Without a sense of doubt, cables are of the past and everything is moving towards wireless technology. Cameras are also following the same trend and ever since product makers like Eye-Fi have joined the scene, things have evolved into being interesting. To put it as briefly as we can, not anyone can afford a camera that has Wi-Fi technology integrated by default. Fortunately, this downside can now be corrected by the use of an intelligent SD card, which can integrate a Wi-Fi antenna and even more interesting options, besides the extra storage room.
Just like any regular SDHC card, this smart product can store high amounts of media, while having the big advantage of performing transfers without any wires attached. Moreover, some products even come with advanced options, such as a dedicated application for mobile operating systems (Android, iOS, etc.) which allow the user to view files and share them, right from the camera.
How can Wi-Fi enabled SD cards transform your camera?
In a few words, these intelligent SD cards as we like to call them, are the perfect choice for binding a casual camera and a smartphone, or even a plain computer. All that users need are a camera with an SDHC card slot, a computer / phone with Wi-Fi connectivity and in some cases, an active internet connection to set-up the mechanism. Although each product in question has a specific list of compatible cameras, the concept can usually be adapted to most models in the market.
When it comes to special options, there are some Wi-Fi enabled SD cards which automatically transfer captions to a machine using the Wi-Fi connection and preserve the actual space on the card, while other products can be jointed with a hotspot for automatic transfer onto the cloud. Basing on these two scenarios, photographers can theoretically take a limitless number of shots, as long as they have an active connection to another peer.
Just like we’ve mentioned above, some SD cards also come with a built-in application for Android or iOS, in which users can browse pictures, watch videos right from the mobile device, download content or even share images using social media services or email. Moreover, one option from Transcend can even display pictures on the mobile device instants after it has been taken, asking the user first if it should be saved or not – an actual preview function we might say.
Choices on the market
While these kinds of cards have been around in the past few years, they have remained quite the underdog mainly because of their price. But with technology evolving faster than ever, these products have moved from the unreachable status to somewhat-affordable. Now here’s a brief selection of the current line-up:
- Transcend – comes with Wi-Fi, Shoot & View features and a mobile application for Android / iOS / Amazon. At the moment, there are two units available: 16GB for $69 and 32GB for $99 – more details here.
- Eye-Fi – the current leaders in this market, Eye-Fi has several products on this segment: the Pro X2 ($99), the Mobile X2 ($59.99) and the Connect X2 ($39.99). The price difference is mainly based on the transfer speeds, the amount of storage included and the range of features embedded. For instance, the top of the niche comes with Wi-Fi based geotagging and Class 10 speeds – more details here.
- Toshiba – Toshiba aims to full-duplex transfers, allowing users to also transfer content on the SD card itself using Wi-Fi connectivity. Their current product, FlashAir, comes with 8GB of storage, Class 6 speeds and software compatible to iOS and Android – all for $89.
- TREK – the Flucard PRO 8GB is the best Trek option, coming with Class 6 speeds and a capacity of 8GB for $88 on Amazon.