How To Use An Eye-Fi Card

by

William Lulow

I’m sure you’ve heard about Eye-Fi cards. These are the little SDHC cards that have a built in Wi-Fi program that can hook up to your home or studio Wi-Fi and transmit images directly from your camera to your computer. I’ve used it a few times now and depending on the strength of your Wi-Fi and where the router is located in your space, you can actually transfer files from your camera fairly quickly. After playing with this set up a while, I have found that the download speed depends on the speed of your computer and the size of the files. Under optimal circumstances, it is a handy gadget to use.

Normally, if I’m shooting in the studio, I may make about 60 or 70 exposures and then call the client into the office, download the files (which usually takes a few minutes) and then begin the winnowing process. With the Eye-Fi card, when I bring the client into the office, the files are already there. If I’ve got several clients in one day, this saves a fair amount of time.

Keep in mind that the larger the files, the longer they’ll take to transfer, but I haven’t experienced any appreciable delay so far.

It does take a while to set up the system and make sure it syncs with your Wi-Fi network. You’ll need your Wi-Fi’s login information including the network key (password). Make sure you’ve got all the information at your fingertips before you start downloading the program. If you use a laptop in your studio (shooting location), you’ll need to install the program on that computer as well. Eye-Fi is available for the iPad as a downloadable app. As a matter of fact, when I’ve got the whole system working, it sends the images to my iPhone as well as the computer.

I’ve actually used this technique on location. I was doing a shoot at someone’s home and they wanted to print out the pictures as I was shooting them. It took about an hour to set up their computer and they wanted only 4×6 prints as give-aways. I cut the size of the files in half from 18MP to 9MP and the images were downloaded almost as fast as I was shooting them. A handy device to use. And, it worked like a charm.

EyeFi Card