October 29, 2015

Here's How to Wirelessly Control Your Sony Camera

Sony Cinema Camera Wifi Control
Controlling your Sony camera with a computer, tablet, or smartphone is easier than you might think.

This quick tutorial from the good folks over at Sony's 4K YouTube channel and the Sony Motion Picture Center (an awesome resources which we just covered in-depth) shows you how it's done on Sony's dedicated cinema cameras like the FS7, F5, and F55:

The process for wirelessly controlling Sony's A7 line of mirrorless cameras is a bit different, and it requires you to use the Sony PlayMemories app, which is available for iOS and Android. Here's Gary Fong to show you how to set it up, and then control and monitor your camera wirelessly.

So why would you choose to control your camera via Wi-Fi instead of on the body and in the menu system? For starters, this is a great option when your camera is out of reach. Say it's being flown on a jib or a crane, is rigged into a tight space like a car, or is just places somewhere inconvenient for the operator or AC. In those situations (and there are tons of them on any given film set) Wi-Fi control can be a massive timesaver. This technology can also be used to monitor your footage wirelessly, and it could make for a simple, cost-effective solution for a personal director's monitor.

Have you guys used Sony's build-in Wi-Fi functionality to control and monitor the camera? If so, share your experiences and favorite uses for it down in the comments!     

Your Comment

7 Comments

Used it once when we had to shoot an explosion. Otherwise no.

October 29, 2015 at 7:06PM

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Jonathon Sendall
Stories
1752

Can you set up cues / automated actions for this? That would be fantastic - like a controlled zoom or focus pull, or an iris change for if on a 3axis gimble.

October 30, 2015 at 3:03PM, Edited October 30, 3:03PM

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Nick Haley
Director
149

I'm not sure there's an iOS app to control A7 cameras, is there? I think it's Android only

October 30, 2015 at 5:40PM

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Miles Stowey
Filmmaker / Camera Operator
74

In complex Drone setups, this is pretty useful, but it kills the battery life of the smaller A7r and A7rII ... so on long shoots we just unhook parts of the rig and do setting changes the old fashioned way.
Would love it if you could pop a USB cable in from your phone to the camera and skip the whole WiFi side of things.

November 3, 2015 at 6:25PM

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Jared Adamo
Creative Director / Producer
144

Where I can buy the wifi adapter for the FS7?

November 4, 2015 at 11:53AM, Edited November 4, 11:53AM

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I think the article is too enthusiastic about this wireless technology. If you just move a few feet away the images starts to get choppy on the iPad or iPhone. Just a few more inch and you actually lose complete control. So, no its not for using it on a copter or in a car where there is additionally lots of interference.

Shmuley
EntreFilmmaker.com

November 5, 2015 at 6:55PM, Edited November 5, 6:56PM

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Thanks for the post, Robert. It works like a charm on the FS7 (took me about the same length as the demo video to set up). Not sure if this is the *camera* generating a wifi signal (which could be used anywhere) or my wifi in office. We'll find out on further test.

SADLY, I cannot see that "Smart Control" is available for the FS7. Bummer! If you (or others) find a way to wirelessly monitor the FS7 (or coming FS5)… let me know. The irony here is that the controls respond way faster when pushed from the phone than they do on the camera itself. Aperture control is *instantaneous* from phone, kinda laggy on camera (both with MetabonesIV and Canon EF glass).

November 6, 2015 at 9:43AM, Edited November 6, 9:43AM

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Erik Stenbakken
Videographer & Photographer
376