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Sony A7 III Fast Start

Lesson 11 of 29

Front Controls & Lenses

 

Sony A7 III Fast Start

Lesson 11 of 29

Front Controls & Lenses

 

Lesson Info

Front Controls & Lenses

Looking on to the front of the camera, not too many controls. We have the little white dot, that's your mounting index, so that when you mount your cameras, you know how to line them up in there. This is as close as we get to the sensor, 24 megapixel sensor, very good qualities on it, the folks who do all the testing will get into the dynamic range and all the capabilities, but as far as operation, it's a great sensor. CPU contacts, connect with the lens, transfer focus and data information, make sure their not broken, bent, or obstructed, in any other way. The alignment pin and lens release, when you're taking your lenses on and off, let me give you just a quick little demo here. I find that some people who are new to SLRs are very scared about taking the lenses on and off. I'm like, no, that's what they're designed for. Realistically speaking, because the cameras have the sensors so close to the outside, you do want to be careful with the types of environments that you are changing t...

hese lenses. You know, if you're in a dusty, blowy desert, that's not the time to be changing lenses outside, and so just look for the white dot, the white dot, and you'll see the little pin over here, and that retracts when you push in here, and what that's connecting up to is this little area and it pops into this hole right there, when you get it lined up right, and makes a wonderful little clicking noise, wait for it, wait for it, there you go, and that means you have your lens mounted on there properly. If you don't hear the click, try it again. What else do we got on the front of the camera? Hidden behind the grip is the Wi-Fi antenna, so that when you are connecting up with your phone, that's where it is, I don't know why you need to know that, but that's where it is. The remote control sensor enables you to shoot pictures remotely with the Sony Wireless Remote. That does not look like it was designed for this camera, 'cause it was not, because it was designed for a camcorder, but you can trigger the photos, you can trigger the video, you might even be able to control the zoom lens if you can find a powered one for it. Front dial, which we're using for a little bit of everything, and the AF Illuminator and Self-Timer Lamp. This will come on when you are needing a little bit of extra light. The auto focus light will come on and shine a light on your subject. Now, granted the size of this light is not all that powerful, so this is good for about four or five, six feet, two meters or so. It also comes with a self-timer to let you know when you're shooting photos, and if you like to be discreet, and you don't want your camera making a lot of noises and lights coming on and stuff, you can go into the Camera Settings and you can turn this off, which I will recommend as we go through the menu system later on. So that pretty much covers the entire camera front to back, but since we're talking about lenses, let's talk a little bit more about those lenses. This is a Sony Full Frame camera. It uses FE lenses from Sony for full coverage of the frame. It shares the E-Mount with the Crop Frame cameras, like the Sony 6500. It's the same physical mount on the camera, and you can mount lenses back and forth with some repercussions, as I'll show you in just a moment. On the other side of the coin, Sony makes SLR, an SLR style a cameras, like the A99, that's a Full Frame camera, that has their own dedicated series of lenses for it. They also have a Crop version of it that has DT Lenses that are designed for the Crop Frame SLR users, and so as I said with Sony, little complicated 'cause we have four different systems, Full Frame, Crop Frame, Mirror-less, and SLR style, and so, the SLR style will not fit directly on to this camera. There are adapters that you can use, and I'll talk about those that you can put on here, but you can't go to just a random garage sale, find a Sony lens, and know that it's gonna work on there, just 'cause it says Sony on there, you have to make sure it's the right mount, which is the E-Mount. Any E-Mount lens will work on this camera. So the difference between the FE and the E lenses that work on the E-Mount, is this. The FE lenses are designed for the Full Frame sensor, which means that, as light comes through that lens, it's gonna have a large image circle that covers the entire sensor area for that Full Frame sensor. Sony's E-Mount lenses, have a smaller image circle that is designed for the smaller sensor of their APS-C, and where things get interesting, is when you switch one to the other. You can mount E-Mount lenses on your Sony Full Frame camera, but it's not gonna cover the corners. The camera's automatically gonna recognize this, and it's automatically gonna crop the image down 1.5 times, and rather than 24 megapixels, you're gonna get a 10 megapixel image, but it's gonna look basically the same as far as coverage, wide-angle telephoto angle of view, as it would on a Crop Frame camera. So anyone who's moving up from the Crop Frame series, yeah, your lenses are gonna work, but they're very limited. Now if you were to take your FE lens and mount it on your A6500, or other Crop Frame camera, there's no harm done. You're kind of projecting more information than your sensor can record, but it's gonna work kind of the same way your other lenses work. So it works a little bit better this direction, because you still get a full image off of the full sensor area. So, one of the great things about the Mirror-less cameras, is the very short flange distance between the Lens Mount and Image Sensor, which allows us to adapt and use a lot of different lenses. Sony's made their lenses perfectly match to the camera, the mounting system, the distance system for focus, perfectly matched for it, but if you want to mount other lenses on there, that is an option. Now you can't just mount 'em on to the camera for two reasons. Number one, the mount doesn't work right, and two, the distance from the image plane is incorrect. So there are a variety of companies, including Sony, that make adapters, so that you can use different lenses, and everything matches and works right on the camera. Now, let me put a little asterisk at the end of that as far as when I say, everything works right. Lets talk about some of the options. So, for instance, Sony has a couple of adapters, so that you can use all of the old Minolta, Minolta Konica lenses, the Sony current lenses designed for the SLT, they could be used on this camera with these adapters. Now it does add bulk, weight, and cost to the whole setup, and there's certain focusing aspects that are less than ideal on 'em, and I'll just say that