Eye-Fi Card Review – Sharing Disney Magic Instantly!
How many of you have done this before – you take your time to carefully compose a photo at a Disney Park with your camera, get your shot, and then pull out your smartphone snap a similar photo to share on Twitter or Facebook? I was very guilty of this “double-fisted-photography” until I discovered the magic of the Eye-Fi, a Wi-Fi-enabled memory cards. These cards extend the capability of your “real” cameras and remove the need for shooting those secondary smartphone images.
Eye-Fi cards work by utilizing known wireless networks to transmit photos from a camera to a computer, smartphone or tablet (Android & iOS). You will need a computer to add preferred networks to your Eye-Fi card, but once configured, insert the card into the camera and you’re good to go.
I was most impressed with the Eye-Fi card’s ability to connect to my devices via “Direct Mode” when out of range of a Wi-Fi network. If the card cannot successfully connect to a known Wi-Fi signal, it will begin broadcasting its own network signal for your devices to latch on. By simply pointing my smartphone or tablet in the right direction, the photos started to stream over.
The Eye-Fi card can be configured to either transmit all photos to a device or only the shots selected via the camera’s “protect” function. The card also offers an “Endless Storage” mode that deletes photos successfully transferred from camera to computer in order to free up memory space on the card itself.
I used an Eye-Fi card in my DSLR while shooting the New Fantasyland opening ceremony. The card enabled me to share images from the event as immediately as possible. Following is a brief rundown of how I utilized the card to give an idea of its capabilities while out in the parks.
Recap of using an Eye-Fi Card at Walt Disney World
For the New Fantasyland event, I was shooting with my Canon 5DM3. I had a 16GB CF card as well as a 16GB Eye-Fi Pro X2 (SD) card loaded in the camera. My camera was set to shoot both RAW+JPEG images with the RAW files writing to the CF card, and the JPEGs going to the Eye-Fi. While certain models of Eye-Fi cards can transmit RAW images, I opted to use JPEGS to speed up transmission times and avoid storing gigantic RAW files on my iPhone. I also enabled selective transfer to avoid sending the hundreds of photos I shot to my iPhone just to select the one or two I actually wanted to share.
Here is the photo that was sent directly to my iPhone:
After set-up, I just shot, marked the photos as “protected” on my camera, and fired up the Eye-Fi app on my phone. Within seconds, the images from my camera were available on my phone. I ran them through some quick edits via Snapseed and then posted them directly to whichever social network I desired.
Here is the photo after I edited it on my iPhone using Snapseed:
With Endless Memory mode turned on, the JPEG images transferred from the Eye-Fi card to my phone were deleted. The RAW files on my CF card, however, remained safe and sound until I exported them to my Lightroom library after the trip.
The Eye-Fi card, in conjunction with a great app like Snapseed, creates a fun and easy mobile workflow, one that certainly scratches the sharing itch while away from a primary editing solution.
If you have any questions about Wi-Fi enabled cards and their capabilities, please sound off in the comments. Also, don’t forget to check out our forums for further Disney and Photography related topics.