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Set camera clock via NTP server?

Rising Star

It would be awesome if we could set the date and time in our cameras via an internet NTP server. This doesn't appear to be possible, but I want to make sure I'm not missing something buried in a menu.

The main scenario I can see this being useful is when a team of photographers are covering an event together and want all the photos to sort in capture time order when viewed together.

For instance MLB playoffs are underway and yesterday we had 10+ cameras (handheld and remote) all pushing to a single editor. It can make editing a big moment harder when the photos don't sort in the right order due to camera clocks being off even by a few seconds. These camera are all on ethernet with internet connectivity so they could easily query an NTP server and have the exact same time.

But even in scenarios that don't have cameras constantly hardwired, like multiple photographers at a wedding, being able to have each photographer plug into ethernet or get on WiFi and set their clock at the beginning of the day is far simpler than trying to manually sync up the clocks.

What do y'all think, would this be a feature you could take advantage of?


Leading Creator

Definitely, that would be a solid feature to have. The only issue would be it would need a constant internet connection. 

The only way you could do it now is if you coordinated with the other photographers, gathered in one location, and manually set your internal clocks all at the same time... like a heist movie 😉 

@Drew_Geraci wrote:

The only issue would be it would need a constant internet connection.

This wouldn't be an issue at all. You'd connect the camera to the internet via ethernet or WiFi, go into the menu and click the option "Set clock via NTP" to set the time, then disconnect.

I have noticed that the Sony clocks tend to drift faster than my old Canon's, but it should be good for a day's event. All photographers could just rotate through a single ethernet line at the beginning of an event to get all the clocks synchronized and they'd be good for a day or two.

A bonus would be an option to have the cameras automatically sync time whenever they detect an internet connection with no manual action required.

Avoiding the heist movie scene is exactly what I'm trying to do!

The problem is how the camera actually connects to the internet/wifi. At this point, it's super cumbersome and takes a bit of time to do. They would need a dedicate wifi/connection button that could easily connect to a network and disconnect without requiring you to log in each time etc. Hopefully, in the future, this will be the norm though! We'll see.