Sony A7r III Fast Start

Lesson 21/26 - Menu Functions: Camera Settings 2 - Video


Sony A7r III Fast Start


Lesson Info

Menu Functions: Camera Settings 2 - Video

So we've worked our way into camera settings two and as I mentioned before, Camera Setting two is just a continuation of Camera Settings one. However, we do seem to jump over and are going to be dealing with a lot more movie functions here for the next several pages. First up, when you do turn your camera into the movie mode do you want it to be in a program, aperture priority, shutter priority, or manual mode? Different people have different needs. If you just wanna use your camera as a simplified camcorder, put it in the program mode. If you really wanna control the specifics of the settings of the camera you're gonna probably wanna put it in the manual mode for this. Same concept when it goes to the slow and quick movie options that you have. You can have the camera control it for you or you can do it yourself with manual exposure. Choosing the file format is very important for choosing videos. Which file format do you want to shoot? I imagine a lot of people with this camera, one o...

f the big things that they like about it is that it shoots 4K video and so that 3840 x 2160 aspect ratio. Next popular would be HD, which is still gonna be a very useful, good size movie format. The AVCHD, designed more for blu-ray recording, is one that most people are gonna avoid in most cases. Recording setting is gonna have to deal a little bit with the frames per second as well as the bit rate. And the options that you see in here will vary according to what you selected under file format, but the larger data will get you a little bit more information for editing purposes. If you're gonna be editing down to the frame you probably want to select the highest quality setting you possibly can. If you're just doing simple movies you can probably do the lower rate and be completely fine with your standard videos. The S&Q settings is where you get to go in and choose specific settings. So there's a sub-menu in here. First option is the record setting. So when you record it, what's that final recording gonna be like? Is it gonna be at 60 frames, 30 frames, or 24 frames a second? Remember 30 frames is standard video. You'll then get to choose the frame rate and this is gonna have an impact on whether you're speeding up time or you're slowing down time according to the recording setting. And so there's some very fun options in here in ways that you can create fast motion movies or slow motion movies right in the camera. Proxy recording, I mentioned this briefly before. So when you record a 4K movie for instance, it's a very large file and it's gonna be a little bit cumbersome moving it around and so if you want, the camera will record an HD movie which is 1280 x at a pretty low bit rate there and it's something that you're not gonna be playing in camera, but you'll get with the camera and you can pull off the card if you want to have a simple, quick movie file just for reference purposes, for Email purposes. Movies can take a little bit longer to render the movies and then to create a smaller version of the movie to send off. So it's very much the equivalent of shooting RAW plus JPEG for the movie shooters. Second tab dealing with movies is when you are shooting movies, how quickly do you want the camera to focus? Now, it might seem to the novice that you want it to focus as quick as possible so that it's in focus really quickly, but when you focus the lens really quickly it looks awkward in video and it doesn't look right and so there is, kind of, a balance between going too fast and too slow. So it's set on normal to start with, if you wanna change it this is where you do it. AF tracking sensitivity, so related to the topic that I just covered, but this is, in this case here, how quickly will it start to make that change. Do you want it to be very responsive? So as soon as it sees something to focus on it jumps to it. Or do you want it to be a little bit standoffish and sticking with the subject that you have chosen to focus on. Once again, it depends totally on the type of subjects that you're using, but standard is a good place to begin for most people. Do you want the camera to use an auto slow shutter speed to accommodate for low light? If you're using this camera just as a simplified camcorder, leaving this turned on will just allow you to shoot under lower light, but for people who are more serious about shooting they don't want the camera going in and changing their shutter speeds on them and so they'll accommodate for that themselves. Do you want the camera to automatically record audio while you are shooting? In most cases it's gonna be good. A lot of times professionals who are recording on external devices will just simply use that for syncing their devices together which can make things a little bit easier in post production, but if you want to turn it completely off you can. If you are recording you can use the headphone jack on the side of the camera and you can monitor the record levels so you can set this, set the record levels appropriately for the noise that you're collecting. Do you wanna turn this display on or off? And so this is a display that will show up in the LCD monitor or the view finder along with the display of the