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Menu options of the Sony a7

From: Video Gear Weekly

Video: Menu options of the Sony a7

I always judge how easy it is to use a camera by trying >> I wouldn't say it's that bad.

Menu options of the Sony a7

I always judge how easy it is to use a camera by trying to learn its menu system, cause that's really where you unlock the power. And you know, you've got companies like Canon that take a really streamlined approach, which is, oh, you know, one page, you can't scroll off the page, you can keep navigating to the next tab. You got Nikon that goes really deep with nested menus. And of course, the other people sort of fall in between. My take on Sony through the years, at least with their video cameras, is that they have a lot of choices in the menus. And it's not abnormal to need to, like, draw a map out.

Because you get four levels deep into the menu. >> I wouldn't say it's that bad. >> All right. >> This, this time around, actually I think when you look at it, Sony has taken, I think, especially from Canon, a very, you know. Direct sort of homage, if you will, to the. >> Right. >> To the Canon menu system. It's still deep, it might not be quite as nice and quite as sort of streamlined but it does work like that. Now I will say one thing for those who like to read the manual, neither one of us are the. >> No. >> "read the manual" type guys. But just keep in mind that the manual tends to be.

In Sony EOS, if you will. Not a whole lot of meat, if you will, when it comes to sort of descriptions of functions. >> Yeah. >> Yes, it tells you what it does, and what it's called, but there's not a lot of, you want to use this when, kind of stuff. >> You're going to find yourself going out and doing some Google searches on some of the terms and looking up some additional tutorials, maybe visiting lynda.com here, checking out some of the great bed long courses on photography. It's not going to answer all the questions but there's a lot there. So let's walk through the high level.

>> Sure. So first thing just press the menu button and you're going to bring up your menu settings here. Now I'm actually looking at this as a tile view. There is a way to configure this to go right into the menu system. I kind of like this tile view. To start out with then I, because then it gives me my main categories. >> But it's not touch screen. >> It is not screen, which is an important thing to note. The way that it works is this little rotator wheel here let's you rotate between different categories. you can also press it left and right, up and down if you don't want to rotate it. And then just press the center button to actually activate an item.

So the first thing you set into is the camera settings and this is going to control things you normally think of. Aspect ratio. Still shooting quality. The big one for video is down here. File Format. What kind of file are you going to shoot for video. We have two choices. AVCHD as well as MP4. >> And as we establish the AVCHD is the most robust but you need the processing power to deal with the files. Little bit bigger on the card, too, right? >> Absolutely. And I go over to the next set of the menu. Now it's important to know it's hierarchical. So we are still in camera settings, but then we have one, two, three, four, five, six, even.

Yes, seven different sub-menus under camera settings. Now, I actually like this. Because it's not one long scrolling list like you might find on a Nikon camera. It's sort of going page by page. So, again, that's why I would sort of mention it kind of took sort of a lesson from Cannon. >> Yeah. This makes it easy to jump. If you know it's on page six, you could tap over very quickly rather than just constantly scrolling. >> Right. And the one thing to concern yourself with here on camera settings on page number two. Would be your record setting for video. And if I press that since I'm in AVCHD mode, you notice that I get an option between 60i as well as 24p.

And as well as even 60p. And you have some quality settings. Whether you're going to be using, you know, sort of a bit rate and all that kind of stuff of the, of the camera itself. Now going over just some more traditional options that really affect stills so we'll just skip over those for right now. >> What sort of controls do we have over our audio? >> We're going to find our audio settings, I believe down here in menu number seven, under camera settings. And here we can do a couple of things. We can turn audio recording on and off, which is something you probably want to do. >> Right. >> Under audio recording level, if you press that, you can actually adjust your input levels.

And you'll notice this is kind of nice. We have built-in audio meters here, which is a nice feature to have on a camera so you know what's getting there. And you can kind of control how things are working then. >> Yeah, looks like it's got a scale that goes from zero to, of course 31. How did they come up with 31? >> Yeah, you know, well I said it's a little Sony EOS there as well. Then we also have things like wind noise reduction. So we can sort of do some in camera processing, not something that I usually turn on, I like, like to do that later on in post production. >> All right, well it looks like it's a pretty robust menu system and of course there's a lot of options in here for stills, you've got presets, white balance, temperature,.

>> Yeah, absolutely I mean there's other couple, couple of things that you know, affect shooting video, we have zebra pattern. So when you're doing manual focusing. That's going to work as well. We have things like grid lines. So you can sort of see, sort of a grid of the image. There's a level so you can whether you're level things of that nature. The other thing that I have to point our here on the menu system that's, you know, you can dive deep on your own when you get into it. Is sort of the WiFi and sort of the, apps lists. Using Sony's Play Memories technology and the Play Memories Suite. You can actually download apps to the camera and start messing with different things, like I said Toy Cameras and Tilt Shift kind of effects and there is also you can control WiFi settings.

Now one last thing Rich. >> Yeah. >> That I think concerns people in the settings here. Is down here on the last tab which looks like a little toolbox and this is going to be sort of where I'm going to find, if I scroll over to menu number three on the last menu item. This is where I am going to get HDMI resolution and HDMI control. So, here I can actually pick from HDMI set to Auto, or I could change this to output 1080p or output 1080i. And this is really important because if you are piping signal out of the camera to a digital recorder, you can choose what type of signal its going to output, either 1080p or 1080i.

>> And this is nice because you can output a clean, non marked up HDMI signal to a digital recorder allowing you to record in something even more robust, although, HVCHD on small camera like this is a great format. But if you need something more than that, with this full frame sensor you can do some pretty good things. >> Yeah, and then the last thing I'll mention is that like any good camera system, you can save favorites and save configurations. So if you're always constantly going back to. Hey, I want these three buttons to do this while I'm in video mode. Well, you can program those buttons as custom functions so that you can recall them easily later on.

