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Sony A7 III Fast Start

Lesson 18 of 29

Menu Page 12: Color/WB/Img Processing

John Greengo

Sony A7 III Fast Start

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

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.


  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

Menu Page 12: Color/WB/Img Processing

Next up, working with color white balance and image processing. We have another option for our white balance in here. One of the options in white balance here is to do a custom setting. What happens here is that you're gonna photograph a white sheet of paper, and the camera will figure out the correct color. I'm gonna do that as a little demo right here. Let me tell you the next steps on this. So what you're gonna do is go into the white balance. Do it on the custom setting. You'll press the control wheel while pointed at a white object, and then select which one of the preset settings, one, two, or three, that you want it to be in and then press the center button. Let's go ahead and look on the back of the camera here. What we're gonna do is, we'll dive into the menu exactly where this is. Go up, and towards the end of this. Where is this? Push that, actually I think we're on the next page. White balance, here, go in here. We're gonna go down to the bottom of the list. We have presets...

custom one, two, three, and then we have the set one. That's what we want. Look for information down here at the bottom of the frame. We're going to press the center button to enter. We want to measure a white area. I'm going to take the back of my notes here, and I'm going to press the center button. It's gonna shoot kind of a test photo, and it's gonna tell us exactly what color temperature this piece of paper is in. Now we can set this to number one, number two, or number three. I'll set it to number one right here. Now when we go in to set the menu, or set the white balances to, where is the white balances now? I know, oh that's right, we changed it. If I go into the function menu, and I go for the white balance, which is right down here, I can select auto white balance on all of my other choices. But if I come down to number one, it's set for this room environment right here. So if you have funky lighting, and none of the preset settings work right for you, that's one way of handling it. Priority set in auto white balance. This is kind of unusual, but auto white balance is not quite so simple. They have three different little tints that you can have. If you really wanna just straighten everything out, you put it on white. Ambience leaves a little bit of the warm white. So if you have tungsten lights in the room, sometimes it's nice to leave a little bit of that warm light there. White, it's like bleach. It gets everything really, really white. If you were trying to photograph something that was very analytical, you needed to have exact colors on something, that's where you probably want to have it set. If you just want to have a nice, warm feeling to it, you might leave it at standard or ambience. DRO, dynamic range optimizer in auto HDR is a way for you to go in and tweak the JPEGs. Typically what it's doing is, it's raising the shadows and protecting the highlights. Here's a series of photos where we started with it turned off, and we progressively turned it on higher and higher settings. You'll notice the shadow regions and the highlight regions have changed a little bit to make it a little bit easier to see that subject. That's a very common type of post-production change that many people would use. So if you are shooting with JPEGs, it might be good to use this, just to get the tonalities in a little bit easier to work with position. High dynamic range is where the camera will shoot with multiple shots in order to combine them into one shot. Once again here, it's trying to see into those darker areas and hold back some of the highlights. If we pull up the histogram on this, notice where the bright information on the right side of the histogram, and how choosing HDR 6.0EV is pulling those highlights back from the edge of the frame and making them not quite as bright. It's lowering the contrast levels in the photograph so that you have a little bit more data to work with, you might say, when it comes to adjusting those exposure levels. Normally I would leave that off. Creative style, we talked about this earlier. This is the look, style, color, saturation, and contrast to your images. These can be adjusted even more than what you see here. These are just kind of the presets. Let me go and show you on the back of the camera for this. Let me hit the menu button on this. What happens in here, let's go to. Let's see, where are we? We are in creative style down here. Hit the center button. Come in here. We can choose any one of these, s2, as a starting point. But I think down at the end, let's, let's just go with the standard one. The arrow to the right indicates that we have more information that we can change in here. Now we can come over here, and we can take standard, but we can increase the contrast level. We can come over to saturation. Increase or decrease it by a few steps. Then the sharpness level. Sharpening adds potential halos around edges, so you've got to be careful about using too much there. I know one of the little tricks that I do with my camera is, I will sometimes shoot black and white. Sometimes I'll do it with RAW and RAW plus JPEG. Then for the black and whites, just to have it have a little bit more of a punchy look, I'm gonna punch up the contrast. We don't worry about saturation in this case. Then sharpness, maybe bump that up a little bit. This is what you're going to see in the view finder. This is the way the JPEGs are gonna come back. But for now, I'm going to get us back to the standard setting right now. Next up is picture effect, and this is like Photoshop on steroids in this case. So let me give you some examples. This is where they really tweak with things quite a bit, with the colors and saturation. There's a toy camera look, which adds really harsh shadows and a vignette around the edge. Pop color is super saturation, and then a whole bunch of other different types of looks. If you're familiar with Instagram filters, this is kind of it, all built into the camera here. There are many different adjustments that you can get in here. This is, once again, only for JPEGs. Not going to have any effect on RAW images. Picture profile. If you are a movie shooter, shooting video on this camera, getting the right dynamic range and the right color and look to your images is really important. Because a lot of times, they will be adjusting in post-production called color-grading. This camera has a lot of intense features that allows people to go in and set different tone curves according to how they like to operate. I think it's, which one is it? It's the S-Log3 PP8. That's a fairly popular one, but there are different types of editing programs that work with different types of profiles from the camera. That way you can get this camera to match up with the color of a completely different brand of camera. There's a number of cameras that are specialty video cameras that are designed for making commercials and movies and what have you, and they'll have these color profiles in them. If you want this to match that straight out of camera, you can have it match that look. This is typically for people who are gonna be doing editing with their video. With each of these different particular features, you can go in and adjust the exact level. Somebody chooses, they like a particular formula, but they like to adjust it a little bit to make it easier to work in post-production. So I'm definitely not going to go into all of these right here, but this is something that you can do and is mostly applied, once again, to video.

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.