Please Note – This book is for the Sony a1 only. This guide explains my wildlife setup and discusses the changes I make and why. However, this does not, nor is it intended to, cover every menu item and aspect of the Sony a1. This is a guide that explains how I set and use the Sony a1 for wildlife photography (stills only). Menu items and settings that don’t apply to my wildlife work are NOT covered in this publication.
Format: 274 page PDF e-book (v 1.1.3, updated 01-11-2023 for a1 firmware 1.31)
Delivery: Instant download
Are you a Sony a1 shooter addicted to wildlife photography? Do you feel like you can get more from your a1 but aren’t sure how to make it happen? Do you want to learn the best possible combination of settings and customizations for wildlife work? If so, I’m about to make your day!
In The Ultimate Sony A1 Setup Guide For Wildlife Photography, I’ll show you exactly how I’ve set my a1 for my professional work as a wildlife photographer. I’ve been shooting the a1 since it was introduced and have used it extensively in the United States, Costa Rica, and multiple locations in Africa – capturing over 100,000 images in total. These experiences helped me hone and optimize my Sony A1 setup to the point that using it is seamless, fast, and completely intuitive.
In this 265+ page guide, I’ll share every one of those settings with you.
With this guide, you’ll unlock secrets designed to squeeze every ounce of performance out of your a1 for wildlife photography. You’ll see everything I change and set in the menu system, as well as my complete button and dial customization settings. Once you have your a1 set properly, you can tackle any wildlife challenge that comes your way. With the setups outlined in the book, we’ll tame the intimidating menus of the a1 and turn it into an intuitive ally that works with you to send the best possible photos to your cards.
In short, I wrote the guide I wish I would have had when I first picked up my a1!
However, this isn’t just a list of settings! In addition to revealing the optimal configuration for wildlife work, we’ll also cover why you should make these adjustments and, more importantly, cover detailed instructions for how to use them in the field to get the highest possible keeper rate.
In addition, I realize that not all of us shoot the same way or have the same priorities, so you’ll discover lots of alternative setups and ideas sprinkled in along the way. Basically, if a menu setting applies to wildlife photography – even if I don’t use it myself – we’ll discuss it so YOU can make the best decision for your setup.
We’ll also cover how to set up and optimize your buttons and dials for wildlife work. You’ll find easy to follow, step-by-step demonstrations for how to set each button and dial – and you’ll discover how to best use them in the field. We’ll talk about an AF setup you’ll love (it’s pretty sweet), how to manage ISO, how to handle eye detection options, a killer spot metering trick, and we can’t forget the Emergency Action Button – what a lifesaver!
No technical expertise required!
The book is written in clear, easy-to-understand everyday language and not bogged down by technical terms. Each setting we adjust and each button we customize is explained in friendly, conversational language. In addition, the book is overflowing with screenshots, illustrations, and images that guide you, step by step, through making each adjustment to your menu system – and how those changes play out in the field. Every step is laid out in detail and is simple to follow along.
Of course, I also drop in tips and hints along the way to help you get that “little bit extra” out of the camera – and to help you to avoid common pitfalls.
It’s time to put an end to “field work fumbling” and get the most out of your a1 for wildlife photography – and this book is the shortcut that’ll get you there. Why waste another minute using less-than-ideal settings? Worse – the a1 is so loaded with features it’s easy to miss a hidden game-changer lurking deep in the menu system. This book unlocks everything and helps you realize the full potential of your camera.
What’s covered? Every setting I use for wildlife photography! Plus, quite a few settings that I don’t use but you might want to try! Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll discover in each chapter.
- Discover how to get the most from your My Menu page
- Adding and positioning items
- Deleting unwanted items
- Cool trick – Make your My Menu page come up when you press the Menu button
- The file formats that work best for wildlife work
- RAW Or Jpeg?
- What RAW Format should you use?
- How to set what gets recorded (photo or video) to each card
- Simultaneous recording and auto switching
- Why your camera records to the wrong card
- How to check on remaining card space
- Why and how you should change your file prefix
- Setting the copyright correctly
- Using the input keypad
- Should you write your serial number too?
- What should you set for your frame rates?
- Tips for when to shoot faster frame rates
- The seven things you have to do to get 30FPS
- A killer self-timer trick for wildlife shooters
- Silent shutter setup
- When is an electronic shutter not silent?
- Choosing a shutter type
- Why I almost always use the electronic shutter
- When to still use the mechanical shutter
- Do grid lines help or hurt?
Exposure & Metering Menu
- The exposure modes I use for wildlife work
- How to use M + Auto ISO
- Setting smart ISO range limits
- How Auto Minimum Shutter Speed works
- A killer spot metering setup suggestion
- How the zebra display works
- How to properly use the zebra display
- How to set a custom zebra display level – and what to set
- The unexpected way you should set your AF-C Priority (AF, Balanced, Or Release?)
