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 Wednesday, February 14, 2024

The Sony Alpha 9 III is here, and it is time to set up this camera. This powerhouse of a camera may seem daunting to set up, but the process is not burdensome and not unlike other recent high-end Sony Alpha cameras. The following steps prepare a factory-initialized a9 III for use.

  1. Charge the battery
  2. Record the serial number, and add the camera to your insurance policy
  3. Download and install the latest version of Sony Imaging Edge or your favorite RAW image processing software.
  4. Insert the charged battery and a memory card(s) (we'll format it later), and power on the camera
  5. Answer the power-on prompts, including setting the time zone and date
  6. Select M mode, press "Menu", and configure the camera as follows:
  7. Shooting > 1 Image Quality/Rec: Image Quality: Image Quality Settings: File Format: RAW; RAW File Type: Lossless Compressed L (full image quality reduced file size)
  8. Shooting > 1 Image Quality/Rec: Long Exposure NR: Off (I enable this option for very long exposures)
  9. Shooting > 1 Image Quality/Rec: High ISO NR: Low
  10. Shooting > 1 Image Quality/Rec: Lens Compensation: Shading Chromatic Aberration and Distortion Comp: All Off (I use the RAW processing software to enable any lens compensation with CA correction frequently selected)
  11. Shooting > 2 Media: Format (ensure there are no important files on the card(s) prior to formatting)
  12. Shooting > 3 File: Copyright Info: Write Copyright Info: On Set Photographer: [your name]; Set Copyright: [as desired]; Write Serial Number: On (entering this information on the touchscreen may be a painful process)
  13. Shooting > 5 Drive Mode > Self-timer Type: Self-timer(Single): 2 sec
  14. Shooting > 5 Drive Mode > Bracket Settings: Self-timer during Bracket: 2 Sec, Bracket order: ->0>+ (optimizes image order for HDR processing)
  15. Shooting > 7 Shutter/Silent: Release w/o Lens: Disable
  16. Shooting > 7 Shutter/Silent: Release w/o Card: Disable (should be the default)
  17. Shooting > 10 Shooting Display: Grid Line Display: On (Rule of Thirds selected)
  18. Exposure/Color > 3 Metering: Spot Metering Point: Focus Point Link
  19. Exposure/Color > 6 Color/Tone: D-Range Optimizer: Off
  20. Exposure/Color > 6 Color/Tone: Creative Look: NT (Neutral) Sharpness = 1 (this setting provides a low contrast histogram that better shows exposure latitude. I usually process with the default creative style in Capture One or profile in Lightroom)
  21. Focus > 1 AF/MF: Priority Set in AF-S: AF (in focus is my priority)
  22. Focus > 1 AF/MF: Priority Set in AF-C: AF (in focus is my priority)
  23. Focus > 2 Focus Area: Focus Area: Spot: S (this setting is often changed)
  24. Focus > 2 Focus Area: Switch V/H AF Area: AF Point Only
  25. Focus > 4 Initial Focus Mag.:c x2.9
  26. Focus > 5 Peaking Display: On
  27. Focus > 5 Peaking Level: Low
  28. Playback > 4 Delete: "Delete" first
  29. Playback > 7 Playback Option: Display Rotation: Off (image always fills LCD)
  30. Network > 7 Network Option: Airplane Mode: On
  31. Setup > 3 Operation Customize: Custom Key/Dial Set.: Dial/Wheel: Front Dial: Av/Tv (Tv in M mode) (I adjust the shutter speed more frequently and urgently than the aperture and the front dial is easier to access quickly); Rear Dial: Av/Tv (Av in M mode); Rear Control Wheel: Av/Tv (Av in M mode)
  32. Setup > 3 Operation Customize: DISP (Screen Disp) Set: Monitor: Uncheck For viewfinder press [enter]
  33. Setup > 5 Touch Operations: Touch Panel/Pad: Both Valid
  34. Setup > 5 Touch Operations: Touch Pad Settings: Shooting Screen: Touch Position Mode: Relative Position
  35. Setup > 10 Sound Option: Audio Signal(Shooting): Off (how to turn off the AF beep sound)
  36. Setup > 13 Setup Option: Anti-dust Function: Curtain when Pwr OFF: On (closes a mechanical shutter on power off to avoid dust on the sensor)
  37. My Menu: Format, Anti-flicker Set., Steady Shot, Flash Comp., Recognition Target
  38. View the menu (it is always sharp) through the viewfinder while adjusting the diopter

I make additional menu and other setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration means you intend to shoot as I do, including in RAW-only format. While this setup works optimally for me, you should adjust the camera to your needs.

If you can't remember your menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a great idea. Anytime the camera is set to the factory state, such as when serviced or when acquiring an additional camera, the list will ensure all settings are quickly re-established. Better still, save the camera settings to a memory card (Setup > 2: Reset/Save Settings menu: Save/Load Settings: Save) for an easy restore or replication. The setup file can be copied to a computer drive for long-term storage.

More Information

Sony Alpha 9 III

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Post Date: 2/14/2024 10:42:59 AM ET   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, October 18, 2023

The Sony Alpha 7C R and Sony Alpha 7C II cameras are here, and it is time to set up these cameras for use. For setup purposes, these cameras are identical, and the steps taken to prepare out-of-the-box a7C R and 7C II cameras for use are as follows.

  1. Charge the battery
  2. Record the serial number, and add the camera to insurance policy
  3. Download and install Capture One (for Sony) or Sony Imaging Edge (unless your current favorite RAW image processing software supports this camera)
  4. Insert a memory card(s) (we'll format it later)
  5. Insert the charged battery, and power on the camera
  6. Set the time zone, date, time, and timeformat
  7. Select M mode, press "Menu", and configure the camera as follows:
  8. Shooting Menu 1 Image Quality: Image Quality Settings: File Format: RAW, RAW File Type: Lossless Compressed L (ultimate image quality with reduced file size)
  9. Shooting Menu 1 Image Quality: Long Exposure NR: Off (manually enable this option for very long exposures)
  10. Shooting Menu 1 High ISO NR: Low (most software overrides this setting)
  11. Shooting Menu 1 Image Quality: Lens Compensation: Shading, Chromatic Aberration, and Distortion Comp: All Off (software often overrides this setting, use the RAW processing software to enable any lens compensation with CA correction frequently selected)
  12. Shooting Menu 2 Media: Format (ensure there are no important files on the card(s) prior to formatting)
  13. Shooting Menu 3 File: Copyright Info: Write Copyright Info: On, Set Photographer: [your name], Set Copyright: [as desired], Write Serial Number: On (put your name and your business name on your images, also helpful if your camera gets lost) (note that you may find entering this information on the touchscreen a painful process)
  14. Shooting Menu 5 Drive Mode: Selftimer during Bracket: 2 Sec (avoid camera shake)
  15. Shooting Menu 5 Drive Mode: Bracket Settings: Bracket order: ->0>+ (eases image selection for HDR processing)
  16. Shooting Menu 6 Shutter/Silent: Release w/o Lens: Disable
  17. Shooting Menu 6 Shutter/Silent: Release w/o Card: Disable (why is this not the default?)
  18. Shooting Menu 9 Shooting Display: Grid Line Display: On (Rule of Thirds selected)
  19. Exposure/Color Menu 6 Color/Tone: D-Range Optimizer: Off
  20. Exposure/Color Menu 6 Color/Tone: Creative Look: NT (Neutral) Sharpness = 1 (this setting provides a lower contrast histogram. I usually process with a Standard or Natural creative style)
  21. Focus Menu 1 AF/MF: Focus Mode: Single-shot AF (this setting gets changed frequently)
  22. Focus Menu 1 AF/MF: Priority Set in AF-S: AF
  23. Focus Menu 1 AF/MF: Priority Set in AF-C: AF (I care more about properly focused images than maintaining a high frame rate)
  24. Focus Menu 2 Focus Area: Focus Area: Spot: S (this setting gets changed frequently)
  25. Focus Menu 2 Switch V/H AF Area: AF Point Only
  26. Focus Menu 5 Peaking Display: On (show focus indication when manually focusing)
  27. Playback Menu 4 Delete: "Delete" first (makes deleting images faster — the camera still provides a second change to cancel the delete request)
  28. Playback Menu 7 Playback Option: Display Rotation: Off (the reviewed image always fills LCD)
  29. Network Menu: 8 Network Menu: Airplane Mode: On
  30. Setup Menu: 4 Dial Customize: Custom Key/Dial Set.: Dial/Wheel: Front Dial: Av/Tv (Tv in M mode) (option #2) (I adjust the shutter speed more frequently and urgently than aperture and the front dial is easier to access quickly); Rear Dial: Av/Tv (Av in M mode)
  31. Setup Menu: 5 Touch Operations: Touch Panel/Pad: Both Valid
  32. Setup Menu: 5 Touch Operations: Touch Pad Settings: Touch Position Mode: Relative Position, Operation Area: Whole Screen
  33. Setup Menu: 10 Sound Option: Audio signal (Shooting): Off (how to turn off the AF beep sound)
  34. My Menu: Format, Shutter Type, Steady Shot, Recognition Target, Anti-flicker Set., Flash Comp., Focus Mode
  35. With a lens mounted and a subject in focus (or view the menu system), adjust the viewfinder diopter until the scene is sharp

I make additional menu and other setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration means you intend to shoot as I do, including in RAW-only format. While this setup works optimally for me, you should adjust the camera setup to your needs.

If you can't remember your menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a great idea. Anytime the camera is set to the factory state, such as when serviced or when acquiring an additional camera, the list will ensure all settings are quickly re-established. Consider saving the camera settings to a card (Tools menu, tab 2, Reset/Save Settings) for an easy restore or replication. The setup file can be copied to a computer drive for long-term storage. Unfortunately, I couldn't load the a7C R settings on the a7C II.

Support this site by ordering the Sony Alpha 7C R from B&H | Adorama | WEX | Camera Canada

Order the Sony Alpha 7C II from B&H | Adorama | Amazon (all available countries) | WEX | Camera Canada

Rent the Sony Alpha 7C R and Sony Alpha 7C II from Lensrentals.

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Post Date: 10/18/2023 11:00:44 AM ET   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, August 17, 2023

The Sony Alpha 6700 is here, and it is time to set up this camera for use. Following are the steps taken to prepare an out-of-the-box a6700.

  1. Charge the battery. Note that a battery charger or USB cable is not included in the box.
  2. Record the serial number, and add the camera to insurance policy
  3. Download and install Capture One (for Sony) or Sony Imaging Edge if you want free RAW image processing software.
  4. Insert the charged battery, and power on the camera
  5. Insert a memory card (we'll format it later)
  6. Select M mode press "Menu" and configure the camera as follows:
  7. Set the time zone date time timeformat
  8. Shooting Menu 1 Image Quality: Image Quality Settings: File Format: RAW (provides the best image quality)
  9. Shooting Menu 1 Image Quality: Image Quality Settings: RAW File Type: Lossless Compressed (full image quality reduced file size)
  10. Shooting Menu 1 Image Quality: Long Exposure NR: Off (I'll enable this option for very long exposures)
  11. Shooting Menu 1 High ISO NR: Low
  12. Shooting Menu 1 Image Quality: Lens Compensation: Shading Chromatic Aberration and Distortion Comp: All Off (I use the RAW processing software to enable any lens compensation with CA correction frequently selected)
  13. Shooting Menu 2 Media: Format (ensure there are no important files on the card(s) prior to formatting)
  14. Shooting Menu 3 File: Copyright Info: Write Copyright Info: On Set Photographer: [your name] Set Copyright: [as desired] Write Serial Number: On (note: entering this information on the touchscreen may be a painful process)
  15. Shooting Menu 5 Drive Mode: Bracket Settings: Selftimer during Bracket: 2 Sec
  16. Shooting Menu 5 Drive Mode: Bracket Settings: Bracket order: ->0>+ (eases image selection for HDR processing)
  17. Shooting Menu 6 Shutter/Silent: Release w/o Lens: Disable
  18. Shooting Menu 6 Shutter/Silent: Release w/o Card: Disable (why is this not the default?)
  19. Shooting Menu 9 Shooting Display: Grid Line Display: On (Rule of Thirds selected)
  20. Exposure/Color Menu 6 Color/Tone: D-Range Optimizer: Off
  21. Exposure/Color Menu 6 Color/Tone: Creative Look: NT (Neutral) Sharpness = 1 (this setting provides a lower contrast histogram. I usually process with the Natural creative style in Capture One)
  22. Focus Menu 1 AF/MF: Focus Mode: Single-shot AF (I prefer to control the type of focusing in use, Single-shot or Continuous AF)
  23. Focus Menu 1 AF/MF: Priority Set in AF-S: AF
  24. Focus Menu 1 AF/MF: Priority Set in AF-C: AF
  25. Focus Menu 2 Focus Area: Focus Area: Spot: S (I change this setting frequently)
  26. Focus Menu 2 Switch V/H AF Area: AF Point Only
  27. Focus Menu 4 Initial Focus Mag.:c x6.1
  28. Focus Menu 5 Peaking Display: On
  29. Playback Menu 4 Delete confirm.: "Delete" first
  30. Playback Menu 7 Playback Option: Display Rotation: Off (image fills LCD)
  31. Network Menu: 7 Network Menu: Airplane Mode: On
  32. Setup Menu: 3 Operation Customize: Custom Key/Dial Set.: Rear1: Focus Mode
  33. Setup Menu: 4 Dial Customize: Custom Key/Dial Set.: Dial/Wheel: Front Dial: Av/Tv (Tv in M mode) (option #2) (I adjust the shutter speed more frequently and urgently than aperture and the front dial is easier to access quickly); Rear Dial: Av/Tv (Av in M mode)
  34. Setup Menu: 5 Touch Operations: Touch Panel/Pad: Both Valid
  35. Setup Menu: 5 Touch Operations: Touch Pad Settings: Touch Position Mode: Relative Position
  36. Setup Menu: 10 Sound Option: Audio signals: Off (how to turn off the loud and usually-annoying AF beep sound)
  37. My Menu: Format, Shutter Type, Steady Shot, Recognition Target, Anti-flicker Set., Flash Comp.
  38. With a lens mounted and a subject in focus adjust the viewfinder diopter until the scene is sharp

