Menu Functions: Set Up


Sony A7r III Fast Start


Lesson Info

Menu Functions: Set Up

The next big tab is the setup menu. For most of the things in here, these are things that you're going to set once, and you're going to be done with them forever. Possible that you might need to come back in here for a few options. Good example of the first one is the brightness of the monitor on the back. I prefer this to be in manual, and just set it somewhere in the middle. I don't like any sort of auto-display that changes the brightness of things, but if it is brighter outside and you're trying to show somebody images on the back of your camera, it's going to be hard to compete with the brightness of the sun, so that's when you would make this brighter for that short-term look at the back of the camera. Same thing with the brightness of the viewfinder, prefer to set this at manual, just set it in the middle. It's pretty rare that you'll need to adjust it out of that. If the color drifts a little bit to one direction or the other, you could adjust that in the color temperature. Goo...

d chance that you won't need to play with that either. When you're shooting movies, you can control the look, and you can shoot in S-log so that you're shooting very, very flat footage. The problem with shooting in S-log footage is that it looks terrible when you're composing and framing your video. And so what this does is it says okay, fine, you're going to shoot and record S-log, but the video that you get to look at looks normal and good and colorful, and looks like it's kind of going to look like in the end. And so it just makes the viewing and composing process a little bit easier. Volume settings on the camera, it's got various little beeps that we can turn off, we talked about turning them off, but if you like them but you just want them down a little bit quieter, you can adjust the volume settings. The delete confirmation. Okay, so the overall question you need to ask yourself is when you delete an image, how many times do you want to hit a button to confirm that you're deleting this image? And so I'm a strong believer that hitting it once is not enough, in the sense that you could accidentally hit it once and delete an image, and I don't want to do that. But sometimes I don't want to be confirming yes, is this the one, yes it is, I am absolutely sure, yes, I am 100% positive, yes, I am very, very positive I want to delete this. I want to delete it. Yes, I do want to delete it. And so I think the best option here is delete first, which means you would hit the garbage can button and then you would hit the center button. As the camera stands right now, you need to hit the garbage can button. You then need to hit Up so that you can select Delete, and then you select the center button, which is a little bit more cautious. And I'm letting caution go to the wind here. I'm going to delete photos with two button presses. And so if you want to save yourself a bunch of presses then you could go to delete first. All right. Setup page number two. Display Quality. Now, we did talk about the frame rates in the viewfinder, and this is different than that. And so in this case I would generally choose higher for a little bit better. I think what it's doing is it's going through a compression ratio to reduce the compression here. I don't know this for a fact, but I suspect by putting it in Standard, it's a little bit easier on the battery life. But I think having a good quality viewfinder is really, really important in a camera. Power Save Time, basically how quickly does the camera shut down? For most people one minute is fine. Sometimes you might need it a little bit longer for convenience reasons. Auto Power Off Temperature. Now there is a normal temperature that Sony's used to shut down at, and people complained because they thought that they shut down too quickly, and there are different standards as for how quickly should a camera shut down. Obviously it should shut down before it damages itself or hurts you, and the camera will shut down at that point. I think what's happening is that there's been a division within the Sony department, and the engineers who design the system say, we should cut it off at this standard level, and the people who actually deal with the cameras and the consumers say, they want to use it for longer under hotter temperatures and higher conditions. Let's let them get it a little bit higher. And so there are two options in there. I don't understand as one being any more dangerous to the camera. It's not dangerous to you, but it is going to be a little bit higher temperature. And you may notice a little bit more warmth in the camera. This is mainly going to be a problem for people who shoot video. Not going to really be an issue for anyone who shoots stills. This is simply a selection on where you are in the world, and what type of television and video systems you use. And so most of the world is in Pal. Lot of North American places are on the NTSC, as well as a few other scattered countries. The Cleaning Mode. The camera has an automatic cleaning sensor that I told you about, but if you do need to go in and clean things off yourself, the first stage is with using these rocket blowers to blow air in on the sensor and knock off the dust. Some cases that won't get everything off, so you need to use some sort of sweeping system to sweep the dust off the sensor. Not everyone feels comfortable doing this, which is why they turn them in to repair shops to have them do it. But you can buy the devices and do it yourself if you want. The camera does have touch operations, and so you can use the LCD on the back of the camera for controlling where the focus is. This does need to be turned on, and there are some more options, so let's continue to go in forward before we do a demo on this to look at these other operations. On page three in here, we have the option of, well, it's a little bit confusing terminology, and I'm still trying to wrap my brain around it. The big LCD on the back of the camera is either considered a touch pad or a touch panel, depending on how it's being used. When you're looking through the viewfinder, it's considered a touch pad. When it's being used on the