36 Steps to the Ultimate Sony Alpha 9 II Setup

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.

Posted: 4/11/2022 1:51:00 PM ET   Posted By: Bryan
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