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Is it possible to use an EyeFi or similar SDHC card in an oldish camera such as the Canon Powershot A620 that supports SD cards up to 2 GB only?

If not (what I would guess but the information concerning backwards compatibility are not that clear), what other (simple*) options do I have to transfer files wireless? I want to transfer jpeg and/or raw files (from chdk).

To give a bit more context, I have this old camera that works perfectly but is of almost no use to me any more thanks to my DSLR. But what it would be totally perfect for is shooting time lapse movies. It is small, light and can be gorillapodded/superclamped almost everywhere and thanks to CHDK I need no external trigger for time lapse shots. But the 2 GB limit stops me from using the camera for that purpose since the number of pictures that can be saved is insufficient for the timelapses I want to do with it. A wireless transfer by EyeFi seems almost a solution besides the HC in SDHC. Nevertheless, I think an answer to the more general question I posted would be useful for other purposes as well. Different solutions to my specific problem such as wired memory extension possibilities etc. are appreciated as well, maybe I have to repost them together with a more suitable question.

*Of course I could use a raspberry pi or another computer to shoot tethered, e.g. with gphoto, but this is not the kind of simple solution I have in mind.

  • I don't have a full answer, but I would expect the problem primarily being the camera only supporting 2 GB partitions and FAT16. If you repartition the card (using appropriate software on your computer) to have only a single 1.5 - 1.9 GB partition, and format that partition as FAT16 rather than FAT32 or exfat, then the fact that the card is >2GB natively should not have any impact on the camera. – a CVn Oct 3 '15 at 13:21
  • Why don't you simply reduce the resolution? Even if you need an HD time-lapse, 2 MP images are enough. In any case, a WiFi card wont help you because it does not delete images as they sent, so you would hit the same limit. – Itai Oct 4 '15 at 3:06
  • @MichaelKjörling The “FAT16 trick” is possible for “normal” SDHC cards, but will the wireless frontend still work if I reformat/repartition the card? – Chris Oct 5 '15 at 6:33
  • @Itai It is not possible to reduce resolution of the RAW files. Furthermore, I'd like to shoot at maximum resolution to allow for artificial camera panning etc. The deletion could be handled by CHDK, if the card changes file access time after transfer it could be based on that, otherwise but more risky every file older than nn minutes could be deleted. Or deletion based on available space. So many options for that, but no evidence that the cards will work at all. – Chris Oct 5 '15 at 6:37
  • Are you sure that the 2GB limit is a real issue? My Nikon D40 only claims to support up to 2GB, but I use a 16GB card without problems. – Peter Taylor Aug 19 '16 at 20:21
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SDHC cards can be formatted back to FAT format below the 2GB partition size and work in many SD cameras.

The limitation will be if the Eye-fi functions will work or not. Delete was not an operation available to early models so you'd need an SDHC version even if you could find the original 2GB SD version 2nd hand.

Best option is to buy a card online and try it out and report back to us, it's hardly bank-busting. The SanDisk 4GB Eye-Fi cards are around £15 GBP as of October 2015.


update following comments: Eye-Fi are not the only player in town, just the best known. Transcend and Toshiba both offer wi-fi cards. The transcend looks like it allows raw access. Also there is an ez Share card I found which appears to be a MicroSD adapter which acts as a wifi host for the SD card inside. so you might even be able to use it with a 2GB MicroSD card.

  • I checked amazon and the cheapest offer of a “pro” card was 70 € for 8 GB. I need “pro” since I want to transfer RAW files. The current generation is at 60 €. That's a bit too much for this little experiment. I wonder if I can transfer RAW files with the cheaper cards if I rename them to .jpg? Does anyone have such a card and is willing to test this detail? Anyway, I do not entirely understand how the file transfer with these cards works, some sites suggest they need internet connection and transfer is done over their proxy? That's out of the question. I see, I have to do more research. – Chris Oct 12 '15 at 12:06
  • I bet the logic in the normal eye-fi isn't that clever to know that you'd renamed them. I suspect that CHDK can do that. You're making a video, depending on the intervals there might be a use case for raw files that could be handled by .jpg and bracketing... It's a time lapse so that shouldn't be a problem. The eye-fi pro x2 is £29 for 8gb – James Snell Oct 12 '15 at 22:23
  • Checked Amazon again, 70 € here, and it's actually a used one. I will watch the bay for better offers. In the meantime, is anybody out there with a non-pro card willing to do the little file rename experiment (I guess no chdk scripting is needed, just a manual rename)? – Chris Oct 12 '15 at 22:44
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You can check the support of your camera on the eye-fi homepage: http://www.eyefi.com/cameras

Pick your brand and model and you'll find out whether it works or not.

  • This site tells me only what's obvious: Camera is not SDHC compatible, therefore, the current EyeFi cards are not compatible, older 2 GB models are but are not sold anymore. In contrast I would be happy with a more “hacky” solution. – Chris Oct 12 '15 at 11:44

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