The Eye-Fi SD Card is a wireless memory card. It automatically uploads pictures from your digital camera to your PC or Mac and to your favorite photo sharing, printing, blogging or social networking site.
How It Works
Basically, you plug the Eye-Fi card into a special reader, set it up on your computer and sharing websites and then start shooting. If you’re in range of your wireless network, the Eye-Fi card automatically uploads the images to your computer and photo sharing websites. It’s got 2GB of storage, so if you’re not in range, it can hold on to plenty of photos until you get back within range of your network.
Who It’s For
For some, this card could come in quite handy. I see a lot of potential in this technology for studio shooters. It’s not quite there yet, as you’ll see from reading some of the reviews below. However, some users will benefit from this technology right away. Think about the photographers that you see at theme parks or special events. If they’re in range of the network (install a few access points if needed), images can go straight to the computer or, say, Smugmug and they’re selling photos faster and more efficiently. No more running cards back and forth.
I think the people that will appreciate this device are the MySpace and Facebook users that like to share photos with their friends. It takes a lot out of their work flow, which they don’t want to have a work flow anyway. It’ll get their party pictures on Photobucket or flickr with less effort than the traditional method. As such, expect to see the Eye-Fi card more in high school and college students’ point & shoot cameras than in serious photographers’ DSLRs.
For now, Eye-Fi only works with JPEG images. That’s enough to keep me from getting one, as I only shoot in RAW. The minimal convenience that I could gain from this card is nowhere near enough reason to shoot JPEG over RAW. Additionally, I wouldn’t use it for the sharing feature anyway, as I always tweak photos before sending them anywhere.
Once configured and in a ‘home’ environment it is arguably easier getting images from your camera back to your computer, but you really wouldn’t want to use it as a mass transfer alternative to a card reader.
Sure, the Eye-Fi is basically a cradle replacement. But snapping photos and automatically uploading them in real time to share is truly fantastic, especially when the images can be better than one’s camera phone. And the entire product experience is built with simplicity. If you can get over the price and are sick of cords, we strongly recommend the purchase.
For $99 I would definitely recommend the Eye-Fi. At that price you get 2GB and wireless functionality – that’s a steal. I’m going to set this up on my mom’s camera so she can put family pictures on her neglected Flickr account. The Eye-Fi receives 9 out of 10 Stammys.
Where to Buy
First off, consider going to your local camera store (and I don’t necessarily mean Wolf Camera at the mall). By going to your local camera store, you’re supporting your community and you just might build a lasting relationship with people you can rely on when you need some help or answers. If you’re buying online, I recommend sticking with Amazon, B&H Photo or Adorama. These three vendors are reliable, trustworthy and generally have the best (legitimate) prices. Additionally, purchasing your gear through these links helps support this site.
[tags]eye-fi, sd, card, wireless[/tags]