Wireless Photo Transfer…except

One of the things I am so waiting for is simple wireless transfer of camera images to my computer.  It’s just a hassle to connect up a cable, or pull out the card.  It doesn’t help that the latches and doors for these ports on modern cameras aren’t that sturdy either. No, what I want is to just set the camera down next to the computer, turn it on, and have it download all the new images.

That’s why I was so excited to see this.  An SD card that doubles as a wifi card and automatically uploads your images to your computer and/or any of a dozen or so photo hosting web sites (i.e. Flickr, etc.).  The card will use your home wifi router or a commercial hotspot, once properly configured.  At $99 for a 2GB card it is a little steep, but what a great idea!

That is, until I started digging into it a little more.  The downsides:

  • the card is slow
  • it doesn’t upload RAW files, only JPEGs
  • it eats battery life
  • and the real kicker: it uploads your images first to the card maker’s web site, and only then, if your computer is on and running the proprietary card maker’s software, it will download them from their web site to your computer (as well as transferring them to any of the image hosting sites you select).

The last one’s a deal breaker.  Upload my images to their web site first?  No thanks.  Not only that, but it means that my transfer speed to my computer is limited by how fast it can first upload them to their server, and then back down to my computer.

Why couldn’t they have made a product that uploaded directly to your computer?  You could then write all kinds of your own scripts to upload the images elsewhere if you want.

If anyone knows where that product can be found, let me know–please.

Oh, and they have another product in the making that looks even more cool on the surface than this one did (on the surface)–the Eye-Fi Explore supposedly can do automatic geotagging of your images.  You have to read the fine print to find out that you have to be within reach of a wireless access point for it to work (it looks up the geographical location via the IP address of the nearest hotspot).  Not nearly as useful as a unit that has a real GPS.

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