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All Tutorials

May 24, 2012

How-To: Sony A57 Menus and Functions Settings Explained – Sony Alpha School in Session!

In this video tutorial I will go over the Sony Alpha 57 Menu interface detail!Starting with the basic camera options all the way to programing custom buttons. The Menu on the A57 is incredible deep and detailed. There are tons of options and in order to take advantage of them, you will need to know a few things about the A57 and how it works. Some menu items gray out depending on what mode your in for example, and more.

I will also go over the A57 function settings menu in . In addition to that I will go over some best practices and suggestions on on what setting to use where and when. Another tip I cover was how to change the USB interface to the Mass Storage option for when you need to update the firmware. Firmware update article for the A57 is over Here>>

 

HD Video Tutorial

Be sure to select the 720P HD option in the player settings once the movie starts!! It’s the little gear icon on the bottom right side of the player.

 

 

Sony A57 Must See Articles

 

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Closing Remarks:

As always I hope you all got something out of this video tutorial and if you have any questions or concerns, just comment below.  I’m also sending the A57 and the three lenses I have back tomorrow, so ff you need anything tested or explained, please speak up now!! Worst case I can get the camera back, but I would rather get all your questions and concerns answered now if possible.

What new Sony gear is on the way you ask?? Stay tuned for a new article on all the goods BHPhotoVideo.com is sending me this time!!!


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Thanks,
Jay



About the Author

Jay
Hello, I'm the owner and operator of SonyAlphaLab.com. Please check out the About page for a full background on myself and the Lab ;) Google+ | Twitter | RSS-feed | Email Updates!!




15 Comments


  1. Gerald Miwa

    You seem to have really enjoyed the a57. Could you comment on it relative to the a65 and a77? They each have a somewhat different feature set but I have gotten the impression that if the 16M sensor, lower res EVF and no GPS are acceptable that, on balance, you like the a57 more than the a65 because of its better AF and value. Would you comment?


    • Jay

      Hi Gerald,

      As it relates to the A77 and A65 it’s pretty much the same thing with a 16mp version sensor instead of a 24mp sensor, gps, and OLED as you said. I personally prefer the lower resolution 16mp APS-C sensor version found inthe a57, and I don’t care about the GPS. The A57 also has about 100 shots more worth of battery life which is considerable and the 12fps advantage which I really don’t care about personally either. I must say the A65 is also a killer value, especially if you need the full 24mp for your photography.

      I did not review the A65, but the A77 was a fun camera to use no question. I was a little disappointed by the out of box performance though Gerald. The AF was pretty weak in low light and it was a bit laggy in my opinion. Mind you, all of these issues have been fixed with firmware updates!! The camera and AF now performs flawlessly from what I’ve read!! Low light focus issues totally resolved etc…

      The A57 worked awesome right out of the box!! I felt Sony just got the camera right and delivered it at a solid price point. It is directly competing with the A65 though. The A77 has a more advanced AF system than the A57 and A65 so it’s in a class of it’s own really for that reason alone. Image quality is the same as the A65 though.

      It really is a tuff call when you break the specs down, but the A57 seems more refined to me then the A65 and A77. Although that OLED Viewfinder is incredible and worth some extra cash 😉

      I hope my babbling helps you somewhat and have a great day!

      Best,
      Jay


  2. Jay,

    Purchased a Sony a57 after reading about its capabilities and Sony strategy on the Visual Science Lab — how they position their line and lenses in cost/benefit terms. Seems to me their SLT strategy is well-conceived: they offer relatively inexpensive cameras with lots of features and quality. As opposed to m4/3 or Nikon whose Sans Mirror offerings are expensive, both lenses and bodies.

    Seems Sony gets it. They know that camera technologies are changing so rapidly — Olympus has developed m4/3 camera body iterations in two years. From the EP1 to the OM-D. Initially, all were expensive, so the consumer, if he/she wants to stay current, is forced to fork out $1K per iteration as opposed to Sony whose units cost a lot less. Sony lenses are also faster and better than most of the earlier m4/3 lens offerings, although that is changing.

    Still, for someone without unlimited funds, it looks like “buying into” the Sony strategy will provide an excellent camera now and a cost effective upgrade path for the future, not to mention a line of nice lenses and accessories.

    However, on my first outing, the results were less than satisfactory. My fault. The focus and exposure were a lot more complicated than my old E-PL1 or my Nikon v1.

    My shooting work flow: point the camera, press the shutter release to half down, it would seem to focus (I’d get the green “in focus” icon), but the images weren’t sharp when I loaded them into Lightroom 4.0. Sometimes, after moving either the camera or my position very slightly, the exposure would jump around 2 to 3 stops.

