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Wi-Fi and Apps (continued)

Currently, Sony offers the following eight apps for the NEX-6 in nineteen countries. The yellow links below will take you to the US app store. Further down this page we've picked out the most notable and explained them in more detail.

App Name Price Purpose
Smart Remote Control Free Use your iOS or Android smartphone to remotely release the shutter.
Direct Upload Free For uploading photos to Facebook or Sony's PlayMemories Online service.
Photo Retouch Free Lets you adjust the brightness, saturation, and contrast to photos you've taken. Also offers resizing, horizon correction, skin softening, and Auto Portrait Framing.
Picture Effect+ Free Offers enhanced Partial Color, Soft High-Key, Miniature, Toy Camera, Watercolor, and Illustration Picture Effects.
Bracket Pro $4.99 Allows you to bracket (two or three shots) focus and flash exposure. Conventional bracketing is also possible, using a simplified interface.
Multi Frame NR $4.99 Takes a series of photos at a designated ISO and layers them to reduce noise. See demo on this page.
Cinematic Photo $4.99 The camera takes a burst of images and combines them into a movie. You then select the area of the image that you want animated. The result is a still image with only the selected area moving.
Time-lapse $9.99 Select the file format (24p or 30p movies or stills), whether the self-timer is used, the interval between each shot, and the total number of photos to be taken. Time-lapse "themes" are available for shooting clouds, night scenes, stars, sunrise/sunsets, or using a miniature effect.

It's worth pointing out that these apps can take some time to load - a least five seconds in the case of time-lapse, and feel a bit sluggish at times when performing basic actions like scrolling through options within the apps. In addition, there are fewer menu options available when using an app than when you're not. For example, in time-lapse mode the Camera menu provides access to just AF mode and AF area, while the only thing you can adjust in the Brightness/Color menu is exposure compensation.

Smart Remote Control / Send to Smartphone

Your smartphone or tablet can interact in two different ways with the NEX-6. You can remotely release the shutter using your smartphone, or transfer photos to it from the camera. For both of these tasks you'll first need to download the PlayMemories Mobile app for iOS or Android. After a simple pairing of the two devices, you're ready to go.

Composing a photo remotely using Smart Remote Control is pretty similar to taking a picture using the built-in camera app on most smartphones. There are three options you can change in the app - EV, self-timer and a 'review check' feature to make sure the shot came out the way you wanted it to.

Smart Remote Control lets you preview an image on your smartphone or tablet's screen, and then release the shutter. The live view is a bit choppy, but is perfectly usable. A downsized version of the resulting photo is automatically transferred to your mobile device. There are three options you can set on the smartphone: exposure compensation, self-timer, and whether the image is automatically transferred. On the camera itself, just small subset of the menu system is available.

Once you've got the shots, you can select the photos you want to transfer to your smartphone using the PlayMemories Mobile app.

In playback mode, you can select the Send to Smartphone option in the menu system. Then, after opening the PlayMemories Mobile app, you'll be able to pull down photos from the camera to your mobile device, and then (perhaps) send them off to social networking sites or friends. Photos can be sent full size, or reduced to 2 Megapixels or VGA for easier handling.

Direct Upload

Another app that many people will probably use is Direct Upload. Right now, it's only set up to transfer photos to Facebook or Sony's PlayMemories Online service, though Sony representatives tell us that more options are coming soon.

After you've selected a photo, you can add a caption. This is the queue of images waiting to be uploaded.

Aside from the initial set-up, sharing photos with Direct Upload is relatively simple. You select the photos you want to share via a thumbnail interface, and then move on to the next screen, where you can add a caption. Once you've selected all of the photos you want to upload, you just select the destination album (at least for Facebook), hit upload, and you're done.

Time Lapse

The Time Lapse app adds a feature not found on previous Alpha SLT or NEX models. Once you load up the app you'll be presented with something resembling scene modes - presets for shooting clouds, night scenes, stars, sunrises, and sunsets. A miniature effect option is also available.

In the Time Lapse app you can adjust the file format, interval between shots, total number of shots, and whether the self-timer is used.

Once you've picked your scene, you can accept the default settings, or customize them to your liking. You can select the output format (24p or 30p video or just the stills), the interval between shots, total number of shots taken, and whether the self-timer is used.

A ten second time-lapse movie recorded using the Night Scene 'theme'

It's worth pointing out that the camera locks the exposure on the first shot, so if the lighting in your scene is going to change dramatically (such as the transition from day to night), you might not get the desired results. We took several time lapse sequences of sunset and once the sun went down, the scene became too dark. It would've been nice to have an option to turn exposure lock on or off.

Send to Computer

While not an app per se, the NEX-6's Send to Computer option is also worth a mention. To get this working, you first need to install PlayMemories Home on your Windows PC or Wireless Auto Import on your Mac. A quick sync over USB will get the computer and camera on the same page.

After that, with the camera and computer connected to the same wireless network, just select 'Send to Computer' from the NEX's playback menu, and all of your photos will be sent over to your computer. The only options you can select on the computer side are 1) where the photos will be saved and 2) whether AVCHD video is converted to MPEG-4 (Mac only). Note that unlike the send to smartphone app, you cannot send pictures individually using the 'send to computer' option. You have no choice but to send everything you've shot.

