Battle of the Wi-Fi Cards: Eye-Fi vs. Transcend

When capturing a high volume of images on a photo shoot, being able to wirelessly connect your camera to a smartphone, computer or to 'the cloud' has a lot of appeal. Wi-Fi can expedite workflow by allowing you to transfer image files remotely while on location. For the sake of convenience, Wi-Fi memory cards can also negate the need for card readers or cables - and no-one like cables now, do they? 

As wireless technology continues to become more and more important within the digital imaging world, it's easy to forget that your camera doesn't have to have Wi-Fi built-in to benefit from the advantages of connectivity. Wi-Fi capable SD memory cards have been around for a number of years, and they remain popular.

Right now, if you want to take advantage of wireless connectivity from your camera to a smartphone, computer or the cloud, and it isn't built-in, these are your options - Wi-Fi SDHC cards.

At the moment, Eye-Fi and Transcend are the two main players in the Wi-Fi memory card market. Transcend's highest capacity 32GB Wi-Fi SDHC card can be found steeply discounted for $72.45, which is a little less than the Eye-Fi 16GB Pro X2 SDHC ($89.74) - the highest capacity that Eye-Fi currently offers. On paper, the Transcend is the most appealing based on price and storage alone (and the ratio of the one to the other), but does it stack up to the well-established Eye-Fi in terms of its technology and performance? That's what I want to establish in this review. 

I've spent a few months shooting with both cards, and as memory cards (ignoring the Wi-Fi side of things for now) I have no complaint with either. They were always recognized by my MacBook Pro within seconds of connecting them to the computer manually via a card reader, and I never experienced any errors or data losses when shooting or transferring images.

Basic stuff out of the way, in this review I'm going to be mainly focusing on each card's wireless capabilities. The most important question I repeatedly asked myself throughout this review process was 'does this card enhance or expedite my workflow significantly enough to justify replacing my 64GB SanDisk Extreme Pro?'

Key Features

Transcend 32GB Wi-Fi SDHC 

  • $71.62
  • Wirelessly transfer photos and video to a smartphone, tablet, or computer
  • Wireless connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n
  • Wireless range: 16 to 32 feet
  • Support: iOS (5.0+) and Android (2.2+); also supports Windows and OS X through a browser
  • Image formats: JPG, BMP, PNG, RAW
  • Video formats: AVI, MOV, MP4, M2T, MTS, M2TS
  • Turns mobile device into external monitor with Shoot and View mode
  • Stream to three devices at once
  • Instant upload and share to Facebook, e-mail, and other services

Eye-Fi 16GB Pro X2 SDHC

  • $89.74
  • Class 10 SDHC performance
  • 90ft. outdoor/45ft. indoor range
  • Built-in Wi-Fi for photo & video transfer from camera to connected device
  • 16GB SDHC Memory
  • Wi-Fi transfer image support: JPEG, RAW
  • Wi-Fi transfer video support (under 2GB per file): .mpg, .mov, .flv, .wmv, .avi, .mp4, .mts, .m4v, .3gp
  • Read/write support: all file types, including RAW
  • Latest security standards (improved WPA2-PSK plus static WEP 64/128 and WPA-PSK)
  • Compatible with iOS and Android smart devices via applications

Looking at features alone, the Eye-Fi has the upper hand because it has a much longer range of connectivity. During my testing, I found that the Transcend card could push the limits of its 32-foot connectivity distance by about 36 or so feet outdoors, but that paled in comparison to the Eye-Fi's almost 100 foot range. Indoors, the Eye-Fi still had the advantage, providing almost 50 feet while the Transcend maxed out at around 20 feet before the connection became unreliable. This is a huge advantage for the Eye-Fi, especially for those who shoot weddings and are uploading during the event.

Also, while both cards possess the ability to connect and upload to iOS and Android devices, the Eye-Fi can do the same on a Wi-Fi enabled laptop or desktop computer. The Transcend card does not have this capability, and can only connect to a laptop or computer through a clunky and time-consuming Internet browser. More on this in the Connectivity section.

The Eye-Fi card also supports more video file formats than the Transcend card, though both cards support RAW file transfer. While the Transcend does offer twice the capacity, that is its only notable advantage in the Features department. The Transcend has a feature called "Shoot and View", which turns a portable device into an external monitor, but the Eye-Fi one-ups that feature with the ability to upload images and videos to a portable device or laptop while shooting. Both cards perform at Class 10 speeds, but the Eye-Fi card includes its own USB card reader while the Transcend ships without any such extras.

On features alone, the Eye-Fi beats the Transcend card by a considerable margin, but if you don't need a lot of bells and whistles, the Transcend could still be a great-value choice assuming it covers the basics well enough. Let's find out. 

Getting connected

Eye-Fi and Transcend wireless cards can both connect to a smartphone or tablet, providing the ability to wirelessly transfer images and videos to the device. Eye-Fi takes this a step further by integrating laptop/desktop support for Wi-Fi-enabled computers, which in my opinion is a huge advantage for photographers who carry laptops to shoots instead of tablets. Of course, smartphone/tablet applications must be installed in order to allow both cards to talk to the phone or tablet. In Eye-Fi's case, a desktop program is also included for computers, and all settings and features can even be accessed via the Eye-Fi View webpage as an alternative method.

