First Thoughts on Eye-Fi Wireless SD Cards

Hey folks. I created a quick 4 minute video for you on my first thoughts on the Eye-Fi wireless SD cards. I’ve had some people ask me how it would work when it comes to shooting tethered in Lightroom so I thought I’d give a quick demo of it. In a nutshell, the “pros” are that I think the technology is way cool. This can seriously change things for a lot of photographers out there who want to show off their photos right away or in any situation where being first is key. Plus, for families its just cool and fun. “Cons” – there’s no CF card. Its only SD. It works fine in my Nikon D5000, which I’ve been using a lot, and all of my point-and-shoots, but won’t work for my D300. Anyway, hope you enjoy.

Click here to download the video to your computer. [Right-click and choose the "Save As" option]

Author: Matt K

Matt is a full time Education Director for the NAPP and Kelby Training. He's a best-selling author of various books on Photoshop and Photography co-hosts the live weekly photography talk show "The Grid" and is co-host of "Photoshop User TV". In his spare time he practices as a 1st degree black belt in Taekwondo and enjoys spending time with his family in Tampa, FL.

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28 Comments

  1. Matt, I also saw on their web site that the pro card also comes with lifetime geo tagging and web sharing if you so desire.

    Thanks

    David

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  2. Matt,
    Firstly, let me thank you for your great work. I am a dedicated follower of you blog.
    Related to today’s post..about 6 weeks ago I spoke with eye-fi tech support about using adapters for just this purpose.
    They cautioned that adapters are unlikely to work with eye-fi cards.
    Perhaps you could get greater clarity from the company than I.
    Thanks again.
    macduff

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    • I’ve used a CF adapter for mine since the day I bought the card, and I’ve never had a minute’s problem with it. I shoot with a D200; I’ve used it in a D70 also with no problem. I know about the manufacturer’s caveat, but it seems to work fine for me.

      Just my 2 cents and my own limited experience!

      /Skip

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  3. I love my EyeFi card. I use it in a Canon 1Ds Mk III which has two card slots, one CF and one SD. I’m configured to write raws to the CF and small JPEGs to the EyeFi SD card so I get very quick transmission times. I still have to upload the raws later, but the JPEGs make great proofs during the session. With the auto import into Lightroom, I can do quick cropping and retouching on the spot. I find clients are more enthusiastic when choosing photos and prints when they can see them right away.

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  4. Hey Matt,

    Great Video! I like the redesigned intro. Does anyone knows if these cards are available out of the USA? I live in Europe.

    Thanks,
    Vince

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  5. These cards determine geo-location by triangulating on local cell phone towers so if there are none around it won’t be able to determine your location. If you shoot mostly in areas with Cell towers it will tag all your photos but if you are in the boonies and out of touch with cell service it won’t be able to geo-tag your images. Also the SD card doesn’t work completely when using a SD->CF adapter. It still manages to geo-tag but it doesn’t transmit the photos – at least that has been my experience with using one in my D300.

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  6. Matt, with a CF to SD adapter and the EyeFi home card, you can shoot using the CF slot. I shoot (using my Canon 5D MK2 and 40D) on RAW + jpg and can send those images over to my laptop with success. I do have to admit, it’s a tad slow, but it does work rather well. I don’t get geo tagging, but that’s something I can do without for what I use it for.

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  7. I bought a SD-CF adapter from Amazon and while write speed to the eye-fi card is slower than it’s already fairly slow speed when using my D300 the slowest part of the loop is definately the Wi-fi link which is very distance intolerant.

    I love the little thing for tethered shooting at events, where I can auto-import jpegs, auto process them and then have my assistant click the print one button after she’s dealt with payment. Round trip timing from click of shutter to 8×10 print is about 4.5 minutes with D300, eye-fi, Lightroom and Epson Stylus 1400. It’s the best photobooth setup I can think of that still give me the flexibility to shoot cordless.

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  8. I wonder about the power consumption of the unit ?
    How much does it affect the overall battery performance ?

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  9. One feature I’m not sure Eye-Fi has or not is simply configuring it to try to connect to any open wireless network. That would be very useful if you were, for example, traveling without a computer. Whenever you happened to be in range of someone’s open network, your images could then be sent to your home computer for backup, or posted to a photoblog of your travels. But I think they keep overlooking that feature.

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  10. Taking this wireless thing one step further … I recently picked up the iPhone app called DSLR Remote, where the iPhone can control and trigger a DSLR via a WiFi connection. The only issue is that it does not directly control the DSLR, but does do via a computer (usually a laptop) than is tethered to the DSLR with a USB cable. But In some locations for remote triggering in sports photography such as the backboard in basketball, or the goalie net in hockey, it is not practical to have a laptop tethered within several feet of the DSLR.

