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Thread: Setting up the NEX7 for simple folk

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    Setting up the NEX7 for simple folk

    HI There

    Being one of the Simple Folk I thought I'd share my findings:

    I've had something of an epiphany recently about shooting cameras with an EVF which actually mirrors what you're going to get (not all EVFs do it seems).

    The NEX7 is famously modal and different with respect to the menus, and I thought it would be really nice not to need to use them.

    Added to this, the fact that everything changes every time you switch to a different mode is, at best, confusing, at worst profoundly irritating, it makes it really hard to achieve a rhythmic way of shooting.

    I think I've pretty much achieved this (with the single exception of formatting the cards in camera).

    The first problem is the PASM switch, which requires a menu stop. . . this got me to thinking why one needed to change this at all.

    If you simply put it on P mode, what do you actually lose? The two big dials on the top of the camera then go to Program Switch and Ev compensation. A little thought convinced me that this means that you can get pretty much any combination of right (or wrong) exposure using just these two dials - of course, you couldn't do it with an optical viewfinder as you wouldn't be able to see the effect of what you're doing.

    So - I have the central custom button on the back dial custom settings to:
    ISO
    WB
    Metering type (spot etc.)
    Focus Area
    Focus type.

    the AE lock button I have set to toggle, and the AF/MF button to AF/MF, with focus peaking turned on. The right side of the rear dial click I've set to Focus assist.

    Simple setup . . . . it seems to work fine in all situations:

    Third Party lenses - you will be setting the aperture on the lens . . . but the program shift will allow you go control the shutter speed in conjunction with the Auto ISO and the EV compensation (this is problematical on shutter priority because it's too easy to over-expose by mistake).

    Sony Lenses - it gives you complete flexibility with respect to AF/MF and exposure.

    Suddenly ASM really doesn't seem to be necessary, and after a day or two of familiarisation you suddenly have a camera which behaves predictably. As for formatting . . well it remembers where you last were in the menu, so it's a pretty simple operation.

    No More Menus

    Hooray!

    Comments and Criticisms are most welcome (have I missed something?)
    Last edited by jonoslack; 9th April 2012 at 10:09.

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    Re: Setting up the NEX7 for simple folk

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Comments and Criticisms are most welcome (have I missed something?)
    Dunno - there are no "simple folks" here ?

    Bart ...

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    Re: Setting up the NEX7 for simple folk

    I started using program mode on cameras that don't do Auto ISO well enough that you need to switch between Aperture and Shutter priority. So, I can certainly see the logic behind just leaving it in program mode.
    terry
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    Re: Setting up the NEX7 for simple folk

    Quote Originally Posted by Knorp View Post
    Dunno - there are no "simple folks" here ?

    What Bart? is it only me?

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    Re: Setting up the NEX7 for simple folk

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    What Bart? is it only me?
    Nah - me too ...
    Bart ...
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    Re: Setting up the NEX7 for simple folk

    Quote Originally Posted by Knorp View Post
    Nah - me too ...
    Count me in too.

    Thanks Jono, that's very useful

    Keith
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    Subscriber Member kit laughlin's Avatar
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    Re: Setting up the NEX7 for simple folk

    Well, I'm bookmarking this page, so I must be one of the simple ones, too!

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    Re: Setting up the NEX7 for simple folk

    I'm an 'aperture' mode kinda guy, but, I'll try it.

    Cheers, Matt

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    Re: Setting up the NEX7 for simple folk

    Quote Originally Posted by m_driscoll View Post
    I'm an 'aperture' mode kinda guy, but, I'll try it.

