Is digital photography making me lazy?

36 exposures only–You’ve got to make them all count, right? It’s been at least 12 years maybe more since I loaded my Nikon F3.

I can’t picture myself loading film into a camera, finding inspiration and going out to capture images worthy of printing in a traditional darkroom these days.

The convenience and immediacy of digital photography has a way of doing that.

I’m actually getting worse. Now, not only am I lazy, I’m also impatient.

Finding my card reader, taking the memory card out of my camera is even too taking too long.

Previously, if seeing my pictures almost instantly after I take them was sufficient, now I want them to appear on my computer as well.

I dare say I’m not alone. Well, am I?

So someone saw my need and they came up a solution.

Well, I won’t quite say it’s a solution yet, but it’s close.

I don’t recall exactly when I first came across Eye-Fi–a special Secure Digital memory card which can be set up to wirelessly transfer your images to your computer via your home network.

Until recently when I bought othe Powershot G11, all my cameras used Compact Flash cards, so I wasn’t able to try this product.

Endless number of exposures?–The Eye-Fi folks claim you may never need another card ever again. Well, I wouldn’t say that exactly. I’ll explain more in my next post. What the manufacturers mean is if you’re the average user who shoots and goes home in between shoots to connect to your home WiFi network, then your images will download to your computer assuming you force your camera to stay on until all the files are transfered.

Some companies are very good at telling you exactly what you’re buying on their website while others can use some help. Eye-Fi‘s website is an example of this.

But how hard is it to put up a chart for comparison of their various products?

In a chart form, they could list the models, specs and capabilities so that you can see at a glance what you’re getting.

Instead you have to pore through lots of copy with lots of technical data to further confuse you. Stay tuned and I’ll tell you if this product is worthy of your hard-earned money.

As with most tech products, a certain degree of sophistication or technical knowhow on the part of the consumer is needed. So if you are considering splurging on this Eye-Fi card, expect some degree of tweaking.

For now just read through a review of Eye-Fi written by my friend Daniel Luck, from our Mugsie, our local Mac users group.

16 thoughts on “Is digital photography making me lazy?”

  1. Darn Pete, I totally missed your reply and thanks for making it.

    I use Windows Vista, Photoshop Elements 7.0 (I find the generic image viewer/editor in Vista takes care of most of my needs and it’s what I use the most. I can add tags easily and quickly with it.)

    It’s not really a platform, hardware or software thing I’m asking about. You use Mac, I use Windows. You shoot Cannon, I shoot Nikon. We both know how to frame and compose and look for light then rotate, crop and fix WB if we didn’t get that right in camera before we pressed the shutter.

    As I’m writing this I’m feeling like a total a$$ because you teach this stuff for a living and I’m asking you to do it for free and it’s an objective thing to rate what the photographer thinks of his (or her) own photo anyway. I now realize what I was asking and withdraw the question. You prove, once again, what a great guy you are by trying to answer an impossible question in a kind and patient way. You are a good teacher.


  2. Hi Jim,
    Thanks for your suggestion. I am more than happy to assist. As with most digital workflows, there are so many variables to consider. How about this? Let me know:

    1. your platform, Mac or Windows
    2. Apps you use, iPhoto, Lightroom, Aperture, Photoshop Elements, full version of Photoshop? (version number)
  3. Jim,
    Thank you so much for posting back. I might take a chance and buy one of those SD to CF adapters. I would “test” that very extensively before I totally trust it. I would be curious to see how the CF adapter handles sequences and if you can make it to behave erratically. In all matters having to do with wireless I’m sure EMI (electromagnetic interference) is an issue. We already have so many wireless device in an around the house starting with our routers, cordless phones, cellphones, I would be surprise if they all play nice together.

  4. I would be very interested in an article from you about how you rate and categorize your photo’s when you download them Pete.

  5. got a SD to CF card adapter today from Amazon. I put it in my Nikon with the Eye-Fi card and snapped a pic and a few seconds later it was on my commputer. I didn’t see any brand name on the card so it’s just a generic thing I guess.

  6. Hello Phil,
    Thanks for taking the time to comment. There is that problem with storage for sure.

    I can only speak for me when I say, without fail I always download and cull my images by rating and categorizing as soon as I can. Often as soon as I get done shooting.

