Customizing the Dial Functions on a Sony Mirrorless Camera for Underwater Use [VIDEO]

Sony a7C II in Ikelite Underwater Housing

Logan shows you how to customize the exposure dials on a Sony camera for even more egonomic access underwater.



Manual exposure mode is important to underwater photographers and on most Sony mirrorless cameras, the front dial is used to change the aperture, and the rear dial control is used to change the shutter speed. But there are a few reasons you may want to change that. 

Why Customize Dial Settings

One reason is to put controls that you use a lot next to each other. Sometimes when shooting video, it's faster to assign aperture and ISO to adjacent controls on your housing so you can quickly go back and forth between the two.

Another reason to change is if your housing doesn't access the front dial control. For example, this affects our 200DLM Underwater Housing for the Sony a6700 # 69123, as well as our 200DLM Underwater Housing for Sony a7C II and a7CR # 69124 cameras. But these housings do access the other dial controls which can be repurposed to accomplish the same thing.

How to Customize Dial Settings

In the camera's menu, go to the setup menu operation, Customize Custom Key dial settings. You'll see that there's a menu option for stills, one for video and one for playback, so you can have a different configuration for each one of these.

Sony a7C II in Ikelite Underwater Housing

Use dial customization to move functions from the camera's front dial control to one of the rear dials.

When shooting stills, I'll prioritize aperture and shutter speed and when shooting video I'll prioritize aperture and ISO. If you want to you can also use the checkmark next to “separate M mode and other modes” to isolate the dial change to only the camera's manual exposure mode. Choose your priority and set them to one of the rear dials or control wheel.

Using Sony's "My Dial" Settings

But it gets even better because Sony allows you to register up to three different combinations using “My Dial” settings. Go to the setup menu, dial customize my dial settings and set your combinations. Then go to the setup menu operation. Customize Custom Key Dial set. Select the key that you want to use to recall my dial for example, the C1 or C2 button.

Sony a7C II in Ikelite Underwater Housing using My Dial Settings

Sony's "My Dial" settings allow you to set up to 3 unique combinations of dial control functions. It's easy to toggle between these three settings and the default by assigning a custom function key.

If you have multiple combinations, you can use the setting. My dial 1, 2, 3 in the camera will toggle through each combination as you continue to press the custom button. For example, you could have your default be for topside shooting. Dial one be for underwater stills and dial to be for underwater video, then just toggle between the three depending on the situation.

Small tweaks to your camera settings can make major improvements to your underwater workflow, and if you have any questions on setting up your housing, you can shoot us an email at



Additional Viewing

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Logan Wood Profile Photo

Logan Wood is a published photographer, cinematographer, and Producer at Ikelite. Stemming from a great appreciation for the outdoors and living an active lifestyle, his work focuses on capturing and sharing the natural world through the latest technologies. When not in the studio, Logan can be found cruising on his bike, going to concerts, and researching where to go next. You can see more of his work at and on Instagram @jlowood


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