Review: Eye-Fi Pro X2 16gb SD WiFi Card

The Holy Grail of camera connectivity is being able to wirelessly and immediately send images from your camera directly to your PC or mobile device. Eye-Fi solved this connectivity issue a few years ago with the first Eye-Fi card that incorporated a WiFI system into a standard SD card.  Over the years, Eye-Fi has continued to enhance and improve the cards with larger sizes and faster write speeds (Eye-Fi Pro X2).  This year, the latest offering from Eye-Fi is the Pro X2 16gb card. Continue reading to hear my thoughts on this latest version.

What It Is

Even though I have had an Eye-Fi card since last year, it still boggles my mind that Eye-Fi was able to stuff a complete WiFi radio inside of a memory card that is the thickness of two credit cards. The 16GB SDHC Memory Card Pro X2 Wireless Class 10 from Eye-Fi is a Secure Digital High Capacity memory card with a data storage capacity of 16GB. This allows you to store up to 8,000 photos or 6 hr of video. The card’s Class 10 speed designation gives it read and write speeds of at least 10MB/s. The card also features integrated 802.11n Wi-Fi, which has a range of 90′ (27.4 m) outdoors and 45′ (13.7 m) indoors.

Product Highlights

  • 16GB Data Storage Capacity
  • Class 10 Speed
  • Min. Read / Write Speed: 10MB/s
  • Built-In 802.11n Wi-Fi
  • Upload, Geotag Photos Wirelessly
  • Free Android and iOS Apps
  • Automatically Creates Space for New Data
  • 1-Year Subscription to US Hotspots
Card Type SDHC
Capacity 16 GB: Up to 8,000 photos or 6.0 hr of video
Read/Write Speed 10 MB/s min.
Wireless Yes, 802.11n Wi-Fi
Range: 90′ (27.4 m) outdoors, 45′ (13.7 m) indoors
Security WPA2-PSK, WEP 64/128, WPA-PSK

Who Is It For?

I have had to think really hard about the actual target market for Eye-Fi cards. Obviously there is a market or they would have gone under years ago. I think it also depends on how you intend to use it. I think one way to try to approach this is to look at a few different scenarios that can show you how different types of users are utilizing the Eye-Fi cards.

Basic Home User
A typical home user can be around their house shooting pics of their children and when they are finished, the images are sitting on their computer ready to be uploaded and/or shared. This saves the user from having to remove the card, use a card reader (even though one is included with the card), and importing the images.

Studio Photographer
Often it is handy to be able to shoot tethered so that a director or stylist can see images as they are being taken. In this setup you can shoot RAW+JPEG and only have the JPEG files sent to the computer.

Wedding Photographer
This is one of my favorite uses… during a wedding ceremony the images are shot in RAW+JPEG and the JPEG images are sent to a 10′ tablet. During the dinner break, a quick edit on the tablet to get rid of out-of-focus or poorly exposed images is done. The tablet is then placed on the bride and groom’s table as a slideshow.

How Does It Work

For something that seems so simple, the Eye-Fi Pro X2 16gb card is loaded with features. In the regular WiFi transfer mode, images are sent out to the default location (Set via the Eye-Fi Center software) so long as the card is within range of a known WiFi spot.

If no WiFi hotspot is found, the card can go into HotSpot mode allowing your computer or device to connect directly to it to transfer images.

The Pro X2 card features Endless Memory, which, when activated, lets you set a threshold after which your card will automatically start creating space the next time you turn on your camera. Only the content that’s already safely backed up on your devices (tablet, smartphone, and computer) will be deleted in order to make space for new files. Choose to have space freed up when you want it, whether the card is at 50% or 90% capacity.

Photos and videos captured with your Eye-Fi card in the last 7 days are automatically synched to a secure personal cloud, where you can view them via your Eye-Fi username and password and the web app. Eye-Fi also offers you the opportunity to upgrade to Eye-Fi Premium, which eliminates this 7-day limit–giving you access to the cloud for as long as you like. Plus, included with this card is a 1-year subscription to use thousands of hotspots across the US for automatic uploading of your photos and videos.

Final Verdict

An Eye-Fi card might not be for everyone as even with 802.11n, transferring large RAW files is quite slow. If you only shoot in JPEG, then you won’t be nearly as frustrated with the transfer speed. Don’t even think about transferring large video files as that can take an excessively long time. If you fit into the sweet spot of user for the Eye-Fi card then you may really enjoy the ease of moving files from your camera to your devices. For me, the Eye-Fi X2 Pro 16gb card has found a permanent home in my Sony NEX 5n but is set to only transfer JPEG images over the WiFi connection. This allows me fast transfer of non-critical images while storing the RAW files for later editing.

Eye-Fi Pro X2 16gb: $99 @ Amazon.com

Eye-Fi Website: http://www.eye.fi/

KerryG

Kerry Garrison is a wedding, portrait, and product photographer living in Castle Rock, Colorado. With 10 years of experience shooting products and 5 years of experience in the wedding industry, Kerry brings a good deal of technical know-how and can explain topics in easy-to-understand terms. Kerry's work can be found at http://kerrygarrison.com and on Facebook at http://facebook.com/KerryGarrison

You may also like...

2 Responses