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Sony A7 III Fast Start

Lesson 22 of 29

Camera Settings: Shutter & Steady Shot


Sony A7 III Fast Start

Lesson 22 of 29

Camera Settings: Shutter & Steady Shot


Lesson Info

Camera Settings: Shutter & Steady Shot

Next up is silent shooting. And in this particular case we get to talk about how the shutter works on the camera and there a number of interesting options. So let's talk more about the different options in here. First off, let's talk about the normal shutter on a mirrorless camera. And that is, it has a first and a second curtain for the shutter. And because you are needing to view through the viewfinder, and have the sensor open, the shutter is completely open as its native natural state on the camera. When it's time to take a photo the first shutter closes and then it opens and that is your exposure. And there has been a problem in the past not with this camera but on the first generation of the Sony cameras, that shutter opens with such speed it caused a vibration during the exposure which was a problem. And so there is the possibility that in some situations in certain macro or telephoto set ups that it could cause a vibration in the camera. That's the downside to this system. Now ...

of course, in this normal shutter operation the second curtain comes in and finishes off the exposure right there and that's a normal shutter operation. This camera has three different options. The other extreme, or the next step in this is the e-Front Curtain Shutter which means in its electronic first shutter curtain. And so, the pixels, what happens here is the pixels turn on records the image and then the mechanical shutter comes in and turns off the exposure if you will ends the exposure. So it's electronic to start, mechanical to end with. And that reduces that vibration during the beginning of the exposure. So the big advantage here is that it's a little bit quieter but it's very very steady and doesn't has any vibration with the photographs that you're taking. The third and final option is the completely silent shutter. Which means it's not using the mechanical shutter at all. It's using just the electronic shutter. So what it is essentially doing is it's turning on a row of pixels and then turning it off and scanning the entire image onto the sensor. Now the downside to this is that the scan time of modern day sensors is not infinitely fast. It takes a little bit of time and it takes roughly about a 20th of a second to scan the entire image. So even though you may have a shutter speed of a thousandth of a second set it's still taking a 20th of a second to scan this. So anything that moves can possibly get distorted. So let me show you some examples. I was just shooting a test chart, a grid and moving the camera from side to side with a normal mechanical shutter and then the e-Front Curtain Shutter not experiencing any problem at all. But, with the silent shutter at 250th of a second I'm getting this warping effect. If I go to a faster shutter speed it doesn't make it any better, it still has a warping effect. When you're shooting this out in the real world if you're panning down the street with a car it's gonna make buildings very slanted because of the scanning process. If somebody rides past you on a bicycle those wheels no longer look perfectly round because they're being scanned in as the image is going from bottom to top. And so this silent shooting also causes a number of other conflicts with the camera. I'm not gonna read all these out but as you can see there's a lotta different things that just don't work well with this. So another name for silent shooting is a global shutter and this is the next holy grail of photography. And my big question is, when is the first camera that has an all electronic shutter going to be introduced? Now the Sony A9 has what they call an anti-distortion shutter. And it is the first camera that has ever been released that you can shoot with a silent shutter without distortion. It still technically has distortion. It's so small that most people will likely never notice it any photograph. But it's amazing at how good it is. So it really is kinda the first camera to have a global shutter. It still has a traditional shutter in it if you wish to use it. But there are still some issues at this time with using completely silent shooting. When would I want to use silent shooting? Anytime I had to be really really quiet, like at a wedding. And I'm not really shooting really quick. If I'm shooting natural light I can probably work around all these other conflicts and problems. Being at a wedding or at a courtroom or at a playhouse or at the symphony or something like that. Where you really wanted to have dead silent. And the only noise is gonna be your finger pressing down on the shutter release and possibly the small amount of noise of the aperture closing in the lens. That's the only noise you're going to hear. So it's pretty impressive. I would like to leave my camera on that all the time but there's just too many problems with it so I don't think it's something that's smart to leave on all the time. It's something that you can go to when necessary. So normally I would leave silent shooting off but the next one which is the front curtains the electronic front curtain shutter that one I would leave on. There appears to be virtually no downsides to using this system here. And it will help to reduce that shutter shock that you might get in the camera. So works very well, you can also use this with flash shooting as well. Release without lens, and so if you're gonna hook your camera up to a telescope or some sort of funky adapter for different lenses you would want to put this on enable. Normally with it on disable it just disables you from firing the shutter in case your finger happens to be in there. Don't stick your finger in there on the sensor. That could really damage the sensor and the shutter in there. So that's just kind of a safety setting in there. Same with this one here, release without card. I like to leave this on disable which means if I don't have a memory card in the camera it just disables the camera and won't allow you to shoot. The people who want to leave this on enable are people who are working in camera stores showing how the camera clicks and how much noise it makes without a card in the camera. The camera has a built in steady shot system. It has five stops of correction and is a very handy system. I love it because you can use manual focus lenses this and it still does the steady shot. So you can hold the camera very steady under very low light conditions. As many of you will know a lot of Sony lenses have an optical stabilization system built into the lens itself. And so there's lenses that have a pitch and yaw system when you match those up on the camera you don't get really any better stabilization than with just the camera. But the two systems do work together. Where some are working on roll and pitch and some are working on an x and y axis. And in either case, whether you turn the stabilization off electronically here in the camera or on the lens itself cus some lenses have that wherever you turn it off then it's turned off. And so if you turn it on it's using both systems and so be aware of that. SteadyShot settings, this is really good for anyone who is adapting lenses to the camera and the camera doesn't recognize what type of lens is on the camera. You can have the camera automatically adjust so that is uses a slightly different stabilization protocol for a wide angle versus a telephoto lens but if it doesn't know cus it's an adapted lens on there you can go in the focal lens settings and you can choose whatever focal length you have and it's gonna set the stabilization accordingly. Now, I adapt a lotta lenses to my Sony camera and I remember one time I put a lens on and the stabilization just looked horrible and that's because I had a telephoto lens set on eight millimeters and if it's not set right, you're not gonna get proper stabilization. And so if you do adapt lenses this is a feature that you can put in the shortcut of the function menu so that you can quickly adjust it very easily on the fly.

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.