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PQI Air Wi-Fi MicroSD to SD adapter reviewed by DCWatch

By dpreview staff on Oct 17, 2012 at 19:21 GMT

Japanese camera site DCWatch has reviewed the PQI Air Wi-Fi Micro-SD to SD adapter. The adapter features a built-in Wi-Fi transmitter but, unlike rival FlashAir or Eye-Fi cards, does not feature any internal memory of its own - instead allowing you to swap MicroSD cards in and out. The adapter communicated with smartphones via an Android or iOS app from where you can browse and download images from the camera. The system allows you to swap inexpensive standard MicroSD cards, rather than buying multiple Wi-Fi cards, also allowing you to upgrade the speed or capacity of card without having to replace the Wi-Fi component.

The DCWatch review (as translated by Google) appears to suggest the adapter can act as something of a bottleneck, meaning you may not get the full speed of the MicroSD card you use. The reviewer also had some problems trying to download multiple images but ascribes this problem to the app, rather than the Wi-Fi stability.

No details are yet available for the card outside Japan (though an English manual including US FCC approval details is available from the PQI website). The Japanese list price works out as around $50/€38 for the adapter without any MicroSD memory. Transfers are limited to specific file types, depending on which app you use (JPEG and PNG for stills, MP4 for video being the minimum - with no Raw or AVCHD support on either platform).

For more details about the PQI Air card, visit the PQI Group website, where you will find a list of compatible (and incompatible) cameras.


Total comments: 20
By cyberjayar (8 months ago)

io tried the suggestion of Chris, but it stil doesn work on my d7000 =( can anybody help ?

ChrisApplegate com
By ChrisApplegate com (10 months ago)

For the D7000, go to
MENU --> (PENCIL ICON) --> "C Timers/AE lock"
Set (C2 Auto meter-off delay) to "No limit"

As long as the light meter stays on, the PQI air card (or any other wireless SD card) will have power until the camera is turned off.

Comment edited 41 seconds after posting
Duncan Liu
By Duncan Liu (Dec 28, 2012)

My Canon EOS M have same problem that cannot read the PQI Air Card. It always said:

Card cannot be accessed
Reinsert/change the card or format card with camera

However, if try to format it, it will say:

Cannot format
Change card

Even format with Low level format, it still cannot be formatted.

Any solution?

By Dricsen (Dec 26, 2012)

have the same problem that it doesn't work with D7000 but not in their incompatible list, emailed PQI a lot of time but no response, very disappointed!
anyone can help

By djonathan (Oct 29, 2012)

If the USB port on my Droid was OTG, I might have been able to back-up my camera pics to the phone that way. But alas, I wasn't thinking OTG when I bought the phone, and that feature is missing.

At first glance, the Air Card looked like a great idea, until I read about the file-type restrictions. Talk about shooting yourself in the Marketing foot. If PQI doesn't want to incorporate the decoders (understandably) for the many RAW formats, how about just offering the user a back-up solution for random "data" files? It would be so easy...

By sproketholes (Oct 26, 2012)

That is a MUCH better idea!

By WIMorrison (Oct 20, 2012)

Tried to contact them to find out why this does not work with D7000 and every email address they have on their website bounces the mail.

Anyone know why it doesn't work with D7000 and quite a few other cameras.

By Nikonworks (Oct 19, 2012)

Just bought the new 16 GB class 10 Eye-Fi card.

I had troubles using a micrSD with my Samsung TL500 once on vacation.
Bad experience, won't use them in adapters any more.

By albatross (Oct 18, 2012)

I have tried it already as it's already available in Hong Kong (btw the pictures in the review are of HK too!). The main problem I had was that I need to open the app and pick which pictures to download, then it will start downloading them onto my iPad. That is very slow! I returned it and exchanged for a 8GB eyefi Pro X2. After using the eyefi speedwise it's about the same but since the eyefi can start downloading as soon as pictures are taken, it feels faster when you open the app to review after shooting. Although some pictures are still downloading to the iPad, I can at least start reviewing the pictures taken first.

Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (Oct 18, 2012)

This Google Translator and other similar programs work well for a word or two at a time, but please do go through the text after translation to add some readability! While the optimism of translator creators is to be saluted, the actual translations are almost always much more than mere word substitutions, and I suspect it will never work properly without human post-editing.

By zycamaniac (Oct 18, 2012)

My only question is... what's that dot code on the PQI AIR card mean??

Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Oct 17, 2012)

We will see. I have been wrong before. But ... its my guess that wifi cards and wifi adapters to micro cards never going to fly in the long run. Its the same problem as silicon film. Its too limited, nd not a technically sound idea. You want to be able to configure your wifi thing in real time. So --- it has to be a part of the digital camera. Its also somewhat strange to bury your radio transmitter inside a metal shell. It limits the possibility. And .... you really want an antenna on your wifi transmitter.

But - as I said - I have been wrong before.

But i was right about the compact flash hard discs. They died. Just as I predicted. That was a really, really bad idea. Moving parts in such a small disc - and try to compete with electronics. Not possible in that case.

By micahmedia (Oct 17, 2012)

Metal shelled SD cards are extremely rare.

By Kirigoi (Oct 18, 2012)

Think he means putting your wifi adapter (the card) within the metal shell of your camera body...

1 upvote
Roger Nordin
By Roger Nordin (Oct 18, 2012)

Most cameras have a plastic - and not metallic - door for the SD card slot, though. I wish they would be metallic, but hey, most often, they are not.

By Combatmedic870 (Oct 17, 2012)

i think this would create more a of problem then a solution.

"review appears to suggest the adapter can act as something of a bottleneck, meaning you may not get the full speed of the MicroSD card you use."

Theres also no 45mps+ sd micro cards. For 10-18mp point and shoots this may be ok. But not for a 16+ mp dSLR shooting raw plus jpeg.

I think it would be smart if they did this with a CF card and had it take SD cards. They could use a larger transmitter in the CF card, also you could use 95+ mbps SD cards. It would be a tad more future proof.

By mpgxsvcd (Oct 17, 2012)

This is a great idea. However, I think all of these wifi cards will stop being attractive once they start putting wifi directly in the cameras. The new GH3 will have it built-in.

By PaulRivers (Oct 18, 2012)

I'd say the same thing - sounds better than Eye-Fi, but with cameras starting to have this built into the camera it seems to be a strange time to announce it, to me.

By dylanbarnhart (Oct 19, 2012)

Don't forget the hundreds of millions of cameras out there that didn't have Wi-fi built-in.

By facedodge (Oct 17, 2012)

Interesting concept... As a 5D3 owner, the 4gig eye-fi is all I need since I can also save to the CF card. The eye-fi is just used to send small jpegs to the iPad.

Comment edited 18 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Total comments: 20