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Sony A7 III Fast Start

Lesson 23 of 29

Camera Settings: Zoom & Display Auto Review


Sony A7 III Fast Start

Lesson 23 of 29

Camera Settings: Zoom & Display Auto Review


Lesson Info

Camera Settings: Zoom & Display Auto Review

Zoom is gonna allow you to zoom in digitally, which should have you screaming and running no, no, no not digital zoom. This is only on jpegs. It's basically just a crop. Sony seems to have found many different ways to digitally zoom in on their subjects, and so in a variety of Sony cameras you're gonna see this zoom setting for optical, smart zoom, clear zoom, digital zoom. And it just how much the camera is digitally magnifying the image. All of these should be just turned off. Don't use these. It's gonna lower your image quality when it comes to still images. There's a few unique lenses out by Sony. Some of them you can change the zoom ring rotation. Which direction you turn that ring. Some people prefer it to be one way or the other. So if you have one of those you can change it here. Alright looking at some of the display options on the camera. So when you press the display button you can jump in here, this is actually a little bit of a sub-menu we're gonna jump into. You can unche...

ck all the options that you don't want to use. So this is more customizing of what you see. This is what you're gonna see in the monitor of the camera. Then we're gonna do the same in the finder of the camera. Which ones do you want to see. Like if you don't like that graphic display. You can uncheck that box. Finder/monitor. Normally the camera uses the eye sensor to determine which one of the screens turn on. If you don't like the way it's working, or you just have something else you're trying to do and you want to force it to go from one to the other. You can come in here and change it to the viewfinder or the monitor, or you can assign this to one of the buttons on the camera. Alright, zebra settings is gonna send us into a little sub-menu in here. Zebra settings are gonna show you areas that are overly bright in the photograph. This is great for exposure control. So you can turn this on and off. Then you can have this set to different levels in here. So let me show you what this looks like in here. I'm gonna set this on manual exposure. Obviously we've got things a little hot in there right now. So let's go up to the tab we're on. I think we're on page six of nine. Woops, passed it. Right here, six of nine. Wait. Zebra settings right here. Let's turn this on. Let's turn this on at a level of 80. We're gonna adjust our exposure. You can see areas that are blown out are kind of... Let's zoom in over here. Are showing us these zebra levels. What we wanna do for the ideal exposure is reduce this down so that there is either no or very small areas in brightness. That's telling us just about the right exposure. We still have a little bit down there on the bottom. We're getting the reflection off the front of that camera. So if I go back into the menu under zebra settings. That was showing us at a level of 80. Let's take it up to a level of and see how that changes things. So as we... It's not getting, it's not showing the zebra's quite as quickly here. So, it depends on how quickly those zebra's come up when brights are getting close to that 100 percent level of brightness. That can be really handy for making sure that you're not losing any areas of important exposure. Grid lines, and these can be turned on and off here. We have a few different options. The exposure set guideline is an enlarged shutter speed or aperture that tells you where you're at. It's all well and good, but you know what that exact information is about three millimeters below it in the viewfinder. And it's taking up space over your image. So it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense to me. I would turn that one off. Live view display. When you look in the viewfinder, or you look on the back of the camera. One of the advantages of the camera, for the most part depending on how you have this set, is that it shows you exactly what you're gonna get in the final image. If you want. So let me show you how this is gonna work. If you have this setting effect on, the LCD mirrors the real exposure. In the example on the left you can see that I'm changing shutter speeds and apertures. You can see the indicator that I'm overexposed, or that I'm underexposed, and it clearly shows you in the frame. This works good for most photography, but it works absolutely terribly for anybody working in the studio or working with flash photography. Over on the right hand side you might want to turn it off if your working in the studio. That way you have a consistent image that comes through the camera, but you'll use the metered manual indicator down at the bottom as to whether you are overexposed or underexposed. So it depends of what type of photography you're engaging this in is to what is the best setting here. I generally like to leave it on, unless I'm doing flash photography. Alright, the continuous shooting length. This is a little display. It shows you the buffer in the camera as you are shooting high speed sports action type stuff. It'll show you how much is left in the buffer to shoot. How many images you can shoot before the camera is gonna lock up with all the memory full on it. For anyone who does a lot of shooting with sports and they want to make sure that they don't use up all of their shots on something that's not too important. It can be a handy feature to have, but once again like a lot of graphics sometimes you don't want it there, because you just want a nice clean view of your subject. Auto review let's you review images automatically on the camera after you've shot them. I have found that with a mirror less camera. I've tended to want to turn this off, because when I've framed up the image I pretty much saw what the image is gonna look like in final. So it speeds up the shooting process, because you don't have to review images like with an SLR. Because you're not sure exactly what the digital version of what your eyes saw. So I think a lot of people can turn this off, or at the most just leave it on two seconds so it doesn't take up too much time and too much battery.

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.