Wednesday Gearday: Using Sony Smart Remote Control

Q: In the studio I would like to review my images at the time of shooting by, if possible, tethering camera & iPad. Can I tether my Sony a7R to my iPad2? –Marv

A: While it’s not “true tethering”, Sony’s Remote Control App via WiFi connection is likely what you’re after. Smart Remote Control allows you to control your camera via your smartphone. Sony Smart Remote Control application allows you to trigger your shutter, set a 2-second timer, compensate for exposure when in A or S mode, and transfer a resized JPEG to your smartphone or tablet.

Smart Remote Control essentially turns your smartphone or tablet into a spare remote (or a primary remote, if you don’t already have a remote commander). The application allows you to stream a live feed from your camera to your mobile device, allowing you to remain remote from the camera.

In order to take advantage of the Smart Remote Control application, as well as all of the other wireless and connectivity features that are available with you Sony WiFi-enabled camera, you’ll first need to set up an account at the Sony Entertainment Network website: www.sony.net/pmca

Next, download Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile app – available free for SmartPhones and Tablets for both iOS and Android at their respective app stores.

Sony-Play-Memories-App

You can then set-up the Smart Remote Control application directly to your camera by selecting

Menu > Application > PlayMemories Camera Apps

Setting your camera for Smart Remote Control Shooting

 
1. Select Menu > Apps Menu > Application List > Smart Remote Embedded

Smart Remote Enbedded

(the camera will prompt you to log on to your wireless network)

2. Go to Wi-Fi settings on your iOS or Android smartphone or tablet. Select the device shown on the camera menu. Enter the password shown in the menu.

3. As soon as you see a spinning “Connecting” icon – Open the PlayMemories app on your smartphone or tablet and you are connected. But before you go on, do the following:

How to Save Raws with Sony Smart Remote

 
Be aware that Smart Remote Embedded has it’s own quality settings separate from those you set on your camera. By default these are set to Jpeg because only Jpegs are transferred to smartphones and tablets. If you wish to save Raw to your SD card, here’s what you need to do:

Open Smart Remote Embedded App on your camera:

Menu > Applications >; Application List > Smart Remote Embedded

Connect WiFi between your camera to your tablet or Smart Phone

Once you connect, press Menu > Smart Remote Embedded > 2 > Quality > RAW & JPEG

Sony Remote Camera Control menu settings

Shoot a frame to be certain this setting is saved.

Boom! You’re good to go…

Smart Remote Control works with all Sony WiFi-enabled cameras which support Apps including Sony a7, a7R, a7S, a7II, a7RII, a6000, a5100, a5000 and NEX-6 (be certain your firmware is up to date)

It allows you to:

  • Trigger the shutter from your phone.
  • Adjust EV compensation up to +/- five stops. (This control is disabled when shooting in Manual mode.)
  • Turn the self-timer and the image review function on or off. There is a settings icon in the lower-left corner of the screen that allows you to do so.
  • Select Save Options. If you select On, the app will save a resized JPEG to your phone or tablet and a RAW or JPEG to your SD card. Just be sure to follow the directions above.

UPDATE: Sony Smart Remote Control Update 3.20 is now available. Read this to make certain you’re using the latest version of this app.

 


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Read more Field Test: Sony a7R
Read more Field Test: Sony a7S


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172 thoughts on “Wednesday Gearday: Using Sony Smart Remote Control”

      1. Thanks so much Brian. I was shattered when I came home from a shoot, only to find that I had no raw shots after using the sony app. At least I’ve NOW got that sorted…you’re a champion!

      1. How does this work way work? I’ve seen Canon and Nikon use the App DSLR Connect via a On The Go Cable directly into a tablet or phone but haven’t anyway to do this with my A7s. Connecting via wifi is really low quality and i struggle to focus using manual lenses.

        1. The app is wireless. You can only hardwire tether to laptop or computer or a tablet such as Microsoft Surface Pro that has a USB Port and is capable of running Capture One Pro for Sony.

