sounds when shooting movies. On records audio in stereo, Off does not record any sound.
(MENU → Custom settings (wheel) → page 1)

Zebra
The zebra function shows a zebra pattern on screen while shooting in any area that is in danger of highlight clipping. You can switch this OFF or anywhere in a range between 70 and 100.The Zebra Pattern is a highlight warning indicator that is common in video cameras. It does not control exposure but just warns you that your highlights are blown out. It is not recorded into the resulting image.I have it set halfway at around 75 and it is a very useful indication of correct exposure of the full image. As I capture in RAW, I am very careful not to have any highlight clipping, in order to be able to possibly fully recover highlights in Lightroom.
MF Assist
This works in conjunction with the Focus Magnifier on Page 5 of the camera settings. You might remember that you can select the area to magnify there when using manual focus (MF). MF assist will need to be turned ON if you want to use this feature.
Focus Magnif. Time
You can set how long to hold the magnified area during MF assist. 2 sec, 5 seconds or no limit. 2 seconds is how I have it set up.
Grid Line
Having a grid line on you screen is a helpful aide for the composition of your image.
The human brain is hard-wired to recognize the structure and most people find a well-composed image more eye-pleasing.
During the course of photography history, rules have been developed on how to best compose the different elements within a scene. Many landscapes you’ll see have the horizon run through the middle of the image for instance, but this is just composition at its simplest form. Many photographers with a broad understanding of these techniques go far beyond that.
A good starting point is using the in-camera grid to make your brain aware of the possibilities in composition.
The Rules of 3rds, Square and Diag +square are available
Marker Display (video)
Sets whether or not to display markers set using Marker Settings on the monitor while shooting movies. Set to ON or OFF.
Marker Settings (video)
Sets the markers to be displayed while shooting movies.
Available markers:

Center: Sets whether or not to show the center marker in the center of the shooting screen. Off / On.
Aspect: Sets the aspect marker display. Off / 4:3 / 13:9 / 14:9 / 15:9 / 1.66:1 / 1.85:1 / 2.35:1.
Safety Zone: Sets the safety zone display. This becomes the standard range that can be received by a general household TV. Off / 80% / 90%.
Guideframe: Sets whether or not to display the guide frame. You can verify whether the subject is level or perpendicular to the ground.

(MENU → Custom settings (wheel) → page 2)

Audio Level Display
Sets whether to display the audio level on the screen. ON or OFF.
Auto Review
You can check the recorded image on the screen right after the shooting. You can also set the display time for Auto Review:
10 Sec/5 Sec/2 Sec: Displays the registered image on the screen right after shooting for the selected duration of time.
If you perform a magnifying operation during Auto Review, you can check that image using the magnified scale
DISP Button
Finder:
Allows you to set the screen display modes that can be selected for the viewfinder using Display Setting in shooting mode.
Menu Item Details:

Graphic Display: Shows basic shooting information. Graphically shows the shutter speed and aperture value.
Display All Info.: Shows recording information.
No Disp. Info.: Does not show recording information.
Histogram: Displays the luminance distribution graphically.
Level: Indicates whether the product is level in both the horizontal and front-back directions. When the product is level in both directions, the indicator turns to green.

Peaking Level
Peaking Level is a manual focusing aid which works when you have your camera set to MF or DMF.
You’ll see a type of noise outlining the parts of your image where the focus lies, you can set the sensitivity to high, mid or low.
Which setting is best depends on what lens you use, as with a sharper lens it can be configured to low, while more soft lenses benefit from a medium or high setting to clearly visualise what you’re focusing on.
Monitor:
Allows you to set the screen display modes that can be selected for the monitor using (Display Setting) in shooting mode.
Menu Item Details:

Graphic Display: Shows basic shooting information. Graphically shows the shutter speed and aperture value.
Display All Info.: Shows recording information.
No Disp. Info.: Does not show recording information.
Histogram: Displays the luminance distribution graphically.
Level: Indicates whether the product is level in both the horizontal and front-back directions. When the product is level in both directions, the indicator turns to green.
For viewfinder: Displays information suited for shooting with the viewfinder.

