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Everything is *right now* you want your images on line, you want your original files backed up, we want everything to happen quickly and easily with a minimum of fuss.
When the company Eye-Fi started up back in 2005, I will admit that I was a little curious and wondered “how could this device help me?” I was using dSLR cameras with CF cards and was content to photograph what I had to photograph and then remove my CF card, plug it into my computer and load the images into my file system.
I still do that with my 5DMKII, RAW images via CF reader into Lightroom – it works for me and I don’t have anything that needs to be filed or uploaded for any time critical purpose. As such, I have been using the Eye-Fi Pro | X2 in my Sony NEX 5 around the house, on my weekly personal photo walks, it has been flawless – the app runs on my Mac and when I get back to my laptop, the images are there, ready for me to do what I’d like with them. But that’s no good, is it, I need a real life “this product works well for this purpose” scenario…
With the Eye-Fi X2 card, I could upload full res photos from my NEX 5 to my iPhone and then do what I wanted with them [Instagram / Facebook / Flickr etc] when you’re using the X2 card, you can connect the camera directly to your iPhone / iPad without having to use a Wifi router etc… You can also use the Eye-Fi app on your phone [iPhone and Android] to upload your images to your computer / Flickr etc. Yep – works, works well.
But before I get to what I found to be an AWESOME solution to an ever increasing problem, here are a few benefits for you to consider…
Some of the photo sites you can use the Eye-Fi card with include: Costco.com, Evernote, Facebook, Flickr, Kodak Gallery, MobileMe, Picasa, Shutterfly, Snapfish, Smugmug, WalMart
Supported video sites include: Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, Smugmug, YouTube.
My wife and I went to the zoo with our almost-three year old a couple of weeks back and I had a look through her images afterwards, realising that there were images from her camera dating back to… well, when I gave her the camera! She’s currently using a 32GB SDHC card in there, and just leaves everything on the card! When I asked if she had copied any on to her computer, I was told “That’s too hard / I don’t have time / Where’s the cable” (Yes, a combo of the three, I didn’t press for details…;)
So – I cunningly swapped out the existing card for the Eye-Fi card, loaded the app on her Macbook and added it to start when her computer starts, but to hide in the background (This is an option in the application) so basically, the camera connects to her laptop whenever it can and copies the photographs across – they are there, ready to use. Guess who won ‘awesome technical husband of the week award?’ (Obviously a lot of you are tech savvy, but well… )
So, to be able to upload from wherever I am on my iPhone, my wife’s Android or via any open Wifi hotspot – that’s pretty cool! The cards, for 8GB are about $80 depending upon where you get them, so compared with other cards that is a little more pricey – (Sandisk Extreme 32GB is only about $35 on Amazon)
For the ease of use, the ‘instant’ of it all – the Eye-Fi SDHC card is so very handy… I hope to try one out alongside my CF card in my 5DMKIII in the next couple of months – having the Eye-Fi card set to load my images at JPG resolution directly into an album on my website (with some IT geekery!) I could have images from an event loaded into a gallery via my phone or website BEFORE I’d even left the event – and still have the full resolution RAW files on my CF card for when I got home.
I give the Eye-Fi SDHC card 7 gold stars, I’ve taken three off for the following… I found the software, whilst very easy to set up for just the SD card to Laptop wifi transfer, to be bit confusing when I added my iPhone into the mix, I found the same with the iPhone app (A free download from iTunes App Store) – It isn’t enough to make me want to chop the pretty orange card into seven pieces and play races down the plug hole, but it could be confusing for someone with little or no tech skills is all. (On that note, too, there are great support forums and resources that I didn’t have a chance to use, but on perusal look pretty good)
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