Is it possible to wirelessly transfer photos from a camera to a computer? Specifically:

  1. What kind of specs does a camera require to be able to do this? In other words, if I'm looking at a bunch of cameras on Amazon, what phrases/wording in the specs do I need to look for to confirm that the camera is able to wirelessly transfer photos?
  2. Can the camera transfer the photos wirelessly regardless of whether or not the camera is able to connect to a nearby wireless router?
  3. Is it possible to have the photos automatically transfer wirelessly as soon as they are taken as opposed to me having to manually trigger the camera to transfer the photos?
  4. Are there any limitations on which computer OSes can be transferred to? If so, what computer OSes can typically be transferred to?

Sorry about all the questions, but I've heard that cameras nowadays (or perhaps for some time) have Wi-Fi capabilities, but I'm a bit of a newb when it comes to cameras and don't know much about what they're capable of these days.

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Many digital cameras now have built-in WiFi but it is usually tied to the application provided which may be upgraded from time to time. What I suggest doing, if you are looking for such a camera is look at these applications and then read the list of compatible cameras. Most such apps are on the Android store which makes them easy to find.

For cameras that support SDHC cards, which are the majority these days, you can add an Eye-Fi card. That is a memory card which also provides wireless capabilities. In particular, it can send images immediate at the time they are captured (Newer models may do RAW files too). Depending on the model, you may be able to connect to a router or not. This page outlines the difference between the two current products.

There is a Flash Air card which makes it possible to browse pictures remotely and download them but the first generation model (which is the one I have) does not automatically send. The latest generation even has some pretty advanced capabilities and API to control them, including executing LUA scripts! Check the info if you willing to try your hand at it here.

For WiFi via Flash Air or EyeFi, you do not need Wifi in the camera but should check the list of known compatible devices at the respective manufacturers of these cards.

  • Awesome answer! Thank you so much. – HartleySan Oct 8 '15 at 4:19

Eye-Fi is made specifically for what you want. (not an employee, just a multi-year satisfied customer)

  1. Many cameras are compatible. Even some not specifically in the Eye-Fi database. I have a Fuji HS-10. It was not in their database of compatible cameras when I bought the card, but the HS-20 was. I gave it a shot, and it works perfectly. But yes, check the Eye-Fi database.

  2. To transfer wirelessly, it does need to be in range of a WiFi source.

  3. Yes. As long as the camera is on, it is trying to connect and transfer. But it does not need to be within range to take the pics. I do this all the time. Out taking some shots, come home, turn the camera on and set it on the desk. It starts talking to the house WiFi, and transmitting pics (jpg/RAW/video) to the folders and computers I have designated. By the time I've taken my boots off and gotten a beer, it is most of the way done. jpg in this folder tree, RAW in a different folder tree, video to a whole different PC.

  4. I know Windows and Apple. Unsure about Android/Linux.

  • Great answer, and thanks a lot for sharing your personal experience with Eyefi products. I'm thinking more and more that that is the way to go. Thanks again. – HartleySan Oct 13 '15 at 18:51
  • I've put several thousand shots through the EyeFi. Maybe 10,000? With nary a burp. It does make your battery use go up, though. – NewUser Oct 13 '15 at 21:20
  • @NewUser, "It does make your battery use go up, though" I've always been curious about how much that might be by? Can it be turned on and off or is it constantly scanning for hotspots? – Octopus Oct 15 '15 at 6:30

Note there are also many newer cameras from all major vendors that have WiFi built in (too many to list) or have a specific dongle for WiFi (e.g., the Nikon WU-1a (see this Nikon page). Last I checked the latter did not do automatic uploads, however.

  • Yes, as time goes on, this is becoming less and less of an issue. Thank you. – HartleySan Jun 6 '17 at 19:09

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