How to transfer Sony a6000 / 6300/ 6500 videos to iPad/iPhone

You have an iOS device. And you have a Sony a6000 / 6300 / 6500. And you want to get those damn videos from the camera to your iOS device. But you can’t figure it out. That was me until today.

Up until today I’ve been shooting with the AVCHD codec (.MTS files). This is the standard codec that comes with the a6000 and some other cameras and is used when you don’t have a SDXC memory card. I am able to get these AVCHD videos onto my iPad in two ways.

1) copy the files to my mac and sync over icloud photos to my iphone/ipad

2) a really complicated Chinese SD card reader method that becomes impractical when more than a handful of files. Why? Because each video requires multiple steps to get onto the iOS device. 40 videos takes me about an half an hour. Do not bother with this method

So if you don’t want to use a mac to sync your Sony a6000 / 6300 /6500 videos across to your iPhone/iPad, there is only one solution that works.

First of all, go and buy yourself a 64gb SDXC card. Any card speed will work. I’m using one of the slower and cheaper ones at 45mb/s. This card will allow you to record your videos with the XAVCS codec. THIS IS IMPORTANT. This codec is actually an mp4 file which iOS natively supports. And these Sony cameras only allow XAVCS recording with SDXC cards.

Go and buy yourself a USB3 Camera Reader from Apple. Not the card reader (some report it doesn’t work). The camera reader that accepts a normal USB plug. Try and get the latest model with the lightning power connector so you can charge your device at the same time (some say this is important, but it wasn’t for me).

Now this is how you import those XAVCS videos onto your iOS device.

1) Go into your camera settings and make sure the USB method is set as MTP. On the a6300 & a6500, turn off the setting which allows the camera to draw power from the iPad. Why? Because people have reported that when the camera is drawing power from the iOS device, the iPad will throw up an error message meaning the maximum file size it will import is 6 seconds. (This is not happening to me on my a6000, but it is happening to other people… maybe their setup is slightly different (I’m also using a 2017 10.5” ipad pro)

2) Plug the camera into the USB3 Camera Reader and plug the Camera Reader into your iOS device.

3) At this point, you want your iPad to open an import screen in Photos automatically. If this doesn’t happen, try again.

4) Once the import screen appears, you will see any photos and XAVCS videos you have recorded here. AVCHD (.MTS) files with any bitrate will not appear here. I learnt this first hand.

5) Select the videos you want to import and click the import button.

It’s as simple as that. I am able to import a 2 minute 50mbit XAVCS file from my Sony a6000 to my iPad and iPhone with no problems (I have tried anything longer, but I doubt it will be a problem). It doesn’t cut out after 6 seconds as some people have reported. It doesn’t require me to plug in the USB3 Camera Reader to power.

I don’t know why it works for me and it doesn’t work for others. Is it because I’m using firmware 3.2 on the Sony a6000? Is it because it’s a new card reader? Is it because of iOS11? Is it because I’m using an iPad 10.5 (2017)? I have no idea. But it’s working. And it’s awesome.

Please please please ask me anything.

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