I make additional menu and other setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration means you intend to shoot as I do, including in RAW-only format. While this setup works optimally for me, you should adjust the camera setup to your needs.

If you can't remember your menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a great idea. Anytime the camera is set to the factory state, such as when serviced or when acquiring an additional camera, the list will ensure all settings are quickly re-established. Consider saving the camera settings to a card (Setup menu, tab 2: Reset/Save Settings menu, Save/Load Settings, Save) for an easy restore or replication. The setup file can be copied to a computer drive for long-term storage.

More Information

Sony Alpha 6700

Support this site by ordering the Sony a6700 from B&H | Adorama | Amazon (all available countries) | WEX

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Post Date: 8/17/2023 8:00:00 AM ET   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, June 28, 2023

The Canon EOS R100 is here, and it is time to set up this camera for use. Following are the 32 steps taken to prepare an out-of-the-box R100.

  1. Record serial number, and add camera to the insurance policy
  2. Open the box, find the battery, place it in the charger, and plug it in.
  3. Consider downloading and installing the latest Canon imaging software to gain support for the latest camera model(s). Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP) and EOS Utility are the options I include in the install.
  4. Insert a memory card (we'll format the card in a later step), insert a charged battery, and power the camera on.
  5. The date, time, and time zone setup display will show at the first startup. Use the rear cross keys and set button to update this information.
  6. Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv, or M (some modes may provide only a subset of available menu options) and press the menu button.
  7. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: Use the top control dial to set RAW to "RAW", and use the rear direction keys to set JPEG to "-" (RAW image files provide the highest quality and are especially valuable for post-processing work)
  8. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Auto Lighting Optimizer: Off (my choice is to adjust the images later)
  9. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: White balance: AWB W (White) (I seldom use another white balance setting while shooting, though I often adjust white balance modestly during post-processing)
  10. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness = 1 (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram that best shows the available dynamic range. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Lens Aberration Correction: All options "OFF" (I suggest that most photographers enable Chromatic Aberration correction, enable others to taste)
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: High ISO speed NR: Low (noise reduction is destructive to images details, so I prefer to add noise reduction sparingly during post-processing)
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: Continuous AF: Disable (I want the camera to focus only when I half-press the shutter release)
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 5: MF peaking settings: On (highlight in-focus detail in red during manual focusing)
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 6: Image review: Review duration: 4 sec.
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 7: Shooting info. disp.: Screen info. settings: Enable 1, 2, and 4; edit screen 2 to show only: Basic shooting info and Histogram
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 7: Shooting info. disp.: VF info/toggle setting: Enable 1 and 3 (the default); edit screen 3 to show only Histogram
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 7: Shooting info. disp.: Grid display: 3x3 (sometimes the 3x3 grid is helpful for alignment checking while not complicating the view)
  19. Shooting Menu, Tab 7: Shooting info. disp.: Histogram disp: RGB, Small (show the brightness levels of each channel separately and do not let the graph to take up much space in the display as it can affect the perceived composition)
  20. Shooting Menu, Tab 7: Disp performance: Smooth (select Smooth if shooting fast action and battery life is not a concern, select Power saving otherwise.)
  21. Playback Menu, Tab 5: Playback information display: 1 and 2 only; change view 2 histogram to RGB
  22. Wireless Settings Menu, Tab 1: Airplane mode: Off (only choose this setting if not using the camera's wireless features)
  23. Function Settings Menu, Tab 1: Format card (always format a memory card in the camera before using it — all data on the card will be lost)
  24. Function Settings Menu, Tab 1: Auto Rotate: On computer (images are properly rotated when viewed on a computer, but are always oriented to fill the LCD when viewed on the camera)
  25. Function Settings Menu, Tab 2: Beep: Disable (most will find your camera's beep annoying)
  26. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 4: Custom Functions(C.Fn): C.Fn II:Others 5: Retract lens on power off: Disable (I opt for off to prevent a carefully-selected focus distance from resetting when the camera auto powers off)
  27. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 4: Copyright information: enter as desired
  28. Display Level Settings Menu, Tab 1: Menu Display: Standard (novices may appreciate this feature)
  29. Display Level Settings Menu, Tab 1: Mode guide: Disable (novices may appreciate this feature)
  30. Display Level Settings Menu, Tab 1: Feature guide: Disable (novices may appreciate this feature)
  31. My Menu: Add My Menu 1: Register your most-used options
  32. With a lens mounted and a subject focused on, adjust the viewfinder diopter until the scene is sharp

I make additional menu and other setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration means you intend to shoot as I do, including in RAW-only format. While this setup works optimally for me, you should adjust the camera setup to your needs.

If you can't remember your menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a great idea. Anytime the camera is set to the factory state, such as when serviced or when acquiring an additional camera, the list will ensure all settings are quickly re-established.

More Information

Canon EOS R100

Support this site by ordering the Canon EOS R100 from B&H | Adorama | Canon USA | Amazon (all available countries) | WEX

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Post Date: 6/28/2023 9:02:44 AM ET   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, March 2, 2023

The Canon EOS R50 is here, and it is time to set up this camera for use. Following are the 36 steps taken to prepare an out-of-the-box EOS R50.

  1. Record serial number, and add camera to the insurance policy
  2. Open the box, find the battery, place it in the charger, and plug it in.
  3. Consider downloading and installing the latest Canon imaging software to gain support for the latest camera model(s). Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP), EOS Utility, and Lens Registration Utility are the options I include in the install.
  4. Insert a memory card (we'll format the card in a later step), insert a charged battery, and power the camera on.
  5. The date, time, and time zone setup display will show at the first startup. Use the rear control dial and set button to update this information.
  6. The camera will prompt to connect your phone running the Canon Connect App. Follow the prompts as desired.
  7. Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv, or M (some modes may provide only a subset of available menu options) and press the menu button.
  8. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: Use the top control dial to set RAW to "RAW", and use the rear direction keys to set JPEG to "-" (RAW image files provide the highest quality and are especially valuable for post-processing work)
  9. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: White balance: AWB W (White) (I seldom use another white balance setting while shooting, though I often adjust white balance modestly during post-processing)
  10. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness = 1 (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram that best shows the available dynamic range. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 5: Lens Aberration Correction: All options "OFF" (I suggest that most photographers enable Chromatic Aberration correction)
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 5: High ISO speed NR: Low (noise reduction is destructive to images details, so I prefer to add noise reduction sparingly during post-processing)
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 6: Release shutter without card: OFF (only in a retail store would you want to press the shutter release without saving the image file)
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 7: Image review: Review duration: 4 sec. (the Viewfinder review option is disabled by default, speeding the shooting process)
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 8: Shooting info. disp.: Screen info. settings: Enable 1, 2, 3, and 4; edit screen 2 to show only: Basic shooting info and Electronic level; edit screen 3 to show only: Basic shooting info, Histogram, and Electronic level
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 8: Shooting info. disp.: VF info/toggle setting: Enable 1, 2, and 3 (the default); edit screen 2 to show only: Electronic level; edit screen 3 to show only: Histogram and Electronic level
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 8: Shooting info. disp.: Grid display: 3x3 (sometimes the 3x3 grid is helpful for alignment checking while not complicating the view)
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 8: Shooting info. disp.: Histogram disp: RGB, Small (show the brightness levels of each channel separately and do not let the graph to take up much space in the display as it can affect the perceived composition)
  19. Shooting Menu, Tab 8: Disp performance: Smooth (select Smooth if shooting fast action and battery life is not a concern, and Power saving otherwise.)
  20. AF Menu, Tab 1: Subject to detect: Select Auto, People, Animals, Vehicles, or No priority as makes sense for your current shooting scenario
  21. AF Menu, Tab 2: Preview AF: Disable
  22. AF Menu, Tab 3: Touch & drag AF settings: Touch & drag AF: Enable (allows the thumb drag across the rear LCD to quickly move the AF point while looking through the electronic viewfinder)
  23. AF Menu, Tab 3: MF peaking settings: On
  24. Playback Menu, Tab 4: Playback information display: 1, 2, and 3 only; change view 2 histogram to RGB
  25. Set-up Menu, Tab 1: Format card (always format a memory card in-camera before using it - all data on the card will be lost)
  26. Set-up Menu, Tab 1: Auto Rotate: On computer (images are properly rotated when viewed on a computer, but are always oriented to fill the LCD when viewed on the camera)
  27. Set-up Menu, Tab 2: Mode guide: Disable (novices may appreciate this feature)
  28. Set-up Menu, Tab 2: Feature guide: Disable (novices may appreciate this feature)
  29. Set-up Menu, Tab 2: Beep: Disable (probably no one wants to hear your camera's beep)
  30. Set-up Menu, Tab 2: Power saving: Screen dimmer: Disable (I found the dimmer annoying - the LCD is as useful off as dimmed)
  31. Set-up Menu, Tab 5: Copyright information: enter as desired
  32. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 3: Customize dials: Control ring: Av
  33. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 3: Retract lens on power off: OFF (prevents a carefully-selected focus distance from resetting when the camera auto powers off)
  34. My Menu: Add My Menu 1; Register the following options: Expo.comp./AEB, Display simulation, Subject to detect, Format card, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring the time); reorder menu items as desired
  35. My Menu: Add My Menu 2; Register the following options: Anti-flicker shoot., Shutter mode, reorder menu items as desired
  36. With a lens mounted and a subject focused on, adjust the viewfinder diopter until the scene is sharp

I make additional menu and other setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration means you intend to shoot as I do - including in RAW-only format. While this setup works great for me, you should adjust the setup to your needs.

If you can't remember your menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a great idea. Anytime the camera is set to the factory state, such as when serviced or when acquiring an additional camera, you will be ready to create your setup quickly, while ensuring that an important setting is not omitted.

More Information

Canon EOS R50

Support this site by ordering the Canon EOS R50 from B&H | Adorama | Canon USA | WEX

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Post Date: 3/2/2023 11:48:38 AM ET   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, March 1, 2023

The Canon EOS R8 is here, and it is time to set up this camera for use. Following are the 44 steps taken to prepare an out-of-the-box EOS R8.

