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So often when I’m shooting an event (particularly when there’s a photo booth), attendees ask me if/when the images will be on Facebook. They want to know if I can upload them immediately and directly from my dSLR, and if not, they sheepishly ask if I mind re-shooting the portrait on their phone. I usually tell them not to worry, I’m not too high and mighty for a phone camera, and laugh it off apologetically when they ask if my Canon gets wi-fi. That is, until today.
This Christmas I received my favorite type of present: one that I is both completely perfect for me and a complete surprise. Michelle, my future sister-in-law and fellow jet-setting photographer on the fly, gave me a Mobi memory card by Eye-Fi. The card uses its own wi-fi to transmit photos from your camera (anything from a point and shoot to a full-frame, professional dSLR) to your phone, e-reader, or tablet. Using the free app, the photos can be selected, rotated, and posted to the social media of your choosing, including instagram, Facebook, WordPress, and twitter, or simply texted or emailed to a friend. The card is a punchy orange, which ensures I won’t take a boring old regular memory card by mistake, and it comes with an activation key on the card’s cover that ensures your photos end up on your device. You can add up to 20 different Mobi cards to your Eye-fi, and opt for push notifications that will announce the progress of each photo upload.
Keep in mind that other than the Pro X2 cards, in order to use the wi-fi you need to shoot in JPEG (or more likely for those on a dSLR, in RAW and JPEG since the card will still read and write all the usual types of RAW files), and there is a slight lag while the photos upload to your phone or other device, but not more than five minutes or so. Also, your camera has to stay on for the duration of the upload. You may need to fiddle with the settings a bit, but the online support provided via the app is sufficient (except, of course, that it doesn’t mention the necessity of JPEGs, as far as I could see.) The app was still rather easy to download and use, and the quality of the photos is immediately apparent. Personally, I wouldn’t use this card for a standard shoot with many images (since the backlog of uploading or hunting through the app for the best one would be annoying) or images that won’t be publication-ready right out of the camera. However, Eye-fi is great for all of the casual, day to day use my camera gets, especially when I am only taking a few social shots which will probably never find themselves in any photo set or online album.
The verdict? I am pretty much in love with the product, and have been itching to use it whenever I can. Every photographer I’ve mentioned it to so far, from the casual to the professional, has been floored and totally excited. So for everyone I’ve promised to email with details in the last couple of weeks, consider this the full low-down on what Mobi cards have to offer.
I have the 8GB card ($49.99), but it is also available in 16GB ($79.99), 32 GB ($99.99), and 16GB Pro X2 ($99.99), which can also upload to a computer and can upload RAW files. The cards are all Class 10, and the Pro X2’s have faster read/write and uploading speeds. Be aware that the card capacities quoted on the Eye-Fi website refer to how many JPEG images can be stored, not RAW images. The cards are currently available for a slight discount on Amazon, B&H, as well as on their website, Adorama, and Best Buy for full price. The Eye-Fi app is available on Google Play, the Apple App Store, or the Kindle Fire app store. For a full list of camera compatibility check here.
*Top image courtesy of Eye-fi. All others are my own.
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