A ShortCourse Book
Sony A700

Sony A700

Sony A700 Photography

This clearly written and easy-to understand short course on your Sony A700 explains step-by-step how, why and when you use your camera's controls for better pictures. This guide is available as a traditional 148 page large-format (8.5 by 11) spiral bound book printed in black and white, and as a full-color, fully searchable PDF eBook you can order on a CD or download instantly. The eBook also includes links to animations and other resources that bring to life the core concepts of digital photography.


Introducing Animations

The eBook version of this book has 50 interactive animations that illustrate and explain the core concepts of digital photography. integrated throughout the eBook, these animations help you understand your camera better, and they are also a lot of fun.

To use the animations you need the eBook version of this book on a CD and an Internet connection.

Click to explore the light path through an SLR like the A700 then minimize or close the animation window.
Click to see how full color images are created from only three colors then minimize or close the animation window.


New, a Short Courses digital photography book for people who want to get better pictures with their Sony A700 digital camera. This beautifully written and illustrated guide, pulls together answers to the questions you might have about using the A700, including the following:


Chapter 1
Camera Controls and Creativity

The A700 Camera
Jump Start—Using Auto Adjustment Mode
Good Things To Know
Using The Viewfinder
  • Eye-start AF
  • Information Display
  • AF Areas and Focus Indicator
  • Diopter Adjustment
Using Buttons And Dials
  • Top View
  • Rear View
Using Monitor Information And Quick Navi Screen
Information Display
  • Quick Navi Screen
Using Menus To Change Settings Playing Back & Managing Your Images
  • Auto Review
  • Image Playback
  • Image Information Display
  • Using Folders
Using The Playback 1 Menu
Using The Playback 2 Menu
Selecting Image Quality And Size
  • Number of Pixels
  • How An Image is Captured
  • The Exposure
  • It’s All Black and White After All
  • Select an Image Quality
  • Selecting an Image Size
  • Selecting an Aspect Ratio
  • Selecting an Image Quality
  • Choosing a Format

Chapter 2
Controlling Exposure

Understanding Exposure
The Shutter Controls Light And Motion
The Aperture Controls Light And Depth Of Field
Using Shutter Speed And Aperture Together
  • Exposure—Faucets & Buckets Analogy
  • Exposure—Seesaw Analogy
Retaining Highlight And Shadow Details
Choosing Recording Modes
Using Scene Selection Modes
Using Program Ae (P) Mode & Program Shift
Using Shutter-priority (S) Mode
Using Aperture-priority (A) Mode
Using Manual (M) Mode & Manual Shift
How Your Exposure System Works
  • Meter Averaging and Middle Gray
  • Types of Metering
When Automatic Exposure Works Well
When To Override Automatic Exposure
  • Scenes Lighter than Middle Gray
  • Scenes Darker than Middle Gray
  • Subject Against a Very Light Background
  • Subject Against a Very Dark Background
  • Scenes with High Contrast
  • Hard to Meter Scenes
How Overriding Autoexposure Works
How To Override Automatic Exposure
  • Exposure Compensation
  • Autoexposure (AE) Lock
  • Autoexposure Bracketing (AEB)
Using Histograms
  • Displaying Histograms
  • Evaluating Histograms
  • Clipped Pixels
  • Sample Histograms

Chapter 3
Controlling Sharpness

Getting Sharper Pictures
  • Supporting the Camera
  • Using the Self-timer/Remote Commander
  • Super SteadyShot
  • Camera Shake Warning Indicator
  • Changing the ISO
Sharpness Isn’t Everything
How To Photograph Motion Sharply
  • Speed of Subject
  • Direction of Movement
  • Distance to Subject and Focal Length of Lens
Focus And Depth Of Field
  • Focus
  • Depth of Field
  • Checking Depth of Field
Focusing Techniques
  • The AF Illuminator
  • Selecting an Autofocus Mode
  • Selecting the AF Area
  • Using Focus Lock
  • Manual Focus
  • Using the AF/MF Button
  • Other Focusing Choices
Controlling Depth Of Field
Using Deep Depth Of Field
Using Shallow Depth Of Field
Conveying The Feeling Of Motion

Chapter 4
Capturing Light & Color

Where Does Color Come From?
White Balance And Color
  • Using Preset White Balance Settings
  • Creating and Using a Custom White Balance Setting
  • Using a Specific Color Temperature
  • Using White Balance Bracketing
Color And Time Of Day
Sunsets And Sunrises
Photographing At Night
The Direction Of Light
The Quality Of Light

