I spent a couple of infuriating days researching and trying to work around the idiotic limitations of the Eye-Fi software, so let me summarize them for you here:
- There can only be one device as the destination for your JPEG, raw, and video files.
- If you want a mobile device to be the destination, you must send to the mobile first, and then the mobile can pass the files on to a computer you have specified.
- JPEG, raw, and video can be configured to go to separate folders, and can be individually enabled or disabled, but all enabled file types must go to the same device.
- Anything you don’t configure to transfer wirelessly via the Eye-Fi software has to be transferred the old-fashioned way; either by removing the card from your camera and inserting it in a card reader, or by attaching the camera to your computer via USB cable, or by using the iPad Camera Connection Kit. In other words, if you set it to only transfer JPEGs but you capture some raw or video files on your card, you can’t wirelessly browse the card to grab files off it. This, specifically, was a big disappointment for my husband who really just wanted to be able to browse the card wirelessly and select files to transfer.
- You can switch the destination to a different device at any time via the Eye-Fi Center software. For instance, you can set it to transfer to your home computer when you are primarily going to be at home, and then switch it to a mobile device when you are taking a trip. You do not need the special Eye-Fi adapter to change this setting as long as the Eye-Fi Center is already installed on the destination computer. It’s a good idea to snap a few pics and verify the new destination after you change destination settings. And if it fails, restart everything.
- Each file type can be configured to automatically send to an online destination, but only one online site is permitted for each file type. However, you can send each file type to a different online destination. Several popular sharing sites are supported, including Flickr, Facebook, Picasaweb, Photobucket, FTP, and many more. Unfortunately, cloud services like Dropbox and SugarSync are not supported as online destinations. You can configure additional online destinations and they will be available for selective transfers from the Eye-Fi software on your computer and/or the iOS or Android app.
- If your camera shoots Raw+JPEG, Eye-Fi will not transfer the JPEG versions of your raw files unless you configure it to send raw files. So if you hoped to save space on your mobile device by only getting the JPEG versions of your Raw+JPEG shots–like I did–you’re out of luck. The exception to this is if you have a high-end camera with two card slots (SD and CF), you can configure it to send the JPEG to SD and raw to CF. From what I read, in this scenario, the Eye-Fi will send the JPEG without having to also transfer the raw.
- Because of the way Eye-Fi transfers files on iOS devices, you will get duplicate images for your Raw+JPEG shots. And because the Photos app is the only place you can delete photos, and it doesn’t identify which one is the raw file, you can’t delete only the large raw files to free up space. I don’t know if this is the case for Android devices. Unless Apple improves this shortcoming to the Photos app, if you want to keep JPEG on your iOS device and delete the raw files, you need to connect to USB and do it by browsing the mobile device’s DCIM folder in your computer’s file manager.
- If you are an Adobe Lightroom user, there is an iPad app called PhotoSmith that works with the Eye-Fi card and syncs your photos with Lightroom. However, you must follow their special setup instructions very carefully. I was not able to get it to work, having already set up Eye-Fi the standard way.
- Eye-Fi support says you can format the card in your camera, but it will delete the Eye-Fi Center software installer, so you will need to download it if you ever need to reinstall it or want to install it on another computer. They say that you should use the Eye-Fi card reader if you format the Eye-Fi card on a computer. I personally have not formatted mine. I used the “erase all” function in my camera instead of the format function.
After two days of research and experimentation, I went with the path of least resistance. I set it up to transfer all file types first to my iPad, and then have the iPad transfer everything to my server. Later, I clean up the files on my iPad once I have ensured they are safely transferred to my computer. But, that was not the end of the drama…