Review: Eye-Fi Pro X2 SDHC Card

Posted by Gary Ramey on May 25th, 2011

Summary: The Eye-Fi SDHC card includes the ability to connect to a WIFI network and upload pictures and videos from the camera to a computer, portable device, or website. The latest version of the firmware also includes the ability to create a WIFI network so that devices such as an iPad or iPhone can connect to it directly when another WIFI network isn’t available.

Product Description:

Class 6 read & write speeds for high performance shooting. The power of 802.11n wireless uploads from your camera to your computer & favorite sharing site. And that’s just the beginning.

  • Performance. Store up to 4,000 photos or 3 hours of video with 8GB SDHC capacity supercharged with class 6 read & write speeds. Ideal for high megapixel cameras.
  • Wireless. Upload photos & videos from your camera through your Wi-Fi network with unprecedented wireless performance thanks to built-in 802.11n technology.
  • Instant uploads. Send photos & videos directly from your camera to your iPhone, iPad, Android device or laptop anywhere you are
  • RAW power. Wirelessly upload RAW photos to any folder on your computer to streamline your workflow.
  • Endless memory. Always running out of space? With Endless Memory Mode, your Eye-Fi card will automatically free up space once your photos and videos have been safely delivered.
  • Automatic backup. Wirelessly upload photos and videos to folders of your choice on your computer, or even directly into iPhoto for Macs.
  • Compatible. No need to buy a new camera. Check here to see if your camera can be turned into a wireless uploading machine.
  • Geotagging. Lifetime, automatic Geotagging service helps you organize and share photos. View, search and share the JPEG photos of your latest trips on a map.
  • Effortless sharing. Wirelessly send your JPEG photos and videos to a popular website. The list includes Flickr, Facebook, Picasa, MobileMe, and YouTube.
  • Pick your pics. You can select which photos and videos upload from your camera.
  • Organized. Photos and videos can automatically be stored in date-based folders, so memories are organized effortlessly by date.
  • Get notified Get email, Facebook, text message* or Twitter alerts when your photos are uploading online.

Review: The main draw for me was the ability to wirelessly upload photos to my iPad or laptop. The card works as advertised but the setup was a bit clunky. Some of the issues have to do with the nature of the device itself, i.e. the card has to be preprogrammed before it will work in a camera. This is understandable because a camera’s menu is not designed to program an SD card. One issue that Eye-Fi should correct is that the instructions for the setup on their website are either outdated or not for the iPad. I found that the instructions and screen captures didn’t match what I was seeing on my iPad. They really should update their website.

I purchased the Pro version of the card because I wanted the ability to upload RAW files. Even connected to an 802.11n network, transferring RAW files is too slow to be practical. I turned off the function. This means that you may be able to save $20 and buy the Mobile version of the card instead of the Pro version. I also turned off the upload to their remote website. Some of the customer reviews that I read touted the ability to make instant backups to a remote site. While this may seem like a good idea, the upload speed is so slow so I doubt that I will use the feature.

I used the Eye-Fi Pro X2 card during a recent photoshoot when I was taking infrared photos. The location for this photoshoot did not have a WIFI network so the Eye-Fi card started broadcasting it’s own WIFI network. My iPad saw this network and I was able to connect to it. The upload of a JPEG file to my iPad was speedy enough to be useful. It really helped to check focus and exposure by seeing the photos enlarged on my iPad instead of having to rely on my camera’s LCD. The only downside was related to the reflectivity of the iPad screen — in bright sunlight, the photo was very difficult to see so I had to move to a shaded area to view the screen. To defend the iPad in this regard, the LCD on my camera was much worse and nearly useless. Since I plan to take lots of infrared photos, I broke down and purchased a Hoodman H-LPP3 HoodLoupe 3.0 Professional 3-Inch Screen Loupe. This device will allow me to see the LCD clearly even in bright sunlight. Look for a future review.

Have I given up on the Eye-Fi card? In a word, no. I can see the card being useful in some situations so I recommend it even though it isn’t as fast as I had hoped.

 

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