Eye-Fi Pro X2 8GB+WiFi

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Eye-Fi Pro X2 8GB+WiFi

Postby ATJ on Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:28 pm

A quick review of the Eye-Fi Pro X2 8GB+Wi_Fi kit.

I bought this from from D+D Electronics (Singapore) on Friday and it arrived on Monday. I actually started with D&D Photographics who were slightly more expensive but wanted $20 to deliver (from North Sydney to Glenbrook). Their Singapore arm was not only cheaper (no GST) but shipping was only $9.42.

Set up of the card was quick and easy. One slightly annoying thing is that the SDHC card has to be inserted into the supplied USB card reader to interact with the card rather than directly into the SD reader in my MacBook Pro. The USB card reader is very wide and I couldn't insert it without removing the other USB cable. Fortunately, I had a USB extension cable.

I was able to set up the card to automatically copy the files to one of my usual locations and it even automatically stores the them in a subdirectory structure I have been using for years: /username/altables/NikonD7000/YYYYNN. One drawback is you can only set one directory. I normally use Nikon Transfer and copy to 2 different directories on two different physical disks. I'll have to think of a way to semi-automate the copying to the other location. For "normal" photos the other location is the same format, but when I take underwater shots, I have an extra subdirectory Dive YYYY--MM-DD and can even add a number if I do more than one dive in a day. Because of this, it isn't too much of a problem that it doesn't copy to 2 locations as I couldn't automate the dive part.

Once set up, I set about taking photos with the D7000. I first tried with the standard wireless LAN option and it worked well. It is not blindly fast but the speed is certainly tolerable. Proximity to the WAP appears to improve the speed although I didn't time it. I was able to go out the back, take a bunch of photos and when I came back in, they transferred automatically. It is quite cool.

I then tried direct mode which uses an ad-hoq wireless LAN. This was also easy to set up. My plan with the Eye-Fi card is to be able to get the files off my camera after a dive without having to remove the camera from the housing (or at least before I remove it for local dives). If I'm on a liveaboard or other remote location, there won't be a wireless LAN so I'll need direct mode. The card can me told to fall back to Direct Mode if there are no known wireless LANs available. I turned off the WAP and the card went into Direct Mode and the files transferred that way. Speed was about the same and having the camera closer to my MacBook Pro helped.

I hope to go for a dive this weekend and properly test the transfer from inside the housing.

At this point I don't know what impact, if any, the card has on battery life.

I'm also not sure if 8GB will be enough, although I think I will be OK. With my D300, I was able to shoot 4 dives with a single 8GB card. The D7000 files are slightly larger and I'm also going to be shooting video so I think I could fill the 8GB card with 4 or 5 straight dives. However, if I can transfer files between dives, I can format the card so I won't need as much capacity. Additionally, the D7000 has a second slot so I'll probably put a 16GB card in there for the overflow.

I think I have covered everything but feel free to ask questions.
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Re: Eye-Fi Pro X2 8GB+WiFi

Postby Remorhaz on Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:32 pm

With my one I just leave the Eye-Fi in my second slot of my D7000 and have my preferred 32GB card in the main slot. Normally I just shoot to slot 1 and only use slot 2 as overflow (which basically never happens). When I want to use the Eye-Fi (in wifi tethered to my iPad or iPhone (or Mac) mode) I just set my camera to shoot RAW + JPEG (lower res jpegs usually) with the RAW's going to slot 1 and the jpegs going to slot 2 (and thus streaming over wifi to my iDevice. Note the wifi streaming is slowish (e.g. 5-10 secs between taking the image and it appearing in the gallery on the iDevice) and uber slow if you try to stream RAW's
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Re: Eye-Fi Pro X2 8GB+WiFi

Postby ATJ on Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:43 pm

I just did a timed test. I shot 11 raw images and then transferred them to the computer in direct mode (just so I could make sure I'd be at the computer when the files were transferred). I started timing after the first image was transferred and stopped after the last image was transferred. The 10 images took around 197 seconds to transfer, so an average of 20 seconds per image. That's not blindly fast but I believe will service my purposes nicely.

At the moment, when I get home from a dive I have to soak the housing in water and give it a thorough clean before dismantling it. This can take up to an hour or more and I won't have access to the camera and memory card until all that is done. While it will take around an hour to transfer 200 images from the dive, that could all be happening while I'm cleaning the camera. Additionally, when I'm on a dive trip, I can just take the assembled housing back to my room/bunk and transfer the images and not spend the 60-90 minutes pulling it all apart and then back together again for the next dive.

