The Eye-Fi Mobile x2 card at $79 is fun.
It sends your photos and videos to an iPad or iPhone. This card does Direct Mode transfers with no cables.
Connect the card to your Mac/PC, install the software, click the setup file and follow the steps. You even get cued to transfer your first photo, wirelessly.
After setup, just slide the Eye-Fi card into the Secure Digital (SD) memory card slot in your camera. No wi-fi hotspot needed. What is the secret for photography? Just set your camera and iPad to be turned on all the time.
Is this enough reason to buy an iPad or other iOS device if you are a photographer who does not have one of them? Yes, I think so. But if you choose not to, you can still directly transfer images to your Win XP/7/Vista or Mac OS X10.4 system.
When you transfer your photos and videos with Direct Mode, they are saved in the device’s built-in camera roll. The images will show up in the Eye-Fi app where they can be previewed or uploaded to your Mac/Win notebook or your online sharing service like Flickr, Facebook, Costco.com, Evernote, Kodak Gallery, MobileMe, Shutterfly, Snapfish, Smugmug or WalMart. On the Mac, Eyefi automatically organizes your photos and videos by date or drops them into iPhoto. Want to send some shots to Facebook and others to Picasa? No problem.
Would you like to record where you took the picture? You can get a Pro X2 card with geo-tagging, but you’ll need to download the Eye-Fi direct mode app through the iTunes store to go mobile.
Imagine wedding guests passing around an iPad wedding show with music during the reception. Visualize children seeing the first photograph they ever took appear on an iPad, in a remote area without internet access.
Transfer Speed: Depends on Network & Memory Card Speed
So far the fastest transfers are with jpegs from the Eye-Fi to the iOS device. How fast are these transfers? An 800K jpeg file takes 2-4 seconds.
Raw files have longer transfer rates. It takes about 30 seconds to 45 seconds to transfer a 35 MB RAW file; 20 seconds of this is card write time. For instance, the Eye-Fi card is much slower than my 8 GB Hoodman high speed 675x CF card that I have in my CF slot of my digital camera.
5 MB jpeg photos cut the transfer time down, making it more convenient to use the Eye-Fi Mobile to preview jpeg files and you can keep the RAW images to post-process later on.
It takes about 10 seconds, using a USB cable, for the RAW image to appear in Lightroom. The photo is not on the card, but on the laptop. It takes about 30 seconds to transfer a jpeg into Lightroom 3, with the RAW photo file remaining on the memory card.
LIGHT Voyages Monthly Column by Jim Austin