Mastering the Sony Menu System and Custom Controls for Photography

New cameras deserve a little bit of time for preliminary setup and customization. This information ought to allow you to together with your new Sony digital camera.

Many issues have been mentioned about the Sony menu system. Anyone who makes use of the extra superior Sony Alpha cameras would discover the menu system to be fairly overwhelming due to the many tabs, pages, and sub-pages for choices and configurations. It’s not improper to say that the menu system may be complicated particularly if it’s your first time utilizing the digital camera; nonetheless, the crowded menu system may be seen as a boon for having a wide array of capabilities, options, and customization choices.

Mastering the use of your Sony digital camera, on this video particularly, the new Sony a7 IV means customizing the controls and menus to suit your workflow and provide you with the quickest entry to the capabilities you generally want whereas taking pictures. This information doesn’t undergo every choice on the menu system however as a substitute offers some options for smoother use particularly for pictures

Initial Settings

These particular settings are one-time changes relying in your frequent workflow. Cameras include a default setting in the preliminary firmware, however they don’t essentially suit your workflow. It’s necessary to set your configurations earlier than going in your first shoot together with your new digital camera to forestall any missed pictures or file incompatibilities.

File Formats

Whether for stills or video, it’s necessary to set your required file format and sizes earlier than utilizing your digital camera. Many photographers favor to shoot solely in uncooked format, whereas photographers who cope with pictures in bulk typically favor to shoot them in JPEG. In any case, you’ll be able to choose whether or not to shoot in both or each codecs, in addition to set the JPEG file measurement.

File codecs for video additionally matter. It’s necessary to know what decision you might be recording in, what body charge you seize your footage with, in addition to the bit charge and coloration settings. Not solely does this have an effect on your output, it additionally issues for compatibility together with your enhancing software program and footage from different cameras.

File Handling

Most cameras these days have twin SD card slots. The Sony a7 IV has two slots with one which doubles as a hybrid CF Express type-A slot. While the preliminary configuration doesn’t make or break your workflow, this can be utilized as a good way to pre-sort your recordsdata. You can both designate one slot for stills and the different for video clips, or you’ll be able to have one storing the uncooked recordsdata whereas the different retains the JPEGs. This does marvel in backing up your recordsdata in addition to simply sorting by way of them particularly in fast-paced work.

Assistive Features

Most cameras now provide numerous methods to make sure focusing. The Sony a7 IV gives each face and eye autofocus monitoring to the extent that you may choose which eye to trace. You can even choose topics whose eyes are to be tracked between people, animals (canine and cats), and a selected setting for birds. More than that, the digital camera additionally gives capabilities that will help you focus manually when obligatory both when autofocus is switched off or when utilizing handbook lenses. Using the focus magnifier is a good way that you’re focusing with near-perfect precision, and focus peaking helps you establish your accuracy. These are nice choices to activate in order that they routinely work everytime you flip off the autofocus.

Smartphone Registration and Other Connectivity Options

An underappreciated improve on the a7 IV is the extra seamless compatibility with the Sony Imaging Edge app. Unlike older Sony fashions that might require pairing each single time you want to join the digital camera to your smartphone, the connection between the a7 IV and the up to date app is an nearly automated course of. Once the a7 IV is switched on, the telephone can simply detect it and routinely connects to it as soon as the Imaging Edge app is opened. The preliminary pairing may be fairly tedious due to the password immediate; nonetheless, it’s completely justified contemplating that that is executed solely as soon as.


Other choices in most menu programs are sometimes modified on an as-needed foundation. Settings comparable to focus modes, focus areas, coloration profiles, drive modes, and many others are greatest preselected. However, a extra necessary preliminary process is to assign them shortcuts for simpler entry since these are the settings that you just may want every now and then. This may be executed in numerous methods particularly the operate menu, the “My Menu” web page, and the numerous customizable buttons and dials on the rear and high panel, in addition to the focus-hold button on many Sony lenses.