  1. Record serial number, and add camera to the insurance policy
  2. Open the box, find the battery, place it in the charger, and plug it in.
  3. Consider downloading and installing the latest Canon imaging software to gain support for the latest camera model(s). Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP), EOS Utility, and Lens Registration Utility are the options I include in the install.
  4. Insert a memory card (we'll format the card in a later step), insert a charged battery, and power the camera on.
  5. The date, time, and time zone setup screen will show at the first startup. Use the rear control dial and set button to update this information.
  6. Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv, or M (some modes may provide only a subset of available menu options) and press the menu button.
  7. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: Use the top control dial to set RAW to "RAW", and use the rear control dial to set JPEG to "-" (RAW image files provide the highest quality and are especially valuable for post-processing work)
  8. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: White balance: AWB W (White) (I seldom use another white balance setting while shooting, though I often adjust white balance modestly during post-processing)
  9. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness = 1 (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram that best shows the available dynamic range. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  10. Shooting Menu, Tab 5: Lens Aberration Correction: All options "OFF" (I suggest that most photographers enable Chromatic Aberration correction)
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 5: High ISO speed NR: Low (noise reduction is destructive to images details, so I prefer to add noise reduction sparingly during post-processing)
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 7: Release shutter without card: OFF (only in a retail store would you want to press the shutter release without saving the image file)
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 8: Image review: Review duration: 4 sec. (the Viewfinder review option is disabled by default, speeding the shooting process)
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 9: Shooting info. disp.: Screen info. settings: Enable 1, 2, 3, and 4; edit screen 2 to show only: Basic shooting info and Electronic level; edit screen 3 to show only: Basic shooting info, Histogram, and Electronic level
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 9: Shooting info. disp.: VF info/toggle setting: Enable 1, 2, and 3 (the default); edit screen 2 to show only: Electronic level; edit screen 3 to show only: Histogram and Electronic level
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 9: Shooting info. disp.: Grid display: 3x3 (sometimes the 3x3 grid is helpful for alignment checking while not complicating the view)
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 9: Shooting info. disp.: Histogram disp: RGB, Small (show the brightness levels of each channel separately and do not let the graph to take up much space in the display as it can affect the perceived composition)
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 9: Disp performance: Smooth (select Smooth if shooting fast action and battery life is not a concern, and Power saving otherwise.)
  19. AF Menu, Tab 1: Subject to detect: Select Auto, People, Animals, Vehicles, or No priority as makes sense for your current shooting scenario
  20. AF Menu, Tab 4: Touch & drag AF settings: Touch & drag AF: Enable (allows the thumb drag across the rear LCD to quickly move the AF point while looking through the electronic viewfinder)
  21. AF Menu, Tab 4: Limit AF methods: enable Spot AF, Single Point, and Whole area AF (fewer options means faster changing between these options)
  22. AF Menu, Tab 4: Orientation linked AF point: Separate AF pts: Pt only (instructs the camera to individually save the selected AF points for vertical and horizontal orientation)
  23. AF Menu, Tab 5: MF peaking settings: On
  24. AF Menu, Tab 6: RF lens MF focus ring sensitivity: Linked to rotation degree (forces linear MF adjustment)
  25. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Magnification: 10x (allows one button press during playback to zoom deeply into the image)
  26. Playback Menu, Tab 4: Playback information display: 1, 2, and 3 only; change view 2 histogram to RGB (fewer options means faster changing between these options)
  27. Playback Menu, Tab 4: Highlight Alert: Enable (overexposed pixels will blink during image review)
  28. Set-up Menu, Tab 1: Format card (always format a memory card in-camera before using it – all data on the card will be lost)
  29. Set-up Menu, Tab 1: Auto Rotate: On computer (images are properly rotated when viewed on a computer, but are always oriented to fill the LCD when viewed on the camera)
  30. Set-up Menu, Tab 2: Mode guide: Disable (novices may appreciate this feature)
  31. Set-up Menu, Tab 2: Feature guide: Disable (novices may appreciate this feature)
  32. Set-up Menu, Tab 2: Beep: Disable (probably no one wants to hear your camera's beep)
  33. Set-up Menu, Tab 3: Power saving: Screen dimmer: Disable (I found the dimmer to be annoying - the LCD is as useful off as dimmed)
  34. Set-up Menu, Tab 5: Custom shooting mode (C1, C2): Auto update set: Enable (see Configuring Custom Shooting Modes)
  35. Set-up Menu, Tab 5: Copyright information: enter as desired
  36. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 1: Bracketing auto cancel: OFF (I want to control when AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing) is enabled and disabled)
  37. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 1: Bracketing sequence: -0+ (if images are captured in brightness sequence, they are easier to work with during post-processing. Capturing the darkest image first means quickly getting the first frame)
  38. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 3: Customize buttons: Multi-function button: Dial function and press info to set details: Top row: 1. Drive mode, 2. One Shot - Servo, 3. Exp. comp, 4. Off, 5: Off; Bottom row: 1. ISO, 2. AF area, 3. Flash exp. comp, 4. Off, 5: Off
  39. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 3: Customize dials: Control ring: OFF (consider using this dial for a function logical for your needs)
  40. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 4: Default erase option: [Erase] selected (less safe, but one less button press required to delete an image)
  41. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 4: Retract lens on power off: OFF (prevents a carefully-selected focus distance from resetting when the camera auto powers off)
  42. My Menu: Add My Menu 1; Register the following options: Expo.comp./AEB, Display simulation, Subject to detect, Format card, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring the time); reorder menu items as desired
  43. My Menu: Add My Menu 2; Register the following options: Anti-flicker shoot., RAW burst mode, Focus bracketing, Shutter mode, Number of bracketed shots, reorder menu items as desired
  44. With a lens mounted and a subject focused on, adjust the viewfinder diopter until the scene is sharp

I make additional menu and other setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration means you intend to shoot as I do, including in RAW-only format. While this setup works optimally for me, you should adjust the camera setup to your needs.

If you can't remember your menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a great idea. Anytime the camera is set to the factory state, such as when serviced or when acquiring an additional camera, you will be ready to create your setup quickly, while ensuring that an important setting is not omitted.

More Information

Canon EOS R8

Support this site by ordering the Canon EOS R8 from B&H | Adorama | Canon USA | Amazon (all available countries) | WEX

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Post Date: 3/1/2023 8:38:49 AM ET   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, January 13, 2023

The Sony Alpha 7R V is here and it is time to set up this camera for use. Following are the 35 steps taken to prepare an out-of-the-box a7R V.

  1. Charge the battery
  2. Record the serial number, and add the camera to insurance policy
  3. Download and install Capture One (for Sony) or Sony Imaging Edge (unless your current favorite RAW image processing software supports this camera)
  4. Insert the charged battery, and power on the camera
  5. Insert a memory card(s) (we'll format it later)
  6. Select M mode press "Menu" and configure the camera as follows:
  7. Set the time zone date time timeformat
  8. Shooting Menu 1 Image Quality: Image Quality Settings: File Format: RAW RAW File Type: Lossless Compressed L (full image quality reduced file size)
  9. Shooting Menu 1 Image Quality: Long Exposure NR: Off (I'll enable this option for very long exposures)
  10. Shooting Menu 1 High ISO NR: Low
  11. Shooting Menu 1 Image Quality: Lens Compensation: Shading Chromatic Aberration and Distortion Comp: All Off (I use the RAW processing software to enable any lens compensation with CA correction frequently selected)
  12. Shooting Menu 2 Media: Format (ensure there are no important files on the card(s) prior to formatting)
  13. Shooting Menu 3 File: Copyright Info: Write Copyright Info: On Set Photographer: [your name] Set Copyright: [as desired] Write Serial Number: On (note: entering this information on the touchscreen may be a painful process)
  14. Shooting Menu 5 Drive Mode: Selftimer during Bracket: 2 Sec
  15. Shooting Menu 5 Drive Mode: Bracket Settings: Bracket order: ->0>+ (considerably enhances image selection for HDR processing)
  16. Shooting Menu 6 Shutter/Silent: Release w/o Lens: Disable
  17. Shooting Menu 6 Shutter/Silent: Release w/o Card: Disable (why is this not the default?)
  18. Shooting Menu 9 Shooting Display: Grid Line Display: On (Rule of Thirds selected)
  19. Exposure/Color Menu 6 Color/Tone: D-Range Optimizer: Off
  20. Exposure/Color Menu 6 Color/Tone: Creative Look: NT (Neutral) Sharpness = 1 (this setting provides a lower contrast histogram. I usually process with the Natural creative style in Capture One)
  21. Focus Menu 1 AF/MF: Priority Set in AF-S: AF
  22. Focus Menu 1 AF/MF: Priority Set in AF-C: AF
  23. Focus Menu 2 Focus Area: Focus Area: Spot: S (this setting is often changed)
  24. Focus Menu 2 Switch V/H AF Area: AF Point Only
  25. Focus Menu 4 Initial Focus Mag.:c x4.7
  26. Focus Menu 5 Peaking Display: On
  27. Playback Menu 4 Delete: "Delete" first
  28. Playback Menu 7 Playback Option: Display Rotation: Off (image fills LCD)
  29. Network Menu: 7 Network Menu: Airplane Mode: On
  30. Setup Menu: 4 Dial Customize: Custom Key/Dial Set.: Dial/Wheel: Front Dial: Av/Tv (Tv in M mode) (option #2) (I adjust the shutter speed more frequently and urgently than aperture and the front dial is easier to access quickly); Rear Dial: Av/Tv (Av in M mode)
  31. Setup Menu: 5 Touch Operations: Touch Panel/Pad: Both Valid
  32. Setup Menu: 5 Touch Operations: Touch Pad Settings: Touch Position Mode: Relative Position
  33. Setup Menu: 10 Sound Option: Audio signals: Off (how to turn off the loud and usually-annoying AF beep sound)
  34. My Menu: Format Shutter Type Steady Shot Recognition Target Anti-flicker Set. Flash Comp.
  35. With a lens mounted and a subject in focus adjust the viewfinder diopter until the scene is sharp

I make additional menu and other setting changes based on current shooting scenarios but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration means you intend to shoot as I do - including in RAW-only format. While this setup works great for me you should adjust the setup to your needs.

If you can't remember your menu setup parameters keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a great idea. Consider saving the camera settings to a card for an easy restore.

More Information

Sony Alpha 7R V

Order the Sony Alpha 7R V at B&H | Adorama | Amazon | WEX.

Rent the Sony Alpha 7R V from Lensrentals.

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Post Date: 1/13/2023 8:54:06 AM ET   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, December 2, 2022

The Canon EOS R6 Mark II is here, and it is time to set up this camera for use. Following are the 44 steps taken to prepare an out-of-the-box R6 II.

