Every now and then its prefered to watch the taken photo on a larger screen than the LCD on the back of the camera. Other times one runs out of card space too fast and wish for a larger storage space.

The company Eye-Fi aims to help out by providing several sd cards with buildt in WiFi.

Included with the Eye-Fi Pro X2 16GB card is a small usb sd card reader which is required for setting up the card. On the card itself (fat32) software for windows/mac is included. Newer software can be found on the internet and included software will update itself during installation.

Alone the card itself wont be any different from any other sd card, it just stores photos as the photographer is taking them.

Paired with another WiFi device like iPhone, Android phone, iPad / Android tablet / Laptop or desktop computer the fun begins.

After card is configured and paired it will then start sending photos from the card to the device whenever possible. This goes seamlessly in the background while the photographer can keep shooting.

The card can operate in different ways like

  1. Transfer all photos (Automatic)
  2. Transfer only “protected” photos (Selective share)
  3. “Endless memory” operation mode.
  4. “Relayed transfer” is a special mode where files is relayed to online sharing site (Eye-Fi host servers). Then downloaded back to paired computer when possible.

In normal mode it will work like any other sd card getting filled up, while transfering any photo taken to the paired device whenever possible.

In “endless memory” mode it will work bit different. When the card is getting filled up above x percentage (user decided, default is 50%) it will start to delete the oldest photos thats been successfully sent to the paired device. This makes room for more photos to be shot.

For WiFi transfer to work the paired device need some free software that can be downloaded either from App store, Android store or Eye-Fi website.

 

 

The card can connect directly to another device in “direct mode” or it can use a private network (which requires that networks access key). It can also connect using public hotspots (less safe!). Using a portable hot spot like “ZTE MF91D” one can have a private network that also allows access to internet at the same time if desired.

Info for upto 32 networks can be stored on the card and it will switch from private network to direct-mode as needed when moving outside range of the private network. Network profiles can be created as needed using the Eye-Fi software.

 

The setup and pairing process is bit of a pain compared to how it should have been done. This is mostly because it involves far too many steps and worst of all also requires a working internet connection to have the card registered.

Except for first time configuration, and any later reconfiguration it does not require a internet connection to work.

After pairing the card with a device a few choices is given in how it should operate.

By default the card can also upload the photos to Eye-Fi “View” service and be hosted free for 7 days. For this to work it requires a working internet connection of course. Other internet services it can upload to is Facebook, Flickr, MobileMe, Picasa and FTP hosts.

 

After configuring the card and pairing it with a device its ready to be used out in the field.

In the field the host device has to be set to correct network and mode to be able to connect with the card.

Typicaly this is direct mode operation and network “Eye-Fi Card 123f4f” or similar. Alternatively its a private network using a mobile router and-or mobile phone with hotspot.

Then on the host device the Eye-Fi application has to be running and will listen for incoming photos.

A progress bar indicates incoming photos and shows the progress before the final photo turns up as a thumbnail on the device.

Transfer time will depend on signal strength and filesize.

Olympus omd EM5 RAW file (14MB) takes about 4-7 seconds per photo in direct mode (without uploading to any online service like Eye-Fi View).

Eye-Fi also supports other features like sms, email, twitter, facebook notifications. This again requires use of the Eye Fi online account and services available depends on living location.

The software will create folders as needed and name them according to the chosen preference, typicaly its the common date-based names, it can also be custom set or use main folder for storage.

 

Negatives : The requirement of an online account with Eye-Fi for registration of  the card(s) with them etc isnt whats called user friendly and only reason seem to be to lure the customer to buy an online premium account to host photos on.

Downloading and installing the various software on iPad / Macbook to get it working is expected and not difficult nor time consuming.

However it should be totally unnecessary to have an online account to use a piece of purchased hardware. So Eye-Fi/Sandisk this is bullshit policy !

Card itself works flawless out in the field and seem to work fine at distances atleast upto 7-10 meters which is as far as I move away from any bag with macbook/ipad in.

A recommended product even with the “online registration bullshit”, and yeah grab one for every camera.