image that you are recording. And so if you are recording the levels, if you are adjusting the levels, you're gonna probably wanna be able to see them as well. If you are having audio piped out of the camera there are two options; live and lip sync. And it depends on whether you want it actually live or synced with the video that you are recording. Most people aren't gonna need to play with this, but if you do need to use it there is a small adjustment here for that. The built-in microphones on this camera do not record the cleanest noise to start with and when it gets windy it gets only worse. And so if it is windy and you're getting a lot of that really bad sound with built-in mics, that built-in mics often have, then you might want to turn this on. Most of the time though, you will leave it turned off. So we're gonna see a number of grid patterns. We've talked about this a few times. You'll notice the little video symbol beside the marker display. This means that it's only showing up in movies. If you want to see a variety of markers you can turn them on and off here. Now, which markers do you see? Well we're gonna talk about that next, but if you just wanna see 'em or not 'em this is where you turn them on and off. The marker settings go into a sub-menu and the first option is the center one that just lets you know where the center of the frame is. Next one is aspect ratio. A lot of people are shooting movies with this that have various aspect ratios. We also have safety zones and just a regular guideframe. These are all, once again, items that you would only see in the movie menu or movie setting of the camera. The video light mode works with Sony video lights and it basically helps tell the light when do you want it turned on. Only when you're on recording? When you're on standby? So it's a limited use item, but can be helpful to have that to save battery power to only have it turn on when you actually want it on. The movie with shutter button. Do you want to be able to record movies by pressing the shutter button on the camera? It may be just an easier position if the camera is in some sort of mounting cage and there's a lot of devices around it. For most people though, the record button on the back of the camera it's in a pretty good spot now. Alright, moving on in camera settings two, we're now talking about things dealing with the shutter and the SteadyShot system. So one of the options that this camera has is for silent shooting. Which is a really cool new feature that cameras have, especially mirror-less cameras where the shutter's not moving at all and the sensor's just turning on and off and you can fire absolutely silently. So there's a number of things to know about when you get in here. So first off, let's look at how a normal shutter system works in this camera. And that is where you have two shutter curtains and the first one needs to close, then it opens, and the problem was, and this was in the first series of A7 cameras, is there was a lot of shutter shock. When the shutter went up it caused the camera to vibrate quite a bit right when you were taking the exposure and then the second curtain would come in and close and finish the exposure time off. And so they started using an electronic... Electronic front curtain shutter so that what would happen is the first curtain doesn't work at all and what would happen is that it electronically turns the pixels on and then it would close it with the second curtain. And this is the way that this camera normally works and it's a way to work the camera all the time just fine. Most people use it in this mode, as I say, all the time. The further step of this is to use a completely silent shutter by not using the mechanical shutter curtain at all. In this case, what happens with the pixels is that they turn on and off on their own. Unfortunately, they're not able, with this type of sensor, to turn all the pixels on and all of them off at exactly the same moment. It goes through this scanning mode. Which means that it's essentially scanning your image into the sensor. Which means anything that moves, the subject or the camera is gonna be slightly distorted when you use the silent shutter. Now, the Sony A9 has a special sensor which is something that they call an anti-distortion shutter where you basically, for the most part, do not see any distortion at all. There is technically some, but it's extremely small. And that camera is different than this one. It helps that that camera has 24 megapixels and this one 42. There's more pixels and more data to deal with and so they weren't able to put the same type of shutter unit in here. But at some point future cameras are gonna have these global shutters that can just turn on and off, but for now the silent shutter is a good option that will work in some cases where distortion would not be a problem. So using a little test chart I wanted to go through a little testing by panning the camera back and forth with the normal mechanical shutter and then the e-Front curtain shutter. The silent shutter, as you can see, gets a lot of distortion, and you might think that using a faster shutter speed would fix the distortion. No it doesn't and it's because of the scanning system. Now, the way this works in the real world is if you're panning with a car down the street all the buildings in the background