What's Missing?

One surprising omission from the NEX's connected feature set is the ability to e-mail photos. Naturally, you could pull the photos onto your smartphone and do it from there, but it seems like an easy enough feature to have included on the camera itself, and one that is almost ubiquitous in similarly connected cameras.

Another thing that would've been nice is the ability to send one (or a selected group) of photos to your Mac or PC, using the 'send to computer' function instead of all of them. Finally, as you've already read, those of us in the DPReview offices really wish the NEX-6 had a touchscreen - it would make doing some things - especially working with the connection options and apps - so much easier. Hopefully Sony will incorporate this feature into whatever replaces the NEX-6.

Overall, when it comes to adding apps to the NEX-6, some folks may be a bit put off by having to pay extra for certain camera features, especially after spending upwards of $750 for the hardware. Even without them, the NEX-6 is a great-value product, but this whole apps effort looks like an experiment on Sony's part, and one that we can't help being a little cynical about. Some people will never use a function like multi-frame NR, and the same applies to focus and flash bracketing, but charging extra - even if it's just a token amount - for these features doesn't sit well with us. Time will tell how Sony's customers respond.

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Comments

Total comments: 30
Galbertson
By Galbertson (4 months ago)

Maybe an old subject...has anyome fhotshoe adapter to allow 3.5...or 2.5 mic jack other than sonys on
Y external microphone?

0 upvotes
RichMack55
By RichMack55 (4 months ago)

Which camera would compete well with the nex 6..?
Any opinions greatly appreciated.

I originally wanted to invest in a canon 700 d ( just missed out on a greal deal on the 600d ) but the fact tthat the viewfinder is optical swayed me.

Is there an all round dslr for amatuers coming from a bridge version with the following...
EVF.
Decent lens ( perhaps a Compact system type ) mid range 18-55mm or a little more
High ISO
Lighweight
Flip screen, preferably one which can actually swivel round to take portraits...
Touch screen is NOT necessary
And of course a decent battery which the camera makes tend to overlook...
I feel Canon have lost sight where Nikon is concerned whereas Sony and Lumix seem to have come a long way and are doing what Olympus did in the 70s and the 80s...
Again, any thoughts on the above..?

0 upvotes
RichMack55
By RichMack55 (4 months ago)

I am just about to purchase this camera on the basis that I can return it within 15 days if unhappy...
I thought I had done my homework when decidng on the nex 6 but I am unable to find out if it is possible to override the function of having the screen on.
It seems that the EVF switches on automatically when you place your eye close up to the corner of the camera ( thrus the screen goes off...) and the screen does the same when you move away from the EVF.

To my surprise there is quite a 'waste' of battery time...
Living in a sunny country means the use of an EVF is much more practical.

Can anyone give any tips on how to make the battery last longer.
Ideally, taking three on trips is practical. An external charger is wise too.
And the pc method when on the go is practical as well. Nevertheless, total control over the screeen makes sense nowadays.
I share your point too photosym. That does not make sense as a selling / marketing point. Is this the case with most sony cameras??

0 upvotes
photosym
By photosym (5 months ago)

I don't know who designed this camera, but it certainly wasn't an active photographer. It would be a superb machine, but there's a massive design flaw. You can't use the self timer or an electronic shutter release when in HDR or Auto bracketing modes. Absolutely crazy!!! I've been in touch with Sony and they don't have any plans for a firmware update. I'm not sure if this applies to other Nex or Sony models, but be aware. This is the last Sony camera I will buy, I'll stick to Canon or Fuji in the future.

1 upvote
GirusVirus
By GirusVirus (5 months ago)

I agree with you photosym. This would be a great camera, but it is really useless in the respect of remote control bracketed photography. The remote control is useless when you can't have timers, and other manual settings. It is a shame.

0 upvotes
Herbert001
By Herbert001 (2 months ago)

I just bought a Sony nex 6. What a amazing camera. Yes you can use HDR and Auto Bracketing with a remote. At list via wifi with my android phone and ipad. Better than the Leica M digital. With more options. As a reporter I love this camera.

0 upvotes
zblues
By zblues (5 months ago)

Appears from the manual no input jack for an external mic attached to the shoe for this camera. Will use the new mic on the Nikon 5100.

0 upvotes
zblues
By zblues (5 months ago)

I ordered the new SHURE VP83F LensHopper Camera-Mounted Condenser Microphone with Integrated Flash Recording for this camera and it's std size shoe mount to record and video shoot indoor stage Band performances.

Anybody else tried an external mic mounted to this camera.

0 upvotes
rodoki
By rodoki (7 months ago)

I just unboxed my Sony alpha Nex6 a few minutes ago.
I have several Panasonic Lumix's and a Canon Rebel.
The Sony, however, is the first camera I've encountered whereby I cannot simply recharge the battery in a compact charger!
Instead I have to connect a wire from the camera into the charger and thence into a wall socket meaning I cannot have second backup battery.
If I'm on vacation I can't simply leave a battery charging at a hotel room and go out and use my camera with a second battery.
I have to leave the WHOLE camera behind to charge!
Am I missing something here? It seems VERY odd.

