Author Archives: Alex White

Improving Access to the Sony a7C Menu System

I have just posted a short video showing how I customized the buttons on my Sony a7C camera to make it easier to get access to the camera’s menu system. I have found that the Menu button on the camera’s back is placed a bit too far to the left for easy access while I’m holding the camera and using other controls. Also, the Menu button is somewhat stiff and hard to press.

I checked into assigning one of the other control buttons to the Menu function, and I found that the direction buttons do not work well for that purpose, because, although you can use one of those buttons to activate the menu system, you cannot use it to move back through the menu screens, or to exit the menu system. This is because the direction buttons are permanently set to move through the screens or items of the menus, even if they have been given another assignment such as the Menu function.

Eventually, I settled on the Movie button as the best one to reassign to the Menu function, at least for my purposes. This video shows the use of the menu option I used for this reassignment–Custom Key (Still Images)–and it also shows how I then assigned the Down button to start and stop video recording, to replace the functions lost by reassigning the Movie button.

Using Multi Flash Firing with the Sony HVL-F28RM Flash and the Sony a7C Camera

After publishing my recent book about the Sony a7C camera, I have been exploring some of the camera’s features in more detail. In particular, I recently purchased the Sony HVL-F28RM flash, which was announced in 2020 but was not widely available in the United States until fairly recently, after the book was published.

One of the features available with the combination of the a7C and this new flash is Multi Flash Firing, by which the camera causes the flash to fire a rapid burst of flashes during a single long exposure by the camera, to create an image with multiple exposures of the same subject. This can be useful for recording a golf swing, a dancer’s movements, or other moving subjects.

Today I posted a short video that illustrates the basic use of this feature:

I provided the basic settings used in the video, but I will give a little more detail here. It took a considerable amount of trial and error to get the final image looking halfway decent. In order to coordinate dropping the ball with the firing of the flash, I used the Sony Bluetooth Remote, model number RMT-P1BT, so I could activate the shutter from the remote while I was standing in front of the camera to drop the ball.

I experimented with various settings for the flash interval and settled on 20 flashes per second. I also chose 20 for the total number of flashes. One important point I soon discovered is that there is a fairly sharp limit on how many flashes this flash will generate in this mode, especially at the higher flash power settings. There is a chart at page 23 of Sony’s user manual for the flash, which is available at helpguide.sony.net/ilc/2030/v1/en/index.html. The chart shows, for example, that the maximum number of flashes available is five, when the flash interval (flashes per second) is set to 8 or higher, and the flash power is set to 1/8, which is the highest setting available.

So, it can be hard to find a combination of settings that is within the capabilities of the equipment and yields a usable image. After experimenting, I ended up setting the flash power to 1/16, with a flash interval of 20 for 20 flashes, which is actually more flashes than the chart shows to be possible. I found that image to be the best one I could achieve under the conditions I was working with.

In order to see the ball clearly as I placed it in position for dropping, I connected the camera to a computer monitor using the HDMI output from the camera. I used manual focus, and set Live View Display on screen 8 of the Camera Settings2 menu to Setting Effect Off, so I could see the screen as I was setting up the shot.

Using a Bluetooth Remote Control with the Sony a7C Camera

In working with the a7C camera in preparation for publishing Photographer’s Guide to the a7C earlier this month, I came to appreciate the camera’s ability to have some functions controlled by a Bluetooth remote control. I have just published a short video that illustrates the basics of connecting the remote to the camera and some of the functions that can be controlled with the remote.

There is one interesting fact I didn’t realize until I made this video. I mentioned it briefly in the video, but here is a more detailed explanation. The action controlled by the largest, main button on this remote depends on the setting of the Movie/Still switch on the side of the remote. If it is set to Still, the large button operates the shutter release on the camera to take a picture, or a burst of shots, etc.

If that switch is set to Movie, you might expect that pressing the button would cause the camera to start or stop recording a video. That is true, but only if the Movie button on the camera is assigned to the movie shooting function. On the a7C camera, the Movie button can be reassigned to any one of numerous other options, such as ISO, white balance, Picture Effect, drive mode, Creative Style, and many others, using the Custom Key menu options on screen 9 of the Camera Settings2 menu.

So, if you have reassigned the Movie button, pressing the large button on the remote while the remote’s switch is set to Movie triggers whatever option is assigned to that button. The same situation is true for the C1 button on the remote, which carries out whatever option is assigned to the C button on the camera, and the AF-ON button, which carries out whatever option is assigned to that button.

