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Sony A7 III Fast Start

Lesson 24 of 29

Camera Settings: Custom Operation

John Greengo

Sony A7 III Fast Start

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

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.


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Class Introduction Duration:16:37
2 Photo Basics Duration:04:38
4 Camera Controls: Mode Dial Duration:26:05
5 Camera Controls: Top Deck Duration:18:35
9 Left & Right Side Controls Duration:07:02
10 Bottom Controls Duration:04:59
11 Front Controls & Lenses Duration:13:16
15 Menu Page 6: AF2 Duration:05:42
16 Menu Pages 7 & 8: AF3 & AF4 Duration:05:56
19 Menu Page 13: Focus Assist Duration:06:03
20 Menu Page 14: Shooting Assist Duration:06:29
21 Camera Settings: Movie Duration:07:43
25 Network Menu Duration:11:19
26 Playback Menu Duration:07:18
27 Setup Menu Duration:26:52
28 My Menu Overview Duration:08:13
29 Camera Operation Duration:10:14

Lesson Info

Camera Settings: Custom Operation

Custom key, we've seen me jump in here and customize a lot of the keys on the camera. So if we look at the camera, we can see that there are numerous buttons that we can reprogram in many different ways. All of these buttons can be reprogrammed on the camera or on the lens. Some of the bigger lenses have buttons on the side that you can use as well. And so, what can you program to these? Well, the number is expanding all the time so it's this 22 page list of features that you can go in and customize each of the buttons on your camera too. And so, you'll notice the little mountain symbol next to the custom key, that is for still photography. The beauty on this camera, is that you can completely change the way that they are customized, when you are shooting video. And so if you're shooting video and you have special features that you wanna have access to right away, you can program those in and they're not gonna get in your way when you're shooting still photographs, and you need those b...

