A wedding cinematographer’s guide to Run and Gun filming with the Sony A7Sii: Menus

Ever since I made my first video reviewing the Sony A7Sii last year, people have been asking me about my camera settings. I never made a comprehensive video speaking about all the different features and settings that I use with the A7Sii when filming weddings, but that all changes today. Today I will be sharing with you how I setup my camera for filming weddings and other events in the “Run and Gun” style of shooting. Meaning: Quick setup times, near instantaneous changing of frame rates and resolution, and rapid dialing in of necessities such as white balance, aperture, and ISO.

While I wish I could share all these settings with you in one quick five-minute video, the customization capabilities of the A7Sii are quite a large topic. As I was composing my talking points I realized it would be best to split one video into a series of four, covering the menus, mode dial, custom buttons, and function menu.

Why four separate videos? Because once I started working through all I would need to speak about, I realized that my settings are worth more than a quick overview. It isn’t enough to simply tell you what settings I use; I also want to tell you why I use them. That way you aren’t going out and filming with them because “Matt said these are good settings,” but instead because you’ve tried them out and know they are good  for your workflow and shooting style.

With the intention of teaching you the “why” and not just the “how,” I believe it is best to start with a good foundation, and there is nothing more foundational to the A7Sii than the menu system. This may be an understatement to say that Sony’s menu systems on the camera are a bit convoluted. Organization is lacking, camera settings aren’t where you think they would be, and there are whole headings that I question the importance of.

Thankfully, this video in all of its 38 minutes of glory is here to help you understand the menu system, access what you need, and ignore what you don’t. “But Matt” you say, “Why do you have to talk about the menus, I just want to know how to change my settings quickly.” To which I will say, “We will get there!”

Look at all these settings!

Look at all these settings!

The goal at the end of this video series is for you to NEVER have to go into the menus at all to change your settings (aside from maybe formatting a memory card). You’ll be capable of changing your needed settings with one or two quick button presses, which is ideal for the “Run and Gun” style of shooting.

I love this camera, and I loved it even more once I had it customized to the way I film. I hope that this series helps you love your A7Sii too. Expect parts 2-4 to come out very soon.

If you have any questions about this video or the camera settings, feel free to get in touch.

Filmed with:

Sony A7Sii
Sigma ART 24mm 1.4
Sony 16-35mm F4

2 Comments
  1. Hey, awesome videos. Just upgraded to an a7sII and your series is hands down the best thing i've found.

    Question – Can you explain the Zebra 100+ thing more? I can't for the life of me figure it out. If I turn on zebra 100+, i never see any zebras at all. If I flip down to 100 they'll appear. I must not understand how it works….would love some insight.

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