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How to Tether a Sony Camera to Lightroom Classic

OK, Sony’s can’t tether directly into Lightroom (Sony won’t share their secret tethering code with Adobe, like Nikon and Canon have for years), so we have to use a workaround…but hey, it works. Here’s how it’s done:

STEP ONE: On your Sony camera (this is an A7R II mirrorless) go to your USB Connection menu and change the setting from the default of “Auto” to “PC Remote” (as seen above).

STEP TWO: Go download and install Sony’s free Imaging Edge software. Included in this free software bundle is the desktop application ‘Imaging Edge Remote’ which is what you need to send images directly from your Sony camera to your computer. It’s a small application (file size wise) and an easy install.

STEP THREE: Take a micro-USB cable (like the one you see above), and connect the small end to the USB port on your Sony camera (on the A7R II it’s on the side), and plug the other end (the larger end) into your computer’s regular USB port.

STEP FOUR: Go create an empty folder — this is where the images you take on your Sony camera are going to be saved to when you start your shoot. You’ll choose this folder in just a minute inside of the Sony Imaging Edge Remote Application. Also, I usually give this empty folder a very descriptive name so there’s no question what this folder is for (as you can see, I named mine “Upload to Lightroom” because anything I put in this folder will automatically imported into Lightroom).

STEP FIVE: Now launch Sony’s Imaging Edge Remote software on your computer. When you do this, a window will pop-up and you have to designate which camera you want connected to the software (hey, you could have multiple cameras attached. It’s possible. Maybe). Anyway, if you don’t see your camera appear in this list, hit the refresh button (well, I had to anyway). The model name doesn’t look like the actual model name I was expected, but it was only choice I had, and the only one connected, so I double-clicked on it to connect it, and it worked.

STEP SIX: in the Remote software, go under the ‘Remote’ Menu (on Mac) or the Tools menu on Windows and choose ‘Save Folder’ (as shown here). It will bring up a standard “open” window on your computer, and this is where you navigate to that empty folder you created back in Step Four (I named mine “Upload to Lightroom”) and choose that folder as where the shots you take while tethered will be saved.

STEP SEVEN: At this point I usually take a test shot and make sure that when I take a shot it does indeed appear in that folder (and here’s our test, and yes it worked, first time I might add). IMPORTANT: go delete that test file — it needs to be empty when you designate this folder as a “Watched” folder by Lightroom, so go ahead and delete it now so don’t have to later. OK, now we head over to Lightroom Classic – make one change and we’re off to the races! (so to speak).

STEP EIGHT: In Lightroom Classic, go under the File menu, and under Auto Import choose ‘Auto Import Settings…’ as shown above.

STEP NINE: When the Auto Import Settings window appears (seen above) turn on the “Enable Auto Import” checkbox at the top of the window. Next, where it says “Watched Folder” click on the ‘Choose’ button and find that empty “Upload to Lightroom” folder and choose that. Now, Lightroom is watching that folder and anything you import into that folder would be automatically imported into Lightroom. Oh, but there’s more, and it’s a cool new feature. Now you can designate a collection for those photo to imported directly into, so in the Destination section, first choose where you want to store these photos that are coming into Lightroom, and then right under that turn on the “Add to Collection” checkbox, and then that list of collections will appear and you can click on the collection where you want these auto-imported images from your tethered Sony camera to appear within, and son-of-a-gun we’re doing it! We’re tethering a Sony camera into Lightroom, and it all works. Whoo hoo!!!

Well, I hope you found that helpful. 🙂

Don’t forget to catch my free Webinar tomorrow at 11:00 AM ET

Everyone’s invited — it’s free, and it’s a follow-along webinar where I’m going to give you some images to download, and we’re going to learn how to do some compositing for portraits and landscapes. All step-by-step, and you can follow right along using the same images I’m using. It’s going to be fun, and you’re going to learn a bunch, and ya know, it’s free and all.





  1. Dan 1 January, 2022 at 13:37 Reply

    I’ll give this a shot, but why does everyone imply the blame lies with Sony and not with Adobe? “Sony won’t share their secret tethering code with Adobe, like Nikon and Canon have for years.” The’ll share it with Capture One, but not Adobe? Really? I’ve been able to shoot tethered to Capture One for years, how is that C-One figured this out, but after all this time Adobe hasn’t?

    • Rob Sylvan 3 January, 2022 at 09:59 Reply

      Because they have an arrangement with Sony and Adobe doesn’t, would be my guess. Adobe relies on the SDK from Canon and Nikon to provide tethering functionality, but I am not aware of Sony offering the same.

  2. ccd 17 August, 2021 at 23:47 Reply

    The article stops after changing the setting in Lightroom. What now?
    I’ve restarted Lightroom, Imaging Edge and even the camera. All the setting are staying as I have set them, based on this article. But nothing is happening in Lightroom. Is there something else to do?

    • ccd 17 August, 2021 at 23:57 Reply

      Ah ha!
      After setting the Watch Folder – you should have told us about the Move To Folder.
      That wasn’t mentioned in the paragraph but it was in the picture.

    • José Toro 18 August, 2021 at 12:16 Reply

      En imaging Edge, tienes que poner como carpeta de destino de las imágenes, la carpeta que vigilará Lightroom. mira a ver donde te está mandando las imágenes.

  3. Mike Vaughn 14 June, 2021 at 13:03 Reply

    Thanks for this. I did get this work with photos from my a6400 but videos don’t make the transfer. Anyone have any luck with getting video files moved from the camera/card to a Mac (Catalina)?

  4. Jerome Lovell 13 May, 2021 at 14:00 Reply

    I’ve tried every single possible way to tether my Sony A7III and A7RIII using Imaging Edge and it is simply not possible in any way shape or form. I’m not sure how you got the images that portray that it’s possible, but it just doesn’t work.

    • ccd 17 August, 2021 at 23:45 Reply

      I don’t know why but I had the USB LUN Setting set to Multi, I changed it to single. Then I tried every selection in USB Connection, still nothing. I changed USB LUN Setting back to Multi and somehow it worked. This is probably not a solution for you but I can’t give any other reason why it would suddenly work.
      I still can’t get it to show it Lightroom though.

    • José Toro Sánchez 18 August, 2021 at 12:13 Reply

      Tengo una a99II y una a77II y sin ningún problema, pero el modo USB tiene que estar en PC REMOTE. seguro que te funciona. También puede ser que el cable USB tenga algún problema o sea sólo de carga, cambia el cable USB.

  5. Kim Brun 13 April, 2020 at 10:14 Reply

    I have tried this process and the instability of Imaging Edge forced me to abandon it.

    My Sony – Lightroom tethering workflow uses “Capture One Pro for Sony” to handle the camera operations and then a “Watched Folder” to get the files into Lightroom for processing. This setup is quite a bit more stable than the Imaging Edge workflow.

    Imaging Edge disconnects from the camera at an alarming and unacceptable rate.

    I you are interested, I can post the step by step setup I am using for studio work.

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