Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Remote controlling your camera with an app, part of Learning to Shoot with the Sony Alpha a7 Series.
- Earlier, we took a look at the Wi-Fi features of your camera. We used it to download applications and updates to the camera, as well as to send images from the camera to the smartphone, and that's great. That same app that can receive images from your smartphone, which is great for sharing, can actually take basic control of your camera. Let me show you what you can do. On your camera, press the Menu button, and navigate to the Applications List. Select the Smart Remote Control.
On your smartphone, be sure to connect to the local network that your camera has created. If you have done this before, it should appear in your Wi-Fi list. There's mine, and since I've connected previously, my password is already stored. You can switch over to the PlayMemories Mobile app, and you should see the Wi-Fi signal between the device. It will now switch over and give you the ability if you click Connect to Camera, to actually connect to the camera. You'll notice now that I have a lot of settings.
I could tap to focus, for example, and move my focus point around on the screen. You'll notice, as I touch on the remote control, that it's actually moving responsively on the camera. To engage that again, just tap the Focus and touch on the screen, and the green mark will mean that focus is locked. You'll notice across the top that you have a couple of other settings.
It's reading what the camera was previously configured to, auto white balance and direct manual focus. Along the bottom, you could see all of the camera settings. If you want to manipulate settings, tap the Tools icon in the lower left corner. You'll see here that you now have additional control. So, I can enable things like a touch shutter. So now, touching the phone will simply trigger the device and takes the picture and transfers it. Now, that makes it very much like a smartphone.
So, I'm going to turn that off and prefer to use the trigger button there for the camera. But, I do have the ability to adjust the quality of the Live View if I need a higher quality preview. And I can see general information about the camera that is connected. Now, from the Save options, you can decide to save the image to the smartphone automatically after you take the shot. Now, this combines two steps. Not only are you remotely triggering your camera, which is great for being in the photo, but as soon as you're done, it will actually transmit it to your device, ready to share.
I'll leave that on. And I'm using a Rule of 3rds Grid, but there are different types of grids that you could turn on to help with composition. If you want to use the GPS of your smartphone, simply turn this on and bless it. Now, this means that as the picture is taken, the GPS in your smartphone will tag your photos. And this can come in handy later both for social sharing, if you want to share a location, as well as the ability to actually look things up when using tools like Lightroom or Photos for OS X.
Once focus is set, you can close the focus controls. And you'll notice on the bottom that you have some additional options here. For example, I could tap ISO and adjust the sensitivity for this particular image by simply dragging. I'll set that to 800. And you see it's now taken it. I could tap on other options here such as the Exposure Compensation and brighten or darken the scene. Let's darken that a little bit, and you see the camera adjust.
I'll open that back up to about one stop over-exposed, and it takes it. I could tap the Aperture, and now actually adjust the camera aperture right here. Let's go to shallower depth of field, and you see that it updates. Take that all the way down to 1.8. Now, because I am in Aperture Priority mode, that's why I have the aperture controls. Aperture Priority mode is locked. You'll see on the screen that it's grayed out, and that's because that's physically set over at the camera.
I can click that triangle near the bottom to hide those controls, and now they're just a simple overlay. And when I'm ready to take the picture, tap the Camera button, and the photo is taken. Let's take one more. Tells me the image has been saved. Let's do it again. And if I switch to my Camera Roll, you'll see that those images were added at the bottom. It also means that using additional third-party applications is available.
For example, let me go into LUCiD here. Tap to open an image, and there it is. And I'll just choose the fixed dark preset, enhance the image, and save it back to my Camera Roll. And it's added. Pretty great workflow here. The ability to easily control things from your phone and your camera. This gives you the ability to pair the two, and can allow for hands-free operation, particularly useful if you want to be in the photo.
But even just as an experiment, sometimes it's easier to do everything from the phone as you're looking at it update. This will give you flexibility as you work. Maybe you're shooting tethered onset, or out in the field. In any case, this is some of the best functionality I've seen between smartphone and device. All right, we've got one more option, and that's connecting to a computer.
- Taking shots in auto mode
- Using the in-camera guide
- Using lens controls and zoom
- Changing image size and quality
- Changing ISO in programmed auto mode
- Exploring autofocus
- Shooting in continuous (burst) mode
- Switching exposure modes
- Shooting with an external flash
- Recording video
- Remote controlling and tethering your a7 camera via Wi-Fi