Eye-Fi Pro X2 SD card | Review

Eye-Fi Pro X2 SD card | Review

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.

Eye-Fi Pro X2 8 GB

 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…

Key Benefits of the Eye-Fi Pro X2 SD card:

  • Wireless backups & organization on your computer. Eye-Fi sends your full resolution photos and videos to your computer. No more fussing with cables.
  • Stay organized. Eye-Fi automatically organizes photos & videos on your computer by date or drops them into iPhoto on your Mac.
  • Select all or just the photos and videos you want and choose where they go. Want to send a few pictures to your friends on Facebook, another group of photos to your Picasa album? Eye-Fi makes it easy.

When used with an Eye-Fi X2 card:

  • Instant uploads from your camera to your iPhone or iPad’s photo gallery – anywhere. The Eye-Fi X2 card connects directly to your iPhone/iPad using Direct Mode. No tethering, Wi-Fi router or Wi-Fi hotspot required.
  • Use your favorite iOS apps to view, edit and share your photos
  • Want to share on-the-go? The Eye-Fi app can use your iPhone/iPad’s data connection (EDGE, 3G or Wi-Fi) to upload stored photos to your favorite online sharing site, wherever you are (data charges may apply).

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.

So, real world, how does it help me?

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.

In short – big fan of the Eye-Fi card! Big fan of ‘right now’

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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Eye-Fi Pro X2 SD card
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Sime (aka #gtvone) is the customer support manager for dPS, and lead blogger in our Cameras and Gear Blog. He's a Melbourne based photographer, www.gtvone.com and please feel free to follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Some Older Comments

  • Renee lee June 4, 2013 11:06 pm

    So I need to use my phone hotspot in order to move my photos from my camera to phone?

  • Gary Hill March 14, 2013 12:03 pm

    You have to enable the McDonald's network on the eyefi card. So hopefully you have a laptop that you can take to McDonald insert the sd card run the eyefi program and enable the network on the card.

    Hope this helps

  • JB Wascom March 5, 2013 12:23 pm

    Here we go again. I was able to use the Eye-fi flawlessly with my Verizon My-fi. I would walk through a property I was inspecting, take 15-25 photos, go back out to my vehicle, turn the My-fi on, and leave the camera on, and in a minute the activity light would blink. When I came to the office, there were the photos just like it was supposed to work.

    Here is where I hit the wall. I turned the My-fi off, went to a McDonalds where there is a hotspot, turned on the camera, stayed there for 20 minutes and the 12 new photos I had on my camera DID NOT make it to my office. What did I do wrong? I know my tablet requires my agreeing to the ATT thing when it finds the hotspot, but obviously I cannot do that on my camera. HELP, please. I know I must be making a simple mistake, but have hit a brick wall here.

  • JB Wascom March 4, 2013 01:16 am

    Thanks for the quick answer. That will still revolutinize our work just to have it to where our people do not have to drive in to the office every night. I guess I have been asleep and missed this technology that has been there for awhile. Better late than never.

  • Sime March 4, 2013 01:06 am

    JB - you need an internet connection. Hotspot, tethered phone etc...


  • JB Wascom March 4, 2013 01:03 am

    Before I head out and buy 6 of these, I have a dumb question for you "experts". I have to process THOUSANDS of low-res photos daily (640 x 480) in our work for banks and mortgage companies on their foreclosed homes. Each of my 6 reps comes in at night and we copy their photos to a computer to upload to our client websites. Are you saying, I can use this SD card and transfer from whereever we are, or must we be in a hotspot to do so?

    If we can, this will revolutinize our business. If we must go to a hotspot, that will still work.

    Answers, please.

  • Rosalee Welborn February 19, 2013 02:47 am

    Every single person that owns such a smart phone will need an iphone USB cable. Contrary to popular belief, this is necessary besides the regular dock station that you use. Most stations are only usable for charging the batter of the iphone and you will want to have a device that allows you to connect the phone to a USB plug. A universal dock that also includes a cable connect option is great but there are not many on the market. Most people will end up using USB cables. The problem is that there are too many options to not feel a little overwhelmed. ;

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  • Erin Kilborne February 18, 2013 04:20 pm

    Every single person that owns such a smart phone will need an iphone USB cable. Contrary to popular belief, this is necessary besides the regular dock station that you use. Most stations are only usable for charging the batter of the iphone and you will want to have a device that allows you to connect the phone to a USB plug. A universal dock that also includes a cable connect option is great but there are not many on the market. Most people will end up using USB cables. The problem is that there are too many options to not feel a little overwhelmed. `

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  • Michael Grooms September 14, 2012 02:31 am

    Good article, except that the writer fails to mention that the card can do everything that is mentioned with an Android phone and a PC as well (more Mac hype!). I returned my Eye-Fi for two main reasons. First, it is too slow for continuous RAW shooting...I prefer a class 10 card in my camera. Second, transferring RAW files and high-resolution video files takes too long. I can plug a USB cable into my camera, upload, and be editing before the Eye-Fi would be halfway through uploading.

    On the other hand, if you shoot in JPEG and do not mind the longer upload time, the Eye-Fi card is an excellent tool. Also, being able to upload to a site through your Android phone (iPhones too ...just kidding!) while in the field is a great plus. I do not upload until I have edited, so this is no use to me.

