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Part I explores using your Sony Alpha A300 or A350 straight out of the box. Starting with an in depth look at the Sony Quick AF Live View System, this part of the book also explores all the external controls, explaining the purpose and function of each button, dial, and switch. Understanding your camera’s menu system is crucial to getting great results with the A300 or the A350, and of course the book will also teach you how to maneuver through all of your camera’s menus. You’ll not only learn how to adjust each setting, but when and why you should make each adjustment.
Chapter 3 gives a thorough explanation of basic photography fundamentals, without overwhelming jargon and technical terms. If you are a new photographer you will gain an appreciation of aperture, shutter speed, exposure, ISO and white balance. If you are an experienced photographer you’ll find helpful tips and tricks for adjusting each of these key settings.
Interchangeable lenses are one of a dSLR's major strengths, and that is true of both the A300 and A350. With so many lens options, choosing auxiliary lenses for the A300 series can become overwhelming. Chapter 4 helps you eliminate the mystery about which lenses to buy and gives you a full explanation of what to look for when evaluating a new lens. With information on wide-angle, normal, telephoto, and macro lenses, this chapter discusses the full Sony lens lineup and goes on to demystify the option of using Minolta lenses on the Sony Alpha.
Understanding light and light modifiers, such as diffusers and reflectors, is absolutely essential to getting great results from a dSLR. In chapter 5, you'll find a complete discussion of lighting basics, including the differences between continuous lighting and electronic flash. The full array of light modifiers is outlined, and the chapter goes on to explain the strengths and weaknesses of the proprietary Sony/Minolta hot shoe design. Naturally, there is also a discussion of which flash units work with the A300 series.
Chapter 6 consists of a series of exercises designed to enhance your skills when shooting in a wide variety of photographic situations, including everything from macro photography and black and white to high dynamic range, portrait, and travel photography. Each topic is accompanied by numerous full color examples.
DSLR photography entails far more than just the camera and lens. Once you fill your memory card with great images, you will need to download, catalog, store and edit those images. Chapter 7 takes you through a quick, but informative tour of the software and hardware options available to simplify your digital workflow. You will be exposed to the differences between RAW and JPEG images and you'll receive a thorough overview of your RAW processing options. You also learn about sharpening and noise reduction software, as well as the best editing applications.
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