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Sony A7 III Fast Start

Lesson 14 of 29

Menu Pages 3-5: Shoot Mode/Drive 1/AF1


Sony A7 III Fast Start

Lesson 14 of 29

Menu Pages 3-5: Shoot Mode/Drive 1/AF1


Lesson Info

Menu Pages 3-5: Shoot Mode/Drive 1/AF1

Next page scene selection. When you are in the scene mode, you can come in here and select it. But you can also just turn the dial on the camera. So it's a bit redundant but, in here as well. Drive mode, we've talked about this a couple of times before. It's just once again listed in here 'cause it's listed everywhere else. Bracket settings. We talked a little bit before. It's one of the options in the drive mode, but this where you can really customize this a little bit more. One of the problems with the bracket mode is that you can't set bracket and self timer at the same time. But if you do wanna use the self timer and the bracket you can come in here and add a self timer to your bracket settings. This can be really handy for people on a tripod who do not have the external cable release. This is one that I like to change. The bracket order. It's a little bit awkward shooting the normal one first and then going back and forth between light and dark. If you shoot a large series of bra...

ckets this is just gonna get confusing when you look at your kind of thumbnail view of all of your images. The one that a lot of photographers like is just to shoot it from darkest to brightest so that you have this nice series of images going from dark to light. And so I think that's a good option change on this camera. Next up are the recall options on the camera. So you remember dial, mode dial on the top of the camera. One and two allows you to set memorized positions. And so you can go in here to recall information from your memorized one through four settings. If you want to set that information into the memory you would do so right here. And so you would set the camera up as you want it. Maybe you're gonna have it in shutter priority, 1/500th of a second in high speed motor drive. Come in here, and set that to one two or one of the other M one through four settings. And then when you dial it to one and two, or whatever setting you have set it's gonna work very quickly being able to change over to those modes. Here is where you get to select which media the memory recall is stored to. So one option if you do like using those M one through fours is maybe put that card in slot two, and your picture card in slot one. It's a little bit of an imperfect scenario. It seems like Sony should have just put on a little memory in the camera to store it in camera. But, this is what we are left to deal with. And so that's the way it works. All right, next page. Register custom shooting settings. And so this dives into a little bit of a sub-menu here. And so we have a number of buttons that can be programed on our camera. And we have a number of recall custom holds that we can set. And what we're doing here is you know the position one and two on the top of the camera that memorizes a bunch of settings, well that's all fine and dandy. But I have to go all the way up to the top of the camera and turn the dial to one and two. And sometimes that's just a little too much effort. Sometimes I wanna just press a button and change everything. Doesn't that sound nice. Just press a button and change everything. So that's what you can do with this. And you can set up to three buttons to change everything the way that you want it to. And so you can program one of these buttons to be a recall one, two, and three. And then you can go in and set all the features that you want in here. And so let's quickly dive into the menu. And look at what this does. And so what page are we on? Let's see we need to get over to register custom shooting. So I'm gonna hit the set button in here. We're gonna do it to number one. And we're gonna choose a bunch of things. And just to be real quick, I'm gonna go in here and make these changes kind of like I just said. Let's go with shutter priority. I prefer a shutter speed of, let's go with 1/1000th of a second. Let's set the drive mode to continuous shooting. Let's, let's just have it jump up ISO 800. Okay, so those are our settings. 1/1000th of a second. Continuous shooting. ISO, oh that's 8000. Fine enough. We'll just let it be set there. All these other changed we can make in here we're not gonna worry about it right now. Change as many of these things as you want. We're gonna register that as custom hold number one. Okay, at this point, I have done nothing on my camera. I've set it up to do something. But it's not fully set. What I need to do is I need to go in. I need to program one of these buttons. And we're gonna do, I gotta get to where I change the buttons, which is eight of nine. Custom key. I'm gonna change number one and I need to go find, and I don't know exactly where this is, do I? Is it on two? There it is. Recall custom hold number one. So custom button number one is gonna do recall custom hold number one. All of those parameters that I set in. So now let's take a look on the back of my camera. And let's actually I'm gonna change to, this display so you can see. So, how do I have the camera set up right now? It's in program. We see our shutter speeds. We see we're in single shot. Where is the ISO on here? Where is my ISO? ISO is set in auto right now. So when I press C one, watch what happens to the camera. It automatically changes over to those pre programmed settings that I had. Shutter priority, 1/1000th of a second. We're on the high speed motor drive. And our ISO is up at, ISO 8000. And so when I release my finger off the button it jumps back to that program mode. And so you can change completely different modes from where you're shooting one, two, and three to these different recall custom modes. It's a very powerful setting that you can quickly change to massively different settings on your camera. All right, next page dealing with auto focus. The focus mode. Hey, we talked about this before. Single, continuous, variety of other options. So you can dive into the menu to do it. But it's in the function menu. And there's currently a button set for this right now. When it's in the auto focus single mode, you can set it to auto focus priority so it has to be in focus when it shoots. And that's what most people like. There is a release mode where it will fire even if it's out of focus. And that could be a little dangerous and so you gotta be very careful about setting that. There is a balanced emphasis that kind of tries to focus but then if it can't, it'll let you shoot. But I think the safest option is to put it in AF here. Story is a little different when it comes to contentious, which is we're talking about sports and action photography, if you put it in the release mode, the camera will shoot very very quickly and rapidly and try to stay at that 10 frames a second if you have it set. But balanced emphasis will allow it to work a little bit more with focusing. And the idea here is that the camera in these continuous focusing modes is trying to focus and it's trying to shoot photos at the same time. So these are like two different divisions of a company trying to do different things. And this balance between them, okay, try really hard to focus. Okay, now we gotta shoot. Now try really hard to focus again. It's a pretty good emphasis. If you are getting too many out of focus shots or your camera is not firing fast enough, this is an option that you might wanna get in and play with to adjust to your needs. The focus area. This is something that we saw previously on the C two button. It's just changing which area we are using with focusing. But it can be programmed to many other buttons on the camera. Focus setting. This is basically the joystick on the camera. But if you wanted to access it through the menu system, you could and you can here. Switching from vertical to horizontal. So when you switch from horizontal to vertical the focus point stays relative the same in the frame, which can be kind of irritating 'cause you're trying to compose in a certain way. So I like having this set up so that when I switch I can have a new focusing point set in a different area relationship to the frame. And so I like being able to change the auto focus point and auto focus area so that I can keep kind of a similar composition but changing from horizontal to vertical. And so it's a feature that's very handy for a lot of people doing sports and action photography.

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.