Sony releases four PlayMemories apps in beta


posted Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 3:00 PM EDT


For the first time, Sony has opted to release a set of PlayMemories apps in beta, giving the general public a chance to play with them before they get their final layer of polish. The four apps are available free, and for people who have an NEX-6, NEX-5R, on NEX-5T, it's an excellent opportunity to get this functionality gratis—with the usual caveat that it's in beta, so might not be 100% functional yet.

The quartet of apps are SnapShot Me, ID Photo, Catch Light, and Stop Motion. Here's how Sony described the apps in a press release:

Snapshot Me ensures better pictures when you hand the camera to someone else. Everyone knows the frustration of asking a fellow tourist for help when you’re standing in front of the Eiffel Tower. Pictures often come out wonky and badly-framed, but Snapshot Me makes life easier with a guide frame on the camera that helps other people place you correctly in the frame. The app can also switch the camera to burst shooting mode, so there’s less chance of being caught out with closed eyes when your fellow sightseer releases the shutter at the wrong moment.

Stop Motion helps budding animators create fun time-lapse movies. When you have decided on the subject matter of your movie and taken your shots, the app will bring them together to create a highly impactful film.

ID Photo takes the hassle – and expense – out of producing valid identity photos for your driving license or passport. Just choose from a preset ID photo format and paper size, or specify your own custom dimensions. Then take your picture and print it.[iii]

You can see it in their eyes: Catch Light adds extra sparkle to portraits of friends and family with a bright, white highlight that looks like the reflection of daylight or a flash in your subject’s pupils. It’s completely automatic – choose the photo that you wish to enhance and the camera identifies faces in the frame and touches up the image by adding a realistic-looking glint to your sitter’s eyes.

Of the lot, ID Photo seems immediately the most useful. Taking ID photos for various applications can be frustrating and expensive, thanks to varying requirements for photo dimensions. By automating it with an in-camera app, Sony could make the process far more painless.

Each of the app's pages also includes a survey, where you can submit feedback, and apparently were created when the Sony engineers were tasked to "invent new camera features they’d always wanted themselves."

We'll see if the beta path works for Sony, but for some shooters, these added functions will doubtless come in handy!

(via PhotographyBlog)