We'll start with the Eye-Fi card, which can upload JPEG, RAW and video files to a smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop and Eye-Fi View website (an optional cloud-based system that users can upgrade for more space and permanent use).

When transferring files to a computer in real time, the file is visible in the top right corner with progress bar. Once uploaded, it will appear in the Eye-Fi folder in Finder.

The great thing about the Eye-Fi card is I can designate which type of file I want to upload to which device. For instance, say I'm on a gourmet food shoot and want to be able to preview each shot on the larger screen of my laptop. I can set my 5D Mark III to capture RAW+ Small JPEG files and program the Eye-Fi to only transfer the small JPEGs to the laptop. This way, the RAW file is saved to the card while the smaller resolution JPEG shows up on the screen for the client to see. And with a program like Folder Watch for Mac, the images will appear in real time. The Eye-Fi can be tailored to transfer all three file types (JPEGs, RAWs, videos) and any other combination of the three. This is great for weddings and parties as well.

It's also worth noting that the Eye-Fi card can be set to selectively transfer files. When this is set, the card will not automatically transfer a single file until it is marked with the "Protect" key icon in Playback on the camera. Any protected file will then begin transferring to the designated device.

The mission control of the Eye-Fi Center program for Mac and PC computers. Note geotagging capability.

Now here's the cool part. Say I'm using my tablet with the Eye-Fi card. I can program the card to upload files to the tablet, which will then copy the files to my laptop via an internet connection. Furthermore, I can set the card to also upload them to the Eye-Fi View webpage, giving them three places to live in one fell swoop - tablet, laptop, and cloud. This is all in real time. I capture an image and it's off uploading while I'm setting up the next shot. Obviously, the larger the file, the longer it takes to upload, so RAW images and large HD videos are not as practical, but we'll get to that when we talk about speed.

Here is a JPEG uploading to an iPhone 5 in real time with the Eye-Fi card. JPEG, RAW, and video files can be uploaded independently or all together.

Swapping the Eye-Fi card for the Transcend, my options are significantly limited. First off, the card can really only transfer images via a Browse functionality. That means once the card is connected to the smartphone or tablet, I'm limited to perusing the images and videos I've taken via a rather primitive file system in the application. Unlike the Eye-Fi, where a just-captured image is sent to my device immediately, using the Transcend card I have to shoot first and browse later, manually transferring files from the card to the phone if I want to save them. This is a big disadvantage for on-location shooting, but to be fair, it might satisfy people who just want to instantly Facebook or email images right from the application on their mobile device.

I will say that the Transcend card does have a treasure trove of social media publishing options. I could transfer images and upload them to Facebook, Weibo, Flickr, Twitter, or email them off. In this regard, the Transcend card does have the upper hand on the Eye-Fi card when it comes to social media output.

The home screen of the Wi-Fi SD mobile device application. The Browse option offers access to all content on the Transcend Wi-Fi SDHC card.

The Transcend card does have a mode called "Shoot and View," which relays the image just taken from the camera onto the smartphone or tablet's screen. I was able to snap an image and view it wirelessly on my iPhone 5's screen, though a tablet would really be ideal for this feature. Regardless, this process took 18 seconds from the time I pressed the shutter button to the time the image appeared on the device's screen, and this was with my phone a few inches away from the camera. This was a 6MP JPEG image, the standard size of all my JPEG test images for this review.

I found it nifty that EXIF data accompanied the images on the mobile device's screen, but 18 seconds is unacceptable if you're on location, and cannot by any means replace a tried and true remote monitor setup. Furthermore, the image does not save to the device - you're just looking at a preview thumbnail. 

Once an image is uploaded via the Transcend card, it can be sent to several social media outlets. The preview screen showcasing an image just taken with a 5D Mark III, courtesy of Transcend's "Shoot and View."

But perhaps the biggest disadvantage of the Transcend card is its inability to easily transfer files to a laptop or desktop. Technically it can do it, but it's a painstaking process and one that I wouldn't consider practical. Basically, the card uses a computer to achieve the same thing it can do on a mobile device, only with twice the steps. Users must find the Transcend Wi-Fi card's network from the computer. Next, the user launches a browser and enters a lengthy IP address into the url bar. At that point I was better off just plugging the card into the good old card reader. By comparison, the Eye-Fi can connect to a laptop in a matter of seconds and upload images and videos in real time.

Again, there's no real competition - the Eye-Fi definitely outshines the Transcend card when it comes to connectivity. For the pro shooting on location, the Eye-Fi is an essential tool that enables near-instant gratification.

Speed

And lastly, what would a good memory card showdown be without some hard numbers? I tested both cards for transfer speeds at a uniform distance of 10 feet from the card to the device. I captured a 6MP JPEG and timed the transfer speeds with a stopwatch. Since the Eye-Fi can automatically upload files during a shoot - and this is how I most used it - I timed the speed immediately after snapping an image. Because the Transcend can only browse files on the card while it's in the camera, I timed the duration it took to upload one of the files to my iPhone 5.

