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Sony A7 III Fast Start

Lesson 17 of 29

Menu Pages 9-11: Exposure & Flash


Sony A7 III Fast Start

Lesson 17 of 29

Menu Pages 9-11: Exposure & Flash


Lesson Info

Menu Pages 9-11: Exposure & Flash

Looking with the exposure options here, exposure compensation, we have a dial on the top but if you wanna be able to do it from the menu system you can do it here as well. Reset EV compensation, and so if you are doing it with something other than the dial. You can have the camera reset to zero exposure compensation every time you turn the camera on and off. For most people that's a nice safety protocol, you know, you'll, we're doing some special project, you had it on plus two, turn the camera off, next time out of the bag you don't want your camera at plus two. But there are some photographers that are working on some projects they do wanna turn your camera off and leave everything exactly the same. And so that is only if you have reprogrammed the custom, or the exposure compensation away from the dial on the top of the camera. You can change your ISO in here and we've talked about this a couple of times before and so every time they wanna put a feature in the camera that you can cus...

tomize with any one of the buttons, they tend to put it in the menu system as well which is why we see it here as well as two other places on the camera. This is important for anyone who wants to use the auto ISO. What it is, is that the camera will automatically choose a shutter speed that is usually equivalent to the focal length of the lens. And so with a 28 millimeter lens, a 28th of a second or a 30th of a second, is the minimum shutter speed that it would have before it starts changing to a higher ISO. But in some cases, it's nice that when you put on a different lens, it will recognize that there's a different lens on the camera and it will adjust the appropriate shutter speed for it. Now if you want to go in and tell it to use something even slower or faster than that automatic adjustment, you can do that and so in some cases if I was doing travel photography, I might set this at slow or slower because I'm confident in my ability to hand hold the camera and the camera's built in stabilization system. If I knew I was shooting people in action, I would probably set it to faster faster so that the camera hesitated towards using a faster shutter speed to stop motion. So for those of you using auto ISO, standard's a good place to start with but you may tweak this a little bit according to what type of subjects you're shooting. Metering mode, we talked about this earlier. Different types of metering mode. The multi mode is a good general purpose one. Face priority and multi meter, and so this is where the camera, when it's using a multi segment, metering will recognize faces and adjust the exposure. Now I have not seen much difference in exposure that the camera gives whether you turn this on or off. And so it's probably safest just to leave it on. But if you find that it's not giving you the exposures that you like you may wanna turn this off. So this is a little bit of adjustment that goes along with that metering mode. The spot metering point can either be in the center of the frame, or it can be linked to the focusing point. And a lot of people like being able to link it to the focus point because it becomes an even tighter spot and you can move it around the frame. And so that's a good option for a lot of people. Exposure steps can be changed from 1/3 to 1/2 step, sometimes there are external devices whether they're lights or light meters that work on 1/2 stops and you may wanna change it if you like but most people leave it in the 1/3 stops increments. Auto exposure lock with the shutter. When you press down on the shutter it locks the exposure and one of the options in auto, what it does there is it will lock the exposure if you're in the auto focus single mode but if your in the auto focus continuous where your subject is likely moving around, then it adjusts the exposure. So auto's not a bad option. I tend to like to have that exposure locked on the first image so that if I take multiple images they're all the same exposure. Exposure standard adjustment. Okay, this is one that I hope you never need to change so you probably don't wanna change this. What this does is it changes the way that your light meter reads the light. And this would, is something that you would go in and change if you found that your light meter was off. It was measuring everything a little too hot or a little too dark and you wanted to either make it brighter or darker and when you go in here it gives you a real ominous warning and basically it's not gonna tell you that you've upped the exposure by 1/6th of a stop or a 1/3rd of a stop or whatever the case may be, so hopefully you won't need to use this. And so you can go in and adjust each of the different meters up or down, according to how they might be off. And as I say, most people will never need to use this. Next up in flash, we have the ability to change the flash if you have a flash on the camera of course, it doesn't, so not gonna do much good until you get a flash on there. If you do have flash, flash exposure compensation, great way to tone that flash down so it's not quite as hot. Exposure compensation set, this is where when you set the exposure compensation dial on the camera, do you want it to control the exposure of the camera or the exposure of the camera and the flash? And so if you're very new to photography, it's probably easiest to do both at the same time but most serious photographers want when they're shooting with flash to adjust the exposure of the flash on the flash and the exposure of the camera on the camera. And that's why they might want it separately set just to ambient only. Wireless flash allows you to turn on the option with working with other flashes. That's a whole nother class into itself in case you're wondering. If you do have a flash on the camera, there's a red eye reduction mode that reduces red eye by firing multiple bursts of bright lights. This can be irritating to your subject, it can delay your shutter release by up to two seconds and it's something that can be completely fixed in post production very easy these days and so most people aren't using this as much as they did back in the pre digital days.

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.