    Cheers, Matt

    Zenfolio | Matt Driscoll
    HI Matt
    I'm an Aperture Mode kind of a guy as well . . . it's just that in this instance it seems to work better on P mode . . . . if you are considering Aperture then it's easy to change with program shift, and if you aren't then it'll get it about right anyway. More to the point it then works the same way whether you have 3rd party lenses or Sony lenses.

    all the best

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    Member JimBuchanan's Avatar
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    Re: Setting up the NEX7 for simple folk

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    If you simply put it on P mode, what do you actually lose? The two big dials on the top of the camera then go to Program Switch and Ev compensation. A little thought convinced me that this means that you can get pretty much any combination of right (or wrong) exposure using just these two dials - of course, you couldn't do it with an optical viewfinder as you wouldn't be able to see the effect of what you're doing.
    Trying to duplicate your setup, in P mode, I get Ev comp on the right dial, but nothing on the left dial, with a M lens mounted. Where is the Program Switch?

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    Re: Setting up the NEX7 for simple folk

    I am a "M" guy,
    I never like auto metering anyway.
    Yet what Jono advocates makes great sense if you are an "A" shooter.
    I dont now if it's me, but whenever I used A mode when i move my camera around to get the composition I like I see my shutter speed jump all over the place and of course the ligh has not changed at all in the scene.
    Though I will change my custom buttons to Jono's setup. Looks good to

    Steven
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    Re: Setting up the NEX7 for simple folk

    Anyone sort out JimBuchanan's issue just above? I get the same behaviour.

    Keith

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    Re: Setting up the NEX7 for simple folk

    Quote Originally Posted by JimBuchanan View Post
    Trying to duplicate your setup, in P mode, I get Ev comp on the right dial, but nothing on the left dial, with a M lens mounted. Where is the Program Switch?
    Quote Originally Posted by woodmancy View Post
    Anyone sort out JimBuchanan's issue just above? I get the same behaviour.

    Keith
    Hi Jim / Keith
    sorry I think I was confusing / confused.
    I do as well - natural really as the camera cannot effect the aperture, but you can then use the rear dial to change the ISO value - which has the same effect.

    all the best

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    Re: Setting up the NEX7 for simple folk

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi Jim / Keith
    sorry I think I was confusing / confused.
    I do as well - natural really as the camera cannot effect the aperture, but you can then use the rear dial to change the ISO value - which has the same effect.

    all the best
    Thanks Jono - that works

    Keith

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    Re: Setting up the NEX7 for simple folk

    Quote Originally Posted by woodmancy View Post
    Thanks Jono - that works

    Keith
    Great stuff . . . . the point really is to avoid having to change modes . . . and thus the function of all the buttons

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    Re: Setting up the NEX7 for simple folk

    Jono, that's really nifty; using the rear dial to control ISO (and hence shutter speed) definitely works.

    BTW, to anyone who has had the 5N with the EVF, does the NEX 7 one look as good??? For me, the NEX 7 one is harder to get in focus, for me, and the view does not look as sharp, or as big as the external EVF looked. But I have sold the 5N, so can't compare.

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    Re: Setting up the NEX7 for simple folk

    The MS Perar seems extremely sharp on the '7—I will take a few snaps of the different 35s I have here, too, if anyone's interested. I find the focus aids work very well on the '7, too.

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    Re: Setting up the NEX7 for simple folk

    Quick Q: can focus magnification be set to a *single* button press; the way I have it set al the moment brings up the focus point (which can then be moved); pressing the centre of the main dial then engages the magnification assist.

    One button to do this directly?

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    Re: Setting up the NEX7 for simple folk

    Quote Originally Posted by kit laughlin View Post
    Quick Q: can focus magnification be set to a *single* button press; the way I have it set al the moment brings up the focus point (which can then be moved); pressing the centre of the main dial then engages the magnification assist.

    One button to do this directly?
    Hi Kit
    I MF Assist set on the right click of the ISO dial on the back - I haven't really used it a lot, but it seems to work properly.

    all the best

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    Re: Setting up the NEX7 for simple folk

    I have my AF/MF button mapped to MF Assist, and AF/MF control set to toggle, both in setup. One push goes straight to 5.9X.