  • AJM August 31, 2012 08:24 pm

    Great little device. Transfers about 6MB JPG in under five seconds. I don't send RAW files, only lower quality JPGS for instant viewing. SO I set my camera to RAW+JPG and download full RAW laer.
    Works well with iPhone, but when changing from iPhone to computer to another computer on a regular basis, it is a tedious and hair-pulling experience getting the DirectConnect or AdHoc networking to work at all!
    The desktop software is much better than it was a year or so ago, but still one of the WORST pieces of software I've ever used. Its one of those things built onto of a "quick to build" platform, probably created over a weekend by a summer intern.
    You do not need a network or Internet to use the EyeFi card, but to make trivial changes (e.g. now want to upload RAW image, or change which computer will accept your images), you must connect to the Internet to do so! er, uh, wha?!?! Yeah, if I'm in the field and decide I need to make a trivial change or forgot to change the card to allow it to send to my computer... Yeah I need to drive to the nearest Internet hot spot to make that sort of change. That is completely unacceptable!!
    With some preparation and consistent workflow, the card makes a wonderful addition to my photo sessions.
    But if I miss a critical step and do not have Internet access, it can all but destroy the day's photo shoot.
    FYI, MOST, (as in almost ALL, as in extremely difficult to find) USB readers DO NOT handle the EyeFi card.
    You MUST use their supplied dongle and hope you do not lose it!!
    The newer iMacs work fine with their built in device. My Windows laptop cannot decide if it will work. No Mac laptop ExpressCard USB readers will work. Most USB SHD card readers do not supply enough power to allow the card to be read -- as explained by EyeFi support.

    So its a love/hate relationship.

  • Daniel Sato August 30, 2012 04:54 am

    We have started to use these at our paper to transmit directly from the field. We pair the card with our iPhones, then use PhotoGene2 or Filterstorm to apply IPTC data and FTP them to the proper location. It has cut out the need for a laptop and meant that we have breaking news and sports galleries online before we are even back in our cars.

    I've laid out our workflow here: http://www.danielsato.com/blog/2012/07/07/iphone-eye-fi-workflow/

  • Jeremy Hall August 28, 2012 08:33 am

    I'll echo burt on the studio use with my 5D3 and an iPad. It can fail every so often, especially after a sleep mode by the camera and quick photo taking after waking it up, giving an Error 80 in the camera and requiring a quick battery removal to reset. It's a known issue, but I'm not aware of any fix other than resetting the camera.

    I enjoy having it to wirelessly tether and review photos after a set has been shot. I changed the "rate" button on the camera to protect/unprotect, and the Eye-Fi to only transfer protected files; this way I can selectively transfer only the best shots I want review with the client. I only store the small JPG size to the Eye-Fi for quicker transfers as that is still plenty large for the iPad viewing.

    This last weekend was another scenario that worked well. Shooting an event, the person in charge approached me near the end asking if they could get ~5 images right away, then the full set later when I'd had a chance to process them. I marked several favorites which immediately transfered to my iPhone, then emailed them over. He had them in his inbox before I left the area.

    in a similar way, you can transfer files to a computer/device hooked up to a projector/TV for slideshows during an event such as a wedding reception. So many possibilities.

  • Dr. Bob August 28, 2012 03:07 am

    @Zan, when you go to their UK website and where to buy, you'll get an error and no (web)shop in Holland sells them. Guess I have to buy it @Amazon then.

  • Kerry Garrison August 28, 2012 01:46 am

    I did up an article about wireless shooting with this card. I use it with a Motorola Xoom Android table and it has been very reliable.


  • Burt August 27, 2012 04:55 pm

    I use in the second slot of my Canon 5D MK III. when shooting in a studio, I can view the JPG images on my iPad, which is far superior to using the tiny camera LCD. When I do night star photography, I can see the images as they are collected, rather than waiting for the entire 2-hour sequence to complete before I see if I got anything.

    That said, I find the network finicky. It will often refuse to send anything, and I then have to spend 5 or 10 minutes trouble-shooting both ends (the eye-fi and the iPad), which is particularly hard in the field, with no wifi to run the eyefi setup software.

    I give this a 10 when it works, but a 5 overall because it fails so darn often... :(

  • Zan August 27, 2012 04:25 pm

    This card does sell in Europe.
    I'm from France and I bought one here, from Amazon.

    I mostly use the direct transfer to my android tablet. It is very handy but also quite slow. If you want to check things out while shooting outside, set up the software to transfer only the JPG files, not the RAW.

  • Frank Kautz August 27, 2012 12:17 pm

    I have this card, my biggest problem with it is its speed. It is listed as a class 6, but it is about as fast as a class 4 card. I have measured it against my 2 class 6 cards and against my class 4 cards and the picture speed is not as fast. By the way, I mean my internal camera speed from the shutter to the card, not transfer speed from the card to the computer.

  • Tyler August 27, 2012 10:12 am

    I agree with this article 100%! I use an Eye-Fi card myself when I do club events. It uploads instantly to my Android tablet so people can view their pics on the higher resolution screen

  • Sime August 27, 2012 09:34 am

    Joseph - from the review above

    "Instant uploads from your camera to your iPhone or iPad’s photo gallery – anywhere. The Eye-Fi X2 card connects directly to your iPhone/iPad using Direct Mode. No tethering, Wi-Fi router or Wi-Fi hotspot required."

  • Joseph Richardson August 27, 2012 09:16 am

    Anyone know if this card can instantly transfer to an iPod Touch or iPad? It'd be great to use while on location so that clients/art directors can see my images while I'm taking them.

  • Mike C August 27, 2012 08:33 am

    I love my Eye-Fi card. I can use my mobile hot spot and android tab to send photo's directly to my web site so other parents who can't be at our soccer games can "see what is happening" as it happens. I also love the fact I can send images straight to my computer without being at home all I need is a hot spot. If I set up the Eye-Fi center, photo's I take can be shared with friends and relatives all over. Great product and I recomend it.

  • Marnom August 27, 2012 07:27 am

    Still too bad they don't make it for cf cards...

  • Dr. Bob August 27, 2012 04:01 am

    It's a shame these cards aren't sold in Europe...