on November 13, 2007
A few things to consider after getting the card:
1) Warm up time. If you haven't used the card for awhile or move to a different Access Point/Wireless router. It will sense it can't get a connection and goes through the access point list until it gets a connection if you have multiple WPA-TKIP entries it will add to this time. Hence the slowness of getting it started. Once it knows which AP to talk to. Uploads start within a few seconds after you take the picture.
2) As i tested it. It has the maximum security of WPA/2-TKIP. It can't do AES ecryption. They say WPA/2-PSK but don't mention at what level. It may frustrate some users trying to set it up. I spend 2 hours of pain until i reduced security on my wireless router.
3) The client is only required to setup the card. Afterwards the only reason why you need it is to recieve files onto a computer or setup more wireless access point.
4) Here's the big one. It always requires an internet connection. It always has to call home to the eye-fi service. Transfer to your computer is limited to you line's UPLOAD bandwidth. What it does is uploads your photos to the eye-fi service. The eye-fi service then sends it to your online service and then waits for contact from the eye-fi Client on your computer. Once the client connects it'll start downloading the image to the computer. So you can turn your computer off. Take a bunch of pictures. Turn your computer on and it'll start downloading all the pictures.
Almost 1 YEAR UPDATE
What can i say. The company is awesome. They've kept up with updates so early adopters can "upgrade" their cards to the newest features.
In fact all the new cards are the same card in reality just priced differently because of the features.
So with all the updates My old Problems #3 and #4 have been somewhat solved.
#3 - You still need to pre-configure the card. But now you can now pay $15 dollars a year for Hotspot access. So now you can go to a closed hotspot service and it'll connect. Check Eye-fi to see what hotspots you can use.
#4 - With the Eye-Fi Home edition they introduced the feature where it uploads to your computer first. And with the "Share"(original) and "explore"(geotag+hotspot 1 year subscribtion included) versions it'll upload to your internet spots afterwards. So now you can setup your computer and wireless router in a room. Take pictures and after a few seconds it'll show up on your computer. Also provided that you have the card setup with the access point and computer ahead of time. You can now shutoff the internet connection and it'll still work. Eg. Cheap man's wi-fi camera without internet connection. So if you bring a laptop and Wireless router (anything with DHCP enabled). You can shoot wirelessly directly to the laptop in the field even with zero internet connection. The coolest update.
You many have noticed there are various versions of the card. In reality ALL the cards are all the same. You can future upgrade even the most basic one. It'll end up costing nearly all the same. All it needs are firmware updates.
On another note. I never wrote about this but i was kinda mad that once you registered the card you couldn't tranfer the card to another address. I honestly thought i'd get rid of the card. But i didn't. Whats really nice. If you camera gets stolen and you have enough "open" access points pre-configured and maybe even the hotspot service. You might even catch the criminal like this lady did. [...]
As they can't re-register the serial numbered card. And maybe you'll even get your pictures too.
on November 19, 2007
The Good: The product, as advertised, effortlessly uploads photos from your camera. I am using the 'upload to my PC' option and the transfers were prompt and fast.
The Bad: While EyeFi offers the option of creating a sub-folder for groups of images based upon the Date Taken field, it oddly names the folders using the month name, e.g. November 19, 2007. So, of course, they do not sort properly.
A bigger annoyance is after uploading a picture EyeFi does not delete the image from the card in the camera. So, you'll have to verify that all of the images have been transferred before deleting anything. Considering this 2GB card can hold over 500 images for my camera this can be a daunting task.
on October 31, 2007
We all know that in the future you will take photos and videos and they will wirelessly float up to the net, but camera manufacturers have failed to deliver a compelling product in the category that works with a wide variety of online services.
I have been using the eye-fi card on and off for a while now (beta and gamma programs). Overall it works very well and increases the convenience of digital photography a lot.
In my mode of use, I shoot with it around the house and then the let the photos float up wirelessly to phanfare (disclosure: I am CEO of Phanfare). With Phanfare it works especially well because I can still get to the fullsize original images from the desktop client and from my Phanfare website.
You configure the card in two places. First, you have to configure it communicate with wireless networks you trust. Second, you need to configure your account at Eye-fi to transmit to the online service of your choice. That means telling Eye-fi your username and password, for example, for Phanfare. You do this once.
