One of the pleasures of a digital camera is being able to view your photographic results almost instantly on a computer by either attaching the camera directly to a computer via a USB connection or by inserting the cameras memory card in to a card reader. While that process certainly beats waiting for film to be developed it can get old quick when you are adjusting settings and want to see the results instantly. In my case much of my picture taking revolves around photographing outdoor and sporting gear for my other web sites. Often photographing many variations of the same object and running back to a pc to inspect the images. In an attempt to speed the process up I attached the Nikon D90 directly to my PC with a 15′ USB cable. That worked with moderate success but that cable was getting caught in feet and the USB acted funny at times. USB was not the answer I was seeking.
I got to wondering if there was such a thing as a wireless memory card? So I did what anyone else would do. I performed a Google search and ended up at the Eye-Fi site. Much to my surprise they had several variations of Wi-Fi memory card. after some time reading it became apparent that the card I needed was the Eye-Fi Pro X2 8 GB Class 6 SDHC Wireless Flash Memory Card. Naturally it wasn’t available for purchase. I was a little disappointed but I did what I always do when I want to know when I can buy something. I head to Amazon.com. Sure enough they listed it as being for sale in about a week and I could pro-order the card. I was temporarily taken back by the price of the card. The card sells for $149, ouch. Anyhow now I was at the point where I dont want this card but rather I “NEED” the card. I ordered it only to be surprised once again. The card showed up a few days later and before the date Amazon.com listed.
The card came with a reader, instructions and software pre-installed on the card. I proceeded to install the software, register and create an account per the instructions. Everything went great….almost. The card would not see any wifi networks. I promptly submitted a request to support along with my log files (i knew they would ask) The next day I got a reply stating that they were shipping a replacement next day for a Saturday delivery. I was floored to say the least. The new card installed perfectly and worked as it should for a while. Now 4 months later the performance is getting flakey.
When I first installed the card it would transfer large jpg’s in a couple of seconds while raw files took about 12 seconds. Now the unit stops transferring images and it can take up to a minute to transfer a raw image (if it finishes). The helper utility crashes on occasion. All in all it has gotten pretty frustrating.
Now here’s the the thing. Im not ready to blame the folks at Eye-Fi for this and I will tell you why. My method to get the card functioning closely resembles the steps to fix the problem many Nikon owners are experiencing with traditional SDHC memory.
The steps are as follows:
- Power off camera
- Remove Eye-fi card
- Replace Eye-fi card in camera
- Power the camera back on
- Take a picture
Those steps always get my card functional again.
Additionally I tried the Eye-fi with two different installs of Windows 7 x64 and two different Routers a Linksys WRT320N R and a Cisco E3000 High-Performance Wireless-N Router . The results were the same.
Do I recommend the Eye-fi? Not at this time if your a Nikon owner.
From the Manufacturer:
The Eye-Fi 8GB Pro X2 SDHC Class 6 Memory Card is a high-power and flexible card that can serve you in many ways. This card can help streamline your workflow. Enjoy the freedom of Ad Hoc connection capabilities and RAW uploads, plus the best of Eye-Fi Explore, including geotagging, HotSpot Access, selective transfer, and Wi-Fi photo and video uploads to your computer and to one of over 25 websites.
Store up to 4,000 photos or 3hr of video with 8GB SDHC capacity supercharged with class 6 read & write speeds
Upload photos & videos from your camera through your Wi-Fi network with unprecedented wireless performance thanks to built-in 802.11n technology
Send photos & videos to your laptop anywhere your camera takes you
Wirelessly upload RAW photos to any folder on your computer to streamline your workflow
Always running out of space? With Endless Memory Mode, your Eye-Fi card will automatically free up space once your photos and videos have been safely delivered
Upload on-the-go through one of 10,000 HotSpots, including McDonald’s, airports, hotels and more. (1-year included, $14.99/year renewal option thereafter)
Lifetime, automatic Geotagging service helps you organize and share photos. View, search and share your latest trips on a map
Wirelessly upload photos and videos to folders of your choice on your computer, or even directly into iPhoto for Macs
Wirelessly send your JPEG photos and videos to a popular website. See the complete list you can choose from, which includes Flickr, Facebook, Picasa, MobileMe, and YouTube
Pick Your Pics
You can select which photos and videos upload from your camera
Photos and videos can automatically be stored in date-based folders, so memories are organized effortlessly by date
Get email, Facebook, text message or Twitter alerts when your photos are uploading online
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