    So I was wondering if this WiFi memory card could be used to connect the DSLR to the laptop via an ad hoc WiFi netowrk, and using the same ad hoc network have the iPhone DSLR Remote app control the server s/w on the laptop? In theory it is possible but the devil is in the details.

    Has anyone tried anything like this? By the way, the DSLR Remote app supports Lightroom integration as well, so we have a closed loop system for remote controlled photography if this all works.

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  11. Matt,
    Sorry, this is off topic. I downloaded the Lightroom 2.5 update but now my White Balance Slider is no longer showing in degrees Kelvin, but is shown as a plus or minus value from As Shot. Do you know how to switch it back? Thanks for all your sharing.

    Levi

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  12. Hi, I just started using an iPhone to watch my podcasts – previously I used a smartphone to watch them whilst travelling. However the iPhone/iPod does not play flash movies so I can’t watch them any more.:(

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  13. I was very excited when I first heard about eye-fi… only to realize that it is practically unusable with RAW.

    Would you use a strobe that needs half a minute to recycle?

    click…wait…wait…wait…click…wait…wait…wait…

    Hopefully a newer version supporting 802.11n and built in CF will make things better. I do not see how anything less than that can be classified as “pro”.

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  14. Hi Matt!
    Thanks for the video. I was always wondering how that little thing works, but never made the move to actually buy it.

    Now I’ve seen you uploaded your jpgs over the wifi…. Do you have any experience how fast they upload my 20mb raw files?

    Kind regards,

    Alex

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  15. Alan Dunne: I don’t think that is going to work because the iPhone App needs the server software installed on the laptop which ‘translates’ the commands so that the camera understands them.

    Too bad there is no reliable dealer in Germany. :(

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  16. Dear Matt,

    I’m a big fan of your work (i saw most of all episodes of Lightroom Killertips and Photoshop User TV podcasts) and i’m also a Lightroom user.

    I’d like to draw your attention to an iPhone application named LRKeys.

    http://www.silicosaur.hu/lrkeys/

    This little triva like application helps you memorize the keyboard shortcuts of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. If you wish to try it, just drop me an e-mail and I send you a promo code, what you can use for downloading a free copy of the application.

    Best Regards,
    Silicosaur

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  17. I’m not sure why but for the past few months I haven’t been able to watch or download the videos. Is anyone else having this problem?

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  18. I find that when re-opening a folder of files, many of which I have yet to optimize, that the files are now all out of order. Is there anything I can do to prevent this?

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  19. Like many, I’m wondering about the speed of transferring a high quality jpeg from the camera to the laptop.
    Reviews I see seem to be very across the board from 45 seconds to several minutes.
    How does the speed compare to tethered shooting? Can it really be used for onsite printing at events while a client waits?

    Thanks

    Don

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  20. I use the PRO version in a CF adapter on my Nikon D3 and it works quite well. Don’t remember exactly where I got the adapter, but it was only about $10. Love the ability in a studio-type setting to shoot, see the results, and not be tethered with a long cord.

    Post a Reply
    • can u tell me the brand name as well as the photo of it?thanks.

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  21. Any reviews/recommendations for a CF version? I also use a D300, and Eyefi asserts that converters corrupt the card, and that I shouldn’t use one! Any CF option would be welcome.

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  22. Your podcast omits the fact that this product is just not made for the majority of professional level cameras that require CF cards. I’d like to see the GPS feature explained as well. Looks like a very interesting product otherwise.

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  23. See link below regarding the Wi-Fi 8gb Pro card this also shows and explains why these cards dont work with compact flash work arounds and a little information about using with an Ipad and Shutter Snitch.

    A great video and hope this helps membes with in the group.

    Eye-Fi 8gb Pro Video Here !

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  24. Not shooting to CF cards is not a disadvantage. CF cards are old tech. Camera bodies have an expiration date. Granted some of the best image capturing cameras still use CF technology but this is purely because the new generation of full frames have not been born. But… 2012 is going to rock. I am glad companoes like eye-fi remain progressive instead of wasting their development resources producing devices for anachronistic camera models.

    Photographers seem to be so limited in our sight. I laugh at all the people telling me how thier glass will hold value, yada ya. Glass is on the way out big time. The near future in imaging tech will be liquid lenses directly above sensors with 50%+ plus of the image being recreated through computation. The only value to that glass will be as an antique artifact.

    Let go of your CF card… its served you well. On to new and better things.

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