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A7/A7R: USB tethering should save to card, not force download

by StefanQ Rookie on ‎01-08-2014 05:32 AM

Currently, with Remote Camera Control version 3.2, I am forced to download the captured image to the PC. This costs time and does not allow quick successive shots.


Please add an option to the PC software to allow saving the image to the memory card only without having to download to the PC.

by Hawaii-Geek Professional
on ‎01-09-2014 12:58 AM



I have a A7r  + Sony Z   Android.


See that option on WIFI  Android  on the Smartphone.


But also CANNOT see that Option (to not SAVE on PC) on the  PC  download version of remote Camera Control.


Interesting , I cannot see Live View on the PC remote

by StefanQ Rookie
on ‎01-09-2014 01:33 AM



thanks for the confirmation; if you have the time, I'd be grateful for the following test:

1) Set your A7R to "PC remote" and start Remote Camera Control

2) Set capture parameters

3) What happens if you press the shutter button on the camera itself? Does that save the image to the card? With no download to PC?


If so, I could work around the issue by using the IR or wired remote control (i.e. set parameters via USB tethering, but capture by IR). This would also prove that in "PC remote" mode saving to card is actually implemented in the camera's firmware, so the issue is just a missing feature in Remote Camera Control.


(sorry, I don't have an A7 yet, so I can't try myself - this missing feature is quite a deal-breaker for my application)





by Hawaii-Geek Professional
on ‎01-09-2014 11:28 PM

Aloha StefanQ,


I just tried  the shoot from the Camera.


It does what I have seen on Nikon  sends the file to the Computer , and does not even send a copy to the Camera.

I hear Canon can send a copy to the Camera card and to the computer.

Was told by Adobe  in Lightroom they could not save to camera and to computer on Nikon  because of the Nikon camera API (or something to that effect)


When I am tethering via USB  ... I prefered that the file be sent to the Computer.  (or both computer and camera ... backup)

Normally I send to my Lightroom "Watched" folder ... so, it would be Automatically Imported into Lightroom. and PoP up Full Screen ... of a simple  Filmstrip with my company LOGO.  which you can do in Lightroom.


When I fire from the camera ... I would "just" have Lightroom OPEN on my Laptop  ... so, it is "like" I am  Tethering from inside Lightroom.  Smiley Happy


* another option , is to use the  Smartphone APP   Remote Control   ....   it lets you see what the camera sees.   and you can have it  only SAVE  to the Camera.  This is Powerful because you have walk aroundwith your smartphone in HAND.      It does show a review shot on your smartphone but  you can "choose"  not put it into the gallery.


IF I was going to  save only to the camera ...  probably would choose this way.   It gives you UN-teathered control.   


this is my LINK to the  post I did , with a sample pic:




I have used it twice ... once on New Years to  take Fireworks shots.   Tripod on the side, away from me.  My smartphone on the table I was sitting at.    the WIFI  connection was SOLID both times I used it.  to a Sony Experia Z smartphone.  




by StefanQ Rookie
on ‎01-10-2014 01:42 AM



I am shocked to hear this - maybe I'm spoiled by Canon. Thanks for trying that out for me, that's very valuable information. With Canon, you can remotely set the "capture target" via USB, which may be the card or internal memory (for subsequent download).


I agree that the most common application for tethered shooting is download-and-view. I have a different requirement for remote control, we're currently using Canon 5D Mark III's for that. We need to quickly capture images at various settings (both shutter speed and ISO are changed programmatically, as well as metadata-related settings). Any download of image data would just slow capture down unacceptably. We can't use that.


As for WiFi, we can't really use that either, as WiFi tends to be unreliable in spots where the frequencies are crowded (try WiFi at a major trade show). Moreover, we need to operate in environments where WiFi is plain forbidden or controlled (e.g. offshore platforms, power plants).


Great fireworks shot, btw :-)


@Sony: Allowing "tethered save to card" would allow using your A7/A7R for certain industrial applications. Our volume would be about 25 pcs/year.


Thanks again,



by StefanQ Rookie
on ‎01-10-2014 01:45 AM more idea:


If capture and download could be overlapped, that would also be workable. Can you press shutter release on the camera itself in quick succession, before the first download has finished? So you get a number of quick captures with the corresponding downloads finishing later?




by Hawaii-Geek Professional
on ‎01-16-2014 02:39 AM


Just tested this.

Ran it on USB2  even though I do have usb3, and wire.

i7 24gig ram , two SSD drives and 3tb seagate X 7200rpm on Win7 64bit.

reason is I run the Sony Remote download to my watched Lightroom folder.

I configured the A7r to SPEED PRIORITY , in RAW  ... it fires off pretty fast.


1)  From the camera , there seems to be NO lag.  It's pretty quick and it basically kept going.  I just went as far as 10 consecutive frames.  I don't think this would be limiting.  It seemed to keep fireing as the download was happening.


2) Now when FIREing from the Computer.   It fired off a Burst (still in SPEED PRIORITY)   or two  and it felt ok,  but then the response was not there consistantly.  Remember we are talking 36mp RAWS.

imho, under normal use it was ok.  SAF   did not feel limiting to me.  but note this was just a quick test.


fyi: by the time I was finish with this quick test I ended up with 50 RAW shots in my Lightroom gallery.




by StefanQ Rookie
on ‎01-16-2014 11:34 PM



where is that kudos button? You certainly deserve a dozen of them if I only could!