  1. Why I can ONLY adjust EV but nothing else? Am using Samsung Note 2 and Sony A6000. Tried different shooting modes but problem still the same.. Please help. Thanks~

    1. Here’s the Sony A6000 firmware update links for WIN | MAC

      READ THE DIRECTIONS VERY CAREFULLY – Especially the part about turning off all other applications when running a FW Update.

      Note for Mac Yosemite users only: The new Mac Yosemite OS X requires you download and install an Mac OS X 10.10 Driver Loader kernel extension prior to downloading and installing the actual firmware update. This utility installs the necessary application needed for software updates if you are running Mac OS X 10.10 – NOT needed for earlier versions of Mac OS.

  2. Thank you so much for your information
    I have updated the firmware, AND updated my camera embedded Smart Remote application. Only then I can get access to all the latest functions. 🙂

  3. mite 10.10.2 I have downloaded both the firmware…the kernel you speak of was downloaded but would not open on my computer….any help would be great.

      1. Hello I am new to this forum. . Recently bought sony alfa 6000 and works well with my android samsung note 3 (app version 5) but can’t seem to have all the functions (aperture shutter speed iso displayed on phone when using the smart remote .. only get the ev compensation. .. can you help please … what should I do ? Thanks a million Hazem

  4. I used this remote today on my first ever real estate shoot and it worked great all except the fact that you have to tell it to you want to keep RAW files from within the app itself. This sucks balls and I guess its my fault for expecting it to not fix what isn’t broken. Thankfully my .jpg’s look fine but I lost the ability to really work with the images the way I wanted to. I won’t make this mistake again.

      1. Brian, thanks for reply. Are you saying that video mode is not suported in general or just selecting focus point?

  5. you can shoot movies. dial in video mode on the camera.. but picture profiles are not supported at the moment

    1. My mistake. It appears that was added beginning with a7S which I did not have at the time I wrote the original post. The camera must be in Movie Shooting Mode.

      1. Alas, video not supported in smart remote for the a6000 in the latest firmware/remote app. Not critical, but would have been nice as I wanted to start vblogging. I assume you mean all camera hardware since a7s rather than firmware/app updates.

  6. Hello!
    Could you guide me how to turn on the Spot focus when I use Smart Remote control function and use PlayMemories Mobile to shoot the photo.
    I’ve tried to use sport focus but it seems not work when we shoot from the mobiphone.
    With many thanks

  7. Hi Brian,

    I shoot interiors and was wondering if the Play Memories app will allow you to change shutter speed from your tablet? Am I also correct that with this app one can view the pic that was just taken right from the tablet?

    Thank you in advance for your time and assistance.

    Dave

    1. Yes and Yes. In fact you can view a Live View image before you shoot. Just be certain to set the quality setting of the app to Raw & Jpeg. It defaults to Jpeg unless you change it.

  8. A follow-up question please…

    If I use my “regular” I Phone with the Play Memories APP, what happens if a call/text or email comes in while I’m using the Play Memories APP?

    Thank you in advance.

    Dave

  9. Is there a way to have the 10-second shutter via the mobile-phone app? I’d like to take pictures of myself; set camera on tripod, focus myself via my android phone. Problem is the 2-second timer is too quick, I always end up posing holding a cellphone in the photos.

  10. Thanks brian for this post, however I could never create an account with sony.com/pcma, the page keeps telling server not responding. I am in USA. Thats painful.

  11. Has anyone found any information about the usable distance on this app? I get disconnected at just 6-10ft most times. I spend more time walking back and forth to get reconnected then it would take to just guess with a wireless remote.
    I’m also experiencing problems where I can’t utilize the touch auto-focus on the app. Anyone else have these issues because I’m seriously close to taking my camera in to get looked at.

    1. The working distance is dependent on the WiFi signal strength of the smart device you are using.

      As for Touch AF, if it’s not active there are three possible causes:

      1. When Touch AF isn’t working it usually means the App isn’t up to date. Here’s How to Update Sony Play Memories Camera Apps

      2. Touch AF is not available when the camera is set for Back Button AF. If your not certain what Back Button AF is – it’s unlikely you set it up.

