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Sony A7r III Fast Start

Lesson 5 of 26

Custom Key Settings


Sony A7r III Fast Start

Lesson 5 of 26

Custom Key Settings


Lesson Info

Custom Key Settings

Next step is the first of a lot of custom buttons up here, and so CUSTOM 1 button is a button that you can dive into the menus, Camera Settings 2, page 8 of 9, under Custom Key, and you can reprogram it if you want to, and let's take a quick look at the different options that we have here. All right, let's read through every single one of these and discuss exactly what they all do, maybe not. There's 23 different pages in here of different things that you can program for Custom Button 1, or 2, or 3, or 4, and there's even more than those four in here. Now, one of the things to be aware of is that there are some items in here that are no where else in the camera. They're not in the menu system other than buried in here as something that you can program on to one of the Custom Keys, and I don't have time, in this class, to go through all of those features, but I will call out a few of things. Number one, is on page five, is an Eye Auto Focus. If you want to turn that on, what you need to...

do, is you need to assign it to a Custom Button, and we'll actually do a demo here with that in just a moment, but a few other ones that I found interesting, is Auto Exposure Toggle. Now, we talked a little bit about the Auto Exposure button, Auto Exposure Lock button, on the back of the camera, and the way it works is you have to press in on that button for it to work. Well you could have it be a toggle, which means you press it once, it locks it in, you press it again, and it unlocks it. That way, you don't have to have your finger pressing and holding that button, and so it's sometimes a little bit easier to get the camera setup in that regard. Another one that's kind of interesting, is the In Camera Guide. Now, personally, I hate this, but I realize that not everyone agrees with what I like and dislike, but for somebody who is brand new to the camera, you could have a one button, help button, that will bring up a help menu that helps explain the feature that you are looking at or the thing that you were doing in the camera at that time, and so for somebody new, that could be really helpful. Another one is Shot Results Preview. Depending on how you have your screens setup, you may have them mimicking how dark it is, and if you're working in a studio, it may not really show you things correctly, and so this is gonna be a way of taking a practice photo without storing it to the memory card, and so somebody out there is gonna find that useful. Another one is Bright Monitoring, and so this is another option, kinda like working in a studio, where you have your camera setup for flash units, and your camera has that really fast shutter speed, but it's pretty dark in the studio, 'cause the flash hasn't fired yet, and this would brighten up the monitor to make it easy to see. So the one that I wanted to see if we could experiment, I want to see if there's a volunteer in the classroom that would be willing to be on camera for a moment, we're gonna do a little eye detect, and so, let me see if I can get my camera setup for this, and so, let's take a look at the back of my camera while I get this setup, and so what we're gonna need to do, is we're gonna need to reprogram C1 for this, so let's go ahead and dive into the menu system, and we're gonna get fully in to the menu system a little bit later, but I think I can navigate us there right now. We're gonna go over to the Custom Key settings, which is at the end of Camera section two, and we're gonna reprogram Custom Button 1, ad here is where we have our 23 pages of information. All right, so there's all sorts of things in here that we could go for, and we're gonna go up to page five, because that's what my notes tell me to do, and we're gonna set this up in Eye AF, all right, so Custom Button 1 is programmed as Eye AF. Now, there is no Eye in here, so it's not focusing. Now I'm gonna make a couple of other changes on this real quickly, and these are things that we will talk more about, is I'm just gonna change this to center focusing so there's a bracket right there in the middle, just for general work, and to make this more interesting, I am gonna change the focus mode to Continuous Focusing. Now, do we have a volunteer who's willing to come up? April. All right, all you need to do, thank you, give her a round of applause (mumbles). Just stand over by the prop table, and we're gonna see if, the camera right now, is automatically picking up that face, as you can see here, but if I press the C1 button, you can see it picking up on her eye. Take two steps forward, and now bob your head around a bit, like you're boxing and somebody's about to hit ya. Now you can see how that is following her eye. Go ahead and step back a little bit, and come up real close to the camera, and you can see that it's tracking, and go ahead, back up there, and it does an amazing job at tracking, and so, thank you very much, that's all we needed, and so the camera is really, really good. This is probably one of the best camera's on the market for tracking like this, and when you're shooting portraits, getting the eye in focus is really, really important, and so a lot of photographers are customizing one of the buttons on their camera to do that Eye Auto Focus. John, I do have a quick question. Does that feature work with someone with glasses? Yes, it does. We were trying it earlier and it works with glasses. There are some limitations. In the demo that I just did, I would say that it was good about 90% of the time. There was some actions, you know, you throw it off for a moment, and so, it can be thrown off. Unusual lighting can be throwing it off, and we didn't have you do the spin test as to see how soon it catches it, but in general, you could see that it was following it very, very well, and so, it'll vary a little bit according to the lenses as well. Thank you. So, I encourage you to go in to the Custom Key settings, find one of those Custom Keys that you're not utilizing for regular photography, and see if there's something else that you can experiment in here, 'cause my guess is that you're gonna be able to find a few different gems in here that will help you out in different types of photography. All right, so that's Custom Key 1, but by default, it's preprogrammed to handle White Balance, which is a pretty important feature to have, and so you might want to keep this one as White Balance, and use something else for the Eye Auto Focus, or other items in there, and so, with White Balance, it's all about getting the correct color. Different types of lights have different color, and sometimes you need to tell the camera what type of light you are working under, and so on the top, we have our natural conditions, Daylight, Cloudy, and Shade, which have slightly different color temperatures. This camera has a lot of different options when it comes to fluorescent lighting, because fluorescent lights come in many, many different color temperatures. Incandescent is the one that is the most different, the orange lights that we typically have in our homes, if you want to get correct color on that, set it for incandescent. We do also have a few other options on this. We have an Underwater option, and than we have a Auto White Balance option, and this was the one that I keep my camera on most of the time, 'cause it usually does a pretty good job, and so, that's a good default place to keep it, 'cause it usually figures it out, but it's not always correct, so the other options you have, is you can set a specific Kelvin temperature, and so if you knew the Kelvin temperature, you could set it, or if you thought it was just a little too cool, or a little too warm, you could just move it up and down that scale manually yourself, and then finally, you could calibrate on a white surface. If you have a gray card or a white piece of paper, you could calibrate it right there for the room that you're in, and so if you are needing to get exact color in an unusual lighting situation, just have a white piece of paper, or a gray card, and go through the process of calibrating it yourself, and I believe there's three or possibly four, I think there's four different settings in there that you could have preset, and so if, let's say you photographed in an office, that just had unusual lighting, but you were always there taking pictures in that office, you could set it up as one of those four favorites, and everytime you go back to that office to photograph, you just go to that White Balance, so that you get proper color in that office, at least until they replace the bulbs and change the lighting in the office.

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!

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