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Eye-Fi Wireless Photo/Video Card
Saturday, June 2, 2012  
It is not easy to impress me. I have tested so many different products that have fallen short of what they promise to deliver that I have become a bit of a cynic. When I first learned about Eye-Fi's wireless SD card, I was excited about the idea but did not allow my expectations to run away with me.

The idea is pretty simple: A memory card that you can use in your digital camera* that will allow you to transfer photos and video using a Wi-Fi connection. The advantage? You do not have to use a memory card reader, or cable, to transfer your photos to your computer or online photo service. Hmmm, sounds too good to be true.

For our test, I selected the 8GB Eye-Fi Pro X2 ($99 retail). The Pro X2 will store up to 4,000 photos or 3 hours of video with Class 6 performance**. Since I shoot a lot of high-res photos and HD video, it only makes sense to have the "top-of-the-line" card. Eye-Fi also makes a 4GB model ($39 retail) and an 8GB Mobile card designed to upload photos to your iPhone, Android or tablet.


For my test, I am using a MacBook Pro laptop computer. I took the Eye-Fi and my digital camera to my favorite local coffee shop (which has a Wi-Fi network) for testing. After downing my first cup of Joe, I tore into the Eye-Fi package which contains the Eye-Fi SD card with USB card reader and a small setup manual. Setup could not be any easier. Basically, insert the reader into any USB slot on the computer, and follow the on-screen prompts. The entire setup only took about 5 minutes.

Setup could not be any easier. On a Mac, just launch the Eye-Fi.dmg and follow the screens


Once the Eye-Fi software is installed, the card and reader can be removed from the computer. The Eye-Fi card is inserted into the camera and you are ready to shoot. As long as your computer is turned on and connected to the Wi-Fi network, photos and video files will automatically be transferred from your camera to your computer. That is, of course, as long as your camera is within range of the Wi-Fi network and turned on.

When you shoot a photo, the Eye-Fi card will instantly attempt to transfer the photo(s) to your computer. A small thumbnail window pops-up on the computer showing the upload process. If you turn off your camera, the upload will stop. Once you turn the camera back on, it will resume where it left off. Very elegant and seamless.

The speed at which the card transfers files largely depends on the Wi-Fi network itself. In my initial test, the speed was impressive. From the instant I shot a 5.8 megabyte photo until the image was on my computer was about 18 seconds.

All of the Eye-Fi's functionality can be controlled and changed through the Eye-Fi Center software which is installed in the setup process.

Eye-Fi Center on MacBook Pro

Eye-Fi gives you several options as to how and where you want to store your uploaded files. My first "wow" moment came after I learned that Eye-Fi automatically placed my photos in an "Eye-Fi" folder inside my Mac's "Pictures" folder. That was cool, but what I was really hoping for was for Eye-Fi to automatically import the files into iPhoto, the software I use on the Mac to organize and store my images. Imagine my ecstasy when I found a setting in the Eye-Fi Center software that does just that!

Eye-Fi can also automatically upload your photos to your favorite online service (Facebook, Picasa, Flickr, MobileMe), it can even FTP your files to your FTP server!

Eye-Fi will automatically upload your photos to your favorite online service

With the Endless Memory option enabled, the Eye-Fi card will automatically free up space on the card once it has confirmed that your images are safely transferred to your computer. This option can be turned off, or adjusted through the Eye-Fi Center.

The Eye-Fi Center software shows you "stacks" of photos/videos that the card has uploaded to your computer. You can even use the Eye-Fi Center to Geo tag your photos and videos with the location where the photos are taken.


The Eye-Fi Pro X2 is one of the best Travel Tech products I have tested. Anyone who travels with a laptop or tablet (Android, iPhone, iPad, iPod) and wants to easily transfer images from a digital camera should consider this product. If you travel with an iPad, you can forget buying Apple's external card reader to transfer files to your iPad, just use the Eye-Fi! That's one less thing to buy, and one less thing to pack when you travel. I am always looking for ways to reduce the amount of stuff I have to pack when I travel. The Eye-Fi means one less cable I have to worry about.

Of course, like everything in life, there is one caveat. How will the Eye-Fi work on a Wi-Fi network that requires frequent log-in? And, how well suited is it to use on a cruise ship's Wi-Fi system where there are per minute charges? That remains to be seen, and I plan to test it on our next scheduled cruise, so stay tuned for an update.

The real bottom line: I am impressed! I can't wait to test this in a 'real-world' environment on a cruise assignment.

* Any digital camera that accepts SDHC cards can use Eye-Fi
** The "Class" rating for SD cards refers to the speed at which the card can read/write data.

Reviewed by Chris Dikmen
Managing Editor of

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