Upload time for a 6MP JPEG with the Eye-Fi card was approximately 6 seconds. This test was carried out on my iPhone 5 and MacBook Pro with both yielding the same result. Meanwhile, upload time for a 6MP JPEG with the Transcend card was approximately 11 seconds. Yikes.

Now, keep in mind that while shooting with the Eye-Fi, you will see the image you just took pop up on your tablet, smartphone or laptop/desktop in around 6 seconds. That's fully uploaded. And, if 6 seconds is too long, you can always capture a smaller JPEG. When I shot in 'S1' and VGA sizes on my 5D Mark III, the transfer was almost instantaneous.

Transcend's "Shoot and View," feature pales in comparison, taking ~18 seconds to load the same size image onto only a smartphone or tablet, and even then it's only shown as a preview, not saved. RAW files and large HD videos take a lot longer with both cards, but the Eye-Fi was still consistently about twice as fast in my tests.

I think it's obvious which card won this round.

Conclusion

At the end of our Wi-Fi SD card battle, the Eye-Fi 16GB Pro X2 SDHC gave the Transcend 32GB Wi-Fi SDHC a hefty pummeling in all three categories. Eye-Fi has been in the game for much longer, and it showed throughout my testing. Let's break down the wins and losses.

Eye-Fi Pro X2 16GB+Wi-Fi SDHC

What we Like: Rapid transfer of RAW, JPEG, and video files to a multitude of platforms, impressive speed, excellent file transfer customization, impressive wireless range, great software.

What we Don't Like: Half the capacity of the Transcend at a higher price.

Transcend 32GB Wi-Fi SDHC

What we Like: Double the capacity of the Eye-Fi at a more agreeable price, transfers files to mobile devices for editing, equipped with a multitude of social media publishing options.

What we Don't Like: Has less than half the range of the Eye-Fi, is twice as slow as the Eye-Fi, is not capable of real-time capture and upload, has no real laptop or computer support, and Shoot and View takes too long and is only a preview rather than an upload.

In terms of features, the Transcend has only one real advantage over the Eye-Fi, but it's a biggie: it offers double the capacity (32GB vs. 16GB) for less cash. The Eye-Fi is a more serious product, as befitting its higher price, and boasts a much longer connectivity range than the Transcend, the ability to connect to laptops and desktops in addition to mobile devices, works with more video files, and it ships with its own card reader equipped with a desktop program. The Eye-Fi also has Eye-Fi View cloud storage.

Without a doubt, the Eye-Fi will be the card remaining in my camera bag and will accompany me on every major on-location shoot from here on out. Clients love the ability to see the image right before them, and the Eye-Fi provides that flexibility.

The Transcend, on the other hand, will be heading back to the manufacturer. It's priced well, and it's not a bad product by any means, but it's definitely geared toward hobbyists and those who spend most of their time uploading to Facebook from remote locations. Ultimately, it allows you to send pictures from a camera to your mobile device for editing and sharing, and coupled with an app like Camera+ which supports RAW, the Transcend Wi-Fi SD card definitely has appeal, but it's less expensive than the Eye-Fi for a reason. 

As someone who makes a living as a photographer, I value the ability to connect my memory card directly to my computer wirelessly more than I value the camera-smartphone link. The Eye-Fi makes this easy, but the Transcend simply isn't designed with my needs in mind. It should go without saying, of course, that your needs may differ. 

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions held by dpreview.com or any affiliated companies.

Comments

Total comments: 176
12
duartix
By duartix (8 months ago)

What I'm really glad about all this Eye-Fi affair is that with the latest batch of camera bodies, sooner rather than latter they will all have become obsolete. :)
Eye-Fi has always followed the strategy of charging ridiculous money for their products, admittedly targeting the PRO market.
Transcend is like that guy that arrives to dinner after desert just to get into the drinking bit. The thing is, he's always too late to catch up with the others.

0 upvotes
Akeem
By Akeem (8 months ago)

Let's hope there will be agreement between camera makers to offer similar features and workflow for all their WiFi equiped cameras.

What you say? Not in a million years? In that case, I'd still prefer an Eye-Fi in each of my cameras.
Maybe android in every camera will solve this issue..

0 upvotes
Lexxie
By Lexxie (8 months ago)

I cannot find any seller in Europe for this model Eye-Fi !

Comment edited 16 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
M Lammerse
By M Lammerse (8 months ago)

I would not advice you one. Both by means of practicality and safety.

You can find the 8GB versions (from Sandisk) in Europe. I've never seen them of 16GB

2 upvotes
plevyadophy
By plevyadophy (8 months ago)

@Lexxie

Sandisk Eye-Fi -v- Eye-Fi

The other MAJOR and IMPORTANT difference is that in the European market, the official policy is that ONLY the re-branded Sandisk variety is sold.

