If you’re a prolific shutterbug, you know what a hassle it is to constantly pull the SD card from your camera, plug it into your computer, and transfer the files to get to the snapshots you just took. Here’s how to add Wi-Fi based photo transfer to your digital camera.
An increasing number of digital cameras ship with built-in Wi-Fi support that makes it easy to wirelessly transfer your photos from your camera to your local network for storage, post-processing, uploading to social media, or all of the above—no tethering your camera to your computer or pulling the SD card required.
That’s a great feature to look for if you’re shopping for a new camera, but for everyone else rocking older cameras, a small upgrade is in order: a Wi-Fi SD card. Introduced several years ago, Wi-Fi enabled SD cards take advantage of the constant reduction and refinement of electronic components to pack in both photo storage and a tiny Wi-Fi radio into the form factor of an SD memory card. Aside from the label they look absolutely identical to their non-networked counterparts.
There’s one big downside: the sticker shock. A Wi-FI SD card will typically run you 3-4 times the price of a similar non-Wi-FI SD card. You’ll also need to recharge your camera battery more frequently, as the Wi-FI SD card steals power from the battery to run the Wi-Fi radio and associated hardware—though newer cards are pretty power efficient.
Before all else, check to see if you even need a Wi-Fi SD card. While Wi-Fi integration used to be a very rare premium feature on digital cameras, increasingly you’ll find it on everything from DSLRs down to little pocket-size point-and-shoot cameras. Look up your camera model online to check the specs and ensure you’re not overlooking the built-in Wi-Fi features. (Note: Some camera models include additional menu functionality designed to integrate with a Wi-Fi SD card, but they don’t actually have Wi-Fi capabilities themselves. Be sure to read the fine print.)
Second, you need to determine if your camera will support a Wi-Fi SD card. As a general rule, if your camera can support an SDHC card (an upgraded form of the original SD card format) then it should be able to handle a Wi-Fi card with no problem. Typically the only problem you’ll run into is if your camera is very aggressive in cutting the power to the SD card between read/write times—in that case, you may find that the camera doesn’t keep the juice flowing to the SD card long enough to transfer all your photos.To play it extra safe, you may wish to hit up Google and search for the model number of your camera and “Wi-Fi SD card” to see if people have had success.
Finally, after checking out your camera’s feature list and that it supports SDHC cards, it’s time to pick out a Wi-Fi card. While there are several Wi-Fi cards on the market, including the Toshiba FlashAir, the Transcend Wi-Fi, and the EZ Share SD Card, we’ve opted to use the Eye-Fi company because the features (and companion software) are more polished and flexible—additionally, the Eye-Fi comes with 3-12 months of free online photo storage (depending on which model you get).
The current generation Eye-Fi cards come in two flavors: the Eye-Fi Mobi 8GB ($31) and the Eye-Fi Mobi Pro 16GB and 32GB ($50 and $175, respectively). Between the two models, the Mobi Pro is a worthwhile upgrade, as the extra $19 gets you not only double the base storage space but a host of additional features like selective transfer (the regular Mobi automatically transfers all photos) and supports RAW format file syncing. The Pro also comes with 12 months of free online storage as opposed to the 3 you get with the regular model. For this tutorial, we’ll be using the Eye-Fi Mobi Pro.
To get started, first visit the Eye-Fi website and download the desktop software for your Windows or Mac computer. Run the installer when the download is complete. Don’t be alarmed that the software isn’t branded “Eye-Fi”; the Eye-Fi company was purchased by the Ricoh and the software was rebranded to match their Keenai photo storage company.
After running the installed software, click on “Start your Keenai experience”, as seen below.Read More...
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