After the initial provisioning, which is the most difficult step, the card just works. Because the camera sees the card as a standard SD card there is absolutely no increase in complexity from the camera side. You shoot and the images show up in your online account. The good folks at Eye-Fi set an option for Phanfare to allow you to suppress publication of new images by default. That way I can shoot, and then go into Phanfare and choose what to publish, shoeboxing the rest.
Because there is no way to see what the card is doing from the camera side, you need to have the camera on long enough to transfer the images. That is why I said I mostly use it when shooting around the house, because there the camera gets enough on-time within my wireless network that the images float up without my thinking about it. Also, the eye-fi card uses more battery power than a standard card and it is around the house that I worry least about that.
I own a DSLR and a point and shoot. It is with the DSLR that I find the card most useful (Canon EOD-5D with compact flash adapter for Eye-fi SD card). I rarely shoot raw and the the DSLR only shoots images. With my point and shoot, I almost always take one video along with the photos and Eye-Fi won't move that up to Phanfare. Hence, I still need to tether the card to get the video, and that is tedious. Plus Phanfare has no built-in de-dupe to figure out what is already on the service versus on the card.
Note that the Eye-Fi card can also be used in studio mode where it just moves images to your PC. That is not interesting to me and I don't use it that way.
I am far from unbiased, but for Internet mode, the Eye-Fi card works especially well with Phanfare because it meshes so well with out vision for merging the desktop and Internet. Our desktop client automatically synchronizes with the network cloud, showing you your whole collection (unlike a Picasa for eg. which just gives you a view of your local disk). Hence, even when I use the Eye-Fi card, the images I take feel like they are locally accessible on my PC, even though they really live on the net.
the pros on this product are:
*moves images in the background to internet without USB acquire wizard.
*greatly enhances the convenience of still image photography
*works with all cameras
*works with 17 online services
the cons are
*reduced battery life
*no way to see what the card is doing or control the card from the camera
*does not handle video
*does not handle raw
*does not automatically connect to open public access points
All in all, this is a very innovative product and a great gift, especially for a parent who is challenged by their camera. You buy it, provision it, and then they have a magic camera. I love mine. When you get it, you will just stare it and wonder how they packed a full wifi implementation plus memory card into the diminutive form factor of the SD card.
on November 17, 2007
After reading the advertising on one of the tech review sites, had to have one. The idea of having photos downloaded directly to the hard drive and skipping the card reader end of it was very appealing. It was delivered more quickly then promised - and nicely packaged. Very easy to set up just like the review said, and the first downloads went flawlessly. However, after the initial use the card would not download the photos every time a new photo was taken, and sometimes not work at all unless the eye-fi software was re-started, etc. Even after adding a WDS wireless access point to give it an excellent connection to the network, still does not connect every time, even after considerable tweaking. The software does not offer many options and there is very little documentation available for the more technically inclined that would want to troubleshoot. It does work as advertised most of the time, but not all of the time.
If you are expecting a product that works every time you want to use it, this is probably not what you want. You'll likely end up fiddling with it to get it to work, as it seems to have some bugs yet. Your results may vary. I'll give it 5 stars for concept and a reasonable price, but only 1 star for function, as it fails to transfer photos reliably.
After spending way too much time with trial and error (I don't expect much in the way of tech support on a $100 item) it's working much better then when I initially reviewed it. While the card has some limitations on what type of wireless access points it will connect to; for example, it won't connect to a WDS AP, I'll bump the rating to 4 stars.
on January 20, 2008
The Eye-Fi is a remarkable device that was quite the buzz at the recent CES and MacWorld shows, and with good reason in my book. What it is a standard 2GB SD Memory card with good read/white performance that also packs in a built-in Wi-Fi connection that has been seen a feature on a few digital cameras over the past year or two. What it isn't--is without a few minor limitations you should be aware of.
After you have set the card up using the Windows or Mac software included on the card (or downloadable from the manufacturer's website), including finding and registering the card on your local wireless network, then each picture you take with your digital camera will begin uploading after a few seconds to your favorite photo sharing/storage website. It will also support uploading as well as to your networked computer--if you choose.
I used the Eye-Fi at a party and told my friends that they would be able to view all the pictures on my webpage as soon as they got home. It worked flawlessly, the only issue being that really large resolution digital pictures will take some time to upload, as most home-based broadband internet connections have upload speeds capped off at 128 or 256MBS--far less than the gigabytes of download speed you might have. Again, this isn't the Eye-Fi's fault, but a limitation of your internet connection.