  1. Record serial number and add camera to the insurance policy
  2. Open the box, find the battery, place it in the charger, and plug it in.
  3. Consider downloading and installing the latest Canon imaging software to gain support for the latest camera model(s). Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP), EOS Utility, and Lens Registration Utility are the options I include in the install.
  4. Insert a memory card (we'll format the card in a later step), insert a charged battery, and power the camera on.
  5. The date, time, and time zone setup screen will show at the first startup. Use the rear control dial and set button to update this information.
  6. Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv, or M (some modes may provide only a subset of available menu options) and press the menu button.
  7. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: Use the top control dial to set RAW to "RAW", and use the rear control dial to set JPEG to "-" (RAW image files provide the highest quality and are especially valuable for post-processing work)
  8. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: White balance: AWB W (White) (I seldom use another white balance setting while shooting, though I often adjust white balance modestly during post-processing)
  9. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness = 1 (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram that best shows the available dynamic range. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  10. Shooting Menu, Tab 5: Lens Aberration Correction: All options "OFF" (I suggest that most photographers enable Chromatic Aberration correction)
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 5: High ISO speed NR: Off or Low (noise reduction is destructive to images details, so I prefer to add noise reduction sparingly during post-processing)
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 7: Release shutter without card: OFF (only in a retail store would you want to press the shutter release without saving the image file)
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 8: Image review: Review duration: 4 sec. (the Viewfinder review option is disabled by default, speeding the shooting process)
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 9: Shooting info. disp.: Screen info. settings: Enable 1, 2, 3, and 4; edit screen 2 to show only: Basic shooting info and Electronic level; edit screen 3 to show only: Basic shooting info, Histogram, and Electronic level
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 9: Shooting info. disp.: VF info/toggle setting: Enable 1, 2, and 3 (the default); edit screen 2 to show only: Electronic level; edit screen 3 to show only: Histogram and Electronic level
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 9: Shooting info. disp.: Grid display: 3x3 (sometimes the 3x3 grid is helpful for alignment checking while not complicating the view)
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 9: Shooting info. disp.: Histogram disp: RGB, Small (show the brightness levels of each channel separately and do not let the graph to take up much space in the display as it can affect the perceived composition)
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 9: Disp performance: Smooth (select Smooth if shooting fast action and battery life is not a concern, and Power saving otherwise.)
  19. AF Menu, Tab 1: Subject to detect: Select Auto, People, Animals, Vehicles, or No priority as makes sense for your current shooting scenario
  20. AF Menu, Tab 4: Touch & drag AF settings: Touch & drag AF: Enable (allows the thumb drag across the rear LCD to quickly move the AF point while looking through the electronic viewfinder)
  21. AF Menu, Tab 4: Limit AF methods: enable Spot AF, Single Point, and Whole area AF
  22. AF Menu, Tab 4: Orientation linked AF point: Separate AF pts: Pt only (instructs the camera to individually save the selected AF points for vertical and horizontal orientation)
  23. AF Menu, Tab 5: MF peaking settings: On
  24. AF Menu, Tab 6: RF lens MF focus ring sensitivity: Linked to rotation degree
  25. Playback Menu, Tab 5: Magnification: 10x (allows one button press during playback to zoom deeply into the image)
  26. Playback Menu, Tab 7: Playback information display: 1, 2, and 3 only; change view 2 histogram to RGB
  27. Playback Menu, Tab 7: Highlight Alert: Enable (overexposed pixels will blink during image review)
  28. Set-up Menu, Tab 1: Format card (always format a memory card in-camera before using it - all data on the card will be lost)
  29. Set-up Menu, Tab 1: Auto Rotate: On computer (images are properly rotated when viewed on a computer, but are always oriented to fill the LCD when viewed on the camera)
  30. Set-up Menu, Tab 2: Mode guide: Disable
  31. Set-up Menu, Tab 2: Feature guide: Disable
  32. Set-up Menu, Tab 3: Beep: Disable (probably no one wants to hear your camera's beep)
  33. Set-up Menu, Tab 3: Power saving: Screen dimmer: Disable (I found the dimmer to be highly annoying — the LCD is as useful off as dimmed)
  34. Set-up Menu, Tab 6: Custom shooting mode (C1, C2, C3): Auto update set: Enable (see Configuring Custom Shooting Modes)
  35. Set-up Menu, Tab 6: Copyright information: enter as desired
  36. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 1: Bracketing auto cancel: OFF (I want to control when AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing) is enabled and disabled)
  37. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 1: Bracketing sequence: -0+ (if images are captured in brightness sequence, they are easier to work with during post-processing. Capturing the darkest image first means quickly getting the first frame)
  38. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 3: Customize buttons: Multi-function button: Dial function and press info to set details: Top row: 1. Drive mode, 2. One Shot - Servo, 3. Exp. comp, 4. Off, 5: Off; Bottom row: 1. ISO, 2. AF area, 3. Flash exp. comp, 4. Off, 5: Off
  39. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 3: Customize dials: Control ring: OFF (consider using this dial for a function logical for your needs)
  40. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 4: Default erase option: [Erase] selected (less safe, but one less button press required to delete an image)
  41. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 4: Retract lens on power off: OFF (prevents a carefully-selected focus distance from resetting when the camera auto powers off)
  42. My Menu: Add My Menu 1; Register the following options: Expo.comp./AEB, IS (Image Stabilizer) mode, Expo. simulation, Subject to detect, Format card, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring the time); reorder menu items as desired
  43. My Menu: Add My Menu 2; Register the following options: Anti-flicker shoot., RAW burst mode, Focus bracketing, Shutter mode, Number of bracketed shots, reorder menu items as desired
  44. With a lens mounted and a subject focused on, adjust the viewfinder diopter until the scene is sharp

I make additional menu and other setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration means you intend to shoot as I do – including in RAW-only format. While this setup works great for me, you should adjust the setup to your needs.

If you can't remember your menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a great idea. Anytime the camera is set to the factory state, such as when serviced or when acquiring an additional camera, the list will ensure all settings are re-established. If you purchase another same or similar camera, setup will be fast and identical.

More Information

Canon EOS R6 Mark II

Support this site by ordering the Canon EOS R6 Mark II from B&H | Adorama | Canon USA | Amazon USA | WEX

Rent the Canon EOS R6 Mark II from Lensrentals.

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Post Date: 12/2/2022 8:34:40 AM ET   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, June 7, 2022

The Canon EOS R10 is here, and it is time to set up this camera for use. Following are the 46 steps taken to prepare an out-of-the-box EOS R10 for use.

  1. Open the box, find the battery, place it in the charger, and plug it in.
  2. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box.
  3. Not required, but consider downloading and installing the latest Canon imaging software to get support for the latest camera model(s). Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP), EOS Utility, and Lens Registration Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
  4. Attach the neck strap (if using).
  5. Insert a memory card (we'll format the card in a later step), insert a charged battery, and power the camera on.
  6. The date, time, and time zone setup screen will show at the first startup. Use the rear control dial and set button to update this information.
  7. Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv, or M (some modes may provide only a subset of available menu options).
  8. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  9. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: Use the top control dial to set RAW to "RAW", and use the rear control pad to set JPEG to "-" (RAW image files provide the highest quality and are especially valuable for post-processing work)
  10. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Auto Lighting Optimizer: Off
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: White balance: AWB W (White) (I seldom use another white balance setting while shooting, though I often adjust white balance modestly during post-processing)
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness = 1 (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram that best shows the available dynamic range. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 5: Lens Aberration Correction: All options "OFF" (I suggest that most photographers enable Chromatic Aberration correction)
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 5: High ISO speed NR: Low (noise reduction is destructive to images details - I prefer to add noise reduction sparingly during post-processing)
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 7: Release shutter without card: OFF (only in a retail store would you want to press the shutter release without saving the image file)
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 8: Image review: Review duration: 4 sec. (the Viewfinder review option is disabled by default, speeding the shooting process)
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 9: Shooting info. disp.: Screen info. settings: Enable 1, 2, 3, and 4; edit screen 2 to show only: Basic shooting info and Electronic level; edit screen 3 to show only: Basic shooting info, Histogram, and Electronic level
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 9: Shooting info. disp.: VF info/toggle setting: Enable 1, 2, and 3 (default); edit screen 2 to show only: Electronic level; edit screen 3 to show only: Histogram and Electronic level
  19. Shooting Menu, Tab 9: Shooting info. disp.: Grid display: 3x3 (sometimes the 3x3 grid is helpful for alignment checking while not complicating the view)
  20. Shooting Menu, Tab 9: Shooting info. disp.: Histogram disp: RGB, Small (show the brightness levels of each channel separately and do not let the graph to take up much space in the display as it can affect the perceived composition)
  21. Shooting Menu, Tab 9: Disp performance: * select Smooth if shooting fast action and battery life is not a concern. Select Power saving otherwise.
  22. AF Menu, Tab 1: Subject to detect: Select People, Animals, or No priority as makes sense for your current shooting scenario
  23. AF Menu, Tab 4: Touch & drag AF settings: Touch & drag AF: Enable (allows the thumb drag across the rear LCD to quickly move the AF point while looking through the electronic viewfinder)
  24. AF Menu, Tab 4: Limit AF methods: enable Spot AF, 1-point AF, Whole area AF
  25. AF Menu, Tab 4: Orientation linked AF point: Separate AF pts: Pt only (instructs the camera to individually save the selected AF points for vertical and horizontal orientation)
  26. AF Menu, Tab 5: MF peaking settings: Peaking: On
  27. AF Menu, Tab 6: RF lens MF focus ring sensitivity: Linked to rotation degree
  28. Playback Menu, Tab 4: Magnification (apx): 10x (allows one button press during playback to zoom deeply into the image)
  29. Playback Menu, Tab 5: Playback information display: 1, 2, and 3 only; change view 2 histogram to RGB
  30. Playback Menu, Tab 6: Highlight Alert: Enable (overexposed pixels will blink during image review)
  31. Wireless Menu, Tab 1: Airplane mode: On (turn off wireless when not in use)
  32. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Format card (always format a memory card in-camera before using it - all data on the card will be lost)
  33. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Auto Rotate: On computer (images are properly rotated when viewed on a computer, but are always oriented to fill the LCD when viewed on the camera)
  34. Tools Menu, Tab 2: Mode guide: Disable
  35. Tools Menu, Tab 2: Beep: Disable (probably no one wants to hear your camera's beep)
  36. Tools Menu, Tab 5: Custom shooting mode (C1, C2): Auto update set: Enable (see Configuring Custom Shooting Modes)
  37. Tools Menu, Tab 5: Copyright information: enter as desired
  38. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 1: Bracketing auto cancel: OFF (I want to control when AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing) is enabled and disabled)
  39. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 1: Bracketing sequence: -0+ (if images are captured in brightness sequence, they are easier to work with during post-processing. Capturing the darkest image first means quickly getting the first frame)
  40. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 3: Customize buttons: turn off white balance, turn off flash exposure compensation, enable exposure compensation, enable AF Area
  41. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 3: Customize dials: Control ring: OFF (consider using this dial for a function logical for your needs)
  42. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 4: Default erase option: [Erase] selected (less safe, but one less button press required to delete an image)
  43. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 4: Retract lens on power off: OFF (prevents a carefully-selected focus distance from resetting when the camera auto powers off)
  44. My Menu: Add My Menu 1; Register the following options: Expo.comp./AEB, IS (Image Stabilizer) mode, Expo. simulation, Subject to detect, Format card, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring the time); reorder menu items as desired
  45. My Menu: Add My Menu 2; Register the following options: Anti-flicker shoot., Focus bracketing, Shutter mode, Disp. performance, Sensor cleaning, Number of bracketed shots, RAW burst mode, reorder menu items as desired
  46. With a lens mounted and a subject focused on, adjust the viewfinder diopter until the scene is sharp

I make additional menu and other setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration means you intend to shoot as I do - including in RAW-only format. While this setup works great for me, you should adjust the setup to your needs.

If you can't remember your menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a great idea. Anytime the camera is set to the factory state, such as when being serviced or when acquiring an additional camera, you will be ready to create your setup quickly, while ensuring that an important setting is not omitted. If you purchase another same or similar camera, setup will be fast and identical.

More Information

Canon EOS R10

Order the Canon EOS R10 at B&H | Adorama | Canon | Amazon | WEX.

Rent the Canon EOS R10 from Lensrentals.

Share on Facebook! Share on X! Share on Pinterest! Email this page to a friend!
Post Date: 6/7/2022 5:00:00 AM ET   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, June 6, 2022

The Canon EOS R7 is here, and it is time to set up this camera for use. Following are the 48 steps taken to prepare an out-of-the-box EOS R7 for use.