monitor, it's being considered a touch panel. And you can choose to use it in one or both of the camera modes in here. From there, you can choose various settings on this, which is going to dive into another little sub menu, and so here do you want it to turn off when you turn the camera vertically? Depending on which eye you use, your nose may end up against next to the screen, and that may not be the device you want to use to figure out where you want to focus. The tip of your nose. And so some people want to turn this off in a vertical mode. Touch Position Mode, you can do an Absolute Position or a Relative Position. A Relative Position works the way a computer mouse does. It's like I want to go to the right. I don't care where I'm starting from on the desk, just go to the right of where that image is. And so it depends on how you like to work with that type of cursor in the camera. You can also choose which area of the sensor you want to work with. For instance, sometimes your face might be obscuring the left half of the frame, so you only want to leave the right half of the frame active for moving the focus panel around. Or perhaps your fingers or the way you hold the camera are situated, one corner of the screen might be easier to reach and grab onto than the other ones. And so those are some of our touch pad settings. Let me go ahead and jump in, and we'll do a little touch demo here, and so let's dive into the menu system and work our way over to the touch settings. So touch operation first needs to be turned on, that's good. We're going to come over to the touch panel. Let's turn it on. Touch panel and touch pad, we'll be using just the panel aspect of it here. Touch pad settings. We'll leave it on in vertical. Absolute position. And right one half. So if we want to go the whole screen, we can go the whole screen up here. And so now if we want to focus, let's just make sure that we are in, let's choose a flexible spot, medium, that sounds pretty good. And so if we want to focus up there, it's going to move the focusing point, and it's a little hard to see the focusing point over there, because we have a colored background. But we can see it over here, and so you can just simply move it around. And I haven't tried this before, so let's do a little live experimentation here. Let's change this to relative position, and let's change this to right half screen, and so it's still very sensitive, and I'm going to say that that relative position is only going to be in effect when you are looking through the viewfinder itself. And so if you're obscuring part of the screen with your eyes, you can just kind of keep your finger over there moving it around a little bit. So you may need to play around with those controls to get them configured the way you like them to work for the way you hold the camera and the way you look through the camera. But some good options for people who want to use their fingers for moving the focusing point around, and who don't want to use the joystick, which is right there. The demo mode is for people who work in camera stores and Best Buy who are selling these cameras, so this is a way for the camera to go into its own demo mode. So not something most anyone will use. Okay, this gets into a little bit of geeky stuff for people who are shooting video. There is a lot of different ways that you can record metadata with the video so that you can sync up and find your clips and match them up to other cameras that are shooting simultaneously, and these are the time code user bits, and they are different ways of cataloging time, and so we do have the normal time counter, but we also have Time Code and User Bits, and so we're going to fly through this pretty quickly here. And so the time code, you can preset this to a particular time if you needed to. The user bits, you could preset this. There's a letter code that indicates certain markers, and you could set that at a start time as well. The format of the time code you can use a drop frame or non drop frame, and this has to do with the fact that when we're shooting video, there's 29.98 frames per second, and when you record for, I forget exactly how long, is it five or 10 minutes, there's going to be like a one frame discrepancy between frames and realtime, and this drop frame basically accommodates that, and so it's something a lot of people like to use for simplicity. Time code running, you can let the clock just run free, constantly, or you can have it restart on each recording so that it starts from zero, or maybe it's just running continuously. If you're using a multi-camera shoot, it'd probably be better to have them free run so that you can have them matched up a little bit more easily with different camera angles. You could have it preset or regenerate its starting point where it was last in the time code. Page two, time code record. Do you want to use the user bits as something that you want to include in the metadata or not? And so sometimes people who shoot video will get into those, and it will be important settings. Next up, if you want to add a remote control, Sony makes this little wireless remote control. It's limited distance in front of the camera. You do need to be in front of the camera as well, so if you're a tripod you've got to get your hand out in front of the camera. Don't get it in the shot. And it's infrared remote, so it's only good for a limited distance, and the distance is fairly limited in bright sunshine as well. The HDMI settings, if you are going to be using the HDMI port on the camera, you can output information in a variety of ways. And so some people are using this for monitors just to view the movies they've watched. Some people are using it as monitors for the movies that they are recording. And some people are using it for devices that are actually as an external device recording the video that's coming out of the camera. And so this would first specification is what sort of resolution do you want going out of the camera? Auto, we'll have it recognized by the device that's plugged into the camera. You could also choose between 24p and 60 frames per second in the output. Do you want it to see the display on the back of the camera, for instance the focus peaking or the zebras? Is that the information that you want to see as a monitor or for a recording device, you probably don't want to record that. Do you want to output information from the camera to this external device? A lot of times yes, perhaps no, you can turn it off here. Recording control. Do you want the recorder on the camera to start the recording control on the external device? Could be handy, but some people might have different devices that don't have that, but it'd be very handy just to have that one simple record switch. Control for HDMI. If you have a camera that's plugged into a TV that has an HDMI control and you're doing a slideshow, you could use the TV's remote for controlling the images that you're looking at on the camera. All right, onto page Setup4. More video stuff. 