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Sony A7 III Fast Start

Lesson 9 of 29

Left & Right Side Controls

John Greengo

Sony A7 III Fast Start

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

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.


  Class Trailer
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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

Left & Right Side Controls

Moving over to the left side of the camera, we have door number one. Under door number one, we have a microphone jack, standard 3.5 stereo mini jack in there, and so if you do want to hook up external, generic microphones you can do that. Sennheiser, Rode make some good microphones that you can stick on the stock top of the camera. Door number two features a headphone jack so you can monitor your sound for audio recordings. It also has an HDMI jack. This is gonna send video to an external source, maybe a TV, maybe a monitor that you're using for video, so anytime you want to send the video out of the camera. And there's lots of other controls about what information and how it looks. We're gonna go through that in the menu system, but that's what the HDMI is for. And door number three, the USB terminal. This is for connecting up with a computer. This would be what you would use to download through a computer. It's also what you would use to charge the battery, if you want to power it, s...

ay from a laptop computer while you're traveling, you can charge with this. The bottom one is a wired remote control, and so if you do want to trigger the camera remotely, this is what you would plug in. The RM-VPR1 is the current Sony remote for this, and is a good little remote for triggering the camera without touching the camera. There's a little charge lamp, if you are charging in camera, it's a little bit slower than the external charger, and it'll tell you if you're charging or not with this. But having this as a built-in charger is kind of handy, cause then you don't need to bring a charger with you, and you can hook up from a lot more common sources these days. So what you need is the standard USB cable, so you can either power the camera or you can charge the camera, but if you are using the camera, it can't charge it at the same time. So, you gotta choose to charge or to power the camera if you are plugging it in in that manner. And if you do have that, there are a variety of adaptors. I know a lot of people that have Apple that have these adaptors, you can plug the USB into a household jack for charging the camera as well. That's not supplied in most regions, it depends on how your camera is packaged on that. Moving over to the right side of the camera, not too much going on over here. We do have a little symbol for the NFC, so there are tablets and mobile devices that have a Near Field Communication that will communicate if you put the camera close to it, which would be the phone close to the camera, and you can transfer images from one device to the other. We have a number of memory options in here, so we have dual cards finally in our Sony cameras. And so, open the door, we have slot number one on the bottom; I don't know why it's on the bottom, but one is on the bottom, and it uses SD memory cards, both type one and type two. Card number two on the top uses SD cards, but only utilizes UHS-1, not the UHS-2 cards in there. It also is adaptable and can work with the older Sony memory from close to 20 years ago is when this stuff started, is the PRO Duo media, which hardly anyone uses anymore, but some Sony legacy users may still have some of those cards around, and that's available in slot two. So, the one thing for most people these days is that if you are getting the UHS-2 cards, which are the fastest cards, it helps you out in slot one, but not slot two, so if you're shooting sports, it might be faster to shoot only to one card, rather than to two cards, cause it's not utilizing that faster speed in the second slot. So the SD memory cards will have a lock on them. Be aware that that gets bumped, and if you put it in your camera, it'll tell you can't write to it. The size of the memory cards is where we get the SD, and the HC, and the XC version. The maximum speed of the card is gonna be an indication of how fast the camera can write to the card, so if you are shooting a lot of action photography, filling up that buffer, the buffer will clear out more quickly the faster your cards are. If you're into video, you want to pay attention to the minimum speed, cause video uses up an lot of data, and so what they're recommending is that you use the UHS-3 cards or class 10, which are the faster cards for recording data, so that's gonna allow you to record 4K information for the longest period of time without any hiccups or problems during the recording. So, it is possible that you can download straight from the camera. I hope that you don't have to do that. Even though it's a relatively fast connection, it's still not optimized for it, so most photographers end up getting these pretty cheap card readers, which work just fine. If your computer has a slot for the cards, even better yet, in my mind, they're gonna be a much faster way of downloading a large amount of data to the cards. Now, I know a lot of people have complained about the Sony menus, and I'm kind of a defender of the Sony menus. I think they're pretty darn good. I work closely with the Nikons, and Canons, and Fujis, and Olympus, and Sony I think no longer is the worst on the market, so they're getting better. But I do have to admit that when it comes to settings with issues dealing with the memory cards, things are a little bit on the spread out side. So, I wanted to do one slide that consolidated all the card information in the menus. So, first up is in the first tab of the menu, you can choose which card for the memory data. That is the one and two on the Mode dial on the top of the camera, remember talking about that, where that memory information is decided on where you choose; that is in the first tab of the menu. In the second tab of the menu is choosing where your proxy movies are. These are secondary, small movies that are a little bit quicker and easier to access in some cases. That's decided in menu two, where a lot of video features are. In the playback menu is where you choose which card you are playing back and looking at, cause you could have totally different information on the two cards. In the settings menu is the main menu, where you are gonna choose where you want your information recorded, card one, card two. What about stills, JPEGs, raws, movies? You can choose where all of that is recorded to right in there, and then, very importantly, you'll also find the format option in here. And this is where you delete the information on the card, and you're clearing off all the folders, file information, ghost information, and resetting that card back to factory standards you might say, and that's something that I do on a regular basis with the camera. So this is kind of your consolidation of all of those different little options when it comes to cards.

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.