- How AF Sensitivity Tracking really works
- A detailed explanation of when you should set tracking sensitivity high or low
- Examples for using Locked On and Responsive settings
- The surprising way AF Tracking Sensitivity works with a Tracking area mode
- How to tell when AF Tracking Sensitivity is set wrong
- Should you use the AF Illuminator?
- How to set up Back Button AF
- Should you still use BBAF with mirrorless?
- The Pre-AF Trap
- Why you should limit your AF area selection
- Why you should never have a Tracking AF area as a selection
- How Wide AF works and when to use it
- How Zone AF works and when to use it
- How the Spot AF Areas work and when to use them
- How Tracking AF Areas work and when to use them
- How to use Tracking AF areas in the field for birds
- How to use Tracking AF areas in the field for mammals
- The secret to using the Switch V/H area feature
- How AF Area Registration works
- How to use a Registered AF Area
- How to set a Registered AF Area
- How to clear a Registered AF Area
- What that weird “Circ. of Focus Point” menu does
- How to make your AF area move faster across the screen
- Turning Face/Eye Detection on and off
- Limiting the types of subjects the camera detects
- Make the camera show you what eyes and faces it detects
- Cool tricks with the Auto Magnifier
- When to use the Auto Magnifier and when to turn it off
- How focus peaking works
- How you can use focus peaking for better manual focusing results
- Changing your peaking levels and colors
Playback And Network Menus
- How to view the images on each memory card
- Why images sometimes seem like they are “missing”
- How to tell what card you’re reviewing
- How to delete every image from the same day
- The secret to selecting and deleting multiple images at once
- Cool double-tap delete trick
- How I use the Image Index
- Should you use Display As Group?
- How to make the camera show you where it focused
- How to jump through images quickly
- Should you use Airplane Mode?
- The smart way to backup your settings
- Messed up menu? I’ll show you how to recover in seconds
- Should you backup to a memory card or computer?
- Customizing your screens
- The clever screen customization that saves power and sanity
- How to use your rear LCD as a trackpad to move your AF area
- How to use the Touch AF features
- How Touch Tracking is a game-changer
- How to switch Touch AF types the easy way
- Touch Tracking pitfalls
- The best monitor brightness setting for wildlife shooters
- How to set your viewfinder brightness
- The secret setting for eyeglass wearers
- How to set display quality
- Picking the best frame rate for wildlife work
- Must-have shooting indicators for silent mode
- The buffer gauge you gotta try
- Should you use Auto Review?
- How I set my power-saving mode
- How the anti-dust function works
- Critical steps before for a wet sensor cleaning
- Should you use the shutter to protect from dust when you power down?
- When I use the shutter for dust protection – and when I don’t
- How to check your firmware version
Memory Modes (User Modes)
- What the user modes actually do
- How I have my user modes set
- Why I can’t live without ’em!
- Setting up user memory modes
- What’s saved, what’s not
- All about the “M” memory settings
Button And Dial Customization
- My “new” approach to AF button assignment
- Why I skipped the “traditional” AF button assignment approach for something better
- The secret to rapidly getting to any AF Area
- The clever push-button approach to tracking and normal AF areas
- How I assign my AF area buttons
- My manual focus override button and why you need it
- My button setup for toggling subject types
- My button setup for turning face/eye detection on or off
- How I switch eyes when the camera is on the wrong one
- The Emergency Action Button setup that’ll net you more keepers
- The ISO setup that changed my world
- Why I assign a button for APS-C / Full frame crop modes
- Why I sometimes shut zebra stripes off – and how I do it
- My sweet Spot Metering setup
- My complete function menu setup
In total, we’re talking 265+ pages of info that will not only show you the best settings but also how to use them! Plus, the book is loaded with example illustrations, photos, and screen shots. Here are a few sample pages:
Finally, if you’re still on the fence, think of it this way…
So many times we spend thousands of dollars purchasing gear that we hope will help us create more powerful images. However, if you don’t know how to leverage the full capabilities of the gear, you’re not getting your money’s worth. This book is the key to unlocking the full potential of the a1 for wildlife photography. You spent $6500 on the a1 – isn’t it worth the price of a lunch date at McDonald’s to get the most out of it?
Heck, even if you only discover ONE new setting, trick, or technique that helps you create an amazing image, wouldn’t it be worth it?
Check it out, you could be enjoying this new e-book in just a few minutes.
PS – I’m 100% confident you’ll love this e-book. If you’re not satisfied, let me know and I’ll give you your money back – nothing to lose by giving it a try!