Essential Settings for your Sony A6000 & A6300 Camera

Sony’s most powerful mirrorless cameras are taking the world by storm.  The Sony Alpha series camera, the A6000 and its more powerful successor the A6300 are taking photography into the next generation.  Check out our essential settings guide for Sony A6000 & A6300 and take your skills to the next level.

This guide will have you shooting like an expert on your Sony A6000 and A6300 camera.  So join us now, tweek your skills and ramp up your photography talents with this guide for your Sony A6000 & A6300.

Get to know your camera by working through this guide so that you are able to use your camera in a way that suits you best.

Read More:  Beginners Guide to shooting awsome photos with your Sony A6000

Super-Smart Mirrorless Cameras

Sony a6000With an innovative image sensor that allows you to capture moving subjects with clarity, the Sony Alfa series allows you to take crisper photos than ever before.

The Sony A6000 & the A6300 have taken mirrorless technology into the reach of those who want uncomplicated cameras which produce exceptional photographs.

Super-quick autofocus, a responsive shutter speed of 11 frames per second, crisp images in low-light conditions and 4K UHD video is an example of why these cameras have taken the market by storm.

Customise your camera

Sony A6000

How to:
Press Menu, select Custom Key Settings.  Choose desired button and assign function.

You can freely assign a function of your choice to each of seven customisable buttons.

C1, C2, AEL, Center Button, Left, Right & Down buttons of the Control wheel.  There are 48 assignable functions for frequently used functions.

How to:
Press Menu, select Function Menu Set.  Choose desired area and assign function.

The user-friendly Fn button displays a set of 12 functions that you have assigned allowing quick access to change or modify.

Essential Settings for Sony A6000 & A6300

How to:
Turn the mode dial to select a desired shooting mode.

Your shooting experience begins with setting the camera mode — the large dial on the top right of the camera — ranging from point-and-shoot simple to full manual.

Both cameras have an easy on-screen interface and layout of controls.  Shooting in P, A, S or M mode is recommended, rather than Intelligent Auto or Superior Auto mode.

P (Program Auto)

Camera Settings

Allows you to shoot with the exposure adjusted automatically.  You can also select various settings using the menu and adjust them as desired.

For example, this mode enables a small aperture and fast shutter at noon to avoid overexposure, and the opposite at twilight to avoid underexposure. Program mode offers the ability to customize exposure, making it ideal in most shooting conditions.

A (Aperture Priority)

Allows you to adjust the aperture to control the depth of field allowing you to shoot when you want to blur the background.

Set the aperture using either the control dial on the top right of the camera or the control wheel on the back of the screen.

S (Shutter Priority)

Allows you to shoot fast-moving subjects by manually adjusting the shutter speed.

Controlling the shutter speed will set how long the exposure will be, allowing you to freeze or blur action. The camera will automatically adjust the aperture to accommodate the shutter speed you have selected, achieving the correct exposure.

M (Manual Exposure)

You’re in control.  This setting allows you to shoot still images with a desired exposure by adjusting the shutter speed and the aperture.

Use the control dial on top to set the aperture and the control wheel on back to set shutter speed. The rear screen and electronic viewfinder show a preview of how your settings will affect the photo.

Intelligent Auto

Allows you to shoot still images with the settings adjusted automatically.

Superior Auto

Allows you to shoot still images of higher quality with the settings adjusted automatically than you could with Intelligent Auto mode.

Superior Auto is especially turned for low-light shooting.

Sweep Panorama

Just like on many smartphones, you can capture an extrawide photo by holding the shutter down and sweeping the camera across a scene (you’ll hear a continuous clicking sound as the camera captures dozens of individual photos that it then stitches together into one image).

MR (Memory Recall)

Allows you to shoot an image after recalling often-used modes or numeric settings that have been registered in advance.

Focus Mode

How to:
Press Fn button, choose Focus Mode.  Select desired mode.

Choose a focusing method depending on the subject movement.  Methods are mainly used are:

AF-S Single-Shot AF:  Locks the focus when focus adjustment is achieved.  Use Single-shot AF when the subject is stationary.

AF-A Automatic AF:  Switches between single-shot AF and Continuous AF according to the movement of the subject.  Press the shutter button halfway, to lock focus when subject is stationary, or continue to focus while subject is in motion.  During continuous shooting, the camera automatically shoots with Continuous AF starting from the second shot.

