Sony A7 IV best settings
In this post I’m going to walk you through the best settings for your Sony A7 IV. I’ll start by helping you to setup the camera out of the box and then move on to the best settings for photography on the Sony A7 IV. If you are looking for the best video settings for the Sony A7 IV then these will be available soon in a separate article. The Sony A7 IV allows you to setup completely seperate custom settings and options for photography and video.
I’ve been lucky enough to get my hands on the Sony A7 IV pretty quickly even though you can’t find one in stock at a lot of stores. If you would prefer to watch then checkout my video instead.
Being a previous user of the Sony A7 III (Sony A7III video review) I’m very familiar with the Sony system but there are a few worthwhile changes on the Sony A7 IV that make setting it up a little different.
Let’s dive straight into setting up your brand new Sony A7 IV out of the box.
Setting up the Sony A7 IV – out of the box
When you turn your camera on for the first time you need to set your menu language. I’ll select English here.
Then set your time zone. I’ll be selecting Lisbon/London. You can also turn daylight saving on/off. As we are in January this is set to off in the UK at the moment.
Now select the way you want your date to be formatted. As I’m British I’ll go with D-M-Y or day, month then year. My American friends can choose M-D-Y.
Set the date and time accordingly (note the format is using the 24 hour clock).
Next you can choose to register your phone with the smartphone app. I’ll do this later via the smartphone regist option in the menu system.
That’s the basics setup.
Sony A7 IV setup – menu options for photography
Hit the menu button to the left of the viewfinder and you will notice that the Sony A7 IV is using the latest Sony menu system.
To select any option you can either press the direction on the rear dial or you can rotate it to scroll up and down through the options. Right is enter and left is to go back a step.
Here are the settings that I use for photography.
Camera Icon menu option 2/52
JPEG/HEIF switch – Jpeg
Image quality settings
File format : Raw + Jpeg
Raw File Type : Lossless Compressed (gives the best quality raw files but saves space over uncompressed)
Jpeg Quality : Extra Fine (again gives the best Jpeg quality)
Jpeg size: 33m (if you want smaller Jpegs for social media or as backup then select medium 14mp or small 8.2mp)
Aspect ratio: I leave it to the native 3:2 aspect ratio and do any cropping on the image in post. You can select between this, 4:3 slightly shorter on the long edge, 16:9 standard film aspect ration and 1:1 for square format
I often use Sandisk cards with my cameras as I have found them to be very tough and reliable. If you are looking for a card for your Sony A7 IV then I always buy from Amazon as they have a great returns policy and usually the best pricing. Cards linked below:
Long exposure noise reduction – I leave this on as it captures a black frame at the same shutter speed after a long exposure in order to map hot pixels and noise and remove them. You can do this in post if you prefer. Having this option on will result in the camera taking a second exposure for the same length of time as your first, so can involve a lot of waiting around if your exposure is 1 minute or more.
Scroll down and you will move to Option 3/52
High ISO NR : Low. I like to do most of my noise reduction in post so I keep this set to low. This will only affect your Jpeg files.
Colour Space : Adobe RGB if you plan to edit, sRGB if you are going to post images directly online. Adobe RGB gives more colours but sRGB is the standard used online.
Lens compensation: Leave at defaults (shading comp- auto, chromatic aberration comp auto, distortion comp- off)
Camera Icon menu (Option 4/52)
Format– Always format your memory cards before use to minimise the chance of corrupt files and data loss.
Rec Media Settings: This is where you can select how the camera records to your memory cards. You can choose between slot 1 for photos and slot 2 for video, Simultaneous recording which saves the same files to both cards at the same time ie backup, or auto switch which will automaticall record to the other card when one becomes full. I choose the first option to keep things simple when transferring my media to the computer.
Camera Icon Menu (Option 5/52)
File Number: Set to series
Set file name : I set this to ‘A74’ so that I know which camera has recorded the images when I load them onto my computer. You can choose any name you prefer.
Write Copyright info: On
Set Photographer: Add your name
Set Copyright: Add your name or company name.
I shoot in Manual mode but if you shoot in aperture or shutter priority with auto ISO then you will need to set your ISO values using option 13/52 and 14/52.
Sony A7 IV best settings for landscapes and non moving subjects
Choosing your autofocus settings will depend on your subject.
Option 20/52: Single Shot AF
Priority Set in AF-S : AF
Focus Area: Spot Small
Face/Eye Prior in AF : Off
For manually focusing set 20/52 to manual focus and turn peaking on as below.
Peaking display: On
Peaking level: High
Peaking colour: Red
Sony A7 IV best settings for portraits
Focus mode: Continuous AF: On
Priority set in AF-C: Balanced
AF Tracking sensititvity: 4
Focus area: Wide
Face/Eye priority in AF : On
The Sony A7 IV does an amazing job picking up a subjects eye, locking on and sticking with it even when they turn away from the camera for a second. It quickly locks back on to the same subject so I almost always use eye AF when shooting portraits.
Finally if you don’t want to hear the autofocus beep everytime the camera attains focus then head over to option 49/52 and turn audio signals off.
I hope you found this useful and hopefully it saved you a bit of time scrolling through the vast menu system of the Sony A7 IV. If you got some value from this post then please share it with your friends or anyone that you think would also find it helpful.
In a future article I shall be going through the best settings for video on the Sony A7 IV as well as showing how I set up the custom modes and function buttons for photography and video.