Sony ships its CyberShot digital cameras and Handycam camcorders bundled with photo programs. Sony provides digital camera buyers with its own photo management system – Sony Picture Motion Browser.
In our previous articles we overviewed well-known photo editing applications such as PhotoScape, BeFunky, FastStone Image Viewer. They let you edit and tune up pictures, help you organize photos on a computer. Their photo editing features are very rich and vary from elimination of red-eye effect, black and white photo conversion up to slideshow making, drawing, etc. Let’s find out whether it makes sense to install Sony PMB image editing software or it is better to use a third-party photo editor?
What is Sony PBM (Picture Motion Browser)?
Picture Motion Browser (PMB) is a free desktop application for organizing and editing photos from Sony for Windows PC and Mac which was supported up to Sepember 30th, 2014. Each Sony device was supplied with a certain version of PMB. However, you could upgrade to the latest version 5.8 with the help of PMB Updater. If you have lost your CD-ROM you could download PMB from the official website.
Please note: now you can’t download and install Sony Picture Motion Browser anymore! The software is no longer available, please continue to read below to find a replacement for Sony PMB.
What Does Sony Picture Motion Browser Do?
The main function of the application is to import photos and videos from a camcorder or a digital camera to a computer. Picture Motion Browser opens RAW images and photos in JPEG format. There are 3 ways to view pictures on the computer. You can switch between 2 modes: calendar and index, or view photos as a slideshow. In the calendar mode images are organized according to the date they have been taken. In the index mode photos are presented like thumbnails and can be sorted out in different ways, for example by file name, file size, rating, etc. Calendar mode was a unique feature of Sony PMB photo manager as a rare image organizing app offers such mode by default.
Everything is clear and simple in Picture Motion Browser. It can be used not only like a viewer. PMB has got some basic editing features such as photo cropping, resizing, auto-correction. Unfortunately, the image tweaking set is rather primitive. It is limited to red-eye removal, brightness and saturation correction, tone curve and sharpness adjustment. There is face detection but you cannot group faces or add a name to them like in Picasa. It’s a real pity that no smart frames, no cool photo effects are available. Besides, you cannot add any text except setting the date when an image was shot.
PMB sharing opportunities are vast. PMB lets you upload photos and videos to popular sharing sites (YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, etc.), email photos and clips to a friend, burn images to disc. Files are automatically compressed before they are sent via email.
Pictures and videos can be geotagged with Google Maps. This is convenient when you want to remember places visited during a trip or show friends where you shot your pictures.
Overall PMB is an easy user-friendly application. I’d use it more for organizing my photos than for image tuning because editing functionality is poor. And I wish that the update process were more speedy and didn’t take me almost half an hour. Thus, Sony Picture Motion Browser shows that Sony loses in the battle between software providers.
How to Download Pictures from Sony Camera to Your Computer?
As you know, Sony cameras shoot high resolution RAW images and when it comes to file transfer, photographers face two huge problems. First of all, they need to find powerful software to transfer images and secondly, they need to find RAW image viewer that can process dozens of high quality RAW pictures.
There are 4 ways to download and transfer pictures from Sony camera and camcorder to your computer depending on the type of your camera and the year of its release:
- Plug in a USB cord into Sony camera and Windows/Mac and download pics using the default computer photo import option;
- Turn on Wi-Fi option on modern Sony Alpha camera or Handycam camcorder and connect it to your home Wi-Fi network to transfer images to your photo storage or PC;
- Insert SD card from your camera into your laptop (if it has SD slot), or into SD card reader and plug it into your computer or laptop;
- Use USB cable and Sony PlayMemories Home software (previousle Sony PMB software) to export images from your camera onto your Windows 10 PC or Mac.
Sony software is made to ease photo transfer, especially for HD RAW images that can’t be processed with default Windows photo viewers. That’s why Sony PMB was in high demand among photographers in 2012-2014. As for now, there are many free image viewers like FastStone Image Viewer that can show and convert RAW pictures into JPEG, see our recent review for more details.
What is Sony Picture Motion Browser Replacement for Windows 10 & Mac?
Why Sony Picture Motion Browser (PMB) is not working? The Sony software isn’t working because it’s not compatible with modern OS like Windows 10 and it was shut down in 2014. Sony officially offers Sony PlayMemories Home as a replacement for Sony Picture Motion Browser on Windows 10 and Mac. Let’s compare Sony Picture Motion Browser and Sony PlayMemories Home. Let’s explore all similarities and differences of Sony PlayMemories Home.
Sony Picture Motion Browser and Sony PlayMemories Home Feature Comparison Table:
|Feature||Sony Picture Motion Browser||Sony PlayMemories Home|
|Windows 10 & Mac support||–||+|
|Wireless (Wi-Fi) image transfer||–||+|
|Destination folder selection||–||+|
|Online photo backup||–||+|
|RAW image viewer||+||+|
|RAW to JPEG converter||+||+|
|Photo cut, crop, rotate||+||+|
|GPS data support||+||+|
As you can see from the features list, Sony PlayMemories Home can do the same operations as Sony PMB, but also offer new capabilities that Picture Motion Browser missed. Sony PlayMemories Home can show and process RAW image files and convert to regular JPGs. Moreover, PlayMemories Home unlocks the option to export hundreds of high resolution RAW photos to PC at once, which can be a challenging task for a third-party image viewer.
How to Install Sony PlayMemories Home app?
The process of installation of Sony PlayMemories Home app is a bit complicated since it requires setup on both your camera and your laptop or desktop computer. Press the play button and follow this video tutorial from Sony experts explaining how to install Sony software properly to transfer images and videos from your Sony camera:
We advise you to weigh all pros and cons before you decide what photo editing tool to pick up. Not all that glitters is gold.