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a7iii focus modes and custom buttons.

thingomy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote thingomy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: a7iii focus modes and custom buttons.
    Posted: 29 June 2018 at 12:10
I currently have my a7iii set up with back button focus. (button is set to "AF on" and focus with shutter is set off) -- I'm having issues setting it up the way I'd like to work, and would be interested to hear how others to this.

This ends up quite similar in practice, but fundamentally different in terms of philosophy to my old a700 (and work a77ii): in both systems you press the button to make it focus, however the old system was set to MF by default, and switched to AF while the button was held; the new system has the focus completely off until you press the button, meaning that the manual (fly by wire) focus ring doesn't do anything.

What I want is to have the camera set so that most of the time I hit the AF button, "lock on expand" does it's thing and tracks whatever I want it to; sometimes I need to track an eye in a complex scene, so I hit the "eye-af" button instead (which I have set to the centre button); but occasionally it all goes wrong, I grab the focus ring and do it manually.

Configurations I've been able to find while wading through the myriad of options (not that I'm complaining about having customisability) are:

a) (as described above) set lens to AF; set body to AF-C; set back button to "af-on" -- works, but doesn't allow manual focus at all unless I switch modes the slow way.

b) Set lens to AF; set body to MF; set focus button to "AF/MF control hold" -- this does what I'm used to from before, but kills the ability to do eye-af unless I held down 2 buttons with my right thumb, or use my nose... it also seems to cripple some of the tracking functionality, but I haven't experimented fully.

c) Set back button to "af-on" and set mode to DMF -- this cripples all of the tracking and gives a single focus pull per button press, you still have to hold down the AF button to get MF to work though; it's in the right direction but not at all what I'm after.

d) I suppose some default config using AF with shutter should be on the list, but I've never done that in years, and is so counter intuitive to me I'm not planning on doing so.

The ability to use focus magnifier would be helpful too while in AF mode to confirm whether it's got it right. Currently, (in config "a" above) even when idle, it tell me that it's in AF-C mode, so can't use it; I understand there is likely a technical reason that focus magnifier is incompatible with active AF tracking, but that's not the issue here.

What's everyone else's experience on this?

EDIT: weirdly the focus magnifier works exactly as I'd expect in video mode, just not stills.

EDIT2: the focus magnifier does actually do what I want it to, but is mutually exclusive with a bunch of settings: see: Sony website link this does work with back button focus. It does not work if lock-on-AF or AF-C is turned on, it's rather unfortunate there isn't some kind of smart settings fallback in place

Edited by thingomy - 29 June 2018 at 13:34

α7iii; α700; α100; 24-105G; 90m2.8G; 16-80CZ; Min100M2.8; Min50F1.4; Beercan; HVL-F56AM; HVL-F36AM; VG-C70AM; (

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zygon811 View Drop Down

Joined: 08 May 2013
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Post Options Post Options   Quote zygon811 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 August 2018 at 14:49
A recommendation: I got the A7iii too. And all the custom options and focus modes etc. seems a bit overwhelming.

I trust Gary Friedman, and used his book when I first got my a99Vi. I just got his book on the a7ii, and its easy to understand as well as comprehensive.

for $30, as a handy reference (I have it on my phone), its been a great help so far.
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stiuskr View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote stiuskr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 August 2018 at 17:32
The first thing I do when I buy a camera is get Gary's book for it, sometimes even before I buy the camera, and the second thing I do is go to his Personal Settings chapter in the book and set the camera up like that as a starting point and go from there.
Rob Suits Jr.
a99M2 a99 a77 a700 KM7D|Min24/2.8 Min35/2 So50/1.4 So50/2.8 Min85/1.4G Tam90/2.8 Tam180/3.5|Tam17-50 CZ24-70G2 KM28-75D So70-200G1 So70-300G So70-400G1| SonyF60 AD200R2
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C_N_RED_AGAIN View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote C_N_RED_AGAIN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 August 2018 at 18:50
I concur with the previous poster. Exactly what I do
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ende010 View Drop Down

Joined: 02 January 2019
Country: Netherlands
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ende010 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 January 2019 at 14:58
Hi I'm also a a7iii newbie and found the website of mark galer ( http://www.markgaler.com/ ) very helpfull
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