Introduction: Overview of What Can Be Configured | The Configuration Options in Detail | How I Use the Configuration Options | Further Useful Settings | Conclusions | Links and Books | Appendix: A Demonstration of the Settings Screens
On this page, I describe how you can configure the Sony RX10 M3. I demonstrate the basic configuration options for this camera, but I cannot guarantee that my list of configuration options is complete... I also describe my configuration choices.
By the way, the RX10 M3 is very similar to the RX100 M4, because they belong to a similar camera generation. The main differences are given by the fact that the RX10 M3 has by far more buttons and rings for setting the camera, which makes many things a lot easier for me. But as a starting point for this page, the respective page for the RX100 M4 was quite useful.
Also note that there are further settings that are only listed and described here; some of them will be described elsewhere (for example, support for manual focusing).
Note: I got somewhat crazy about how to write the Sony terminology. Books and manuals differ in many ways. I will write names (on buttons, in menus, etc.) in upper case and italic (or example: the Focus Tracking function, in short, Focus Tracking) and most other things in lower case (even though Sony writes "Control Ring" - but control wheel...). Please note that I am not a native speaker and that there will be many errors...
In the following, I will describe the options that the Sony RX10 M3 offers for configuration. Configuration means in this case that you can configure certain camera controls (dials, levers, buttons) to behave in different ways, for example, to allow you to set different things (for example, to set exposure, focus, or dynamic range).
Buttons that set variants or modes of a certain function will, on the other hand, not be regarded as configurable here (for example, the flash button that cycles through different flash modes). But some entities may be "borderline cases"...
Note that I might also have chosen to simply list all the menus and their options, but then I would have just replicated the camera manual.
Top view (from left to right to bottom)
Rear view (from top to bottom)
Focus hold button (to the right of the Zeiss logo, C) and Focus mode dial (at the bottom)
Front lens ring (C) and Rear lens ring (C) on the lens, as well as the Aperture ring
Tripod socket hole
Aperture click switch (at the end of the lens)
(C) Configurable (more or less...)
|Lens Rings||Front Lens Ring||Both lens rings can only be assigned to the
functions (manual) Focus and Zoom.
While there is a default assignment (see next column), you can switch the functions between the rings (Custom menu, screen 6, Lens Ring Setup).
You can also switch the direction of the movement (Custom menu, screen 6, Focus Ring Rotate and Zoom Ring Rotate):
The Zoom function can be set to Standard (default), Quick, and Step (Custom menu, screen 6, Zoom Func. on Ring).
|(Manual) Focus||(Manual) Focus|
|Rear Lens Ring||Zoom||Zoom (Step Zoom)|
|Fn||Offers twelve slots (in two rows), which can be assigned
in the Custom
menu, screen 5, Function Menu Set. to one of the following functions:
Review: Send to Smartphone
|1: Drive Mode
2: Flash Mode
3: Flash Comp.
4: Focus Area
6: Metering Mode
7: White Balance
8: DRO/Auto HDR
9: Creative Style
10: Picture Effect
11: Picture Profile
12: Shoot Mode
2: Flash Mode
3: Flash Comp.
4: Metering Mode
5: White Balance
6: Aspect Ratio
7: DRO/Auto HDR
8: Smile/Face Detect.
9: Focus Area
10: Peaking Level
11: Peaking Color
12: Grid Line
|Control Wheel||Top button||DISP||In the Custom menu, screen 2, DISP Button
you can define, which screen types are shown (in cyclic order). There
are two options, Monitor and Finder:
||unknown||Monitor: Display All Info., No Displ. Info., Histogram, Level,
Finder: Display All Info., No Displ. Info., Histogram, Level
|Left button||Can be assigned in the Custom menu, screen
5, Custom Key (Shoot) > Left Button to
one of the following functions:
||Not set||Drive mode|
|Right button||Can be assigned in the Custom menu, screen
Key (Shoot) > Right Button to one
of the following functions:
||Not set||Focus Area|
|Down button||Can be assigned in the Custom menu, screen
Key (Shoot) > Down Button to one of the following functions:
||Not set||Focus Magnifier|
|Center button||SET (no text)||Can be assigned in the Custom menu screen 5, Custom
Key (Shoot) > Center Button to one of the
Focus Standard (default assignment): If you press this key when the focus area is set to Flexible Spot or Expand Flexible Spot, you can change the position of the focus area by pressing the direction buttons on the control wheel. Depending on the options selected in Focus Area or Center Lock-on AF, the available functions vary when you press the key.
