Adapting your Sony camera for certain types of photography can help you shoot more efficiently. Professional portrait photographer and Sony Artisan Miguel Quiles likes to set his camera a certain way for portraits to ensure smooth and successful shots. In this Sony Alpha 7R V setup guide, Quiles shares his step-by-step guide covering everything you need to know when setting up your camera for portrait photography.
The Alpha 7R V Quiles used in this video were fresh out of the box, so there are some initial setup steps required before getting to the full menu. If you are turning on the Alpha 7R V for the first time, you will first be asked to select the camera language, read and agree to the privacy notice, set the area/date/time, select settings for prioritizing time recording, and register the device.
Intro & Main Menu Settings
Now that his Alpha 7R V was ready to go, Quiles first made sure the dial on his camera was set to camera still shooting mode to give him a proper main menu. Once in proper shooting mode, you can press the menu button to open a quick menu showing most of your settings. There are certain settings Quiles likes to access using this quick menu, and there are others where he’ll dig into the menu to tweak them individually.
Image Quality Settings
In the quick menu, first access Image Quality Settings:
Here you will choose which File Format you want to shoot. If you’re normally a JPEG shooter, you can leave it in JPEG, but Quiles tends to set this to shoot RAW or RAW+JPEG. If he is shooting an event like a wedding or birthday party where he wants to quickly flip through the images, then he will shoot in RAW+JPEG. If he’s doing studio sessions, he usually just shoots in RAW.
Raw & JPEGs
If you end up going with RAW+JPG, Quiles says he also sets JPEG Quality to Extra Fine for the highest quality and image size is set to 60 megapixels.
rec. Media Settings
Then on the quick menu, select Rec. Media Settings:
Here, you will choose which memory card slot is set to capture the still images you capture. Quiles prefers to set it to Slot 1.
Next make sure your Auto Switch Media is set to ON so if your first memory card fills up it will switch to the next one.
If you currently shoot with an off-camera or wireless flash or plan to do so in the future, you can access the Wireless Flash setting in the menu:
Then make sure Wireless Flash is set to ON so it will automatically work once you add something to the hot shoe:
Next you’ll want to access Focus Mode from the quick menu:
Then set your Focus Mode to Continuous AF (Quiles says he uses this for portraits 99.99% of the time):
Those are all settings Quiles likes to access from the quick menu. Next we go deeper into the camera’s main menu:
File Folder Settings
First under Shooting Menu, choose File:
Next select the first option, File/Folder Settings:
Next you will select Set Filename:
Here you can set a file name for your image coming out of the camera. (Because Quiles has multiple cameras, he likes to set each one with a different filename so he knows which camera each image came from):
Returning to the File section of the Shooting Menu, next you will want to select Copyright Info:
Select Write Copyright Info:
Turn Write Copyright Info to ON (Quiles recommends setting copyright information in the camera so it’s taken care of and you don’t have to do post-production):
Then you can select other items from the Copyright Info menu and set them with your name:
The Shooting/Gridline Display
Next in the Shooting Menu you want to go down to #9 to select the Shooting View:
Enable your Gridlines View (Quiles recommends this so you can ensure every line in your image appears straight and symmetrical):
Next under Grid Line Type, Select Diag. + Square Grid (this is Quiles preference, but you can set whichever type of gridlines best helps you compose your image):
Customized Buttons & Features
Next you want to exit the menu you are in and scroll down to the Toolbox Icon which is the Settings Menu:
Select Customize Operation from the Setting Menu:
Choose a Custom Key/Key Set:
This is where you can customize the back button on the camera. Quiles likes to set this up to use a feature he uses more for portrait photography.
Active Tracking + Active AF
While you can customize whichever of these buttons is easiest for you, Quiles likes to set the first rear AEL button to Tracking On + AF On:
Next he likes to change the third back button, Custom Button 1, to Toggle Right/Left Eye:
Select Display Live View
Next he changed the fourth back button, Custom Button 3, to Live View Disp. Select (This gives you a shortcut to turn it off and on):
With the back button now adjusted, the Quiles menu looks as follows:
Fn Menu Settings
Next, Quiles wanted to customize the on-camera Functions Menu which is accessed by the Fn button on the back:
To customize the Function Menu, return to your Custom Settings and select Fn Menu Settings:
This will bring up your Function Menu Settings, and Quiles recommends removing anything from the menu you don’t normally use and replacing them with functions you use more often. He deletes Rec. Media Settings and changing it to APS-C shooting if he wants extra reach when shooting portraits:
With these settings, your Sony Alpha 7R V is ready for portrait photography. Visit the Sony Alpha YouTube Channel for more videos like this one.
This article originally appeared on the Sony Alpha Universe website on February 8, 2023. Click here to view the original article.