My digital camera is six years old and I thought I might replace it someday with a camera that could upload pictures automatically to a computer or a web site. I use my Canon PowerShot 870 Elph camera for cemetery and other genealogy recordings, library page snapshots, blog pictures, and work/family pictures.
Since I found Eye-Fi, the life of my camera has now been extended.
I purchased the cheapest version of Eye-Fi ($35) I could find on Amazon. It consists of a 4 GB SD card:
and a USB Card Reader that plugs into your computer:
How It Works
- You allow Eye-Fi to access your home wi-fi by logging in once
- You use the Eye-Fi SD card in your camera, like a normal SD card
- You take pictures
- Within a minute or two, the picture auto-uploads to your computer. If you are farther away than, say, 20 feet, the picture stores on your SD card and auto-uploads as soon as the camera gets within range of the computer.
- If you have the Eye-Fi Center open, you can see the pictures upload on your computer monitor:
- If you do not have Eye-Fi Center open, a tiny screen pops up in the corner of your monitor showing each picture upload:
- You can control the folder where the photos should be placed on your computer through your Eye-Fi setup (the default setting on a PC is MyPictures/Eye-Fi/folder-by-date).
- You can, optionally, allow the pictures to ALSO upload to a private web page on the Eye-Fi website, and remain there for one week (longer if you pay for storage). That requires wi-fi, either your own or public.
- You can, optionally, also allow the pictures to upload to a wide choice of social media or photo storage sites. This will happen once wi-fi is in range.
Why this is useful
- EDITING – I can tell already that this improves picture selection and the need for editing. Seeing the picture immediately, without removing the card, allows you to re-take as you go, with the camera still loaded with the card and ready to go. This is especially useful for people who do photography near their computer.
- AUTO-UPLOAD – For photography done away from home, it’s nice to think that the photos will upload, and be sorted into folders by date, automatically the next time the camera is turned on near the computer.
- CLOUD STORAGE – For those using picture services like FLICKR, Picasa, or Facebook, again, upload to the account of your choice will automatically happen as soon as the camera is back in range of wi-fi, and turned on. I have chosen not to use that yet.
- NO SD MAINTENANCE NEEDED – If you are, for instance, taking 200 pictures per day at a repository or on vacation, you can allow the pictures to upload every night near your laptop. You can chose a level (for instance, 50%) at which the SD card will start deleting automatically as long as the images have already been successfully uploaded. So you would never need to make space on the card by deleting images.
- RELAY TRANSFER – if you have a hotspot or access to wi-fi away from home, and you use a cloud storage service mentioned above, the pictures can upload even when you are away from your computer. I believe they may then automatically relay themselves to your computer as well, at some point, but I am not set up to test this.
- ADD GEOTAGGING – if you pay for an upgrade, this system will add location information (geo-tagging) for each photo (something my camera will not do otherwise).
- WORKS FOR VIDEOS – as far as I can see, these features all apply to videos, too.
- WORKS ON IPHONE, TOO – I was able to add my iPhone to my network, so now pictures I take on my iphone also upload to my computer. This worked when I took pictures elsewhere, got the iphone back to the house, and with Eye-Fi plugged into my computer, opened the Eye-Fi app on the iphone.
- SELECTIVELY MOVE OR EMAIL – whether or not you auto-upload to web storage in addition to your computer folder, you can always open Eye-Fi Center on your computer and slide selected images into the “tray” for emailing or placement on the web storage of your choice.
Learn more, or check out the compatibility of Eye-Fi with YOUR camera model, here.
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