39 Steps to the Perfect Sony a7R IV Setup

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.

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