Over the summer I’ve been testing out the Eye-Fi Mobi SD card and app – and all this month I’ve been trying to work out how to write this review as (and you know I say it how it is), I didn’t really get on with it particularly well. However, I suspect this could be more of a case of “it’s me” rather than the Eye-Fi card and here’s why…
Firstly, I hadn’t heard great things about cards that sync directly between your camera and your phone – the most common complaint being that they eat batteries – both of your phone and your camera. One of the reasons I love my Nikon D7100 DSLR so much is because I can easily do a day shoot (or even several days) on one battery charge.
Secondly, I was concerned about the quality and therefore processing speed of the card – using a high quality SD card means that I can shoot bursts of images as RAW files (rather than the smaller, quicker jpegs) and I didn’t really want to have to sacrifice this functionality.
Anyway – off we went to Rendlesham Forest. Owned by the Forestry Commission, Rendlesham was apparently the place where UFO’s were sighted in the 1980 – cue one excited small boy and his rather sceptical sister. It took 2 goes to load the Eye-Fi app onto my phone, and then it said it was out of date and needed changing to another app – which loaded fine over our home wi-fi connection. Then to sync it to the camera – it took several attempts to get them to sync – but by repeating the process it worked.
Rendlesham has the “most awesome” play area themed around both the life in the forest and the UFO sightings.
Challenging enough for my two, they spent ages working their way round the climbing wall (what clever footholds – see the picture), balance courses, climbing areas, swings and zipline.
Taking pictures in the woods is always tricky – the light varies constantly, if you use auto-focus it gets very confused (I would recommend using single point focus if you can) and it’s not always the most stable ground underfoot. My focal point was the entry to the den – but even then it’s struggled.
I generally shoot in RAW rather than jpeg which allows me more capacity to adjust the colour when I’m editing. The Eye-Fi Mobi allows you to shoot in RAW but then couldn’t transfer those images to my phone. The Eye-Fi Mobi Pro card does allow this but it’s not the one I was trying. If you only shoot in jpeg, can shoot perfect pictures which you then want to put straight on social media – this card is great. But I don’t…
As you can see, so far, all my images are in black and white. I may well have been having a very ‘off’ couple of days when using this card but I really struggled to get my colour balance right – b&w has really been the only way to ‘save’ some of the images – others I’ve had to really enhance the colour to make them work.
Once my phone and camera were synced, I lost all data connectivity on my phone. OK, we were out the forest enjoying some family time, but I suffer from the curse of the self-employed – the need to be in touch and accessible to my clients. Both obviously need to be on to sync – which is fine, but the syncing process (as I’d been told) did drain my camera battery (more so than the phone battery) and I did lose some of the speed I’m used to while taking the photos – so my birds of prey shots later are of a far lower standard than I can usually produce. I really want my camera to be using its processing power to capture the images rather than sending them to the phone.
So – the verdict. If you use a point & shoot or bridge camera, shoot in jpeg and want to send your images straight to your phone to post on social media, the Eye-Fi mobi card is excellent. They’re available from a variety of outlets – with the price varying, as ever, on the size of the memory.
Will I be using mine again with the DSLR? I’ll be giving it another go to see if I was just having an off day with my colour balance and if I know I’m not doing a big shoot. I’ve really appreciate the chance to give it a go and I’ve certainly learnt from using it – I’m just not sure we’re natural partners.