Peaking Color
You can choose the color of this Peaking between Red, white and yellow. I have it set to red, as this contrasts nicely with most scenes you capture.
Exposure Set Guide
Sets the guide displayed when exposure settings are changed on the shooting screen. Nice tool when you’re getting to know the functionality of your new camera. If you’re familiar with Sony’s feature, turn it OFF.
(MENU → Custom settings (wheel) → page 3)

Live View Display
Live view display allows you to see the image you’re going to capture with the settings you have dialled in like aperture and shutter speed. Some users report easier auto-focussing in low-light when it’s turned OFF, and you’d need to turn it off when using external flashes too that can’t be used with Sony’s TTL (through the lens) functionality.
Pre-AF
When pre-AF is set to ON, the camera will continuously focus, even without half-pressing the shutter button. This can be draining to the battery, especially when using some lenses like the Zeiss Touit range. Set it to OFF.
Zoom Speed
Sets the zoom speed of the camera’s zoom lever (and the Sony remote). Experiment with what setting you like, either Slow or Fast.
Zoom Setting
The zoom feature of the product provides a higher magnification zoom by combining various zoom features. The icon displayed on the screen changes, according to the selected zoom feature. You cannot use the Smart Zoom function with movies.

Optical zoom range: Images are magnified within the optical zoom range of this product.
Smart Zoom range: Zoom images without causing the original quality to deteriorate by partially cropping an image.
Clear Image Zoom range: Zoom images using an image process with less deterioration. Set Zoom Setting to On: ClearImage Zoom or On: Digital Zoom first.
Digital Zoom range ( ) You can magnify images using an image process. When you select [On: Digital Zoom] for [Zoom Setting], you can use this zoom function.

 
(MENU → Custom settings (wheel) → page 4)

Finder/Monitor
This setting controls the method for switching the display between Electronic Viewfinder and the screen. You can also assign this function to your preferred key.
Settings:

Auto: When you look into the Electronic Viewfinder, the display is switched to the Electronic Viewfinder automatically.
Viewfinder(Manual): The screen is turned off and the image is displayed only in the Electronic Viewfinder.
Monitor(Manual): The Electronic Viewfinder is turned off and the image is always displayed on the screen.

Release w/o Card
Sets whether the shutter can be released when no memory card has been inserted. Useful if you don’t want to get in the situation where you’re shooting without a card. Enable or Disable.
AEL w/shutter
Auto (default setting):
Fixes the exposure after adjusting the focus automatically when you press the shutter button halfway down when Focus Mode is set to Single-shot AF.
On:
Fixes the exposure when you press the shutter button halfway down.
Off:
Does not correct the exposure when you press the shutter button halfway down. Use this mode when you want to adjust focus and exposure separately.
Note: The camera keeps adjusting the exposure while shooting in Cont. Shooting or Spd Priority Cont. mode.
Note: Operation using the AEL button is prioritised over the AEL w/ shutter settings.
Shutter Type
You can set whether to shoot with a mechanical shutter or an electronic shutter.
Possible settings:

Auto: The shutter type is automatically switched based on the shooting conditions and shutter speed.
Mechanical Shut.: Shoot with the mechanical shutter only.
Electronic Shut.: Shoot with the electronic shutter only.

The availability of flash shooting, shutter speed, and with or without shutter sound for each setting:
Mechanical Shutter:

Flash
Shutter speed: BULB to 1/3200 second
Shutter sound: mechanical shutter sound and electronic shutter sound

Electronic Shutter:

Flash
Shutter speed: 30 seconds to 1/32000 second
2 Shutter sound: electronic shutter sound

Exp. Comp. Set
Selects if the Exposure compensation functionality (+-5 in 0.5EV or 0.3EV steps) also reduces flash power or not. Leave it to Ambient And Flash.
Reset EV Comp.
Sets whether to maintain the exposure value set using Exposure Comp. When you turn off the power when the exposure compensation dial position is set to “0"
Settings:

Maintain: Maintains the settings of the Custom Settings.
Reset: Resets the settings of Exposure Comp to zero.

