Hello and welcome to my dual card slot setup guide for the Sony a7III. In this guide I’ll explain all the different ways you can setup dual SD card recording on the Sony a7III.
For example, if you want to write RAW to slot 1 and JPEG to slot 2, or write RAW and JPEG to both card slots simultaneously, plus many more different media recording options, then keep reading!
If you don’t care for reading too much, then you can also watch my following YouTube video that covers the same, otherwise please read on…
Sony a7III Dual SD Cards
The Sony a7III has two memory card slots and these are clearly numbered as slot 1 and slot 2. Slot 1 is that fastest slot and this supports UHS-II cards like the Sony SF-G Series*. Slot 2 is the slowest slot and this supports UHS-I cards like the SanDisk Extreme Pro*.
Sony a7III Dual Card Setup
In order to setup the dual card slots you will need to jump into that infamous Sony menu system, so simply hit the MENU button on the a7III and you should be greeted by the following menu.
If you don’t see this exact menu then you will need to select the “Camera 1” icon from the top menu tabs.
Before we jump into the dual card setup let’s just check what file format you have set, as by default the a7III is set to record in JPEG only, but for the rest of this guide to make the most sense you’ll want this set to RAW / JPEG. I expect most of you will be shooting in this mode anyway, but if not don’t worry as I’ll explain further down.
So simply change the file format to RAW / JPEG if you don’t already have this set.
Record Media Settings
Next we want to find the “Rec. Media Settings” menu. Simply select the suitcase looking icon from the top menu tabs, click down then move across until you see “Setup6” as shown below.
Click on the first menu item “Rec. Media Settings” to enter the sub-menu where you will see three options.
1. Prioritize Record Media
By default prioritize record media will be set to slot 1 which is the fastest of the two memory card slots. There’s really no reason to change this, so leave it set to slot 1.
2. Recording Mode
There are 7 different recording modes that you can choose from, let’s take a look at each of them. Please note than if you have not set your file format to record RAW/JPEG, then the following options will be limited to either JPEG or RAW, but not both.
The a7III is set to standard recording mode by default. In this mode the camera will only record images (RAW/JPEG) and videos to slot 1, or slot 2 if you have changed this under prioritize record media.
In this mode the camera will record images (RAW/JPEG) to both slots 1 and 2 at the same time, and will record videos to slot 1. I’m using this option myself 99% of the time.
In this mode the camera will record video to both slots 1 and 2 at the same time, and will record images (RAW/JPEG) to slot 1.
Simultaneous Images & Video
In this mode the camera will record images (RAW/JPEG) and video to both slots 1 and 2 at the same time.
Sort RAW / JPEG
In this mode the camera will record RAW images and video to slot 1 and JPEG images to slot 2. I’d recommend this setup as opposed to the next option if you are shooting continuous, as the RAW files are larger than JPEGS and will clear the buffer faster when writing to the faster slot 1 (that’s if you are using a UHS-II SD card).
Sort JPEG / RAW
In this mode the camera will record JPEG images and video to slot 1 and RAW images to slot 2.
Sort Images / Video
In this mode the camera will record images (JPEG/RAW) to slot 1 and videos to slot 2.
3. Auto Switch Media
By default this is set to off. If you turn it on and have the recording mode set to standard, and an SD card in both slots 1 and 2; then when the card in slot 1 is full the camera will automatically switch to recording on the card in slot 2. Personally I never record like this, so just leave this set to off.
And that’s a wrap. If you have any questions regarding dual card setup on the Sony a7III then please do drop them in the comments below and I’ll get back to you just as soon as I can.
Helpful Sony a7III Resources
If you are on Facebook then I’d love for you to join one of the many Sony Alpha Shooters groups that I run. There are groups for Sony Alpha landscape, portrait, sports, wildlife, weddings, macro, street, and video shooters, as well as a generic group for everything else Alpha. You can find all of the links here.
Best SD Cards and Card Readers for the Sony a7III
There are hundreds of different SD Cards on the market, but some do shine more than others. I have a collection of both Sony SF-G (UHS-II) cards for using in slot one of my a7 III, a9, and a7R III. Then I normally use the SanDisk Extreme Pro (UHS-I) in slot 2. I’ve never had any trouble with any of these cards (touch wood).
Sony SF-G32/64/128 T1 High Performance SDXC UHS-II Class 10 U3 Memory Cards
If you really want to make the most of the single UHS-II SD Card slot on the a7 III, then you are going to need a compatible UHS-II card. The Sony SF-G cards are one of the fastest available. I’ve been using these in my a7III, a9 and a7R III cameras for a while now and have zero complaints.
Sony SF-G32/64/128 T1 High Performance SDXC UHS-II Class 10 U3 Memory Cards
If you really want to make the most of the single UHS-II SD Card slot on the a7 III, then you are going to need a compatible UHS-II card. The Sony SF-G cards are one of the fastest available. I’ve been using these in my a7III for a while now and have zero complaints.
* Check Price & Deals for the Sony SF-G32/T1 (32GB)
* Check Price & Deals for the Sony SF-G64/T1 (64GB)
* Check Price & Deals for the Sony SF-G128/T1 (128GB)
Sony Tough SF-G32/64/128T High Performance SDXC UHS-II Class 10 U3 Memory Cards
The new Sony SF-G Tough Series of UHS-II SD cards aare targeted at photographers who want the best possible protection for their images. They are 18 times stronger than standard SD cards, bend proof to 180N, drop-proof to 5 meters, waterproof to a depth of 5 meters for up to 72 hours (IPX8 rating), and dustproof with an IP6X rating.
The cards feature a one-piece ribless structure and don’t have the common lock switch. On top of this they are also X-ray proof, magnet proof, anti-static and temperature proof. Just like the Sony SF-G UHS-II cards above, they also have read speeds of up to 300MB/s and write speeds of up to 299MB/s.
* Check Price & Deals for Sony SF-G32T
* Check Price & Deals for Sony SF-G64T
* Check Price & Deals for Sony SF-G128T
SanDisk Extreme Pro SDHC UHS-I Memory Cards
The second memory card slot in the a7 III only supports UHS-I SD Cards, so for this slot I’d recommend using the SanDisk Extreme Pro cards.
* Check Price & Deals for SanDisk Extreme Pro 32GB
* Check Price & Deals for SanDisk Extreme Pro 64GB
* Check Price & Deals for SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB
Sony MRW-S1 High Speed UHS-II USB Memory Card Reader/Writer
Sony’s MRW-S1 UHS-II USB SD Card Reader/Writer enables the fast transfer of data via a USB 3.1 interface. It can read/write to UHS-II SD Cards and is backward compatible with UHS-1 SD cards. It’s been designed with the Sony UHS-II SF-G series SD cards in mind which have speeds up to 300MB/s read and 299MB/s write. The MRW-S1 together with Sony SF-G cards can transfer files to and from your computer at around 2.6x faster than UHS-1 cards.
Beeway Water & Shock Resistant Memory Card Case
I don’t go anywhere without my Beeway SD Card holder. It holds 12 SD/SDHC/SDXC cards and 12 MicroSD cards perfectly in place. The case is water resistant and very strong. It also includes a small bag and a carabiner. It really is great value for the price.
* Check Price & Deals for Sony a7 III
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