  1. Record serial number and add camera to insurance policy
  2. Open the box, find the battery, place it in the charger, and plug it in.
  3. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box.
  4. Not required, but consider downloading and installing the latest Canon imaging software to get support for the latest camera model(s). Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP), EOS Utility, and Lens Registration Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
  5. Attach the neck strap (if using).
  6. Insert a memory card (we'll format the card in a later step), insert a charged battery, and power the camera on.
  7. The date, time, and time zone setup screen will show at the first startup. Use the rear control dial and set button to update this information.
  8. Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv, or M (some modes may provide only a subset of available menu options).
  9. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  10. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: Use the top control dial to set RAW to "RAW", and use the rear control dial to set JPEG to "-" (RAW image files provide the highest quality and are especially valuable for post-processing work)
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Auto Lighting Optimizer: Off
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: White balance: AWB W (White) (I seldom use another white balance setting while shooting, though I often adjust white balance modestly during post-processing)
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness = 1 (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram that best shows the available dynamic range. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 5: Lens Aberration Correction: All options "OFF" (I suggest that most photographers enable Chromatic Aberration correction)
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 5: High ISO speed NR: Low (noise reduction is destructive to images details - I prefer to add noise reduction sparingly during post-processing)
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 7: Release shutter without card: OFF (only in a retail store would you want to press the shutter release without saving the image file)
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 8: Auto Level: Enable (rotates the sensor to keep the image level, disable this feature to enable H+ and H continuous shooting modes along with electronic 1st-curtain)
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 8: Image review: Review duration: 4 sec. (the Viewfinder review option is disabled by default, speeding the shooting process)
  19. Shooting Menu, Tab 9: Shooting info. disp.: Screen info. settings: Enable 1, 2, 3, and 4; edit screen 2 to show only: Basic shooting info and Electronic level; edit screen 3 to show only: Basic shooting info, Histogram, and Electronic level
  20. Shooting Menu, Tab 9: Shooting info. disp.: VF info/toggle setting: Enable 1, 2, and 3 (default); edit screen 2 to show only: Electronic level; edit screen 3 to show only: Histogram and Electronic level
  21. Shooting Menu, Tab 9: Shooting info. disp.: Grid display: 3x3 (sometimes the 3x3 grid is helpful for alignment checking while not complicating the view)
  22. Shooting Menu, Tab 9: Shooting info. disp.: Histogram disp: RGB, Small (show the brightness levels of each channel separately and do not let the graph to take up much space in the display as it can affect the perceived composition)
  23. Shooting Menu, Tab 9: Disp performance: * select Smooth if shooting fast action and battery life is not a concern. Select Power saving otherwise.
  24. AF Menu, Tab 1: Subject to detect: Select People, Animals, or No priority as makes sense for your current shooting scenario
  25. AF Menu, Tab 4: Touch & drag AF settings: Touch & drag AF: Enable (allows the thumb drag across the rear LCD to quickly move the AF point while looking through the electronic viewfinder)
  26. AF Menu, Tab 4: Limit AF methods: enable Spot AF, 1-point AF, Whole area AF
  27. AF Menu, Tab 4: Orientation linked AF point: Separate AF pts: Pt only (instructs the camera to individually save the selected AF points for vertical and horizontal orientation)
  28. AF Menu, Tab 5: MF peaking settings: Peaking: On
  29. AF Menu, Tab 6: RF lens MF focus ring sensitivity: Linked to rotation degree
  30. Playback Menu, Tab 5: Magnify (apx): 10x (allows one button press during playback to zoom deeply into the image)
  31. Playback Menu, Tab 6: Playback information display: 1, 2, and 3 only; change view 2 histogram to RGB
  32. Playback Menu, Tab 6: Highlight Alert: Enable (overexposed pixels will blink during image review)
  33. Wireless Menu, Tab 1: Airplane mode: On (turn off wireless when not in use)
  34. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Format card (always format a memory card in-camera before using it - all data on the card will be lost)
  35. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Auto Rotate: On computer (images are properly rotated when viewed on a computer, but are always oriented to fill the LCD when viewed on the camera)
  36. Tools Menu, Tab 2: Mode guide: Disable
  37. Tools Menu, Tab 3: Beep: Disable (probably no one wants to hear your camera's beep)
  38. Tools Menu, Tab 6: Custom shooting mode (C1, C2, C3): Auto update set: Enable (see Configuring Custom Shooting Modes)
  39. Tools Menu, Tab 6: Copyright information: enter as desired
  40. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 1: Bracketing auto cancel: OFF (I want to control when AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing) is enabled and disabled)
  41. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 1: Bracketing sequence: -0+ (if images are captured in brightness sequence, they are easier to work with during post-processing. Capturing the darkest image first means quickly getting the first frame)
  42. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 3: Customize buttons: M-Fn: Dial Function settings (press Info): turn off ISO (there is a dedicated button), turn off white balance, turn off flash exposure compensation, enable exposure compensation, enable AF area
  43. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 3: Customize dials: Control ring: OFF (consider using this dial for a function logical for your needs)
  44. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 4: Default erase option: [Erase] selected (less safe, but one less button press required to delete an image)
  45. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 4: Retract lens on power off: OFF (prevents a carefully-selected focus distance from resetting when the camera auto powers off)
  46. My Menu: Add My Menu 1; Register the following options: Expo.comp./AEB, IS (Image Stabilizer) mode, Display simulation, Subject to detect, Format card, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring the time); reorder menu items as desired
  47. My Menu: Add My Menu 2; Register the following options: Anti-flicker shoot., Focus bracketing, Shutter mode, Disp. performance, Sensor cleaning, Number of bracketed shots, reorder menu items as desired
  48. With a lens mounted and a subject focused on, adjust the viewfinder diopter until the scene is sharp

I make additional menu and other setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration means you intend to shoot as I do - including in RAW-only format. While this setup works great for me, you should adjust the setup to your needs.

If you can't remember your menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a great idea. Anytime the camera is set to the factory state, such as when being serviced or when acquiring an additional camera, you will be ready to create your setup quickly, while ensuring that an important setting is not omitted. If you purchase another same or similar camera, setup will be fast and identical.

More Information

Canon EOS R7

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Rent the Canon EOS R7 from Lensrentals.

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Post Date: 6/6/2022 5:00:00 AM ET   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, April 11, 2022

There is a Sony Alpha 9 II in my hands, and it is time to set up this camera for use. Following are the 36 steps taken to prepare an out-of-the-box a9 II for use.

  1. Charge the battery
  2. Record serial number, and add camera to insurance policy
  3. If desired, download and install Capture One (for Sony) and/or Sony Imaging Edge (unless your current favorite RAW image processing software supports this camera)
  4. Insert charged battery, and power on the camera
  5. Set the language, time zone, date, time, timeformat
  6. Insert memory card(s)
  7. Select M mode 1, press the "MENU" button, and configure the camera as follows:
  8. Shooting Menu 1, Tab 1: File Format: RAW, RAW File Type: Lossless Comp (full image quality, reduced file size, ensure your software supports this format)
  9. Shooting Menu 1, Tab 1: RAW File Type: Uncompressed (full image quality)
  10. Shooting Menu 1, Tab 1: JPG File Type: Extra Fine (though I seldom shoot in JPG format)
  11. Shooting Menu 1, Tab 2: Lens Compensation: Shading, Chromatic Aberration, and Distortion Comp: All Off (I use the RAW processing software to enable desired lens compensation, with CA correction frequently selected)
  12. Shooting Menu 1, Tab 3: Bracket Settings: Bracket order: ->0>+ (considerably enhances image selection for HDR processing)
  13. Shooting Menu 1, Tab 4: Focus Area: Flexible Spot S (this selection frequently changes to match the needs of a shoot)
  14. Shooting Menu 1, Tab 5: Priority Set in AF-S: AF
  15. Shooting Menu 1, Tab 5: Priority Set in AF-C: AF
  16. Shooting Menu 1, Tab 5: Switch V/H AF Area: AF Point Only
  17. Shooting Menu 1, Tab 6: Face/Eye AF: Face/Eye Frame Disp: On
  18. Shooting Menu 1, Tab 9: Spot Metering Point: Focus Point Link
  19. Shooting Menu 1, Tab 12: Creative Style: NT (Neutral), Sharpness = 1 (the Neutral setting provides a lower contrast histogram. I usually process with the Natural creative style in Capture One)
  20. Shooting Menu 1, Tab 13: Peaking Setting: On
  21. Shooting Menu 2, Tab 5: Release w/o Lens: Disable
  22. Shooting Menu 2, Tab 5: Release w/o Card: Disable (why is this not the default?)
  23. Shooting Menu 2, Tab 7: Grid Line: Rule of Thirds (aids in composition)
  24. Shooting Menu 2, Tab 7: DISP Button: Monitor: Uncheck For viewfinder, press [enter]
  25. Shooting Menu 2, Tab 9: Dial Setup: TV/Av (I adjust the shutter speed more frequently and urgently than the aperture, and the front dial is easier to access quickly)
  26. Shooting Menu 2, Tab 11: Audio signals: Off (how to turn off the loud and usually-annoying AF beep sound)
  27. Network Menu, Tab 2: Airplane Mode: On
  28. Playback Menu, Tab 4: Display Rotation: Off (image fills LCD)
  29. Setup Menu, Tab 1: Delete confirm.: "Delete" first
  30. Setup Menu, Tab 2: Touch Operations: On
  31. Setup Menu, Tab 2: Touch Panel/Pad: Touch Panel+Pad
  32. Setup Menu, Tab 2: Touch Pad Settings: Touch Position Mode: Relative Position, Operation Area: Right 1/2 (avoids nose touches)
  33. Setup Menu, Tab 5: Copyright Info: Write Copyright Info: On, Set Photographer: [your name], Set Copyright: [as desired], Write Serial Number: On (note: entering this information without a touchscreen may be a painful process)
  34. Setup Menu, Tab 5: Format (ensure that there are no important files on the card(s) prior to formatting)
  35. My Menu: Format Steady Shot Anti-flicker Set. Flash Comp. Face/Eye Subject, Bracket Settings
  36. With a lens mounted and a subject in focus, adjust the viewfinder diopter until the scene is sharp

I make additional menu and other setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration means you intend to shoot as I do - including in RAW-only format. While this setup works great for me, you should adjust the setup to your needs.

If you can't remember your menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a great idea. Anytime the camera is set to the factory state, such as when being serviced or when acquiring an additional camera, you will be ready to create your setup quickly, while ensuring that an important setting is not omitted. If you purchase another same or similar camera, setup will be fast and identical. Consider saving the camera settings to a card (Setup/Tools menu, tab 7, Save/Load Settings on card) for an easy restore.

More Information

Sony Alpha 9 II

Order the Sony Alpha 9 II at B&H | Adorama | Amazon | WEX.

Rent the Sony Alpha 9 II from Lensrentals.

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Post Date: 4/11/2022 1:51:00 PM ET   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, January 6, 2022

The Sony a7 IV is here, and it is time to set up this camera for use. Following are the 34 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box a7 IV ready for use.

  1. Charge battery
  2. Record serial number and add camera to insurance policy
  3. Download and install Capture One (for Sony) and/or Sony Imaging Edge (unless your current favorite RAW image processing software supports this camera)
  4. Insert charged battery, and power on the camera
  5. Set the time zone, date, time, timeformat
  6. insert memory card(s)
  7. Select M mode, press "Menu", and configure the camera as follows:
  8. Shooting Menu, 1 Image Quality: Image Quality Settings: File Format: RAW, RAW File Type: Lossless Comp (full image quality, reduced file size)
  9. Shooting Menu, 1 Image Quality: Long Exposure NR: Off (I'll enable this option for very long exposures)
  10. Shooting Menu, 1 Image Quality: Lens Compensation: Shading, Chromatic Aberration, and Distortion Comp: All Off (I use the RAW processing software to enable any lens compensation, with CA correction frequently selected)
  11. Shooting Menu, 2 Media: Format (ensure there are no important files on the card(s) prior to formatting)
  12. Shooting Menu, 3 File: Copyright Info: Write Copyright Info: On, Set Photographer: [your name], Set Copyright: [as desired], Write Serial Number: On (note: entering this information on the touchscreen may be a painful process)
  13. Shooting Menu, 6 Drive Mode: Bracket Settings: Bracket order: ->0>+ (considerably enhances image selection for HDR processing)
  14. Shooting Menu, 7 Shutter/Silent: Release w/o Lens: Disable
  15. Shooting Menu, 7 Shutter/Silent: Release w/o Card: Disable (why is this not the default?)
  16. Shooting Menu, 10 Shooting Display: Grid Line Display: On (Rule of Thirds selected)
  17. Exposure/Color Menu, 6 Color/Tone: D-Range Optimizer: Off
  18. Exposure/Color Menu, 6 Color/Tone: Creative Look: NT (Neutral), Sharpness = 1 (this setting provides a lower contrast histogram. I usually process with the Natural creative style in Capture One)
  19. Focus Menu, 1 AF/MF: Priority Set in AF-S: AF
  20. Focus Menu, 1 AF/MF: Priority Set in AF-C: AF
  21. Focus Menu, 2 Focus Area: Focus Area: Spot: S
  22. Focus Menu, 2 Switch V/H AF Area: AF Point Only
  23. Focus Menu, 3 Face/Eye AF: Face/Eye Frame Disp: On
  24. Focus Menu, 5 Peaking Display: On
  25. Playback Menu, 4 Delete: "Delete" first
  26. Playback Menu, 7 Playback Option: Display Rotation: Off (image fills LCD)
  27. Network Menu: 7 Network Menu: Airplane Mode: On
  28. Setup Menu: 3 Operation Customize: DISP (Screen Disp) Set: Monitor: Uncheck For viewfinder, press [enter]
  29. Setup Menu: 4 Custom Key/Dial Set.: Front Dial: Av/Tv (Tv in M mode) (I adjust the shutter speed more frequently and urgently than aperture and the front dial is easier to access quickly); Rear Dial: Av/Tv (Av in M mode); Rear Control Wheel: Av/Tv (Av in M mode)
  30. Setup Menu: 5 Touch Operations: Touch Panel/Pad: Both Valid
  31. Setup Menu: 5 Touch Operations: Touch Pad Settings: Touch Position Mode: Relative Position, Operation Area: Whole Screen
  32. Setup Menu: 10 Sound Option: Audio signals: Off (how to turn off the loud and usually-annoying AF beep sound)
  33. My Menu: Format; Shutter Type; Steady Shot; Face/Eye Subject; Anti-flicker Set.; Flash Comp.
  34. With a lens mounted and a subject in focus, adjust the viewfinder diopter until the scene is sharp

I make additional menu and other setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration means you intend to shoot as I do - including in RAW-only format. While this setup works great for me, you should adjust your setup as needed.

