Eye-Fi Pro X2

Posted on April 17th, 2011 by Luke Sheldrick.
Categories: IT / Tech, Photography.
Tags: , , , .

17 04 2011

Last year I bought an Eye-Fi Pro X2, as a neat addition to my photography kit. It boasts a 8GB Class6 SD card, with integrated geolocation and a wifi uploading. Quite neat I thought.

I went for the Pro model as it supported RAW uploading, but was quickly disappointed by the limits of the card.

  • Geolocation – I’m not sure why I was expecting more, but this is only using so-called ‘wifi-location’. This is fine in the city, but quite often the reason I want to geotag my photos is because I am in the middle of no where, this wont work there.
  • Geolocation – To get your photos geotagged they have to be first uploaded to their servers. I can kind of understand this, as card it’s self doesn’t have enough grunt to process the current wifi macs it can see, and properly geotag them. However these seen macs are stored in the image, so when it is uploaded to the eye-fi servers, they can do the lookup to the database, and assign the correct geotags. Why their app cannot do this, is beyond me. It seems completely stupid to upload 8GB of images, to have them tagged, to download them again, to process. 16GB of transfer, for what would probably be <1Mb if they did this the logical way.
  • RAW – Whilst the RAWs will be uploaded, they wont be geotagged. When I contacted eye-fi, they state that there is no standard for the EXIF location tags for RAW. This certainly wasn’t mentioned on the box/site/anywhere.
  • Upload to open and public networks – The X2 range come with this service for free for a year. This seemed perfectly fine to me, a lifetime of free uploads would be good, but probably not sustainable. However, it didn’t actually include the access to public networks, i.e. BTOpenzone, The Cloud..etc this only enabled the card to join these networks once you had setup your card with one of the premium accounts that you’d need to pay for separately. Again, this certainly wasn’t mentioned beforehand.

This was all a bit annoying, but not the end of the world. I still used the card, paired it to my MiFi from three. As I have 15GB allowance, uploading wasn’t an issue. I had setup selective sync, so it would only upload photos I ‘protected’. This worked quite well, often when I was at expos, I could be uploading the photos to eye-fi, then using their mobile optimised website, select where I wanted to share the photos too. Giving an almost instant upload to the web, throughout the day. When I got home, the eye-fi agent had downloaded all the files, so I could process them further if I wanted. All quite neat.

I then had a card corrupt totally, not readable in a number of machines (running Windows, Linux or OSX), and none of my cameras. Their RMA process was awful to be honest. Weeks to get a response via email, then a huge delay when thye had received my card back. It seemed they only stated to respond timely when I mentioned them on twitter.

Since then, on my D3o0s, I have set it up to put the jpgs to the eye-fi card, and raws to the CF card. As I don’t use raw on the eye-fi, this works well for me. I in effect have a raid-1 setup, so if a card corrupts, I have the images on the other card.

The other day I saw that eye-fi had launched a new product, the Mobile X2, which allowed direct uploading directly to an iOS or Android device. This is something the hacker community have had for a while, but finally supported by eye-fi is cool. They said they would be upgrading the firmware on the current X2 range to implement this feature.

Today I opened the eye-fi manager on my mac, and it indeed said it had an update. It then listed direct mode as a feature for my card, but that required a firmware upgrade too, great. Or not, it listed the firmware it needed as being the current firmware, so failed every time. Looking on their forums a few people here and here. It seems their PR department had been working overtime, and all marketing shouldn’t have gone out yet. Oh dear.

Anyways, reading further into it, I could upgrade my card manually upgrade the firmware by unregistering it and registering it again, losing my settings. Not something I’m overly fussed about. So once I had done that, I downloaded the iOS application, to find out, the new one isn’t on the store yet. I guess this might be what they’re waiting for.

The android app had been, so I grabbed my ZTE Blade, and installed. The card now shows it’s self a wireless access point, so the app connects the phone to that AP, and that’s then how the card uploads to the phone. Took a few snaps and indeed, they were uploaded to the phone.

ZTE Blade receiving photo from Eye-Fi X2 Pro

However, now the phone is connected to the eye-fi, it itself now cannot get to the outside world. On Android, if you have a wireless connection, it drops it’s connection over the cellular. Naturally the eye-fi card doesn’t have an internet connection, so now both devices are isolated. Also an interesting thing, you can edit the setting on the card, from the phone, but only if you have an internet connection, which naturally now is broken.

Can't connect to internet

As far as I can see, I cannot change this behaviour in android, so looks totally broken.

It’s such a shame when companies hype a product so much, but when it comes to the crunch, it really doesn’t live up to the promises.


A walk down memory lane

Posted on December 28th, 2009 by Luke Sheldrick.
Categories: Personal, Photography.
Tags: , .

28 12 2009

I’ve been at Mum’s over Christmas, and is always a bit weird coming back to the area.
I moved away to Southend-on-Sea (Essex) when I was 14, and lived in Essex until very recently.