So not only do you end up with a card with slower write speeds but you DO NOT get the benefit of being able to transfer raw files as you do with the Eye-Fi X2 Pro cards, nor do you get the highest capacity version, nor (if my memory is correct) do you benefit from the excellent Endless Memory feature.

I was lucky to have bought two original Eye-Fi X2 Pro cards in London (I got the last card from one retailer that is no longer in business, and the second card from another retailer but I am not sure if it still sells the cards)

For advanced amateurs and pros, the Sandisk cards are a waste of time.

As for security concerns, I simply don't use Cloud services for anything I care about. So the Eye-Fi Cloud service is not a security risk for me.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
photonius
By photonius (8 months ago)

What about the Sandisk Eye Fi cards? Is this simply a licensed version of the Eye-Fi card with the same software and features as described here, or are there differences?

0 upvotes
Akeem
By Akeem (8 months ago)

They are. Sandisk Eye-Fi cards have similar features as regular Eye-Fi cards and can be managed in the EyeFi software.

I'm guessing the same range applies, but there might be slight feature differences compared to the Eye-Fi Pro series; no free geolocation for example.

I think the only major difference is that the Sandisk cards are slower; class 4 (or 6?) instead of Class 10 for the more expensive orange Eye-Fi cards. Ah well, you loose speed (and thereby RAW) anyway.

0 upvotes
photonius
By photonius (8 months ago)

Thanks, yes, the Sandisk Eye-Fi cards are slower, but also cheaper. I noticed they are not sold everywhere though. Perhaps licensing issues, or WiFi regulation issues. I'd be interested to have some cheap WiFi capability for a non-WiFi body for test shoots in a home environment, no large data transfers, just avoiding a cable to stumble over.

0 upvotes
Abrak
By Abrak (8 months ago)

I had never heard of Scandisk Eye-Fi Cards. However I looked them up and found them here.

http://www.sandisk.com/products/memory-cards/sd/eye-fi/

I dont think many people would recommend anyone using these cards because the read/write times of the cards are so slow (which is why they are cheap). They are Class 4 which is really slow by today's standards. Class 6 many people will say are too slow (although they are adequate). Class 10 is the industry standard.

0 upvotes
plevyadophy
By plevyadophy (8 months ago)

Sandisk Eye-Fi -v- Eye-Fi

The other MAJOR and IMPORTANT difference is that in the European market, the official policy is that ONLY the Sandisk variety is sold.

So not only do you end up with a card with slower write speeds but you DO NOT get the benefit of being able to transfer raw files as you do with the Eye-Fi X2 Pro cards, nor do you get the highest capacity version, nor (if my memory is correct) do you benefit from the excellent Endless Memory feature.

I was lucky to have bought two original Eye-Fi X2 Pro cards in London (I got the last card from one retailer that is no longer in business, and the second card from another retailer but I am not sure if it still sells the cards)

For advanced amateurs and pros, the Sandisk cards are a waste of time.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
photonius
By photonius (8 months ago)

Thanks for the info on the Sandisk. Yes, looks like the Eye-Fi itself is not readily available in europe. hmm, if nobody wants to sell a decent product, so be it, they won't get my money then.

0 upvotes
Akeem
By Akeem (8 months ago)

I'm rather sure that the Sandisk Eye-Fis do have the Endless Memory function. Which is indeed excellent.

Comment edited 19 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Peter Galbavy
By Peter Galbavy (8 months ago)

Eye-Fi as a company are VERY quiet about the safety and security of the images that are relayed via their servers. There is a direct transfer mode but except in a studio setting this is pretty much useless and all the useful features are via their systems.

The problems, and a quick read of their forums shows the lack of interest by the company - or perhaps the lack or response to prevent bad press?, shows a disregard to legitimate concerns over storage and secure deletion of data, long term security of functionality if the company decides to go bust (I am being sarcastic) and many other associated issues.

0 upvotes
Peter Galbavy
By Peter Galbavy (8 months ago)

Oh, and the limitation that *even* if you trust, as you must, their cloud service it will only push to a single sharing service at a time. No upload to FB/G+/etc. for the same shot - no, that would be far too hard. Not.

PS While I own one, and paid a lot in the early days, I would *not* recommend and Eye-Fi to any new users. I am curious about the Transcend, but have no need right now.

1 upvote
wherearemyshorts
By wherearemyshorts (7 months ago)

Is the cloud a computer in someone's basement?

0 upvotes
brand0
By brand0 (3 months ago)

No, if it was it would be called The Basement. The Cloud is obviously a computer in the sky, dummy. :-)

0 upvotes
Adrian Harris
By Adrian Harris (8 months ago)

Part1

Thanks for writing something, but in truth I found this a very shallow and non informative review. There are so many aspects to these cards that have just not been looked at at all.

I made the mistake of buying the Eye-Fi Pro 16 card many months ago and find it totally useless (except as an expensive 16Gb card).

Is the tester aware that the distances these devices transfer over are VERY dependent on the camera AND the device its sending too?

