Turning the Sony Alpha 7 Body into a Nikon Dxxx / Dx Body

Recently I bought a Sony Alpha 7 for its smaller size, lighter weight, tilt monitor and full frame sensor, which makes it a good tool for my favourite photograph subject street candid. Prior to this body, I had been using a Nikon D300 for years and am so used to its control interface. Especially I am spoiled by D300's AE-L and AF-On buttons. So spoilt that I do not quite know how to shoot fast moving objects without these two buttons placed close to each other, easily accessible with the thumb finger of my right hand.

Sony A7 body does offer AE-L and AF-On functions, but by default they are assigned to the same button and a lever must be flipped to distinguish the functions. Worse yet, that very button is further messed up with "Manual Focus" function. No no no, I do not like it.

Good news is, there are enough buttons that can be customized on the Sony A7 body, including that messed-up one. After trying with different settings on different buttons, I've found the most comfortable positions to place the functions I use most of the time. Now the control buttons are nicely laid out on the A7 body, with AE-L and AF-On functions at the right place, the rest functions even better organized and more ergonomic than my Nikon D300 body.


Note to Myself: How I Use My Camera

When it comes to photography, I am interested in a wide range of subjects. The ones I'm most passionate about are:

  • Children / Action
  • Street Candid
  • Architecture / Buildings

For the first two type of subjects, conceptually, good shots require a lot of off-site studying of compositional skill and reading of other photograhpers' great images. When out and about, high degree of concentration of the things happening around, almost prompt, sometimes even predictive reaction to interesting subjects/moments are essential. This blog entry notes my most comfortable way for shooting fast moving objects.