are gonna be on the tilted side. If somebody rides past you on a bicycle, those wheels are not quite fully round. They've been slightly distorted a little bit and that's because of this rolling shutter effect that this camera, as many other cameras like this, have. And so if you do want to use silent shooting there are lots of restrictions so this is something you probably do not want to leave on all the time. The reason that you might want to use silent shooting is if you're in an environment that requires you to be absolutely silent. If you were in a courtroom, or in playhouse, or at a symphony and they don't want any noise at all, and they're not moving around radically fast. That would be a great time for using the silent shutter. It is not something just to be turned on all the time. I think you'll be sorry if you do, but. The next setting after this is gonna be a very good setting. Which is the electronic front curtain shutter and so in this case this is how the camera comes programmed from the factory. If you don't want to use this for some reason you can turn this off. There was reports in some of the earlier cameras about some little problems that would happen with some banding at certain ISO settings, but that's pretty much been all cleared up and it's not really an issue at all. So I think you can safely leave it in this way. In this mode here, it's a little bit quieter. It's a little bit quicker. It doesn't have the shutter shock that having a normal shutter curtain has on it so it's a good system overall to have set on the camera. If you don't have a lens mounted onto the camera do you want to be able to release the shutter and fire the shutter? Normally you wanna leave this disabled just as a safety precaution in case something gets in on the sensor. Like, the worst thing that you could ever do is put your finger in the camera and take a picture 'cause then the shutter blades are gonna be moving up and down, you're gonna be getting fingerprints on the sensor, but you would probably destroy the shutter and probably end up destroying the camera by doing that. It's just a safety precaution. The shutter won't even fire accidentally. Release without card, so if do not have a memory card in the camera do you want to be able to fire the shutter? Most people don't want to do this. If you're working in a camera store you want to be able to show clients what the camera sounds like and feels like when you're shooting a photo. That would be a case for disabling this. The steady shot. The camera has a built in stabilization system by moving the sensor up, down, left, and right, and even tilting it the way you might tilt your camera. It has a little gyro sensor on the camera that senses your movements and can correct for it and it does an amazing job. It's good for about five stops of shutter speeds that you could shoot at a slower shutter speed in the case of working with this camera. And this will work with adapted lenses. It'll work with manual focus lenses. It'll work in many, many different cases. The reason that you might want to turn it off is if you have your camera mounted on really solid tripod where there is no sort of movement it's possible that this system may induce some sort of movement into your photographs while it's on a tripod. And so if you're on a tripod, kind of, the safest precaution is to turn this off. Although it seems to recognize it and it's not really a problem most of the time, but for those of you who really wanna be safe turning it off when it's on its tripod is a good idea. SteadyShot settings will get us into a little sub-menu. And in here, do you want the camera to automatically just turn on and set itself for whatever lens you have? And in most cases that is the advisable choice. If you wanna set it in manual you can come into here, into the focal length and you can tell which lens is on your camera. If you're using an adapted lens, let's say a manual lens that's a 300 millimeter focal length, you could come in here and tell the camera that you're working with a 300 millimeter lens. And it's important because I was testing one of my manual lenses on here and I was thinking, well how steady can I hold this camera at a low shutter speed? And it was doing a horrible job and then I realized that it had defaulted to eight millimeters when I was actually using a 90 millimeter lens. And so the stabilization the camera needs to do for eight versus 90 millimeters is completely different. So if you're using a manual and an adapted lens you may want to go in to make sure that this is set where it needs to be. Alright, moving on to page five. Things dealing with zoom. So for those of you shooting JPEG, one of the options, and to be honest with you Sony's a little strange here. They've had a bit of a fascination with how much can we digitally manipulate an image? And so one of the options for the JPEG shooters is that you can have the camera zoom in for you and so it's just doing a digital zoom. You're throwing away some of those hard-earned 42 megapixels. But you can do it and shoot with that smaller crop frame. Now, this is actually very, very similar to what we saw earlier called the APS-C/Super 35 crop. But they'll have it here and they'll allow you to adjust for it here in the zoom settings to different levels of digital zoom. And so there's the optical