I have also come up with an ingenious (if I say so myself) method of transferring the images that is compatible with what I do now. I have created a 8GB disk image on the Mac. I replicated the file and folder structure of a formatted memory card: NIKON001.DSC file with DCIM and 100D7000 folders. I set up Eye-Fi to transfer the files to the 100D7000 folder. Now I can use Nikon Transfer 2 to transfer the files from there to my usual destinations in the usual manner. The benefit of this method is I can control the destination for each shoot as well as know which files have been transferred and which haven't. Nikon Transfer 2 can delete the files off the disk image once they have been transferred.
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Re: Eye-Fi Pro X2 8GB+WiFi

Postby Mj on Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:39 pm

I'm starting to use these cards in a studio setting where I can have the jpg image transfer to my asus prime tablet, connected to a tv screen, for quick preview. So far the performance is not exactly what I would like and the connectivity seems a little flakey at times but keep in mind that I'm using the card in a D300, with a CF converter, that may well contribute to some if not all of the issues and the prime tablet isn't known as having the strongest wifi performance either. On the whole the setup does work and is a damn sight cheaper that heading down the Nikon wireless route.
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Re: Eye-Fi Pro X2 8GB+WiFi

Postby ATJ on Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:54 pm

I thought I'd post an update on my use of the Eye-Fi card with my D7000 which has been working quite well over the last couple of months.

As I had originally intended, I can now have all my images on my MacBook Pro (and often loaded into Lightroom) within an hour after getting home from a dive. I typically just plonk the rig down on the kitchen floor near the WAP, switch the D7000 on and the images start flowing. It usually means I delay the rinse, dismantling and washing until after the transfer is completed, but I'm in no hurry to do that anyway. It also means I can start on the creation of 1:1 previews in Lightroom, etc. I'm often keen to see how the images turned out anyway.

I have also set up my Netbook so I can transfer images to it for when I'm on short dive trips - I have one coming up in a couple of weeks so it will be a good test. My hope is that I don't have to crack the housing until the end of the day but still get all my images after each dive.

I've had a play with the iOS app and while it has potential it has some serious flaws, at least for what I want to do. It has the potential to streamline my operations even more but falls short in a number of areas. If it worked, here's what I'd do:
* As soon as I get back to my car after a dive I could switch the D7000, my Virgin WiFi modem and my iPhone on and start the transfer of all the photos from the dive to my iPhone. This would continue while I get out of my dive gear and dressed and in the car back to the dive shop (or home).
* At the dive shop (or soon after arriving), I'd have all the photos from the dive on my iPhone and I could review them quickly and also show them to my fellow divers. As you can't talk underwater you can't always point stuff out and say what it is. With the photos on the iPhone I could, for example, say "Remember I was pointing at that thing that looked like a sponge? Well it was a fish and this is the shot I got of it". Or I could show stuff to someone that missed it.
* Once I get home, I just have to load the photos from the iPhone to the computer and that can happen while I'm rinsing/dismantling the rig.

Unfortunately, the iOS app doesn't handle raw files very well at all. While the file is on the iPhone, it is only viewable as a very, very low res image. The res is such that it doesn't even fill the screen. That rules out the ability to view the photos after the dive. The other problem is that it appears to take longer to upload from the iPhone to the computer than it does from the camera to the computer.

One variation would be to shoot both raw and JPEG but that would just increase the time taken to load the photos. It would be nice if you could set it up to transfer the JPEG files to the iPhone and the raw files to the computer. It wouldn't save me any time at home but it would at least let me see my photos on the iPhone at the dive shop. Unfortunately, it is all or nothing as far as uploading the files are concerned - other than buying a second Eye-Fi card.

Hopefully, these things will improve with newer releases.
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Re: Eye-Fi Pro X2 8GB+WiFi

Postby surenj on Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:22 pm

Thanks for this Andrew. This is the best use for wifi I have seen although there were some examples of commercial photogs using it for camera on a stick (or tall crane etc) scenario.

1. How does the D7000 battery holdup with all this wifi transmission? (I guess you may have it gripped for the dives?)
2. Could you just use SMALL jpegs to circumvent the image preview issue on the phone?
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Re: Eye-Fi Pro X2 8GB+WiFi

Postby ATJ on Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:28 pm

Suren,
surenj wrote:1. How does the D7000 battery holdup with all this wifi transmission? (I guess you may have it gripped for the dives?)

I only have the standard battery in the camera but it still holds up pretty well. At least it has been fine for single dives. I'll see if I can get 4 dives out of a single charge later this month.