      3. AF is not possible with the lens (sorry for stating the obvious but someone once asked me why it didn’t work with Leica lenses.)

  12. The app doesn’t seem to be able to be used for movies on my A7 and yes, I’m using the latest version. It seems so logical that it should work,

  13. Brian, do you know how i should proceed to report a bug found with IOS and the A7II?

    Or perhaps its not a bug, but a feature?;
    If AF w/ shutter is turned off in camera it is not possible to use focus in the app on IOS. AF w/ Shutter setting is found under the cog wheel and submenu number 4. As said, turn that setting off and then try to “point to focus” in the app. In my case it does not re-focus. Instead it seems to re-focus on the previously focused area. Feature or bug? Or perhaps it only happens to me..

    1. That’s normal behavior. As I mentioned in my directions.touch focus is not active when the camera is set to Back Button AF – that’s the only time I can imagine turning off Touch with Shutter…

  14. Hello, i have a problem with remote control and A7 II: if i put the camera in Aperture mode, i can change the aperture (for exaple on my 35mm zeiss but also with other sony lenses) only from f/10 to f/22, if i try to change aperture under f/10 the camera tells me “impossible to set”, i’ve just update the camera firmware, and the remote control app on the A7 II (3.30), i’m with Nexus 5 with Android 5.1.1
    If i use the camera control i have no problems at all…
    Someo

        1. Try setting the aperture wide open then reconnecting to the app. Can it adjust the entire range or is it still stuck to just a few F-stops? That’s all I can think to suggest.

          1. If i start to widest aperture, i can only put the aperture on f/10, if i try to set between f/2.8 and f/9, the app say “impossible to set”! Very, very strange! It seems that the app refuse to set aperture between wide open till f/10…
            If i use the aperture knob on the camera, during smart remote control, i can set any aperture with no problems…

          2. Just do it, if i try to set an aperture until f/9, the phone app say “impossible to set”, if i set an aperture from f/10 to f/22, there is no problems. I’m using Zeiss 35 f/2.8

          3. Smart Remote Camera v3.30 works perfectly fine for me with that lens from F2.8 to F22. It’s possible that you have a dirty contact on your lens or a stuck aperture blade. There is nothing else I can suggest because it works perfectly for me.

          4. I also try with 16-50 of my a5100 and it does the same thing… aperture doesn’t change till f/10, i think it’s a firmware issue… which firmware do you have? I have 1.21 on my A7 II

  15. Hi, I’m so psyched to find this page and I appreciate the fact that you you made this info available- yet nothing seems to be working out for me using your very clear and concise instructions. I’ve gone through the process seven times with no success . Where can i find help if the app. doesnt work on my cellphone?

  16. when can we expect to be able to use picture profiles in this app?

    Also is there a way to keep your current camera settings the same when turning the app on? I noticed if put settings on my camera without the app they do don’t stay the same when I turn the app on.

    1. Set your Picture Profiles in your camera menu – not the app.

      The only camera settings that changes is the quality setting. Not certain why. But that’s why I tell people they must set the quality inside the app.

  17. Loving the A7Sii, but it point blank refuses to connect to my Nexus 5. Tried NFC and wifi (as per the above). Any suggestions? Just says “connecting” forever

  18. BRIAN! Thanks for your insight.

    Is there any way to use the app on the phone to shutter release with one of the buttons on the phone or even a remote. the built in camera app in the iphone uses the vol down button for shutter release. it would be awesome to have something smiliar for the sony app so you dont need to look at the phone to tap the screen. Instead it could be in the pocket.

  19. Brian, I can’t change (no on screen) my aperture, ISO or shutter speed on my rx100m3 using smart remote control app. (playmemories mobile v.5.4.1. smart remote control v.4.00). Can you help me?

    1. Just tested mine and it works fine.

      If you have more than one camera, Smart Remote Control must be updated for each camera. Lots of people think it’s updated when it’s not.