Chapter 5
Understanding Lenses

Understanding Lenses
Sony Lenses
Focal Length
Zoom Lenses
Normal Lenses
Wide-angle Lenses
Telephoto Lenses
Macro Lenses And Accessories
Lens Accessories
Perspective In A Photograph

Chapter 6
Using Flash and Studio Lighting

How Flash Works
Using Autoflash
  • Flash Coverage and Range
  • Flash and Shutter Speeds
  • Flash Modes
Portraits With Flash
  • Positioning the Flash and Subjects
  • Red-eye
Using Fill Flash
Using Slow Sync Flash
Using Available Light
Controlling Flash Exposures
  • Flash Control Modes
  • Flash Exposure Compensation
  • Flash Exposure Bracketing (FEB)
Using An External Flash
  • High-speed Sync (FP)
  • Wireless Flash
  • Stroboscopic Flash
  • Flash Sync Terminal
Using Flash In Close-ups
Studio Lighting
  • Candidates for Studio Lighting
  • Lighting
  • Backgrounds
  • Focus and Exposure
  • Tips and Tricks
Portrait And Product Photography—Introduction
The Main Light
The Fill Light
The Background Light
The Rim Light

Chapter 7
Other Features and Commands

Continuous Photography
Using The D-range Optimizer
Using Noise Reduction
  • Long Exposure Noise Reduction
  • High ISO Noise Reduction
  • Basic Styles
  • Style Boxes
  • Adjustments
  • Selecting and Adjusting Creative Styles
Using Mr (Memory Recall) Mode
Using The Custom Button
Using The Custom Menu
  • Custom 1 Menu
  • Custom 2 Menu
  • Custom 3 Menu
  • Custom 4 Menu
Using The Setup Menu
  • Setup 1 Menu
  • Setup 2 Menu
  • Setup 3 Menu
Entering A Print Order
Resetting Settings
Caring For Your Camera
  • Cleaning the Image Sensor
  • Cleaning the Camera and Lens
  • Protecting your Camera from the Elements
  • Protecting when Traveling
  • Storing a Camera
  • Caring for yourself


A great photograph begins when you recognize a great scene or subject. But recognizing a great opportunity isn’t enough to capture it; you also have to be prepared. A large part of being prepared involves understanding your camera well enough to capture what you see. Getting you prepared to see and capture great photographs is what this book is all about. It doesn’t matter if you are taking pictures for business or pleasure, there’s a lot here to help you get better results and more satisfaction from your photography.

To get better, and possibly even great photographs, you need to understand both concepts and procedures; the “whys” and “hows” of photography.

  • Concepts of photography are the underlying principles that apply regardless of the camera you are using. They include such things as how sharpness and exposure affect your images and the way they are perceived by viewers. Understanding concepts answers the “why” kinds of questions you might have about photography.
  • Procedures are those things specific to one kind of camera, and explain step-by-step how you set your camera’s controls to capture an image just the way you want to. Understanding procedures gives you the answers to the “how” kinds of questions you might have.
This book is organized around the concepts of digital photography because that’s how photographers think. We think about scenes and subjects, highlights and shadows, softness and sharpness, color and tone. The procedures you use with the Sony A700 camera are integrated throughout the concepts, appearing in those places where they apply. This integrated approach lets you first understand the concepts of photography and then see step by step how to use the A700 in all kinds of photographic situations.

To get more effective, interesting, and creative photographs, you only need to understand how and when to use a few simple controls on your camera such as focus, exposure controls, and flash. If you’ve previously avoided understanding these controls and the profound impact they can have on your images, you’ll be pleased to know that you can learn them on a weekend. You can then spend the rest of your life marveling at how the infinite variety of combinations they provide make it possible to convey your own personal view of the world. You’ll be ready to keep everything in a scene sharp for maximum detail or to blur some or all of it for an impressionistic portrayal. You’ll be able to get dramatic close-ups, freeze fast action, create wonderful panoramas, and capture the beauty and wonder of rainbows, sunsets, fireworks, and nighttime scenes.

As you explore your camera, be sure to have fun. There are no “rules” or “best” way to make a picture. Great photographs come from using what you know to experiment and try new approaches. Digital cameras make this especially easy because there are no film costs or delays. Every experiment is free and you see the results immediately so you can learn step by step.

This book is about getting great pictures, not about connecting your camera to your computer and using your software. That information is well presented in the user guide that came with your camera. Be sure to visit our Web site at www.shortcourses.com for even more digital photography information.

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