    I tried AEL, but then the focus would shift. Gotta be my handling, possibly the wrong settings. I notice that Kirk Tuck says, “The metering (multi area) is not as accurate as the metering in the a77 so I either rode the exposure compensation adjustment or switched to manual.” I’m gonna go out today and practice his suggestions.

    Any tips and suggestions are welcome. For discussion purposes, some of my poorly executed images.


    • Jay

      Hello, JJ Semple

      Thanks for sharing your comments and insight on the Sony Line, and I absolutely agree!! That is the exact reason why I am reviewing “Sony” equipment for the most part. Best bang for the buck camera with killer auto focus HD Video quality, and Image quality that is exceptional across the board.

      As far as your focus issue is concerned. Most of your images look pretty sharp to me, but that first image does seem off.

      The best way to test it is to go down to your minim focus distance on the lens your using. Take a few test shots of a highly detailed item using a tri-pod. At the minimum focus distance, any kind of Lens Back focusing issue for example will be easier to find and your should be able to prove it one way or the other.

      If this test comes back and all images are sharp, then it must be either you or the af system itself. Are your shutter speeds reasonable fast?? You may have to take the ISO off AUTO and set it manually to raise the shutter speed higher than the camera “recommends”. I have to this often with the Sony cameras. Especially the A35. Te auto ISO like to put the shutter speed at 1/60 of a second at times even when using a zoom lens like your using. That can result in soft images if you don’t have a steady hand.

      As far as the exposure changing on you. That is normal depending on your scene and Metering mode. If your going to focus with the shutter button half way and then re-frame your shot for a better composition, there is a possibility for the exposure to change drastically, because you moved your camera from the original focus point, An easy way to get around this issue is to use you AEL button. Auto Exposure Lock. So when you re-frame your shot, the exposure doesn’t wonder 😉

      For portraits I like to use center weight average, because the skin tones exposure is what matters to me. I usually focus and re-frame like you are doing, and if the exposure wonders which it often does, I either switch to manual mode so I never have to worry about again for that group of shots, or I use the AEL Button. Either way will work fine. Average metering in theory should do the trick, but as you know it’s not always 100% accurate as their are so many variables when it comes to exposure. When you average the scene, something has to be compromised.

      I hope this helps you out, and please keep us updated on your efforts and progress!!

      Best,
      Jay


  3. Alan

    Thanks for the run down on the menu systems, I picked up my a57 last weekend and really enjoy using it. it’s images are great, I’m using fine jpg files. A query I have is what stops the burst mode from working? I’ve switched to burst mode several times selecting both 10 and 12 fps and the camera only shot one frame.

    Another issue I am having is that the LCD keeps switching over to the viewfinder without anything moving in front of the eye sensor and it is extremely annoying. Have you encountered this problem? I’m going to be sending it back for a replacement if this keeps up. Apart from the viewfinder/lcd problem I’d recommend the a57 to anyone looking to get Into photography.


    • Jay

      Hi Alan,

      Glad to hear you like the video 😉

      I’m not sure why burst mode is not working for you. It’s an Auto mode and should make all the necessary settings changes for you. Perhaps try a different memory card? Shouldn’t matter, I’m just guessing. Try another lens? Switch to manual focus and see if it works then? Let me know!!

      I did not have the issue with the LCD screen unless I had something close to the sensor like my thumb or something. It sounds to me like you may need to send the camera in Alan. Sorry bud,

      Jay


  4. bubbleblack

    Hi Jay,

    I too am a proud owner of Alpha 57.
    A newbie and still trying to familiarize myself with it’s functions.
    Regarding burst mode……I would like to get clear pics of sports action, especially basketball which my son plays.
    Which mode is better to use? And how do I get the AutoFocus right while in burst mode?


  5. Gaye Slade

    Last week I purchased a Sony A57 and have just watched the tutorial on the Menu and Functions. I found it very informative and easy to understand. I love my camera and can’t wait to get out taking photos.


  6. Thor

    Are there any differences between A57 bought in US or Europe (other than the battery charger). Available menu languages for example or Video recording.


  7. Toyin

    Excellent stuff, Jay the video was very useful for me as an amateur photographer. Thanks


  8. SAL

    hello there Jay,
    I’ve had my A57 for about a year now and cant seem to manually set fstop/shutter speed/iso while shooting video. ive watch videos on the subject but never seem to understand because they just quickly explain it but don’t actually do it in the vids. a simple “step by step ” instruction would be great. thanx.


  9. Yatindra

    how to see an object when in night shooting at low aperture(say 11+) and the vision because of OLED becomes almost impossible…. also when shooting in house with an external flash mounted and low aperture still there is a problem in tracking our desired object



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