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My Sony A7M3, My Thumb, The AEL Button, and An Irritating Error Message

chalkdust

TalkEmount Top Veteran
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Messages
609
Real Name
Bert Cheney
This is a story of User Error. Soon after I bought my Sony A7m3 (A.K.A. A73, A7iii,A7III) I decided to set up a special button for eye auto focus ( not understanding that it is pretty much default AF on that model). By the way, I really Like that eye auto focus!! Some video tutorial recommended using the AEL button for this. So that is what I did.

I think that video was based upon an earlier A7 model. So for several months, my camera would (somewhat randomly) tell me an irritating message like "This function is not available" when I used my new manual focus lens. Now it would have been nice for that message to tell me what function is not available, but whatever. I thought there was something wrong with my new manual focus lens. Then I thought that was something wrong with my camera. It was an intermittent problem but a relatively frequent one. I feared for a couple of months that I had some strange intermittent problem which I would be a real mess to try to explain to any service or repair department.

Then, one day, as I picked up my camera I looked at the position of my right thumb. BOOM. There was my thumb on the AEL button. I looked at my older A7ii and saw no button in a similar place. So apparently I tend to press the AEL button with my thumb AND NOT NOTICE that I am doing it.

Now I have set that button to something that is OK in either auto or manual focus (I think it called std focus - - it moves the little focus square back to the center). I now longer get that intermittent error message. It is like a wonderful new camera!!! And when I move the little focus square to some special position, it is easy to pop it back to the center. I never use Auto Exposure Lock. Never. Ever.
 

bdbits

Super Moderator
Joined
Sep 10, 2015
Messages
2,589
Real Name
Bob
For what it's worth and assuming the A7R3 firmware is similar enough, buttons can be custom set to "not set" if you just want to disable a key altogether. It's in the custom keys option list.
 

chalkdust

TalkEmount Top Veteran
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Messages
609
Real Name
Bert Cheney
Yes, I saw the "not set" and thought about using it but I figure that each of those buttons is worth a few hundred dollars. So now I am beginning to use the joy stick focus area mover and the AEL button set to pop that area back to center. I think I like it this way.
 

Richard Crowe

TalkEmount Top Veteran
Joined
Sep 14, 2018
Messages
887
i had a similar problem with my second Canon DSLR camera, the REBEL XT or EOS 350D... I used the camera paired with the EOS 10D but, the XT was a smaller form factor and my thumb would often hit the button to change the camera to the 10 second delay. I just couldn't train my muscles away from this button and finally replaced the EOS-350 with an EOS 30D which was ergonomically better for me...
 

dbmiller

TalkEmount All-Pro
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Messages
1,072
Location
New England
I had the same experience as the OP, and reprogrammed that button to be a custom recall button. So if I was hitting it by accident while carrying the camera, the mode would turn off as should as I change my grip when I brought the camera up to my eye.
 

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