The Function Menu

This menu that you just entry by urgent the Fn button on the rear panel is a good way to maintain all the settings that you’d need fast entry to. Settings put listed below are those who typically have a number of choices, comparable to focus modes, artistic look, drive modes, and comparable capabilities, as a result of they’ll simply be browsed by way of utilizing the joystick/pad and any of the 4 dials. However, different capabilities with easy on-and-off choices may be put right here as effectively relying on what matches your workflow greatest.

As a private suggestion, the choices I maintain listed below are the ones I might normally cost for every totally different taking pictures situation. This contains drive modes and self-timer, focus modes and areas, white steadiness modes, file format, artistic look, image profiles, and stabilization choices. Storage and media choices can be positioned on the operate menu particularly when you discover the want to vary these configurations typically.

The My Menu Page

This web page is the first web page of the menu system that’s deliberately positioned to be a fast entry customizable web page for shortcuts to nearly any menu merchandise one would need to put there. There are six customizable pages, however filling all these up is perhaps lacking the level. Instead, it’s best to place secondary significance capabilities that you just often use as a substitute of ones you’d change a number of occasions in a single shoot. This is greatest for capabilities, comparable to formatting your SD card, sensor cleansing, USB streaming, in addition to for shortcuts going into interval taking pictures.

Dial Customization

The dials make such a huge effect on the ergonomic modifications provided by the Sony a7I V. For one, there’s a “primary” mode dial that switches between photograph, video, and S&Q modes beneath the digital camera mode dial. This isn’t a customizable dial, nonetheless, it made room to decongest the menu by segregating video and photograph settings relying on which mode the digital camera is in.  

The entrance dial and the high left dial are generally set for shutter velocity and aperture, although they can be reassigned. The third dial on the high proper space is a totally customizable unmarked dial. Since this was beforehand the EV compensation dial, it is smart to assign it to that. However, a fantastic new choice is to have a separate operate for this dial-in handbook mode since beforehand the EV compensation dial simply loses operate altogether in that mode. This may be set to an ISO dial as a substitute in that mode whereas retaining the EV compensation operate in the program (P), shutter precedence (S), or aperture precedence (A) modes. You can do that by deciding on the choice that claims, “Separate M mode and different modes.” Alternatively, I set this dial to Kelvin temperature, since I generally use that white steadiness mode and set the ISO onto the thumb wheel, which may equally be reassigned to the similar collection of choices.

Button Customization

The buttons are maybe the most customizable choices on the A7IV since nearly any setting or set of choices may be assigned to a selected button. The high panel options two customized buttons, C2 and the video report button that may be reassigned when in photograph mode. The C2 button is a good shortcut for secondary on-the-fly settings that should be modified comparable to focus areas, metering modes, or stabilization choices.

The higher row of the rear panel consists of 4 extra customizable buttons, the AEL, AF-ON, C1, and C3 buttons. These are ultimate buttons for extra choices you wish to activate on the fly. I assign these buttons as a crop mode change, a shortcut to artistic appears/image profiles, white steadiness modes, and a spotlight magnifier shortcut. Many different capabilities may be assigned relying in your workflow.

Lastly, six out of the seven buttons on the decrease half can be reassigned. While three of the 4 quadrants of the thumbwheel have labeled capabilities for show information, ISO, and drive mode shortcuts, they are often modified completely. In addition, the delete button on the decrease proper additionally doubles as a customizable C4 button.

As a private choice, I assigned the heart button as a shortcut to the “my menu” web page to make it extra accessible and just about a shortcut to the menu as effectively since the menu button is on the different nook of the display. I set the unassigned backside quadrant of the wheel to a contact operation change whereas sustaining the labeled capabilities of the different buttons. Lastly, I set the C4 or delete button right into a shortcut to the “Self-timer throughout bracket” choice which permits me to set a particularly timed delay for bracketing exposures, a operate not included in the fundamental drive mode menu.

Customizing your Sony a7 IV is the key to turning it right into a digital camera that completely matches your workflow. The a7 IV was designed as a hybrid digital camera for creatives who produce each stills and movies with only one digital camera physique. The choice to customise the totally different buttons and dials individually inside every mode offers you the functionality to customise it into nearly two totally different cameras with the flick of 1 change. The customization examples on this article mirror my workflow for taking pictures landscapes, structure, and product pictures and are mere options that may additionally suit your model.

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