Sony App Store: Let the Convergence Begin

by Hugh Brownstone3 Comments

It was only a matter of time before camera manufacturers took a page from Apple’s app business model.

The little-and-cheap-but-astoundingly-good Sony a6000 I bought in December was missing a couple of things I’d like (mic and headphone jacks being first among them), but it also came with some stuff I could care less about, like their PlayMemories Camera App store.

Especially after THE INTERVIEW and Sony’s hacking episode.

Still, I subsequently had an“a-ha” moment: if today Sony has an app store with a total of eight non-essential beta apps for the a6000 (though the Motion shot app looks cool), why couldn’t it have robust production apps that would dramatically improve it? Why NOT have a false color app? Or an app that turns a port into a headphone jack – after all, Magic Lantern does just that? Or unlock the sensor to create 4K footage (which is precisely what Sony has done with their FS700)?


OK, maybe that last one has hardware implications (like overheating).

But you get my point.

Canon is even further behind than Sony, but they’ve got a toe in the water, too, with their EOS Remote.

What if one of the camera manufacturers got serious about this?

Oh, wait – apertus°, with its open source Axiom camera and its collaboration with the Magic Lantern community, already is. Kind of.

But what if one of the majors (Canon, or Sony, or Panasonic, or Nikon – or even someone else) recognized the opportunity that the proprietary version of this business model represents? Which is: lock in its customers by adding real value at incredibly affordable price points through proprietary apps, and be – constantly – on the pulse of the marketplace?

After all, it’s only a matter of time before adapters like the Metabones evolve to offer usable cross-platform autofocus, and the Micro Four Thirds consortium is already in place — so manufacturers really do need something else to prevent the complete disintegration of brand loyalty.

And asking us to buy new cameras every year or two is untenable – unless we downsize each time and pocket the change, which I’m currently doing and enjoying enormously.

What would your top 5 app wish list include, for which camera?

(cover photo credit: snap from Sony)

Hugh Brownstone

Hugh Brownstone

Hugh is the founder of Three Blind Men and An Elephant Productions. He and the team write, direct, shoot, score, and edit web-centric films; conduct photo shoots; and write copy, white papers and blog posts. Hugh also writes screenplays (he recently optioned a TV pilot) and just published his first eBook (Apple's iPhone: The Next Video Revolution). If it's about telling stories, it's in their wheelhouse.

And always with the ambition of authenticity, humanity and wit.
Hugh Brownstone


  1. I wish the Sony Play Memories App could somehow support remote control of video on the A6000. I was really bummed out to discover that although on other cameras it remotely controls video shooting, on the A6000 that is not the case. Anybody know of a hack or work-around to remedy this?

  2. wa1den Agreed. I suspect that what Sony really needs to do is buy a good app developer.   It’s a tall order to expect that they’re going to get this (app development) right on their own in a relevant timeframe.

  3. HughBrownstone wa1den I’m wondering if it’s due to what the did with the record button on it. Perhaps hardware wise they didn’t tie that button into the system adequately to be controlled remotely (stupid move, if so). On the other hand, there are some programmable buttons, I believe, so I wonder if a way could be found to re-assign the record function to somewhere else and get it to work. Being able to control the recording of movies remotely via a smartphone app would be great for bloggers & podcasters & other super-low-budget types (such as myself) who are hard-put to add all the necessary additional peripheral devices needed to do a more “professional” approach. But having control via a smartphone app would be a great way to be a “one-man band”, and record your self-shot stuff without needing additional help from a second person. Hopefully someone who understands the camera sufficiently may suggest a viable work-around to accomplish it. (oh – and, thanks for the reply!)

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