Sony Releases ‘Sky HDR’ Camera App

Sony has launched a ‘Sky HDR’ camera app that enables you to stack two different exposures to obtain an HDR image without the use of a graduated ND filter. (Please note PlayMemories Apps are not available in all countries.)

Please Note: Mac OS 10.11 El Capitan is not Supported.

How to use Sky HDR:

  • Mount the camera on a tripod to ensure alignment between images
  • Theme provides reference settings that you can change as you wish
  • When using Sky HDR it’s recommended you turn Distortion Compensation Off
    Menu > Custom Settings > Lens Compensation > Distortion Compensation > Off
  • Step 1: Set the exposure and WB for the Land

    Step 2: Set the exposure and WB for the Sky

    Step 3: Press the shutter button and shutter will automatically be released twice creating a single blended image

    ‘Sky HDR’ is compatible with RAW! Yup that’s a first for Sony!

    If you select Raw as your Quality Setting the resulting 2-shot capture will be saved as a single Raw file. Previous to this, all Sony multi-image captures have been saved as Jpeg, but many of us have been lobbying Sony engineers for this change and hopefully this is a sign of things to come.

    While you can apply digital ND gradients in post – it’s obviously a plus to do this at the raw stage – and without the cost and bulk of gradient filters in the field.

    Compatible Cameras:

    a7, a7R a7S, a7II, a7RII, a7SII, a6000, a5100, RX100 III, RX100 IV, RX10 II, RX1R II, NEX-6, NEX-5R, NEX-5T

    How to Get Sky HDR:

    Sky HDR is available for $9.99 USD is available from the: Sony Play Memories Camera App Store.
    (Prices vary around the globe).

    Please Note: Camera App Downloader is ONLY COMPATIBLE with Safari and Internet Explorer browsers!

    Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Microsoft Edge browsers are NOT Supported!

    Windows 10 Users: Your default browser is no longer Internet Explorer – it’s Microsoft Edge. You must open Play Memories Online using Internet Explorer or else the Play Memories downloader will NOT work.

    Read More: Installing & Updating Sony Play Memories Camera Apps



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    26 thoughts on “Sony Releases ‘Sky HDR’ Camera App”

    1. Brian,

      Your information is only partially correct. I’m on a Mac and Safari doesn’t work. Only Chrome is working for me. Safari keeps telling me it can’t connect.

    2. Hopefully this might help another purchaser who is facing the same issue as I did. Had no luck purchasing as every time I clicked purchase nothing happens. The page reloads to the same page! Tried by wi-fi on the camera and after clicking purchase, it goes to a dead link.

      Out of curiosity, I looked at my profile and the wallet has my (now expired) credit card’s old expiry date. I updated that and some other profile info it asked (such as e-mail verification and username, etc).

      Went back to purchase usin MS IE with flash installed and it worked as a “thank you” message appeared. A email arrived immediately and the download went well. When it finished downloading, the credit card company called my mobile phone to verify the charge from “PlayStation”, as they probably suspected a kid using a stolen cc number.

      For those who are stuck at the purchase part, it might just be outdated credit card or wallet info. Unfortunately, the Sony website offers no clue whatsoever when that happens.

    3. The Sony site is unbelievably lame. Can’t even create an account and does no matter what browser I use… Safari or Chrome. As soon as I enter on the captcha, (God how I hate those), I am immediately sent to an access denied page. Way too much aggravation for a $10 app.

    4. Down loading Sony apps is a pain.
      It doesnt work with win 10 or Mac Yosemite even though they give these options.
      After wasting a hour or so I picked win 8 as the operating system and it worked fine on my Win 10.
      Where can I get touch less shutter?
      Thank you

    5. Got Sky HDR and several applications by having my camera access the internet via home network. This is tedious to say the least!!!

      We have two Win10 boxes, a Mac laptop with El Capitan, and a Linux machine. None of the browsers on any of the machines would establish communication, including IE and Safari. Chrome established a connection, but it was unresponsive. This might be the worst communications software on earth!

      I called Sony after a few hours of fooling around, and they don’t know what’s wrong either. They did put me on to embedded software to download using the camera, and this worked, but it’s a nightmare hunt and peck input using arrow keys and ok button on the back of the camera.

      I did get the apps, and they are very inexpensive–but rather useful, I imagine. I found seven good ones. The smooth reflections, and Sky HDR simulate filters that cost a lot of money and require a number of adapters. Other apps are just clever, like using the viewfinder sensor to run the shutter. Maybe it will be worth the toil….

      1. I didn’t recommended connecting to the App Store via the camera for the reasons you mention above – plus there is no way to see if an app needs an update from the camera – only from a browser. This like previous feedback will be passed along to Sony.

    6. I wrote down the version numbers.

      Sony communications software is not ready for prime time–speaking as a credentialed geek (BS computer science). Whoever wrote this software should be flogged with a wet fish!

      But don’t read too much into my criticism. I love my Sony Alpha A7II and would recommend Sony highly to anyone. It’s a beautiful camera that does everything well, offers great flexibility and very important features (like IS in the body, and the ability to use virtually any lens)! Sony is way ahead of other manufacturers, and routinely delivers impressive innovations–including the apps we’re trying to load. Sky HDR, in particular, is a winner–insufficient dynamic range is a nagging problem in photography and getting all the detail at capture is something new under the sun. A lot of photographers have eight Lee filters (hard + soft, 0.3, 0.6, 0.9, 1.2) and maybe a blue/sunset/twilight type filter. The smoothing app is also very interesting–for five bucks you get a full set of ND filters, again, without putting anything in front of the glass. Once you have the detail present in the scene, creative effects can be applied in post-processing and the image is still robust.

      Getting the apps into your camera is a super bitch, but eventually our electronics giant will awaken and get some engineers to fix this problem. Then we can all be friends again. 🙂

      1. I agree with all that you’ve said. Hopefully Sony will get the website fixed to allow for easier downloading and updating of apps. I certainly have better things to do with my time than explaining the way through the PlayMemories maze.

    7. Is there anyone who knows an app or method to investigate how much shots you have to take, to simulate the amount of stops you normally have to use when using ND filters. Now you have to guess to accomplish a certain result.

      1. Two shots.

        If you want to match the look of a 1-stop Gradient ND filter you would change exposure 1-stop between shots.

        If you want to match the look of a 2-stop Gradient ND filter you would change exposure 2-stops between shots.

        If you want to match the look of a 3-stop Gradient ND filter you would change exposure 3-stops between shots.

        Etc, etc…

    8. Brian, Many thanks for a great site!
      I agree with all said above. It is a pain in the butt. I have managed to download the free apps by using the camera’s (A7 M2) wifi. But trying to download paid apps does not work from camera (goes around in circles) and neither from PC as it cannot establish a connection between play memories and my A7. Credit card up to date. I have tried with both Yosemite and Il Capitain using both Safari and Chrome. Also used the proprietary camera supplied USB cable straight in to the computer. Waste of time so far. Olympus does this so much better.

      In your post you mention setting USB ports, I assume that relates to Win PC’s?

    9. Brian,

      I can’t find it anymore for download. It just doesn’t appear to me.
      Do you know if they removed the app?



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