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Sony A7 III Fast Start

Lesson 16 of 29

Menu Pages 7 & 8: AF3 & AF4


Sony A7 III Fast Start

Lesson 16 of 29

Menu Pages 7 & 8: AF3 & AF4


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.


  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.