1 upvote
ManInTheStars
By ManInTheStars (7 months ago)

you can buy original sony charger, I have it but i leave hotel with both batteries charged anyway :) in-camera charging is also great, do your all previous cameras have such feature?

1 upvote
jeremyclarke
By jeremyclarke (6 months ago)

+1, I wish Canon and others would add this feature. While external chargers are vital for certain uses (long trips with brief access to power for example) internal chargers are WAY more convenient. Just bring a USB cord and your iPhone's USB->power adapter and you can plug in your camera to suck some juice whenever you have the chance.

I certainly don't hear people complaining about how the batteries in their phones work these days, we just need to get used to the same thing with cameras (especially the "grab some juice while you can" part, don't wait for it to empty out!)

1 upvote
jeremyclarke
By jeremyclarke (6 months ago)

Just to update this, I didn't realize that you can't use the camera at all while it's charging (mentioned in an Amazon review). That's a very tedious element of this equation if it's true. I can imagine a LOT of situations where I'd want to review photos, make picks or just mess around with the camera while charging it.

It should "work like your phone" like I said in the comment above, if you can't use it while it's charging that's not like a phone. Of course, it IS like every camera previously if you only own one battery ;)

Comment edited 44 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
MotoP
By MotoP (5 months ago)

Any number of aftermarket and also (expensive but sure) Sony's spare battery and chargers will add external charging and spare batteries. Safe reliable aftermarket ones are not that expensive and will provide a much more convenient way to refresh the power than with having only one battery. I usually have up to 3-4 batteries always on hand for any primary cameras, two of which are always on the charger during vacations.

I guess in this market for consumer price wars, Sony can't include expensive batteries in the original bundles, at cut-rate prices, nor confuse the ever impatient general consumer who just wants things simple?

0 upvotes
photosym
By photosym (5 months ago)

You're correct, it's very odd and another fudge by Sony.

0 upvotes
Kurnia Lim
By Kurnia Lim (5 months ago)

LOL I love charging direct to camera, and yes we need to buy extra external charger, but you can just buy cheap chinese charger for around 10-15 USD, with that I can charge 2 battery at the same times, and also I can charge with powerbank when it need.

0 upvotes
coolboy
By coolboy (8 months ago)

Hi!
Can anyone please explain me if I can add an PANASONIC 20mm f1.7 II pancake to this camera? Is it fully compatible?

Thanks

0 upvotes
john Clinch
By john Clinch (8 months ago)

No that lens is microfour thirds only. This only takes NEX lenses. That is Sony E-mount

0 upvotes
MotoP
By MotoP (5 months ago)

Direct mounting is only with SONY E-Mount Lenses, however you have the option to add a LA-EA2 or LA-EA4 adapter to use any Sony A-mount lenses with full Auto Focus features intact. This is also true for all AF Minolta Lenses that use the A-mount as well.

Also, with aftermarket mounting adapter solutions, almost any SLR lenses can be used with MANUAL focus. Canon lenses can operate with some adapters with limited AF functions as well.

Comment edited 52 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Flower girl
By Flower girl (1 month ago)

Can I use my canon 18-200 on the sony . Has anyone done it and how does it handle?

0 upvotes
kastaldi
By kastaldi (9 months ago)

I bought the RX100 and now I miss the viewfinder of my old P60. A movable screen would also be useful. What a pity...

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
esad
By esad (9 months ago)

@dpreview.com: As you know, the performance of a camera depends very much on the quality of the lens. What lens did you use to test the NEX-6, please? I couldn´t find any hints in the article.

2 upvotes
LJS
By LJS (10 months ago)

I personally do not agree about adding a touchscreen to the NEX line of cameras. I simply don't like touchscreen and I know a lot of people that feel the same way.

2 upvotes
kreislauf
By kreislauf (9 months ago)

sure your do. sure you do.
but fact is, navigating is easier with a touchscreen.

4 upvotes
jeremyclarke
By jeremyclarke (6 months ago)

Seriously what an odd thing to be worried about. As long as you can disable it why deny it to those who would find it helpful?

0 upvotes
MotoP
By MotoP (5 months ago)

Providing a touchscreen, with the ability to enable/disable will meet 100% of user preferences no? ;) Instead of battling opinions on if it should be there or not? I think that's what the review implies...

0 upvotes
Gabriel Yeo
By Gabriel Yeo (10 months ago)

Sony continues without fail, to make ugly-looking cameras.

2 upvotes
FRANCISCO ARAGAO
By FRANCISCO ARAGAO (10 months ago)

You are joking, right?

13 upvotes
Henderson May
By Henderson May (8 months ago)

this is subjective

2 upvotes
nanajan
By nanajan (11 months ago)

Just want to know if Sony Nex-6 had a time and date feature. I have looked through all the materials and have not seen it.

0 upvotes
A V Cole
By A V Cole (11 months ago)

As it takes RAW files all of these details will be on the file along with shutter speed, aperture used etc.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 30