I recently bought a small and portrable new camera, and needed a new memory card to go with it.
The camera is the Olympus OMD-PL5. More on that later – I want to use it plenty before I tell you what I think. (I am loving it so far!)
This camera uses SD memory cards, as opposed to the bigger CF cards that my Canon 5DII uses.
Since I had nary an SD card in the house, and needed to buy some for the new camera, I decided to research the Eye-Fi cards.
Their wireless capabilities intrigued me for a couple of reasons.
- I am going back to Enland next month for William and Kate’s 2nd anniversary. Not that they invited me or anything, but I went to the royal wedding 2 years ago with a friend, and we decided to make the trip an every-other-year occurrence. We are going to do lots of traveling while we are there and I want to keep gear to a minimum. A Wi-Fi card means that I won’t need a card reader in order to share photos while I’m away.
- Don’t laugh at this. I blog from church. And my priest not only is ok with it, she loves it. I take a photo and post it to the church’s Facebook page with a summary of what people are missing if they are at home on Facebook instead of coming to church. These photos and “live blogs” on Sundays generate good interest for the church. I do take the photos with my phone sometimes, but would rather take them with a better camera and post to Facebook that way.
The Eye-Fi card addresses both situations in addition to regular photo storage. I bought the Pro X2 8 Gigabyte card.
It creates a mini Wi-Fi network that is accessible only by your computer or mobile device. Mine is programmed to send specific photos directly to my iPhone when they are in range of each other. You can program the card to send either all photos to your mobile device, or just selected images. The card can also send images directly to your computer.
When I’m in England, I can take lots of photos and flag my favorites on the camera. They will sync to my phone, where I can share on Facebook or send back home to the kids. I could do the same on my iPad to edit them.
At church, I can take a photo on the camera that is suitable both for posting to Facebook and has high enough quality to go in a photo album. Right there in the pew, I send the photo to my phone, upload it to Facebook, and remind people that they still have time to make it to church.
So how does the Eye-Fi work, now that I’ve had it a while? It works great, thanks for asking!
The Eye-Fi website has very clear, step by step instructions for setting up your network and tying your device and/or computer to it. You don’t have to do anything special to your camera, because all the info is on the memory card. This set up process has the potential to be complicated – however, the instructions from Eye-Fi are clear and have detailed screen shots. Just set aside about 30 uninterrupted minutes when the kids aren’t going to need help from you, or want to “help” you with your work. 😉
Part of the installation process includes installing the Eye-Fi app onto your mobile device. This app is both iOS and Android compatible, and is available and no cost.
Once the set up is complete, pop the card in your camera and take a pic. Since I have mine configured to transmit only certain photos, I mark the photos to transmit by locking them from deletion. Protecting your photos in this way is the signal to the Eye-Fi that you want to upload only these photos to your mobile phone or computer – if that’s what you configured it to do. Otherwise, all photos will transmit.
Check the compatibility of your camera here, and read more about what the card can do. From what I can tell, most cameras that can use SD cards can use the Eye Fi – but check the compatibility first.
And, if you decide to buy, the prices are better on Amazon than on the Eye-Fi site.