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Sony A7 III Fast Start

Lesson 10 of 29

Bottom Controls


Sony A7 III Fast Start

Lesson 10 of 29

Bottom Controls


Lesson Info

Bottom Controls

Looking at the bottom of the camera you have your standard tripod socket for monopods, tripods and all the other accessories. You have your serial number for insurance reasons. We have an alignment pin for hooking up with the vertical grip. Now the vertical grip, thank you Sony for keeping it the same with the previous Sony A7, that is A7R Mark III and the A9. We actually have one grip that works on multiple cameras. We don't need to have multiple grips out there. And this is good for a number of reasons. First and foremost, if you have big hands it's gonna help you hold onto the camera a little better. If you shoot a lot of verticals, sports photography, portrait photography, the camera is gonna be more comfortable in your hand with that vertical grip without having to reach over and reach under into those other positions. It also holds two batteries. So, you wedding photographers are gonna be highly unlikely in having to change batteries at all during the day. The batteries, first of...

f are fantastic in this camera. They are really, really good. You may not need two batteries to shoot an entire wedding with his camera. But, with two it's gonna last even the heavy shooters, a very long time. If you do want a little bit bigger grip, but you don't want the vertical grip, there is the GP-X1EM grip extension and this just gives you, basically, it's a home for your pinky. Because normally when you hold this camera the pinky just doesn't really have a god location, so I have to help support it on the bottom. But, if you would like a home for the pinky you can get the grip extension. The downside to it is that the camera sits very wobbly on the table and does not work well with tripod mounts. And so for handheld users it might be a low cost option to get a better grip. Looking at the Power Options. We have our new FZ100 batteries which are much improved in battery life, but bigger, heavier and more expensive than the previous batteries, but pretty much everyone's raving about this and on my recent traveling tour where I was using this Sony camera fairly heavily, I never went through a full battery in a day. Never shot enough with it, and so it's classified at around 600 images, but many people are getting more than 1,000. So, it just depends a little bit on you shoot. Now, the battery charger comes with one of these cords, which annoys me to no end, and so what I like to use is these little right angle adapters. I've got a couple here, let me grab them. The charger is nice 'cause it's relatively small, but I hate having to bring that big cord with me, and so there's a couple different options. One is ideally you can just buy these right angle adapters and as you can see this is an adaptor that you can just, I went on Amazon and I got three of these, 'cause you know you're gonna lose these things, for like nine bucks or something, and it's just a right angle power adaptor. And this is something very familiar to people who have MacBook Pro's and so forth and so Apple has one that has a retractable one and this is called Duckhead 'cause it kinda looks, got the rounded duck head on it there and it's foldable and it plugs in there just as easily. And so if you have Apple you may not even need to buy this, but I have Apple, but I didn't wanna use my Apple one for this, so I bought some generic ones which are five to $10 for a small pack of those. And so these are little accessories that I think make charging a little bit easier, 'cause that cable is just annoying. And Sony, if you wanna make the world better just give us a little flip out plugin right on this like Canon and some of the other manufacturers have done. All right, what else do we gotta talk about? Okay, so there is a little door on the door. I know that sounds weird, but there's a little door that opens when the big door isn't open, and this is to have a cord running out of the camera to power, I'm not even gonna say all these letters. It's the Multi Battery Adapter Kit. I think this is designed for people who shoot a lot of video. Like, if you were gonna shoot video for a long period and changing the battery was just no go, 'cause maybe the camera's in this gigantic, stabilized rig that you can't get access to very easily. You can adapt four batteries onto this thing. Four batteries should last you through, I don't know, a couple continuous days of video. Realistically, each battery is probably good for about one to hours of video. And so this thing will allow you to power the camera for a long period of time. You can use it with two batteries, you can use it with four batteries, you can mount it on a tripod, it's got some other features I'm not gonna go into, 'cause most people aren't gonna use this, but if you need to power your camera for along period of time, it's giving you some serious options with four batteries connected into it.

Class Description


  • Use the advanced focusing system with 425 Contrast points and 693 phase detection points
  • Understand and leverage bracketing options for Exposure, White Balance and Dynamic Range Optimizer
  • Use the multitude of customizing options
  • Use video features like 4K video, slow motion, and time-lapse
  • Better use any modern mirrorless features like the EVF


Sony set the bar high by calling the Sony A7 III a basic mirrorless camera, packing the $2,000 body-only digital camera with a 24.2 megapixel Exmor CMOS sensor and image processor capable of 10 fps. The entry level full frame camera is being touted as one of the best options for full frame, even among Canon and Nikon competitors.