Also used to set (confirm) values/selections.
|Focus Standard||Focus Standard|
|Control Wheel||Used to select values by turning the control wheel
clockwise or counter-clockwise.
Can also be assigned to the following functions (Custom menu screen 5, Custom Key (Shoot) > Control Wheel): ISO, White Balance, Creative Style, Picture Effect, Not set
|Not set||Not set|
|Control Dial||Turning the control dial changes the appropriate setting for each shooting mode (not really used for configuring the camera, but for setting values).|
|Custom Button 1||C1||
Can be assigned in the Custom menu screen 5, Custom Key (Shoot) > Custom Button 1 to one of the following functions:
|Custom Button 2||C2||Can be assigned in the Custom menu, screen 5, Custom
Key (Shoot) > Custom Button 2 to one of the following
||Drive Mode||Center Lock-on AF|
|Custom Button 3/Delete Button||C3/Trash Can||Can be assigned in the Custom menu, screen 5, Custom
Key (Shoot) > Custom Button 3 to one of the following
||Not set||Zoom Assist|
|AEL Button||AEL||Can be assigned in the Custom menu, screen 5, Custom
Key (Shoot) > AEL Button to one of the following functions:
||AEL Hold||AEL Toggle|
|Focus Hold Button||Can be assigned in the Custom menu, screen 5, Custom
Key (Shoot) > Focus Hold Button to one of the following
||Focus Hold||AF/MF Ctrl Toggle|
|Aperture Ring||Allows to select the aperture in A and M mode. Not really a configuration option...|
*) No guarantee that this number is correct...
Note that many of the controls perform additional tasks such as moving the AF area, switching between functions, etc. Moreover, half-pressing the shutter button cancels playback and magnifications modes and exits menus and help screens.
In the table above, I also list my current configuration, but do not take that information too seriously. My assignments may change over time and according to my changing needs and habits - and I may forget to update our assignments here...
On this page, I more or less describe the "mechanics" of the configuration options for the Sony RX10 M3. For ways of using them, I would like to point you to some books where this topic is dealt with (see links below).
Since the Sony RX10 M3 offers several "hardware" buttons to which a myriad of functions can be assigned to, it is much easier to configure this camera than the RX100 models. I therefore currently do not use the buttons of the control wheel, which were very important when I configured the RX100 M1 and M4 for my purposes.
On the RX10 M3, I use the AEL and Focus Hold buttons for realizing the AF and AE lock functions, whereby the AF/MF Control Toggle function "simulates" an AF lock and at the same time also toggles between AF and MF. The center button remains in the Focus Standard setting, which enables focus tracking (AF Area set to Center or Wide) or moving the flexible AF spot (AF Area set to Flexible Spot or Expand Flexible Spot). All this leads to the following assignments:
*) Works only if MF is selected (directly or via AF/MF toggle).
The so-called Custom Keys are: the Control Wheel, Custom Button 1-3, Center Button, Left Button, Right Button, Down Button, AEL Button, and Focus Hold Button. The Custom Key (Shoot.) settings are done in the Custom menu on page 5:
The Custom Key Settings menu item in the Custom menu (page 5) allows you to assign functions to the custom keys
The Custom Key Settings (page 1 of 2...), Control Wheel selected
The Custom Key Settings (page 2 of 2...), Right Button selected
In the following, I describe the settings for most of the custom keys. The control wheel is dealt with further below.
Implementing an easy access to AE lock is simple because there are already a dedicated button and a function (in several variants) available. In my case, I assigned the AEL toggle function to the AEL Button. This button is the obvious choice, but you can assign the function or one of its variants to any configurable button.
Figures: AE lock is indicated at the bottom right of the screen by an asterisk (right); I use it as a toggle function (left: AE lock not activated).
By default, AF lock is provided as as "hold" function via the Focus Hold button with the function Focus Hold assigned to it. I, however, prefer to use this functionality as a toggle function so that I need not press the button all the time. As there is no "Focus Hold Toggle" function, I misuse the AF/MF Ctrl Toggle function for this purpose, as I do already on our RX100 cameras. This also allows me to easily switch between AF and MF without having to use the Focus Mode dial, which is more cumbersome.
I assigned the Drive Mode function to the Left Button, the AF Area function to the Right Button, and the Focus Magnifier function* to the Down Button. This may change in the course of the time...
*) Works only if MF is selected (directly or via AF/MF Ctrl Toggle).
If you set the Center Button to Focus Standard, the behavior of this button can depend on some other camera settings, for example, of the Autofocus Area setting. I found the following two further assignments quite useful:
Note: At the moment, I usually use the assignments with Autofocus Area set to Center, so that the center button activates the default function of Focus Tracking. Whenever I want to use the flexible spot, I set the Autofocus Area to Flexible Spot.
