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To quit playback, press this button again. Only a few are located on the left side of the camera. They are labeled in Figure 2. Rotate this dial to switch among Scene modes and Semi-automatic and Manual exposure modes. Slide an electronic flash into this mount when you need a more powerful Speedlight. A dedicated flash unit, like those from Sony, can use the multiple contact points shown to communicate exposure, zoom setting, white balance information, and other data between the flash and the camera. This keeps you from attaching electronic flash units, radio triggers, and other accessories built for the standard shoe, unless you use one of the available adapters.
Attach your strap to these two anchor points. Precision macro and scientific photography sometimes requires knowing exactly where the focal plane of the sensor is. The symbol etched on the side of the pentaprism marks that plane. On the right side of the camera, you can see a cluster of controls, labeled in Figure 2. Rotate all the way clockwise to turn the Alpha on; in the opposite direction to switch it off.
But what you end up with is a cropped, lower resolution image. For example, with the A, the 1.
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This dial on the front of the camera is used to make many shooting settings. In Manual exposure mode, the control dial is used to set shutter speed; press the Exposure Compensation button while spinning the control dial to set aperture. Partially depress this button to lock in exposure and focus. Press all the way to take the picture. Tapping the shutter release when the camera has turned off the autoexposure and autofocus mechanisms reactivates both. When a review image is displayed on the back-panel color LCD, tapping this button removes the image from the display and reactivates the autoexposure and autofocus mechanisms.
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Slide this switch forward to turn on Live View, discussed in much more detail in Chapter 5. Turn this ring to change the zoom setting. These markings on the lens show the current focal length selected. This is the ring you turn when you manually focus the lens. On the back of the lens see Figure 2.
This mount is used to attach the lens to a matching bayonet on the camera body. Lenses including those with a bayonet lens hood mount have a thread on the front for attaching filters and other add-ons. Some also use this thread for attaching a lens hood you screw on the filter first, and then attach the hood to the screw thread on the front of the filter.
Both the and mm lenses have a 55mm filter thread, not shown in this figure. The illustrated lens does not have a distance scale. The recording information displays, shown earlier in Figures 2. If you have the Eye-Start autofocus feature activated, the camera will begin to autofocus and the recording information display will vanish when you bring the Alpha up to your face, or the viewfinder is near any other object. Press the DISP button to produce it if you want to activate this display when it is not active.
When you rotate the camera to shoot vertical pictures, the text and icons on the recording information displays re-orient themselves, too, for easy viewing. The information shown in the Standard and Graphic recording information displays includes the following information, with not all of the data available all the time, and the two types of screens showing slightly different types of data.
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Shows the current shutter speed. Provides flash mode information. Shows whether camera is set for Single-shot, Continuous shooting, or Self-timer. Displays whether exposure compensation is in effect. Remaining battery life is indicated by this icon. Shows the number of shots remaining on the memory card.
Indicates the sensor ISO sensitivity setting. This scale shows the relative exposure. The amount of exposure compensation is shown here in Standard display mode. This icon is shown when flash exposure compensation is being applied. Shows the autofocus area mode in use: Wide the camera chooses one of the nine AF areas to use; or the center area when the control button is pressed ; Spot the camera uses the center AF area exclusively ; or Local you choose which of the nine areas to use, except when the control button is held down and the center spot is used instead.
The icons represent Multi segment, Center weighted, or Spot metering. See Chapter 4 for more detail.
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Indicates which of the Creative Style settings are being applied. Shows current white balance setting. To switch among them, press the DISP button while the image is on the screen. As with the displays shown on the color LCD, not all of this information will be shown at any one time. These four lines, arranged in pairs at the top and bottom of the viewfinder, can be used as your guideline for framing images when the Alpha is set to shoot using a HDTV aspect ratio, as described in Chapter 3.
Image area for aspect ratio Autofocus area Autofocus sensors Figure 2. The nine boxes in the center of the viewfinder area show the position of the sensors used by the Alpha to focus. The camera can select the appropriate focus zone for you, or you can manually select one or all of the zones. This marks the ninth autofocus sensor, which is a crosstype sensor that operates in both horizontal and vertical directions.
This icon appears when the flash is fully charged. It also shows when the flash exposure lock has been applied for an inappropriate exposure value. Appears when flash EV changes have been made. This icon appears when you are using an external flash that is not attached to the camera but linked through wireless mode. You can read about this capability in Chapter 7. This icon appears when you are using that mode. Read about it in Chapter 7. The MF indicator appears when you have set the camera for manual focus, using the switch on the side of the camera, or when you are using a manual focus lens.
Shows current focus status: an illuminated circle when focus is locked; a circle flanked by round brackets when focus is confirmed, but the Alpha is still following the movement of a non-stationary object; a set of circular brackets when the camera is still focusing; or a flashing disk when the Alpha is unable to focus and has locked the shutter release. These readouts show the current shutter speed and aperture.
This scale shows the current exposure level, with the bottom indicator centered when the exposure is correct as metered. The indicator may also move to the left or right to indicate under- or overexposure respectively. When bracketing, three indicators appear on the scale, showing the relative exposure of each bracketed image. If the Alpha is setting the shutter speed for example, in Scene modes, or Aperture priority mode , this alert appears when the shutter speed is so slow that camera shake is likely to cause blurring. When SteadyShot is active, this scale shows the relative amount of camera shake that SteadyShot is dealing with.
You should wait until the number of bars decreases before shooting, as that indicates that camera shake is under control. This indicator shows that you have set the Alpha to capture images using the cropped HDTV aspect ratio, rather than the normal ratio. Changes to a number to indicate the number of frames that can be taken consecutively using the current settings. Not only can you change shooting settings used at the time the picture is taken, but you can adjust the way your camera behaves.
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These include the Recording and Playback menus, which determine how the Alpha uses many of its shooting features to take a photo and how it displays images on review. You should find, though, that I will give you the information you need in a much more helpful format, with plenty of detail on why you should make some settings that are particularly cryptic. You can certainly decipher the import of the two options available for the Audio Signals On and Off.