When EyeFi first launched the Mobi card, it seemed as if they greatly improved the service. The Mobi card was centered around transferring JPEG images to your phone quickly and easily through a two step process. If you wanted to send RAW images, you’d need to go with something else like the Eye-Fi Pro card.
Today though, the company is announcing not only a rebranding but a new service in EyeFi Cloud. The cloud is a premium service that they are pitching to those that use multiple devices. EyeFi Cloud enables someone to shoot and image, send it to their phone (or other device) which then in turn beams the images into the cloud. When the images hit the cloud, they’re accessible from your other devices such as your computer, tablet, or phone.
But we’re not sure that it’s for everyone.
– Seamless integration of image sharing amongst various devices similar to the way that iCloud works for iOS or Dropbox integration with Android.
– Sync between your tablet, phone and computer
– Use multiple cameras/cards to upload to the same cloud account
– Free 90 day trial period
– Available to ProX2 and Mobi customers
– $49 a year
For this test we used the Olympus OMD EM5, EyeFi Mobi card, iPad Mini, and the Nexus 5.
Ease of Use
EyeFi Cloud requires you to use the company’s new app: which you can download from your local app store. The app has a slightly different interface and a couple of new tricks. Like a Samsung camera, it allows you to shoot to your heart’s content and it will straightup upload everything.
The new app gives you a couple of options. You can view your photos, sort them into albums, add tags and look in the trash for photos that you’ve deleted. We were told in our meeting with EyeFi that when you add tags to the images, it utilizes the same metadata and EXIF info that you can view in Adobe Lightroom. This way you can easily and simply search through your images.
You can only tag one image at time though; which is a bit frustrating if you want to batch tag images for a vacation, a shoot, etc.
Arranging images into an album, however, is very simple. Users can select a bunch of photos and then add them to an album if they choose. This makes sorting and organizing much simpler.
However, just like with a phone and Facebook, we highly doubt many folks will use the album and metadata options. The more savvy ones though surely will in order to take the fullest advantage of the service.
When you view an image, you can choose to either add it to an album, export it, tag it, or trash it. Users can also blow the image up to 100% to really check their details if they choose.
Once you sign into EyeFi Cloud on your phone, computer or tablet you can sync all the images that were sent to the cloud together no matter what device they were sent to first. But in order to do this, the device needs to be connected to normal WiFi and not the EyeFi Card.
While EyeFi Mobi is very, very cool we’re not sure how many folks will really go for EyeFi’s Cloud option. It seems most useful for families that want all their images organized before they send them off to a social sharing service, professionals that only shoot JPEG or edit for Instagram, or enthusiasts that enjoy shooting photos and editing on their tablet or phone through VSCO or Snapseed. Again though, these folks need to be very much more oriented towards traditional cameras than phone cameras.
If you find yourself being the friend in the group that ends up bringing a camera out instead of using your phone, EyeFi Cloud is also a great option for you as you can send the images to the cloud and then figure out which ones you want to share on your favorite social platforms later on.
If you’re travelling, it’s also nice to know that your images are all easily synced up to your phone and then into the cloud automatically without having to export them from your camera. But again, not everyone does this.
EyeFi Cloud is a pretty darn good offering that can be useful to a lot of people, but we don’t see the majority of folks paying a yearly fee to use this. If EyeFi merged together with Instagram, VSCO, or Snapseed to have automatic porting and editing options, then they’d be able to create Eyefi Cloud into a major gamechanger.
With that said, something that I personally feel is missing from EyeFi Cloud is a sense of community. Sure, I can send my images to a personal cloud that I’m paying for–but if I’m an Android user then I can just send it to my phone and then automatically sync that with Dropbox. Dropbox allows you to have folders and they even have a new image sharing service. And for the most part Dropbox is free to use.
EyeFi Cloud has a tough road ahead of them when it comes to differentiating themselves; and despite this still being the early days of the launch they’ll need to not only find a way to keep the community alive but also battle against camera manufacturers who are including WiFi in their cameras.