Eye-Fi Review

eyefi-logo

I have a dream.

In the dream I’m at a photoshoot in my studio. I’ll take a picture of a lovely model and in a moment the image will show up on my laptop across the studio.

No wires, just wireless tether.

Nikon teased me with this capability for the D200, but that wasn’t my camera. Now they have it on their D300 and D3, but you have to wear small pack on your belt and have a cable running to the camera. Remember no wires.

Well the Eye-Fi looked like the answer. Alas it is not so.

Obviously not aimed at the professional. If it was it would be a CF card and not a SD card. Seems a CF card would have been easier, because it was bigger. Also it is geared toward uploading to web photo sharing sites like Flickr, but few pros use these sites.

But I believed, and I bought an Eye-Fi and a CF card adapter. I scheduled a photoshoot with a 5′ 10″ strawberry blonde. Decked her out in lingerie, set up my lights, and put the eye-fi in my Fuji S3.

And it worked. Click the shutter, and eventually the image showed up on Flickr. And later it showed up on my computer.

“Eventually” and “later” are the problem. It took easily over five minutes per 3.5 MB file for upload. I shot over 3 hours and at the end only had 10 pictures out of 200+ images on Flickr. When I needed to review some images to make sure over powering the sun looked right, I had to take the card out and insert it into the card reader. It downloaded all 200+ images into Lightroom in less time that it took to upload 1 image via wifi.

So I’m disappointed. My dream is still just that, a dream.

4 thoughts on “Eye-Fi Review”

  1. Hi,

    I more or less agree with these comments (I assume you were shooting large/fine JPEG?), but see http://www.ikontools.com/reviews/eyefi – it can be made to work reasonably well.

    You could set the camera to shoot RAW and small/basic JPEG – that way, only the small JPEGs would be transmitted for viewing and you can transfer the RAWs later. Alternatively, you could use something like a D3 and write just small basic JPEGs to the second slot, which would contain the Eye-Fi.

    If you’re finding range a problem, I use a pocket router (D-Link DWL-G730AP) and a battery pack, both in my pocket, to “bridge” a connection between the Eye-Fi and my main router. That way, signal strength remains high. I’ll probably write an article on that soon…

    Regards,
    Jon

  2. Jon:

    Thanks for the comment and the article. I’m a believer in shooting RAW, but don’t do it on my S3 because the RAW files are huge, 25+MB, and the card writer is slow. So I shoot JPEG and don’t have the option of a smaller JPEG.

    I’ll tried to figure out the local upload option. I seems I have that configured, but it still seems to upload and then download to the computer.

    Ron

  3. Ron,

    I am not sure why you were experiencing such lethargic transfer rates. This is not typical or acceptable performance. I am aware of many photographers that are using the Eye-Fi Card in the studio to review images and make adjustments.

    The Eye-Fi Card is not limited to uploading to the web. For a studio it would be best to use “local” or “upload to computer only” mode. Thus avoiding any web uploading bandwidth issues. In “local” mode the Eye-Fi Card transfers the images to your computer over your WiFi through your router.

    To set your Eye-Fi Card to upload to your computer only, just log into the Eye-Fi Manger, go to the settings tab and choose “Upload to Web” and choose “Do not share photos online”.

    Give that a try, I am confident you will see an improvement.

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