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Friday, August 10, 2012

BlackBerry PlayBook & Eye-FI Wi-Fi SD Cards

Have you ever seen ads for Eye-Fi Wi-Fi SD cards and wondered how they performed? Have you ever wondered if they could replace your USB or HDMI tethering cable? I certainly have.

For those of you who don't know me, I'm a huge BlackBerry PlayBook fan. I received a 16GB tablet from work a year ago and have since purchased a 32GB and 64GB for personal use.

I use it daily as a music player and GPS in my car. I use it to surf the web, play games and occasionally connect it to my TV/Stereo via HDMI for movies & music.

When I stumbled across the Eye-Fi Android app and found that it was sideloadable on the PlayBook I decided to ask the Photography Manager at work to order one. :)

My development PlayBook is currently running the 2.1.0.560 beta operating system which has improved Android Player support.



To start, you'll need to download the DDPB Installer and Eye-Fi Bar File. Follow this tutorial if you're unfamiliar with sideloading apps.

At this point I'll assume you have the Eye-Fi app installed on your PlayBook and configured on your desktop. If not, search 'Eye-Fi BlackBerry PlayBook' on Google or crackberry.com.

I initially tried using an SD to Compact Flash adaptor in my Nikon D300 and Canon 7D but the wireless performance was horrible. If I was more than 5-10 feet from the tablet it would stop working.





I ended up borrowing a Canon 60D from work since it has an SD slot. I was really impressed with the Eye-Fi menus built into the camera firmware:



Unfortunately the card didn't see my Wireless-N network and I didn't feel like testing it on Wireless-G so my tests were all done in 'Direct Mode'

My first test was on the "Small" file size. It took 5 seconds from the moment I pressed the shutter release until the image showed up on the PlayBook.


My second test was on the "Medium" file size. It took 7 seconds from the moment I pressed the shutter release until the image showed up on the PlayBook.



My third test was on the "Large" file size. It took 17 seconds from the moment I pressed the shutter release until the image showed up on the PlayBook. (Whoa white balance oopsie)



My fourth and final test was on RAW.  It took 53 seconds from the moment I pressed the shutter release until the image showed up on the PlayBook. 



My PlayBook lost connection to the SD cards wireless network several times despite the card being set to never time out. I had to constantly reconnect it after a few minutes. It was quite frustrating.. 

Also, the SD card gets pretty warm but I don't think it's anything to worry about.

In summary and my very humble opinion - the Eye-Fi SD card is definitely neat but it cannot replace a true USB or HDMI tether. The transfer time, especially in raw or Large/Fine is way too long. 

PS - one of my cats makes a surprise appearance at the end of the Medium file size video.

1 comment:

  1. Joey - is there any way to transfer photos directly from a digital camera to a Playbook without a wireless SD card?

    ReplyDelete