Review: Eye-Fi Pro

When we saw the original Eye-Fi card, in late 2007, we were as smitten as a schoolboy in front of a 4chan image board.

Since then, the company has been relentlessly rolling out new products, piling on new features like geotagging and video support. Its new Eye-Fi Pro connects to Wi-Fi networks (from any camera with an SD-card slot) to upload images to a computer and the web. You can set the card to upload to the Wi-Fi network you specify or to any open network it comes across. You don’t even need your camera and computer to be on at the same time — or in the same vicinity — to get pics on your hard drive, thanks to a feature called “relayed uploads.”

The Pro uses Skyhook, a service that triangulates your position based on the mesh of surrounding Wi-Fi networks. It then geotags photos with your approximate location.

As with two other models the company released in 2009, the Pro supports video transfers. And because it’s an SDHC card, it will play nice with that fancy new prosumer cam you just blew your severance on.

Unlike most of the other cards in the Eye-Fi lineup, the Pro supports RAW images, and it’s the major selling point of this model. Previous Eye-Fi cards only supported compressed images like jpegs — essentially a deal-killer for pros and serious photobugs. Another fantastic new feature is the ability to use the card with an ad hoc Wi-Fi network, aka a computer-to-computer wireless network. This option is fantastic for photographers working remotely, as it allows you to get your images onto a computer instantly and wirelessly, even if there is no available network.

Uploads come in fantastically well, quickly and without effort, especially if you’re just uploading to a folder on your computer. The only problem with this arrangement is iPhoto. Many photogs use Lightroom or Aperture for tweaking pics, but iPhoto is the only program supported out of the box. This is easily worked around, but it would be nice to see options for other applications, especially in a product with “Pro” appended to its name.

We also noticed that the card will upload doubled images under certain circumstances: For example, when we deleted a batch of photos from our camera, but left a few protected images on there, those images were uploaded again the next time we connected to a network.

Overall, however, this is yet another very solid product from Eye-Fi, albeit one with a couple fixable flaws.

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