If you can't remember your menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a great idea. Anytime your camera is reset to factory state for some reason, such as when being serviced or when acquiring an additional camera, you will be ready to create your setup quickly while ensuring that an important setting is not omitted. If you purchase another same or similar camera, you will be able to set it up quickly. Consider saving the camera settings to a card (Tools menu, tab 2, Save/Load Settings on card) for an easy restore.

More Information

Sony Alpha 7 IV

Order the Sony Alpha 7 IV at B&H | Adorama | Amazon | WEX.

Rent the Sony Alpha 7 IV from Lensrentals.

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Post Date: 1/6/2022 12:25:29 PM ET   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, November 10, 2021

The Canon EOS R3 arrived and needed set up for use. Following are the steps I took to make an out-of-the-box R3 ready for use (subject to change as I acclimate to the camera).

  1. Open the box, record the serial number and add the camera to your insurance policy (you're covered, right?)
  2. find the battery, place it in the charger, and plug it in.
  3. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box.
  4. Not required, but consider downloading and installing the latest Canon imaging software to ensure support for your camera model. Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP) and EOS Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
  5. Insert a memory card (we'll format the card in a later step), insert a charged battery, and power the camera on.
  6. The date, time, and time zone setup screen will show at the first startup. Use the rear control dial and set button to update this information.
  7. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  8. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Img type/size: Use the top control dial to set RAW to "RAW", and use the rear control dial to set JPEG to "-" (RAW image files provide the highest quality and are especially valuable for post-processing)
  9. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: White balance: AWB W (White) (I seldom use another white balance setting while shooting, though I often adjust white balance modestly during post-processing)
  10. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness = 1 (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram that best shows the available dynamic range. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: Lens Aberration Correction: All options "OFF" (Includes Peripheral illumination correction, Distortion correction, Digital lens optimizer, Chromatic aberration correction, and Diffraction correction. I suggest that most photographers enable Chromatic Aberration correction)
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 5: High ISO speed NR: Low (or Off) (noise reduction is destructive to images details - I prefer to add noise reduction sparingly during post-processing)
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 7: Release shutter without card: OFF (only in a retail store would you want to press the shutter release without saving the image file)
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 8: Image review: Review duration: 4 sec. (the Viewfinder review option is disabled by default, speeding the shooting process)
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 9: Shooting info. disp.: Screen info. settings: Enable 1, 2, 3, and 4; edit screen 2 to show only: Basic shooting info and Electronic level; edit screen 3 to show only: Basic shooting info, Histogram, and Electronic level
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 9: Shooting info. disp.: VF info/toggle setting: Enable 1, 2, and 3 (default); edit screen 2 to show only: Electronic level; edit screen 3 to show only: Histogram and Electronic level
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 9: Shooting info. disp.: Grid display: 3x3 (sometimes the 3x3 grid is helpful for alignment checking while not complicating the view)
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 9: Shooting info. disp.: Histogram disp: RGB, Small (show the brightness levels of each channel separately and do not let the graph to take up much space in the display as it can affect the perceived composition)
  19. Shooting Menu, Tab 9: Disp performance: select Smooth if shooting fast action and battery life is not a concern. Select Power saving otherwise.
  20. AF Menu, Tab 1: Subject to detect: Select People, Animals, Vehicles, or None as makes sense for your current shooting scenario
  21. AF Menu, Tab 4: Limit AF Areas: Enable Spot AF, 1-point AF, Flexible Zone AF 1, and Whole area AF (along with any others you plan to use)
  22. AF Menu, Tab 4: Orientation linked AF point: Separate AF pts: Pt only (instructs the camera to individually save the selected AF points for vertical and horizontal orientation)
  23. AF Menu, Tab 5: MF peaking settings: On
  24. AF Menu, Tab 6: RF lens MF focus ring sensitivity: Linked to rotation degree
  25. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Magnification: 10x; Maintain position: Enable (allows one button press during playback to zoom deeply into the image and maintains the position within the image when changing images)
  26. Playback Menu, Tab 5: Playback information display: 1, 2, and 3 only; change view 2 histogram to RGB
  27. Playback Menu, Tab 5: Highlight Alert: Enable (overexposed and nearly overexposed pixels will blink during image review)
  28. Networking Menu, Tab 1: Airplane mode: On
  29. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Format card (always format a memory card in-camera before using it — all data on the card will be lost)
  30. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Auto Rotate: On computer (images are properly rotated when viewed on a computer but are always oriented to fill the LCD when viewed on the camera)
  31. Tools Menu, Tab 2: Beep: Disable (probably no one wants to hear your camera's beep)
  32. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Eye control: calibrate (follow instructions to set up this feature)
  33. Tools Menu, Tab 5: Custom shooting mode (C1, C2, C3): Auto update set: Enable (see Configuring Custom Shooting Modes); To use C2 and C3, this setting is required: Custom Functions Menu, Tab 2: Restrict metering modes: Enable C1 and C2
  34. Tools Menu, Tab 5: Copyright information: enter as desired
  35. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 1: Bracketing auto cancel: OFF (I want to control when AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing) is enabled and disabled)
  36. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 1: Bracketing sequence: -0+ (if images are captured in brightness sequence, they are easier to work with during post-processing. Capturing the darkest image first means quickly securing the first frame)
  37. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 4: Customize buttons: Multi-function button: C (toggles between custom mode 1, 2, and 3 and the previously selected mode and settings); Smart controller: Direct AF point selection; AF point button: Direct AF method selection;
  38. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 6: Default erase option: [Erase] selected (less safe, but one less step press required to delete an image)
  39. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 7: Retract lens on power off: OFF (prevents a carefully-selected focus distance from resetting when the camera auto powers off)
  40. My Menu: Add My Menu 1; Register the following options: Expo.comp./AEB, IS (Image Stabilizer) mode, Display (exposure) simulation, Subject to detect, Subject tracking, Format card; reorder menu items as desired
  41. My Menu: Add My Menu 2; Register the following options:, Date/Time/Zone (primarily for monitoring the time), Anti-flicker shooting, Focus bracketing, Shutter mode, Disp. performance, Number of bracketed shots; reorder menu items as desired
  42. With a lens mounted and a subject focused on, adjust the viewfinder diopter until the scene is sharp

I make additional menu and other setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration means you intend to shoot as I do - including in RAW-only format. While this setup works great for me, you should adjust your setup as needed.

If you can't remember your menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a great idea. Anytime your camera is reset to factory state for some reason, such as when being serviced or when acquiring an additional camera, you will be ready to create your setup quickly while ensuring that an important setting is not omitted. If you purchase another same or similar camera, you will be able to set it up quickly. Consider saving the camera settings to a card (Tools menu, tab 5, Save/load cam settings on card) for an easy restore.

More Information

Canon EOS R3

Get the Canon EOS R3 from B&H | Adorama | Canon USA | Amazon USA | WEX

Rent the Canon EOS R3 from Lensrentals.

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Post Date: 11/10/2021 8:21:19 AM ET   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, March 19, 2021

The Sony Alpha a1 is here, and it is time to set up this camera for use. Following are the 37 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box a1 ready for use.

  1. Charge battery
  2. Record serial number and add camera to insurance policy
  3. Download and install Capture One (for Sony) and/or Sony Imaging Edge (unless your current favorite RAW image processing software supports this camera)
  4. Insert charged battery, and power on the camera
  5. Set the time zone, date, time, timeformat
  6. insert memory card(s)
  7. Select M mode, press "Menu", and configure the camera as follows:
  8. Shooting Menu, 1 Image Quality: Image Quality Settings: File Format: RAW, RAW File Type: Lossless Comp (full image quality, reduced file size, ensure your software supports this format)
  9. Shooting Menu, 1 Image Quality: Long Exposure NR: Off (I'll enable this option for very long exposures)
  10. Shooting Menu, 1 Image Quality: Lens Compensation: Shading, Chromatic Aberration, and Distortion Comp: All Off (I use the RAW processing software to enable any lens compensation, with CA correction frequently selected)
  11. Shooting Menu, 2 Media: Format (ensure there are no important files on the card(s) prior to formatting)
  12. Shooting Menu, 3 File: Copyright Info: Write Copyright Info: On, Set Photographer: [your name], Set Copyright: [as desired], Write Serial Number: On (note: entering this information on the touchscreen may be a painful process)
  13. Shooting Menu, 5 Drive Mode: Con. Shooting Speed: Lo(E-Shutter): 10 images/sec (I will use 10 fps more than the default 5 fps)
  14. Shooting Menu, 5 Drive Mode: Bracket Settings: Bracket order: ->0>+ (considerably enhances image selection for HDR processing)
  15. Shooting Menu, 6 Shutter/Silent: Release w/o Lens: Disable
  16. Shooting Menu, 6 Shutter/Silent: Release w/o Card: Disable (why is this not the default?)
  17. Shooting Menu, 9 Shooting Display: Grid Line Display: On (Rule of Thirds selected)
  18. Exposure/Color Menu, 3 Metering: Spot Metering Point: Focus Point Link
  19. Exposure/Color Menu, 6 Color/Tone: D-Range Optimizer: Off
  20. Exposure/Color Menu, 6 Color/Tone: Creative Look: NT (Neutral), Sharpness = 1 (this setting provides a lower contrast histogram. I usually process with the Natural creative style in Capture One)
  21. Focus Menu, 1 AF/MF: Priority Set in AF-S: AF
  22. Focus Menu, 1 AF/MF: Priority Set in AF-C: AF
  23. Focus Menu, 2 Focus Area: Focus Area: Spot
  24. Focus Menu, 2 Switch V/H AF Area: AF Point Only
  25. Focus Menu, 3 Face/Eye AF: Face/Eye Frame Disp: On
  26. Playback Menu, 4 Delete: "Delete" first
  27. Playback Menu, 7 Playback Option: Display Rotation: Off (image fills LCD)
  28. Network Menu: 1 Smartphone Connection: Smartphone Connection: Off
  29. Network Menu: 7 Network Menu: Airplane Mode: Off
  30. Setup Menu: 3 Operation Customize: DISP (Screen Disp) Set: Monitor: Uncheck For viewfinder and Monitor Off, press [enter]
  31. Setup Menu: 3 Operation Customize: Custom Key Setting: Top: 3: Image Quality Settings (allows quick access to the RAW file type, availing the Compressed option access 30 fps)
  32. Setup Menu: 4 Dial Customize: Av/Tv Assign in M: TV/Av (I adjust the shutter speed more frequently and urgently than aperture and the front dial is easier to access quickly)
  33. Setup Menu: 5 Touch Operations: Touch Panel/Pad: Both Valid
  34. Setup Menu: 5 Touch Operations: Touch Pad Settings: Touch Position Mode: Relative Position, Operation Area: Whole Screen
  35. Setup Menu 9, Sound Option: Audio signals: Off (how to turn off the loud and usually-annoying AF beep sound)
  36. My Menu: Format; Px. Shift Multi Shoot; Shutter Type; Anti-flicker Set.; Steady Shot; Flash Comp.; Face/Eye Subject, Bracket Settings
  37. With a lens mounted and a subject in focus, adjust the viewfinder diopter until the scene is sharp

I make additional menu and other setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration means you intend to shoot as I do — including in RAW-only format. While this setup works great for me, you should tweak these steps as needed.

If you can't remember your menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a great idea. Anytime your camera is reset to factory state for some reason, such as when being serviced or when acquiring an additional camera, you will be ready to create your setup quickly while ensuring that an important setting is not omitted. If you purchase another same or similar camera, you will be able to set it up quickly. Note that the a1 enables camera settings to be saved and loaded, a timesaving feature.

More Information

Sony Alpha a1

The Sony Alpha a1 is available for order at B&H | Adorama | Amazon.
 
Rent the Sony Alpha a1 from Lensrentals.

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Post Date: 3/19/2021 8:18:33 AM ET   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, November 10, 2020

With a Sony a7C in hand, it is time to set up the camera for use. Following are the 28 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box Sony a7C ready for use.

