For those of us who use digital cameras and go through the throws of locating a cable to connect our camera or card readers to our computers to get at our photos and videos have something to rejoice about. There’s a company that’s been making memory cards with Wi-Fi capability built into it, called “Eye-Fi”.
It’s seems their product line has matured to a point where they continually receive great reviews. It seems like they plan on being around awhile with a release for the android OS and iOS (iPhone) devices. So, not only do they support PC and Mac with several online photos services (Picasa, Flickr, Photobucket, and about 40 more) they’re reaching out to the smartphones, tablets, and iPads as well.
Having read several reviews and information on the Eye-Fi website, I found there is one major prerequisite: You need a wireless network. Then you need you a camera that uses the SDHC memory card. A word of caution here! Although your camera may use a SDHC card, not all cameras are compatible with the Eye-Fi memory card. You can check that here. Well, considering I have a wireless network at home and a camera that uses the SDHC memory card, I decided to get one and take a chance. The only hesitation I had was the fact that my little Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W530 wasn’t listed in the compatibility list.
There are three versions available, the Connect X2 version with 4GB, the Explore X2 version with 8GB, and the Pro X2 version with 8GB and four different features. All three versions come with the online sharing feature, the Explore X2 version comes with the Geotagging feature and the Hot Spot Access (free for a year) feature, and the Pro X2 version comes with the Geotagging, the Hot Spot Access (free for a year) and the Ad Hoc Transfers features.
I opted for the Connect X2 and brought it home. Once I got back I sat down and read the setup instructions. Most times I usually don’t do that, but several of the reviews I read stated, “I encountered”, or “I had”, “no problems getting the photos following the setup instructions.” The package comes with the SDHC memory card and a card reader. Inserting the card reader into an available USB port I installed the Eye-Fi software called Eye-Fi Center. Once it finished the program it prompted me to remove the card reader, then remove the memory card from the card reader and insert it in my camera.
Once I had the memory card in the camera, Eye-Fi central wanted me to take a test photo. I took a picture, set the camera down and looked at the computer to read the next step when I noticed a little window in bottom right with DSC00022.jpg being loaded. My heart raced and I felt a big grin spread across my face as I watched the test picture appear in the window. Eye-Fi Central let me know that picture could stay at Eye-Fi (online) for up to 7 days and prompted me for a more permanent online photo service and I could email them from here. You can view Eye-Fi Center on the computer you installed it on or via the web at center.eye.fi.
During the setup process I had selected Picasa as my online photo and video service, so I went there to check the results of the upload.
Awesome! No more cables or card readers. In fact, although I purchase the Connect X2 I went ahead and upgraded it for the Hot Spot Access – an annual subscription of $29.99 is required. This allows me to use any wireless network away from my home (public or private) to upload my photos and videos. With plans to be out of the area on vacation coming up soon, I decided it was worth the investment. To me just having the card is worth the investment to get rid of carrying those dang cables and card readers where ever I went.
Resources For More Information
Available at our AC-Cashiers Community Library:
Available at our Jackson County Public Library and Marianna Black Library
Wireless SD Cards – Get a memory card that makes your camera wireless. Upload photos and videos wirelessly to your computer and to the web.