Did you know that you can control a Sony camera wirelessly from an app on another device? Sony’s Camera Remote API beta SDK includes all the tools that you need to create innovative remote control apps for many Sony cameras, including Sony action cameras, interchangeable lens cameras and lens style cameras. Why not create the remote viewfinder app to get professional looking group shots, even though you’re not behind the camera yourself?
To get started developing, the first thing to do is to download the Camera Remote API beta SDK from our sister site Sony Developer World and open the sample code. Then you follow the steps further down in this post to connect and discover the camera and to call the APIs.
The Camera Remote API beta SDK opens up for a number of innovative use cases, such as:
- Zoom control
- Remote viewfinder
- Self-timer settings
- Still image capture
- Recording start and stop
The Camera Remote API is platform agnostic, and uses JSON-RPC over HTTP, which means that you can develop applications for any platform such as Android, iOS or Microsoft Windows. The actual Camera Remote API beta SDK comes with sample code, a developer guide and API specifications to make it easy for you to get started.
The Camera Remote API beta is supported by a large number of Sony cameras, and we are adding more devices on a regular basis. See the Camera Remote API Supported devices page at Sony Developer World for a full list of devices. Here you can also learn more about how to develop for Sony cameras.
Start to develop
To get to know the Camera Remote API beta, we strongly encourage you to try out the sample code and have a look at the API references. In this case the sample code is called CameraRemote SampleApp, and it uses the Camera Remote API to show how to discover the camera and enable a remote viewfinder on your phone.
1. Establish a one-to-one connection
Once you have downloaded the Camera Remote API beta SDK, start by enabling the remote control function on your camera so that it can act as an access point. Then you connect your phone or tablet to that access point and input the password that is displayed on the camera or described in the manuals.
Your remote device (the phone or tablet) will now establish a one-to-one connection with the camera over Wi-Fi, which means that your app will start working as a client.
2. Discover the camera with SSDP
Any camera supporting the Camera Remote API can be discovered using SSDP (Simple Service Device Protocol). Your app can receive the URL’s endpoint as well as information about supported functionalities via device discovery.
Learn more about how to discover the camera in the development guide and the sample code that are included in the Camera Remote API beta SDK zip.
3. Call the APIs
After the camera has been discovered, your app will be able to send JSON data to the camera’s endpoint URL by HTTP POST. When the client has called an API it will receive a response from the camera.
More information about the APIs is available in the API reference document that is included in the Camera Remote API beta SDK zip.
4. Add a description
When you have created your app and are about to upload it to Google Play, Apple App Store or any other app store, please remember to include the following string in the description (for example at the bottom on its own line):
Camera Remote API by Sony
API features coming soon
The Camera Remote API beta will be expanded with new API features for the Lens Style Cameras DSC-QX100 and DSC-QX10 during the spring of 2014, to include shutter speed functionality, white balance, ISO settings and more. Stay tuned to Sony Developer World for further updates going forward. What use cases do you see for this API? Drop us a comment and let us know.