4K output select. So if you are exporting 4K footage from the camera, do you want it also recorded to the memory card, or do you just want it going to the external device? USB connections. So if you are using the USB to connect up with your computer, which I don't recommend, but you can do, how does the computer read it? And this is going to be a little different with Macs, PCs, or possibly other different computer systems out there. The LUN setting is something that might possibly need to be changed. If you plug it into you computer and your computer just doesn't recognize the computer, you might change this from multi to single, and it'll just be a slightly different type of signal that will be more recognizable by the computer. All right, if you're traveling and you want to charge the battery in your camera, you can plug it in using the USB connection, and your computer battery will charge your camera battery, which is great for your camera, and not so good for your computer, because now you have no computer power. And so if you don't want to drain your computer, you can plug it in for simply transferring images and working with the camera connected up, but not actually charging it. So most people probably want to charge their camera. More important than their computer. Another sub menu here for PC remotes. And so if you are hooking up to a computer as far as saving it when you are in a tethered shooting mode, do you want it to go to the computer and the camera or just the computer? If you are shooting raw plus jpeg, how do you want to organize those jpegs as far as where they are going? So this for tethered shooting, once again. Language of the menu, pretty simply choice here. Onto page Setup5, getting close to the end, folks. Date and time setup, and so this is something that you want to go in and get into this sub menu and set up. So turn on Daylight Savings time if it's on. Usually it's on these days. Date and time, enter your date and time in here, and then if you want to have the format of it, tends to be best to put it at year, month, day in my opinion, that way things stay organized in a little bit more logical manner. Choose which area code and time zone you are in here. Copyright info, this is a good one. Little bit for security reasons for the security of your photographs, security of your camera, you can turn this on and then go into the next setting where you actually get to input information like your name. And so this is going to be added to the metadata of your photographs, and it is something that somebody can delete off of your photographs, but if they want to be honest and they want to contact you, they will find that in the metadata of your photographs. Also, if your camera was to get stolen and recovered by the police, at least your name might be in there. If they were smart enough to find it in there, they might be able to contact you or at least it's a very light level of proof that you were the owner of this camera. And so then you can also set a copyright in here, you could put your email address, you could put you website information, or other contact information beyond just your name. Display the copyright will just simply show what you've entered into the camera right there. Format option is very important. This allows you to delete the images on the memory card and reset the memory card basically back to new settings. Now as I say that, I do have to admit, it doesn't actually delete the photos on your card, and so if you were to reformat a memory card and then you suddenly realized, no, that was the good memory card that you aren't supposed to delete, you can still get those images off, but you do have to go through an image recovery service or software program in order to get that back. And so those images are still on the card until they have been written over again with new photos. And so just be aware of that for a multitude of reasons. Now, Sony is very, very strange when it comes to the file structure of where photos and videos get put on their memory cards. They have a very different system compared to most companies. So there is a normal DCIM folder, and then a folder within that, which is where all your jpegs and raws are. So this is standard business. This is what's in pretty much all the cameras. But the video stuff goes into a private folder. There you will see your AVCHD videos. Those are the ones that are kind of designated for Blu-ray recording devices. And then inside the M4ROOT folder is a bunch of other stuff, and inside the clip folder and the thumbnail folder are your other videos that you are shooting with this camera. So if you are a professional photographer and you have your assistant pulling all the information off of the computer and stuff, and you say pull off all the stills in the video, the stills are still in their normal spot, but the videos, you kind of have to go searching through the different folders to find all the video clips that you've made. So the AVCHD video(s) means that there is actually one folder there that has either one or all of those formatted videos in that system. In the clip system you'll see a whole listing of them like you would a normal set of files in the computer, so just be aware that things are buried a little bit deeper in the Sony menu systems, if you're going in and manually pulling off information. The file numbers that the camera gives to the filenames is in a series and ordered, and if