At the moment, I leave the C1 custom button on its default assignment, that is, ISO. I set C2 to Center Lock-on AF and C3 to Zoom Assist. This may change in the course of the time...
The Fn button offers twelve slots (in two rows), each of which can be assigned in the Custom menu, Function Menu Set. to one of 34 functions plus Not set. That is, you can not only assign these functions to the 12 slots, but you can also determine the positions of the functions. This can be handy in case that you often change the same functions (for example, ISO and DRO/HDR). If you place them to nearby slots, changing their attributes is easier as if you place them at opposite ends of the two-row table.
The following screens demonstrate how functions are assigned to the slots of the Fn button menu:
The Function Menu Set. menu item in the Custom menu (page 5) allows you to assign 12 function to the Fn menu slots.
The assignment is done on two pages, one for the upper slots...
... and one for the lower slots.
And here is how the Fn button menu looks:
Fn button menu, DRO/HDR Auto selected
The DRO/HDR Auto settings
Differently from the RX100 M1, the Fn buttons enters and exits the menu, as with the RX100 M4. The four control wheel buttons move you through the menu table, and the control wheel itself (or the control ring) is used to select options. You can also press the center button to enter a selection screen with its own rules as shown in the right figure above. Sony engineers...
This is the current state of the Fn menu, and it will take some time before I really know, which functions I use often and should therefore be added to the Fn button menu. And the positions are also preliminary.
The two lens rings can be used for zooming and manual focusing. The camera offers some flexibility in this respect: You can assign the functions to either ring and you can also determine in which direction you want to turn each ring for the respective purpose.
Both lens rings can only be assigned to the functions (manual) Focus and Zoom. While there is a default assignment, you can switch the functions between the rings (Custom menu, screen 6, Lens Ring Setup). You can also switch the direction of the movement (Custom menu, screen 6, Focus Ring Rotate and Zoom Ring Rotate):
The Zoom function can be set to Standard (default), Quick, and Step (Custom menu, screen 6, Zoom Func. on Ring).
First, you can set the functions for the rings and the rotate directions for the rings (Custom menu, screen 6), at least, if you want to change the default settings (you can see my current assignments):
Lens Ring Setup determines which ring has which function (Zoom or Focus)
Focus Ring Rotate determines in which direction you turn the focus ring between close and infinity
Zoom Ring Rotate determines in which direction you turn the zoom ring between wide (W) and telephoto (T)
|Lens Ring Setup submenu||Focus Ring Rotate submenu||Zoom Ring Rotate submenu|
Secondly, in the Custom menu, page 6, you can enable or disable the Step Zoom feature:
The Zoom Func. on Ring menu item in the Custom menu (page 6) allows you to select Step Zoom or a faster version of the continuous zoom (Quick).
Step Zoom selected
Step Zoom is indicated on the LCD screen (or in the EVF)
In addition to the settings of the buttons and rings there are some further settings, which determine the behavior of the camera and are quite useful for me. Some of them can be done by assigning a function to a buttons or to the Fn menu, other only by going into the menu system. In the following, I provide a table of those settings that I find important for me; they all reside in the Custom menu (see the screens in the appendix).
|MF Assist||1||On||Magnifies as soon as you turn the focus ring; I find this helpful most of the time|
|Focus Magnif. Time||1||No Limit||Maybe, I will change this again...|
|Initial Focus Mag.||1||5.3 x||I do not find the default 1 x useful|
|Grid Line||1||Rule of 3rds Grid||Helps me aligning objects|
|Auto Review||2||2 sec||Maybe, I will extend this time|
|Peaking Level||2||Mid||As a start...|
|Peaking Color||3||Red||As a start...|
|Live View Display||3||Setting Effect On||Shows the correct exposure immediately|
|Pre AF||3||On||I set this to "On" for all of our cameras|
|Zoom Setting||3||Optical Zoom Only||I may change this for bugs and butterflies...|
|Reset EV Comp||4||Reset||Avoids mistakes...|
The Sony RX10 M3 looks much more than its RX100 brethren like a highly customizable camera, where most of the "for me important" functions can be assigned to hardware controls (hardware buttons or rings) or the Fn menu, that is, a kind of "quick menu" (although the options seem somewhat limited to me...) so that delving into the menus is not necessary in most cases.
In the following, I show the settings screens that you will find in the camera's Custom menu:
Note that the settings shown may or may not correspond to my own choices (most of them do, but currently I use a 3 x 3 grid)...