AF Continuous AF:  Continues to focus while the shutter button is held halfway down. Use this when subject is in motion.

DMF:  Allows you to use a combination of manual focus and autofocus.

MF:  Allows focus to be adjusted manually.

Focus Area

How to:
Press the Fn button, choose Focus Area.  Select desired setting.

Focus area settings let you choose the area within the frame to focus on.  The basic choice is Wide, but you can choose Zone, Centre or Flexible Spot, as preferred.

Wide:  Focuses automatically on a subject within all ranges of the image.  One or more green frames display around the area that is in focus.

Zone:  Select a zone on the monitor on which to focus.  Choose from 9 zones to select from, the camera will focus on the chosen zone.

Centre:  Focuses automatically on a subject in the centre of the screen.

Flexible Spot (S/M/L): Lets you move an AF range (select S/M/L size) to a desired point on the screen.  It will allow you to focus on a very small subject within a limited area.

Lock-on AF

How to:
Press Menu, call up Lock-on setting, select ON.

Lock-on AF tracks the subject and maintains focus on it.

Position the target frame over the subject, and press the central button of the control wheel to start tracking your subject. There is a convenient Lock-on AF activation setting when camera is in AF-C mode once shutter button is pressed halfway.

Eye AF

How to:
Press Menu, Custom Key Settings.  Choose a desired button (AEL button) and assign Eye AF to it.

Eye AF is a function to precisely focus on a subject’s eye.  Once focus is achieved, a green rectangular frame appears over the eye that is in focus.

Eye AF is only available when it is assigned to one of the assignable buttons.

Smile/Face Detect

How to:
Press Menu, call up Smile/Face Detect. Select desired option.

Face detection function detects subjects faces, adjusts focus, exposure, and flash settings and performs the processing automatically.  Once the camera detects a face, (it can detect up to 8 faces at a time) a grey face detection frame appears.

When camera determines that autofocus is enabled, the face detection frame turns white.  Depress the shutter button halfway, the frame turns green and activates the shoot.

Drive Mode

How to:
Press the left side of the control wheel and choose the desired setting.

Allows you to choose among various drive-mode options such as Continuous Shooting and Self-timer shooting.

Single Shooting:  Shoots one still image.  Mainly used when shooting a stationary subject.

Continuous Shooting:  Shoots images continuously while you press and hold down the shutter button.  Enables maximum 11 fps continuous shooting in Hi setting.  Hi, Mid or Lo settings are available.

Self-timer:  Shoots an image after 2 or 10 seconds.

Self-timer Continuous:  Shoots 3 or 5 images continuously after 10 seconds.

Single Bracket:  Shoots a specified number of images, one by one, each with a different degree of exposure.

Continuous Bracket:  Shoots images, each with a different degree of brightness, while you hold the shutter down.

White Balance Bracket:  Shoots 3 images, each with different colour tones, according to selected settings for white balance, colour and colour filter.

DRO Bracket:  Shoots 3 images, each with a different degree of D-Range Optimiser.

AF Track Duration (Movies)

How to:
Press Menu, call up AF Track Duration.  Choose desired setting.

Choose between two degrees of duration for AF tracking when recording a movie.

With the High setting the AF quickly focuses and tracks a subject in close proximity. Normal setting enhances stability of tracking the subject in situations where objects cross in between the subject and camera.

AF Drive Speed (Movies)

How to:
Press Menu, call up AF Drive Speed.  Choose desired setting.

Select focusing speed when using autofocus in movie mode.

Fast:  Sets the AF drive speed to fast.  This mode is suitable for shooting active scenes, such as sport.

Normal:  Sets the AF drive speed to normal.

Slow:  Sets the AF drive speed to slow.  The focus switches smoothly when the subject of focus changes.  This mode is useful for shooting impressive movies.

Test out all the essential settings in our guide for Sony A6000 & A6300, you’ll be surprised at how simple they are to master and how much your photography will improve.

Check out my SmugMug Photo Gallery.  For more information about how I use Smug Mug to display my photos – click here. (coming soon)

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Sony A6000 & A6300 - Essential Settings Guide

The Sony A6000 is by far my favourite camera to date and I look forward expanding my skills as I continue to push my boundaries.  If you have a few favourite settings, I’d love you to share them with me.