(MENU → Custom settings (wheel) → page 5)

Face Registration
This is where you can register faces, it works only when face recogintion is set to ON (registered faces). This is an interesting functionality, as you can register faces of your subject (like at a wedding the bride and groom) and the camera will automatically detect these registered faces and give autofocus priority to them. You can register up to 8 faces (by taking a picture of them within this menu) and set a priority order.
Works well, and helps to get the right people in-focus in busy shots.
Write Date
Sets whether to record a shooting date on the still image. On or Off. The functions that can be assigned are displayed on the setup item selection screen
Function Menu Set
You can assign the functions to be called up when you press the Fn (Function) button.
Zoom Func. on Ring
Sets the zoom functions when using the manual ring to change zoom scales. The settings for [Zoom Func. on Ring] are valid only when auto-focusing/
Options:

Standard: Zooms in/out smoothly when you operate the zoom by turning the manual ring.
Quick: Zooms in/out to an angle of view corresponding to how far the manual ring has been rotated.
Step: Zooms in/out at certain angle steps when you operate the zoom by turning the manual ring.

MOVIE Button
Sets whether or not to activate the MOVIE button.
Available settings:

Always: Starts movie recording when you press the MOVIE button in any mode. (except when the mode dial is set to High Frame Rate).
Movie Mode Only: Starts movie recording when you press the MOVIE button only if the shooting mode is set to Movie mode.

(MENU → Custom settings (wheel) → page 6)

Dial/Wheel Lock
You can set whether the dial and wheel will be locked by pressing and holding the Fn (Function) button. You can release the locked knob/control wheel by holding the Fn (Function) button down.
(MENU – Wireless functionality – page 1)

Send to Smartphone

You can send one or several images directly to your wireless device (phone or tablet) by pressing this button.
You can either descide to choose which images you want to transfer from the camera or on the wireless device (via the Sony PlayMemories app, avialable for free in the apple or android store).
You’ll have to connect the camera via WiFi first (it makes a Wifi access point), using the instruction on the A5100 screen.
It works just like connecting to any other access point with your phone or tablet.
You should do this as quickly as possible, just to get it out of the way.
When your phone has wirelessly connected to the camera once and you’ve entered the password, it will remember this, and make it a lot faster to connect later.

Send to computer
You’ll need to physically connect the computer with the camera using the supplied USB cable, and you can push selected pictures to your Sony PlayMemories desktop software (installed from the CD or downloaded from their website). This can even be set up to continue pushing images after the camera has turned off.
View on TV
If you have a Wifi-enabled TV, you can see images and slideshows directly from your camera through your home wireless network.
One-touch NFC
Enables Quick, one-touch connection (as opposed to first accessing the camera’s wireless network and then navigating to the Playmemories app) with NFC (near-field communication) capable devices.
I have not tried this (as my iPhone does not have NFC) but it looks a lot easier to use.
Airplane Mode
Disables all wireless functionality, just like airplane mode does on your phone.
(MENU – Wireless functionality – page 2)

WPS Push
If your access point has the WPS button, you can register the access point to the camera quickly by pushing the WPS button.
Access Point Set
Here you can setup an access point for your camera to the internet.
It enables the Sony ILCE-5100 to directly install PlayMemories apps from the internet. Works just like setting an access point (WiFi connection) on your phone.
Edit Device Name
If you wish, you can change the name of the Device Access point) perhaps to make it easier to identify which RX10 M2 is yours in certain situations.
Disp MAC Address
You can see the MAC address of the camera here, might be useful for some advanced configuration or troubleshooting
SSID/PW Reset
Reset the name and password of the wireless network the camera creates.
Reset Network Set.
Resets all network settings.
If something does not function properly, and you want to start from scratch, can be useful.
MENU – PlayMemories settings – page 1

