I’ve tested a number of Eyefi’s Wi-Fi SD cards in my DSLRs over the years, and the product — in terms of hardware, software, and services - just keeps getting better. Today I’m highlighting Eyefi’s new mobiPRO Wi-Fi SD card (US$99.99, on sale through March 15 for $59.99), which I find to be the most useful Eyefi card ever.
As with all of the Eyefi products over the years, the focus is on the SD card that serves not only as a standard storage device for the images and videos you shoot with your digital camera, but as a wireless connection to the world as well.
With 32 GB of Class 10 SDHC storage, the mobiPRO can carry a number of high-resolution images in JPEG or RAW formats, as well as any video shot with your digital camera. But it’s what you can do with those images and video, your iPhone, iPad or Mac, and the Eyefi Cloud Service that is really impressive.
Setup of the card has been made much more simple than in the past. Just install the Eyefi Mobi app, launch it, and enter a code number that comes with the card, and you’re ready to roll. That app also makes it simple to sign up for the Eyefi Cloud Service, a full year’s worth of service ($49.99 value) being included in the purchase of the mobiPRO card.
Once you have the app installed and set your iPhone or iPad to the mobiPRO’s Wi-Fi hotspot SSID, any photos you take are automatically sent to the app. In the app, the photos are arranged by date, time and location, and if you also have a connection to the Internet, the images are uploaded to the Eyefi Cloud.
The mobiPRO not only works with your iOS devices, but also with both Mac and Windows. There’s a free Eyefi Mobi Desktop Transfer app that, when installed on your Mac, resides in the menu bar. The app places images into a specific Eyefi folder in the Mac’s Pictures folder, although you can target any location you desire. The app can also be set up to place RAW images into a separate folder from JPEG compressed photos.
I had used earlier incarnations of the Eyefi cards to transfer images directly from my camera to a folder on my iMac. That method seemed to take forever and required setting up the card to communicate over my home network. While the mobiPRO can still be set up the same way, I found it much easier and faster to just let images accumulate on my iPhone or iPad, sync them to the Eyefi Cloud, and then let the Desktop Transfer app automatically download them to my Mac.
What’s nice is that Eyefi Cloud supports IFTTT recipes, so uploading photos that are tagged a specific way in the app will also send them to Dropbox, Twitter, Facebook, Google Drive and a number of other services.
One thing I would like to see is the ability for the iOS app to forgo uploading to the Eyefi Cloud and just save the transferred images to the iOS camera roll. That way my images would show up immediately in the Photos app on my Mac and I wouldn’t need to load them into Photos from the Eyefi folder.
After your first free year of Eyefi’s Cloud service, you’ll be asked to drop another $50 annually. The company should make Eyefi Cloud a $50 optional purchase and just sell the mobiPRO card for $49.99 for those of us who would rather use iCloud syncing.
I see the Eyefi mobiPRO streamlining many of my photography workflows, as images will be automatically backed up to Eyefi Cloud and Photos as soon as my iPhone or iPad connects to the Internet. Everything is done without me having to take an SD card out of the camera, using a Lightning SD card reader to transfer the photos to an iOS device or Mac, and then wait to then have everything synced through iCloud.
The Eyefi mobiPRO is a fast and easy-to-setup Wi-Fi and storage card for DSLR and compact digital camera owners. For iOS and Mac owners, the addition of yet another cloud service (Eyefi Cloud) raises the cost of ownership and may unnecessarily complicate the syncing of photos to the soon-to-be-released iCloud Photo Library.