The Eye-Fi card just can’t handle transferring many large images. This is a serious limitation, since most of the promised functionality comes from the card’s ability to automatically upload photos to the Eye-Fi View online service, Flickr, Facebook, and other sites. After trying in vain to get the card to function as expected, I gave up and disabled everything but “Direct Mode” between the card and my iPhone. It wasn’t much, but at least I had a functional workflow.
An On-The-Go Workflow
As explained in my previous articles, the Eye-Fi is too slow to keep up with the volume of images generated by a serious camera, and mobile Internet access from a device like my Virgin MiFi makes it even worse.
I needed a functional workflow to accomplish the following:
- Take photos
- Select the best photos for sharing
- Upload resized versions of the selected photos to Flickr
- Add these to sets and tag them
After much frustration, I decided to rely on Direct Mode to transfer images to my iPhone for selection and uploading to Flickr. I use FlickStackr, an excellent iOS app, to select, tag, resize, and upload photos. This worked well on my trips to Chicago and London.
Configuring Eye-Fi As A Wireless Card Reader
So we come down to it. After hours of experimentation and frustration, I have come to a practical if limited Eye-Fi workflow. Basically, we’re disabling everything but Direct Mode.
- In Eye-Fi Center, click the little gear icon next to the card.
- Under “Networks”, Enable Direct Mode with a 2 minute timeout on both sliders.
- Also under “Networks”, Remove all “Private Networks” from the Eye-Fi card. This forces the card always to enter Direct Mode when powered on.
- Under “Photos”, click the “Online” tab and disable online photo sharing.
- Disable “Videos” – transfering via Eye-Fi is just too slow!
- Disable “Eye-Fi View”.
- I removed the email notification and enabled an SMS. It’s way quicker, but only do this if you have unlimited texting.
- You now have a choice to make:
- Use “Selective Share” and the card will send all new photos to your Direct Mode-attached device. From there you can select the best and upload them.
- Switch to “Selective Transfer” and you will have to mark the good photos in the “protect” menu before the card will even enter Direct Mode, let alone transfer anything.
- Disable “Relayed Transfer” since it requires Eye-Fi View.
- Disable “Endless Memory” since you’ll never be able to transfer many photos wirelessly.
Once all this is done, you will have a limited but functional Eye-Fi setup. You can fire up the iPhone, iPad, or laptop and transfer select photos wirelessly. You can then upload the photos manually using an application like FlickStackr. This setup avoids long delays waiting for photos to upload, as well as eventual duplication of photos as the various applications upload them.