It is inevitable, we get so used to the immediate nature of digital photography.
I’m sure I’m not alone.
As soon as we are done taking pictures, we’d like for those images to get to our computers ready to edit by the time we sit down.
Not everyone using a digital camera wants to edit their pictures.
Some may just want to shoot, upload to an online sharing website.
And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
So the needs of Â casual hobbyist and professionals are very different. Depending on which animal you are, here’s how I think the Eye-Fi card might work for you.
The social butterfly who just wants to share
Buy any of the Eye-Fi cards if you are in no particular hurry and can wait till you get home to get your pictures online.
Since you won’t be able to set up or configure the Eye-Fi card without a computer, just count on getting your images uploaded when you get home.
If you’re a Mac user with a MobileMe account, you can configure the card to automatically upload to your account and or upload to your computer as well. The default location that Eye-Fi Center sends your images is UsersHome>Pictures>Eye-Fi>folder by month(it creates the last 2 folders automatically).
If you shoot short video clips, the path is similar. Your clips are saved at Users Home>Movies>Eye-Fi (folder by month>
The Advanced Hobbyist or Pro
If you can afford it, Â I recommend the high end card which allows you to connect via “Ad hoc”.
That just means you must plan to Â have your computer with you.
You will set up an Ad hoc network ( temporary) so your Eye-Fi card can transfer files to your hard drive even when you can’t access the internet.
Once on your computer, you can upload when you have internet access at your leisure.
At this point, the company only makes Secure Digital cards with this capability.
I would love to see a Compact Flash card version since my “work” cameras don’t use SD cards.
I say this because you can’t make the card work without first setting up the name of the Hot-spot, the username and password.
In practical terms during travels, we don’t always know these things before hand.
Furthermore, Eye-Fi Center requires you to physically be in the vicinity of the network you want to connect.
DO NOT LOSE the card reader (shown in the picture above) and keep that with your computer/laptop.
You need this special card reader whenever you want to change any settings for the card whether it is to enable access to another Wi-Fi hotspot, add or remove uploading to an online sharing website like Flickr or just changing where the images are going to be stored on your hard drive.
And one other very important thing, the Eye-Fi SD card does not mount in “regular” card readers.
Once you’ve committed your images to the Eye-Fi SD card, the only way to transfer your images is wirelessly i.e. through either your “ad hoc” network, your home network or that special USB reader.
So the sure-fire-no-frills solution then is to buy the more expensive cards which allow Ad-hoc connection and HAVE your computer with you all the time.
When the company finally makes available a Compact Flash card version, it will definitely give professionals a cheaper alternative to those OEM wireless transmitters by Canon or Nikon (Canon WFT-E4A $900 for 5DMark2)
For now, there may be workarounds as suggested by Jim Legins Jr, a frequent visitor to this blog. Jim has reported success using a generic Secure Digital to Compact Flash card adapter.
Eye-Fi folks were kind enough to comment that there is a possibility of data corruption if adapters are used. All I can say is test and re-test?
A Final note
A plentiful supply of batteries for image transfer is very important. Â (Camera must be on to throughout the process, expect a drain of battery power if your card is big)
According to their website certainÂ models of cameras can be enabled to stay powered on till data transfer is complete.