This class helps you get the most of your Sony camera with a complete step-by-step walkthrough of the camera’s features, whether you are just picking up the a7 III for the first time or you want to learn new tricks for your well-loved camera. Join expert photographer John Greengo as he gives you all the information you need to understand this Sony Alpha camera's buttons, menus, and functions -- without the 642-page instruction manual.


Anyone who has purchased, or is thinking about purchasing the Sony A7 III

Sony A7 III


John Greengo is a veteran instructor and an experienced photographer with over 50 Fast Start classes in the CreativeLive catalog. He has dove into the complex menu systems of multiple Sony cameras including the a6000, a6500, a9, and a7r III, as well as mirrorless and DSLRs from Panasonic, Nikon, and Canon. Besides being adept at dissecting new cameras, John works as a travel and outdoor photographer. With his experience in analyzing camera manuals, he will discuss the complete breakdown of your camera’s exposure, focus, metering, video and more. After this class, you’ll be able to use your new Sony A7 III with confidence.


  1. Class Introduction

    Dip your feet into the world of Sony cameras with the class instruction. Walk through what to expect for the class and learn about how the camera compares to Canon and Nikon DSLRs. Note the differences with the Sony a7r III and learn camera care basics.

  2. Photo Basics

    New to photography? John covers the basics like what a mirrorless camera is and using an EVF. Learn basic terms like aperture, ISO, and shutter speed as well as factors like APS-C versus full frame sensors.

  3. Camera Controls: Control Wheel & Shutter Release

    Take your first picture (if you haven't already) with the basic, most-used controls on the Sony camera body. Explore the control wheel and shutter release, as well as the joystick that's new to the Sony a7 III (hint: the joystick also doubles as a button).

  4. Camera Controls: Mode Dial

    Learn the Sony a7 III's available modes by exploring the mode dial. From why you shouldn't use auto (and when you should) to how to use advanced modes like aperture priority mode and manual mode, dissect the different shooting modes on the camera.

  5. Camera Controls: Top Deck

    Navigate the remainder of the controls on the top of the camera, including the custom controls, like programming Sony's excellent eye AF.

  6. Camera Controls: Back Side Controls

    Demystify the controls at the back of the camera body. Learn essentials from focusing the viewfinder to AF modes to using the LCD screen.

  7. Back Side Controls: Function Button

    Jump into that "Fn" button and the quick menu controls that it brings up. Here, you can find shortcuts to adjusting options like ISO, AF mode, continuous shooting mode, and white balance.

  8. Back Side Controls: Wheel & Custom Buttons

    Continuing the journey through the back of the camera, learn all the options for the multi-purpose wheel, from shortcut EVF options to ISO.

  9. Left & Right Side Controls

    Decipher all the doors and ports at the side of the camera, including what accessories work well with the Sony camera body, the camera's NFC option, and the dual memory card slots.

  10. Bottom Controls

    The camera body doesn't have a lot of pieces at the bottom, but here, John walks photographers through easy tricks like finding the serial number and adding the battery grip accessory.

  11. Front Controls & Lenses

    Sony cameras don't often have a ton of controls at the front -- but learn the essentials on the front, as well as how to safely swap lenses. Then, dive into EF E-Mount lenses. Learn the best zoom lens and prime lenses to use with the camera body, some with built-in image stabilization. Besides using lenses from Sony and Zeiss, dig into using Canon lenses on a Sony camera with an adapter.

  12. Menu Page 1: Quality/Image Size 1

    Sony camera menus can be confusing and long -- start the trek through the a7 III's menus in this lesson by looking at the first sections on image quality, image size, and RAW vs. JPEG.

  13. Menu Page 2: Quality/Image Size 2

    Continuing diving through the image quality and size menus with features like ISO noise reduction, color space controls, and in-camera lens corrections.

  14. Menu Pages 3-5: Shoot Mode/Drive 1/AF1

    Adjust settings for multiple photos including burst mode settings and image bracketing by learning the shoot mode menu.

