Sony upstages the iPhone 15 Pro with an impressively pro video app

Videographer holding Sony cine camera with smartphone attached above with Sony Monitor & Control app active, displaying the frame
(Image credit: Sony)

The iPhone 15 Pro’s big video camera upgrades for pros wowed us at the smartphone’s launch this week, but Sony has gone and upstaged those video chops by announcing a new app that can turn compatible smartphones and tablets, including the iPhone 15 Pro, into a wireless video monitor for Sony cameras. 

Monitor & Control is available on the Google Play and Apple App stores, and effectively turns your smart device into a wireless video monitor with high-end exposure and focusing tools. That’s some seriously pro video control, and excellent news if you own a Sony camera together with a compatible smartphone or tablet. Take that, iPhone 15 Pro. 

The app’s functionality is a level up from what was previously possible with Sony Xperia high-end smartphones, which could be transformed into a second monitor for your Sony camera, but only via wired connection.

tablet displaying the frame via Monitor & Control app with camera in the distance on the end of a jib crane

(Image credit: Sony)

Displays on most smartphones – including the gloriously punchy 4K display in the flagship Sony Xperia 1 V – are much bigger than those on pro cameras, which are typically around three inches. Tablet displays (as in the setup pictured above) are even bigger, and a larger display provides a clearer view of the frame.

Video monitoring is particularly helpful for composing your run-and-gun shots, but also for critical monitoring of exposure levels and focus. And when it's wireless, the monitor doesn’t even need to be attached to the connected camera, although it can be positioned next to it via any compatible coldshoe adaptor. 

With Monitor & Control active, the camera operator or director could be positioned some distance away, observing what the camera sees on their smartphone, with precise exposure monitoring that includes Histogram, False Color and Waveform, plus intuitive focus controls. 

If those terms mean little to you, that’s because this is currently a pro-level app that's only compatible with the Sony FX30, Sony FX3 and Sony FX6 cine cameras (plus the shiny new Sony Burano CineAlta 8K camera, which is due to hit shelves next year with an eye-watering list price of $30,000 / £25,000+).

An ever-expanding Sony Creators’ Cloud suite

Monitor & Control is another addition to Sony Creators’ Cloud, which is rapidly turning Sony cameras into reliable and slick remotely controllable devices. 

In my in-depth review of the Sony A7C R, I was super-impressed by how much more reliable the Creators’ Cloud app is for remote control of a camera for photography and image upload, where in the past Sony apps for models in the Sony A7 series of mirrorless cameras have been notoriously frustrating to use, with unreliable setup and connection. 

We don’t know for sure if the new Monitor & Control app will be rolled out to other Sony cameras – many Sony Alpha users are already asking that question – although it seems a fair bet that it will. However, many of Sony’s hybrid mirrorless models don’t offer exposure monitoring controls like False Color anyway, so the app’s features would be limited to functions such as start / stop recording, and adjustments to color profile, white balance and more, which would still be handy.

Monitor & Control is a fantastic-looking app for pro video creatives, and can be downloaded for free on iOS and Android app stores. Well played, Sony. 

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Timothy Coleman
Cameras editor

Tim is the Cameras editor at TechRadar. He has enjoyed more than 15 years in the photo video industry with most of those in the world of tech journalism. During his time as Deputy Technical Editor with Amateur Photographer, as a freelancer and consequently editor at Tech Radar, Tim has developed a deeply technical knowledge and practical experience with cameras, educating others through news, reviews and features. He’s also worked in video production for Studio 44 with clients including Canon, and volunteers his spare time to consult a non-profit, diverse stories team based in Nairobi. Tim is curious, a keen creative, avid footballer and runner, and moderate flat white drinker who has lived in Kenya and believes we have much to enjoy and learn from each other.