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Sony A7 III Fast Start

Lesson 18 of 29

Menu Page 12: Color/WB/Img Processing


Sony A7 III Fast Start

Lesson 18 of 29

Menu Page 12: Color/WB/Img Processing


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.


  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.