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Review: Eye-Fi Pro X2 SDHC Card

by Chris Gampat on 01/30/2011

Announced almost a year ago, the super powerful Eye-Fi Pro X2 cards have recently been given a boost in the form of mobile sharing. While I haven’t demoed this feature yet, I have been using this card since Photo Plus of last year. It has been tested out in a variety of cameras with different results depending on the manufacturer and build of the camera. For the sake of timeliness, this review should have been completed a while ago but was delayed over and over again to ensure that we tested it correctly. In conclusion, depending on where your brand loyalty lies, you may want to snag one of these highly recommended items.

What Is the Eye-Fi Card

The Eye-Fi Card is an SD card that will deliver images from your camera to a given sharing site or source when in range of a wi-fi signal. The Pro X2 cards are designed for professional grade cameras that utilize SD cards. They are:

- Class 6: meaning they deliver the fastest write speeds as each image needs to be written to the SD card. To digest this theory a bit easier, think of each image you write being its own little computer program and when you place said computer program into your favorite image editing software, you’re literally hacking it.

- Will geotag your photos

- Will soon be able to upload your images to your phone (this feature isn’t available at the time of writing this story.)

- When your card fills up the capacity, the other images will be sent to Eye-Fi servers for storage. You can access them when the Eye-Fi Center program download them.

Setting it Up


In the box, you get the Eye-Fi card and a little USB SD card reader. Plug it into the USB port of your computer and the installation program will appear. Then you just need to configure your options of what you want to be done when your card is ready to upload images.

I prefer to have them all sent to a custom-made folder. The reason for this is because I want to edit every image before they go onto the interwebs since my name is attached to them.

Beyond this, I don’t want to bombard my Facebook, Twitter or Flickr friends with images on my favorite image sharing services. On your desktop, a log file is also created.

You can pay a bit extra for an account with Eye-Fi View. This allows you to keep your photos on their server for an unlimited amount of time for ease of viewing. Otherwise, they’re deleted after a period of time.

When your photos have been uploaded, you get notification emails telling you so.

Our review tested the cameras and card combination in various locations and areas. In each situation, the Eye-Fi Center program also needed to be running to send the images.

In the Leica D-LUX 5

This was the camera that created loads of problems for me when using the Eye-Fi card. The images in the previous image were from the D-LUX 5. While it stated that the images were geotagged, I wasn’t able to pull geotagging information from any of them.

Additionally, I suffered uploading problems:

- The D-LUX 5 would only upload images to my computer when it was right next to my router at home and no where else in my house.

- The D-LUX 5 had no problem uploading images in Starbucks when it was right next to my computer and only at this one spot.

- The D-LUX 5 did not upload images to my Macbook at home when I was hanging out with friends in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. My house is in Queens, NY.

- Raw files didn’t even go through.

I talked to Ziv Gillat, the creator of the card, and he stated that this is a very interesting problem.

In the Canon S90

- All images contained geotagging information except around Columbus Circle. This was during holiday time.

- All images uploaded from the camera to my computer with no problems in my house no matter where it was. When the camera turned itself off because of battery drainage, I discovered that even when the camera was off that image still transmitted though.

- No problems at all in Starbucks no matter where I was.

- The RAW files took very long to upload.

In the Nikon D90

- Nikon’s NEF raw files were the fastest transmitted RAW files in the test.

- All images contained geotagging information.

- No problems in Starbucks.

- At home, the camera only uploaded the images when next to my router and not when next to my computer.

In the Olympus E-5

- Slowest uploads due to the large amounts of metal within the tough body.

- Most accurate geotagging information.

- No problems in Starbucks or at home: except for slow upload times for both JPEGs and RAW files. The exception being when I used the E-5 for shooting studio work and my laptop was on with the Eye-Fi Center program on as well. In this way, I was shooting wirelessly tethered to my computer: which was really awesome.

In the Canon 60D

- No problems at Starbucks.

- No problems in my house

- Was able to track that I was at the Knitting Factory (a small but amazing concert venue/bar). This brought to mind that perhaps Four Square should be tied into the sharing services. If it is, I couldn’t find it or configure it.

Conclusions

In most cameras, the Eye-Fi Pro X2 card will excel. But there are tips on how to get the best out of it. For example, try shooting at a smaller RAW format if your camera allows it. If you’re just going to be shooting JPEGs it is a bit of overkill. However, if you want to never buy another SD card again, then this is the one to get.

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