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How to upload images from a Sony IP camera to an FTP server using periodic transfer

A useful security feature found in any Sony IP camera is the ability to upload a snapshot of the current image to an FTP server. This can be done either by an alarm trigger or, as this guide will focus on, periodic transfer.

Simple recording at no extra cost

By uploading images to an FTP server at regular intervals you are essentially creating an archive of images which you can browse through at a later date. This can be seen as a simple recording solution but without the need to purchase expensive recording software or have a PC constantly switched on.

In this guide we show you how to set up your Sony camera to upload images to an FTP server based on periodic transfer.

For the purposes of this guide we have used a Sony SNC-CS5P IP camera but this should be relevant to most IP cameras in the complete Sony range.

Before we start we will assume that your camera is configured and you can access it over your local network.

Step 1 – Configure FTP settings

Log into the camera and click the ‘Setting’ button to enter the camera’s settings. Ensure you have selected ‘advanced mode’ by clicking the ‘advanced mode’ button at the top right hand side of the page. You should then be presented with the setup menu similar to the one shown below:

Sony settings menu

To add your FTP server details to the camera, click on the ‘FTP client’ button in the left hand menu. Check the box marked ‘On’ to turn the FTP client function on. You will then be presented with the following screen with which to input the data:

Sony FTP settings screenshot

  • FTP server name: Enter the address of your FTP server here. This will look something like ‘ftp.myftpserver.com’ or you can use the IP address of your FTP server if you know it
  • User name: Enter the username for your FTP server
  • Password: Enter the password for your FTP server
  • Re-type password: Re-type the password, a validation check
  • Passive mode: This setting is dependent on your FTP server and relates to the way the FTP server connects to the client. The details are not important at this stage, if you are unsure, try it one way and if it doesn’t work try it the other

Step 2 – Set the camera to send a periodic image

From the same page, select the ‘Periodical sending’ tab at the top of the screen. Check the box marked ‘On’ to activate periodical sending. The options will open below as shown in the screen:

Screenshot of Sony periodical FTP sending settings

  • Remote path: This will be the path on your server, include the path details only, do not duplicate by adding the FTP server address in this box. An example path would be ‘/’ or ‘/www/’
  • Image file name: Enter the base filename for your image, you do not need to add any extensions to the name as this will be done automatically
  • Suffix: ‘None’ will overwrite the image with each upload, ‘date/time’ will suffix the image with a date/time stamp and ‘sequence number’ will add a unique number to the end of each file
  • Interval: Select the interval for FTP upload in hours, minutes and seconds. We would advise for the purposes of setting this up and testing to initially set the interval to something like 5 seconds, once it is working you can then set your interval to the required rate
  • Effective period: Do you want the images to always upload or do you want to set a schedule? (if you select to schedule the upload a button will appear allowing you to do the necessary configuration)


And that’s all there is to it! Check your FTP server to ensure your images are starting to come through and adjust rates and image settings accordingly until your happy with the image quality and file-sizes.

Frequently Asked Questions:

I have entered my FTP settings but no images are being uploaded. What is wrong?
Sounds like there is something wrong with your FTP settings. We would advise you double-check all settings including the username and password and your path. Next try using Passive mode on and off as some FTP servers will require this to be on while others won’t. Finally if you are using the hostname for your FTP address then ensure you are using correct DNS addresses in the camera. With incorrect DNS address information you will not be able to translate your hostname to the correct IP address and as such the camera will not connect to your FTP server and you will not get any images.

I’ve configured my camera as suggested but my images appear with the file extension .m4f which I can’t display on my computer? Why is this happening?
The format of the file which is uploaded is dependent on the current setting of the camera. If you want JPEG images to be uploaded you need to alter the image settings in the camera to JPEG. To do this enter the ‘Settings’ page of the camera and choose the ‘Camera’ option. You will be able to select JPEG video mode here and this will automatically change your uploaded files to JPEG images.

Published on June 10th, 2008 by Greg

3 Responses to “How to upload images from a Sony IP camera to an FTP server using periodic transfer”

  1. limsocheat says:

    How to upload in Video, please help!

  2. Greg Innes says:

    If you choose 'no suffix' then the image will be overwritten.

  3. Larry Miller says:

    Not a comment but a question

    I was wanting to send jpg to website and use on a webpage can we make the jpg overwrite so I can have
    a webpage driven by a sony ip camera

    Thanks Larry