Customising Your Sony Camera

November 2, 2017 by Mike in Camera setup How to 0 comments
Customising Your Sony Camera

Customising Your Sony Camera (A7 and RX10)

This is aplicable to the sony a7ii, a7sii, a7rii and the rx10iii. (for the RX10iii scroll down past the A7 settings to the RX10iii section)

I’m I suppose what you’d call a hybrid shooter. I shoot both video and photographs, so I’ve come up with the following setup for my camera to make it as easy as possible.

The Sony menu system is one of those anomalies in the world where common sense seems to have been thrown out the window, however, it doesn’t have to be all that bad.

Now this isn’t an in-depth guide on the menus, there are tonnes of those of youtube. This is just a quick setup of the essentials to get the things I use in a place where I can access them quickly and efficiently.

There are basically three different customisable areas:




So the main settings you want access to are ISO, aperture and shutter speed. On the A7 cameras you have three dials, so it make sense to put these three settings on these dials.

ISO on back dial, Shutter on back top dial and aperture on front finger dial.


On the A7 system, find the Dial Setup. This will give you the option of setting up the two top dials either aperture on the front dial and then Shutter speed on the back dial, or vice versa. I have this set to F/no. On the front dial and SS on the back dial, but chose whichever is most comfortable for you. With the rx10, shutter speed will normally be on the back top dial.

Then we will set ISO on the lower back dial, which is in the custom button menu.

Custom Buttons

These are the custom buttons, C1 – C4 on a7 cameras and C1-3 on the rx10 line. Also within this menu, you will have the option of assigning a function to the back dial.

This is how I set them up.

On the A7 cameras:

Press menu, Custom settings, subsection 7 and click on Custom Key Settings.

Go into your Custom key settings and set to this:

C1 – Movie(A7Sii) focus mode(A7Rii)

C2 – WB

C3 – Zoom(A7Sii) Eye AF(A7Rii)

C4 – AF/MF ctrl toggle

Centre button – standard

Left button – Drive mode

Right Button – Focus magnifier

Down Button – Finder/monitor select

AEL button – Audio record level

AF/MF button – AF on

Focus Hold button – Focus hold

There are slight differences with the A7Sii and the a7rii as the “R” is more dedicated to photography and the “S” is more tuned towards video.

With the above setup, I can access all the functions I need, like drive mode, AF/MF, back button focussing(A7 series only), etc. and they’re all within easy each. If you don’t know what back button focussing is, do a search on youtube….I learned this method from Jeff Cable…..(Unfortunately the rx10 doesn’t have the ability to set back button focussing). Jeff Cable has a brilliant video on the 15 things you need to know about your DSLR. Go watch it and you’ll learn a tonne of things, including back button focussing….Click here. I’ll be making a quick video on setting this up in the A7 series cameras over the next month, so keep an eye on my youtube channel or this blog for this.

Function Menu

With the function menu, this is a bit like the custom menu setup on canon cameras, just in a different format.

Use the following settings to give you access to all that you need.

Function upper1 Smile/face detect

Function upper2 Drive Mode

Function upper3 Creative Style

Function upper4 Steady Shot

Function upper5 SteadyS. focal Len.

Function upper6 Zebra

Function Lower Focus mode

Function Lower Metering mode

Function Lower Picture profile

Function Lower Steady shot adjust.

Function Lower Focus area

Function Lower Shoot mode

This will give you access to everything else you will need….so in theory you won’t need to go into your menu system again……in theory!!

There are also a few other settings

I turn off the auto monitor/Display toggle

I use back-button focusing….I’ll be making a video on this in the next few weeks (if you can’t wait that long, do a search in youtube and I’m sure you’ll find some great videos on this).


Bonus setting (hidden video  APS-C/35mm short term custom button….ish)

As you can’t assign the APS-C/super 35mm function to any button, Before the day’s video shoot, I go to this function on the menu and then exit from the menu… when you press the menu button, it will go back to where you were last……effectively turning it into another custom button…..but a bit like a temporary one. You need to make sure the tile display is turned off for this. This is in menu, setup, subsection 2, tile menu “off”.

Here is an image showing you the layout of the custom buttons. Save the image and print it out for a quick reference if you need to. If you don’t want to, don’t worry, I won’t be offended! 🙂

You may like these differently, but this is how I’ve set it up and what I like.




For the RX10iii there is one less custom button and unfortunately you can’t unassign the focussing from the front shutter release button so back-button focussing is not an option. With this in mind, this is how I set up my RX10iii:










On the RX10, I do pretty much the same as with the A7; ISO on back dial, shutter speed on top back dial, and then the aperture……well, on the aperture ring on the lens. The shutter speed will always be on the back top dial, so to set the ISO onto the bottom back dial, you have to go into the custom key (shoot.) menu setting to change this (see below).

Custom button settings

Press Menu, custom Settings, subsection 5, and click on Custom Key (shoot.)

Set the following:

Control Wheel – ISO

C1 – focus mode

C2 – WB

C3 – AF/MF ctrl toggle

Centre button standard

Left button – Drive mode

Right button – Focus Magnifier

Down button Finder/monitor Select (I turn the auto select monitor/EVF off so I have control over this)

AEL button – Audio Record level

Focus hold button – Focus hold

This will give you access to all the buttons you will tend to use on a regular basis.

Function menu 

Then it’s on to the Function menu setting. This is how I set this camera up:

Go to menu, custom settings, subsection 5, function menu set….and then set it up as the following:

Function upper1 Smile/face detect

Function upper2 Drive Mode

Function upper3 Creative Style

Function upper4 Steady Shot (video)

Function upper5 Steady Shot (photo)

Function upper6 Zebra

Function Lower Flash mode

Function Lower Metering mode

Function Lower Picture profile

Function Lower ISO

Function Lower Focus area

Function Lower Shoot mode

So the Fn button will give you access to all of these.


So that’s it. This is how I like to set up my cameras……after writing this blog and taking these photos…..I think I need to clean my camera kit!!! 🙂

I hope this has helped you set up your sony camera. If you have any ways of making this even better, comment below or send me an email. If you like this and want to see more, let me know.

Thanks for stopping by


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