Eye-Fi cards have been around for some time now. The SD card-sized devices not only store your camera’s photos on local memory but include a Wi-Fi chip, allowing you to upload your photos to an online store without having to remove the card from your camera. They’re immensely useful if working on location as you can also have the files appear on your laptop as soon as they’re uploaded.
Now the company has been established a while it has branched out its operation to offer a number of variations on the Eye-Fi theme with Connect X2, Geo X2, Explore X2 and Pro X2. The devices themselves are all physically identical, looking as they do like standard SD cards, but differ in the services associated with them.
Connect X2 is the entry level model offering a 4GB capacity, wireless uploads to your computer and online photo store; Geo X2 adds geotagging (using a Wi-Fi based tagging service); Explore X2 adds hotspot access (just add your 3rd party hotspot log in details and away you go) and bumps the capacity to 8GB; and Pro X2 finishes the range off with the addition of Ad Hoc networking (no need for a third party network) and RAW uploading. All cards can be upgraded to add these features further down the line. So that’s the current range, and today we’re looking at the top-end Pro X2 so let’s see how it fares.
The card itself is utterly indistinguishable from a standard SD card except for its branding and eye-catching orange livery. It comes in a card and plastic box that keeps the device well protected and thankfully isn’t a finger-cutting blister pack. Included alongside the basic but sufficiently informative instruction manual is a rather chunky USB-to-SD card reader. We’d have liked to see an integrated USB connector like on the ingenious OCZ Trifecta but we can appreciate that with having to fit a Wi-FI adapter into the card as well, there simply may not have been space.
Setting up the Eye-Fi Pro X2 takes a bit of time, making you install (and no doubt update) the software that comes on the card, register an account with Eye-Fi and set up your initial wireless network, but given ten minutes or so and you should be ready to go. Pop the card in your camera and you can start snapping away, seeing the results appear on your computer as you go. Log into your Eye-Fi account on its website and you’ll also find the results ready and waiting for you.
We tested this most basic functionality of the Pro X2 using a Canon EOS 550D DSLR, which like a number of modern cameras natively supports Eye-Fi cards, allowing you to enable or disable Eye-Fi uploads, check what Wi-Fi you’re connected to, and see that photos are being uploaded via a flashing Wi-Fi symbol. If your camera doesn’t support Eye-Fi cards, fret not, as the card will simply work of its own accord, automatically doing its thing in the background while appearing to the camera like a standard SD card.