Eye-Fi 8GB Mobile X2 Wireless Memory Card
Chances are, you’ve heard of Eye-Fi wireless memory cards. For years, Eye-Fi memory cards have been making the process of transferring photos from cameras to computers a simple, cable-less affair. Not being satisfied with being a one-trick pony (albeit an amazing trick), Eye-Fi introduced a new feature called Direct Mode. Direct Mode allows photos from your camera to be wirelessly transferred to your smartphone or tablet, even without a Wi-Fi connection.
- Insanely convenient
- Wirelessly transfers photos to your computer
- Wirelessly transfers photos to your smartphone and tablet
- Can automatically send photos to sharing and printing sites
- Set up is a little complex
I’ve been intrigued with Eye-Fi cards for years, but didn’t have a compatible digital camera. I now have two cameras with Eye-Fi compatibility and there are many more on Eye-Fi’s compatibility list. I spent a couple of weeks shooting with a Sony NEX-5N camera, exclusively with the Eye-Fi Mobile X2 card. After some early struggles, I came away very impressed.
Setting up the Mobile X2 turned out to be a bit more than I bargained for, mainly because my PC had problems recognizing the memory card. The first time I plugged it into a USB port with the included USB memory card reader, my PC recognized it fine. I then inserted the card into the camera, took some shots, then decided to change some settings and plugged it back in. My PC recognized the card, but thought it needed to be formatted. I went ahead and did so, just so I could move on. Unfortunately, formatting it did little. This was problematic because I couldn’t use the Eye-Fi desktop software to make any configuration changes. I decided to step away from the card for a couple of weeks and when I came back to it, decided to format the card inside my camera instead. Voila––success!
To set up the Eye-Fi card for wireless transfer to your PC, you first have to install the Eye-Fi Center software, then insert the Eye-Fi card to your computer. You then need to create an Eye-Fi account and register the card with Eye-Fi. During this process, the software will automatically check for and install any firmware updates. Next, you choose your Wi-Fi network. You can also choose to set up Direct Mode (wirelessly transfer photos to your smartphone or tablet) and auto sharing to Internet sites. Once you’re finished, eject the card then pop the Eye-Fi card into your compatible camera and make sure it’s enabled within the camera’s menu.
FEATURES & USAGE
The Eye-Fi Mobile X2 memory card has two main features––wireless transfer to your PC and wireless transfer to your mobile device. Once set up, wireless transfers to your computer are as easy as can be. Take your pictures and watch as they appear on your computer’s hard drive, almost as if by magic. The convenience of having photos automatically upload to your computer can’t be overstated. Tech savvy users will be able to forego the somewhat laborious process of removing the memory card from the camera, inserting it into a card reader on a computer, browsing the memory card for photos, then copying them to the hard drive. The Eye-Fi card automatically uploads photos and videos to a predetermined folder without any action on your part. The convenience is even more pronounced for users who aren’t that tech savvy and are intimidated by the steps normally required to transfer photos from a camera to a PC. These are perfect for those family members who keep photos on their camera and fill up their memory cards because they don’t know how to move them to their computer.
A somewhat new feature of Eye-Fi X2 cards is Direct Mode. If you have an iPhone, iPad, Android smartphone, or Android tablet, you can download an app that can connect to the Eye-Fi card and automatically receive photos from your camera. You can then take those photos and upload them to photo sites or social networks as you please. Your Instagram photos will look amazing, putting your smartphone’s camera to shame.
Unfortunately, I found documentation and help to be pretty thin, at least on the Android app. It took some trial and error to figure out the correct way to configure the app. Once I got it working, however, uploads were smooth and seamless. You’ll know it’s working when an orange icon shows up in the upper left-hand corner, indicating an upload is in progress.
Another nice feature of the Eye-Fi X2 card is that you can automatically have it upload to sites like Facebook and flickr. You can even have photos sent to printing sites like Costco or dotphoto. Geotagging via Wi-Fi positioning is available as well, which can be useful if your camera isn’t GPS-enabled. It’s worth mentioning, however, that geotagging for the Mobile X2 card is a premium feature available for $29.99. Given that the Eye-Fi Pro X2 card comes with geotagging and is about $20 more than the Mobile X2, it’d be worth just getting the Pro card if you think you’ll want geotagging.
The last feature I want to mention is the endless memory feature. This feature sets the card to delete photos that have already been uploaded when the card reaches a user-defined capacity. This basically lets you keep shooting as if you have infinite storage, without having to manually delete photos from the card.
It’s also worth mentioning that using Eye-Fi cards will drain your camera’s battery a little quicker. If your camera already has poor battery life and you want to use an Eye-Fi card, you might want to consider getting a spare battery.
The Eye-Fi Mobile X2 card is an incredibly convenient accessory for any photographer, but especially for those who might be a bit squeamish about transferring photos the traditional way. If not for the somewhat complex set up, it’d be perfect for the non-tech savvy crowd. If you fall into that group, I’d recommend thoroughly reading through the online documentation or asking someone with a bit more expertise for help; the Eye-Fi Mobile X2 memory card is definitely worth the effort.
Available from Amazon.com.
* Review unit provided by Eye-Fi