Application List
You’ll find The Smart remote control camera app (wich allows you to use your phone as a remote control via PlayMemories phone app for iphone and Android) and the Playmemories camera app here.
You can access your online PlayMemories account here, or create an account (once you’ve set up your camera connection with your Wifi network).
You’ll also be able to download new apps available for purchase in the Sony Playmemories online app store like the Time-lapse and smooth reflection app.
If you do not want to connect your camera to the internet, you can always install new apps (and updates) if you connect the camera with your mac or PC with the supplied USB cable, using the Sony PlayMemories desktop application.
MENU – playback options – page 1

Delete
Delete on or multiple images stored on your SD card.
View Mode
select how the camera will arrange captured images in the viewing browser.
Image Index
Select whether you want the image browser to display 12 (larger) or 30 (smaller) images per page.
Display rotation
Select whether you want the camera to automatically rotate images when you rotate the camera or not.
Slide Show
Select whether you want the camera to repeat slideshows when all pictures are viewed or not, and choose the interval between slides.
Rotate
Change the orientation of images in-camera.
MENU – playback options – page 2

Enlarge
Select an image and enlarge a portion of that image. Useful for checking details and focus.
Protect
Protect images (selectable or per date) from accidentally being erased.
Motion Interval ADJ
You can also change the interval of the image tracking.
Specify Printing
Specify Printing is a feature that allows images to be marked for printing later. Registered images are displayed with the DPOF mark (DPOF stands for Digital Print Order Format).
 
MENU – Setup – page 1

 
Monitor Brightness
Manually set the Monitor brightness (recommended leave to zero) or change to a brighter setting for Sunny Weather.
Viewfinder Brightness
Set to Auto which adapts to the lighting circumstances or manually change to your preferred setting. There is a color and greyscale chart displayed on screen to allow you to set it up to your liking.
Finder Color Temp
Chang the color temperature of the viewfinder (colder-warmer) to you liking. I don’t change anything here.
Volume settings
Change the playbak volume for recorded videe or demo’s.
Audio Signals
You can turn off audio signals like the beep when te camera achieves focus. Useful if you want a more stealthy operation (although you’ll still hear the second curtain shutter).
MENU – Setup – page 2

Title Menu
choose between tiles or a tiled front page when accessing the MENU or a direct tab style menu layout.
Mode Dial Guide
Turn the description for each shooting mode ON or OFF. Can be handy at first for a novice user to get famiar with what the different shooting modes actually do
Delete Confirm
When deleting images on yoour SD card, you’ll have to confirm every deletion (to make sure you don’t accidentaly delete anything). You can turn Off this confirmation here if you wish.
Display Quality
You can change the display quality to High or Standard. (High uses more power).
Pwr Save Time
You can set time intervals to automatically switch to power save mode. To return to shooting mode, perform an operation such as pressing the shutter button halfway down. Either 30 Min, 5 Min, 2 Min, 1 Min or 10 Sec.
PAL/NTSC mode
change to either of this broadcasting standards according to which region of the world you live in.
MENU – Setup – page 3

Demo Mode
The Demo Mode function displays the movies recorded on the memory card automatically ( for in-store demonstration purposes), when the camera has not been operated for a certain time.
TC/UB settings
The time code (TC) and the user bit (UB) information can be recorded as data attached to movies.
Possible settings:

TC/UB Disp. Setting: Sets the display for the counter, time code, and user bit.
TC Preset: Sets the time code. UB Preset: Sets the user bit.
TC Format: Sets the recording method for the time code.
TC Run: Sets the count up format for the time code.
TC Make: Sets the recording format for the time code on the recording medium.
UB Time Rec: Sets whether or not to record the time as a user bit.

