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Eye-Fi Wireless Cards : Makes your Camera Wireless

Wireless uploading is a capability that has been slow to catch on with digital cameras, perhaps because the models that have offered it haven't been otherwise compelling, or because getting a wireless connection to work is often a hassle. But the new Eye-Fi Card addresses both of those issues: This Wi-Fi-enabled SD Card works with almost any camera that uses that memory-card format, makes the wireless setup very simple, and imposes fewer limitations than some of the cameras with built-in Wi-Fi that I've seen in the past.

The $100 Eye-Fi Card has 2GB of capacity and comes with a small USB memory card reader. To set up a wireless connection, you insert the card in the reader, wait for it to be recognized by your PC, and, in the auto-play dialog that pops up, click an option to install the software. You then use a Web interface to set up a wireless connection, choose a location on your PC to upload photos to, and select from a list of 17 online photo-sharing or photo-blogging sites to use. (You can have the card upload to your PC, a sharing site, or both.) Those sites include most of the big-name ones--Shutterfly, Facebook, Flickr, and TypePad, among others. The only major omission I noted was that it doesn't yet work with Blogger (the company says it will be adding more services later). I chose Google's Picasa Web Albums; you can set uploaded photos to appear in folders based on the photos' creation date or by upload date.

Obviously, a Wi-Fi SD card is not going to be all that helpful when you are away from your network or a hotspot, but the ad-hoc support bridges the gap a bit by delivering the content straight to your computer—freeing up space on the card to take more shots. As for RAW files, I have to admit that I'm rocking a point-and-shoot here—not a DSLR. However, given the near flawless performance of Eye-Fi's cards, I can't imagine why it wouldn't work. In fact, the only real drawback of the card that I can see is that there is no way to discern the status of your upload from the camera itself. Still, in the event that you cut off a shot in mid-transfer, the process will resume as soon as you turn your camera back on. Sure, $150 isn't cheap for a SD card—but if you take a lot of photos the Eye-Fi Pro is worth it.
  • Very easy setup
  • No usage limitations
  • Performance was nearly flawless.
  • The addition of selective uploading and ad-hoc network support are useful upgrades for amateurs and pros alike. Support for RAW files will appeal especially to the hardcore crowd.
  • $150 price includes a lifetime subscription to geotagging suppport.
  • Owning an Eye-Fi entitles you to download their new iPhone app for free.


  • Slow transfer speed
  • Short wireless range
  • Hotspot access is free for a year, but you will have to pay beyond that.
  • There is no way to determine the status of the uploads from the camera itself.

Bottom Line

Easy to set up and use, but range is short and transfers slow.

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