DPReview compares two wireless SD cards, the Eye-Fi Pro X2 16 GB and the Transcend 32 GB Wi-Fi: Battle of the Wi-Fi Cards: Eye-Fi vs. Transcend. Although the Transcend offers more storage and costs less, the reviewer found that the Eye-Fi trounces it in performance, range, and software features. (The article doesn’t include the Eye-Fi Mobi card, which makes it easier to connect to a tablet or smartphone.)
But perhaps the biggest disadvantage of the Transcend card is its inability to easily transfer files to a laptop or desktop. Technically it can do it, but it’s a painstaking process and one that I wouldn’t consider practical. Basically, the card uses a computer to achieve the same thing it can do on a mobile device, only with twice the steps. Users must find the Transcend Wi-Fi card’s network from the computer. Next, the user launches a browser and enters a lengthy IP address into the url bar. At that point I was better off just plugging the card into the good old card reader. By comparison, the Eye-Fi can connect to a laptop in a matter of seconds and upload images and videos in real time.
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Hopefully you’re not sick of my voice yet: Chris. Breen invited me to talk iPad and photography on this week’s Macworld Podcast. We also went into some detail about capturing photos with the iPad and iPhone, and looked at the state of the current tech related to photographers using iPads (with speculation of what could come in the future).
I’ve had the great pleasure to do several podcasts and interviews about The iPad for Photographers, Second Edition. Last week I talked to the wonderful David Sparks and Katie Floyd for their Mac Power Users Podcast (listen to the episode here). In it, we talk about all sorts of iPad photography topics, but mostly I’m sure David just wanted some great advice before he left on vacation. (He admits to it several times.) It’s a fun conversation, and I hope you enjoy it!
It’s getting hard to escape it. This weekend, I visited the Ballard Locks and in the below-ground viewing area for the fish ladder (a series of “gates” the Army Corps of Engineers created to enable salmon to safely pass through the locks and spawn in fresh water) a tourist was taking photos of the fish…using an iPad. What used to be a weird anomaly is now turning into a regular occurrence.
At first, I ridiculed the idea—mostly because the camera-equipped iPad at the time was the iPad 2, which had a ridiculously bad camera. Fortunately, the cameras in later models have improved dramatically, and the form factor of the iPad mini makes it feel less like you’re holding a lunch tray in front of your face.
All this is to mention that I wrote a short article for Peachpit’s Web site that looks at the possibilities for using your iPad as a camera, including other software that improves the results: Take Great Photos with Your iPad.
Summer isn’t over yet, and my latest Seattle Times Practical Mac column looks at options for capturing GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) location data to record where your photos are taken. I talk about using an iPhone or other GPS-enabled smartphone to grab locations by shooting reference photos alongside the shots you take with a digital camera, as well as recording tracklogs that keep up with your location and then merging that data with your photos later. Link: Tagging your summer travel photos with GPS location info.
BorrowLenses.com just released a neat reference for iPad-toting photographers: The BL Lighting Cookbook. The cookbook is a free iPad-only app that includes several common off-camera lighting situations with examples and behind-the-scenes diagrams for achieving the effects. Of course, there are also links to the gear being used to get the shots to encourage you to rent equipment from the company. (I’ve used them for lens rentals in the past and was very happy with the service.) The company has more to say on their blog.
Photos are meant to be viewed large. Yet when taking a shot—that crucial moment when we should be most discerning—we usually rely on the camera’s small LCD to preview the image. The traditional solution has been to “tether” the camera to a computer, so you can view shots on a large screen as they’re captured, or even control the camera’s settings and trigger the shutter remotely. That approach lets you correct the scene or settings and reshoot immediately if anything looks amiss.
But tethering can be limiting. Setting up a laptop on location is often inconvenient—and even if you’re shooting in a studio, tethering typically involves snaking a USB cable between the camera and the computer.
I think the headline is a little misleading, since I specifically talked about using an iPad and the iUSBportCamera app is just for the iPad. But I can understand that “smartphone” is likely to draw a bigger audience.