How to Wirelessly Transfer Photos from Camera to Computer

Jennifer Wilson

I’m your guide here at Simple Scrapper. Our community helps people find what fills you up and fits your life in memory keeping.

February 1, 2014

Simple Tip Saturdays are for sharing easy ideas to grab and run.

Earlier this month I wrote about my favorite new method for getting photos from my iPhone into Lightroom. In this post, I’ll share how I’m automating the import of photos from my regular camera.

How to Wirelessly Transfer Photos from Camera to Computer from Simple Scrapper

I remember when this little device was announced and thought “that will never catch on”. More than five years later, I’m now the owner of an Eye-Fi wireless SD card. Eye-Fi cards wirelessly transfer images from point A to point B, no USB cable needed!

I have the 16GB Pro X2 but there are four models, starting at $49.99. This chart compares the Mobi line with the Pro, but here’s the gist:

The less-expensive Mobi line (8GB, 16GB, 32GB) is designed to instantly transfer photos from your camera to your phone or tablet. For those who don’t do any editing, have plenty of device storage, and order prints from their device, a card from this line will be perfect. This scenario also makes it easier to share photos online.

The Pro line (one current model, 16GB) allows you to wirelessly transfer photos from your camera to your computer. It can connect to your home WiFi and even transfer RAW file formats.

The Pro X2 is the one you want. 

Most scrapbookers will want the Pro card because it removes a step (connecting the USB cable) from your existing photo workflow, making it that much easier to get your images sorted and backed up. (To me, the Mobi cards would add a step!)

Installation | While the Mobi cards don’t need a computer for set up, the Pro cards do. You’ll also need to visit the website for instructions, as there are none on the box. The installation on my Mac was pretty simple. (It works on PC too.) In the software, I choose to use the Relayed Transfer so that my camera and computer didn’t have to be awake at the same time.

Usage | I first tested the card in my office and wasn’t getting it to work. While the card has a 45 ft indoor range, the troubleshooting guide said that there should be no troubles if you are within 15-20 feet and in line-of-sight of the router. I have an older home and found that I do need to be within line-of-sight of the router.

Note: Your camera needs to be on for the transfer to initiate. After I finish taking a batch of photos, I will turn my camera on in my kitchen (near my router). I have it set to down auto-sleep for 5 minutes to ensure that all of my images get transferred.

Because I have Lightroom’s auto-import set up for my phone photos, my last step is semi-manual. I have an import preset set up to get my photos into Lightroom with the click of one button.

I feel like I’m late to the game on this one. So I’m curious, do you have an Eye-Fi card? 

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15 Comments

  1. Crystal

    I have the cheapest version to transfer from my camera to my phone and I absolutely live it. I still edit my photos, but I do so the same way I would photos taken with my phone’s camera. Currently I’ve been using Snapseed and Afterlight, often together. I’ve been very pleased with the results, the only complaint I have is that I NEED A BIGGER SCREEN!! To remedy that I’ve been looking into getting an iPad mini just for my photography, since I once ran into the issue of maxing out the available storage space on my phone. I know some photographers have criticized others for using phone apps for editing, but I like the results and 1) Afterlight is a lot cheaper than Photoshop 2) I have absolutely no clue how to use photoshop, so it wouldn’t be worth the investment.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      Thanks for this tip Crystal. Those who love editing apps would definitely appreciate the Mobi card.

      Reply
  2. Christine N

    I have the same card you do. I haven’t set it up to transfer wirelessly to my computer though, since sticking the card in is easy and Lightroom automatically pops up for me. We used this to automatically transfer our photos from the DSLR to my iPad while on vacation in Hawaii. The set up was a pain, but after that it worked like a dream.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      My how technology has changed! When I went to Hawaii in 2004, we had to find an Internet cafe that could burn a CD so I could get photos off my camera.

      Reply
  3. Terri Torrez

    When I first saw this announced, I thought – I have to have it! I’ve used them for years and have given them as gifts to extended family. I have one in every camera, syncing to my computer.

    I don’t need line of site (my router is in a closet) but it doesnt work from upstairs so I do have to remember to carry it downstairs and leave it on. The transfer can be slow. My old Nikon D40 would shut off after a few shots, so I often pulled the card out. In my new D5300 the camera doesn’t shut off until it’s done. The downside is, my battery runs down faster. Still, it’s totally worth it for the workflow.

    After reading your LR post I set up auto-import. I have both my Eye-Fi and my iPad photos (via a Photosync) going to the same folder. Actually I have all of the family phones and cameras synced to the same folder. Works great! The only slight hitch in the workflow is that Photosync doesn’t have the option to delete photos off the device after importing the way Eye-Fi does. Overall though, the workflow is incredibly efficient, and now my photos are right where I need them, when I need them.

    Reply
  4. Nat

    I got it a couple Christmases ago and I don’t use it much anymore. It’s not that difficult for me to pop the SD card into the slot on my computer. I also found I’d get impatient waiting for a lot of photos to transfer and there was a noticeable difference depending on where you were in my house (which is very tiny). I also found that using the card ate up a lot of battery and was caught a couple of times with a very low battery when I was out somewhere before I realized what the issue was.

    Reply
  5. Melissa Shanhun

    I love my Eye Fi card. I have an older one that isn’t a Pro but works in the same way. I don’t have GPS on my point and shoot, so I paid a yearly fee to add location tracking to my photos.

    I do love it, but I find I’m not so good at tagging my photos any more as I used to do that when I uploaded them from the SD card. (My new PC doesn’t even have an SD card reader, that’s how much I use the Eye Fi! 🙂

    I’m a big fan

    Reply
  6. Karen

    I’ve never heard of this … really feeling out of the loop on this!
    Thanks for all of your imput, ladies! Gotta get me one!

    Reply
  7. Robin Rakes

    I have a smart camera. Using WiFi, I can send pics directly to any email, social site, & back-up. I LOVE it!! It also has a decent editing program on it, but I prefer what I have on my computer.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      That’s so cool! They say eventually everything will have WiFi. I even saw the new Chevys have 4G built-in!

      Reply
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  10. Corrie

    I had not heard of these but then again we were living overseas for 4 years so maybe that had something to do with it. My brother just showed me his new Nikon DSLR 5300 that enables him to do the same thing. My D60, obviously does not… I will now be able to do the same thing without buying a new camera! My hubby will be so much happier about that! Thanks for the informative article.

    Reply
  11. Dona Kutska

    How do you get pictures off a iPad mini ? Do you use the charging cord to a camera or computer?

    Reply
  12. Johnd

    Eye-Fi card a pure junk! very slow transfers.. my card stopped working after a few months

    I want to know why, with all this tech, why do companies like canon and nikon not provide bluetooth as well as wifi

    Wifi is just too much of a pain in camera. My nikons wifi sucks! you have to keep turning it on then you have to search for the camera in networks and then connect. you then have to use some very poor software to transfer the file – all this is just too much trouble, its easier to take the friggin card out the camera and put it in the laptop.. Oh and while im talking about laptops, i cant get my Nikon to transfer files to my laptop via wifi only via mobile phone which again is a half baked attempt at file transferring.

    Is it really too much to ask for a camera company to step up and produce a camera that automatically transfers images to a selected device phone, tablet LAPTOP!!

    To date, i have found bluetooth the most reliable way of transferring my photos from say mobile to pc.

    Is there a camera that can transfer photos via bluetooth to say windows not just fudging Android or CrapApple

    Reply

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