In a metal Sony RX100 and a Netgear Router, the furthest distance I can get the EyeFi card to transfer over is about 10 feet (3m). But in a Panasonic G1 it will transfer 50% furthe (at home with a mains powered router)

The other pain with the EyeFi card is every time I wish to transfer to a different device, I first have to plug the card into that device and remove permission for the first device and transfer it to the next. Well I might just as well as leave the card in and just read the data off it normally as with any other card.

5 upvotes
Adrian Harris
By Adrian Harris (8 months ago)

Part2

In adhoc mode outside I have had very little success, on my netbook about 3 feet (1 meter) is the best distance I have achieved so far - I might as well use my cameras USB lead. ..Now some of this is no doubt due to my Netbooks poor arial. But that is real world testing.

When I am out on location photoshoots in the countryside, it is normal to have NO 3g or 4g signal - yes mobile phones don't work in the countryside around here very well. So Ad-Hoc mode (direct transfer to a Netbook/Tablet) is the most important.

I would like to have seen all these situations and far more covered.

3 upvotes
Mike Perlman
By Mike Perlman (8 months ago)

Part 1. What else would you like to know about them? Also, you simply cannot measure range via a third-party wireless network because it's entirely dependent on that network's speed and range. All testing I did was a direct connection between card and device. I even spoke to the Eye-Fi product team and they recommended steering clear from connecting over a third-party wireless network because it added too many steps to the setup and was not as reliable as a direct connect.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Mike Perlman
By Mike Perlman (8 months ago)

Part 2. It's either your netbook or camera that is creating the speed issues. I experienced impressive range inside and outside.

1 upvote
plevyadophy
By plevyadophy (8 months ago)

@Adrian Harris and Mike Perlman,

My testing, on a Canon 1Ds and an old Sony R1, shows good transfer speed and reasonable signal when cam and receiving laptop are placed in different rooms (with doors to rooms open but not in line of sight) and at a range of about 22 feet (circa 7 metres).

Speeds will differ between shooting raw only, raw + JPEG, and JPEG only.

To Adrian, my testing was done WITHOUT any intermediary routers in the mix. There is something seriously wrong with what your setup if you are getting such poor performance. I would recommend that you head over to the user forum on the Eye-Fi site; it's extremely helpful and one tends to get quick and informative responses both from the Eye-Fi team themselves and knowledgeable users.

1 upvote
Skinwalker
By Skinwalker (7 months ago)

Plevadophy, Can you point me in the direction of a CF to SD adaptor that works with the Sony R1, I have bought two and tried a third, none of which worked. the eye fi card works in my other camera.

0 upvotes
pwmoree
By pwmoree (8 months ago)

How long before we have Live View on a tablet wirelessly as soon as we switch on our camera?

3 upvotes
Mr Fartleberry
By Mr Fartleberry (8 months ago)

Maybe when Canikon start losing big sales to tablets.

0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (8 months ago)

It isn't instantaneous with my Panasonic GH3 or my GoPro 3 black. However, it only takes a couple of seconds.

2 upvotes
ntsan
By ntsan (8 months ago)

You can also zoom in and zoom out on Panasonic with powerzoom lens, good for monitoring lol

0 upvotes
martin_k13
By martin_k13 (8 months ago)

What happens to the range when putting such a card in a magnesium alloy dslr body?

0 upvotes
Peter Galbavy
By Peter Galbavy (8 months ago)

It works (my Eye Fi X2 Pro that is). I use mine in both my Canon 1DsIII and smaller, toy, Panasonic waterproof metal camera. It's functionally fine in both. I have not measured range, but in the house/garden it's fine.

Comment edited 15 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Mike Perlman
By Mike Perlman (8 months ago)

All of my testing was with a 5D Mark III and both cards were fine.

1 upvote
plevyadophy
By plevyadophy (8 months ago)

My testing, on a Canon 1Ds and an old Sony R1, shows good transfer speed and reasonable signal when cam and receiving laptop are placed in different rooms (with doors to rooms open but not in line of site) and at a range of about 22 feet (circa 7 metres).

Speeds will differ between shooting raw only, raw + JPEG, and JPEG only.

0 upvotes
brand0
By brand0 (3 months ago)

If you use Shuttersnitch on an iPad, and if you're pro you should, the Transcend is great. This review's criticisms of it are mostly to do with the iPad end software. I use it for portrait shoots to enable close inspection of shots as we go, no matter where we are.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 8 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Chuck_IV
By Chuck_IV (2 months ago)

I agree on the Transcend brand0. I just picked up the 32gb Transcend and am very happy with it in my Sony HX300. Once I got it set up(I use internet mode when at home), my phones and PC find it fine(although it takes about 10-20 seconds after turn on, for a device to see it).

I downloaded Chrome and set the homepage to the Transcend's IP addy. It starts up right the the Trancend homepage, I goto the images and then use the Transcend Chrome extension to select which images I want to download and off it goes.

0 upvotes
Chuck_IV
By Chuck_IV (3 weeks ago)

Well, scratch that being happy part. While the Transcend worked well in the Sony HX300 I was trying out, I switched to the Canon SL1 and it is TERRIBLE.

The wifi range in the SL1 is about five(5) FEET and you gotta have clear line of sight to the router, otherwise the transfer fails or is slow as molasses.

