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Run&Gun Setup (Frustrations with WB, Exposure and Focusing)


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Hello. I'm a newbie working with the A7RV and have been frustrated with my results so far because I'm not clear on a good setup for run and gun situations when the lighting changes or there are fast moving people or dogs for instance.

In terms of exposure, there are too many variables for me to do manually on the fly, so I guess I'm looking for a set it and (more or less) forget it option. So far, I haven't been using shutter priority because I sometimes want the aperture to stay wide open and not be variable. But if the exposure isn't automatic, I'm left with having to change the aperture manually, or the nd filter, or the exposure compensation dial (unless I'm using variable ISO and then it doesn't seem to have an effect). In short, I never know which options to go for and wind up losing lots of shots. Not to mention white balance for changing lighting situations. Is AWB fine if I can't actually get a white balance reading or if the subject then moves to another room or outside?

What's the best way for me to be able to quickly turn the camera on and film in a snap? If aperture priority is the answer, then is there a way to control it such that the ISO changes before the aperture does? If variable ISO is the answer, then can I get the exposure compensation to work if the camera is giving me zebras and I want to turn it down a notch? Or any other way?

As far as focusing, I've run into problems as well. When shooting dogs running, for example, I found most of my footage out of focus even with the setting to animal. There are sometimes more than one dog and it's really hard to use the touch screen to lock on to a specific dog when they are far away because the dog is too small. By the time they get close enough, they are going to fast for me to touch the screen. If I let the camera try to focus, it's been too slow and usually the shot is missed. Or when the dog runs into frame while the camera is focused in the distance, why doesn't it lock on the dog when coming in frame? (Also, can I switch sometimes to a human or specific object and then back to dogs?)

I also prefer sometimes looking though the viewfinder when it's bright out but then I cant use the LCD tracking on touch screen unless it can be done somehow in the viewfinder? I was hoping that the camera would be good enough to lock on to a dog, any dog, but sometimes it's focusing on random objects or even people. (On a tangential note, can one use the facial memory for dogs?)

In general what's the best strategy with dogs and people to lock focus and then change quickly if needed to switch to another person, with the LCD and/or viewfinder?

Thanks for any help with the above!



p.s. I shot with slowmo 120p which I think has to be HD and it looked terrible. Is that normal? I read somewhere with the A7RIV that it didn't look good, but hard to believe it would look so bad. Also, maybe this was partly the issue, my ND filter was over a clear filter filter for part of it.

Edited by rda
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Ok, so this is my a7III setup, I know the a7R V has a slightly different design, but you might find it helpful.

This is my Hybrid button customization to ensure maximum speed & efficiency in any situation. I don't like to be slowed down, So i mapped pretty much every button to access the inner menu without entering it.

I am not sure how bad can the 120p look on the a7R V, but since it's a 60MP camera downsampling all those megapixels in HD to record 120p, might be using pixel binning or other techniques to quickly translate the whole sensor readout to HD 120p, which I imagine looks pretty bad. Can you show us some footage?

From my experience you can use the screen touch functionality to focus or change focus point even when looking through the viewfinder, I use it sometimes and it's very helpful in my experience. Can you share more details on how you are using it, or doesn the a7R V not have e this feature?

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