you want to reset the order back down to zero, you can do so at any time here. You can change the prefix of the file names. You could set it to your personal name or your company name, or to your job name, and so if you want to change that DSC system to an ABC system, you could change that to any sort of letter. It's slightly different whether you're shooting jpegs and raws with the sRGB or Adobe RGB colorspace, that's one of the ways they tell the difference between the two systems. Setup page six, recording media settings. And so this is a very important sub menu. This is controlling where we are recording information. So you can choose slot one, which remember is the faster of the two card slots, because it has the UHS-2 standard that it fits to. So you want to stick the better card in the lower card slot one. From here, we can change the recording mode, and so there's a lot of different options. So I wanted to break this down to try to make this a little bit more clear. So first up is a standard option where it saves to one card, which is probably going to be card slot one. That would make the most sense. And the other card slot is completely inactive. Next option is simultaneous still images going to both cards. And what will happen there is that the movies will still go to the designated card. So what I just said there can be a little confusing, because you can have cards going to two card slots, but there is still a designated card slot that is still kind of the most important card slot. Generally that should probably be card slot one, because that's the faster of the two card slots. Next up, you can simultaneously have movies going to both slots, but stills just going to one slot. And so this would be just kind of simply a backup for the movies. And then of course you can have both movies and stills going to both cards at the same time, and so this is what most professional photographers would want as far as kind of a conservative backup option. Everything is on both cards. You also could choose the option of sorting the jpegs and the raws. So for instance, let's say you were shooting for a client. You had the raws, you were going to take and process them and they wanted the jpegs to look at real quickly and briefly, you could give them all of their jpegs on one card immediately at the end of a shoot. You could sort movies and stills. If you want all of your videos or stills to go to a particular card, they'll go to a particular card and then the rest will go to the other card, and so there's a lot of different ways and so lot of different standards that people have for how they're organizing and shooting out in the field, so they've given us a lot of different options here. If you are recording to one card, do you want the camera to automatically switch to the other card should the first card fill up? This would be a good system to have just as an overflow option, but not everybody wants this because they have different needs. So it's a good thing to leave on, but there'll be some people who want to turn it off. Record media settings. Let's see, next up is select recording folder. So we can create different folders, and this is where we would select a different folder. So if we had different clients, or different assignments, we could create a folder and have everything go into that particular folder, and here's where we would select that folder to access data from. This is where we get to create the new folder. And so if you want to create a new folder, you can go in and create it and give it a name. And so the folder name on it can also be adjusted as well. The standard form, or you can use a date form if you would prefer to have a date automatically put onto your folders. I hope you don't need this. This is the recover image data bank. If for some reason, I don't want to say the card went corrupt, but for some reason if there was a communication error between the card and the camera, and it couldn't play back images or record images to that card, you can try the recover image database, and it's not going to delete any of the images, but it's going to try to reestablish a connection with the communication on that card, and will hopefully get you back to where the camera can actually read that particular card. I haven't had that problem happen in any of my Sony cameras, so it's unlikely that you'll need this, but it is a fairly safe kind of recovery service to see if it can still see it. Even if it can't see the information off the card, don't get too worried. There's a really, really good chance that you'll be able to stick that card into a computer and read all the data off of it. It's just that it wasn't able to read it from the camera settings. Display Media Info, and so this is going to show you how much space you have left in still images or in video, and so this is a real handy feature to check on from time to time to make sure that you have batteries and space left for those images to go. Final page in the setup menu. You can check which version. There is no doubt going to be some sort of firmware update to this camera, and so if there is a firmware update, what you need to do is you need to go to Sony's website and you need to download the appropriate software. You need to connect your camera up using a USB cable, and using the Sony system software updater, update your camera. And so you'll have a cable connected between your camera and the USB port on your computer. Download the software and then it accesses the camera and installs the new software. And sometimes they add major features. Sometimes they fix minor glitches. And we do see it from time to time, so you just need to go to Sony's website to see if they have a new version of the software for the camera. Finally we have the Setting Reset. And so the camera settings option will reset the basic menu options in the camera for the way the camera is set up. The initialize is what we did at the very beginning of this class, and we went in and just set everything back to the factory standards, including the clock and the time zone, and everything else. And so if you really wanted to do a hard reset, you could do that initialize right there.

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!