I have recently turned off Direct Mode which I believe uses up more of the battery. The default settings for Direct Mode (which I had) are two turn on the ad hoc wireless network if it can't connect to a known wireless network for 2 minutes and then it turns off after 1 minute. Considering that underwater there's no wifi, it would have been on most of the time - as each photo I take would start the sequence again.

There is also a camera menu setting that lets you turn off the Eye-Fi upload. I'm trying to determine if that helps with the battery (seems it should). There's no point in trying to upload when I'm underwater so perhaps I turn that off before the dive and turn it back on when I'm ready to upload.

surenj wrote:2. Could you just use SMALL jpegs to circumvent the image preview issue on the phone?

Yes, that is one possibility, but I'd still have to transfer the raw files to the phone, too, as there's no way to tell it to send JPEGs to the phone and the raw to the computer.

My preference would be to send raw files to the iPhone (and for them to make that reliable), be able to view them there and then transfer from the phone to the computer when I get home (or back to wherever my computer is). Second choice would be to shoot raw+JPEG and have the JPEG go to the phone and raw go to the computer, later. That would only be possible now if I had two Eye-Fi cards.
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Re: Eye-Fi Pro X2 8GB+WiFi

Postby Remorhaz on Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:06 pm

ATJ wrote:I have recently turned off Direct Mode which I believe uses up more of the battery...
There is also a camera menu setting that lets you turn off the Eye-Fi upload. I'm trying to determine if that helps with the battery (seems it should)...


If you use Direct mode do don't need to have a wireless modem to create an AP to transfer between the EyeFi and your IOS device - the card acts as the AP and the iPhone/iPad join it directly.

I leave my eyefi card in my D7000 all the time but have the camera setting to turn wifi upload on turned off all the time (except when I want to use eyefi) and my battery lasts ages (1000+ shots) so I don't think it drains

ATJ wrote:Unfortunately, the iOS app doesn't handle raw files very well at all


I assume you mean the eyefi IOS app - theres a third party paid IOS app called ShutterSnitch which I own but havn't used extensively yet - but it apparently is much better than the eyefi app and from memory supports full size raws, etc.
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Re: Eye-Fi Pro X2 8GB+WiFi

Postby ATJ on Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:45 pm

Remorhaz wrote:If you use Direct mode do don't need to have a wireless modem to create an AP to transfer between the EyeFi and your IOS device - the card acts as the AP and the iPhone/iPad join it directly.

Yes, I understand that but I was concerned about the impact on the battery with it running a WAP for all that time, especially while on a dive. Although, as you do, I will probably just disable uploading.

The other issue I have is it seems to be much slower than WiFi and requires much closer proximity. I have actually turned direct mode back on but will probably still use WiFi whenever possible.

Remorhaz wrote:I leave my eyefi card in my D7000 all the time but have the camera setting to turn wifi upload on turned off all the time (except when I want to use eyefi) and my battery lasts ages (1000+ shots) so I don't think it drains

With upload disabled, yeah, I'd agree. With it enabled and the camera on, it drains pretty quickly even when not in use. Perhaps it is my test cases (and uploads not actually working so it is trying over and over again.

Remorhaz wrote:I assume you mean the eyefi IOS app - theres a third party paid IOS app called ShutterSnitch which I own but havn't used extensively yet - but it apparently is much better than the eyefi app and from memory supports full size raws, etc.

Yes, I meant the Eye-Fi iOS app. I'm seeing mixed information about its handling of raw files. I wish it was so expensive. $15.99 for an iOS app is quite a lot for something that may not do the job.
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Re: Eye-Fi Pro X2 8GB+WiFi

Postby Remorhaz on Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:47 pm

ATJ wrote:I wish it was so expensive. $15.99 for an iOS app is quite a lot for something that may not do the job.


I bought it when it was on 50% off special recently (I use appshopper.com to flag apps I'd like and it notifies me when they are on special).
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Re: Eye-Fi Pro X2 8GB+WiFi

Postby ATJ on Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:49 am

After making some inquiries on the ShutterSnitch site, I bit the bullet and spent $16.99 on ShutterSnitch.

My early testing shows it will do exactly what I want (other than I don't think it will transfer videos so I will have to do them manually when I get home). I'll be trying it tonight for real. As it will be a night dive, I'll be going straight home from the dive site (a little over an hour from home). It will be interesting if all the images are transferred to the iPhone before I get home.

There's also a free Mac app (ShutterSnitch Backup) that will automatically transfer the images from the iPhone to the Mac (when the iPhone app is running). That will make it even more streamlined.
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