Complete Sony Alpha 7R V Setup Guide For Portrait Photography | Photography news and videos, reviews and tips

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.

Initial setup

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.

Main course

Image Quality Settings

In the quick menu, first access Image Quality Settings:

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.

Shooting 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.

Raw & Jpegs

rec. Media Settings

Then on the quick menu, select Rec. Media Settings:

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.

Slots 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.

Media Auto Switch: ON

Wireless Flash

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:

Wireless Flash

Then make sure Wireless Flash is set to ON so it will automatically work once you add something to the hot shoe:

Wireless Flash is ON

focus mode

Next you’ll want to access Focus Mode from the quick menu:

focus mode

Then set your Focus Mode to Continuous AF (Quiles says he uses this for portraits 99.99% of the time):

Continuous AF

Those are all settings Quiles likes to access from the quick menu. Next we go deeper into the camera’s main menu:

Main course

File Folder Settings

First under Shooting Menu, choose File:

File Folder Settings

Next select the first option, File/Folder Settings:

File/Folder Settings

Next you will select Set Filename:

File name

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):

Set File Name

Copyright Info

Returning to the File section of the Shooting Menu, next you will want to select Copyright Info:

Copyright Info

Select Write Copyright Info:

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):

Write Info Copyright ON

Then you can select other items from the Copyright Info menu and set them with your name:

Set Name

The Shooting/Gridline Display

Next in the Shooting Menu you want to go down to #9 to select the Shooting View:

Shooting View

Enable your Gridlines View (Quiles recommends this so you can ensure every line in your image appears straight and symmetrical):

Grid Line Display is ON

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):

Gridline Type

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:

Settings menu

Select Customize Operation from the Setting Menu:

Operation Adjust

Choose a Custom Key/Key Set:

Custom Button Dial 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.

Back Button

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:

Active Tracking + Active AF

Subject Acknowledgment

Next he likes to change the third back button, Custom Button 1, to Toggle Right/Left Eye:

Third Back Button

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):

Select Display Live View

With the back button now adjusted, the Quiles menu looks as follows:

Customized Back Button

Fn Menu Settings

Next, Quiles wanted to customize the on-camera Functions Menu which is accessed by the Fn button on the back:

Fn Menu Settings

To customize the Function Menu, return to your Custom Settings and select Fn Menu Settings:

Function Menus

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:

Function Menu Settings

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.

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