Sony Updates Remote Camera SDK for Better Drone Functionality

An aerial view of a winding road in the forest.

Fans of Sony cameras who also practice their photo/video craft with drones have a new development to look forward to.

The camera tech giant will be updating its remote camera SDK (software development kit) to include new features that are handy for drone piloting.

Sony announced this software update alongside its announcement of a new and rather distinct camera for drones called the ILX-LR1 that the company is also releasing. We cover the camera release in detail here.

Moving back to the SDK, it will now let users remotely operate drones too and not just Sony cameras from a computer as is the case so far.

With its pre-update settings, the Sony SDK lets a user remotely modify the settings on supported cameras, take photos, start and stop video, and also watch live views. Sony’s site for the SDK provides a list of all its features.

The first update for this software development kit will go into effect on September 13th as version 1.10, followed by a November update called version 1.11.

Between the two of them, Sony will introduce features for inspection and survey drone work as well as e-commerce features and video shooting uses.

Other aspects of the two updates will be the SDK’s ability to work better with Sony’s recently-released a7R C and a7C II cameras (via version 1.10) and support for the brand’s new ILX-LR1 camera through update version 1.11.

Sony has a full list of supported cameras on its website, here.

Sony's new a7C R camera

Sony’s new a7C R is one of the camera supported by the new software versions.

Sony’s new updates will add support for the brand’s “Focus Positioning Setting” for remote acquisition of a current focus position and sending focus to an arbitrary position according to Sony.

The brand is also adding the ability to acquire focal length information through the update versions. Sony claims this to be a feature many users have asked for.

Users of supported Sony cameras will also be able to use an expanded photo and video capture menu through the updates and will be able to shoot at intervals or adjust autofocus tracking sensitivity remotely.

One last bonus of this update is task completion notifications.

Sony adds,

“Event notification such as video recording start/stop and ‘Focus Position Setting’ completion to enable high-speed, remote command processing. In addition, status acquisition, such as during media writing, is expanded so that the system can efficiently organize workflows by understanding the camera status,”

Many of the above features will be useful for drone operation with Sony cameras and will be free to download from their dedicated web page. This is where you can find the updates as they emerge on September 13th and in November.

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Shotkit Journalist, Writer & Reviewer

Stephan Jukic is a technology and photography journalist and experimental photographer who spends his time living in both Canada and Mexico. He loves cross-cultural street photo exploration and creating fine art photo compositions.

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