The Gadget: Today Eye-Fi Wi-Fi-enabled SD cards have been upgraded with a 4GB Pro version with new features like support for RAW files, selective uploading and the ability to send files straight to your computer with via an ad-hoc network.
The Price: $US150
The Verdict: The best keeps getting better. We already knew that Eye-Fi cards were great at their main task of delivering photos wirelessly to both your computer and photo sharing sites like Flickr and Facebook, but a steady stream of upgrades has vastly improved the card's capabilities. In addition to the new Pro features announced today, previous cards have added larger capacities, video support, geotagging and hotspot access.
In a nutshell, everything worked great. As always, setting things up with the Eye-Fi manager was a breeze and within minutes I was sending images and video to my desktop and to various sites across the web. Plus, the addition of selective uploading means that I could pick and choose which photos I wanted to send over the network instead of sending the good and the bad en masse (this function is handled by marking images with your camera's "Protect" feature.)
Obviously, a Wi-Fi SD card is not going to be all that helpful when you are away from your network or a hotspot, but the ad-hoc support bridges the gap a bit by delivering the content straight to your computer—freeing up space on the card to take more shots. As for RAW files, I have to admit that I'm rocking a point-and-shoot here—not a DSLR. However, given the near flawless performance of Eye-Fi's cards, I can't imagine why it wouldn't work. In fact, the only real drawback of the card that I can see is that there is no way to discern the status of your upload from the camera itself. Still, in the event that you cut off a shot in mid-transfer, the process will resume as soon as you turn your camera back on. Sure, $US150 isn't cheap for a SD card—but if you take a lot of photos the Eye-Fi Pro is worth it.
Performance was nearly flawless.
The addition of selective uploading and ad-hoc network support are useful upgrades for amateurs and pros alike. Support for RAW files will appeal especially to the hardcore crowd.
$US150 price includes a lifetime subscription to geotagging suppport.
Owning an Eye-Fi entitles you to download their new iPhone app for free.
Hotspot access is free for a year, but you will have to pay beyond that.
There is no way to determine the status of the uploads from the camera itself.
EYE-FI UNVEILS 4GB WIRELESS MEMORY CARD WITH RAW IMAGE SUPPORT
The Eye-Fi Pro Card Supports Transfers without the Need for a Router or Internet; Users Can Now Select What Uploads
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., June 10, 2009 - Eye-Fi Inc. today unveiled the Eye-Fi Pro, a new wireless SDHC memory card for digital cameras that allows professionals and photo enthusiasts to automatically upload images straight from their camera to their computer and the Web. Available today, the Eye-Fi Pro includes RAW image support and peer-to-peer connectivity for a direct connection between the camera and a computer, no router or Internet connection required (also known as ad hoc).
Eye-Fi also announced today that all Eye-Fi card users can now select which photos or videos they want to wirelessly transfer from their camera to their computer or the Web, using the new Selective Transfer feature.
"People are engaged in photography at a deeper level than ever before. They have moved from being casual photographers to passionate enthusiasts, shooting in RAW for more extensive editing, adding geotags for a richer experience or using an online gallery to share their work," said Jef Holove, CEO of Eye-Fi. "These people are looking for tools that advance the art of photography and make it more efficient – and the Eye-Fi Pro does both."
About the Eye-Fi Pro
The Eye-Fi Pro lets users wirelessly upload more file types, including JPEG and RAW images and videos. The Eye-Fi Pro also allows users to create an ad hoc connection through their computer or other mobile device to wirelessly upload media files while away from a wireless router.
"The Eye-Fi Pro has streamlined my workflow. It lets me quickly upload files in the background while I continue my photo shoots. My clients can choose their best shots in near real time," said Jeff Sockwell, an Eye-Fi Pro beta user and professional photographer who used Eye-Fi in a portrait session with more than 150 dance students. "I also have assurance that photos are automatically saved both on my computer and my Eye-Fi Pro."
Like the Eye-Fi Explore Video, the new Eye-Fi Pro will automatically upload images and videos direct to more than 25 online photo and video sharing sites. It also lets users upload away from home at more than 10,000 Wayport and open hotspots, and will automatically geotag photos with information about where the images were taken. The Eye-Fi Pro is now available at Amazon.com and www.eye.fi for an MSRP of $US149.
Also announced today is Eye-Fi's newest feature, Selective Transfer, that gives users more control over which photos and videos to upload. Using the standard "protect" or "lock" feature in any camera's menu, users can select which files to wirelessly upload. Any "protected" photo or video will automatically be uploaded, and all photos and videos will remain on the memory card until the user manually deletes them. Selective Transfer is free and available now for all Eye-Fi card users through the Eye-Fi Manager.
At the Leading Edge of Camera Technology – Eye-Fi Connected cameras
In effort to meet prosumers' increasing camera feature set demands and widen wireless adoption, manufacturers are offering Eye-Fi card recognition and optimization. The Eye-Fi Connected camera features range from power setting optimization to on-camera notifications while photos and videos are wirelessly uploaded. These new cameras include Nikon's latest model, the D5000 (which follows in the footstep of the already Eye-Fi Connected D60 and D90), as well as the entire spring line-up of Casio cameras, including the Casio EX-S12, Casio EX-S5, Casio EX-FS10, Casio EX-FC100 and Casio EX-Z29.
Eye-Fi's complete line-up of wireless SD and SDHC memory cards range in price from $US49-$149 and are available at www.eye.fi, in store at Apple Retail Stores and Best Buy locations, and at major online retailers such as Amazon.com, Walmart.com and Costco.com.
Eye-Fi has received numerous product awards including Popular Science's "Best of What's New" for 2008 and PC World's "The 100 Best Products of 2008."
For more information, please visit www.eye.fi, or follow Eye-Fi on Twitter @EyeFiCard