In the first of a new series looking at how to connect your camera to your smartphone, Richard Sibley outlines the key features of Imaging Edge Mobile.
Depending on the model you own, Imaging Edge Mobile App should allow you to connect your phone to a camera. If you have a Alpha or RX, HX or even QX series camera that was introduced, there’s a good chance it will be supported. Exactly what functionality you will have can vary greatly from camera to camera so it’s worth, support pages from where you can find out what your camera can do.
Although Imaging Edge Mobile was only released last year, it is actually a rebranded version of the Play Memories Mobile app that was previously used to connect your phone to a camera. The idea behind the rebranding is that it brings the software in line with Imaging Edge desktop computer software.
How to connect your phone to a camera: different types of connection
There are three ways to connect your phone to a camera, and again, which you use will depend on your camera and smart device. Near Field Connectivity (NFC) is probably the fastest and smoothest method of making that initial connection, as this simply involves selecting the NFC option and touching the NFC points on the camera and your phone together to set up the Wi-Fi connection.
QR codes provide the next method, which is equally as simple and the preferred option for iOS users. The app allows you to photograph a QR code on the camera which provides the information for the smartphone to create a Wi-Fi connection. Finally you can connect, the ‘old-fashioned’ way by selecting the camera in your phone’s Wi-Fi connection screen and use the password shown on the camera. A further option is to pair your camera and smartphone via Bluetooth to allow
for location, time and date information to be added to the metadata of each image.
Live view and remote shooting from your phone
Now that you have been able to connect your phone to a camera, you can shoot remotely. Like any app, the responsiveness of the live view display depends on the connection strength. Overall I found that there was little lag time between the onscreen camera display and the smartphone display, though like any such connection, there is the odd second where it stalls from time to time.
It is worth noting that the features available when remote shooting will vary depending on the camera (and possibly firmware) that you are using. On cameras with a physical mode dial you can not change the exposure mode. switch from aperture priority to shutter priority. With the A7 III, for example, if you are in aperture priority mode you can change the aperture, exposure compensation and sensitivity. If the mode dial is set to Manual you will have full exposure control at your disposal.
Other settings that can be changed include the white balance, self timer, continuous shooting settings and the flash control settings. Sadly this is about it for the A7 III and other recent cameras. It’s not possible to change the metering mode or any of the image styles such as Creative Styles, Picture Profiles or Dynamic Range Optimisation styles.