Skip to main content

Sony A7 III Fast Start

Lesson 20 of 29

Menu Page 14: Shooting Assist


Sony A7 III Fast Start

Lesson 20 of 29

Menu Page 14: Shooting Assist


Lesson Info

Menu Page 14: Shooting Assist

We have moved into Camera Settings Two rather than Camera Settings One. As I mentioned, there's no real difference other than the fact that Sony seems to have bunched up most of their video features in here, as well as some of their custom options. First up is the exposure mode. When you put the camera in the movie mode, how do you want to set your exposure? Manually program, aperture priority, or shutter priority? For mom-and-pop-type video, just simple little video clips, P is fine. The camera will figure out those settings for you. For those of you a little bit more serious, wanting to do editing, you're undoubtedly gonna wanna have that in manual exposure so you can have very specific control over your shutter speed, as well as your aperture. Exposure mode, when you are in the S&Q settings. So, once again, the serious photographers are gonna wanna get in here and manually control exactly where their settings are in this. The file format, when you are shooting video, we have 4K,...

we have HD, and then we have a second HD which is designed for Blu-ray recording. And so, most people are gonna be in 4K or HD depending on their needs. Recording setting is gonna set the frames per second and the bit rate, and this is gonna vary a little bit according to the previous file format that you have chosen. Those of you who have cameras in Europe are gonna have a 25-frame-per-second option, as well as other regions around the world. And so, for most people, 30 frames per second is your standard video. 24 has that cinematic look to it, or a part of that look, at least. And so, if you want to dive into the S&Q settings, there's gonna be a sub-menu in here where you can record, you can set first off what is the recording setting. And this is, what do you want your video to be played back at. Next up is the frame rate. You would choose something like 120 frames per second if you wanna slow down time. You'd choose one or two, four frames a second if you wanna speed up time. And so, this will vary according to what you've chosen in the recording setting, as well. Next up is the proxy recordings, which is a small movie attached to your, most likely, your 4K file, which is a very large video file and can be very difficult to transfer, for instance, to a mobile device. And so, one of the options, and this is the video version of recording RAW plus JPEG, and so, you're recording two video formats, and it's probably that one is just used for a quick preview of what's going on, or for emailing. And so, it's not even playable in the camera. It's just something that you download, 'cause you can play back any of the videos you shoot in the camera otherwise. More items on the movie in Tab Two, the AF drive speed. So, the lens focusing, how fast do you want it to be? Now, the uninitiated to video would say, well, I want it to be as fast as possible. But the people who shoot video, they think video scenes where the focus jumps too quickly can be jarring and look awkward in frame. And so, sometimes it's better to set it slow. And so, if you want to adjust it up or down from the normal setting, you can do so here. The tracking sensitivity is kind of like a feature that we talked about earlier. How quickly does the camera jump to a new subject when you are tracking a subject moving around? And so, it depends on what your priority is: to jump to that new subject or to stay with that old subject. And so, shoot with the video a little bit. See what works for you. Auto slow shutter. And so, what this does is, if the light levels get low, the camera will automatically, if you ask it to, go to a lower shutter speed, which, for somebody who doesn't know much about video and just wants basic video out of the camera and to look good under all light levels, is great. But, for serious photographers or people shooting movies, they have a specific shutter speed that they wanna be shooting at for the entire clip of video that they're shooting. If they want the exposure to adjust, maybe they'll do that with the ISO, or the aperture, or filters, or something else. Shutter speed can be really important in video, and they don't want that to change. And so, it really depends on what level you are shooting video and what you're doing with that video as to where you want that set. Audio recording can be turned off. Normally, it's fine to leave it on, but if you wanna turn it off, do so here. The recording level can be adjusted yourself, and so, if you wanna turn on the audio bars, you can see it on the back of the camera and adjust it if you're doing kind of run-and-gun-style recordings. So, if you wanna see that display, you can turn it on, and it's gonna have a couple of little mic levels in there, showing what you're getting with the built-in microphones. More movie items here. Audio out timing. And so, if you are sending audio out through headphones or other listening devices here, you can have it live or lip sync, and it depends on if you're wanting it to match the video or match what you're actually hearing in the environment. Depends on how you're monitoring the sound as to which one's gonna be most convenient for you in monitoring that audio. There is a wind noise reduction that can be turned on. When wind is blowing, it hits the side of the camera, and it can make a lot of noise with a built-in microphone. This is why external microphones are required for any sort of really decent-quality sound out of a small camera like this. But this can help out in windy conditions to reduce the amount of sound of wind buffeting the side of the camera. Marker displays can help people when shooting video. There are what are known as safe zones, and safe zones in video are there because sometimes, TVs have frames that cover up a little bit of the image area, and you wanna make sure that you're not too close to the edges in there. And so, if you wanna turn that on, you can do so in here. There's also gonna be a variety of options for grids that might help you in composition. So, the marker display is turning it on and off. Marker settings, we go into this little sub-menu, will show you all the different options, if you just wanna know where the center is, or different aspect ratios. They have a ton of different aspect ratios to match up with a lot of commercial and industrial standards out there. And there's our safety zones and guideframes, as well, so, a variety of reasons why you might want those to assist you in framing your subject. So, you get to choose which one under marker settings. Under marker display is a simple setting for turning it on and off. If you have a Sony video light, one of the things that you can attach onto the camera, you can set when that light is turned on and turned off. And so, it depends on how much battery power you wanna use for setting up your shots. Which shutter button, or which button do you want to use to start the movie recording? And so, normally, you use the thumb button with the red dot on the back of the camera, but if you would prefer to use the shutter release, you can use that. Sometimes, cameras are in cages, and they're kind of hard to reach, and that button is just easier to get to. Or, people just like that button and they would prefer to use it.

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.