Official EyeFi CF Card Adapter

Cf adapter

One of the questions I’ve fielded often since the first edition of The iPad for Photographers is: How can I use an EyeFi card with a camera that takes only CF (Compact Flash) cards? All EyeFi cards are the smaller SD (Secure Digital) format, but some cameras—mostly professional bodies—use the larger CF size.

SD to CF adapters are available on Amazon and other outlets, but the reviews I’ve seen have always been spotty. Most adapters limit the range that the EyeFi’s Wi-Fi network creates.

Now, EyeFi has created its own adapter with a case made entirely of plastic to not blunt the Wi-Fi signal. EyeFi has more information and a list of supported cameras at its site: Eyefi certified CF Type II Adapter for Eyefi Mobi. The adapter costs $20.

Cult of Mac Covers Mobile World Congress with iPhone and Eye-Fi

Charlie Sorrel at Cult of Mac details how he relied on his iPhone and an Eye-Fi card in a Fujifilm X100S camera to cover the Mobile World Congress this year. The event is the top venue for mobile phones and accessories. He writes:

A few years ago, when I first started covering the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, I would turn up with a DSLR, a couple of lenses, a CF card reader, a MacBook (and power cable) and a backpack to carry it all in. I’d have to go to the press lounge to find a power outlet and an Ethernet jack (the Wi-Fi back then was so bad it wasn’t worth trying, even in the press lounge).

Now I can literally turn up with the iPhone in my pocket and cover everything, and arguably do it better. I didn’t really need the X100S to do the job, but I took it anyway because it made the job more fun. That’s pretty neat right there.

Transfer Photos Wirelessly without the Camera

20131009-153426.jpg

In the “learn something new” department, I ran across an interesting discovery today.

First, some setup. I woke up before dawn to catch the sunrise in the Columbia River Gorge, and for some reason my camera’s battery didn’t last very long—I think it was the combination of the cold weather, composing my shots using Live View, and transferring the images from my Eye-Fi card to my iPad. With a full day of shooting ahead, and only one extra battery available, I was in trouble.

Jump ahead a few hours, I want to transfer my newest photos to the iPad but not kill the spare battery in the camera. So, I attach my iPad Camera Connection SD adapter to copy the photos directly. The problem is that connecting the SD card to the iPad using the adapter means I need to import the raw versions of my photos in addition to the JPEGs. (I’m shooting raw+JPEG so I can edit better-quality photos on the iPad than the previews generated by the camera.) What I want to do is import into ShutterSnitch which includes an option to copy only JPEG images.

That brings me to the surprise: I opened ShutterSnitch to see if it could import directly from the adapter (it can’t; Apple blocks access to the sync port, I believe), but suddenly the photos started importing anyway. The trick is that I’m using an Eye-Fi card. And when the card is connected to the iPad using the camera adapter, the iPad is also supplying the card with power, which in turn activates the Eye-Fi’s wireless hotspot.

So even though the card is physically connected to the iPad, it’s transferring images via Wi-Fi! Pretty cool when you don’t want to tax your camera battery and bypass the Camera Roll.

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DPReview Compares Wi-Fi SD Cards

Eye Fi ProX2 16GB left view smDPReview 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.

[If you’re thinking of purchasing an Eye-Fi, please consider buying it using these Amazon links, which helps support my work. Thanks!]

If you like the work I do, please consider signing up for my low-volume mailing list that I use to announce new projects and items that I think my readers would be interested in. (It’s hosted by MailChimp, so if you decide I’ve gotten too chatty in the future, you can unsubscribe easily.)