uttons for something completely different. And it's gonna go through and you're gonna have the exact same buttons that you can go ahead and program in there. And if that's not enough, when you go in to the play back mode as I mentioned before in playback, you can customize these keys as well in here. And so there's a different set of keys, and it's a little bit more limited than in the previous two options. But you can program these keys to, either look for different types of images, but go in here and see what's available and see if you can make playback and reviewing your images a little bit quicker and a little bit easier. Next up, is Function Menu Set. And so the function menu was this listing of 12 different features that we went through earlier in the class, and all of these are replaceable and exchangeable. And so if you don't like them there, if you don't wanna even have them there, you can just take them all off. And so you can work with the upper row, you can work with the lower row, and go in and change all of these modes around and put only the ones in there that you use on a regular basis. If you don't like the way the dials work on the camera, with aperture values and time values front and back, you may wanna change them. This may sound silly to some of you, but some people have been using Canon or Nikon cameras for a long period of time, and they've always done apertures with the front dial, and this camera wants to do it with the back dial. Well you can switch it around, so it's comfortable for you to use. You can also not only change where the buttons are, the dials are, but you can change which direction they turn. And this can sometimes be easier when you're looking at the viewfinder and the numbers and the dials- and the indicators aren't working in the same direction. Sometimes the Japanese are kinda funny in the way they program these cameras, and if you wanna redo it, you can. Alright, next up is Dial Ev Compensation. And so, if you don't want to use that dial on the camera, let's just say that you bump it a lot, and it just doesn't work for you, you can have it reprogrammed to the front dial or the rear dial of the camera. So that way you would be changing aperture priority, or shutter priority, or program with the other dial, and then be using the exposure compensation with the dial here. This is the way that, a lot of the Canon cameras inherently work. And so if you wanna mimic that here, you can do that. The MOVIE Button. Some people... Don't like shooting movies. And they don't wanna shoot movies, and they get mad when their camera's taking still photographs and they accidentally bump that button, and it starts recording a movie. And so some people just kinda wanna turn that button off, unless you are in the movie mode. So if you're one of those people, put it in the movie mode only, and it will only start movies when you've turned the dial on the top of the camera to the movie mode. There are a number of dials and buttons that can get bumped when shooting in rough conditions like a journalist or sports photographer, and if you know you want everything set at a particular setting, you can lock that stuff in. And so if you wanna come in here, you can lock your selection of items in so that even though they get bumped and turned, the settings on the camera do not change. Audio signals, yeah they're kinda fun at first, but you may wanna turn them off just to be a little bit more discreet. John, we kinda have a grab bag of questions that do go back throughout the course so that we could take a few minutes now before we go to break. To address some of these, so this goes back to when we were talking about deleting images, and the question is, can you delete all the images with one click? Or do you have to just, format the card to get rid of all of them? So there are two options, one is you could format the card, and that would delete all the images, in as close to one click as you're gonna get. If you wanna delete an image, you can of course hit the garbage can on the back of the button, where you have to, confirm that you want it, yes I want it done. If you're gonna delete a lot of images, trying to think- if you playback, I'm not sure if this is a section I haven't gotten to, and- Yeah, so in the play- Yeah, we're gonna cover that more in the playback mode, because there is a deleting option right here, that will allow you to basically put a check mark on an image and say I wanna delete this one and this one this one this one this one, and then hit delete once and it deletes all of them. So I think that's what they were asking. [Short Haired Woman) Cool, okay. Yeah so you can just indicate your individual images with pressing delete once. Great. Let's see, we had a question about that was the preview one, okay, a couple of lens questions. Okay. So James asked, "When you're using a manual lens, with an adaptor, do you have to set the release without lens to disable?" It depends on the adaptor that you have, cause there are some manual lenses that have electronic transfer, to the adaptor and the adaptor to the camera body, and the camera will recognize "Hey, there's a lens on the camera, I have no idea what it's doing but I know there's a lens on there," and that information is being passed in to the meta data. In some cases, it's kinda like an old school retro lens, it's got no electronics at all, and that's where you're gonna want to turn the release without lens on so that you can release the shutter release, even though the camera doesn't even recognize a lens on the camera. Can you say just a few more words about proxy recording? Cause sometimes the challenge I have is trying to send a movie over to like an iPad or an iPhone, and I know we can't do that even with the card, can you do that if you set proxy recording? Yes you can, so the proxy recording for instance, you might be shooting a 4k video, and then this proxy recording video, which is still pretty good resolution, will also be recorded along with it. And then you could through wifi, which is what we're gonna get to in the next section, you could send that to your mobile device. Rather than the big 4k video that you recorded. And so that's gonna go a lot faster, because that's a lot lower resolution. So yeah, that's the whole reason that this came up, as we go up to higher and higher resolution, we're getting the higher resolution faster than we're increasing our exchange rates. And our transfer rates. And so yes. Cool, so question from Craig, that was similar to using an- another one about using an adaptor. So using Metabones adaptor for Canon lens, so the question is, "Will a lens made to work on a Canon, like a third party lens like a Tamron, or a Tokina, that's made to work on a canon, work on the Sony as well?" Yeah, yeah. With that adaptor. So for instance, I have a Sigma lens, on a Metabones adaptor, on a Sony camera, using a Canon mount that Canon has made no money on. (simultaneous laughter) And so yeah, it works as well as the Canon lenses themselves. It's still not everything that the Sony lenses, I don't have all the focus options available. And so there's a few limitations, but exposure-wise, it's very easy. It's mostly- the focusing is gonna be the limitation. Great, thank you. Anthony had a question, "Will the ISO auto- let me see if I'm reading this right- "Will the ISO auto minimum shutter speed work in manual mode?" Yes, yes. Question from Carrie, who loves your classes, says "I shoot full frame Nikon now, but very tempted by the Sony A73, and not having to calibrate lens, lenses to bodies, face and eye focus, and silent shutter, doesn't really know what Nikon has coming, if it'll be worth the wait, so if those things are important to her, is this a good way to go?" Yeah, definitely. One of the things that I've always been against my whole life in photography, is just changing systems to get one notch better. It's just not worth it for most people. If you have unlimited money, knock yourself out. Okay. But, for most of us, there's a serious expense in exchanging and so I've just- shook my head over the years of all the people switching from Nikon to Canon and Canon to Nikon and back and forth and, you know they're just trying to reach for these incremental gains. Well right now, Sony has, what is this, this is about a five year head start. From Canon to Nikon, on a full frame product. Now, Canon and Nikon have had mirror less cameras, or do have mirror less cameras, but not exactly so they've done research and they have been learning through their other products but they don't have anything in full frame right now and this is likely to change in the coming weeks. And so for those of you watching is this in the future, I know it seems antiquated and dated that we don't have 12 Nikon mirror less cameras out on the market, but right now we don't. Nikon is said to be introducing one maybe even next week. But the thing is, I can guarantee you they're not gonna have a set up lenses that matches Sony's. That's really weird to say. Nikon doesn't have as many lenses as Sony, but neither does Canon either. In this particular market. If Nikon comes out, if Canon comes out, they're gonna come out with a mirror less camera. They might have two or three or four lenses available, and then over the years they'll add a few more, few more, few more, and they'll be able to ramp up production and in five years from now, it'll be a pretty even playing game with mirror less cameras from all the manufacturers. But, if the mirror less camera has a lot of features that you like, you like full frame, yeah, Leica makes a couple of mirror less cameras in the category, but that's kind of a whole different thing. Sony's got the whole thing right now. Sony's got the whole ball of wax on full frame mirror less. And if you want it, yeah, there's no doubt this is gonna be the main game in town, for a number of years in the future.

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.


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.