  • Charge battery
  • Download and install Capture One (for Sony) and/or Sony Imaging Edge (unless your current favorite RAW image processing software supports this camera)
  • Insert charged battery and power on the camera
  • Set the time zone, date, time, timeformat
  • insert memory card (don't forget to format it)
  • Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 1: Quality: RAW
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 1: RAW File Type: Uncompressed (unless taking advantage of the about-50% smaller RAW file size)
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 2: Long Exposure NR: Off
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 2: Lens Comp.: All Off
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 3: Bracket Settings: ->0>+ (makes selecting images for HDR processing easier)
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 4: Priority Set in AF-S: AF
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 4: Priority Set in AF-C: AF
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 4: Focus Area: Flexible Spot: S
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 4: Swt. V/H AF Area: AF Point Only
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 5: Face/Eye AF Set.: Face Dtct Frame Disp: On
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 8: Spot Metering Point: Focus Point Link
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 11: DRO/Auto HDR: Off
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 11: Creative Style: Neutral, Sharpness = 1 (This provides a lower contrast histogram. I usually process with the Natural creative style in Capture One)
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 5: Release w/o Lens: Disable
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 5: Release w/o Card: Disable (why is this not the default?)
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 7: Grid Line: Rule of 3rds Grid
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 10: Audio signals: Off (How to turn off the loud and usually-annoying AF beep sound)
  • Playback Menu, Tab 3: Display Rotation: Off (use full LCD for image review)
  • Setup Menu, Tab 1: Delete confirm: "Delete" first
  • Setup Menu, Tab 3: Touch Panel/Pad: Touch Panel+Pad
  • Setup Menu, Tab 3: Touch Panel/Pad Settings: Touch Pos. Mode: Relative Position; Operation Area: Whole Screen
  • Setup Menu, Tab 5: Copyright Info: Write Copyright Info: On, Set Photographer: {name}, Set Copyright: {name}
  • My Menu: Format; Silent Shooting; SteadyShot; Face/Eye AF Set; Live View Display

I make additional menu and other setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration means you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot - including in RAW-only format. While my setup works great for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.

If you can't remember your menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a great idea. Anytime your camera is reset-to-factory state for some reason, such as when being serviced, you will be ready to restore your setup quickly while ensuring that you do not miss an important setting. If you purchase another same or similar camera, you will be able to set it up quickly.

More Information

Sony a7C

Order the Sony a7C at B&H | Adorama | Amazon | WEX.
 
Rent the Sony a7C from Lensrentals.

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Post Date: 11/10/2020 8:09:06 AM ET   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, July 21, 2020

It was like Christmas in July when the Canon EOS R5 and Canon EOS R6 arrived in the same box. While these two cameras (and most others) come preconfigured for immediate and easy use, serious photographers need to set the camera up for the way they work. Following are the 42 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box R5 and R6 ready for use.

  1. Open the box, find the battery, place it in the charger, and plug it in.
  2. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box.
  3. Not required, but consider downloading and installing the latest Canon imaging software to get support for the latest camera model(s). Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP), EOS Utility, and Lens Registration Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
  4. Attach the neck strap (if using).
  5. Insert a memory card (we'll format the card in a later step), insert a charged battery, and power the camera on.
  6. The date, time, and time zone setup screen will show at the first startup. Use the rear control dial and set button to update this information.
  7. Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv, or M (some modes may provide only a subset of available menu options).
  8. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  9. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: Use the top control dial to set RAW to "RAW", and use the rear control dial to set JPEG to "-" (RAW image files provide the highest quality and are especially valuable for post-processing work)
  10. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: White balance: AWB W (White) (I seldom use another white balance setting while shooting, though I often adjust white balance modestly during post-processing)
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness = 1 (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram that best shows the available dynamic range. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Lens Aberration Correction: All options "OFF" (I suggest that most photographers enable Chromatic Aberration correction)
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: High ISO speed NR: Off (or Low) (noise reduction is destructive to images details — I prefer to add noise reduction sparingly during post-processing)
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 6: Release shutter without card: OFF (only in a retail store would you want to press the shutter release without saving the image file)
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 7: Image review: Review duration: 4 sec. (the Viewfinder review option is disabled by default, speeding the shooting process)
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 7: Shooting info. disp.: Screen info. settings: Enable 1, 2, 3, and 4; edit screen 2 to show only: Basic shooting info and Electronic level; edit screen 3 to show only: Basic shooting info, Histogram, and Electronic level
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 7: Shooting info. disp.: VF info/toggle setting: Enable 1, 2, and 3 (default); edit screen 2 to show only: Electronic level; edit screen 3 to show only: Histogram and Electronic level
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 7: Shooting info. disp.: Grid display: 3x3 (sometimes the 3x3 grid is helpful for alignment checking while not complicating the view)
  19. Shooting Menu, Tab 7: Shooting info. disp.: Histogram disp: RGB, Small (show the brightness levels of each channel separately and do not let the graph to take up much space in the display as it can affect the perceived composition)
  20. Shooting Menu, Tab 8: Disp performance: * select Smooth if shooting fast action and battery life is not a concern. Select Power saving otherwise.
  21. AF Menu, Tab 1: Subject to detect: Select People, Animals, or No priority as makes sense for your current shooting scenario
  22. AF Menu, Tab 1: Touch & drag AF settings: Touch & drag AF: Enable (allows the thumb drag across the rear LCD to quickly move the AF point while looking through the electronic viewfinder)
  23. AF Menu, Tab 4: Orientation linked AF point: Separate AF pts: Pt only (instructs the camera to individually save the selected AF points for vertical and horizontal orientation)
  24. AF Menu, Tab 4: Limit AF methods: enable Face+Tracking, Spot AF, and Single Point
  25. AF Menu, Tab 5: RF lens MF focus ring sensitivity: Linked to rotation degree
  26. Playback Menu, Tab 4: Magnify (apx): 10x (allows one button press during playback to zoom deeply into the image)
  27. Playback Menu, Tab 5: Playback information display: 1, 2, and 3 only; change view 2 histogram to RGB
  28. Playback Menu, Tab 5: Highlight Alert: Enable (overexposed pixels will blink during image review)
  29. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Format card (always format a memory card in-camera before using it — all data on the card will be lost)
  30. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Auto Rotate: On computer (images are properly rotated when viewed on a computer, but are always oriented to fill the LCD when viewed on the camera)
  31. Tools Menu, Tab 2: Beep: Disable (probably no one wants to hear your camera's beep)
  32. Tools Menu, Tab 5: Custom shooting mode (C1, C2, C3): Auto update set: Enable (see Configuring Custom Shooting Modes)
  33. Tools Menu, Tab 6: Copyright information: enter as desired
  34. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 1: Bracketing auto cancel: OFF (I want to control when AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing) is enabled and disabled)
  35. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 1: Bracketing sequence: -0+ (if images are captured in brightness sequence, they are easier to work with during post-processing. Capturing the darkest image first means quickly getting the first frame)
  36. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 3: Customize buttons: AF point button: Direct AF method selection; Set: Magnify; Multicontrollers: Direct AF point selection; Multi-function button: Dial function and press info to set details: turn off ISO (it is readily available on the dial), turn off white balance, turn off flash exposure compensation, enable exposure compensation, turn off AF method
  37. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 3: Customize dials: Control ring: OFF (consider using this dial for a function logical for your needs)
  38. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 4: Default erase option: [Erase] selected (less safe, but one less button press required to delete an image)
  39. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 4: Retract lens on power off: OFF (prevents a carefully-selected focus distance from resetting when the camera auto powers off)
  40. My Menu: Add My Menu 1; Register the following options: Expo.comp./AEB, IS (Image Stabilizer) mode, Expo. simulation, Subject to detect, Format card, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring the time); reorder menu items as desired
  41. My Menu: Add My Menu 2; Register the following options: Anti-flicker shoot., Focus bracketing, Shutter mode, Disp. performance, Focus mode, Number of bracketed shots, reorder menu items as desired
  42. With a lens mounted and a subject focused on, adjust the viewfinder diopter until the scene is sharp

I make additional menu and other setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration means you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot — including in RAW-only format. While my setup works great for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.

If you can't remember your menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a great idea. Anytime your camera is reset-to-factory state for some reason, such as when being serviced, you will be ready to restore your setup quickly while ensuring that you do not miss an important setting. If you purchase another same or similar camera, you will be able to set it up quickly.

More Information

Canon EOS R5 | Canon EOS R6

 
Order the Canon EOS R5 from:

Body: B&H | Adorama | Amazon USA | WEX

w/ RF 24-105 L: B&H | Adorama | Amazon USA

Rent the Canon EOS R5 from Lensrentals.

 
Order the Canon EOS R6 from:

Body: B&H | Adorama | Amazon USA | WEX

w/ RF 24-105 STM: B&H | Adorama | Amazon USA | WEX

w/ RF 24-105 L: B&H | Adorama | Amazon USA

Rent the Canon EOS R6 from Lensrentals.

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Post Date: 7/21/2020 10:44:29 AM ET   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, June 11, 2020

With a Canon EOS Rebel T8i in hand, it is time to set up the camera for use. Following are the 33 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box T8i ready for use.

  1. Open the box, find the battery, place it in the charger and plug it in.
  2. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box.
  3. Download and install the Canon Solution Disk software on your computer, gaining support for the latest camera(s). Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP) and EOS Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
  4. Attach the neck strap.
  5. Insert the battery (after charging completes) and power the camera on.
  6. Insert a memory card.
  7. Turn on the camera.
  8. Adjust the date and time (automatically prompted upon turning the camera on the first time).
  9. Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv or M (some modes provide only a small subset of available menu options).
  10. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  11. Shooting settings, Tab 1: Image quality: Use top dial to set RAW to "RAW" and Cross Keys to set JPEG to "-" (RAW image files provide the highest quality and are especially valuable for post processing work)
  12. Shooting settings, Tab 1: Image review: 4 sec. (or sometimes off to increase shooting speed in the field)
  13. Shooting settings, Tab 1: Release shutter without card: Disable (only in a retail store do you want to press the shutter release without saving the image file, leaving this option enabled will burn you someday)
  14. Shooting settings, Tab 1: Lens Aberration Correction: All options "OFF" (though Chromatic Aberration correction is a good option to leave enabled for most)
  15. Shooting settings, Tab 3: White balance: AWB W (White) (I seldom use another white balance setting while shooting, though I often adjust modestly during post processing)
  16. Shooting settings, Tab 3: Picture Style: Neutral with Strength = 1 (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram on the back of the camera that most-accurately shows me blown highlights and blocked shadows on the camera LCD. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  17. Shooting settings, Tab 4: High ISO speed NR: Off (or Low) (noise reduction is destructive to images details - I prefer to add noise reduction sparingly during post processing)
  18. Playback settings, Tab 4: Histogram disp: RGB (I want to see the graph for individual color channels)
  19. Function settings, Tab 1: Auto Rotate: On computer (only) (images are properly rotated when viewed on a computer, but are always oriented to fill the LCD when viewed on the camera)
  20. Function settings, Tab 1: Format card (always format memory cards in-camera — after all contained images are stored elsewhere of course)
  21. Function settings, Tab 2: Date/Time/Zone: make correct for your location (if not done at startup)
  22. Function settings, Tab 3: Beep: Disable (no one wants to hear your camera constantly beeping)
  23. Function settings, Tab 4: Viewfinder display: Show all
  24. Function settings, Tab 5: Custom Functions settings(C.Fn): C.Fn I: Exposure: 2: ISO expansion: On (required for setting ISO to 51200)
  25. Function settings, Tab 5: Custom Functions settings(C.Fn): C.Fn I: Exposure: 5: Exposure comp. auto cancel: Disable (I'll decide when exposure compensation should be canceled)
  26. Function settings, Tab 5: Custom Functions settings(C.Fn): C.Fn III: Operation/Others: 14: Retract lens on power off (avoids having a carefully-selected focus distance reset when camera auto powers off)
  27. Function settings, Tab 5: Copyright information: enter as desired
  28. Display level settings, Tab 1: Shooting screen: Standard (Guided is useful for beginners)
  29. Display level settings, Tab 1: Menu displaye: Standard (Guided is useful for beginners)
  30. Display level settings, Tab 1: Mode guide: Disable (Enabled is useful for beginners)
  31. Display level settings, Tab 1: Feature guide: Disable (Enabled is useful for beginners)
  32. My Menu: Add the first tab; Register the following options for Tab 1: Format card, Mirror lockup, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring what time it is), Sensor cleaning (nothing in my My Menu is found on the Quick Control display as those functions are already quickly accessed)
  33. With a lens mounted and a subject focused on, adjust the viewfinder diopter until the scene is sharp

I of course make additional menu and other setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration would mean that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot – including shooting in RAW-only format. While my setup works great for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.

