Eye fi vs Transcend vs Toshiba Flash Air in m4/3?

Started May 2, 2013 | Discussions thread
Abrak
Senior MemberPosts: 1,328
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Re: Eye fi vs Transcend vs Toshiba Flash Air in m4/3?
In reply to hholtmann, May 3, 2013

hholtmann wrote:

I can give you some experience regarding this 3 cards as my company integrated support for the FlashAir and Transcend Card into a popular iOS app (I don't want to advertise here, but if you are interested in testing please send me a PM). Support for the eyeFi Card we did not integrate (the card is not as open as the 2 others), but the card was still tested.

The cards were tested in the following cameras: Lumix GX1, Lumix G3, Lumix LX3 and Sony RX100

All of the cards performed without issues in all cameras. It's just important to disable the ECO or Auto Power OFF feature - otherwise the camera might switch off during data transmission. The OMD should also work fine - I think Olympus even bundled the FlashAir card with the camera for some time.

1) Eye-Fi Card:
+  Transfer speed typically about 2MB/sec
+  Card can push - so you can receive new images on the iOS device while shooting
+ HotSport and Infrastructure Mode (= can create its own network or join an existing)
-  properitary software which requires online registration
- limited to certain filetypes (RAW support only in Pro Version of card)
- limited 3rd party software support

2) FlashAir-Card
+ Transfer speed typically about 2MB/sec 
+ Simple Setup without online registration
+ build in very performant webserver (so its possible to access the pictures even without an App)
+ support all filetypes 
- supports only hotspot mode

3) Trancsend Card
+ Cheapest of the 3: You get 32GB Class 10 card for the same price as a FlashAir 8GB Class 6 or EyeFI 8GB Class 6 Card
+ HotSport and Infrastructure Mode (= can create its own network or join an existing)
+ Built in webserver, but slower as FlashAir Card
- Transfer speed only about 1MB/sec
- Did consume the most power in our testing

None of the 3 cards is perfect. But in our testing I found the Toshiba FlashAir the most stable, reliable and performant. This is also the card, which is now permanently in my Lumix GX1 camera. The only 2 downsides of the FlashAir cards are that is doesn't support infrastructure mode and thats its pretty expensive.

I have used all 3 cards on the OMD and although this is a fairly exhaustive list of the various features of the cards, it is worth making a few comments on the comments.

First on the OMD, I dont think it is possible to disable the 'ECO or Auto Power Off feature'. As far as I know it is only possible to adjust the time to 'ECO' up to 5 minutes. This means that if you are doing a large batch transfer of jpegs, the camera might well shut down and you then need to power it on in order to complete. It is primarily this feature that gives the impression a card is 'unreliable'.

Now to me which card is best suited for the purpose of the Op, really depends on how he wishes to transfer the photos. If he 'automatically' wants to transfer 'all' his photos to his ipad then I think the eye-fi is best suited if he wants to look at thumbnails of his photos and selectively choose which photos he transfers then the 'Flashair' or 'Transcend' are best suited.

The eye-fi card is the only card that can 'push' - it can also be set up to only 'push' jpeg from a jpeg+RAW shoot. This means as well as 'sending photos while shooting' with the OMD you also have the ability to 'automatically' send all your photos to your ipad once you have finished shooting. Once set up all you have to do is 'switch on' the eye-fi card in the camera (not possible with Lumix) and it will automatically 'push' your latest shots to your smart device. With the other 2 cards you have to select your photos from your ipad and then 'pull' them from the camera. This also highlights another feature of the 'eye-fi + OMD' which is that the card can be switched on and off in camera - saving battery life - and you really only need to turn it on when you are sending photos.

The disadvantages of the eye-fi is that it is the most expensive of the 3 cards and that it is 'more difficult to set-up'. The other 2 cards are so easy that 'setup' is a rather strong word. 'More difficult to setup' for the eye-fi card runs the gamut of 'still very easy' to 'so difficult I never got it working properly' amongst people who have had the card.

Now if you want 'selective import' I would personally recommend the Flashair over the Transcend. The Flashair has compatibility with the EPL5 and EPM2 and works together with the 'Olympus App', you can also use the Flashair and Olympus App with the OMD (but you cant switch the card on and off in camera like the Pens). The Olympus App works pretty nicely and offers the ability of adding Olympus 'art filters' to your photos 'after they have been imported into your ipad'. Flashair is more expensive than the Transcend.

I have both the Flashair and the eye-fi but use the eye-fi exclusively with all my shots (I actually have 2 eye-fi cards.)

The Transcend I have only used for a couple of hours to see what it was like, so it is possible that I didnt use it right. First, I have to say that I found the 'Transcend App' rather than the 'Transcend' itself, rather buggy - freezing and crashing on a number of occasions (admittedly I havent really heard similar complaints from other users.) Secondly when you are 'selecting' photos to transfer you seem to have to select each photo separately -  you cant select 'all' in one go to transfer like the Flashair (with the eye-fi you dont have to select.) I also ran into the problem that the Transcend seemed to have a limit on the maximum number of photos you could transfer in one batch (around 20 or so) which I found a pain. So transfering 100 shots from your camera to the ipad was a major hassle compared to less than a 2 minute exercise with 'eye-fi'. The Transcend is the cheapest of the 3 and about half the price of an eye-fi.

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