Not sure what it is with the Canon SL1 but the Transcend just doesn't work woth a hoot in it(even tho it is on the compatible list).

0 upvotes
Mirrorless Crusader
By Mirrorless Crusader (8 months ago)

What's the point of getting any of these cards when you can just get a camera with wifi and nfc already enabled like Panasonic GX7 or Sony NEX-5T or (soon) Olympus OM-D E-M1?

0 upvotes
Mato34
By Mato34 (8 months ago)

Obviously, you can use these cards on older cameras which do not have such connection features built-in.

Saludos!

2 upvotes
Akeem
By Akeem (8 months ago)

Uniformity in your workflow.
All manufacturers (will) have their own system for uploading pictures wirelessly; Can you tell where your pictures will end up with each of the 3 cameras you mention? How you will have to enter WiFi passwords? What the name of the auto-generated folders wille be? If you can auto-push the pictures to G+ in a 2048px version? etc

2 upvotes
grock
By grock (8 months ago)

Oh, thanks! I was gonna get one, but now I'll just throw out my 5DMIII and get a totally different camera, lenses, and flashes so I have wifi instead of spending the 80 bucks for the card.

8 upvotes
J D Tranquil
By J D Tranquil (8 months ago)

I am a non-professional who have both cards and I find the Transcend much more suitable for my use.

The Eye-fi card is compatible with a wider range of cameras. Therefore, I can use it on my main camera while the Transcend card cannot. The big problem with the Eye-fi card is that you have to load everything from the card to your device. That means, let's say you took 20 pictures from the week before and haven't download them to your device yet. And today you have just taken a picture that you want to load to your device; once the transfer begin you have to download the 20 pictures from the week before first.

1 upvote
J D Tranquil
By J D Tranquil (8 months ago)

Another problem with the Eye-fi card is that pictures can be downloaded once only. I travel with the iPhone and the iPad (without the SIM card). I use the iPhone to send pictures to Facebook while I enjoy other pictures on a bigger screen of the iPad. That means I have to choose if I want which pictures to be downloaded to which device. And that cannot be done easily because the pictures go to the device in sequential order. Once the pictures go to one device, they cannot be transfer to another device via direct mode.

In these respects, the Transcend card can be more useful. I can choose which pictures to be downloaded to all of my mobile devices. I don't travel with my laptop so I don't have a problem in that regard. The Transcend card also allow me to share the pictures with my friends who travel with me in that instant- the limitation the Eye-fi card cannot do.

4 upvotes
J D Tranquil
By J D Tranquil (8 months ago)

This is my experience on both cards. Hope it's helpful in your buying decision. Each card has its own strengths and weaknesses. It's just which one better suits your needs.

2 upvotes
Abrak
By Abrak (8 months ago)

What you state about the difference between the cards is correct.

1) The eye-fi does 'automatic push' transfer so a 'single' device must be nominated. (You can select photos rather than send the entire batch but this is done in-camera rather than on your smart device.)
2) So if you wish to 'pull in' photos into multiple devices you are need to use a Transcend/EZ Share/Flashair

I actually like to download all my photos automatically as I sort my photos on my ipad and then sync with Lightroom. Which is why I prefer the Eye-fi but your reasons for prefering the Transcend are sound.

3 upvotes
Mike Perlman
By Mike Perlman (8 months ago)

As I stated in the review, you can selectively choose which images you'd like to transfer to which device by marking them with the "Protect" icon in your camera's playback mode. You can train the card to only transfer when you tell it to. Furthermore, images don't just have to be transferred to a device—they can go onto your laptop from the phone/tablet in the presence of a wireless network, in addition to Eye-Fi's cloud site.

2 upvotes
plevyadophy
By plevyadophy (8 months ago)

@J D Tranquil

I dunno how long you have been using Eye-Fi cards, but most of what you say about them is incorrect.

You should go to the very helpful Eye-Fi Forum on the Eye-Fi site and get a good few tips and tricks.

Comment edited 50 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
kimnk
By kimnk (8 months ago)

Actually I have the same experiences as JD Tranquil.

I had the Eye-Fi X2 Pro and now the Transcend.

I did not like the Eye-Fi because i don't want to transfer all my photos to my phone (only select ones that i want to upload immediately). I realise that you can 'pull' photos, but then i also want to be able to transfer to other iPhones and iPads.

You can only transfer to one device as far as i know, very inconvenient.

The Transcend i have now, although slower, is more versatile because anyone's iphone and ipad can access and grab the photos they want. easier to sit in a cafe and pick out a few photos to edit.

0 upvotes
ajay67
By ajay67 (8 months ago)

perhaps someone could make a wi-fi card reader too? or is it already in the market?

0 upvotes
Abrak
By Abrak (8 months ago)

Yes already exists - look up Airstash. Can read any SD card and wifi content to your smart device.

2 upvotes
Fellwalker
By Fellwalker (8 months ago)

I'd have thought an SD card sized wifi sleeve for any size of micro SD card would be the best option. Then the size limitation goes away because you can swap micro cards.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 51 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Abrak
By Abrak (8 months ago)

The review is ok as far as it goes but there are quite a lot of other differences between these cards in use. Transcend is basically a 'pull' card while Eye-fi is basically 'push'.