>> All right. Well, we've shown you some of the footage that we got with this camera throughout this week's episode. Feel free to check out these cameras. It is interesting what Sony is doing and I think that other manufacturers moving towards a full frame sensor is going to become more and more the standard across product lines. As well as, as Rob mentioned I'm quite excited by the idea of downloadable apps and user upgradability. So, this is a good feature to look for. And I'm glad to see that Sony is pushing the levels of innovation.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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Video Gear Weekly

84 video lessons · 10266 viewers

Richard Harrington and Robbie Carman

Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 12m 22s
    1. What is a Parabolic Slider?
      1m 22s
    2. Building the Slider
      1m 41s
    3. Setting Focus
      1m 4s
    4. Adjusting the Speed of Movement
      2m 13s
    5. Evaluating the Results
      6m 2s
  2. 2m 31s
    1. Welcome to Video Gear Weekly
      2m 31s
  3. 11m 24s
    1. DJI Quadcopters
      2m 35s
    2. Calibrating the Quadcopter
      2m 12s
    3. Flying Strategies
      2m 48s
    4. Evaluating the Footage
      3m 49s
  4. 26m 53s
    1. Ultra fast primes
      2m 26s
    2. Benefits of using fast primes
      6m 25s
    3. Challenges of using fast primes
      10m 22s
    4. Evaluating the footage
      7m 40s
  5. 6m 57s
    1. Keeping Your Gear Safe
    2. Keeping Gear Dry
      3m 0s
    3. Using Camera Wraps
      1m 11s
    4. Using Lens Wraps
      2m 0s
  6. 38m 18s
    1. Introduction to the Panasonic GH4
      1m 31s
    2. Beneficial features of the Panasonic GH4
      7m 42s
    3. Drawbacks of the Panasonic GH4
      6m 18s
    4. Menu options of the Panasonic GH4
      13m 59s
    5. Evaluating the footage
      8m 48s
  7. 15m 6s
    1. Making everyone look their best on camera
      1m 30s
    2. What does a makeup artist or stylist do?
      3m 31s
    3. Products used to fight shine
      5m 8s
    4. Applying Anti-Shine
      4m 57s
  8. 16m 49s
    1. The adaptable GoPro
      1m 7s
    2. Stealth
      3m 57s
    3. Adding filters
      3m 1s
    4. Shooting Anamorphic footage
      2m 19s
    5. Evaluating the footage
      6m 25s
  9. 21m 17s
    1. Introduction to the Zoom H4n
      1m 52s
    2. Recording to an iPad or iPhone
      4m 21s
    3. Attaching directly to a camera
      4m 28s
    4. Using a Tascam recorder
      5m 12s
    5. Recording to a laptop
      5m 24s
  10. 11m 23s
    1. DJI Phantom 2 Vision Quadcopter
    2. Beneficial features of the DJI Phantom 2 Vision Quadcopter
      3m 9s
    3. Limitations of the DJI Phantom 2 Vision Quadcopter
      3m 15s
    4. Essential accessories for the DJI Phantom 2 Vision Quadcopter (Field)
      4m 7s
  11. 7m 59s
    1. Using a loupe
      1m 0s
    2. Attaching a loupe
      2m 18s
    3. Adjusting the diopter
      4m 41s
  12. 16m 2s
    1. Charging on the go
    2. Starting out fully charged
      2m 24s
    3. Using an inverter
      4m 0s
    4. Using a solar charger
      2m 36s
    5. Using a battery pack
      2m 13s
    6. Strategies to extend battery life
      3m 57s
  13. 23m 6s
    1. Cheap lenses
      1m 40s
    2. Lomography
      5m 28s
    3. Fujian
      2m 26s
    4. LensBaby
      4m 6s
    5. SLR Magic
      2m 26s
    6. Evaluating the Footage
      7m 0s
  14. 20m 1s
    1. Sony a7
      1m 24s
    2. Beneficial features of the Sony a7
      6m 19s
    3. Drawbacks of the Sony a7
      5m 42s
    4. Menu options of the Sony a7
      6m 36s
  15. 12m 11s
    1. What is a Tripod Top Slider?
      1m 8s
    2. Attaching the slider
      2m 17s
    3. Mounting and balancing the camera
      1m 36s
    4. Shoot strategies
      5m 7s
    5. Evaluating the footage
      2m 3s
  16. 14m 8s
    1. Remotely controlling cameras
      1m 5s
    2. Setting up the CamRanger
      4m 18s
    3. Panning with the CamRanger PT Hub
      3m 32s
    4. Evaluating the results
      5m 13s
  17. 12m 38s
    1. What are camera rails?
      1m 26s
    2. Adapting a tripod to hold multiple cameras
      3m 13s
    3. Shooting strategies
      2m 2s
    4. Using a micro rail
      2m 51s
    5. Evaluating the shots
      3m 6s
  18. 10m 26s
    1. What is a micro tripod?
      1m 29s
    2. Mounting a phone to a micro tripod
      2m 15s
    3. Mounting a GoPro to a micro tripod
      2m 1s
    4. Mounting a DSLR to a micro tripod
      1m 54s
    5. Evaluating the results
      2m 47s
  19. 22m 49s
    1. Introducing the Blackmagic 4K
      1m 30s
    2. Beneficial features of the Blackmagic 4K
      5m 7s
    3. Drawbacks of the Blackmagic 4K
      4m 14s
    4. Menu options of the Blackmagic 4K
      7m 5s
    5. Evaluating the footage
      4m 53s

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