Playmemories in newer cameras

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by WestOkid, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Gary
    SAR is conducting a survey to help push Sony to support playmemories in its newer cameras. So far it looks like the seemingly unpopular add-on apps are getting close to 80% of people wanting Sony to put it back.

    for the record, I acknowledge the apps can be frustrating and are generally poorly designed. That said, I definitely use them from time to time. Moreover, they are better than nothing. Especially since it has been Sony's practice to not add features to firmware (with the exception of third party lens support on A7II). I voted yes.

    Dear Sony....please bring back Playmemories APP support on the a9, A7rIII and RX10m4! - sonyalpharumors
     
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  2. AlwaysOnAuto

    AlwaysOnAuto TalkEmount All-Pro

    Feb 17, 2015
    This is kind of funny Gary.
    There may be apps in my camera I'm not even aware of and I sure as heck don't know how to use them if they are in there.
     
  3. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Gary
    lol. The apps are not just on the phone. You actually have to download and install them like Phone apps. Many you have to purchase. I guess what you don't know won't hurt you. :)

    That said, you should check them out . You never know. You may be back here exclaiming, "I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER SONY CAMERA IF THEY TAKE (insert app of choice) AWAY!"
     
  4. AlwaysOnAuto

    AlwaysOnAuto TalkEmount All-Pro

    Feb 17, 2015
    I have a VERY dumb phone, so no apps there. And I wouldn't even begin to know how to download an app into my camera. I have more than enough trouble just updating the software in it.
     
  5. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    Yeah, Sony apps fall well short of perfection. But they do provide occasionally useful functions. And when I want those functions, I’ll take any app at all. Even the US$9.99 interface maze that Sony sells.

    User-friendly software has never been in Sony's DNA. And I can only imagine the rat’s nest of risk Sony would be exposing itself (and its customers) to if it opened its camera’s firmware to nefarious malcreats.

    If they don’t want to be in the software business, better that they tell us now. But I don’t see much evidence that their heart is in it.
     
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  6. bdbits

    bdbits TalkEmount Top Veteran

    959
    Sep 10, 2015
    Bob
    Total speculation on my part, but if Sony were to beef up the remote capabilities, it might be possible to have the apps run on a smart phone or tablet, sort of wireless tethering. Or do it over USB. This would keep them from needing to maintain on-board compatibility but still hold open the possibility of having some way for apps that add functions/features. I know there are already a few 3rd-party apps on the Android side that use the current wireless APIs for things like timelapse.
     
  7. soeren

    soeren TalkEmount Top Veteran

    806
    Dec 12, 2014
    Næstved, Denmark
    Soeren
    I actually use and like the playmemories app. Though at the moment Im using an older phone lacking features meaning Im using my sons phone when playing with the A6000. Can't wait to get on top with a proper smartphone and I would really hate if playmemories isn't on future cameras, could be a deal breaker.
     
  8. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    I've used a few of them and the ones I want to use more, but found they lacked completeness. Like unable to shoot RAWs remotely on the a6000. The apps are more capable for the A7 line.
    If they only implemented better. I think they should open-source it if they aren't going to put their weight behind them. Bet a lot of talented programmers can create some very cool apps, just like some of those for Canon platforms. I recall the hacked OPEN-WRT firmwares for Linksys routers transformed them to far more versatile boxes than Cisco ever could.
     
  9. bdbits

    bdbits TalkEmount Top Veteran

    959
    Sep 10, 2015
    Bob
    This post is routing through a DD-WRT flashed Linksys router. That all started before Cisco owned them, actually, but I digress.

    Do note that Magic Lantern is a hack and Canon does not sanction it, and there are (were? not sure) some efforts to do the same sort of thing on Sony bodies. I am sure they both get concerned about support issues when there is talk of open development. Sony I think in particular wants to promote their wireless APIs instead, so they can maintain a semblance of control to prevent rogue apps from doing something damaging. Whether one agrees or not, I really believe that is their thought process.

    There is an SDK for the wireless APIs. They have improved over time, but they still have a ways to go in my opinion. It's even still shown as a beta program, and does not list the latest cameras though I would bet they are in fact supported. Anyone want to give me an A9 or A7iii to confirm or refute support? Heh.

    Cameras | Sony Developer World
     
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  10. Tipton

    Tipton TalkEmount Veteran

    226
    Jan 30, 2016
    Rae Leggett
    The camera is already a specialized computer. All you need is space on each model to run the apps in a virtual machine. Then you don't even need different versions for each model.

    Sorry, my inner tech nerd escaped.

    The useability of the apps is a different issue. Sony isn't alone there. Why the camera companies have ceded computational photography to Apple and google, I'll never know.
     
