Skip to main content

Sony A7r III Fast Start

Lesson 9 of 26

Back Side Controls: Viewfinder


Sony A7r III Fast Start

Lesson 9 of 26

Back Side Controls: Viewfinder


Lesson Info

Back Side Controls: Viewfinder

You see the little lock next to this, and that is because this button does double duty. In a play-back mode, it locks your images and prevents them from being deleted. Now the card can still be formatted, whether it's in-camera, or it could be deleted if it's outside the camera, so it's a very low level of protection. But it just simply allows you to prevent an image from being deleted in-camera. Next up is the menu button. This is the full list of all the options and things that the camera can do. We'll be covering this in the second half of the class. The back of the camera has a LCD with 1.4 million dots. It is touch screen for focus. It is, by default, disabled when you get it from the factory, so you gotta go in and turn it on. So we'll talk more about this as we get in there. And from here, then we go into the electronic viewfinder. And so there's a lot going on in here. Now this is a 3.6 million dot finder. However, that 3.6 million dots is not a fair number. And that's because ...

they are using three dots for each different color. And so it's really like about a million and a half pixels when it comes to that. But there's slightly deceptive terminology that they use, and so dots are different than pixels. 'Cause pixels would be combined of three dots, comprising red, green, and blue. Now it does have a rubber eyecup that could wear out after time, so if you do need to repair that that's the FDA-EP18. What a catchy name that is! (laughter) We do have an eye sensor in here, which is improved over the past. The previous camera was, I struggled with the a 7R II, because it was a little too sensitive. And every time I came near it, it seemed to turn on. This one seems to be dialed in a little bit better. Another little trick, and let's just take a quick look at the back of my camera. As we can see, the camera sees, it's showing us on the LCD what's going on. And the sensor, if something blocks it, will automatically switch off. And so any time we get too close to that, it switches over to the electronic viewfinder, which you can actually see turning on up there. But one of the things is that as soon as you pull the screen out, it disengages that. And so if you want to just not have it switch over, just pull it out. Let's see how little we can do. Just right there. It's still there, let's pull it out here. Okay, so you just gotta pull it out just a little bit, and then it won't be switching back and forth if you don't want it to switch off. Now you can actually go in and turn it on and off manually. You can program one of the buttons to turn it on and off, so there's multiple ways of dealing with that. And so if you do want to dive in electronically into the menu system and force it onto one system or the other, you can do that under the Finder/Monitor option in the camera settings. There is a diopter over on the side of the viewfinder that controls the focus, not of the lens, but of the viewfinder. So this is just controlling the focus of your view of the screen that you're looking at inside there. Now you're gonna be able to have a lot of different displays. And you're gonna be able to choose which options are available if you go under Live View Displays. And so there's about five or six different view screens that's gonna show you more or less information depending on how much you like to see. And you can really customize what you see on the back of the camera, as well as in the viewfinder by diving in this. And I'll show you more of these as we go throughout the rest of the class. Looking more closely in the viewfinder itself, the frame itself is, of course, 100% accurate. It's showing you everything that you're getting on the final frame. You will see a variety of focusing frames depending on the mode that you are in. Generally, you'll see some black brackets, but then when you're changing or when you're actually focusing, it'll be different. As I mentioned before, sometimes you'll see lots of little green dots, green squares. You'll see big green squares when it can identify larger subjects. And when the camera goes into face tracking, it'll have a different bracket for that, as well. But it's generally what it's focusing on. Helping some people for composition are grids that you can turn on and off. These will be available for us when we go into the menu settings, and it's gonna be the grid line that you can turn on and off in the camera settings page six of nine. By pressing the display button on the back of the camera, these are the different options that you can get for displays in the viewfinder. And so you can have more or less information. The histogram is really nice for people who like judging images exposure-wise using that. There's a level, if you want to keep the horizon correct. There is a graphic display, which is kind of interesting, but has a lot of information. And so you can just cycle through this by pressing the display button repeatedly. And in the bottom left is a focus light. And so if you want to manually focus, you can turn it until that light turns on. And that's when you know you're in focus. If the camera's auto-focusing, you can see the status of what it is doing and how well it's doing it. On the bottom of all of these is your exposure settings. And so this is pretty obvious, easy stuff, as far as your shutter speeds and apertures. On the top is the rest of your camera settings. And so there's gonna be a variety, I'm not gonna go through all of these, but these are the main quality controls that you have set up at any given point in time, as well as your battery information. Now this graphic display, part of me loves this, because I love graphic displays. I like being very visual, but I really dislike the fact that it's covering up about an eighth of the image area. And the image is more important than a graphic display. So I'm not a huge fan of it. The histogram, I think, is a great way of judging exposure. I don't like that fact that it's over your image. And so it's a bit of a compromise. You'll be a better judge than me whether that works for you or not. The level can be very handy. I need this a lot because I sometimes hand hold this just at a little bit about a one degree angle of view off sometimes, and so that's something that's nice to be able to turn on and off by just hitting that display button. And so I like keeping that one on. And there's one for tilting it from side to side, as well as pitching forward and back. When it gets green is when you know you've got it at least very close to correct. And so those are the display options. And if you don't like one or more of those, you can uncheck the box for that particular display when you're in the menu system, and then you won't see it as you cycle through by pressing that display button. The frame rate option in the camera is kind of interesting. It's a half a dozen, what do they call, half a dozen of one or the other. I forget it. But it's (laughs) got some serious pros and cons. You can choose the standard frame rate, but it's a higher resolution, and it looks really good. But if you photograph a lot of action that's moving very quickly, you may want to put this in a higher frame rate but a lower resolution. And so there's a bit of give and take on these. And so it really depends on how much fast action you're shooting. If you're doing a lot of action sports photography, I would recommend the high rate of 120 frames per second. And if it's just standard photography you're doing, I would leave it at the standard 60 frames per second, because you will get a higher resolution, slightly crisper view of your subject. And so if you're trying to manually focus or really judge focus critically, you probably want to leave it in the standard mode, because you do get that slightly higher resolution. Now the color and brightness of the viewfinder can be adjusted if you find that it has drifted over time or just doesn't look right to your eyes. Or for some other reason that you need to adjust it, this will be able to be changed in the setup menu. And it's probably something that you'll never need to touch. But if you do need to do it, it is possible. So lots of different things going on between the EVF and the LCD on the back of the camera.

