It's no secret that I am passionate about the things I love. When I find a product I that is amazing, I am not shy about singing its praises. The new Eye-Fi Mobi is one of those products. I was recently given an 8 GB Mobi SD memory card to review. Within minutes I was hooked! In fact, I now want to replace all of my regular SD cards with Eye-Fi cards.
Let's start with a quick introduction to the Eye-Fi cards just in case you don't know what they are. Eye-Fi cards are regular SD memory cards with built-in Wi-Fi. The Eye-Fi Mobi card has built-in Wi-Fi which allows you to transfer over jpg images from your camera to your smartphone or tablet in just a matter of seconds. All it takes is downloading the Eye-Fi app and you are set. Like seeing your images appear directly on to your computer or laptop? The Eye-Fi Mobi can do that too thanks to the new beta version of their software.
Upon receiving the Mobi, I immediately downloaded the Eye-Fi app to my iPad. The app loaded quickly. After opening the app for the first time, it asks you for the activation code found on the card case. This code is unique to each card. After typing in the code the app asks you to "install" the Eye-Fi's Wi-Fi network. Click "yes". The app opens up and gives you a brief educational tour, if desired. It is important to note that the Eye-Fi network must be chosen in your "Wi-Fi settings" menu when downloading the images to your tablet or phone. The app will remind you to choose the Eye-Fi network if you forget. It's a slight pain to have to go through these multiple steps in order to access the images, but it's no harder than all of the other Wi-Fi cameras on the market. In many cases, it's easier than those. I would love to see the ability to change your Wi-Fi network through the Eye-Fi app, but (as of right now) this is how all of the Wi-Fi cameras and Eye-Fi cards work.
Using the Eye-Fi card is just like using any other SD card in your camera. However, you might need to go into your camera's menu and find the Eye-Fi "on" tab. For some cameras, recognizing the Eye-Fi card is automatic, for others it requires turning on this functionality. After this, the rest is a breeze.
I tested the Eye-Fi Mobi card in multiple cameras including the Olympus OM-D E-M1, the Nikon D600, the Olympus Stylus 1, and the Olympus TG-2. The card worked seamlessly in all of these cameras. The card recorded the images quickly. I had my camera set to process both RAW and JPEG images (or JPEG only if the camera did not have a RAW option). The Mobi card only sends JPEG images to the phone or tablet. The app does not "see" the RAW images.
Without a doubt, the Eye-Fi Mobi card is a must-have for photographers on the go who love to proof their images on their tablet as soon as they are taken. It's also a great option for those traveling. I took a recent trip to San Diego. The entire time I used only one card, the Eye-Fi Mobi. Throughout the day, as I was clicking away, the card would transfer images directly to my iPad without me having to do a thing. It was the best! I had my whole set of vacation images on my tablet before leaving for the airport. It was also very useful to have high quality images to post to Facebook instead of relying solely on my smartphone for sharing my memories.
I also had the opportunity to try downloading images to my laptop via Eye-Fi's beta version of their image receiver software. It took me a bit of time to find the software online, download the software, and get it to work correctly. At this point, the software has a few glitches with seamless image transfer. I can't wholeheartedly recommend using an Eye-Fi card solely for this use. That being said, the software is in beta version and because of that I refuse to be too harsh on it. I have already submitted some of my ideas to the Eye-Fi team and I am confident that they will be able to work out these glitches and have a consistently workable program in the very near future.
Overall, I just love the card's functionality and ease of use. It allowed me to easily transfer images to my preferred viewing method, my tablet. Plus, I could always transfer them to my smartphone and laptop if I wanted to. I had no problems with it in my extended use over the last two months. I highly recommend the Eye-Fi card and am planning to replace my regular SD cards with Eye-Fi cards!
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