The focus of this page is the Sony Alpha 7 III, Model No: ILCE-7M3, a.k.a. a7 III, α7 III, a7M3, but may also apply to the other Sony Alpha cameras, like the a7R III, a9, a9 II, a6400, a7R IV, α7R IV, α7S III, a7S III, a7 IV, α1, a1, Alpha 1, etc.
Make sure you update to the latest firmware on your cameras, lenses, and other hardware.
To view the firmware version, go Menu (Setup7) > Page 7/7 > Version
- Sony α7 III (ILCE-7M3 / ILCE-7M3K) with 35-mm full-frame image sensor
- Firmware v4.01, released 2021-06-16
- Fixes an issue where the battery level indicator may not be displayed correctly when using a vertical grip.
- Firmware v4.00, released 2021-03-09
- Adds new features of FTP transfer.
- Improves the overall stability of the camera.
- Firmware v3.10, released 2019-12-17
- Adds the “External Flash Set” function, Sony flashes only, which allows you to configure the settings of an attached flash or wireless radio commander (both sold separately) directly from the camera.
- Improves the overall stability of the camera.
- Firmware v3.01, released 2019-05-15
- Firmware v4.01, released 2021-06-16
- Bulletproof Guide to Sony Camera Firmware Updates by Brian Smith
- Warning: Brian Smith’s guide is good. But, a part of step 5, “disabling security software,” is very questionable, and not recommended, especially if one is still connected to the Internet, as your computer may be vulnerable during the time the security software is disabled. Do not disable security software!
- SONY camera FIRMWARE – ULTIMATE SOLUTION for MAC 2021
- For the Firmware update to work on MacOS you may need the Sony Camera Driver for Mac
Where are Photos and Videos Saved on the SD Card?
- Photos are saved in: DCIM \ 100MSDCF
- Videos are saved in: PRIVATE \ M4ROOT \ CLIP
The [ front scroll wheel ] moves the selection up and down.
- Move up to the icon row, then use the rear scroll wheel to move through the menu icons.
- The Fn key moves forward through the menu icons.
The [ rear scroll wheel ] moves forward and back through the pages of each menu.
Eye Auto Focus (Eye AF), Real Time Eye AF
- The person’s eye must be within the Focus Area rectangle to register/be tracked/be detected.
- Make sure you’re using the latest Firmware for the best Eye AF functionality and performance.
How to use “Eye AF” (Eye Auto Focus) on the Sony a7 III
- Set the “Focus Mode” to AF-C (Auto Focus – Continuous).
- Menu 1 (AF2), Page 5/14
- Also set “Priority Set in AF-C” to AF
- Set the “Focus Area” to Wide or Zone
- Menu 1 (AF1) Page 5/14
- Important: An eye must be within the Focus Area rectangle to register/be tracked.
- Note: Lock-On AF: Expanded Flexible is not compatible with Real Time Eye AF
- Tip: If you’re in a crowd, try, Flexible Spot: L, to isolate the person of interest.
- Enable “Face/Eye Priority in AF” (Real Time Eye AF)
- Menu 1 (Camera Settings 1) (AF2) Page 6/14
- Face/Eye AF Settings > Face/Eye Priority in AF = On
- Set Subject Detection = Human
- Eye AF activates with a half-press of the shutter release button.
- With Firmware lower than v3.00, Press & hold the “select button” in the center of the Control Wheel  to enable Eye AF.
- Alternatively, you can program Eye AF to the AF-ON or AEL button to make it easier to engage Eye AF, when using firmware prior to v3.00.