Class Description

Get the most out of your new Sony A7r III with this complete step-by-step walkthrough of the camera’s features. You'll learn why this camera is highly sought after by enthusiasts and professional photographers alike. Join expert photographer John Greengo as he gives you all the information you need to understand the camera's buttons, menus, and functions.

In this Fast Start class John will discuss:

  • Improved performance at 10fps for shooting action shots
  • High speed continuous shooting
  • Improved 5 axis image stabilization
  • Faster, lower-noise image processing
  • High quality 4K video

John is a CreativeLive veteran instructor and an experienced photographer. With over 50 Fast Start classes in the CreativeLive catalog, he will discuss the complete breakdown of your camera’s exposure, focus, metering, video and more. John will also explain how to customize the Sony A7r III settings to work for your style of photography.


Angela Sanchez

Super great clearly explained guide for the Sony a7r III. John is always a fantastic knowledgeable instructor who knows how to teach all about cameras in a super clear organized way. I love John Geengo classes!

Craig Markham

As always, John shines as a teacher extraordinaire! His visuals, pacing of presentation, clarity, and and adherence to the class objectives are all spot-on. As a devoted A7r II user for the past 2 years, this was a great review of the shared features, and gave me the best information for evaluating the cost/benefit of an upgrade to the A7r III now.


John Greengo is the man. I've been watching CreativeLive classes for years and there is no better instructor than him. I recently upgraded from the A7r II to the III and had been waiting for this course to be offered. John is incredibly knowledgeable and, with great dedication, provides all pertinent information related to operating and knowing your new camera. If it weren't for John, I wouldn't know the ins and outs of my new camera and would struggle with optimal settings which would decrease the best output possible. You rock, John. Thanks again!

Explore More Free Classes


Enjoy the free classes? Get 2000+ more Classes and watch it anytime, anywhere.

Get The Pass