This has important repercussions when using the cards with say Photosmith for IOS or I imagine Shuttersnitch. The Eye-fi card can be used to bypass IOS's own photo app which makes deleting of downloaded photos far simpler and I dont believe that Transcend is even compatible with Photosmith.

Several brands also have special Eye-fi menus which means that the wifi can be turned off when not needed and photos can be automatically downloaded immediately when it is switched on. Some of the advantages of Eye-fi means it use is actually far better than the in-built wifi in cameras.

2 upvotes
KAMSA
By KAMSA (8 months ago)

Another problem, CF Card Users like me, I cant find a usable CF adapter who wants to fully communicate with this new development, and I think there are many more people who are having the same problem.

I have a lot invested in my gear and get not just about equally on new stuff that does not fit in my good working gear.

The thing is, I like this but cant use it, until my problem is solved in time,....

Anyone have an idea?

0 upvotes
Akeem
By Akeem (8 months ago)

they exist: CSL - High Speed ​​CF Card Adapter | WiFi / Eye-Fi capable

http://www.amazon.de/CSL-Speed-Adaptercard-Eye-Fi-f%C3%A4hig/dp/B00DVK1YT2/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&qid=1377773974&sr=8-14&keywords=eye-fi

0 upvotes
KAMSA
By KAMSA (7 months ago)

O they do? I have some bad experience but I will look into it, thnax for the link

0 upvotes
joe6pack
By joe6pack (8 months ago)

THIS is the reason you should get the Transcend card:

http://haxit.blogspot.ch/2013/08/hacking-transcend-wifi-sd-cards.html

7 upvotes
Rad Encarnacion
By Rad Encarnacion (8 months ago)

Mike, I have a couple of questions:

1) Would you consider the Transcend an adequate solution for a non-professional just taking casual photos during a hobby event (say, something like Comic Con) to transfer to a tablet for immediate viewing by the subject?

2) Were you able to determine which solution used up battery power more, or did you find yourself filling up the card well before running out of power?

Thanks in advance.

3 upvotes
SRT3lkt
By SRT3lkt (8 months ago)

I'm curious to know the answer as well, esp. the #2 power comsumption. I probably just need to transfer small JPGs (1~2 images ) to the iPhone for Tweet.

0 upvotes
Mike Perlman
By Mike Perlman (8 months ago)

Hey Rad, the closest feature you'll get with the Transcend is the 'Shoot and View' mode, where you capture an image and it shows up on a phone or tablet right after it's taken. Unfortunately, this takes a long time (18 seconds) and the image is not saved—it's just a preview. The Eye-Fi would be the better bet, as images can instantly show up on a phone/tablet, laptop, or online on the Eye-Fi View cloud page. Furthermore, those images are truly uploaded, not just a thumbnail preview. For Comic Con, I think the Eye-Fi would suit you quite well.

Secondly, interesting thing about the Transcend—in order to make it work, you need to disable the Auto Power Off on your camera in order to transfer images. If you don't, you will lose connection during mid-transfer. This is dangerous because you will most likely forget to switch the Auto Power Off back on and come back to a dead camera. The Eye-Fi only turns its radio on during a transfer, which is much better on the battery.

2 upvotes
Turbguy1
By Turbguy1 (8 months ago)

Better read the Amazon reviews about this card before purchase...

1 upvote
plevyadophy
By plevyadophy (8 months ago)

Why?

1 upvote
davel33
By davel33 (8 months ago)

It would be nice to see how they compare to a 6D/70D, so see if its worth the money to upgrade to a camera with wifi or get an SD card? I think you missed half of the show :)

Comment edited 27 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Abrak
By Abrak (8 months ago)

This is a good point. I use the eye-fi (although I have also tried the others.) It actually has a number of advantages over the built in wifi in cameras - bypass IOS photo app/compatibility with various Apps.

What you cannot do with an SD card is control your camera from a smart device (Eye-fi works in the other direction.)

So for instance the Olympus E-P5 as well as having 'built in wifi' also has an 'eye-fi menu'. Inherently in-built wifi doesnt make an SD card wifi redundant as they work differently. But this is really a rather complicated subject that the whole article glosses over.

2 upvotes
Mato34
By Mato34 (8 months ago)

Actually I bought a Transcend WiFi card after looking at several P&S cameras with WiFi connection to transfer photos to my mobile, and realizing that I could buy that 40 € card and use it on my old and good Canon IXUS 220 HS and also on my other cameras.

And that's what I'm doing now. For 40 € I've added WiFi connection on my Canon 220HS, Sony RX100, Nikon V1, Nikon D7000... and others. Not pro use, just aficionado, but I'm more than satisfied with it.

Saludos!

Comment edited 26 seconds after posting
1 upvote
M Hamilton
By M Hamilton (8 months ago)

Final verdict? They all suck!