How Real Time Eye AF works with Different Focus Areas
- [Wide] Real Time Eye AF will search & track an eye within the entire frame
- [Zone] Real Time Eye AF will search & track an eye within the selected Zone
- [Center] Real Time Eye AF will search & track an eye within the center of the frame. (Not recommended)
- [Flexible Spot: L,M,S] Real Time Eye AF will search & track an eye within the selected Flexible Spot. (Large works best for this setting)
- [Expand Flexible Spot] Real Time Eye AF will search & track an eye within the area or surrounding the Flexible Spot
- [Lock-on AF: Expand Flexible Spot] *Not compatible with Real Time Eye AF
- How Real Time Eye AF works with a7 III & a7R III FW 3.00 by Brian Smith
- Sony a7iii & a7riii firmware 3.0 Fn menu tab fix and eye af fix for flexable spot by David Oastler
- Sony a7 iii quick tip – Eye AF – What it is / How to set it up by BiscuitsAlive
- Game-Changer: Continuous Eye AF by Alpha Universe
Auto Focus Modes
- Choosing the Best Focus Area on your Sony Alpha Camera by Mark Galer’s Alpha Creative Skills
- To learn more about Focus when using Sony Alpha cameras there is an extended 90-minute video available: Sony Alpha Focus Masterclass
- Sony A7 III Autofocus Settings – A Complete Guide to the AF menu settings by PhotoGearNews
- Sony a7iii focus modes explained by David Oastler
- Understanding Focus Area on Sony Mirrorless Cameras by The Gary Fong Channel
- Sony Focus Modes – Get the most out of your A73, A7R3, A9, A7S2, A7R2 by Chris Turner
- Fast Low-Light AF when using Sony Alpha Cameras by Mark Galer’s Alpha Creative Skills
- Sony A7III Autofocus Modes Explained by Spyros Heniadis
- Whether to use back button AF on Sony by Adam Brown
Prioritize Focusing While Using Continuous AF and High fps
- Set: Menu > Camera Settings 1 > AF1: 5/14 > [Priority Set in AF-C] = AF
- [Priority Set in AF-C] The shutter will release, even if the subject is not in focus, when the continuous AF is activated and the subject is in motion.
- AF-S: Prioritizes focusing. The shutter will not release until the subject is in focus.
- This allows the camera to reduce the # of frames/second, if it needs to, in order to make sure the auto focus is correct.
DMF (Direct Manual Focus) with Focus Peaking
- Sony Alpha Light Metering Modes by Mark Galer’s Alpha Creative Skills
- Expose for the highlights, then process for the shadows in post.
- This Is How To Get Perfect Exposure In Camera by Gary Hart
- One of the great advances of mirrorless technology brings is the ability to see the histogram before you actually shoot the photo.
Enable Zebras to show overexposed highlights
- In digital photography, exposing to the right (ETTR) is the technique of adjusting the exposure of an image as high as possible at base ISO (without causing unwanted saturation) to collect the maximum amount of light and thus get the optimum performance out of the digital image sensor.
- Exposing to the Right Explained by Spencer Cox
- Zebra 109+ for Sony Raw Photographers by Mark Galer
- Using Zebra for Photography Sony a7 III by Aron J Anderson
- Sony A7III Best Low Light Settings by Spyros Heniadis
ISO and Dynamic Range
- Photographic Dynamic Range versus ISO Setting – PhotonsToPhotos.net
- On the Sony a7 III, skip ISO 500 and go to ISO 640. ISO 640 has about the same dynamic range as ISO 400, and both are better than ISO 500.
Silent Shooting Mode
Access to Silent Shooting Mode is via Menu 2 (Shutter/SteadyShot) Pg. 4/9. I’ve assigned Silent Shooting to C1 on my A7 III.
- Silent Shooting can only be selected when the mode dial is set to P(rogram), A(perture priority), S(hutter priority), and M(anual) modes.
- The flash can’t be used. The camera won’t trigger the flash while in Silent Shooting mode. When you turn off Silent Shooting, you may have cycle the power on the camera to get the flash working again.
When the Silent Shooting feature is enabled, the following functions are not available:
- e-Front Curtain Shutter
- Auto HDR
- Picture Effect
- Picture Profile
- Long Exposure NR
- BULB shooting
- If the RAW file type is set to uncompressed, and you’re making RAW or RAW+JPEG photos, you won’t be able to use bracketing.
- How to Record RAW in Slot 1 and JPEG in Slot 2 on Sony Alpha Cameras
- Sony A7III-A7RIII Custom-Settings and Support eBook by Mark Galer
- This is a 200-page eBook in PDF format for the A7III and A7RIII cameras. This eBook offers you learning support in setting up your ‘series three’/MKIII full-frame camera. The eBook contains dozens of links to educational movies and articles that will help you master your camera and also the craft of taking creative and technically excellent photographs.
- Sony Help Guide for Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera ILCE-7M3 α7III (Sony.net)
- Recommended Sony A7 III Settings (PhotographyLife.com)
- Sony a7R III Training Tutorial by Tony & Chelsea Northrup
- 1-hour video user guide, with time code index, for the Sony a7R III (http://sdp.io/a7r3). (Applies to the other Sony Alpha 7x’s)
- The Sony A7 III review that shows you everything (in 4K) by Maarten Heilbron
- How to Set Up Your Sony A7iii, & Other Sony Mirrorless Cameras- Menu, Function, Custom Buttons by Jason Lanier
- Sony a7III – How I Setup for Photos & Videos | Setup Guide and Menu Settings by Jason Vong
- Camera Settings for Shooting Portraits – Sony Alpha a7lll, A7RIII and A9 by Mark Galer’s Alpha Creative Skills
- How to Set Up and Configure your new Sony a7III by Paul Gero
- Camera Settings for Shooting Action – Sony Alpha A7RIII and A7III by Mark Galer’s Alpha Creative Skills
- Guide to Sony a7 III Camera Menu Settings Hacks by Brian Smith
Custom Key Configuration
The following are the Sony a7 III Custom Button/Key Assignments I use for faster access to change or toggle settings.
