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Sony A7 III Fast Start

Lesson 26 of 29

Playback Menu


Sony A7 III Fast Start

Lesson 26 of 29

Playback Menu


Lesson Info

Playback Menu

Moving on to the playback mode. When you are playing back images, you can protect images, you can do multiple, you can get in with all with date. This prevents them from being deleted in the camera. Rotating the images so that you can see the maximum size image or the image in the correct rotation. This can be done in a few different ways but this is just to do it manually. We had a question on this earlier in the class about deleting images and normally there is a theory that I don't totally subscribe to but it does make some logical sense and that is rule is you should never delete in camera. That's because A, you might want that photo later on or it might cause a communication problem between the card and the camera and might is true, but that's a very low probability that anything will happen and so if you do want to delete, there's the garbage can on the back of the camera but that requires several button presses to make it all work right and so if you do know that you want to del...

ete in camera, a lot of images, it's best to go into the delete option here and then just kinda walk through your images with a check mark on all the ones you want to get deleted and then you can hit delete once to get rid of them. You can rate your images and when cameras first started putting rating on them, I thought this was one of the dumbest things ever put into a camera, but fact of the matter is is that this gets attached to the metadata and it's a great way for marking images that you know at the time that you took them are good. If you're stuck in an airport and you're trying to kill a few hours, you can get a jumpstart on the editing of your images by going through and star rating some of your images and so it does have its place. You can also rating set according to a custom key, so you can set a key on your camera, like C1 or C to be one star, two star, so as you're going through your images, rather than working with the menu system, you can just quickly press a key and automatically add a star rating system to that particular image. You can hook the camera up to a printer and print directly from the camera. This is gonna go through and help you decide what size of images, how many images, which images you're gonna print and so forth. Not something a lot of people do, once again, but it's available. We do have two card slots in the camera so if you want you could be recording to card slot one and then at some later point in time put in a card into slot two and copy everything over. This can be really handy, say for a group of photographers traveling on tour and they want to share images with one another but they didn't bring computers with them. Let me put your memory card in my camera and I'll just copy over that image to your card. It's nice to be able to copy images from card to card without needing a full computer to do it. Photo capture is just another way of grabbing a still shot from a video frame. We saw this earlier in the playback mode but we can do it from the menu system as well. Enlarging the image allow us to zoom in. There is a button on the back of the camera for this but other buttons can be programmed in for doing this. Initial magnification, standard or previous, if you want to choose it on the same that you had before, you would set it on previous but standard magnification will work for most people. The position of the enlargement, you can have it go to the center of the frame or the place that you focused which makes a lot more sense to me because that's the area of critical focus, and so it's kinda nice that you're not just going to the center of the frame and then having to navigate where it's the most important part of the frame. If you want to hook the camera up to a TV or monitor for a slideshow you can do an in-camera slideshow and this would help you set that slideshow up with the interval and which images and so forth. Once again, in the playback, you can choose which card slot you are playing from, and so one or two. The view mode, you can choose which type of images that you are looking at either in the slideshow or just on the back of the camera. You can choose different video modes that you've been through or different folders that you've created on the camera. Image index can be set at either nine or 25 images, whatever your preference. Display continuous shooting group is for sports photographers. Sometimes they shoot in bursts of images and they kinda see that burst of images as a single image that they will suss out later on and some people just want to see all the individual images in a row, but what it does is it kinda groups them up into one visual stacking so for those of you familiar with Lightroom, it's the equivalent of stacking in Lightroom. Display rotation, and Sony's got the best on the market of this particular feature. Manual is good for TV because it keeps images always set for horizontal format but it's not convenient for looking at. Normally I would recommend off because it's the maximum size image and generally when we look at our images and we want to see them on the maximum size we may need to turn the camera 90 degrees, enables us to see the images really big but they have an auto setting which automatically senses which direction the camera is being held and it turns the image so that you can easily see it, and so if you want, you can turn the camera 90 degrees to see a bigger image if you want, or not. Image jump setting, so normally on the camera, there is a dial for going back and forth through images one at a time and if you want to jump by a different category you can do so with a different dial. Here you can choose which dial that is that you're jumping with and the next step, you can choose the jump method. You can choose by protected or rating and so this is a quick way to get from image to image. Now this might seem kinda weird but let me tell you, this has made me look like an absolutely wonderful photographer. I was at an event and I was shooting a thousand photographs and I went through and I two starred about the 25 best images that I shot during the day, and then when I handed the camera to somebody, I said here, turn this dial to go from image to image and every image they saw was one of my best images of the day because they were my two star images and so it is kind of a nice way just to jump and show those highlight images that you want to share with somebody on the back of the camera.

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.