I was meeting Mum from work today, to go on to visit my Brother for the afternoon. As I’m one of those people who are usually early, and I had a few hours to kill so thought I’d go for a wander.

There was always an area near to where I used to live, that was totally different to the surrounding area, and always somewhere I’d love to escape to. I always dreamt of living in one of the houses, and today was a bit of a shock, to realise, well actually I could if wanted to. At that point, I realised, I’m getting old. It’s like I always wished I’d work in IT, with a nice car…blah blah when I was older, and now I actually do it’s a bit like, well what do I do now? Well I know next time I have to move, which I hope isn’t anytime soon, that I’ll be looking in SE16.

Walk down memory lane

Anyways back to the houses, they’re all in a small bit of Bermandsey, by the Thames, and Greenland Docks, but they have the most picturesque surroundings. Most overlook their own water features or ponds (like the above), and I just find them amazing.

Cygnet (Swan)

Throughout my visit, I was followed by the Cygnet above… maybe he was trying to butter me up, so if I moved into the area, I’d keep him in stock of moulding Hovis.

As old as me?

Amazingly, the car above, I’m sure has been in that same parking space, since I left, when I was 13 (so a few years). Still has up to date TAX, but never looks as though it’s moved. Amazing.


Panorama & HDR Processing – My first attempt

Posted on March 23rd, 2009 by Luke Sheldrick.
Categories: Photography.
Tags: , , , .

23 03 2009

As you may have gathered I’ve been spending some time with my D60. I must say of all my hobbies it’s probably the most rewarding.

I’ve been looking at loads of pictures on flickr, and there are some stupidly amazing shots. However to get that extra edge a lot oh photographers use a technique called HDR, or High dynamic range imaging. I’ve been itching to have a play, but also watched to play with panoramic stitching.

So before I set off on the trip to work tonight, I quickly nipped pass Southend Seafront, and took a few snaps.

So first I played with the stitching together, it wasn’t as straight forward as the tutorials had made out, the main difficulty I had was filling in the sky. Got over that and this is what I came up with

Then I had a play with HDRs. In my case mine was a psyudo-hdr, the difference being that I did all my editing from a single RAW image, rather than different RAWs, with different exposures. This is what I came up with

I really quite like how it came out, especially for my first attampt.


Another toy for the dSLR

Posted on March 16th, 2009 by Luke Sheldrick.
Categories: Photography.
Tags: , , .

16 03 2009

So my new years resolution has been a bag full of fail, I am a hopeless gadget lover, a magpie of technology.

I really want to get a fish-eye, a wide angle and a macro lens for my D60, but each of these are quite expensive, especially for what should have been a small hobby. (Famous last words). So I was looking on eBay (my favourite night shift pass time) and saw this;

eBay lens

I was dubious, as to whether or not it would produce any quality pictures, due to the relativly cheap price. Alas I clicked the buy button anyways.

I was pleasntly supprised on how much fun it is. It screws onto my 52mm lens, via an adapter, and you then use all the functions on the camera, i.e. focus, shutter, aperature..etc

It’s a bit of a jack of all trades, but doesn’t do it half bad. To use the macro feature, you unscrew the main lens, which can be a bit fiddily vs swapping the Nikon lens. Then to use the ‘fish-eye’ setting you have your lens on the closest mm, and then to use the wide angle you slightly zoom out, to use the whole iris.

As I say, of course it doesn’t perform as well as each of the single lens would, but for £35, you can’t really complain.

Below are a few shots I took over the weekend, using it in ‘fish-eye’ mode. Even though it doesn’t really distort the edges like the pro lens would, I think the photo’s still have a ‘fun’ effect.

fish-eye 1

fish-eye 1

I’d recommend the lens for anyone wanting to take some fun shots. It’ll never deliver the high quality macro, wide angled, or fish-eye pictures, but you can still have a lot of fun with it.

“Another new toy” album, has a few more from the weekend.


A few snaps

Posted on March 2nd, 2009 by Luke Sheldrick.
Categories: Photography.
Tags: , , .

2 03 2009

So it’s been a while since I’ve blogged. Has been quite high on my to do list, but been a tad busy lately.

Have been playing with my D60 quite a lot recently, whilst it’s one of the more beginner dSLRs on the market, it still is a lot of fun. Trying to work out what settings will be the best for each shot, and not cheat with the auto mode.

Bought a new lense, a 55-200mm the other day, which is pretty cool for all those zoomed shots. Would really like a 10-22mm or a fisheye lens, but they’re quite a bit out of my hobby budget at the moment. Also bought a Jessops speedlight. I did want to get a SB-600, but again slightly pricy. I went for the 360AFD, which seems to have a bucket load of features to get me started. I especially like the automatic slave mode.

Went for a midnight drive around the embankment in London last night, a few snaps are below. Was playing with longer shutter speeds, until my tripod fell apart. Am going to read up on HDR processing later, as have seen some amazing photos.

Midnight Snaps

Midnight Snaps

Midnight Snaps

Still a very much work in progress, still lots of fun. More can be seen on my flickr page, or my blog gallery (links from flickr)


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