Photography / Hands-on Review

Hands-On Review: Eyefi 16GB mobiPRO SDHC Wi-Fi Memory Card

Very simply, the Eyefi 16GB mobiPRO SDHC Wi-Fi Memory Card allows you to transfer images—including RAW files and videos—directly from your camera, wirelessly, to a mobile device or computer. The wireless RAW file-transfer capability is what sets this new card apart from its predecessors and from most current in-camera Wi-Fi systems. Also, the MobiPro16 and MobiPro32 includes an Infrastructure Mode that allows you to connect the card to an existing home or office Wi-Fi network for transfer directly to a Wi-Fi-connected computer; a “Selective Transfer” function allows you to select which images you want to transfer; and a year of the Eyefi cloud service. The Eyefi service features unlimited storage, data backup, and file organization features.

Many cameras on the market today offer Wi-Fi connectivity that allows you to not only transfer images but, in some cases, control many camera functions remotely. However, there are those of us who still enjoy our older digital cameras; machines built before the days of built-in Wi-Fi. Additionally, not all new cameras have the capability to transfer files wirelessly, as some manufacturers are not yet embracing the technology.

With the Eyefi Mobi Pro, you can bring cameras like your Nikon D300S DSLR into the Wi-Fi generation with zero modifications to the camera, aside from inserting the Eyefi card. Or, if your camera’s built-in Wi-Fi capability feels clunky and cumbersome, you will likely find the quick setup and ease of using the mobiPRO a pleasure, and you might forgo the organic Wi-Fi in favor of the easy Eyefi experience. Currently, the Eyefi Mobi app is the only app that automatically transfers images from more than 50 cameras that have built-in Wi-Fi.

Before purchase, be sure to verify that the Eyefi card works with your camera. There are some cameras that have metal chassis that effectively block the Wi-Fi signal, and others power down after the file is written to the card—before the wireless transfer is complete—usually requiring an adjustment to the camera settings. A full list of compatible cameras is available here.

Setup is a breeze and, within a few minutes of opening the packaging you can be shooting wirelessly, tethered to your mobile device or computer. In fact, the setup is much easier than the Wi-Fi connection procedures on most Wi-Fi-capable cameras I have used in the past. An improvement for the mobiPRO, you no longer have to run separate setups for your computer and portable devices once you register the card to each device.

The new mobiPRO version combines the capability of the earlier mobi and the mobi X2 Pro wireless cards and has the ability to transfer RAW images, connected to home or studio Wi-Fi networks. The Eyefi mobile app or desktop program will allow you to pick and choose which files to transfer. Be ready to fill up your phone’s built-in memory if you send too many RAW files from your mobiPRO! If your phone or tablet is overflowing with bits, you can always use the Eyefi Cloud service to back up your images in RAW or other formats. Using the cloud keeps the EyeFi Mobi app memory usage to around 4GB. And, if you are hawking your data usage, the app allows you to store images and transfer them once a Wi-Fi signal is connected.

The mobiPRO is a Class 10 card, and supports read speeds up to 13MB/s and write speeds up to 23MB/s. The card feels physically more robust than previous versions. Yes, there is a difference in build quality when it comes to memory cards. There is also a 32GB version of the mobiPRO.

An additional note: the mobiPRO card comes with one year of free unlimited storage on the Eyefi Cloud. Once your images are uploaded to the Eyefi Cloud, only reduced-resolution files remain on your phone or mobile device, saving space.

If you have an older camera without Wi-Fi capability or if you are perplexed and frustrated by your camera’s Wi-Fi application and functions, the Eyefi mobiPRO might be a great solution for you if you are looking to transfer images wirelessly to your mobile device or computer for instant sharing via email or social media sites.