This week, I’m really excited to share my new wifi memory card with you. Why the excitement? Because while I love gadgets and everything they bring to our lives, there are sometimes gadgets that really make a difference.
Now you may or may not have heard of an Eye-Fi card. Eye-Fi created a wifi memory card that you put into your camera and it will wirelessly transmit your photos to your computer. The most recent generation has actually taken it a step further and the card can also send to your phone or tablet (instead of your computer…more on this later) and a designated online service (I chose Shutterfly because I love it but there are a LOT to choose from). There is a version of the card that recently came out that’s called the Mobi which focuses on sending the photos to your phone or tablet, but I bought and am reviewing the Eye-Fi Pro X2.
Setting up the card
The Eye-Fi Pro X2 memory card comes in one size, 16 GB, and is a class 10 card. The first thing I had to do when I received it was take the USB dongle it came with, insert the card, and install the Eye-Fi software on my computer with the USB plugged in. Once installed, the software should take you through setting up the card and you will use the USB dongle every time you update certain settings on the card. While I like the capabilities the software offered me, it is confusing initially. I suggest figuring out what you want the card to do for you before setting it up.
For example, I thought I wanted the pictures to be sent directly to my computer and the Eye-Fi cloud (it stores them for 7 days and then deletes them unless you have a subscription) and then I could view and share on my phone. I must’ve been having a bad day because that made no sense while I was out and about. We also bought the Pro X2 as a Christmas present for my mother-in-law and, for her needs right now, she has the card transfer directly to the computer without any use of the mobile app.
I read a few reviews and found the most brilliant suggestion (which by default, makes the card & app themselves brilliant for having the capability): the only thing I had to set the card up to do while I was away from home was send the pictures to my phone. Which meant next, I had to set up the app. You need an account with the Pro X2 so you can sign in (the Mobi card comes with a code, simplifying the set up process for the mobile users) and this adds your phone or tablet to your account. Back on the computer, your phone or tablet should now be listed on the left side underneath the card; now you can set that up too. Along with my initial mistake about what I wanted the card to do, I also went out to the circus with both the card AND my phone doing the same tasks and both batteries drained way too quickly. Like I said above, the card just has to send to my phone and then I can have my phone send to my computer and Shutterfly with whatever network I’m on and the camera is not wasting power on additional tasks.
How is the card able to do this?
It creates it’s own wifi hotspot and your phone connects directly to it (while disconnecting from it’s own networks for the duration) to transfer the photos. I did find a little setting on my Galaxy S4 that had my phone automatically connecting to the strongest networks causing an unstable and frustratingly slow transfer at the circus and had to research that before being completely happy with my experience. But now the card works flawlessly. If you research the card, the reviews are on the lower side and I feel like this could be due to a lack of knowledge on the way it works.
The camera needs to be on for the transfer to occur, and that along with the transfer itself can drain the battery pretty quickly. I bought a backup just in case I needed it, but the camera has lasted for some multiple hour trips like the one to Adventure Aquarium. I love being able to share nicer pictures on all the social networks while I’m out and I don’t have to constantly switch between my phone camera and my interchangeable lens camera allowing me more time to actually enjoy the experience.
Another feature I feel deserves to be mentioned is the “Endless Memory” setting. You can enable your card to delete any images once a certain percentage (that you specify) of your storage capacity is reached. The card will not delete the images unless it has already transferred them though. I set this up to start once I hit 50% of my capacity but that hasn’t happened yet.
Pro X2 vs Mobi
A few reasons I picked the Pro X2 over the Mobi: the Pro X2 has the ability to transfer RAW images which I wanted in case I ever upgraded to a full DSLR; the Pro X2 can transfer directly to the computer (Mobi is in beta); and the Pro X2 can connect to a designated home or work wifi to make transfers really fast. This comes in handy for at home photo shoots (moms) or in studio photos shoots (pros).
I really believe this little card is a life changer, especially with the ability to transfer from the card to my phone and then my phone to my computer and Shutterfly. I no longer have to find my card reader, transfer my pictures to my computer for posts or to upload to Shutterfly. And I can share some of the fantastic (mostly by accident) photos I can take with my camera right after I take them. My Instagram accounts will never be the same. This could be an amazing addition for any family AND professional photographer.
Do you have a wifi memory card? Do you plan to get one?
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