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Wirelessly send photos from a digital camera to a smartphone

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New technology has a way of making great tools even better. Hands down, the smartphone takes top prize since the portable MP3 player debuted. This is especially true because the smartphone has absorbed other trending electronics. Handheld GPS units, HD video recorders, handheld audio recorders, digital cameras, and even portable MP3 players — all largely replaced by the smartphone.

And with wireless data, cloud storage, and high definition capabilities, the smartphone is king for a mobile adventurer. It was March of 2008 when I bought the first 16GB iPhone. Five years later, with a new-to-me iPhone 4 in my hands, I’m wishing I had upgraded every year since. This fancy phone has become my handheld connection to the world. Its not that the old phone did not do this, but it did become too slow and frustrating to use. Plus, the California sun burned spots into the screen two summers ago. Oops.

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As popularity grows, so does the technology. With smartphones in every pocket, the networks get faster, the apps get easier to use, and revolutionary products hit the market to marry our smartphones with other technology. Technology like digital cameras.

The smartphone’s built in camera may suffice for a candid snapshot. It does not replace a camera with a real lens. It does not replace a camera with a real flash. Still, it does one thing digital cameras do not yet do well on their own. It posts photos to the Internet — immediately.

In fact, the smartphone makes sharing a captured moment an instantaneous event. Instead of being bound to other technologies with a long, tedious procedure of connecting cables, loading software, waiting for transfers, sorting, labeling, geotagging, and so on — all of which are a burden to a guy living in a tent — the smartphone does all of this within itself.

I carry a Canon point-and-shoot with me. It’s tethered to my wrist and ready for action. Occasionally I lug around the hefty Nikon DSLR, though it is mostly relegated to artsy fartsy moments anticipated in advance. Until recently, every image captured on these cameras went through that convoluted workflow many days later. The excitement to share a moment would pass by the time an image made it to the Internet. The workflow became a burden, and I quit sharing.

Enter the magic of the connected smartphone. Enter the magic of the wireless SDHC memory card.

Now, with an Eye-Fi card in my cameras, I wirelessly send photos to my smartphone and immediately share them. All the hassle of software, sorting, geotagging, and fancy editing is still there if I want it. But with the wireless data card, I am more likely to share those great shots that only a camera can capture, and I am more timely at doing so as only a smartphone can deliver.

With free apps available for iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac OS, these cards are versatile enough to function with all of your devices.

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Check it out for yourself. I swear by the Pro X2, which you should grab from Amazon here. It offers the largest capacity and the most features.

For less money — and if you can pass on RAW photo support and wireless geotagging — consider the Mobile X2 and Connect X2 cards. They offer all the other great features like wireless photo and video transfer, “endless” cloud memory, and easy online sharing. Every X2 also functions as an SDHC card for taking and physically transferring any file format via the included USB card reader.

Digital camera manufacturers are already including WiFi in new cameras, and this will certainly gain in popularity to the point of standardization. Until then, use an Eye-Fi wireless SDHC card to simplify transferring photos and videos from a camera to any other wireless device. I recommend it.

Pro X2
Pro X2
Mobile X2
Connect X2
Wirelessly upload RAW photos yes yes no no
WiFi based geotagging yes yes no no
Storage capacity 16GB 8GB 8GB 4GB
Android™ and iOS apps yes yes yes yes
Automatically upload photos and videos to computer, tablet or smartphone yes yes yes yes
Automatically free up space once pictures are safely delivered yes yes yes yes
Instantly share on Facebook, Twitter, Picasa, YouTube and more yes yes yes yes
Photo and video back-up using secure personal photo cloud yes yes yes yes
Ultra-fast read & write speeds for whatever you shoot Class 10 Class 6 Class 6 Class 6
Long range WiFi – 90ft outdoors / 45ft indoors yes yes yes yes
Supports WPA2-PSK security, plus support for static WEP 64/128 and WPA-PSK standards yes yes yes yes

Comparison data comes directly from the manufacturer.

Brian

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