Top Deck: Basic Controls


Sony A7r III Fast Start


Lesson Info

Top Deck: Basic Controls

This is what you've all been waiting for, is let's dig in to the actual functions of the camera, and so, let's talk about basic controls to start with. These are things that we're going to be using throughout the rest of the class here and the rest of the time with your camera. When you turn it on and off, there is a special little device that tries to knock off dust on the sensor each time you turn the camera on, and it does a very good job, but it's possible you're going to still get some dust on the sensor, and you may need to go through a more manual sensor cleaning. And we'll talk about that later on in the menu section where they have the option for locking up the shutter. But, normally you're not going to have much of a problem with it, it tends to do a very good job. The shutter button, of course, for taking photos right there. We have two main control dials, the front dial and the rear dial. We're going to be changing shutter speeds, apertures, but you can move through photos,...

you can navigate the menu system, you can do a lot of other changes with these front and back dials. And sometimes they do exactly the same thing, sometimes they do different things. Over on the back of the camera, we have a control wheel, which is going to be used for navigating the menu system and making a variety of other changes. It's also an up, down, left, right button with a center button as well that you will sometimes use to enter things. New on the A7 series cameras is the multi-selector, which I will probably forget the name of it and just call it the joystick. And so it goes up, down, left, right, it's mainly designed for moving the focusing point around but it can be used, once again, for the menu system and making lots of other changes as we go throughout the class. And one thing to note is that it is also a button as well, so not only can you go left, right, but it's a center button that you can program as well for doing a variety of purposes, and so there's a lot of different controls packed into a very small space. We're going to start with the top deck of the camera, and of course we have our shutter release, and it is a two stage device. Which means when you press down halfway it activates the metering system, it activates the auto-focus system, it wakes the camera up if you're in one of the menu options of the camera, it's going to kick it out of that menu system so that you're ready to shoot photos right away with that. And then you press all the way down for taking photos. But it's that halfway step that you want to make sure that you're nice and comfortable with the feel of it. Now a lot of people are getting into back button focusing, and this camera now has a button on the back of the camera dedicated for focusing on the back of the camera. It doesn't really do you any good straight out of the box because you can focus with the back of the camera button, which is fine, but then when you go take a picture it's going to refocus because you're pressing halfway down on the shutter release. So, if you want to turn off the auto-focus on the shutter release, then you need to go into the camera settings number one, AF2, which is on page six of 14, and turn off the auto-focus with the shutter. Now as we go throughout this class, I'm going to be giving you occasional shortcuts, and if you're the type of person who says hey I want to make that change right now, then you can pause the video and go make this change and then come back and we'll just continue on with the class. If you're the type of person who says, what did he just say, don't worry about it, we're going to cover it when we get to the menu system and so providing just a little sneak peek for people who want to jump ahead and make those changes right away.

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!