How to Set the Sony a7r iii to Automatically Switch to Memory Card Slot 2 when Slot 1 is Full

By default, the Sony a7r iii doesn't automatically switch to memory card slot 2 when the card in slot 1 is full. So if you're getting an error message that there's no space on the memory card and it's not automatically switching to the card in slot 2, here's how to change that.

The Sony a7r iii has two SD memory card slots. You have quite a bit of control over how they’re used. For example, you can prioritize one, designate one for movie files, or set it up to mirror image.

They’re the types of things that are pretty standard on top-of-the-line cameras these days, but there was one specific setting on the Sony that caught me by surprise and temporarily halted my shooting while I tried to figure out the solution. It might have been an obvious fix to some shooters, but it wasn’t for me.

I had two memory cards inserted. With 85-megabyte RAW files, filling up memory cards is an occupational hazard with the a7r iii. But after filling up one, I was getting the error message at the top of this page that reads “No space on the memory card. Slot 1.”

It’s a showstopper error–while it tells you what the problem is, it’s not the least bit helpful in steering you toward a solution. And yet you can’t keep shooting until you fix it. Sure, you could physically swap out the memory card, but you shouldn’t have to when the camera has two memory cards.

In fact, you don’t have to do that. But the catch is that the default setting on the a7r iii is for it not to roll over to slot 2 when the card in slot 1 is empty. I assumed that it would.

It’s not complicated to change the setting so that it does roll over, but it did initially take me some time on site scrolling through menu options trying to find where to change the setting. So I’m posting it here in the hope that it helps someone else (and probably me again, next time when I forget).

You can find the relevant menu item on the menu system on the back screen under the general setup tab (the toolbox icon). It’s the sixth page “Setup6”, and the setting you’re looking for is called “Rec. Media Settings.”

Once you drill down to that, you have some submenu options. Among them is the “Auto Switch Media” option. By default, it’s off. Switch it to On, and you’ll now have it roll over automatically to Slot 2 when you fill up the card in Slot 1.

As I said, it’s not complicated. But if you’re fumbling around in the menu system trying to find where to change it, hopefully, this might help. I do find it a bit odd that it’s not set to automatically rollover by default and it caught me out the first time, but now I leave it on the automatic switch setting.

View Comments

  • One thing you have to make sure though is that the Record Mode is set to "Standard". I had my camera set to "Simultaneous" and it does not work in that setting (will continue to record to both cards).

  • This caught me at the bride and grooms first dance....not helpful, never switched cards so quick in all my days as I did then! Wish I’d seen this earlier ?‍♀️

  • Thanks very much for this. I spent ages searching for this option and could not locate it in the manual - a matter of non-obvious terminology.

  • Incredibly the “flagship” A9 doesn’t have this option and you must manually switch which slot the camera records to by going into the menu system. I’ve lost shots during eventw because of this missing option.

    Incidentally. I find Sony firmware updates appallingly inadequate.

  • Thank you for posting this! As a Nikon shooter for years, I was not prepared to have the Sony not automatically switch over to the second slot. I had no idea what to do, so a quick Google search led me to your page. Thanks again!

    April | https://thebluehydrangeas.com

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