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New "used" A7 - Advice on setup

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by Drd1135, Jun 26, 2018.

  1. Drd1135

    Drd1135 New to TalkEmount Subscribing Member

    7
    Aug 10, 2015
    Steve
    I just picked up a used A7 and plan to use my old Pentax M lenses, at least for a while. (Accordingly, I picked up a fotodiox adapter.) Any advice on setup and usage for the A7? I've been scouring the net and have found things like turning off WiFi to save power, sensor reflection issues, replacing the lens mount with a tough e mount, etc. However, i've always gotten good advice from those on Amin's forums so i thought I would ask. This is my first venture into the E Mount forum. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. bdbits

    bdbits TalkEmount All-Pro

    Sep 10, 2015
    Bob
    Welcome to talkemount. :Welcome:

    On my A7ii which I think is pretty similar, customizing the buttons and the Fn menus has meant I seldom need to dive into the menus. I love this aspect, and it makes everything I actually use easily accessible.

    I don't know your experience, but if you have not used focus peaking before you should give that a try. This is very helpful for manual focusing.

    If you like videos, Tony Northrup, Gary Fong, and others have quite a bit of tutorial material on YouTube.
     
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  3. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur Subscribing Member

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    :Welcome:
    • Turn Pre-AF off (Menu -> Custom settings -> Pre-AF). Won't impact operation with MF lenses apart from battery life maybe, but for AF lenses this setting is not only useless but even harmful because it changes focus all by itself.
    • Set MENU →
      s_menu_cusom.png
      Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
      (Custom Settings) → [e-Front Curtain Shut.]
      to ON (is the default but may have been changed). It reduces vibration and shutter noise.
    • You probably got that already, but to be sure: Set MENU →
      s_menu_cusom.png
      Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
      (Custom Settings) → [Release w/o Lens]
      to Enabled, in order to use legacy lenses with dumb adapters.
    • I have MENU →
      s_menu_setup.png
      Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
      (Setup) → [Display Quality]
      set to High. The Standard setting is awful IMHO.
    • Update to the latest firmware V3.20. Do this on a Windows machine if at all possible, updating a Sony camera with older firmware on a Mac is fraught with peril because of incompatibilities between the various Sony updaters and macOS versions; if you want to use a Mac, read up carefully on compatibilities. And Brian Smith's post on updates suggests a number of general precautions which I follow rigorously, especially because I do my updates on a Mac.
    That's all I can think of right now. Take your time to customize the buttons and Fn menu, it pays off.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
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  4. Drd1135

    Drd1135 New to TalkEmount Subscribing Member

    7
    Aug 10, 2015
    Steve
    I've read about the FW upgrade problems on a Mac, but i have access to a Win 7 system at work. I got the A7 because I could get one for $527 from KEH with a coupon. I'm primarily a mu43 user but I did have a used RX1 once. Files were great, but I hated shooting off of a non-tilting LCD. I look forward to having the EVf.
     
  5. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    Since you're shooting SMC Pentax-M lenses (fine stuff!) be sure to enable focus-peaking. I like to set mine to red and low, so that the peaking only shows when focus is sharpest. Be sure to enable focus magnification assist (time unlimited) and map it to the custom button close to the shutter button. Very useful and convenient to fine tune focus when contrast is low. Zebra, if available on the A7, should be enabled too to indicate blown out exposure. It's been a joy shooting manual lenses on a Sony.
     
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  6. sven karma

    sven karma TalkEmount Top Veteran

    638
    Oct 5, 2016
    mark evans
    Having recently got a used A7s all I've got to add is that though I started off with the focus magnification set to the button WNG recommends I struggled to find it regularly and I've now mapped it to the right side of the back clock dial.

    The Zebra setting seems to work like on the A5100, setting it at 100+ seems to give you enough warning/leeway for stills photography.
     
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  7. eno789

    eno789 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    776
    Jan 1, 2012
    NoCal, USA
    Brian
    I set the "focus magnification" to the down button, and keep the right button with the default which is ISO.

    Edit to add: This button assignment has the added benefit to use the same button on A6000.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2018
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  8. sven karma

    sven karma TalkEmount Top Veteran

    638
    Oct 5, 2016
    mark evans
    Moved ISO to left button!

    At some point as I was messing with the settings as you rotated the back dial it switched between the standard landscape/b&w/portrait styles, which was kind of handy but too easy to change. And now it doesn't, though I've not a clue from the menu where the option for it is.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
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  9. bdbits

    bdbits TalkEmount All-Pro

    Sep 10, 2015
    Bob
    If worse comes to worst, you can always reset to factory settings. Of course then you have to remember what you changed. After doing this once or twice, I actually made a spreadsheet with all the assignable menu items and which buttons/Fn I wanted them on. Probably out of date now as I've not had to reset for some time, but it was handy early on.
     
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  10. Drd1135

    Drd1135 New to TalkEmount Subscribing Member

    7
    Aug 10, 2015
    Steve
    Since my main system is Olympus mu43, I've come to expect menu mayhem. I've used the menus on the RX(whatever) cameras and found those to work pretty well. Fortunately, we have forums like this one to help with the super secret hidden toggle that can drive you to madness.
     
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  11. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    914
    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    Jeff
    For adapted manual lenses, IME quick access to focus magnification is key. I made full use of the C1 button next to the shutter for that. IIRC I had "Focus Settings" assigned for that. (1 press lets you see & move the rectangle, 2nd press zooms you in.)
     
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  12. Luke

    Luke TalkEmount Regular

    27
    Aug 27, 2013
    I have a "new to me" used a7II en route to me, so keep these suggestions rolling in....I'm taking them all in. I believe that you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but I'm crossing my fingers that I'm merely a middle-aged dog.
     
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  13. Tipton

    Tipton TalkEmount Top Veteran

    531
    Jan 30, 2016
    Rae Leggett
    Having used several systems (olympus, fuji, sony) over the years, the menus are always terrible. Just a different sort of terrible for each system. Touch screens may eventually improve that, and we're getting to the point where we'll soon be able to just shout at our cameras to get them to do what we want.
     
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  14. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur Subscribing Member

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    Yup, sounds great for street photography: "Focus at the shabby-looking guy eyeing that hot chick!"
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2018
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  15. bdbits

    bdbits TalkEmount All-Pro

    Sep 10, 2015
    Bob
    Kind of hard to be stealthy, though. ;) 
     
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  16. Tipton

    Tipton TalkEmount Top Veteran

    531
    Jan 30, 2016
    Rae Leggett
    That's what silent shutter is for.
     
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