That's cool with the overlapping of captures and downloads. I think I need to get my hands on an A7 soon, and see if your findings would make a workable solution for our application.


Kind regards,



by Hawaii-Geek Professional
on ‎01-17-2014 02:53 AM

Aloha StefanQ,


Smiley Happy   ... Thank you !


Glad I could be of help.

All I did is run it on what I "had in front of me".  and I was a little curious myself.  lol


Totally understand  ... when you are trying to make a buy for a  Commercial application. You got to have it do at Minimum what you did BEFORE. 


imho,  you will be amazed at the size and quality of the files and FE ZA lens.  (note I said FE ZA lens)

You will not have a  Image Quality  issue ... even vs the  5D mk III.  

But, I am speaking of  the A7r and the same file size match ups (so the A7r 36mp needs a size down).

Have shot with the A7 too.  But being a Nikon D800/e shooter  ... my preferance for Commercial work is the A7r.     And it's really not  much slower than the A7.    for me I am used to the 36mp files already.


Hint:  there is benifits to the Higher Res.   beyond just  printing large.   Look at what the new phones will be doing ...  the Nokia 808, 1020  ... and the Sony Z1  ...  and downsampling for better IQ.          That is going to happen more and more in the Future ...   and in a future will be Accepted. 


The Limit is How Fast the Computer's and camera Processors can be ... and how Cheap the Hard Disks will get.  ...  and you know that's going to happen. Smiley Happy


p.s.  HAVING  THE ABILITY  TO SAVE TO   "IN CAMERA" CARD ...  AND ... SEND OUT  VIA TETHERING  IS VERY , VERY USEFUL.    And should not be only a Canon Feature. Smiley Happy      I am just saying.

SONY  "could" change that.


I was a little bothered by that with Nikon ...   

Problem is,  Only PRO's would notice     ... or be bothered by it.




by inomorethansony Specialist
on ‎05-14-2014 10:30 AM

Unfortunately, when Sony purchased Minolta they didn't bring in Minolta photographers/engineers on board.

Nor look at ATG & Canon wireless transfer systems or tethered systems that have live-view onto p.c.


Sony will not provide you with the answer nor the solutions.

Sony did not expect many beginners & budget photographers to be that advanced.


There are no supports on the following:

1. CAN NOT save on card when shooting still images.

2. CAN NOT save on p.c when shooting videos.

3. CAN NOT do live-view to p.c, although it has live-view on OVF or LCD at turn on.

    Without live-view by tethered or wirelessly, then Sony Remote Camera Control is just a little bit better

    than using Adobe Lightroom.  

    But it is a MUST for shooting videos so one can make camera settings on a p.c.

    A monitor is usless because it can't be calibrated nor change camera settings.

4. CAN NOT view large images by tethered after the shot.

5. Sony DO NOT have anything to shoot wireless RAW/JPEG to p.c.


Sony rather sell their cameras to beginners and people with college degrees to use and enjoy that they love to upgrade camera body every 4 to 6 years.


If you are a pro, you sure want those shots to be able to save on card, card/pc or pc.



by StefanQ Rookie
on ‎10-15-2015 02:45 AM
Hi, I am the original poster of this question. I have not been following progress lately. Does anybody know if there is a change in the described behaviour? The issue was that USB tethered capture forces downloading the image data, instead of allowing to save to card. This slows down the capture process and makes the complete line of Sony cameras useless for my remote control application. Canon and Nikon are much faster in that respect. Intended behaviour is: 1. USB tethered capture should not force image data download, instead should save RAW and/or JPEG to card 2. It should be possible to change capture parameters while the previous image is being saved 3. It should be possible to capture another image while the previous image is being saved Essentially, the process of saving image data should not impede USB communication in any way, it should be possible to change parameters and capture images in quick succession. This is critically needed for wide-dynamic-range HDR images with exposure/ISO-bracketed individual shots. (As a side note, the USB protocol should be open and documented, WiFi is not the solution in an industrial or controlled IT environment. I need a wired connection.).
by wlp100 Enthusiast
on ‎02-04-2016 01:47 AM

I do not think, that Sony did, or will change their firmware to provide a 'save to card' function while tethered via USB. If you are looking for a tool, that provides a robust USB tethering including live preview and the option to automate HDR settings please check the Google Play store for the rccdroid app.

by vacky11 Enthusiast
on ‎10-03-2017 02:42 PM

Any update on this issue?
Is there a way to control sony camera alpha to take picture and save the image on sd card?

by MKLWong Rookie
on ‎03-04-2018 03:57 PM

StefanQ: I was looking into the issue just now and could not see a single option in the menu relating to saving to SD card. Also just checked firmware site, no new firmware released since mine version either.


So in a word, no support for save to SD card on A7S2 in tether mode yet.


However, the A9 supports that function.

by StefanQ Rookie
on ‎03-04-2018 11:20 PM

Hi MKLWong,


thank you for pointing out the additional option on the A9, that's some progress. Unfortunately, that does not solve my problem. There is a "Camera only" option missing. For my application, downloading to PC does not make any sense, but a fast capture sequence and fast settings changes between captures are a necessity. This is not possible with a forced download of the image.


As much as we'd like to use Sony mirrorless products, we'll have to stay with Canon (which has the required functionality) until this has been addressed.