HDMI settings
The HDMI settings page has a few options available for HDMI output.

HDMI Resolution: Auto (default setting), 2160p/1080p, 1080p, 1080i.
CTRL FOR HDMI: ON or OFF (ON allows you to operate the camera’s playback functions with a Sony BRAVIA Sync TV remote control).
HDMI Info. Display: ON displays the shooting information on you connected TV, OFF disables this.
TC Output: Sets whether or not to layer the time code information on the output signal via the HDMI terminal when outputting the signal to other professional-use devices. This function layers the time code information on the HDMI output signal. The camera sends the time code information as digital data, not as an image displayed on the screen. The connected device can then refer to the digital data to recognize the time data.
REC Control: If you connect the camera to an external recorder/player, you can remotely command the recorder/player to start/stop recording using the camera. ON or OFF.

4K output Sel
You can set how to record movies and perform HDMI output when your camera is connected to external recording/playback devices.

Memory Card+HDMI: Simultaneously outputs to the external recording/playback device and records on the camera’s memory card.
HDMI Only(30p): Outputs a 4K movie in 30p to the external recording/playback device without recording on the camera’s memory card.
HDMI Only(24p): Outputs a 4K movie in 24p to the external recording/playback device without recording on the camera’s memory card.
HDMI Only(25p): Outputs a 4K movie in 25p to the external recording/playback device without recording on the camera’s memory card.

USB connection
Select what will happen when you connect your camera to your PC or MAC.

Auto: Establishes a Mass Storage or MTP connection automatically, depending on the computer or other USB devices to be connected. Windows 7 or Windows 8 computers are connected in MTP, and their unique functions are enabled for use.
Mass Storage: Establishes a Mass Storage connection between this product, a computer, and other USB devices.
MTP: Establishes an MTP connection between this product, a computer, and other USB devices. Windows 7 or Windows 8 computers are connected in MTP, and their unique functions are enabled for use.
PC Remote: Uses “Remote Camera Control" to control this product from the computer, including such functions as shooting and storing images on the computer.

USB LUN setting
Improves compatibility with external devices by limiting the functions of the USB connection.
Older devices that are not able to connect to the camera might work when set to single. Otherwise use Multi.
MENU – Setup – page 4

USB Power Supply
One of the most interesting features of this camera is the ability to charge the battery via USB. This works when connected to your computer by USB, but also with a USB car charger, or even a 20,000 Mah USB battery.
This menu item sets whether to supply power via the micro USB cable when the product is connected to a computer or a USB device.
Language
Selects the language to be used in the menu items, warnings, and messages.
Date/Time Setup
Sets the date and time.

Daylight Savings: Selects Daylight Savings.
Date/Time: Sets the date and time.
Date Format: Selects the date and time display format

Area Setting
Sets the geographical area where you are using the camera.
Copyright Info
You can now write copyright information onto the still images. This information is then embedded into the EXIF data. You can write both photographer and copyright owner information.
MENU – Setup – page 5

Format
Format your SD card before use, this will erase any images still on the memory card.
File Number
Number your files according to the number of shots or resets it to start from 1.
Select REC folder
Selects where the camera will store newly captured images.
New Folder
Make a new folder for easily organising events and locations. When you insert a memory card that was used with other equipment into this product and shoot images, a new folder will be automatically created.
Folder name
Choose whether to have folder names in standard form (DSC) or create a new one by date. Setting folders by date will make organizing your images easier.
Recover Image DB
If you have a storage card error, you can try to rebuild the database in order to possibly retrieve lost images
MENU – Setup – page 6

Display media info
You can check how much space is left on your SD card (have pictures in your desired quality and how many minutes of video)
Version
Check what version of the operating system your camera and lens is running. Sony sporadically releases updates with new features, so it might be worth checking if any new firmware versions are available.
Setting Reset
Fully resets the camera to factory settings.

 

 

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