Wifi Cards Battle Time (Eyefi, FlashAir and ezShare)

dislike the Fuji’s WiFi system.  I find it unreliable and slow.  I’ve heard others like it fine, but for me it’s fiddly, slow to connect and when it finally does it disconnects easily and just doesn’t work very well.  Perhaps in the future Fuji will make it more useful, but for now, I need an alternative.

I do kinda like their remote camera app, it works OK and with some improvement it could be useful for video shooting… maybe, however what I needed to do on a recent shoot is transfer photos during the shoot to my MacBook Air and daily have a card that would let me transfer photos easily to my phone.

WiFiFight

All three work in basically the same way, they create a WiFi hotspot (or connect through your LAN) to allow your camera to communicate either with a mobile phone or with a computer (or both).  I started by buying the cheapest of the three, so I’ll talk about that first…

 

ezShare

(almost good enough for everything, but not quite good enough at anything)

Mine is the cheapest micro-SD card adapter

Mine is the cheapest micro-SD card adapter

The EZshare card is a Chinese brand card that takes micro-SD, they also make a “normal” SD card version.

I ALMOST used this card despite it’s flaws.  It was a bit difficult to set up, but I did get it to work after a bit.  It transferred reliably once set up (so long as you didn’t turn off your camera).  I managed to get over the crappy looking software (looks like it’s a student project or beta release open source that someone played with) and I liked how it would allow me to view the card and pick what I wanted to transfer.  It worked with a bit of playing about… however…

HOWEVER… and I can’t “however” hard enough.  The actual physical shape of the card is just… wrong.  It’s not wrong by a lot, but it would jam in my X-Pro2 and would potentially damage the card slot.  Cheap card with poor tolerances, that was enough for me to put it in a little box and forget about it.

 

Pros: 

Cheapest of the bunch

Useful for using up any spare micro SD cards

Transfers well to PC once it’s set up properly

Allows you to view card content and selectively transfer photos to your phone

 

Cons:

Doesn’t auto connect (if your camera turns off you have to manually connect to the WiFi hotspot again).

Only transfers to PC (no Mac)

Confusing, badly designed software

Made to poor tolerances (MAJOR flaw for me) Card is a bit too big and the slot for the micro-SD card is a tad too small for some card slots.

You can’t use Data WiFi or Mobile Data when connected to the card

 

Conclusion for ezShare:

So, the ezShare wasn’t good enough for me because I didn’t want to damage my card slot also, I actually want to be able to transfer to MAC and not just PC.

So I decided to buy the next one on my list…

 

Eyefi Mobipro

(good at what it does, but does it try and do too much?)

You get your membership card and a handy card reader for the price you pay

You get your membership card and a handy card reader for the price you pay

 

I got this card because it seemed like the best overall solution.  I could transfer my photos to my phone and it would work on a Mac as well as Windows PC.  Overall I’d say this has the most powerful and easy software, however it does some things I wish it wouldn’t.

  1. It tries to transfer ALL the photos on your phone to the Eyefi system (this can be turned off), this is so it can back it up online.  If you want this feature it’s good, if not, it’s quite annoying.
  2. You either have to have all the photos transfer automatically OR you have to select which ones by “protecting” them in camera.  I think this system isn’t good, I’d rather use the software to transfer the ones I want or have them go across automatically if I choose.

 

Pros:

Works with Mac and PC

Auto connects to wifi hotspot (starts working as soon as you take a photo)

Can transfer RAW files

Software is pretty easy to use

Closest to plug and play you can get (so long as you want the features it gives)

Online backup maybe good for some

Great for auto transfer during a shoot

 

Cons:

You can’t view the contents of the card and select what you want to transfer

Drains batteries very fast as it’s constantly trying to send your photos to your phone (you can turn this off, but it makes it troublesome)

 

Conclusion for Eyefi:

I found this card fine for studio shooting where I can have a lot of batteries to deal with the battery drain and when I want all my photos to auto transfer.  It can take some time to connect and start transfers and sometimes it fails and just stops transferring.  Once it connects and starts transferring it’s pretty fast.  I decided NOT to use it in camera because I didn’t want all my photos going to the phone (and I didn’t want to use the system of “protecting” the files to transfer them.  I prefer the system of using the software to view the files and selecting which ones to transfer from there.

 

So, the Eyefi was good for studio work, however I still wanted something that I could use for daily use (transferring to my phone), that’s why I got the next one…

 

 

Toshiba FlashAir

(doesn’t try to do much, but does what it does well)

It simply does what it does well. Kinda like Wolverine.

It simply does what it does well. Kinda like Wolverine.

The Toshiba FlashAir isn’t as feature packed as the Eyefi, but it is the best of the three at transferring to phone.

Pros:

Easy to setup

Pretty cheap

Can view content of the card and choose what you want to transfer to the phone

Auto connects to the wifi hotspot

Has “WiFi pass through” which let’s you use your Data Wifi and/or Mobile Data while using the card (only with the latest W-03 version)

Cons:

Can’t connect to PC/Mac

Can be a bit slow to start transferring at times

Conclusion for FlashAir:

While not the most feature packed, it does a great job at being a “transfer to phone” card.  That’s why I bought it and that’s what I use it for.

—–

How do I use these?

I shoot RAW in slot 1 and shoot jpeg in card two (which is the WiFi card).  This also allows me to zoom in close for pixel peeping (by switching to slot two) if I wish and gives me a jpeg backup in case anything goes wrong with card 1.  Then when I transfer to Light-room I’m not getting two pictures the same (RAW+Jpeg) as I only put in the RAW card when I transfer.  When shooting in a studio situation I set the jpeg to Small/Normal for the fastest possible transfer speeds, this is enough for viewing and selecting.

I also follow THESE instructions to set it up to auto import into Lightroom (using EyeFi Card).

 

Overall Conclusion

It’s a shame the ezShare just isn’t quite good enough.  However I just don’t use it. I’m not willing to risk damaging my camera. Still, doesn’t matter it was cheap and I can use it to write this review.

The EyeFi was pretty expensive, but nothing compared to a dedicated official WiFi transfer device.  I am happy with this as a Studio transfer device.  Worked quite well the other day with only one small issue where I had to restart my computer and some slowness in initial transfer (it takes about 30 seconds to start transferring, after that it’s pretty fast). I might have stuck with the Eyefi as my daily card if didn’t drain the heck outta my batteries.  Fuji have enough of a problem with battery drain as it is.

I  use the Toshiba FlashAir daily in my camera, it doesn’t seem to drain the battery much and it lets me pick which photos I want to transfer.  It has the added bonus of not disrupting my mobile data network, so I can straight away send the files to people or post them online without messing about with switching WiFi to mobile data or something.

EzShare – Almost there, but they’re badly made and might damage your camera (don’t buy).

EyeFi – Great if you want to backup everything or you want a studio transfer system, but it’ll drain your battery as it always tries to transfer even when you don’t want it to.

FlashAir – Great as a camera to phone transfer, but you can’t transfer it to a computer.

So you choose which one is best for you.

Thanks for reading,

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  • Super

    Thank you for the review it is really helpful, I have had 2 eye fi cards
    in the past and 1 sandisk wifi (also uses eye fi software) and I was
    thinking switching since this cards are so fragile and always break,
    regardless who makes them but after this review I will stick with eye
    fi, but this time I will put a thin film around it to make it sturdier
    so it won’t break so easy.