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by garik

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There's an ongoing craze for Wi-Fi enabled SD cards. The concept is clear and impressive, but I would like expert opinions or experiences with these SD cards.

Currently there are only a few reviews for the cards. Is it true that they affect the battery performance? Other than that, is there anything else that one should consider when buying these new gadgets?

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This is only tangentially related to your question so I won't post it as an answer, but since you said "I would like to know any expert opinion and experiences about these SD card technologies." -> I had an Eye-Fi Pro X2 (8 GB) shortly after it came out in my Canon T2i, shooting RAW, and HOLY COW was it ever slow. It would take 5+ minutes to upload a 25 MB RAW shot. I took it back. Part of it is likely due to it having a tiny antenna being stuck in a metal camera chassis... not a great RF environment! –  evilspoons Jul 21 at 15:06

2 Answers 2

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Yes; I have an EyeFi card and my battery doesn't even stand 50% of its performance. Fortunately I can turn EyeFi-wireless-mode off in my Nikon's D3200 menu.

It's described in the user manual here:

User manual

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That switchable function is great, but would that also works on older models like D7000? –  Jez'r 570 Jul 21 at 8:39
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that should be descriped in your camera's manual. i added the manual of mine. one more thing - the transfer of pictures in high quality takes some time and you should try if your smartphone can handle such big image files –  fubo Jul 21 at 8:49
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Theoretically it should as the D90 has eye-fi support and that's older than the D7000. The manual will tell you what options are available. –  James Snell Jul 21 at 8:49
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According to the EyeFi website, it does. –  jonrsharpe Jul 21 at 9:43

The cards are considerably more complicated electronically. Additional power would be needed to drive the ARM processor vs. a typical SD controller. Once you add in Wi-Fi radio and the encryption requirements that come with it you should expect an impact on battery life (though most cards now shut down Wi-Fi when it is not transmitting which helps.) The cost of a spare battery vs the ability to have access to Terabyte scale storage and immediate availability on screen for editing / post seems like reasonable tradeoff if you will use those features.

Another effect will be on performance. Eye-Fi, who licence their technology to others including Transcend and Sandisk, has a product line made of mainly SDHC class 4 with some 6's and a couple of 10's. At this point (July 2014) none of the major players (Eye-Fi, Transcend or Sandisk**) offer any UHS-1 and UHS-3 devices which would suggest that the processor imposes performance limitations beyond the flash memory. If you're shoot a lot of bursts or action then this may affect your decision.

Beyond those your consider are just like adding any other gadget to your ecosystem. Will it physically connect? Is the software compatible with everything else? Does it have dependencies (on software for example?) How will it affect your workflow?

** I've not forgotten Lexar, they have no Wi-Fi cards in their product line up. They had one in 2008 under the name Shoot-n-Sync.

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