I have seen lots of complaints about the menus on the Sony a7 camera series and would like to offer an idea that I think would please most everyone with a complaint about the menus.
There are probably as many ideas for how to organize the camera menus as there are people who use the cameras. So, trying to reorganize the menus to please the most people possible will always leave a small group of users dissatisfied.
The very best camera menu system that I ever saw when I worked in biomedical research as an imaging expert was a menu that could be customized by the end user.
I suggest creating software that can be run on a PC / Apple, tablet or other device (something with a reasonably large screen that makes editing easy) that allows the end user to view the camera's menu and delete, move, rename, etc. all of the menu items. The user could then create a menu configuration that meets his/her needs exactly. The edited menu should be able to be saved with a unique name without changing the original menu configuration. Ideally, the end user could save multiple menu configurations and load them as needed for different workflows. Perhaps a button on the camera could be programmed by the end user to call up specific menu configurations.
Using software running on a PC or other device would make it much easier to edit the menu especially since the menu is so large.
The software could present the menu in the form of a tree structure or other style of organization so that all of the levels can be seen and scrolled through as needed. This would make it much easier for the user to edit and see where everything is.
To assist the user when working in the editing software, each menu item could be set to show a pop up bubble describing the menu item and what it is used for. This would help users decide how to edit the item.
If memory built into the camera is not large enough for multiple copies of the menu system, perhaps the SD cards in the camera could carry the edited menus. The SD cards could be written to from the computer or other device. Also, perhaps there could be a very small format USB device plugged into the camera with copies of the edited menus. The camera could then load the menus as needed.
There should be a way to reset the camera to "factory settings" if the menu editing process corrupts the camera system.
The original camera menu should never be removed from the camera so that it can be reinstalled if needed.
Allowing the end user to edit the menu configuration would allow users to create a system that best meets their needs now and in the future as their workflows change.
The edited menu could also include a short list of "shortcuts" that let the end user go right to a menu item immediately without navigating through the menu at all. These menu shortcuts could be in addition to the programmed buttons on the camera. The shortcuts could appear on the first page of the menu all by themselves. It would be the next best thing to having several more programmable buttons on the camera.
Another feature that was really useful to me in biomedical imaging, was the ability to write short macro programs to perform tasks that usually require multiple menu / button selections in series. Sometimes it is necessary to do things in camera such as review an image, its histogram, zoom into the image 150%, pan left, pan right, zoom out, etc. The multiple button clicks could be programmed into a standardized macro that could be saved and assigned to a button. Of course, the macro would need a way to "play", "pause", and "stop" it. When I had macros to work with, it cut the time for repetitive actions in half ... and it saved my hands / fingers from repetitive motion injury. Consider a professional photographer that needs to review hundreds or thousands of images in a day of shooting.
I think this could drastically reduce complaints about the menu configuration and improve efficiency for the user.
A menu system that can be edited is likely to appeal to many different photographers and videographers with their own unique workflows. Having a camera with outstanding hardware on board is important, but being able to quickly and efficiently access the controls for the camera is equally important, especially for professional photographers.
IMHO, the sooner you can create a flexible / editable menu system the sooner users and potential users will stop complaining about the menu ... and start purchasing the cameras.
First let me say, I have been a loyal Sony customer for over 30 years. Currently, I have 3 TV's, 2 surround systems, one blu ray player, 2 DVD players, and 2 VHS players. Along with a PS 3 and a PS4. Plus, 2 Sony camera's. I have always bought Sony products because I considered them to be top quality. I never had a problem until now.
I have a XBR65X850D 4k Ultra HD Tv. It is less than a year old and it has developed a dead pixel in the center of the TV. It is noticeable to me. This TV is also in a room that gets very little use. I doubt it has 100 hours on it. I contacted Sony and filed a claim. After trying to reset the TV and sending them multiple pictures, Sony tells me the TV is in "spec" and they are not going to do anything about it. They pointed out this issue is stated in the owners manual, which it is. So, I said, "you have a known problem but, don't disclose it prior to purchase". Who reads an owner's manual to find out about problems with the TV when it is brand new. You read the manual to ensure it is set up properly.
I confirmed this TV is the top model. That's what I always buy. But, as far as I am concerned selling products that Sony knows have issues is fraud. Why do I have to find out about it after I purchase it? This TV was $1,500.00. Not $400.00. It's still new. So, as I read in the owners manual, it will probably get more dead pixels. Then it will be out of warranty when they determine it is out of spec and I still have a TV that is having problems.
I called the retailer I purchased the TV from. They couldn't help me either. But, they did tell me the TV has been discontinued. Hmmm, I wonder why?
Needless to say, I am very disappointed with the outcome of this matter. The TV should be replaced or fixed.
The customer service group kept apologizing but, nothing else was offered. I told them, if this is the way I am going to be treated, I will never but another Sony product. They should stand behind their products.
I will also be sharing my dissatisfaction socially.
Would You (Sony) consider implementing in next firmware update for A6500 + SELP18105G an option for the camera to keep the set value of the focal length after the camera comes back from power saving mode.
I have my power saving time set to 1 min. it is frustrating to change the focal length to the one i need after every power saving mode.
With A6500 it's very convenient for me not to turn off the camera and have a power saving turned on in one minute.
It would be perfect if the camera could remember the focal length before the power saving mode and set that focal length afterward.
Please consider this in next firmware updates, i know that there is a lot of people that use this camera with that lens and would also appreciate this option.