New Apps Available for NEX-5R and NEX-6

Sony has made two new applications available for cameras that accept them (NEX-5R, NEX-6) in their PlayMemories store. The apps are Time-lapse (US$10), and Cinematic Photo (US$5).

Time-lapse does what you think: it adds a time-lapse feature (which many cameras just have built-in). There are some nice aspects to the app, as you can choose to assemble a 24 fps or 30 fps video or just compile the individual stills.


But note the confusing bottom. It's trying to tell you what you've set and the implications of that. Why not just have two lines, the first of which says "X shots taken every Y seconds = Z seconds playback"? And then "Takes H:MM:SS to capture the sequence." We have engineers trying to write user interface information that's understandable, so we get confusing terms like "Duration." Is that the duration of the final result, or the duration that it takes to capture the sequence?

This is actually one of the reasons why I want Sony to open up the API to outside developers. Some of us have experience in attention to such details. Plus we have an imagination, too. Where are the "ease in" and "ease out" options? Where are the fade and exposure options? I've got some time-lapse apps on my iPhone that just blow this one away in terms of capabilities and options, and they don't cost US$10.

Technically, what Sony has presented is an intervalometer that can compile into a video output, not a true and complete time-lapse application. Still, it's better than nothing. But why do we have to pay US$10 for that on these cameras when the same thing is available free on other cameras?

The Cinematic Photo application is more interesting in that it does something that we haven't seen on another camera yet (though Nikon's Motion Snapshot in the Nikon 1 models is a relative). Basically it combines a still and a video taken together (it's actually a very fast sequence of stills used to mimic video). You then outline the area of the still in which you want the video to be used instead of the still. So you end up with a "video" that's a still, but with some parts of it moving.

You actually have to think a bit about this capability before you try to shoot it. It works best when you have isolated motion in the foreground against a fixed background. If you have both a foreground and background in motion, it gets tougher to pick an area to animate that doesn't give itself away and ruin the effect (e.g. part of the background moves, but not all of it).

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