  20. Hi Brian, I’ve tried using this app on my galaxy tab2 8″ and found that the live view quality is not good. It looks pixelize like low res image. Is this happened on iPad too?

  21. Hi Brian,

    Thanks so much for this article. I ran into this issue last night but fortunately since I wasn’t pushing the files too much the jpgs are just fine. Just glad I found this article before I ran into a serious problem. The remote is so convenient and a way to make sure that the camera doesn’t move so I’m glad that we can still shoot in RAW mode. Thanks again.

    Cheers,
    Ben

  22. Hi Brian,

    I know you posted a while ago now but I’ve only just found it! I’ve had the app on my phone for several months, but still hadn’t worked out how to fully use it with my A7II. Just wanted to say thank you for the clear explanation!

    Bek

    1. Thanks for pointing that out. I did not realize that phone WiFi functionality was the entire measure of the quality of a camera. That explains why Deardorf went out of business despite the above average snaps Ansel Adams shot with them.

  23. I’ve been frantically looking for weeks on the web, but why do the apps lock you out of functionalities you require? For example, both the remote and time-lapse apps don’t allow you to use your picture profile (I like to use the slog), plus your personalised buttons don’t work either. Any idea how I can get this looked at? I have the a7rii. Thanks.

          1. Hi Brian, 5 years have passed. And I’m still facing the same problem today. Any news?

          2. Camera App development was halted with the introduction of a7R III. I would not expect any changes to what is currently there.

  24. Thank you for your article.
    I find Smart remote quite useless without PP options, plus I can’t lock focus in video shooting. I wanted to use iPad as viewfinders output screen and It works pretty well except the fact it has very limited functionality… Hope this will be improved soon. Won’t use it until then, unfortunately. Good sample to use as a reference is Camranger for Canons and Nikons.

  25. Hi Brian, thanks for your info. Is there a way to increase the range to an iPad or iPhone? I use a Camranger with my Nikon and it has a 300 foot range. I realize I shouldn’t expect that from an in camera feature but I’d be really happy with a 60 to 75 foot range. I’ve used every model of the RX100 and the RX10 and would love to remotely shoot the A7RII.

    Thanks!

    1. That’s bern the case for a while now just as long as you upgrade from Smart Remote Embedded that ships with the camera to Smart Remote Control. Very handy feature of the app.

  26. I know Sony’s support of A-mount is dismal, but how do I AF on my A77ii with the horribly limited remote fuction for this camera?

  27. I am using 3.1 application with my iphone 4 ios 7.1.2. The only control available is the shutter, the arc does not appear on the screen.

  28. for me it takes like 12 seconds till you can shoot another picture if you shoot in RAW+JPEG… it says on the camera screen “Proccessing”
    Do I do anything wrong?

  29. is i shoot directly with the camera with out the app, it just takes 1 sec for the picture…only when i use the app, it takes that long

  30. where in the menu do i shut the noise reduction?
    I just shut the auto HDR and tried it… it took over 20 secs

          1. can you help me to tell me how to turn off the noise reduction?
            i googled it.. don’t see such an option
            Thank you

          2. It’s worth taking the time to read the manual.

            Menu > Camera Settings > High ISO NR > Off
            Menu > Camera Settings > Long Exposure NR > Off
            Menu > Camera Settings > DRO/Auto HDR > Off

          3. Hi Brian,
            Thank you for your reply

            i turned off Long Exposure NR, and Auto HDR > Off
            i also turned off Auto HDR inside the APP settings

            However High ISO NR is greyed out on the menu and i can’t make changes (i think it is because it is set to RAW)

            I just tried to shoot a RAW+JPEG from the app and it took about 20 secs till the camera finished processing

            May I ask you how long it takes for youth shoot RAW+JPEG with smart remote?

            I just wonder if this is how the it works or i do anything wrong from my side

            Thank you for your help in advance
            M

          4. “Processing” only appears on the camera when either a multi-shot mode is selected or Long-Exposure Noise Reduction is being applied.

