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Sony A7 III Fast Start

Lesson 28 of 29

My Menu Overview


Sony A7 III Fast Start

Lesson 28 of 29

My Menu Overview


Lesson Info

My Menu Overview

The last tab in here is My Menu. This is something that is relatively new and expanded with Sony. This is what other camera manufacturers have been doing for a while. It allows you to go through this list of 250 some-odd items or something like that and select a few that you really want to access and put them in My Menu. You do have the options of hard buttons on the camera, you have the function menu on the back, which is your shortcut menu, or you can create My Menu. What you can do is you can go in here and add and organize items. Let's go ahead and do that right now and see if we can customize our camera a little bit. We're gonna go into the menu system. Let's go up to My Menu. There's nothing in here right now. You can see we're on page one of one, and this is just the organizing page. Let's add some items. Let's add File Format. We'll add it to that location. Let's choose JPEG Quality, and we'll add that there. Let's go down, find something else. Actually we're gonna go to the ri...

ght. You can see we have 32 pages of information. Let's just add some random stuff. Drive Mode; yeah, that's fine there. Adding that in. Let's go find one more. Let's go Focus Area. But this one's really important, so I wanna move this up to the top of the list. So that's up here. I'm gonna hit the menu to back out of this because it says down here, MENU; that's the back-out symbol, so I'm gonna hit Menu. Now under one of one, you can see, here are the items that I've chosen and that I've organized the way that I want to. If I want, I can add another item. Let's just go change something. Let's do the face priority. We can move this and put this on a second or third page if we want. Let's say we wanna have some things dealing with focusing on page three. So we've added that here. I'm gonna hit Menu to back out of here. Now we have our first items in here. We have a new page that we're starting. I forget how many pages; I think there's five pages of information that we can have in here. What I've done in the past is I've organized my first page as general settings and then my second page as landscape settings, and my third page is video settings. So I can go there and find the quick summary of all the features that I would normally like to have access to, but I don't wanna gotta go hunt through the Sony menu system and try to find it. It's a great way to make the camera quick and easy to work with. Yeah, I've made a few complaints about the Sony menu system, but it's improved a lot. We've got a lot of different ways to customize the camera, and I think anyone who has this camera for more than a few weeks and plays with the system a little bit is gonna learn it forwards and backwards and get the system set up the way they want so that they're not wasting time out in the field. I think if you go through the trouble of what we just did in the class, going through all the menus, getting things set the way you want, work out a nice My Menu, it's gonna be a really fast and easy system to work with. Kenna. Maybe we can take a couple of questions now before we keep going. Yeah, go ahead. Can you show us where we can find the shutter count for the camera? No. (laughs) Oh, I'm sorry. No, I'm not allowed to do that. It doesn't have a shutter count that it shows us directly. There may be some aftermarket programs that you can hook up on the Internet, plug the camera in with its USB connection. I haven't tried this version on some of the shutter counts that I've already downloaded. There's a number of people that have made shutter count profiles where they can go in and find that information in the data, but there's nothing in the camera that will show us directly. We have a question from Loretta Clark who says, "Are there any issues with this camera that you could envision when it comes to night-time photography?" She says, "I know about the star eater problem, but I'm thinking more of the battery overheating with multiple or very long exposures." And then, "Do you get hot pixels with it?" Okay. Well, maybe for our other non-Star Wars viewers, we should recognize what the star eater problem is. That was Sony cameras, especially on the previous generation, had some sort of bug in their software that I don't know that they really tested with, and that is that when you shot stars, it saw these small little light points as noise and then it would mask over it. That was the star eater problem, is that all these astronomical photographers were saying, "This doesn't look very good. There are a lot of stars it's not picking up on that I thought I saw in there." It's doing much better. Apparently there's still a little bit of an issue with that, and so if you do a lot of astrophotography, I don't know that it's the best camera out there on the market for that. That's that issue. Shooting night-time photography; I don't know that there's anything really different about this than any other camera out on the market. You probably don't wanna leave the shutter open for more than 5, 10, 15 minutes because that's gonna cause a lot of heat and that's gonna cause a lot of noise in the images. Typically for a lot of the astro shots, people are shooting at 15, 30, 45 seconds, 1 minute. In some cases, you can do longer shots if you have a worm drive that can follow the stars. But you do have to be careful about leaving the shutter open for a long period of time. That would be my main concern. If you are doing a lot of long-time exposures, that does eat more battery life. The whole 600 shots goes completely out the window when you're shooting 30-second exposures. I think that would be obvious, but expect a lot less when doing those long exposures. One more from Loretta. Does the crop option extend the length of telephoto for getting in close to wildlife? Yes, it does, but at the expense of megapixels, detail, and resolution. For instance, their new 402.8 lens has a dial on the lens that you can program to automatically go into a 1.5 crop mode. So with a 400 millimeter lens, you're kind of limited. You don't have a zoom. But with that, you have an instant zoom-in, but you're instantly changing from 24 megapixels to 10. There's a trade-off there. It may or may not be worth it because, to be honest with you, a 10-megapixel is gonna be pretty much good for the cover of any magazine. You guys remember magazines, right? (laughs) Anything on the Internet. Some people are perfectly happy with the 10-megapixel image because it fits the needs of some applications of images. All right. Oh, yeah; question. I have a question regarding that last one. What's the difference between cropping it in in the camera and just zooming it in in the computer? In final result, same thing. The difference is, is cropping it in-camera gets you an instant image that's cropped the way you want it. Well, or cropped to the 1.5 factor. It's done quickly and easily. If you crop it later, then you can always go back to the original. Some people just like to look at it in the viewfinder and have the focusing points in that area. It's something that you can do now or later, either one.

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.