Jul04

Life With The Eye-Fi Pro-X2

Posted by admin on 07/04/14  ~  Posted in: Uncategorized

Updated July 10, 2014

Shooting everyday and having all my usb ports tied up with other devices I found myself trying to come up with another means of getting the images from my SD card to my laptop. My camera, a Nikon D80 does not have built-in Wi-Fi so my options are limited to just getting a USB hub until I saw a tweet about a company called Eye-Fi. I thought to myself holy crap my life is about to become a whole lot easier. I did have some problems but about this I will explain.

First off Eye-Fi has four individual products however really there are only two main products. The two main products they offer are the Eye-Fi Mobi and the Eye-Fi Pro-X2. Based on my needs and my disinclination toward anything cloud related I decided that the Pro-X2 was the one I needed since all I really wanted to do was to transfer my photos from the Camera to the Laptop.

Now, of the Eye-Fi Mobi products there are three (hence the 4 in the 4 products mentioned earlier). There's the 32 GB, the 16 GB and the 8 GB. All of the products in this line accomplish the same task and the only difference is their storage cappacity and their task is one in which the card creates and maintains a Wi-Fi connection with an App on your movile device such as smart-phone or tablet which then connects to the cloud using your phones Internet connection assuming that  you have one. All three of these Eye-Fi Mobi products come with 90 days of free membership to the Cloud for which they are asking $99.99 for the 32 GB card $79.99 for the 16 GB card and $49.99 for the 8 GB card. As for the cost of the Cloud services beyond the 90 days, who knows, I could not figure that out based on anything I could find on their website. I do not have one of these three products so I do not know for sure how well they perform their tasks and do not feel confident to make assumptions based on the other product the Pro-X2 which is the one I am familiar with.

This the Pro-X2 is the product I have and am most comfortable speaking about. I started obviously with the setup of the Wi-Fi to connect the card to my local network and you do this very simply by downloading the software which walks you through some very simple steps to gain access to the network. You install the software Eye-Fi Center put the card into the supplied card reader and plug that into the computer that you wish to have your fotos transfered to. You choose the computer you are using and then choose the wireless network. Enter the appropriate login info for your network and you are done. You can also choose to share your fotos on Facebook, Flickr, Mobil-Me, Picasa, SmugMug and a whole crap load of others.

I started with a test to check it out and took a few shots just sitting at my desk. Oh and by the way you have to have the Wi-Fi-Center application open while shooting if you want them to transfer while you shoot. Nothing will transfer until you open this app. No keep in mind I shoot in jpg + raw which means that for every photo there are actually two fotos and they are each roughly 5 - 7 MB. It took a couple of minutes for anything to happen but once it did the files seemed to transfer rather quickly.

My next step was to just work as normal keeping in mind that my normal is probably not anyone elses normal. When I am shooting at home I work in a studio set up in my garage and shoot mainly shots of the t-shirts that I design for CamisetaModa and my laptop is in my office probably 25-30 feet away and all the network equipment is also in the office including the wireless router. 

Eye-Fi Pro-X2
 

This is where things started to go not according to plan. When I first started working in the studio away from the computer I noticed that some of the files had started to transfer but not all then when I brought the camera into the office near the computer they finished transfering. It certainly was not what I was hoping for but I could live with it or just bring the laptop into the studio so not a deal killer.
 
After living with that problem for a few weeks I then had a big problem. The files would appear to transfer but only the thumbnails would transfer. The files in Wi-Fi-Center appear to be loading still but never finish loading. A directory for that day's shoot in the images directory is never created and files are never tranfered. I contacted support and in fact just heard back while wrting this post.
 
I do have to say that their customer care guys are freaky fast in responding. He had me generate a log file. To do this he had me take 5 fotos and wait about 5 mintutes and even if they did not load into Eye-Fi Center take the card out of the camera and plug it into the computer using the Eye-Fi card reader, then select "Get Eyefi card Log..." from the Eye-Fi helper icon in the Apple menu bar and if you computer is in Spanish like mine that would be the "Ver registro de tarjeta Eye-Fi..." and save the file after it has been generated. I sent him the file and he then says "You are shooting RAW, correct? Center can't display thumbnails for RAW files (has no RAW processing)". Ummmmm well it did it just fine for almost a month and there is a Raw files option in the Eye-Fi card settings.
 

 
He wants now a Helper Log which I guess is more involved and he needs to know if I have a Mac or PC. Sent the info but I guess it's quitting for the day so I'll have to wait till tomorrow but tomorrow is July 4th so not sure about that. Wait and see but so far my experience with this product is less than wonderful.

 
Update to this story July 10, 2014:
They are going to replace the card because there are some errors in the logs. I think they really don't know what the problem is but are replacing the card "just to be sure" as is stated in their email. So we'll see what happens. I will update this post after receiving and using the new card.