zoom, which is you wanna keep. You can then do a smart zoom, which has a little bit of digital and then more and more depending on the settings. And in general, you don't want to use any of this 'cause it lowers the image quality. There are a few special lenses that will allow you to change the rotation of the zoom ring. If you don't like the way it zooms turning it one direction you can reverse it. Moving on to page six. Dealing with the display button. We talked about this when we're talking about the display button on the back of the camera. This gets you into a sub-menu where you can go into the monitor, which is on the back of the camera and you can check off which one of the screens you want to see as you rotate around the options here. And so it's just a matter of personal preference about which ones you want in there and how many presses it takes to cycle through the group of them there, but I highly encourage you to get in there to customize your camera set for your needs. You can do the same thing with the view finder. There's a slightly different collection of options in here, but once again, hitting the display button will change it from one display to the next and so forth. Finder/Monitor allows you to manually switch it from the monitor to the... EVF. Now, normally the eye sensor will sense if you're looking through the view finder or not, but if you want to manually set it to one or the other you can do that here. Now, on the previous a7R Mark II the sensor wasn't real good, I didn't like the way it worked, so I had to program one of the buttons on my camera to manually switch back and forth between the back and the EVF, but now on this camera it seems to have been fixed and does a very good job of it so we can save our customizing buttons for something else. Finder and frame rates, I mentioned this before, but you can get in here and you can change it to a higher frame rate. Which would be good if you were shooting fast action and you're panning the camera from side to side. You'll get the camera up to 120 frames per second, but by doing that it needs to compress the information so it can show it to you faster and it does so at a lower resolution and so there is a definite trade-off here. So for the standard user I would leave it at the standard frame rate which is 60 frames a second, which is still very good and will give you slightly higher resolution in the view finder. Zebra settings will get us into another little sub-menu here and the zebra settings is gonna show us highlight areas and it'll show it to us in a zebra type pattern that blinks at us when it is overexposed. So the first option is to turn it on and off. And the second option is at what level do you want to see this? So let's go ahead and dive into the menu system here and take a look at what this is going to do. So on the back of our camera we're gonna need to get over into custom settings two. I think we're on page around six? And zebra settings. Gonna go to there... Ah keep on going to the... Right need to hit the center button and let's first turn this on. And then let's set this, well actually you can see what happens as we set this at different levels. And so if we set it up here really high at 100, those are the brightest pixels in the scene and we can see how much of this is there. So let's just set this at 90. And let's zoom in a little bit. And let's say we wanted to adjust for this, we are in manual exposure so I'm gonna adjust my shutter speed faster and faster so that I'm not losing any of those highlights there and so now I know at 12/50 of a second with these settings I'm not getting those highlights. But if I come back I'm losing just a little bit of those highlights there. And we can go into menu, zebra settings, and it's at 90 so I'm not actually losing them, but they are showing at 90. And so we could adjust that if we want to see 'em right there at 100. And so now I can adjust my shutter speeds and I will see them. I'm just starting to see them creep up around the edge there. But it's not really getting to be a problem until... Well, I... There we go. Now I'm starting to see 'em. And so it really depends on where you want to draw the line as to what you want to see and how you want to expose you're images, but a very popular system for judging to make sure that you're not overexposing anything 'cause that's probably the biggest mistake you could make is overexposing information. Alright, we've seen grid lines before. This allows us to see it for taking still photographs. Rule of Thirds is good and nice for composition. Square Grid's and then a Diagonal is nice also if you want to be able to find the center point when you're shooting and this can show up in the view finder or in the back of the camera. The exposure set guide here is kind of dumb because all that information is about 10 millimeters directly below it. But it is bigger and it's a little bit easier to see, but unfortunately it takes up more image area of where your actual image is. And so not something I recommend. I like the visuals but they take up the space of the image. Alright on to page seven of nine. Still dealing with displays, we have the live view display. Whether do we want to see the effect that we have going or not. And so let's take a look at a little bit of an example between the two of 'em. So as you change your