Send Sony XAVC 4kVideo File Transfer to Iphone, Ipad i-os Devices

Let me show you how to quickly, easily and simply transfer video to an IOS device from a mirrorless camera like Sony A7III, Sony a6600, Sony A7Riv or even the later version likes the Sony a6400, a6500, a6300, or A7Rii, A7rii.

For some reason, it can get difficult to QUICKLY and easily transfer the XAVC video files from Sony over to the IOS devices.  Sony provides a way that they document here, but it’s very slow, it doesn’t work well, and it takes FOREVER.‍

So don’t try transferring your Sony video files through the wireless connection and sony app. Truly, the official way DOES NOT WORK WELL.

Hilariously, Apple’s resources to transfer the files are lacking as well. Reddit has some decent sony video to IOS threads here and here,, but none of them are as helpful as my new resource.

The New (for 2020) best way to transfer Video Files to an IOS Device.

Different ways to transfer the Sony Video Files to the IOS devices like an Iphone or Ipad.

Fastest Way to Transfer the XAVC Video Files from a Sony Alpha Camera to Ipad, Iphone or IOS Device:

The fastest way to get your Sony Alpha Mirrorless video files, which are in a unique , video compression codec called XAVC, which is proprietary to Sony.

Sony’s official documentation tells you to use the Ios app and wirelessly transfer video and photo files.  The wireless connection is good for sending Photos, but the Sony play app and wireless connection is not good for sending the large video files in 1080p or 2160p. It takes forever.

What works best is to use a hard wired transfer system.  There are two ways to use a physical location, using either an Apple SD Card reader, or the USB to Thunderbolt connector.
The key to doing either the thunderbolt USB or SD card method, is that you CANNOT transfer the files using the Apple Photos app. You must transfer the files using the “files” app in IOS, which is actually pretty new.

5dbd8c9715cb7ff0839ed579 My Post Copy
5dbd8c9715cb7ff0839ed579 My Post Copy

You must use “files”, not the “photos” app to transfer Sony Files VIA USB camera connection OR the SD Card Method.

Step 1 – Purchase the official Apple SD Card Reader at my affiliate link here. OR you can use the thunderbolt to USB adapter and hook the camera up.

NOTE – about using the USB adapter:

If you use the USB adapter to plug the Sony camera into your IPAD or Iphone or even ipod, you will need to first head into the camera’s usb setttings and TURN OFF THE USB POWER. If you don’t turn off the USB power in the sony camera settings, you’ll get an error that says “device uses too much power” and it won’t work.  But once the USB power is turned off, it will work.  The other thing, is you’ll need to have it set to MASS STORAGE on the USB setting.

5dbc8ce1997f9870c5275790 SD Card Reader
5dbc8ce1997f9870c5275790 SD Card Reader

Step 2 – Plug it into the Iphone, Ipad, or IOS Device

Step 3 – Open the Files App

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Files app used to transfer the Sony Video Files from the Sony A7iii Alpha Mirrorless Cameras

Step 4 – Plug in the SD Card and go to the Drive, it’s usually “untitled”.  You’ll see it plug in and out.

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5dbc8d59d2d6263495c953e3 IMG 2644

Step 5 – After getting to your folder with the Sony Alpha camera video files, hit the select button.

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5dbc8dd1d2d626a99dc9575e IMG 2645

Step 6 – Select the Image and then hit share button in the lower left corner.

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5dbc8e2b8c248c2784ed8269 IMG 2646

Step 7 – Hit Save to Files, because at the time of my article, for some reason, without first saving it to a location on the phone through the “Save to files” function, it never get’s onto the phone and you’re not able to transfer the sony video files into the Iphone photos app.

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5dbc8e4bee7844cbead3333f IMG 2647

Step 8 – choose a folder to send the Sony video file to, then hit the save button. How long does it take to transfer files to the Iphone or IOS device using the SD card reader? I found that a 200 meg file took about 10 seconds, and a 700mb to 1 GB, file took about 30 seconds. This is pretty much on par with what a computer would do, so that’s kind of encouraging.

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5dbc8ea0ee7844b433d33674 IMG 2648

Step 9 – Hit browse and head back to the root directory of hte phone, and click on the “on my iphone” or “on my ipad” folder.  we are going to navigate to the folder where we initially saved the sony video file on the iphone. In this example, I had saved the Sony a7iii video file to my iphone in the Imovies folder.

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5dbc8f5aee7844a34bd3423a IMG 2649

Step 10 = Select the video file by hitting select as you did before and then choosing the video you had previously transferred.

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5dbc8fb07ff03f16c610c114 IMG 2650

Step 11 – While the file is selected, hit the share arrow again which will pull up this menu.  In this menu, you will then want to hit the “Save Video” button.  After this step, you should find the Sony video file gets transferred into the Iphone or Ipad Photos app, which will also sync into Icloud. The file is a unique sony encoding called XAVC, which is not as good as like an Apple Pro-res, but it’s perfectly fine. THe problem was that Apple, up till late 2018, would not play nice with these files, but alas, they seem to work now.

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5dbc8fe2c225f62d28a7bd22 IMG 2651

I tried this technique using the XAVC files from my Sony A7III, in all the different file resolutions such as the 100bit 2160p, aka 4k, or the 100biit 120FPS 1080p files. No matter what, I seemed to have success as of today when I performed the test on 11-1-2019.

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5dbc9089c225f649faa7c0a0 IMG 2653

Worst Way – Sony Play Images App Through Wireless

The way that Sony tells you to transfer files to a smartphone is to use the Sony Play Memories App.

The problem is that this app only works using the wireless connection between the Camera and the smarphone.

Step 1 – Download the Sony Alpha App Here

Step 2 – Go to “Send to Smartphone”

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Send to smartphone

Wondering WHERE the send to smartphone function is on a Sony a7iii,?  Well, here is the screenshot showing you exactly where the send to smartphone is in the menu. Page 1 of 3 in the Network. I hate finding this.  In fact, you should take the send to smartphone and stick it in the my menu section – so it’s easiest to get through.

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Select the device

Step 3 – Open the app on your phone

Hit the Scan QR code button.

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Scan the NFC / QR code

By now the Sony camera should be showing you a QR code that can be scanned.

Then, you just scan it, and you’ll get connected. From there, you’ll want to trasnfer eitehr one image or video at a time, or you can do multiples.

Is the Sony Apple IOS app good for transferring video files from a Sony Alpha Camera? No. The sony XAVC files trasfer VERY slow using the wireless connection.,  

Will the Sony IOS app transfer 4k files wirelessly? Yes.  It used to NOT WORK, and Apple devices used to not work with the XAVC files as recently as 2018, but in 2019, the files will transfer and they have both sound and video.