This weekend I bought a Eye-Fi Pro X2 memory card, it is a memory card with built-in Wi-Fi. A couple was using it at a friend’s baptism I attended last weekend (my first time in a Catholic church in years). They could magically upload their pictures to their computer from their memory card. Now, I admit, wirelessly sending photos to your computer is not that awesome. It is just as fast, if not faster, to put the card in your computer and transfer the files. But, the awesome thing about this card is that you can send your photos to your phone or tablet or computer or virtual storage website (ex. your cloud). It is virtual backup storage without needing a computer!!!
This is exactly what I need to be able to just bring a tablet with me (I am leaning towards the Asus EE Transformer, what do you think? It has a keyboard dock that also has extra battery in it for up to 16 hours battery time). No need to lug around a full computer if I can do what I need most of the time on my tablet and just use a public computer for anything else.
So, when I lost my memory cards (have no idea where they are) and could not take pictures at the said baptism, I had to go find a new memory card. After hearing about this card (the Pro X2 version, important, the other versions do not have same capabilities), I had to ask the Best Buy staff about it. It was 110 dollars at Best Buy and the largest size is only 8GB, which if you are in Wi-Fi range is fine since you can upload photos as you take them and have the card automatically delete transferred photos. But, once you are out of range for extended periods, this is not a lot of help. So, I was going to buy a regular 16 GB memory card as a backup also. Lo and behold when it was rung up the card was only 80 dollars. Needless to say, I bought a spare and put back the 16 gig card. I think that it is a level 6 memory card if my memory serves me right.
Now, a forewarning, the product is easy to install, but I had to trouble shoot getting an account. When I put the card in and set up the program it told me I had to sign in and the “Create Account” option was not available (grayed out). I did what I always do when something does not work, I Googled it. In a forum the less than helpful Eye-Fi representative was telling people their card was probably stolen and an account was already set up on the card and to reset the account it had to be sent back to the store. Now, this is good to know so no one can steal your account and get into your linked accounts (such as Facebook, etc.), but not helpful when you know you bought a brand new card. Several people on the forum, who were never acknowledged or thanked by the Eye-Fi rep, suggested I put the card into my camera and take a picture, effectively reformatting the card, and then try again with the card in my computer. This worked like a charm! After this the screen came up as set up account instead of log in to an account.
In the box you get a USB card reader and the card. It is all a bright orange-colored plastic that sort of makes it look like a toy, but at least it is easy to find in a mess of black tech gadgets. The “card” you see through the packaging is a piece of paper. The actual card comes in a USB card reader already and you just take it out and plug it into your computer. Once the device is installed on the machine you open the folder for the device and there is a MacOS and a Windows installation option. Open the installation like any other program and once it is done and you register (see above paragraph for troubleshooting) you can open the Eye-Fi center and it will walk you through different settings.
To change the card settings, the card has to be plugged into the computer. You might be able to change some on a device but I have not tried this yet. To you open the Eye-Fi Center, left click on the Eye-Fi icon in the notification settings or launch the program from the programs list. Once Eye-Fi Center is open you can access the setting menus in two ways, (1) File->Settings->Eye-Fi card, (2) the gear icon next to where it says “Eye-Fi Card” on the left hand side of the main screen. You can access all of your devices linked to your card from the left hand side of the screen also.
The settings you can change include:
The network settings change how your card connects to networks and devices. It allows you to add custom networks through Easy WiFi (which I might have to try out and use and give a review of, the site has a lot of hotspots all over the place, even in my apartment complex which you can log into through Easy WiFi app, making it more secure and one spot to go to for all Wi-Fi locations instead of connecting individually) in the Public Hotspots sub tab (no need to start your own account, it sets up one for your card automatically). It also lets you determine what device you want your pictures to upload to, your computer or your phone. For instance my HTC Eris is currently selected as my main upload location (because I was playing with it, the Eris is certainly not where they will normally go). Want to send your pictures to your tablet, phone, computer, Photobucket, and FTP site? You can.
The Direct Mode sub tab of Networks is where you set up your device. To get this to work you need to log onto and set up the app on your phone from the Android, Blackberry or Apple market. Once you log on you need to detect the device, just go to your Wi-Fi settings on your phone, turn it on, and select on your device from your computer and you are on your way. Though to be able to see my phone on the device list I had to restart the Eye-Fi Center and put the card back into my computer from my camera.
The Photos tab allows you to tell the card which device to upload photos to and is similar to the Video and Raw tabs. You can select different options for each type of file. This is under the Computer sub-tab. If you go to the Online sub-tab you can set up one of many FTP sites, photo storage and social media sites (Flickr, Photobucket, Facebook, etc). I know you can send it to certain clouds, I am just not sure how yet as I do not have a cloud. Maybe through FTP? I know Photobucket Pro allows full size pictures to be stored so I am not sure I will use a cloud access for my photos. I currently have Photobucket and Flickr set up to receive my photos. It is so nice to get home from taking photos and already have the photos backed up online.
Really the same options as Photo Tab.
Really the same options as Photo Tab.
Eye-Fi View is where your photos are stored temporarily on the Eye-Fi network. Default is for 7 days but you can buy monthly or yearly access to get your photos stored here. You can download your photos from anywhere off of the Eye-Fi view site. It is sort of back up to the back up so to speak.
With this version of the card your pictures can automatically be geotagged. I think this is only available when you are in a Wi-Fi network range (private Wi-Fi included). You do not connect to the Wi-Fi unless you have it set to hot spots and it is open (or you have purchased subscription set up on Easy WiFi), you just use the Wi-Fi to get the position of where you are at. Your photos are then organized by date and location when they are sent to the computer and are tagged in the meta data as to where you were. This is just an on-off setting.
Notifications can be set up to be sent to you through Facebook, Twitter, email or SMS text message when you start uploading, if uploading is interrupted, when it restarts, and when it is complete. You can choose just one or all four. It can also update your status when you upload photos (this is not necessary, just optional). If your connection is interrupted to the Wi-Fi network it will restart when the network is in range again. I have only tried three or four test pictures but when sent to my device the Wi-Fi was interrupted several times and restarted several times momentarily (~ 2 seconds).
You can automatically send all pictures to the devices or online or on the Selective Transfer sub-tab you can change it to transfer only images you select as protected to transfer. You can also add all pictures to your computer/device but only a few to your sharing website. Relayed transfer tab is just the automatic setting if you have hotspot enabled I think. Relayed transfer transfers your files even when your computer is not on. I do not see any options here it just tells you it is or is not enabled. Another awesome option is that the memory card can automatically delete files that have already been transferred when memory reaches a certain amount. Say you select 50% memory used. When the card reaches 50% full, all files you already saved and sent will be deleted, starting oldest first. This makes your card pretty much endless, which is why this sub-tab is called Endless Memory.
So far, so good. The test pictures ended up on all accounts, my computer and my phone. I cannot wait to test this new toy out fully! Sadly the weekend is already over, so it will be another week.
Here is to my first thorough product review! Be careful, a lot of reviews out there seem to be from people who got the cheaper card (hotspots not included) or who have no idea how to use the settings right. Also, it seems to be slower or faster depending on the camera.