- Custom Key 1 = Silent Shooting on/off selection.
- I’ve been making photos on the set of the Sk8Kingz documentary. So I toggle silent on while they’re recording.
- Custom Key 2 = Focus Area selection.
- I often switch between Wide, Zone, or Flexible Spot: L
- Custom Key 3 = Focus Mode selection.
- Custom Key 4 = Shot. Result Preview.
- For checking proper exposure when using flash.
- Control Wheel = ISO selection.
- AEL Button: Recall Custom Hold 1 for DMF (Direct Manual Focus) access
Setup Guides for Video
- Sony A7 III Best Video Settings by Maarten Heilbron
- Sony A7 III Best Low Light Settings by Make.Art.NowGood intro on dynamic range
- Best quality video with the A7 III is 4K 24fps at 100Mbps
- This custom profile set up is not suitable for daylight or evening hours. It needs to be used in darkest environments for best results to avoid blown out highlights.
- Setting up the Sony a7III for Filmmaking by Gear Glasses & Gadgets
- The Sony Alpha 7 III, at least in the U.S.A., has a recording limit of about 30 minutes.
- “Native ISO” is the ISO that the camera will produce the highest dynamic range that is advertised with the lowest noise levels. For the Sony A7 III it is ISO 100 and ISO 640.
- Read Noise in DNs versus ISO Setting for Sony ILCE-7M3
- ISO 640 produces less noise and wider dynamic range than ISO 201 to ISO 503.
- Sony a7 III dynamic range and high ISO improve over its predecessor
Shutter Count / Shutter Activations
- This tool provides the number of shutter actuations up to the file in question. Electronic/silent/quiet shutter activations are not counted.
- The photo is evaluated on the local computer within the Web browser.
- This tool is based on ExifTool by Phil Harvey.
Sony A7 III, how to manually control A, S and ISO?
- After switching the camera to A, S, or P, modes, you can use the front wheel to change the values.
While shooting 4K video, the camera may overheat and shutdown. There are some things you can do to increase the time before the camera overheats.
- Change the automatic temperature overheating shutoff: Set “Auto Pwr OFF Temp.” to “High” (Setup Menu, Page 2of7)
- Pull the LCD panel away from the body.
- The battery is a source of heat. Leaving the battery door open my help the heat from the battery to escape the camera.
- Do not leave your camera in a hot car or unprotected from direct sunlight.
- To minimize the chance of loosing the eyepiece cup, put a piece of Gaffer tape across the top, between the back of the hot shoe and the lip of the eyepiece rubber, to cover the seam where the eyepiece cup connects to the body of the camera.
- If you do need a replacement, here are some choices:
- Sony FDA-EP18 Eyepiece Cup for α cameras (OEM)
- Camera Eyecup JJC Eye Cup Eyepiece Viewfinder (replaces Sony FDA-EP18 eye cup)
- Sony FDA-EP18 Eyepiece Cup BH #SOFDAEP18 • MFR #FDA-EP18
Multi Interface Shoe Cap
- Keep the Multi Interface (MI) hot shoe cap in place to protect the electrical contacts. The pins are thin, so may get damaged easily, and if they get wet there’s a risk of shorting out the camera. Make sure you have at least one spare.
- 2 Pack JJC FA-SHC1M Hot Shoe Cover Cap
- Sony FA-SHC1M Multi Interface Shoe Cap
News, Discussion, Issues, Fixes
- Sony A7 III: Low-light performer by DxOMark.com
- Sony a7 III vs. Canon EOS R vs. Nikon Z6 Specs Comparison by Sony Rumors
- r/Sony Alpha: Reddit’s most popular camera brand-specific subreddit! We focus on Sony Alpha cameras: Sony E Mount, Sony A Mount, legacy Minolta cameras, RX cameras, lenses, flashes, photoshare, and discussion.
- Sony A7iii Review for Filmmakers || Sony A7 iii VS Canon 1DX Mark ii by Green Light Life