  15. Menu Page 6: AF2

    The Sony a7 III is often noted for the autofocus improvement over earlier models. Dig through the different AF options by digging into what all the features in the AF2 menu mean.

  16. Menu Pages 7 & 8: AF3 & AF4

    Continue digging into the AF menu and learn what features are a waste of battery and what features are actually useful like setting a second AF area.

  17. Menu Pages 9-11: Exposure & Flash

    Fine-tune your Sony camera's exposure settings with advanced menu tools like choosing whether or not to leave settings intact when the camera powers off and setting limits for the auto ISO.

  18. Menu Page 12: Color/WB/Img Processing

    Color photos not looking so hot? John walks you through the Sony camera color menu, which contains controls for options like white balance. John walks through the menu options, explaining what tools like dynamic range optimizer and picture profiles entail.

  19. Menu Page 13: Focus Assist

    Ever get home from a shoot thinking you got a great shot only to see it on a bigger screen and realize it's just a bit soft? Learn Sony's built-in tools for making sure you nab a sharp shot, including focus magnification and focus peaking, available through that OLED Tru-Finder EVF. Walk through what the different focus assist tools do, how to use them, and how to customize them.

  20. Menu Page 14: Shooting Assist

    Dig into game-changing tools you may not even realize exist by exploring the shooting assist menu. Learn how to turn on anti-flicker to get consistent results with lights that are flickering. This often happens at a speed too fast for you to perceive, but can create shots that are too dark because of the timing of the flicker and the image. Discover how to tell the face AF who to prioritize and more in the shooting assist menu.

  21. Camera Settings: Movie

    Mirrorless cameras are often just as excellent when tasked with recording video. Learn how to adjust the video settings inside the menu, including choosing 4K video or HD, along with advanced options like wind noise reduction.

  22. Camera Settings: Shutter & Steady Shot

    On the Sony a7 III, users can adjust the way the shutter works. Learn what a second curtain shutter is. Dive into how to turn the Sony camera on silent mode using a global shutter, and when you should avoid using this feature.

  23. Camera Settings: Zoom & Display Auto Review

    The Sony camera menu has several zoom and display options. Digital zoom is available but should be avoided because of a loss in image quality, leaving the menu option set to optical zoom only. Inside this submenu, learn how to adjust the display options to review your images.

  24. Camera Settings: Custom Operation

    Still using the camera's default set-up? The Sony a7 III, like many Sony cameras, can be custom programmed. Learn how to set the camera up for your shooting style for the easiest access to the most frequently used settings from customizing the control scheme to organizing your own function setting menu.

  25. Network Menu

    The Sony a7 III has both Wi-Fi and NFC. Dig into how to use the Wi-Fi to easily share images, including sending to a smartphone, sharing with a computer, or shooting with a tether.

  26. Playback Menu

    The playback menu contains all the options for working with images after you've shot them. Walk through the playback menu options, from deleting images and rating images to jumpstart the culling process.

  27. Setup Menu

    Dig into how to customize the setup of your camera, from the brightness of the LCD screen to turning down the camera's beeps. This menu is one that contains a lot of features that are set once and forgotten, John says, but there are some essential revisited sections like the sensor cleaning mode and formatting the memory card.

  28. My Menu Overview

    Find the menu daunting? Sony's My Menu allows photographers to save the most frequently used menu settings to quickly find the option without digging through pages of menu options. The custom menu idea has been around for a while on Nikon and Canon DSLRs, but it's a relatively new feature for Sony cameras.

  29. Camera Operation

    Now that you've covered the ins and outs of the cameras, work through a checklist to prep the camera for operation. Walk through a handful of different shooting scenarios from portraits to sports and how to choose the appropriate settings for that shot.


a Creativelive Student

John GreengO! What a wonderful teacher! As always to the point. You do all the testing for us and we get an amazing tour of the camera. Really thrilled with your class once again. Thanks a lot!


Thanks John. Another great class! I appreciate the thorough explanations. I many never use all of the features on this camera but at least I know what they do. Love all of your classes and would definitely recommend them.


Wonderful class. John is a great instructor. Learned a lot. Only wish he'd include a bit more on using a7iii to shoot video, such as using Clear Image Zoom, and including video in the ending Camera Operation settings section. Loved the course though.