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    Re: Setting up the NEX7 for simple folk

    Quote Originally Posted by JimBuchanan View Post
    I have my AF/MF button mapped to MF Assist, and AF/MF control set to toggle, both in setup. One push goes straight to 5.9X.
    I have the same setup. This works great, as my right thumb finds this button very easily while the camera is up to my eye.
    Mike Hatam
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    Re: Setting up the NEX7 for simple folk

    Quote Originally Posted by JimBuchanan View Post
    I have my AF/MF button mapped to MF Assist, and AF/MF control set to toggle, both in setup. One push goes straight to 5.9X.
    Good idea . . . BUT . . . . how does that work if you're using AF lenses ? - don't you just get a message saying that it's only available in MF? - which you're then forced to go into with a different button configuration.

    I use the AF/MF to change from AF to MF (and then the right button to go straight to 5.9x).

    all the best

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    Re: Setting up the NEX7 for simple folk

    Jono - with an AF lens mounted, if I hit the AF/MF toggle (with it set to MF assist (magnify)), I do get a message saying that this is invalid unless I switch to MF.

    However, this isn't really a problem. I still have access to manually focus the lens (I have my camera set to DMF mode - which autofocuses and then allows me to manual focus override simply by turning the focus ring).

    Also - as soon as I turn the focus ring on an AF lens, the MF assist kicks in and I get the magnified view.

    So this setup still works great, especially for shooters who commonly use MF lenses.
    Mike Hatam
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    Re: Setting up the NEX7 for simple folk

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Hatam View Post
    Jono - with an AF lens mounted, if I hit the AF/MF toggle (with it set to MF assist (magnify)), I do get a message saying that this is invalid unless I switch to MF.

    However, this isn't really a problem. I still have access to manually focus the lens (I have my camera set to DMF mode - which autofocuses and then allows me to manual focus override simply by turning the focus ring).

    Also - as soon as I turn the focus ring on an AF lens, the MF assist kicks in and I get the magnified view.

    So this setup still works great, especially for shooters who commonly use MF lenses.
    Sounds good . . . but if you have focus peaking switched on, then doesn't it show full time if you have DMF selected?
    Personally I don't use focus assist that much . . . but I do use focus peaking.

    The way I have it set (with AF lenses) I can press the AF/MF button to change to MF (toggle) - which also turns on focus peaking - then i can use the right arrow of the ISO (back) dial to engage focus assist. Horses for courses of course, and probably the optimum setup depends on whether you use MF or AF lenses more often.

    all the best

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    Re: Setting up the NEX7 for simple folk

    Jono - you are correct - focus peaking is on all the time, with DMF set.

    I don't mind this - I actually prefer to see the focus peaking even when in AF mode, so I can see more explicitly what the camera thinks it's focusing on (and therefore know when to override it by simply turning the focus ring).

    As you said - it's all a matter of preference. Having the MF assist (magnification) within easy/natural reach of my thumb is a real "plus" for me, as I use MF lenses quite often, and like the magnify feature.
    Mike Hatam
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    Re: Setting up the NEX7 for simple folk

    Quote Originally Posted by kit laughlin View Post
    . . . . BTW, to anyone who has had the 5N with the EVF, does the NEX 7 one look as good??? For me, the NEX 7 one is harder to get in focus, for me, and the view does not look as sharp, or as big as the external EVF looked. But I have sold the 5N, so can't compare.
    Kit, they look identical to me in a side by side test

    Keith

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    Re: Setting up the NEX7 for simple folk

    Jono, I just got my 7 late this afternoon and only had about 20 minutes of daylight shooting with it but I did set it up pretty much as you recommended.

    The shots I got with this 7 and my CG45mm tonight reaffirmed that I am gonna luv this setup! Thanks Jono and Douglas for your advice and thanks to all who threw me over the edge to get this 7 due to the pics you all have been posting on this site. Now, I need to decide if the 5 goes into a waterproof housing with the pancake or goes into the closest with all the other no longer used tools

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