Don't get this card thinking it will replace the wired connection to download your photos to your computer, because it won't be as fast. Don't get it as your only memory card. Don't think you will be able to pop into any WiFi hotspot and begin uploading pictures--you have to set up the card with a computer to work with each specific wireless network.
DO get this as a fabulous add-on for your digital camera (assuming it takes SD memory cards), allowing you to shoot pictures directly to your computer or favorite photo website. DO plan to spend a few minutes setting it up for the first time--including some special set-up on your camera if you are using the Eye-Fi with a Nikon Digital SLR model camera (D40, D80, etc.) DO use the included SD to USB adapter to set up the Eye-Fi, the card may not read on other SD readers/cables (but the compact Eye-Fi SD reader does seem to work with all other standard SD format memory cards, so that's a nice bonus!) DO understand that it will drain your camera battery a bit faster because of the WiFi radio transmitter, but not horribly so.
In other words, the Eye-Fi rocks and is a worthwhile addition to almost anyone's digital camera set-up. Highly Recommended.
on April 26, 2008
I REALLY want to love the Eye-fi card... the concept is great. It is a 2GB SD memory card, with built-in wireless. So if you are in range of a wi-fi access point that you have configured the card to recognize, it will effortlessly load your pictures to the Eye-fi site, and also to the photo sharing site of your choice, AND to your computer. Great concept. The Eye-fi software that comes bundled with it is good, and compatible with Mac which is great.
The HUGE problems with this card are:
* The transfer speeds of this card are too slow to support video transfer. They SAY it will, but I can tell you it doesn't for my Panasonic TZ5 camera except on the lowest quality setting. Eye-fi refuses to publish their transfer speeds. Here is what their tech support said in response to an email from me: "We do not share the information about the Eye-Fi Card's specific read/write speeds. I can tell you that our card is on par with the speed of basic consumer SD cards on the market." Translation: Our card is so slow, we can't tell you how slow it is, or you wouldn't buy it. In my camera, taking still pics is OK, but it won't let me record video.
* The battery drain is significant when you are transferring photos.
* It will ONLY transfer JPEG photos via wireless, not movies.
So.. for $99 I got a card that is great for still photos, but useless for video recording. Now I have to carry multiple cards, and switch them out, which is a hassle.
If Eye-fi would fix the transfer speed of the memory card, I would have absolutely no problem recommending this card.
on November 8, 2007
This review was revised because I got some incorrect information from tech support and has been updated accordingly.
I was really excited about this product because my wife's computer has a flaky SD card port and she doesn't like to work on my desktop, so I thought this would be the perfect solution. And it is, if configuration work correctly.
I tried to install this card on two computers. The first, a Dell desktop system about 1.5 years old, worked fine. The second, a Dell laptop about 6 months old, would never see the card. I talked with customer support who then forwarded me to the developers, but nobody could get the card to work on the laptop. Back it went.
One drawback is that the card gets registered to only one user at a time. This means my wife and I have to share a user account. Not a big deal, but I do like to keep our accounts separate.
The card requires a client program (OSX and Windows XP,Vista) to be running on your computer to upload photos. Not a problem, but I don't see why this is needed. Linux and Windows 2000 are not supported.
Also, you are required to be connected to the internet to change any configurations on where files are saved or to which computer the card is "registered". This is really annoying since I've purchased the card. What happens if the company goes out of business in a year? They are a private VC funded company with no guarantee of future support.
The client program is also a little annoying in that it pops up a window to show the photo whenever they are downloaded. I would prefer that it does that silently in the background.
As others have noted, the card only transfers jpg files. It would have been really nice to use this in my MP3 player which I also use to transfer files from work.
They company has no plans of releasing an SDK for the card. I have the feeling they are trying to keep this locked down so they can get kickbacks from the online photo print shops.
If you're expecting the card to download photos to your computer and online photo services it works great. I, however, am not thrilled by the card right now and have since returned it for failing to install on my laptop.
on November 9, 2007
Would like to change to 1; but Amazon will not allow rating change. I have only used for a few hundred pictures and NO Longer working. I had spent 4-5 hours with tech support getting it to work the first time; don't have more time to waste with inexperienced tech support. Good idea; not ready for prime time. I would encourage you to save your money! As the reviews are moving past the early adopters you are now seeing more NEGATIVE, than positive.
