Just got a new Sony camera … congrats! But before you grab your gear and go out shooting, it’s worth spending a few minutes setting up your menus and creating some custom settings. Trust me — these will make your life so much easier.

Note: These menu settings will not apply to the new menu structure found on a7S III, a1 or a7 IV

Some basic settings for your Sony

Reading your camera’s manual is still a great idea, and thoroughly recommended. But here are a few settings you can jump straight into.

Obviously, your first stop is going to be setting your location, date, time, etc. Another really good place to start is to check if your camera requires a firmware update.

Let’s look at some other basic settings to get you up and running. In the video below, I cover how to set up Custom Keys and Peak Metering, along with some other settings you might find helpful.

Setting up your Sony camera

I have set all my settings up on my Sony a7R III and will be applicable to many Sony Alpha 7 and 6 series. However, the new a7S III, a1 and a7 IV have a new menu structure. But if your camera has the legacy menus, setting up your new Sony these settings will apply.

Suggested custom keys for your Sony

These are just what works for me, and maybe for you too, or perhaps you have other requirements for your custom keys. And THAT’s the point – you customise them for YOU.

  • C1: Focus Magnifying (To quickly check focus)
  • C2: Turn Peak Metering on and off
  • C3: Subject Detection for Eye AF(between Human and Animal)
  • C4: Touch screen on and off
  • AEL: Custom Recall (Set DMF & Wide Focus)
  • Wheel Right: ISO

What you set them up for is totally up to you, you may need to access ISO and shutter speed quickly for sports or nature photography. I also wrote an article a little while back on setting up some other stuff too, that might be useful.

Once you have set up your custom settings you’re good to go. Oh, and you can always change and modify your custom settings at any time if you find a workflow that suits you better.

Sony a7RIII with legacy menus
Custom settings are the way to go