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Alternatives to Useless PlayMemories

Discussion in 'Sony Chat' started by Likaleica1, Jul 19, 2015.

  1. Likaleica1

    Likaleica1 Member

    Just bought a Sony a5000 and enjoying the camera - but HATING the embedded PlayMemories software!
    It's a large, cumbersome, infuriating and counter-intuitive system in my view. Half the time it doesn't respond to simple commands such as "crop image" - GHASTLY!
    I'm using Windows 7 so I'd welcome advice on 1) Is there any other better software for downloading images from my camera 2) what is the most compatible, cheapest and most straightforward image editing software currently available?
    Thank you
  2. ZenTog

    ZenTog Well-Known Member

    the cheapest ie free is PICASA from Google - it even handles RAW files. Of course doing any editing in it is decidedly not the best (it compresses anything you save by 20% so not the best option), but it will get the photos from your memory card onto your computer perfectly fine and easily.

    Editing options - there is GIMP (PS opensource equivalent) - advantages- free and as fully functional as PS. Disadvantage - it's a little cumbersome and you have to download plugins to get all the functionality.

    Many photographers use Lightroom to edit and there is an opensource alternative called Darktable (Mac / Linux) . I'm not sure if there is a good alternative for Windows.

    Otherwise there are a range of cheaper alternatives - just Google it.
  3. Likaleica1

    Likaleica1 Member

    Thanks for that - my partner uses Picasa and she recommends it but I thought it was very outdated now......
    I'll have a search around.....
  4. SqueamishOssifrage

    SqueamishOssifrage Well-Known Member

    Sony have always had a poor reputation for the quality and useability of their software, and have changed their offering several times since I bought my two A850s. However, they have now, apparently, dumped their earlier packages, and provide Phase One's 'Capture One' software - for free! The initial download is for the free version of Capture One Express for Sony, and I reckon it has the best demosaicing software available, including the Adobe offerings.

    Initially, the package is a little daunting, but after playing around for a bit you will find the auto adjust setting which does a very good job of fixing various aberrations.

    After I had worked with the basic package for a week or so, I upgraded from Express to Pro, again, just for Sony, for the not-terribly-princely sum of €28.oo, mainly because it enables dual screen use.

    My opinion - for what it's worth - it is the best Sony raw software out there, and although it has its own idiosyncrasies, but with a bit of effort the results are well worth it.
  5. ZenTog

    ZenTog Well-Known Member

    Don't edit in PICASA! - but for file management, uploading, and getting photos from your memory card onto your computer it can't be beaten. It's free, easy to use and will do some quick edits / frames / effects if you aren't being too fussy and just remember to save the result as a new file not over your original one.
  6. Dorset_Mike

    Dorset_Mike Grumpy Old Fart

    To get images from card to PC I use Windoze Explorer, card in reader "select all" Copy - Control C, Paste - Control V (to a selected folder); straightforward file transfer.

    I use Picasa for initial viewing, keep or bin sorting, also use it for crop and straighten, don't save the modified version, just copy/paste to my editing software (hoping this avoids the compression problem mentioned elsewhere), I use the ancient Micrografx Picture Publisher, I've used it since version 2 in1992, now on V 10 from 2002/3 ish, still available as a free download, it does all I want, and at my age I don't fancy the learning curves for PS or GIMP. (or - "if it ain't broke why fix it?")


    Last edited: Jul 19, 2015
  7. MartyG

    MartyG Well-Known Member

    If you save edited images in Picasa, the software backs up the original in a hidden folder called ".picasaoriginals" and the edits in a hidden file called ".picasa.ini" so that they can be undone. So it's kind of non-destructive.

    Faststone Image Viewer is another free Picasa like organiser, slightly quicker I find, but with less editing stuff. It seems to handle later Nikon RAW files Picasa doesn't too (not that that will be a bother with your Sony).

    Lightroom is certainly worth the time and money though - free trial available via Adobe's website.
  8. quilkin

    quilkin Member

    Does anyone have experience of the PlayMemories app for remote control of a Sony camera from a phone? I'm planning to buy a Sony compact camera (with WiFi) and already have a Sony Xperia phone. I have read some reviews of the app in the app store but they're not encouraging.
  9. Steve52

    Steve52 Well-Known Member

    You could also try FastoneViewer which is also free. I've used it for all my Sony cameras.
  10. quilkin

    quilkin Member

    Thanks for replying, can you give me a web link for that? The only hits I get for a search are for a web conferencing program!
  11. Steve52

    Steve52 Well-Known Member

  12. quilkin

    quilkin Member

    Thanks, but I was looking for something to control the camera remotely (with a smartphone) rather than for managing/editing on a PC afterwards.

    BTW I recognise your avatar. Did you get any photos of King Crimson gigs?
  13. mike_j

    mike_j Well-Known Member

    Yes, I use it. It's not bad. I use it with an android nexus tablet on Sony A7 and A6000. Gives control of all the important things (f no. ISO, shutter, focus etc) and touch screen focus control from the tablet is good. Particularly effective with the A6000 kit power zoom lens. My only complaints are that there is a bit of a lag in taking the pic and it is all quite power hungry.

    You do need to read the instructions if you want to change focus zones, save in raw etc as the control for these is from within the app, not on the normal camera menu.
  14. quilkin

    quilkin Member

    Many thanks, Mike

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