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Eye-Fi Review

November 2007 | By Phil Askey

Review based on a production Eye-Fi card

It's not often we review accessories, and we've never really reviewed an SD card, certainly not on its own. That said this isn't any ordinary SD card and it does offer something fairly unique; WiFi connectivity and automated image transfer for any camera which takes SD. As you can see from the image above the Eye-Fi card is the same size as any other SD card but contains not just a WiFi unit but also 2 GB of flash storage (an impressive enough feat alone). Retailing at $99 it's not massively expensive either.

Opening the box and setup

The Eye-Fi card comes in some very nice packaging which slides open to reveal the card and its USB reader on one side and a fold-out quick start guide on the other. Whether you're running Windows or Mac OS X you simply insert the reader and card bundle into a spare USB slot and install the included Eye-Fi Manager software (this should happen fairly automatically). Installing the software and going through the new card registration process associates that card with that computer and becomes the default destination for images transmitted back. Once the Eye-Fi Manager software is installed a web page will automatically load and requires you to create an Eye-Fi account.

Once registered the card will automatically search for access points and you'll be able to select your access point and enter your "network password" (WEP or WPA key). A couple of tests and a few seconds later and your card is connected to the wireless network and you're on to the next step. Note you can associate the card with multiple access points but you need to have the card in the Eye-Fi card reader connected to a computer (with the Eye-Fi Manager software) to configure it.

Next you can choose to have your photos automatically uploaded to any one of twenty online sharing sites including Phanfare, Shutterfly, Picasa, Fotki, Smugmug, Flickr, Facebook etc. Alternatively you can choose to 'Add an online service later' as we did.

Lastly you choose the location on your computer where photos should be saved, on Windows by default this is an 'Eye-Fi' folder under your 'Pictures' (or 'My Pictures'). Folders named by date ('November 01, 2007' for example) are created for all images uploaded on that date.

You're pretty much finished, all that's left is the initial upload test. To carry this out you simply remove the card from the reader, insert it in your camera and take a photo. All things working normally you should see the image appear on the web page.

Foreword / notes

If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read some of our Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / recommendation / ratings are based on the opinion of the author, we recommend that you read the entire review before making any decision. Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of them, click to display a larger image in a new window.

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Dpreview use calibrated monitors at the PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally also A, B and C.

 

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