New memory card adds Wi-Fi to digital cameras

A company called Eye-Fi has released a rather unusual SD memory card aimed at digital cameras. The Eye-Fi Card has 2GB of capacity and looks just like its other SD brethren, all but for one detail: it has Wi-Fi capability. According to Eye-Fi, this functionality allows users to transfer photos wirelessly from any camera to their home PCs via a wireless network. Better yet, Eye-Fi’s software lets users automatically upload photos from their cameras to 17 popular photo sharing sites including Flickr, Facebook, Picasa, Photobucket, KODAK Gallery, Shutterfly, Wal-Mart, Snapfish, Webshots, SmugMug, Fotki, TypePad, VOX, dotPhoto, Phanfare, Sharpcast, and Gallery.

The folks at Gizmodo got a chance to review the Eye-Fi Card, and they say it works “flawlessly.” To set it up, Gizmodo says users simply need to take a few minutes to configure the card through their PC using a bundled USB card reader. From then on, everything works as advertised, and camera battery life supposedly shouldn’t suffer thanks to SD power standards. Gizmodo’s review suggests the Eye-Fi Card’s only real downsides are its price tagโ€”a hefty $99.99โ€”and its lack of support for Wi-Fi hot spots.

Comments closed
    • dax248
    • 12 years ago

    SDIO?
    err, wrong username -usacomp2k3

    • evermore
    • 12 years ago

    Cripes, how much more miniaturized can things get? One day we’re going to be yelling out to coworkers like we dropped a contact, “hold still, nobody move, I dropped our database storage drive, I don’t want anybody to step on it and push it down into the carpet.”

    This thing has an entire wireless node’s functionality on it: OS, processor, memory for the OS, storage interface.

    Kind of a crappy-looking USB reader included. Sticks directly out of the USB port and probably would block any immediately to the sides or above/below. Need to use an extension cable to make it convenient.

    No mention of transfer rates. The eye-fi site doesn’t specify if it’s 802.11b or g, just that it works with both. USB2.0 from my camera seems pretty damn slow at times with high-resolution shots. I think I’d rather just have a card reader plugged in and tucked out of sight.

    • JJCDAD
    • 12 years ago

    I wonder how much extra load this will put on the batteries. The only reason I don’t use the built in USB on my cameras is because the camera has to be on the whole time pics are transferring.

      • evermore
      • 12 years ago

      They say not much difference on the batteries because of standards about how much power an SD card is allowed to draw. Image transfers from a camera over USB shouldn’t be so slow that it is a huge drain on your batteries anyway (even if like both mine the LCD stays lit the whole time). Unless you’re turning it on and off a lot just to transfer one image.

    • Mr Bill
    • 12 years ago

    I have trouble with the concept of SD (SecureDigital) and WiFi bundled into the same package. It just seems odd.

      • UberGerbil
      • 12 years ago

      Two features that get used together, just one expansion slot — what’s odd about combining them?

    • Firestarter
    • 12 years ago

    This is truly a great feature! I wonder how it works when shooting RAW on a DSLR..

    edit: I guess I’d need a CF version for that ๐Ÿ™‚

    edit: “Thank you for contacting EyeFi. To answer you question, there have been some successful instances in which the sD card was put in a cF adapter, though it is not a supported configuration. The main limitation is the file type. It will only upload JPG/JPEG pictures. We are currently working on a cF card that should be released by next year that will handle JPG/JPEG, NEF and RAW files. I hope this answers your question and again, thank you for contacting EyeFi.”

    Well good to hear that they’re working on it ๐Ÿ™‚

      • d2brothe
      • 12 years ago

      Most useful response I’ve heard from any company in a long time.

        • PcItalian
        • 12 years ago

        Yea, im quite surprised myself, sounds like Eye-Fi is on the ball… Thats good to hear.

        I may get one, always hated having to pull out the card reader for just one lousy picture.

      • danazar
      • 12 years ago

      Actually the Nikon D50 and D40 use SD.

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