I would only recommend if you have very specific needs for this product. I like it because my wife takes pictures while I'm at work and refuses to load them onto the computer and upload them. Eye-fi solved that problem!
Product works if you have a single router connected to your modem; will not work properly if you use a second router in bridge mode to extend coverage. Tech support has not created a solution. Will only upload JPEG, creates a new folder based on calendar day and if you take more than 5 pictures Canon cameras will shut down prior to uploading (on max time till camera shut down.) You can not tell when it is done uploading and no way to turn off wi-fi feature if taking a bunch of pictures and willing to use card reader. It definitely eats up your battery due to setting the camera to stay on to do upload. Upload does not happen immediately after picture is taken, it pauses for a while before it does the upload. Personally I disagree with earlier review about working better with DSLR (Nikon D80.) I use with Canon SD870 for quick shots and auto upload for others to see. DSLR I shoot raw, take a ton of pictures and prefer using program like Aperture. If you find yourself doing a flow similar to this I would not recommend this product. It would add additional work/steps.
I tried multiple picture sharing sites to see which works the best with this product and have NO affiliation with any services (I'm a physician.) Phanfare does the best job because my wife can take a picture while I'm at work and after automatically uploading to Phanfare the picture downloads to my laptop Phanfare screensaver software. Nice treat at work to see new pictures of my Newborn without my wife doing any additional steps. Too bad Phanfare doesn't work with sidebar RSS or digital frames for the true closed loop experience.
on October 24, 2008
From a hardware standpoint this is absolutely awesome, and I love it, but sadly, this is highly software dependent, and EyeFi the company gets in the way.
Hardware: robust enough; good enough speed for a DSLR, but not great: it's on par with any of the cheap but good sd cards; wifi speed is again good enough for what it does, but I doubt it ever reaches a full 5MB/s transfer, and it gets interrupted all the time, causing some images to take 3 or 4 attempts to be transferred, and others to not be transferred at all.
If it worked without their draconian software, this would earn it an easy 2.5/5 stars, maybe 3/5 if the wifi was more stable.
Software: this is where everything falls down. Their software is the only way to get _any_ of the features of this card. It's a combination of a local only web app and a small native applet that downloads the files and stores them. That sounds fine, BUT:
It will only work if the machine it's on has internet access. Thanks to that, it will stop working if it detects there is a firmware OR a software update. Software updates happen fairly regularly.
If their servers are down, or are unreachable, you can't even configure your eyefi card, much less use it (I'm experiencing that right now as I try to change the wireless password it has stored).
The applet is poorly written, it crashes periodically.
The web app is poorly written, it frequently stalls, misrenders important segments and it's never completely clear about what it's doing. For all you or I can tell, it may be opening up my machine to 101 security holes, or it may be uploading random thumbnails to their server for quality control. You don't know, I don't know, their docs never make it clear.
Why the software is so restrictive becomes more clear when you start using the software. You see, many of the EyeFi's most attractive features are only available on a subscription basis. If you don't have a subscription, there's buttons next to each blocked function trying to get you to buy it.
If EyeFi goes under, your $100 memory card is now just a plain, unimpressive 2Gig card that uses a little more battery than a normal card.
They want you spend $100 on a 2gig memory card that requires you to buy a subscription to use it's features. That's just not right.
If eyefi decides to release software that lets owners of the cards use their hardware in a reasonable, non restrictive fassion, then it would be an awesome, 5/5 star item.
They don't seem like they will get there, so wait to buy one until some kind, bored soul publishes hacking instructions. Then we can use the hardware we legally purchased how we see fit.
Again, don't bother buying it unless you really can't live without it.
on January 6, 2008
I really like this product but there are a few things you should keep in mind before purchasing:
1. In order to use a wireless network with the card you have to have a computer with the manager software installed and connected to that network. For example, you can't pre-configure the SID of an open access point at your local coffee shop then just take your camera there to upload. And, you can't have it search for any open access point; you have to pre-configure it using your computer with the card connected.
2. You can only upload to one photo service at a time. To change them you need a computer with the manager software running.
3. It takes a LOT of battery life! It drains the batteries on my Nikon D70 SLR in hours verses the weeks it would normally last.