            If you are seeing that message on your phone it’s likely the slowdown is in transferring images to the phone itself.

            I cannot provide support for phone issues. I only own an iPhone and have neither the time nor inclination to test any other models.

          5. Hi Brian,

            Thank you very much for your replies,

            I would appreciate if you can tell me one more thing before i let you go

            How long delay do you have between each shot if you shoot a RAW & JPEG image with the smart remote app without saving it to the phone??

            the reason i am asking is because I spoke to Sony Support and every agent says something else, some say that it is normal to have 15-20 secs delay and some say that not, so I would like to hear an actual users experience

            Thanks a lot for all your help

  31. Hi Brian,
    I have a Sony A7s and I use Silent Shooting in street photography. But in Smart Remote Embedded Application, when shooting on my Iphone 5s, Silent Shooting turns off automatically.
    Is there any solution to that issue? It is very important for me.
    Denis

      1. Thank you!
        Maybe this is the problem. I will update my camera firmware and apps and I hope Silent Shooting works with Smart RC. Because I tested Fuji x100T and it works.

  32. Brian, Thank you for your thoroughness in writing this article. I use the a6000 for real estate photography. My question is: Do you know of a way to delete images while being tethered to the iPad mini? It seems that the play back button on the camera doesn’t work when I’m tethered. Also, do you know if the app functions normally with the camera screen turned off? Trying to save a little battery life while working. Thanks in advance for your time.

  33. Thank you so much for this post. I just received my RX100 V and this helped me to set up the remote trigger feature. GREAT information here. EASY to understand. Worked PERFECTLY !!

  34. I’m very happy to have found your site and this post! Thanks much for this information. Saved me hours of fumbling around in the dark trying to figure this out. Much appreciated!

  35. Does Smart Remote Control work with shooting video / movies on an a6000? I can’t seem to make it work, but I have no problem with using it for photos.

  36. Are you or is anyone else aware of a workaround for Windows Phones or Surface Pro tablets for remotes without tethering?
    I can connect via wireless from my Windows 10 phone to the camera, but the third party apps just show “connecting” endlessly with no resolution.
    Any hope that Windows phones/tablets might ever be supported by the native apps?
    Any other ideas for remote triggering for Sony A7II?

    1. To the best of my knowledge, Windows phones and tablets are not supported by PlayMemories Mobile – only iOS and Android. However “connecting” actually means “connected” – so if Sony slipped in a PlayMemories Mobile app for Windows that I didn’t see, you just need to open it and you’re connected…

  37. Not sure if this was answered and I missed it but I just want to preview my images (like the live view on back of my camera) to better see what they look like on larger screen since the camera LCD is so small. I’m not interested in downloading them to a program. Is this possible and what all would be needed to do this? Prefer Android tablet over Mac. Could it be done with a cable or remote? Do you know if there if a preview time you can set (i.e. 2, 5, 10 seconds)? Thanks so much!

    1. You could set the Smart Remote Control app to Raw+Jpeg to save both to card and send jpegs to Android (or iOS) tablet -you must do this in the app itself – not the camera settings. There’s no preview time setting I’m aware of for review on tablets or smartphones

  38. Can you use the Smart Remote Control App to manage longer exposures with the shutter set to BULB, or is it just a trigger?

  39. Very interesting and useful. Why my user interface is completely different with the rest of people ? I got ugly symbols not those circle ones that you can adjust. I’m using v5.8 and my camera is a7ii. And another question is zebra supported by this app? -/+ EV is inactive in manual mode and not showing how much I am over / under exposed! Is it normal?

    1. Is your app called ‘Smart Remote Control’ or ‘Smart Remote Embedded’ if it’s the latter, then you never updated the app. Zebra is not displayed on smart phones or tablets.

  40. Thank you Thank you Thank you! I was going NUTS trying to understand Sony’s explanation of how to install this device. I got bogged down on the net, bogged down in the camera. Finally, I Goggled the project, got your site and put it into action within 5 minutes – that included loading times for the app!