If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. Anytime your camera is reset-to-factory state for some reason, such as when being serviced, you will be ready to restore your setup quickly while ensuring that you do not miss an important setting. If you purchase another same or similar camera, you will be able to quickly set it up.

More Information

Canon EOS Rebel T8i

The Canon EOS Rebel T8i is in stock at B&H | Adorama | Amazon | WEX.

Rent the Canon EOS Rebel T8i from Lensrentals.

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Post Date: 6/11/2020 8:05:29 AM ET   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, February 18, 2020

With a Canon EOS-1D X Mark III in hand, it is time to set up the camera for use. Following are the 46 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box 1D X III ready for use.

  1. Open the box, find the battery and charger and plug it in. If you have another charged Canon LP-E19 (or LP-E4N) battery available, you can continue to the battery-required steps without a wait.
  2. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box. For me, this is primarily the camera, the eye cup and the neck strap.
  3. Pause for a moment to grip the camera, taking in the 1-series camera awesomeness (right up there with new car smell) and the new-camera grippyness.
  4. Download the Canon EOS Solution Disk software (download) and install it on your computer. Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP), EOS Utility and Lens Registration Utility are the options I install.
  5. Attach the eyecup
  6. Attach the neck strap (unless I am planning to use very large lenses)
  7. Record the camera's serial number and ensure that proper insurance coverage is in place.
  8. Important: Turn the vertical grip on (switch near top of vertical grip — why is this off by default?).
  9. Insert the battery (ideally, after charging completes).
  10. Power the camera on.
  11. The date and time setup screen will show at startup the first time. Use the Rear Control dial and the Set button to update this information.
  12. Insert one (or two) memory card(s) (format them via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
  13. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: White balance: AWB-W (Auto: White priority)
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness Strength set to "1" (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram on the back of the camera that most-accurately shows me blown highlights and blocked shadows — I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Lens aberration correction: All disabled (though I suggest leaving CA correction enabled for most uses — all adjustments can be applied in DPP)
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Img type/size: Use top dial to set RAW to "RAW" and Rear Control dial to set JPEG to "—"
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: ISO Speed Settings: ISO Speed range: L(50)-H3(819200) (the defaults may be a better choice for most)
  19. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Auto Lighting Optimizer: Off
  20. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: High ISO speed noise reduction: Off or Low (noise reduction is destructive to images details — I prefer to add NR sparingly in post. Having a noise reduction option enabled will provide a good base starting point for noise reduction settings for post processing in DPP.)
  21. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Image review: 4 sec.
  22. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Release without card: Disable (I highly recommend this setting change — it should be Canon's default)
  23. AF Menu, Tab 2: AI Servo 1st image priority: Focus (I want the images in focus more than I want the time-priority capture)
  24. AF Menu, Tab 2: AI Servo 2nd image priority: Focus +2 (same reason)
  25. AF Menu, Tab 4: Orientation linked AF point: Separate AF pts: Area + pt
  26. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Playback information display: Enable 1 and 3
  27. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Highlight alert: Enable (enable the "blinkies", flash portions of image that are overexposed during image review)
  28. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Playback grid: 3x3
  29. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Histogram disp: RGB (I want to monitor all three color channels for blown or blocked details)
  30. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Magnification (apx): 10x
  31. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Auto rotate: On/Computer only (this provides the always-largest playback image size on the camera LCD)
  32. Tools Menu, Tab 2: Viewfinder display: Viewfinder level: Show, VF grid display: Enable
  33. Tools Menu, Tab 2: Info button display options: Electronic level only
  34. Tools Menu, Tab 3: Beep: Disable
  35. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Custom shooting mode (C1-C3): Auto update set: Enable (see also: Configuring Custom Shooting Modes)
  36. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Copyright information: Enter author's name: [enter name]
  37. Custom Functions, Tab 1: Bracket auto cancel: OFF
  38. Custom Functions, Tab 1: Bracketing sequence: -0+ (captures shortest frames first and sequences images from dark to bright)
  39. Custom Functions, Tab 3: Restrict shooting modes: Enable all (adds C2 and C3)
  40. Custom Functions, Tab 4: Restrict drive modes: Disable: low speed continuous, Silent HS continuous, Silent LS continuous
  41. Custom Functions, Tab 5: Rec card, img size setting: Off (I don't use this button. being able to turn it off prevents inadvertent changes)
  42. Custom Functions, Tab 6: Av setting without lens: On (allows me to prepare the camera for a specific, not-yet-mounted lens)
  43. Custom Functions, Tab 6: Custom Controls: Smart controller: Direct AF point selection, Set: Mag/Reduce; Multicontrollers: Direct AF point selection; M-Fn2: One Shot/AI Servo
  44. Custom Functions, Tab 7: Smart controller: On
  45. Custom Functions, Tab 8: Default erase option: [Erase] selected
  46. My Menu: Add the first tab; Register the following options for Tab 1: Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring what time it is), Format card, Mirror lockup, Anti-flicker shoot, Sensor cleaning
  47. Mount a lens, focus on a subject, and adjust the diopter (remove the eyecup)
I of course make additional menu and other setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration would mean that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot — including shooting in RAW-only format. While my setup works great for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.

If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. Anytime your camera is reset-to-factory state for some reason, such as when being serviced, you will be ready to restore your setup quickly while ensuring that you do not miss an important setting. If you purchase another same or similar camera, you will be able to quickly set it up.

More Information

Canon EOS-1D X Mark III

Get your Canon EOS-1D X Mark III from B&H | Adorama | Amazon | WEX.

Rent the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III from Lensrentals.

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Post Date: 2/18/2020 8:42:56 PM ET   Posted By: Bryan
 Saturday, February 8, 2020

With a Canon EOS M200 in hand, it is time to set up the camera for use. Following are the 29 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box M200 ready for use.

  1. Open the box, find the battery, place it in the charger and plug it in.
  2. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box. This is a good time to install the neck strap.
  3. Download and install the Canon Solution Disk software on your computer to get support for the latest camera(s). Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP), EOS Utility, Photostitch and Lens Registration Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
  4. Insert the battery (after charging completes) and power the camera on.
  5. The date, time and time zone setup screen will show at the first startup. Use the Rear Control dial and Set button to update this information.
  6. Insert a memory card (don't forget to format the card via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
  7. If the lens being used retracts beyond a usable focal length (the EF-M 15-45 for example), unlock and extend the lens.
  8. Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv or M (some modes provide only a small subset of available menu options). Use the middle switch setting (Creative Assist by default) and scroll up to the advanced modes.
  9. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  10. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: Use top dial to set RAW to "RAW" and Rear Control arrow (press left or right) to set JPEG to "-"
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image review: Off (without a review display being shown and cleared, the viewfinder becomes ready-for-shooting faster)
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Lens aberration correction: disable all (I correct lens aberrations during post processing if warranted, though enabling CA correction is usually a good idea and if shooting in JPG mode, consider enabling other options as well.)
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Auto Lighting Optimizer: Off (again, those shooting in JPG mode might want to explore the results of this option)
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness = 1 (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram on the back of the camera that most-accurately shows me blown highlights and blocked shadows on the camera LCD. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture. If shooting in JPG mode, selecting "Standard" is probably a better option.)
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 5: High speed NR: Off (or Low) (Noise reduction is destructive to images details - I prefer to add NR sparingly in post. Select "Low" if shooting in JPG format).
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 5: Touch Shutter: Disable
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 6: Continuous AF: Disable (increases battery life)
  18. Playback Menu, Tab 4: AF point disp.: Disable
  19. Playback Menu, Tab 4: View from last seen: Disable
  20. Wireless Menu, Tab 1: Airplane mode: On (unless using the wireless features)
  21. Set Up Menu, Tab 1: Auto rotate: On, computer only (if I'm shooting vertically, I want the image to also display vertically on the camera, optimally using the full screen)
  22. Set Up Menu, Tab 3: Beep: Disable (no one else wants to hear your camera)
  23. Set Up Menu, Tab 4: Shooting information display: Grid display: 3x3, Histogram: RGB
  24. Set Up Menu, Tab 5: Custom Functions(C.Fn): ISO expansion: On
  25. Set Up Menu, Tab 5: Custom Functions(C.Fn): Shutter release w/o lens (Disable)
  26. Set Up Menu, Tab 5: Copyright information: Enter author's name
  27. Display Level Menu, Tab 1: Menu display: Standard
  28. Display Level Menu, Tab 1: Feature guide: Disable (beginners will want this feature enabled)
  29. My Menu: Set up
I of course make additional menu and other setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration would mean that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot - including shooting in RAW-only format. While my setup works great for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.

If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. Anytime your camera is reset-to-factory state for some reason, such as when being serviced, you will be ready to restore your setup quickly while ensuring that you do not miss an important setting. If you purchase another same or similar camera, you will be able to quickly set it up.

More Information

Canon EOS M200

The Canon EOS M200 is in stock at B&H.

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Post Date: 2/8/2020 9:53:49 AM ET   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, November 19, 2019

As with any new camera, the first task with a new Sony a7R IV in hand is to set it up for use. Following are the 39 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box Sony a7R IV ready for use (including tweaks made after roughly 15,000 frames of use).

  • Charge battery
  • Install neck strap (if opting to use one)
  • If your current image processing software does not support the Sony a7R IV, download and install Capture One (for Sony) and/or Sony Imaging Edge
  • Insert charged battery and power on the camera
  • Set the time zone, date, time, timeformat (note that the AM/PM setting is not directly able to be changed – the hour setting must be scrolled 12 hours to change this)
  • insert memory card (don't forget to format it)
  • Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 1: Quality: RAW
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 1: RAW File Type: Uncompressed (unless taking advantage of the about-50% smaller RAW file size)
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 2: Long Exposure NR: Off
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 2: Lens Comp.: All Off
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 3: Bracket Settings: Self-timer during Bracket: 2 Sec
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 3: Bracket Settings: Bracket Order: ->0>+ (makes selecting images for HDR processing easier)
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 3: Memory: I set the 3 Custom dial modes to my standard landscape, sports, and wildlife settings later
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 5: Priority Set in AF-S: AF
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 5: Priority Set in AF-C: AF
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 5: Focus Area: Flexible Spot: S
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 5: Swt. V/H AF Area: AF Point Only
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 6: Face/Eye AF Set.: Face/Eye Frame Display: On
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 6: Aperture Drive in AF: Focus Priority
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 9: Reset EV Comp.: Maintain
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 10: Spot Metering Point: Focus Point Link
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 12: DRO/Auto HDR: Off
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 12: Creative Style: Neutral, Sharpness = 1 (I usually process with the Natural creative style in Capture One)
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 4: Release w/o Lens: Disable
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 4: Release w/o Card: Disable
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 7: Grid Line: Rule of 3rds Grid
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 9: Dial Setup: TV/Av (I adjust Tv while shooting more frequently than I adjust Av and the front dial is easier to access quickly)
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 11: Audio signals: Off (How to turn off the loud and usually-annoying AF beep sound)
  • Network Menu 1, Tab 2: Airplane Mode: On
  • Setup Menu, Tab 1: Delete confirm: "Delete" first
  • Setup Menu, Tab 2: Touch Operation: On
  • Setup Menu, Tab 3: Touch Panel/Pad: Touch Panel+Pad
  • Setup Menu, Tab 3: Touch Panel/Pad Settings: Touch Pos. Mode: Relative Position; Operation Area: Right Half of Screen
  • Setup Menu, Tab 5: Write Serial Number: On
  • Setup Menu, Tab 5: Copyright Info: Write Copyright Info: On, Set Photographer: {name}, Set Copyright: {name}
  • My Menu: Px. Shift Multi Shoot.; Anti-flicker Shoot; Format; Silent Shooting; Steady Shot; Format; Face/Eye AF Set
  • Mount a lens, focus on something with detail, and adjust the viewfinder diopter to your vision
  • Check for sensor dust (this was an issue with the two a7R IV cameras I received).

I of course make additional menu and other setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration would mean that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot – including shooting in RAW-only format. While my setup works great for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.

If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. Anytime your camera is reset-to-factory state for some reason, such as when being serviced, you will be ready to restore your setup quickly while ensuring that you do not miss an important setting. If you purchase another same or similar camera, you will be able to quickly set it up.

More Information

Sony a7R IV

The Sony a7R IV is in stock at B&H | Adorama | Amazon | WEX.

Rent the Sony a7R IV from Lensrentals.

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Post Date: 11/19/2019 8:03:18 AM ET   Posted By: Bryan
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