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  11. bdbits

    bdbits TalkEmount Top Veteran

    959
    Sep 10, 2015
    Bob
    Not to let them completely off the hook, but I think that is oversimplifying it a bit, though. All computational devices have varying issues related to heat dissipation, power consumption, CPU/GPU and other chips, etc. Smartphones generally have much smaller components among them the camera sensor - ergo less heat dissipation - advanced general-purpose chips, and the lack of having to power physical components like mechanical shutters at 1/8000 of a second for 10fps. As I understand it, cameras are often powered by ASICs not general-purpose CPUs with well understood instruction sets and mature, optimized development tools, much less VMs ready to plop on there like you can on a computer or a smartphone. There are always engineering tradeoffs, and for whatever reason the camera companies have not given computational photography much consideration when balancing everything into a product specification. I am not happy about that either and think they are missing out, but I am not an engineer or a camera company. No doubt they are trying to stay profitable by leveraging as best they can their existing expertise in product internals and innovating where they can. It may take some upstart company successfully disrupting the status quo before "serious" cameras are more accessible by those outside their makers.

    Or I have no idea what I am talking about. Entirely possible. Maybe even probable. :laugh:
     
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  12. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Gary
    Samsung made them for years and nobody cared. They had great image quality, good lenses and full fledged android OS. Didn't matter.

    Samsung GALAXY CAMERA - GALAXY S4 zoom, GALAXY NX, GALAXY Camera 2

    I really don't think most people care about the convergence you describe. I think us techies and camera junkies can't get enough of this stuff but most people just want to take pictures the traditional way. I know many people with Sony cameras and know nothing about the apps. And as for camera tech in general. Canon dominates sales year after year and they make tech advances every 5 years. And even when they do it's only to catch-up to others.

    I think Sony is looking to save money and the place they target is the place of least resistance. They did their research and concluded, So what we'll piss off a few techies, but serious photographers don't care about that stuff.
     
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  13. Tipton

    Tipton TalkEmount Veteran

    226
    Jan 30, 2016
    Rae Leggett
    *adds SAMSUNG GALAXY NX to list of weird cameras to look for*
     
  14. bdbits

    bdbits TalkEmount Top Veteran

    959
    Sep 10, 2015
    Bob
    Lots of them on ebay. :biggrin:
     
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  15. Hamsong

    Hamsong TalkEmount Rookie

    21
    Sep 20, 2017
    Minneapolis, MN
    To paraphrase Gary Fong, I wish Sony would remake the "PlayMemories" app and rename it "Sony Remote App" or something more descriptive and functional. I never had luck with wifi transfers with Fuji, but the Olympus app was really simple and easy to use to transfer JPEGs to the phone. As far as 3rd party apps to add functionality to the cameras, I would prefer that Sony simply add this functionality (like intervalometer, etc) to the cameras.
     
  16. Xterra

    Xterra TalkEmount Regular

    136
    Feb 8, 2016
    I really like the Lens Compensation profile app for 3rd party lenses that don't transmit its data to the exif file. With that app I actually get my exif data, Very useful. The other I use often is the Touchless shutter without syncing the camera to the phone prior. Really useful when on the tripod. So yes those apps are used.
     
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  17. josema

    josema TalkEmount Regular

    66
    Mar 31, 2013
    Spain
    Jose M. Alonso
    Well, as much as I don't like the apps ecosystem (as some of you have mentioned) and the implemention is sub-optimal, they offer useful features the camera should but doesn't have. When I briefly had a Fuji X-T2, I was gladly surprised the camera had intervalometer functions in the menu. With Sony, the alternative was to use the time-lapse app. It allowed me to capture the series of photos to finally compose this:
    30909262886_f0a829d559_h.

    I don't use them much but I would miss having them, as others have said already, because I don't expect Sony to add these features via firmware any time soon, unfortunately.
     
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  18. JonathanF2

    JonathanF2 TalkEmount Veteran

    410
    Aug 16, 2014
    Los Angeles, USA
    I don't care for the PlayMemories Apps. Coming from M43 especially Olympus, I much prefer having features integrated in-camera. They feel sloppy and unpolished.
     
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  19. dbmiller

    dbmiller TalkEmount Top Veteran

    856
    Mar 2, 2012
    New England
    I've heard various possible reasons why the apps are no longer in the cameras:
    1. They rewrote the OS for speed, and no longer use Android as the OS. So the app wouldn't work, and a petition isn't going to change anything.
    2. They didn't like the Tweak app that got around the 30 minute video limitation. A petition won't change it, although it's possible they could bring them back if they could protect the cameras from the tweak.
    3. The cost to maintain the apps for all the new cameras isn't justified due to lack of customer use. In which case the number of potential petition signers isn't going to change anything.
    Hate to be a DBDowner on this one, but I think a petition is a complete waste of time
     
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  20. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Gary
    Great image BTW.

    You also hit on the point I was trying to emphasize. I think we all would like Sony to offer most features in the firmware like Fuji and Olympus do. The issue is they don't offer them in-camera and based on their history they never will. So by removing the apps they have effectively removed features. Comparatively sub-par features, but features all the same.
     
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