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 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.
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.
Step 2 - Plug it into the Iphone, Ipad, or IOS Device
Step 3 - Open the Files App
Step 4 - Plug in the SD Card and go to the Drive, it's usually "untitled". You'll see it plug in and out.
Step 5 - After getting to your folder with the Sony Alpha camera video files, hit the select button.
Step 6 - Select the Image and then hit share button in the lower left corner.
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.
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.
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.
Step 10 = Select the video file by hitting select as you did before and then choosing the video you had previously transferred.
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.
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.
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"
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.
Step 3 - Open the app on your phone
Hit the Scan QR code button.
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 transfer either 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 transfer 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.