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Sony A7 III Fast Start

Lesson 16 of 29

Menu Pages 7 & 8: AF3 & AF4

John Greengo

Sony A7 III Fast Start

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

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.


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
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 Pages 7 & 8: AF3 & AF4

Next page up, we have something called Pre-AF, and this is where the camera will focus all the time even though you're not pressing halfway down on the shutter release. This is gonna waste a lot of battery power, and it's something that you can normally do with either pressing the AF-On button or pressing down on the shutter release button. And so this doesn't really seem to be necessary in most cases, and I think it's just kind of wasteful, amount of energy, 'cause every time you hold the camera, anywhere around while it's turned on it's gonna be trying to focus on that subject. Eye-Start AF. So this is once again exclusively for people working with these adapters from Sony. And so, this is where when you hold the camera up to your eye, it will automatically start focusing. And if you're wondering why the camera can't do this on it's own, I'm with you, I have no idea why this is not an option. It seems like this would be very easy for them to do this. It was a feature on Minolta Camer...

as from many, many, many years ago. AF Area Registration, and so this is kind of an interesting feature. It's kind of fun, I want to do a little demo here to show you what this does. From time to time, you'll be focusing in one part of the screen, and then you might immediately want to jump over there. And I know it's pretty easy with the joystick to jump over there, but sometimes you might want it immediately over there. And so what you can do, in this case, is you can memorize a secondary position for that focusing point. And have it jump back and forth with one of the buttons on the camera. So let's go in and take a look at this feature a little bit more closely. And see if we can make an adjustment on it. So I'm gonna dive into the menu system. And we are, AF Area Registration. So what were gonna do is turn this on, it's gonna give us a little warning, and I'll explain that warning if you don't want to read it here in just a second. And so, what we have and, let's see if we can make this a little bit easier to work with. I'm gonna put this in manual exposure, and I'm just gonna make this really bright, because I want you to see the focusing frame in there. So, you can see the focusing frame. And I have it set to center point, which means I can't move it around. So we're gonna set it to medium, that's fine. So I can move the focusing point around. Let's get rid of the histogram. Get rid of that, get rid of that, get rid of that. Okay, there we go. So now we're moving the focusing frame around. But if we want to go from the center to the side, I can move it over here and then I can press in the middle and it jumps back. But to get it over to the side I gotta keep pressing it back and forth. If I want to go back and forth, with one press. What I can do is I can move it over here to the side, hold down the function for two full seconds, and it is now registered that focusing area. Now it still doesn't do any good because I have to program a button to go to that focusing area. So let me dive into the menu system, and I need to go up to the second tab, eight of nine and that gets us to our custom keys. Let's change number one cause we're changing that to do everything. So we want to change this to do the focus hold, so I'm looking for focus hold. Hold and toggle, I'm gonna show you both of these. So now what I have is I have C1 up here set so anytime I press the button it instantly changes and when I release the button it goes back to the center. So now let's go ahead change the menu. Dive back in here to the toggle option is a toggle switch. Which means I press it once, it switches over there and I press it again it goes back to the home base. So you have home base and one other location that you can go back and forth with one press of a button. And so if you are changing focus points regularly in two different areas, the center and some place else, you can get it to do that quite quickly. And that's very handy once you have that set up. Alright, next up, what do we have? Delete Registered AF Area. So if you just want to delete it, you can do so right in here. AF Area Auto Clear. Normally, when you are focusing it's gonna show you green brackets of where you focused. Some people don't like those brackets in the frame, just cause they don't wanna look at 'em. And so what happens is after you focus, after they turn green they disappear after one to two seconds and so that you don't see that in there at all. And that might help some people with the composition. Display continuous AF area. So as it tracks moving subjects it's gonna show you these boxes where it is tracking the subject. And I think this is extremely helpful for people who are especially new to the Sony system to see how the system is working in real time. However, some sports photographers might get kind of annoyed by these boxes over their subject all the time. And once you have, lets say gotten a little bit more faith in what you camera is doing, you don't need to have that visual confirmation on there. So that's a feature that you might want to start with on but then later turn off. Alright, next tab AF Micro Adjustment. And this is for people using that Sony Adaptor again and one of the problems with face-detection focusing is it's estimating the distance to the sensor and it's not exactly sure and sometimes you need to go in and tweak that adjustment a little bit. So if you have that adaptor and you're not getting consistent focus, this is where you'd go in and make those adjustments.

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.