9 upvotes
plevyadophy
By plevyadophy (8 months ago)

If you actually use the Eye-Fi X2 Pro cards (after ironing out any niggles with the help of the excellent Eye-Fi user forum and installing the latest firmware) you will find that they don't suck.

I have two in use, one in a Canon 1Ds, and I bought a third for a friend (only AFTER having tested out the product myself).

0 upvotes
M Hamilton
By M Hamilton (8 months ago)

Well seeing as my comment received 9 likes and that I have used an 8gb X2 Pro card for 2 years I'd say my opinion does matter. I had Eye-fi confirm that the 5 second delay on my camera on start-up was ENTIRELY the fault of the Eye-fi card and it's flaky iOS app was limited and took about 6 months to be updated to support the iP5. So NO, the final verdict remains, THEY ALL SUCK!

0 upvotes
plevyadophy
By plevyadophy (7 months ago)

I have the very same cards.

Admittedly, I don't use them with an Android or iOS smartphone so can't comment on the smartphone user experience (I am going from cam straight to laptop).

Have you used the cards with the very latest firmware updates? If so, still having problems?

0 upvotes
stev4H
By stev4H (8 months ago)

Yes, great review, but more brands of cards would be nice.
Another issue for frequent users is that flash memory eventually wears out. Colleagues who bought early, low capacity Eye Fi cards have found that the flash memory has boecome non functional, so the card becomes useless in some cameras.
PQI make a WiFi card that is also a micro SD adaptor, so the memory, in the form of a micro SD card, is replaceable/upgradeable.

2 upvotes
DaytonR
By DaytonR (8 months ago)

Very informative review :)

I wish the review had included the E Z share card & the Toshiba`s Flash air card ....

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
westcoastmatt
By westcoastmatt (8 months ago)

Yep. DPreview has previously commented on the Flash Air card right when (I think) it was announced, so would have love to have seen that included. Otherwise thanks for the great review!

1 upvote
Pavel Kudrys
By Pavel Kudrys (8 months ago)

I too would like to see a comparison with FlashAir card. It should be closest competitor to EyeFi. As for the EZ Share, I tested one last year (8GB Class 6) and I found it too slow to write RAW files and I found no way to wirelessly transfer the RAW files to ipad. But the worst thing was that it emits a loud beep sound every 30secs or so! And the only way to turn the sound OFF was to switch the WIFI OFF, which means open the battery compartment door every time one wants to turn the wifi on/off.

1 upvote
Pavel Kudrys
By Pavel Kudrys (8 months ago)

I just realized that the annoying beep sound (WIFI ON reminder) is no longer a part of the latest EZ Share cards! And they are also making Class 10 cards. So it might again be worth a try? The physical wifi switch is a great thing if the camera does not support particular wifi card and it has no switch to turn the wifi OFF in menu.

0 upvotes
Peter Galbavy
By Peter Galbavy (8 months ago)

I thought Toshiba got delayed with Eye-Fi patent issues? Is the EZShare card the SanDisk one? If so, it's just a re-badged Eye-Fi.

0 upvotes
Robert La Palme
By Robert La Palme (8 months ago)

Eye-Fi it's just a expensive TOY for old kids

I try the 8gb Pro before, and i resell it 1 week later.

When you shoot more than 100 pictures (in RAW 22mb) in studio in 1 hour, the thing just fail! Some file are trandfered, some are corrupt et the other just not transfert!

0 upvotes
plevyadophy
By plevyadophy (8 months ago)

@Robert La Palme,

A great deal of the problems with Eye-Fi cards are down to user error (and also because a lot of the common issues people may have are not explained upfront in the user manual that comes with the card).

I had some issues with the card too but I persevered and went on to the excellent Eye-Fi User Forum and got lots and lots of help.

I now have two Eye-Fi X2 Pro cards, in two cams, and I purchased a third for a pal.

The only file corruption issue I encountered was when I used the Eye-Fi card in an SD-to-CF Card adaptor for use in my 1Ds Mark II, which is something that is NOT recommended by Eye-Fi. However, doing the same thing with another camera, an old Sony R1, has resulted in success.

It's a pity you didn't continue with the card a little longer as you may have found the card worthwhile.

0 upvotes
sean000
By sean000 (8 months ago)

I have a Toshiba Flashair card that I got for free with an Olympus rebate when I bought my wife an Oly XZ-10. It is the only WiFi card I have owned. Like the Transcend, it is a shoot now, browse later card. First you enable the card's Wifi using the camera settings, and then you open an app on your device (she uses an iPad) to browse and transfer files. So far it has worked really well. I think the Eye-Fi certainly gives you more connectivity options for automating transfers, but I usually transfer bulk files using a card reader (into Lightroom) and I only use the WiFi option when I just want to transfer one photo (shooting RAW+JPEG) so I can quickly share that photo on Facebook or Google+.

0 upvotes
yupiewang
By yupiewang (7 months ago)

Who would like to reveiw new ez Share,we would like to provides sample(s)! 8G/C10,16G/C10 and 32G/C10. my contacts: wangx@lzeal.com .

0 upvotes
Total comments: 176
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