    It’s a habit held over for when I worked at the newspaper. I don’t consider my “shoot” over till I’ve done that.

  7. Hello Randhir,
    Thank you for taking the time and trouble to comment. I am especially impressed with the pro-active approach your company is taking to address the concerns of end users such as my readers and I.

    I will have more to say about the Eye-Fi card I purchased after a more prolonged period of use.

    As I suggested to Jim, I am aware of the issues with CF adapters. That’s why I waited till I had a camera which uses SD cards before I bought an Eye-Fi card.

    On that note, would you please let me know if and when Eye-Fi plans to launch a Compact Flash Card version?

  8. Peter, thanks for your review and link to our site.

    As Berend points out, there is a link to the comparison chart from the products page. Sorry that it was not easier for you to find. We actually did A/B testing with putting the comparison chart a lot further up on the site and it ended up confusing people.

    Since most people don’t know much about Eye-Fi, it seems to work better when they learn about the core capabilities and then are introduced to the additional features via the comparison chart.

    @Jim, please note that Eye-Fi does not recommend using CF adapters with our product as they have been known to reduce range, cause occasional photo corruption or not work at all.

    Randhir (Eye-Fi)

  9. I think in one way digital photography will force us to become less lazy. There is the group of photographers that will go for nostalgia and want to shoot film, but for the rest of us digital creates another problem of mass. The tendency to keep pressing the shutter is very high since there is relatively no immediate cost to each photo. You used to be limited to 36 exposures, now even without the Eye-Fi you can fit thousands of jpg images on a single card.

    Even with storage being so inexpensive, there still is the problems of culling and categorizing one’s photos. It is much easier to filter a hundred photos instead of thousands. So we trade one form of laziness for another form of work and organization. Otherwise your really great photos will get lost in a digital stock pile.

  10. Pete,

    I like your blog. It’s easy to read and understand and learn stuff from; you also make it fun so I’ll call you a magnificent genius if I want to.

    I dunno about deep pockets, but I ordered one from Amazon a few minutes ago and it’s supposed to be here on the 22nd. I’ll let you know how it goes in my D300 😉

    Things to do while waiting for downloads… pick up another camera? Read yours and Joe McNally’s blogs? Pull weeds? Cook lunch, talk to my daughter in Korea on Skype, grab a spare camera and go motorcycling… eating sounds like the most fun 😀

  11. Jim,
    I’ve considered that Secure Digital to Compact Flash adapter as a possibility but from what I’ve read, there have been mixed results of success. You’re the one with deep pockets. So, go ahead and test it. Then let me know? 🙂

  12. Me, a magnificent genius, Jim? I can’t take credit for that. Much as I’d like to. But thanks 🙂

    I was merely stating the obvious there. It’s human nature to develop a “wait problem” and grow increasingly impatient. Take into account that the megapixels on our cameras will grow but until the read/write ability of the memory cards (often the bottle neck) catch up, we’ll have to find ways to occupy our time as our computers download 32 GB or more worth of data. Maybe you and I can come up with an idea to occupy the time we saved by not having to develop film. 😉

  13. Pete! You magnificent genius! I went and bought one at Office Depot shortly after I read you post and I love it! I put the card in my Nikon D60 and it worked so easily; then I popped it into my Nikon P90 and it worked without missing a beat for both photos and videos.

    One side note… the first one I brought home and loaded went right to a login screen and I had no idea what was wrong. After uninstall, reinstall and poking around Eye-Fi’s website I finally found out it had been registered previously and returned to the store and the only remedy was to replace it. The nice folks at Office Depot were very nice, traded me for a new one and the new one works as advertised.

    I hope Eye-fi makes a CF card some day so I can use it in my D300.


  14. Hi Berend,
    Thanks for taking the time to point out that such a chart exists on the website. I must have looked and looked and didn’t find it.

    I think the chart needs to be a more obvious link instead of hidden away on the “Products” page. Had I found it before I bought my card, I would have known I needed the card that has “Ad hoc” capability. I’ll explain that at length in another post.

  15. Eye-Fi’s web site presents exactly the kind of comparison chart you mentioned above:

    You can get to it from the main home page within two clicks, first by clicking on “products” in the main tabs at the top, then the “See comparison chart” that comes up in the overview section of the first product that’s presented (currently the Connect X2).

    Thanks for writing up the review!


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