shutter speeds with the effect turned on you will see the brightness of the LCD get brighter and darker. If you have this turned off, the display doesn't get brighter or darker, but you'll have to look down at the bottom as far as the exposure meter and your shutter speeds and apertures. For most people the setting effect on is a good, intuitive way of getting the correct exposure set. The setting on the right is a little bit more designed for people working in a studio with flash photography. You don't want your cameras being really dark because that's what they would be when the flashes are not firing. And so for most people setting the effect on makes sense. Off is gonna be good in the studio. Continuous shooting length is gonna show you the buffer on the left side of the camera. So for you sports photographers it's gonna let you know how many pictures you have left in a visual form. And I think it's a nice for people who are shooting lots of bursts of images, so you sports photographers will appreciate that. When you take a photo do you want to see it on the back of the camera? And this is something we've had since the early days of digital, and it's kind of nice. Except with this is a mirror-less camera and what you see in the view finder is a really good preview of what the final image is gonna be like. So I've found that a lot of people just turn this off 'cause it's gonna speed up the shooting process 'cause you don't need to check your images every time you shoot them. Alright, getting to page eight of nine, we're gonna get into a lot of customization here. We've already seen I've played in here a little bit before. Custom key allows us to go in and customize a bunch of different buttons on the cameras. So there are three pages, we're not gonna go through all the items here, but each one of the buttons that you see listed here or pointed at, or even one on the lens, can be customized for doing something in particular. And so this is all a matter about you customizing the camera yourself. And remember as you go into any one of these different settings you might have upwards of 23 pages of different options of things that you could program to that particular button. Now, we'll also be able to do this, as well, as we go into the next one, is that's for still shooting. We can do this for movie shooting as well. And so if you like to shoot movies you can customize those same buttons with a lot of the same options for customizing exclusively for video. When it comes to the playback options we have fewer options, but you still have some options that you can jump into as far as adjusting how you're playing back images, protecting, zooming in, magnifying your images, sending to the smart phone. You can set these up as you need according to the way you play back images and what's your work flow. Function menu set. We talked a little about this in the function menu. If you don't like the items that are in the function menu you can reorder and reenlist new, different options in the upper and in the lower section of the function menu. So you can replace all of these if you want. If you don't like the way the dials work as far as the time value and the aperture value you can switch those up. You might want to do this if you've come from a different brand of camera where the dials are in a different spot and you've spent your entire life learning how they work in one way. You can switch them on this camera. In fact, if you don't like the way they turn you can change the way they turn. So you can be very, very customized. I don't want shutter speeds to go up in this direction I want it to go up in the other direction. Alright final page of customer operation here. Dial Ev compensation. And so if you want to be able to use the front dial or the back dial say, when you're in an aperture or shutter priority mode. You can also do exposure compensation by using that rather than just the dial on the top of the camera. The movie button. Do you always want it to be able to start movies? Or do you only want it to be able to start movies when you are in the movie mode? And so if you accidentally hit that button in the still shot mode you're gonna start recording movies and that might be kind of inconvenient, so. I can see some people getting that turned off there, so. Movie mode only will only record it when you're ready to shoot movies. There's a number of dials and buttons and things that can get pressed and turned and some people want to lock those off. For instance, if you're shooting a basketball game and you know that you're gonna be at the same shutter speed and the same aperture for the next hour and a half you could lock these parts so that they don't accidentally get bumped when you're handing the camera from one hand to the other, picking it up and putting it down quickly. And so if you want to be able to lock a selection of those you can select what's gonna be locked and then come in here and lock it. So the camera has a built-in beeper and it will beep at you when you're in auto focus and when you have the self timer set. Which can be interesting I guess, but it can also be a little bit annoying. Most people want to make their cameras discreet and not make a big commotion about themselves and so I recommend you can turn this off if you want.

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!