Customizing your Sony camera for specific types of photography can help you shoot more efficiently. Professional portrait photographer and Sony Artisan Miguel Quiles likes to set his camera up a certain way for portraits to ensure a smooth and successful shoot. In this Sony Alpha 7R V setup walkthrough, 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 uses in this video is fresh out of the box, so there are some initial setup steps required before getting into the full menu. If you’re turning on your Alpha 7R V for the first time, you’ll first be prompted to select the language for your camera, read and agree to the privacy notice, set the area/date/time, choose settings to prioritize recording time, and register the device.

Menu Settings Intro & Main Menu

Now that his Alpha 7R V is ready for use, Quiles first makes sure that the dial on his camera is set to the camera stills shooting mode to give him the proper main menu. Once in the proper shooting mode, you can hit the menu button to open the quick menu that displays the majority of your settings. There are certain settings that Quiles likes to access using this quick menu, and there are other settings where he will dig into the menu to set them up separately.

Main Menu

Image Quality Settings

In the quick menu, first access the Image Quality Settings:

Image Quality Settings

Here you will select which File Format you want to shoot in. If you’re typically a JPEG shooter, you can leave this on JPEG, but Quiles tends to either set this to shoot RAW or RAW+JPEG. If he’s shooting an event like a wedding or a birthday party where he wants to turn over images quickly, then he will shoot in RAW+JPEG. If he’s doing a studio session, he’s usually just shooting in RAW.

Shooting In Raw

Raw & JPEG

If you do end up using RAW+JPG, Quiles says he also sets his JPEG Quality to Extra Fine for the highest quality and the image size set to 60 megapixels.

Raw & Jpeg

Rec. Media Settings

Next in the quick menu, select Rec. Media Settings:

Rec. Media Settings

Here, you’ll select which memory card slot is set up to capture the stills you are taking. Quiles prefers to set his to Slot 1.

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.

Auto Switch Media: ON

Wireless Flash

If you are currently shooting with off-camera or wireless flash or plan to in the future, you’ll want to 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 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 of the settings Quiles likes to access from the quick menu. Next we dive deeper into the main menus of the camera:

Main Menus

File Folder Settings

First under the Shooting Menu, select File:

File Folder Settings

Next select the first option, File/Folder Settings:

File/Folder Settings

Next you’ll select Set File Name:

File Name

Here you can set the file name for your images that come out of the camera. (Because Quiles has multiple cameras, he likes to set each with a different file name so he knows which camera each image came from):

Set File Names

Copyright Info

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

Copyright Info

Select Write Copyright Info:

Write Copyright Info

Turn Write Copyright Info to ON (Quiles recommends setting the copyright information within the camera so it’s already taken care of and you don’t have to in post-production):

Write Copyright Info ON

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

Set Name

Shooting Display/Gridlines

Next within the Shooting Menu you want to go down to #9 to select Shooting Display:

Shooting Display

Turn your Grid Line Display On (Quiles recommends this so you can ensure any lines in your images appear straight and symmetrical):

Grid Line Display ON

Next under Grid Line Type, Select Diag. + Square Grid (this is Quiles’ preference, but you can set whichever grid line type helps you compose your images best):

Grid Line Type

Customized Buttons & Features

Next you’ll want to back out of the menu you’re in and scroll down to the Toolbox Icon that is the Setup Menu:

Setup Menu

Select Operation Customize from the Setup Menu:

Operation Customize

Select Custom Key/Dial Set:

Custom Key Dial Set

This is where you can customize the rear buttons on the camera. Quiles likes to set these to use the features he uses more often for portrait photography.

Rear Buttons

Tracking On + AF On

While you can customize these buttons however is easiest for you, Quiles likes to set the first rear AEL button to Tracking On + AF On:

Tracking On + AF On

Subject Recognition

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

Third Rear Button

Live View Display Select

Next he changes the fourth rear button, Custom Button 3, to Live View Disp. Select (This gives you a shortcut to turn it off and on):

Live View Display Select

With the rear buttons now customized, Quiles’ menu looks as follows:

Customized Rear Buttons

Fn Menu Settings

Next, Quiles like to customize the Function Menu on the camera 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 Menu

This will bring up your Function Menu Settings, and Quiles recommends removing anything from the menu that you don’t typically use and replacing it with functions you use more often. He removes Rec. Media Setting and changes it to APS-C shooting in case he wants extra reach while photographing 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 was originally featured on Sony’s Alpha Universe website on February 8, 2023. Click here to view the original article.

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