Are the Eye-Fi Wireless SD Cards Worth Your hard Earned Money?

Eye-Fi Pro X2 Wireless Memory Card 8gb

A lot of the items I review peak my interest, but none as much as this particular little item right here. The Eye-Fi 8Gb Pro X2 Wireless Memory Card has been on my want list for a long time. With the reduction in price for the holidays I finally pulled the trigger. Now to find out if it is everything they claim it to be.

I plan on doing a series of articles on this card. It covers so many possible functions , that I do not want to try and cram it all into one write up. I will start with a review of the card followed by an installation guide and end up on more specific functions of the card. So far it appears this card is going to be a valuable addition to my camera bag arsenal.

Reader / Card and Manual

Want versus need

If your like me, you saw these cards on the end cap at the local best buy, or in a camera store behind the counter. You thought they were interesting, but not “That” interesting, in comparison to the price. I looked for a long time, and the price on the basic model is around $40 for the 4mb non RAW model, but I wanted the RAW transfer functionality.

The 8Gb card that I wanted was priced at $99. A little steep for something I wasn’t even sure I would use. But then black Friday Rolls round and Eye-Fi drops their prices by $20 on the X2 models. I also stumbled upon a site with another $20 off, putting the price at $59. This made it a more affordable item to try out, so I pulled the trigger and ordered it.

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Included SD Card Reader

What you get
Included in the packaging is the 8gb (or what ever size you purchase) SD card, an instruction booklet and they also include a USB SD-card reader. Yes it does work to read regular SD cards too. Everything is also Eye-Fi’s distinctive orange color, which I found annoying at first, but have come to realize it is really handy when your hunting for this stuff in low light or in the deep pockets of a camera bag. It also makes it very easy to distinguish from all your other SD cards.

Getting Started
To get started using your card, you have to set it up on a PC or Laptop first. In order for the card to work, you must tell it what device or devices you would like it to upload your images to. This can be y

our PC, Laptop, Tablet, Ipad or Smart-Phone. There are a ton of ways to go about it. . This is only to program the card for your particular use. Once programmed ony the device that is being uploaded to needs to powered up or connected to the network.

Plug in the Reader/Card
Step #1 is to plug the reader, with your Eye-Fi card inserted into it,  into a free USB port. You will see windows detecting and installing drivers for a couple different devices. Primarily USB mass Storage devices (SD Cards).

Your computer should auto run the installation file once drivers are installed.  If not unplug and re-plug the card to try and get it to start automatically.I installed this on several machines to test it out and there were a few that did not automatically run the installation files.  If they do not autorun, then open “My Computer” and run this file E:\START HERE\Windows\Setup.exe . Change E:\ to the drive letter your Eye-Fi card comes up as.

Installation
Installation only takes a few minutes and installs the Eye-Fi card with basic settings. You need to enter your Wireless pass phrase and select the folder you want to store your images in. Then tell the software that you want to download to the computer you are using.  It will store your files locally in the folder of your choosing. The PC will then also upload it to Eye-fi’s site for 7 days unless you buy their subscription and it stores them indefinitely. It also has several selection for sharing to your favorite social media sites such as Facebook, twitter or Flickr. This is really a nice feature. You instantly have your image in more than 3 locations for security. Just don’t forget taht you have this enabled if your settings are for public sharing. Could be embarassing if the wrong pictures get sent up for Grandma to see. What it doesn’t have built in is a way yo automatically upload to the recently popular Dropbox. But I have written a how-to on that here Upload to DropBox from your Eye-Fi Card.

Getting Started
Ok, so now I have the card and I pop it into my Sony DSLR. It recognizes the card immediately as a regular SD card. I snapped off a couple of images in short succession and the card performs flawlessly. In less than a minute I have a popup in the lower corner of my computer monitor showing the image that I shot uploading to the PC. Then shortly following that is the RAW version of the same image. Keep in mind that you must keep the power to the camera ON until the images have all downloaded. You may also want to set your camera not to go into sleep mode to prevent it from shutting off during a download. This may just mean increasing the display time. It will be specific to your model of camera.

5 minutes to uploading.
Just so we are clear here. From the time I opened them package to the time you see the image uploading on the monitor, is less than 5 minutes. Sobasic setup is very fast, and very easy. It does exactly as it says. Now if we stopped here, it would be more than enough to justify the payout for the card. But no, there is Sooooo much more this card does. If you take the time to set it up correctly you can use this in so many different scenarios and increase your productivity a ton. I will cover more of these scenarios in future articles. Like image tethering, not control of your camera, but display of the images just like a tethered camera will do, for a lot less money.

I think you should get used to the card in basic function mode first. Get used to how it performs, then take it to the next level. One step at a time and you will definitely be able to get every all the card has to offer.

 

Summary
So installation and setup are pretty quick, the card performs as said and you don’t have to do anything special after the initial setup. and the price has been reduced to affordable levels. I think that speaks for itself, the card is a winner. Go get one now before they run out., or you talk yourself out of it again. Hopefully you enjoy your card as much as I do mine, and use it all the time.

Thanks for reading, and keep shooting Str8!

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Is an amateur photographer and writer who enjoys sharing information with others. "Technical information sharing is a critical part of helping everyone become a better photographer. If you don't know it, you can't do it!" From Film to Digital, photography has changed a lot, but the idea of learning hasn't.

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