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The Mobi EyeFi card turns almost any digital camera into a digital hub

One of the things that keeps me coming back to the iPhone for photography the ease of sharing photos.

The Mobi EyeFi wireless memory card brings a similar experience to almost every digital camera. Basically it's an SD card with a WiFi chipset. Just put it in your camera, set up your Mac, PC or iDevice and join its the ad-hoc WiFi network.

Specifications

As for Wi-Fi Security, the card suppers Static WEP 64/128, WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK (shared WEP, Apple's version of WEP TSN, and WPA Enterprise are not supported). You can expect the card to work within a range of 90 feet (27 m) outdoors and 45 (13 m) feet indoors. It's available in 2.0 GB, 4.0 GB, 8.0 GB, and 16.0 GB storage configurations, with 1 GB defined as 10^9 Bytes. Finally, the card is a standard 32mm x 24mm x 2.1mm in size and weights in at a teeny, tiny 0.1oz.

Steve Sande used the Mobi EyeFi about year ago to move full-resolution photos between his Mac and his iPhone. My goal was to get full-frame raw files to my laptop. The Mobi folks sent me an 8 GB card to test.

In Use

First, download the Mac client. The EyeFi card comes with a unique ten-digit code, which you use to pair your computer to your camera. I used a Fuji digital camera for my first trials. The Eye-Fi network shows up on your Mac, and the password is the same code. Every picture I took on my Fuji showed up on my Mac, RAW or JPEG. I could see them coming in when a window appeared at the top left of my Mac screen showing the download. Pics are stored in your Pictures folder. You never have to touch the laptop. It all just happens.

Something similar happens on the EyeFi iOS app. Photos just show up. The beauty of it all was that when I was finished with my session, all the pictures were on my Mac. No extra downloads, no SD card reader needed. The Eye-Fi card is powered from the camera, and I did not notice any appreciable battery drain.

I tried the same thing with my Canon 6D camera, which is what I use for most of my landscape work. Since it is the card that is registered to my laptop, it was just a matter of putting the card in my Canon, telling the Canon to enable EyeFi, reformatting the card, and shoot away. Raw files made it over quickly and efficiently. The Canon and most compatible cameras have a menu item to enable the EyeFi card. My 6D had its own internal WiFi feature, but the EyeFi card worked just fine.

New this month is an associated product called EyeFi Cloud. It's a bit like Apple's iCloud Photo Sharing, but more flexible. Your photos can be uploaded directly to the cloud, or they can be curated. You can share them with family and friends, and you can sync and tag images for use on any other device you have. Any EyeFi card comes with a three month free subscription to an upload service for unlimited photos. After the free period, subscriptions are US$49.00 per year. Old images are never erased, so paired with unlimited uploads the EyeFi Cloud seems an excellent alternative to Apple's limited service, although EyeFi Cloud is not free. Friends can view your photos after they receive an invite, and any updates you do are live.

Conclusion

The EyeFi wireless card is a great solution for people who want wireless transfer of photos from their digital cameras. It's a unique solution to build the WiFi capability into an SD card. You can check the EyeFi site to make sure your camera will work with the EyeFi card.

The cards are available at many outlets including Amazon and Best Buy. Prices vary, but expect about $50.00 for 8 GB, $100.00 for 32 GB. The cards are class 10 rated.

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