Eye-Fi Cards & X100s – A Review (kinda)

This is all a bit redundant now that the latest X-Series models have wi-if, but I thought this might be useful for those of us sticking to older models for the moment. 

A fair while back I bought an Eye-Fi Pro-X2 16GB+ wi-fi card and, as I expressed here, I was very frustrated that I couldn’t get it to work. I tried all the various ways of making it function, such as using my local wi-if network, getting the card to create its own, etc., & nothing seemed to work as it should. I had the best, but very sporadic success with using the card to create its own network and the desktop app on my MacBook Pro. Also, it quickly became apparent that, on those odd occasions it would work, transferring RAW files took just far too long, so JPEG only was the way to go.

I then read somewhere on the Internet that while some cameras work fine, others seem not to, possibly because their bodies inhibit the transmission of the signal. That’s probably me I figured.

So, following the life advice of Homer Simpson; since it seemed difficult at first, I just gave up.

Some months later, almost on a whim, I took the card and my iPad Mini to a session I was doing for someone who was putting together their first modelling portfolio. I figured I’d just try it, having the card create its own network and using the iOS app and if it worked, great, and if not, I’d not stress over it and just continue as normal, using the card purely as a storage medium.

Much to my surprise, it just worked just fine.  So, this is now what I do.

Now, I should point out I never bought this card for the purpose of having a system for transferring files to a computer. I always intended to keep on using a card reader for this (thus the RAW vs. JPEG speed issue never bothered me). The real reason I wanted the card was for use during portrait sessions, so I could have the files displayed on a large-ish screen for the purpose of checking individual shots for composition, focus, light falloff, showing the subject to aid in direction, etc. Now, for whatever mysterious reasons, the card is working just fine for this.

It’s been a while since I set the card up, and I forget exactly what I did, so I won’t go into that (anyone buying a card would be provided with the info they need anyway). But, basically, I have the card set up to create its own network, and the iPad / iOS app have the password for this network saved. I turn on the Eye-Fi option in the X100s, and when it’s transmitting, I select that network in the iPad and run the app. Then it all just works. I  have the system set up to only send / receive jPegs, and I use these on the iPad Mini to check composition, etc., as mentioned above. Having a much larger screen, the iPad Mini works far far better for these purposes than the camera body screen.

I have no idea why it works better now. Maybe it was an update, maybe I just didn’t try the right combinations the first time round (I was mostly concentrating on using the MacBook Pro), or maybe something else. It doesn’t really matter now.

So, it works now, but how well? The file transfer is not super fast, but is fast enough for the pace of my shooting, which is not flat out, but does proceed briskly when things mesh for a particular pose. I typically don’t refer to each photograph as they are taken, but come back to check and review batches of them periodically, so typically what I want is there and waiting. Occasionally the iPad loses the connection, especially if at my home, where it might switch back to my house wi-if network. However, I no longer have total failure to connect or transfer like I first did, only the occasional irritation of having to retell the iPad to use the Eye-Fi network.

So, overall and speaking directly to its use with the X100(s), it usually works well and, for the specific use as stated above, is beneficial when doing portrait sessions. Whether the cost and degree of efficiency would be of benefit to anyone else or for any other purpose, I really couldn’t say. While I would never recommend it for actual file transfer from an X100(s), I do recommend it as a viable option for the restricted purposes and specific workflow as detailed above.

Peace, and all that.

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One thought on “Eye-Fi Cards & X100s – A Review (kinda)

  1. Pingback: Eye-Fi Cards & X100s - A Review (kinda) | t...

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