Sony a7C Book Now Available in Paperback

As of January 14, 2021, Photographer’s Guide to the Sony a7C is available in a paperback version through Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, and other online sellers. The book has the same contents as the downloadable versions that recently became available in Kindle, iPad (ePub), and PDF versions. The printed version has 264 full-size pages (8.5 by 11 inches, or 216mm by 280mm), with more than 400 full-color photographs and illustrations. The book covers all menus, controls, and features of the a7C camera, along with appendices, a full table of contents, and index. The retail price is $31.95 in the United States.

Sony a7C Book Now Available in Downloadable Versions

As of January 3, 2021, Photographer’s Guide to the Sony a7C is available for purchase directly for $9.95 from the whiteknightpress.com website, in a bundle of three downloadable versions: PDF, Kindle, and iPad/iPhone. The book is 264 pages in its print and PDF versions, and will be available in paperback form within the first few weeks of January. It also is available as a separate download through Amazon’s Kindle Store and through Apple’s Books Store and other online sellers . For more information, please see the book’s main information page at this site.

Book cover of Photographer's Guide to the Nikon Coolpix P950

Nikon Coolpix P950 Book Now Available in Paperback

As of today, the latest camera guide book from White Knight Press, Photographer’s Guide to the Nikon Coolpix P950, is available for purchase in a paperback edition for $25.95 or a comparable price in other currencies. As of this date, it is available for ordering from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com. It also should be available soon from Amazon sites in other countries, such as Canada, Germany, and France, as well as from Barnes & Noble at bn.com. The book also is available in downloadable versions for reading on a computer, smartphone, tablet, or other device.

Because of the current situation with the coronavirus pandemic, the delivery time listed at Amazon.com is about one month in the future. The book is actually available to Amazon more quickly than that, because it is produced by a print-on-demand printing company. However, Amazon is prioritizing the shipment of supplies related to healthcare and emergency preparedeness, so shipping of books such as this one may take considerably longer than it would under ordinary conditions. The paperback version will soon be available from Barnesandnoble.com and other online sellers. You might be able to obtain it from one of those sellers more quickly, if the Amazon shipping time remains unusually long.

For further information, please see the book’s information page at this site, or send me a message at support@whiteknightpress.com.

Nikon Coolpix P950 Book Now Available in Downloadable Versions

The newest White Knight Press camera guide book, Photographer’s Guide to the Nikon Coolpix P950, is now available for purchase in downloadable versions through this website and through sites such as Amazon, Apple, Google, and Kobo. The price is $9.99 at most sites, though there may be discounted prices in some cases. The book is a complete, fully illustrated guide to the operation of the Coolpix P950 superzoom camera. The downloadable versions, which are available as PDF, iPad, and Kindle files, contain the same content as the printed version, which is 169 full-size pages long, and includes almost 350 color images.

For more information or to find links to sites for purchasing the downloadable versions, please visit the book’s main information page at this site.

Photography Show in UK Postponed Because of Coronavirus

Earlier, I posted a notice about the big photography show to be held in Birmingham, England, on March 14-17, 2020, where my camera guide books were to be on display and available for purchase. I have just learned that the show now has been postponed to a later time in 2020, date not yet announced, because of concerns about the spreading coronavirus infection.

That’s disappointing news, but undoubtedly a wise move to protect public safety and minimize further spread of the virus. If I hear of a definite date for the show to take place, I will post the notice here.

Meanwhile, here is the link to the official site for the show: https://www.photographyshow.com/.

White Knight Press Books Will Be On Display at the Photography Show in Birmingham, UK, in March

If you live in the United Kingdom or have plans to travel there this March, be sure to stop by the large photography show in Birmingham on March 14-17, 2020. Along with photography equipment and displays from many manufacturers, classes, and demonstrations, you can see several of the most recent book titles from White Knight Press on display at stand number 52, CBL Distribution Ltd. You also can purchase copies of the paperback versions there. Here is the link:

https://www.photographyshow.com/

Sony RX100 VII Book Now Available in Paperback Version

As of today, the latest camera guide book from White Knight Press, Photographer’s Guide to the Sony DSC-RX100 VII, is available for purchase in a paperback edition for $31.95 or a comparable price in other currencies. As of this date, it is available for ordering from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com. It also should be available soon from Amazon sites in other countries, such as Canada, Germany, and France, as well as from Barnes & Noble at bn.com. The book also is available in downloadable versions for reading on a computer, smartphone, tablet, or other device.

For further information, please see the book’s information page at this site, or send me a message at support@whiteknightpress.com.