  41. new version 4.30 on the camera of my A7RII fixed the focusing issue. Before the update on my camera for the built-in “Smart Remote Control” app, I was NOT able to focus by tapping on my phone’s screen.

    Updated to latest version on my camera fixed that and I am a happy camper.

  42. Hello,
    I have mostly used usb connection to operate sonya7s for various deep sky astro applications and downloaded raw photos to my pc. I have now started to install wireless apps as you describe. Bulb mode is critical of course but also to transmit wirelessly the raw photos to destination on computer (not just jpg). I am trying to connect smartphone to computer to get photos to computer. Can you comment because only if i can get the raw data to pc easily like i would consider using the wireless apps. One of my main reasons for potentially abandoning my wired usb transfer is the usb wire distance of about 25 ft and occasional image transfer losses. I think this will be less of a problem if i manage to make it work wireless approach.

  43. Just spent 4 hours photographing at dusk/night using the Play Memoreis app and I just found out it shot all the photos in a low quality jpg, even though my camera was set on RAW. I could literally kill Sony right now. This is one of many issues i’ve had with Sony and it highlights how intermediate and inexperienced Sony is in the Camera business. A good sensor only gets you so far.

      1. The app on the phone shows f-stop, ISO, speed, white balance etc… But it does not show file format or give options to change it. You can only change it by the app menu in the camera. This big flaw by Sony. At the very least, the app should show the file format.

          1. I can only change the file format in the camera’s app, not on the phone’s app. Maybe I have an old version. The phone app also does not state file format on my version.

  44. I was planning to use the smart remote app for the solar eclipse so I wouldn’t have to touch the camera to change exposure settings but when practicing today I discovered it only saves jpgs. Thank goodness I noticed. I read your instructions for changing the settings so that it will write raw to the card, but I am unable to find “Smart Remote Embedded” anyway on my a7rii. When I go to Menu >Applications >Application List, no such tab appears. All that appears are the apps. Where is it?

  45. Thanks for the very helpful info and guidance.

    I have a Sony a6000 and connected to the updated version of Remote Control. All is well.

    However, I’m unable to review pictures taken on the camera (playback). Is this possible when Remote Control is active?

  46. i payed for the crazy remote pro on my iso i pod touch 1g but it says its not avaible for download i can only use lite after it took my money what do i do

  47. Hi Brian, Thanks for the helpful instructions. I was using the Vello FreeWave plus to take pictures remotely with my Sony A5000. I left the remote in my brother’s house, so I installed the play memories app on my iphone 5s. I got it to work. It seems like there is a slight delay when pressing the shutter button on the app. I do not remember such a delay with the vello remote control. Is it my imagination or iis there a lag with the app? Thanks!

  48. Hi. I used the remote tool to connect the camera and use my samsung a7 2017 phone to take picture. It saved 1616×1080 size which is different size when taking picture directly to the camera and saves 5456×3054.

    Thank you!

  49. Hi Brian,

    Is it possible to reply on remote control shooting connected to the camera in lieu of using a sony remote for night photography such as the Milky Way on the Sony a7 III?

      1. Sorry, I meant to say use a smartphone as a remote control (via PlayMemories app) instead of a wired remote.

          1. I tried that last night and it worked with no issue even in autofocus. Thank you so much for your response 🙂

  50. Just got an A6300 and downloaded this app to my iphone and camera. Am I correct that I need to be in wifi or use my hotspot to control the camera with my phone? Sorry for the newbie question. I’m trying to figure this out since I want to use the remote this weekend

  51. Hello thanks for all your insight. Is it in plan for play memories to work with video recording on sony α6000

  52. Hello Brian, I have three a7R III that I would like to trigger remotely at the same time, preferably by wire (but wireless would be fine too), do you think this is feasible? Thanks, Carlos

  53. Hi Brian, i would like to try photos at blue hour. I have installed the remote app but I’m not sure if this is of any advantage to the inbuilt 2 second delay release ( don’t know the exact term). Would you be able to explain the advantages between the app, remote release via cable and the 2 sec function.

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