View Full Version : Wireless SD Card - heard of this?

Old Grouse
12-19-2009, 15:04
I just bought my daughter an Eye-Fi 4 gb wireless sd card for Christmas. According to the literature it will wirelessly upload your photos (or videos) to "your sharing site of choice" when in the proximity of a wi-fi signal (presumably when you turn on your camera). It will also save the photos wirelessly to your computer when in its proximity (computer software is included). Plus it claims to "geo-tag" your photos. Apparently it does this by sensing the camera's location (provided there's wi-fi coverage there. If not, then later?)

It isn't cheap - cost me $85 at Best Buy with tax, but 4 gb ain't bad, and the convenience of no more cabling to your computer may be a good thing.

I'm thinking it could be of great convenience to a hiker. Upon reaching a town, you could upload your photos while doing your laundry. Anybody else heard of this or used it?

12-19-2009, 15:46
Sounds like it is just a awy to move photos from your camera to your computer without a USB Cable. I think you would need your laptop (with wi-fi capability) in town with you to load your photos - Which may be waaaaay to inconvenient...

12-19-2009, 15:52
Sounds like it is just a awy to move photos from your camera to your computer without a USB Cable. I think you would need your laptop (with wi-fi capability) in town with you to load your photos - Which may be waaaaay to inconvenient...
It is much more than that. You can upload to flickr, picasa, ect from any open hotspot or one of the ones they have with their service (ie McDonalds). No computer needed.

Old Grouse
12-19-2009, 16:10
Yes, as I understand it you can upload directly from the camera to Flickr or another service (no computer necessary). That's why I thought it might be good for LD hikers.

12-19-2009, 18:03
I have one (the smaller 2gb version) and while I have not used it while hiking.. I have used it.

It does work great, it will sync your pictures to an online account, and if you or your family has a pc online at home, you can set it up to also have that pc download the pictures it sends.

However, all this is at the cost of your camera's batteries. Although, being in town you could change/charge batteries, lessening that problem.

But as the card looks for a wireless signal every time the camera is powered on, I would imagine you will get a shorter battery life on the trail.

Reddog176 aka Gadget

Powder River
12-20-2009, 13:56
This product caught my eye and I started thinking it would be great, until I started reading more about how it works.

I think the biggest problem is that there is no interface for logging in to a wireless network. You have to preconfigure any wireless connection you plan on using through the computer software, otherwise it won't work. So if you go to a public library and it has that screen that makes you agree to terms, you have no way of clicking 'yes.' If there is a paid wireless network, forget about it. If a network has a password and someone gives you the password, you can't use it. So that pretty much limits it to your own home, and anywhere you're willing to drag your laptop to.

The second problem that this brings up is speed. If you are home, or you have your laptop then you could easily use a card reader. Read this review by dpreview.com: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/eye-fi/ where they find that a regular card reader is as much as fifty times faster, as could take as long as three hours to upload 2gb. Here is the conclusion section from that review:

Issues / concerns

Only works with associated access points which have no additional 'login' layer (ie. only home / office access points, not public access points) and this can only be carried out with the Eye-Fi Manager software running on a computer
Requires a good WiFi signal to work properly, has less range than typical WiFi devices
Uploads each and every image taken, no ability to select which images are uploaded
Uploads full size images to web galleries (it would have made more sense for the Eye-Fi Manager to provide the option to resize incoming
For single images, demos and entertaining transmission times are acceptable, however if you came home with a card full of images (2 GB) it would take three hours to download all images (if the camera battery could last that long)
Requires that the camera does not power off otherwise obviously transmission is interrupted
Unknown additional impact on camera battery life
Performance is made to look pretty poor in comparison to most cheap USB 2.0 card readers which can manage ~10 MB/sec (some fifty times faster than the Eye-Fi card)
No Compact Flash version (yet)

The Eye-Fi card is one of those products which is great fun out of the box but the returns begin to diminish the more you use it. It's not particularly fast (no surprise really as it is WiFi but it's quite a bit slower than we expected), it needs to be pre-configured for each access point and doesn't support public access points, it uploads everything on the card (which could literally be a gigabyte of images) and there's no option for delivering reduced size images to photo sharing sites (although to counter that you can uploaded without a computer which could be useful if your files aren't too large).
Once configured and in a 'home' environment it is arguably easier getting images from your camera back to your computer, but you really wouldn't want to use it as a mass transfer alternative to a card reader. If you really want a card reader and wire free solution to getting your images onto your computer then you could just get a SanDisk Ultra II USB SD card which has a built-in USB connector, for $50. Lastly it's probably worth pondering the point of this product, do people really have problems plugging their cameras into a USB cable / placing the card in a card reader / placing the camera on a dock?

So I guess after reading that I am still on the lookout.