they, there's some compromises when you get in to using them. So one of the things that Canon users primarily have been enjoying, is using Canon lenses on Sony cameras with this Metabones adapter. This is what I've been using with some of my Canon lenses, and it's a very good adapter, and it allows me to work with almost everything the camera can do. Namely, there are a number of auto focus things that don't work. If you recall, the focusing area, there's Center, and there's Large Zone, Median Zone, Small, Medium, Large, Flexible, all these different options, well that's narrowed down by about half when you put a Canon lens on there. It's harder to do with Nikon lenses, because Nikon lenses, up until their latest version, which I am forgetting the letter right now, but their lenses have a mechanical aperture stop down lever, and so, it has electronics and mechanical, and this works fully electronic, and so, I think there have been a couple of companies that have tried to do something, but their not as plentiful as the ones for Canon, and so those are the ones that you're seeing most adapted, but it does take, there are adapters for Nikon lenses, they may have to work in a manual mode, there's adapters for other brands of lenses as well, in fact there's probably more different lenses that you can adapt to this camera than any other camera on the market. So, if you are using a Lens Adapter, I'm not gonna read this list here, but there is a whole list of potential problems, and I always try to stay with equipment that is designed to work right. It just makes things a lot easier, unless you're willing to go on the work arounds, and sometimes I'm willing to do a work around 'cause I'm really trying to do something, and there's only one lens that's gonna allow me to do it, or that's the lens I have, but that's just the trade-offs of photography, and so if you want full auto focus with this camera, you probably are gonna want to stick with the Sony lenses or any lens that is specifically designed for the Sony Mirror-less cameras. Those are the ones that are gonna work the best. So let me talk real quickly about some of the lenses here. First off, we have, what I consider, good quality zoom lenses, and a lot of these are the f/4 zoom lenses, and that's a nice compact series, I like these for travel photography, and their good quality, they maintain that constant aperture. There's a lot of letters, I'm not gonna go into all the letters right now, but I'll leave the key up here as I go through these other options. The G Master, these are their pro-quality zooms, and so if you see a gold G, expect to pay for it, and you will get good quality results, and so they have some wonderful lenses that are 2.8 in aperture, there's a 100-400, that's also very good different aperture on that. These are really the highest quality zooms, and if you want this camera operating on all cylinders, these are the lenses that you probably want to have on the camera. Sony is very rapidly filling out all the different holes in the photography world of different prime lenses that solve very specific problems, allowing in a lot of light, and these lenses, to be honest with you, they're a little bit on the pricey side, compared to Canon, Nikon, and other options out there, but quality wise, you're getting what you pay for, and that whole little kind of rant, that I went into at the very beginning of the class, about smaller size on the camera doesn't make a difference, when you add these lenses to it, because it ends up being a very large lens, and this a large system, and this is where a lot of people do put the vertical grip on, because the cameras tend to be so front heavy, because the cameras themselves are so light once you get these on there, but all these top head lenses that I've shown here, as well as others, are really high quality stuff, just very good stuff. A few other favorites, from photographers out there, and you might say these are great value lenses. Their not the premium lens, but their just good, general purpose lenses. 24-105 is about the ideal walk around range for most photographers. A good wide angle, good enough in portrait, short telephoto range that you have a little bit of everything in there. The 85 1.8, a lot smaller, lighter weight, lower money, and a lot of photographers don't like to shoot all wide open when it comes to the portraits, stopping down 2 to 2.8, this is a nice light weight option. The 50 1.8, good normal lens. The 28 f/2, nice, pretty compact, street shooting lens. So, Sony does make some very good lenses. They also have one that's kind of unusual, this is not one for most people. This one's specially designed for video, and for all you photographers that are taking still photographs that are kind of thinking about getting into video, video changes the game completely in everything you need, and you need a lens that has very different characteristics, and this is a pretty expensive lens. If this was designed for still photography at 28-135, I would guess would be a $1,000 lens, but this is a video lens and it has special video features that I'm not gonna go completely into, but it sells for $2,500. Now, you'll notice it has the tripod collar on it, so that you can mount it very stable, the neurals knobs on it are different, so that you can focus it and zoom it a little bit more easily, because they have different requirements and needs in video than we do in stills, and so, it's kind of fascinating the differences that they have to make for video in this regard, and I know this is just the tip of the iceberg on lenses because I love to talk about lenses, and I have other classes on lenses, and so, if you want to know more about lenses, I have a class called, Choosing the Right Camera Lens. I talk about Sony, as well as Fuji, Panasonic, Olympus, Nikon, and Canon lenses in here, and if you want an introduction to lenses, this is a good class that'll take you through what all these lenses, what all the letters mean, what all the technology means, what focal lengths you want to do, different types of subjects, what type of aperture you need on the lenses, and so it's a good comprehensive class if you really want to master the whole lens portion of photography.

Class Description

AFTER THIS CLASS YOU’LL BE ABLE TO:

  • 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

ABOUT JOHN’S CLASS:

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.

WHO THIS CLASS IS FOR:

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

EQUIPMENT USED:
Sony A7 III

ABOUT YOUR INSTRUCTOR:

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.

Lessons

  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.

Reviews

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!

user-7002e3
 

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.

Mary
 

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.