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Eye-Fi Card – wow!

23rd April 2011

Innovative New Feature Makes the Eye-Fi Even More Valuable

 

A few months ago, I ran into Ziv Gillat, one of the co-founders of Eye-Fi at a photography trade show. His company developed a set of SD-cards that can send images directly from your digital camera to your personal computer by way of a local wi-fi network.

For background information about these cards, you can read the original review of the Eye-Fi from a few weeks ago here.

Anyway, Ziv was excited to tell me about a new feature that the company was developing. Finally last week, Eye-Fi unveiled a fascinating new capability for any of their X2 series cards.

With this free update, the Eye-Fi can now send images directly to a mobile device – either an iPhone, iPad or Android. By itself, this provides an automated way to backup your images.

On the mobile device, you’ll need to download and install either an iPhone/iPad app or an Android app. These free mobile apps (also provided by Eye-Fi) receive the images from the Eye-Fi card.

The apps provide another very useful feature – they let you resend the images to other online sites. And since they use cellular to upload, the mobile devices replace the personal computer.

To use the new capability which the company calls Direct Mode, I downloaded and installed an update to the included Eye-Fi Center software that is used to configure the SD-card. Using one of the dialogs, I added my iPhone and Android device to my list of supported wi-fi networks. Next I installed the Eye-Fi iPhone app from the iTunes website (and later the Android app from Market) and I was ready to give Direct Mode a try.


iPhone and iPad

 

First I inserted the Eye-Fi card into my DSLR camera and took a few pictures. Leaving the camera power on, I placed it about 20 feet from my iPhone. About ten minutes later, the images had been sent to my iPhone’s “Camera Roll” album.

The time to transfer the images will vary depending on the size (resolution) and number of taken. At this point, my iPhone now has a complete backup copy of the images on the Eye-Fi card. Now I can view the photos as if they were taken by the iPhone camera, except that they are full resolution that match the DSLR camera.

Using the iPhone Eye-Fi app, I can now select any or all of these images to share with the online sites. These include Facebook, Flickr, Mobile Me, Picassa, Eye-Fi View or a personal computer connected to the internet. I uploaded images to each of these sites to verify that the iPhone app was working as advertised.

My iPhone was outdoors away from my home wi-fi network, so the images were uploaded using the 3G network (cellular service). Had my wi-fi network been available, the images would have been uploaded via wi-fi.

Next I installed the Eye-Fi app on my iPad. And again the images were automatically sent from the Eye-Fi card in the camera to the iPad “Saved Photos” folder after a few minutes. The process worked flawlessly.


Android mobile device

 

For a second test, I inserted the Eye-Fi card into a point-and-shoot camera. Again I took a few more pictures and a short video with my point-and-shoot.

I turned on and started the Android app on the Samsung Tab. With the camera power still on, I placed the camera close to the Tab and in a few minutes, these new images and the video were sent to the Tab’s “Gallery” folder.

Using the Android Eye-Fi app, I selected a few photos and the video to share with Flickr.

The orange wi-fi icon at the top left corner of the Tab means that the Eye-Fi card is transferring the images to Flickr.

Note: In order to get the Eye-Fi card to send the images to the Samsung Tab, I had to turn the Tab off and then back on. I don’t know if this is a common problem, but I am now contacting Eye-Fi Customer Support to see if there is an easy way to solve this problem.


 

I’m impressed with how easy it is to use Direct Mode. I plan to use it to as a “lazy man’s” way to have an immediate backup for my photos. As a bonus, Eye-Fi makes this an alternative way to post high quality photos to online sites without first having to copy them to your personal computer.

To find out more about this innovative line of wireless SD-cards, visit Eye-Fi.

 

Please note that Stay Focused has no connection to Eye-Fi.

 

Written by Arnie Lee

 


3 Comments »

  1. This is awesome.
    You know these are going to start selling out at the stores.

    Comment by Dan — April 23, 2011 @ 12:43 pm

  2. Will be happy to see if they will soon upgrade/update this card or a new device to use with just a plain ol Windows Laptop.

    Comment by Jim — May 22, 2011 @ 10:45 pm

  3. Jim – I use the Eye-Fi card almost exclusively with a Windows notebook computer already. Works fine.

    Comment by Arnie Lee — May 27, 2011 @ 11:47 pm

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