One of my frustrations when I have my camera out is having to take another photo on my phone whenever I want to share something on my Instagram. The moment might have passed, or my phone’s camera is too weak, and I feel like I really need to use filters unless the lighting is perfect.
I saw the Eyefi quite a while ago via a few friends who were thinking of getting it. Said friends are now using cameras that have that capability built-in, but after a lot of thought and the knowledge that I wouldn’t be changing gear anytime soon, I decided I’d finally go ahead and give it a try.
How I envisioned using the Eyefi:
I would shoot, send some images over to my phone when I want to post it to Instagram while on the road. Once I’m at my own machine, I would stick it into a card reader and get my images like any ordinary card and do all my organizing and post-processing.
Setup and unboxing
Setup was a bit confusing. I took the “frustration free packaging” option at Amazon, and the card that came with it only mentioned to “Download the free Eyefi app on your Apple® or Android™ mobile devices”, which I did immediately. On the app itself, it just told me to key in the 10-digit activation code behind the card case.
Where is this code?
Not here either.
Finally I go to www.eye.fi/WUG which was printed on the package. That was where I found out that Pro X2 cards do not come with a 10-digit activation code. Only Mobi cards have the activation code.
Well, it could be handled better, is all I am saying.
I go back and forth at this point. The downloads page has downloads for the desktop, for iOS, and for Android. I really only wanted to connect it to my phone, not my computer. But I finally download the desktop app, and while setting that up, I am told to download and activate a profile for my iPhone.
Eventually, I am able to find the Eyefi card’s WiFi signal and connect to it, and download photos using the Eyefi app. The app does download RAW files, and I have yet to check just how big of an impact this is on my phone’s available space.
By default the Eyefi card sends all photos taken on the camera, and obviously that’s a bit of a problem when you’re talking about sending over huge RAWs. The switch to selective transfers is, not very intuitively, done on the desktop application. After setting that up, selecting a photo for transfer is as simple as marking the photo as protected on the camera.
Opening up the Eyefi card by putting it into my iMac’s ordinary card reader slot, there are a few files preloaded onto the card. I deleted the
START HERE and
Autorun folders as well as
autorun.inf (backing them up in my machine, of course!) and it hasn’t disturbed card usage with my phone. (Of course, if you are using a Windows machine, you might want to keep the last autorun files in there.)
Out on the field
I took the Eyefi out on a short “field trial” last weekend, spending a few hours at Haw Par Villa. I took photos, transferred some over to my phone, uploaded them that way. Rinse and repeat.
I noticed that my camera would get hot in my hands somewhat often. On the OMD EM-5, the memory card slot is located underneath/inside the hand grip, which is what felt hot multiple times during the hours I spent using the camera. I don’t know if this is just selective memory, but that hasn’t happened before, and does make me a little concerned. Reviewing my Eyefi settings after my quick test, however, makes me suspect that enabling geotagging caused this issue; I’ve turned it off and hopefully that will fix it.
In contrast to that, I haven’t experienced battery drain other than what’s normal for my usage. Only time (and more lengthy usage) will tell if it’s significant enough to warrant shelving the card, but yesterday I had plenty battery to spare after my run.
Connection and transfer of photos (once tagged) is fairly snappy, though the wait for Eyefi Direct to fully engage and start transferring won’t be winning any awards. The process for me is like this:
- Take photos.
- Tag (“protect”) photos I want to transfer over (might take a while).
- Get phone and turn it on.
- Open Settings and change the WiFi to the Eyefi card hotspot (plus: sometimes it’s automatically selected by this point, since it’s the only already-known WiFi in the area).
- Open the Eyefi app
- Wait for the connection icon/button to turn green.
- Wait for the downloads to finish.
- Turn off camera.
- Post photos.
I think I did this transfer about five separate times that day, and one of those times I couldn’t get Direct to connect well, and I had to restart the app before it would confirm the connection and start transferring the photos.
I think it’s certainly handy. Photo transfer of RAWs are passable–not blazing fast, but I never expected something quick. I’m pleased enough that I don’t need to shoot RAW+JPEG to make something like this work. The heat emanating from my grip is worrying, but hopefully with geotagging disabled it won’t happen again. No significantly noticeable loss of battery life.
It’s also certainly pricey, when you’re talking about being able to get cards with vastly more space for the same price, if not cheaper. I know that if it had double the space it has now, I would have purchased this card earlier, with less doubts.
This was a good purchase for me–it solves some of my issues and works well with my imagined workflow. If you’re planning a camera upgrade at some point in the future, to a body that allows for wireless transfers, then definitely give this a pass. Otherwise it’s a good solution for until that time in the future. ;)