There is something about looking at some delicious bokeh on your smartphone that seems foreign and a little sexy. As smartphone sensors are tiny you can only get this blur from post-processing. Most DSLR's and lenses are able to generate this effect with a low aperture with a combination of zoom and distance to subject (or background) ratio. Therefore editing and publishing sexy photos like this directly from your phone is (to me) an alluring prospect. So I decided to give is a go and write up my installation experience.
While a lot of the modern consumer cameras have this integrated, it can often be a drain on your battery if not properly managed. When combined with an image editing app such as Adobe Photoshop Express (freemium model with a paywall for some of the more professional filter) you are able to publish photos from your camera to clients or to social media from anywhere in the field. For just a little more than the cost of a standard fast SD card you can have this functionality on any old camera.
There are some limitations though. This is not a professional grade card. You are not able to transmit full raw files from your DSLR to your phone, edit them, expose them and then publish them to the web. For this you will still need to capture the raw files and manually take them off your card. Most cameras can output both raw and jpeg at the same time, so you can send the jpeg to your phone and keep the raw for later (if you want/need it). So far I have found this workflow absolutely invaluable to be able to create a tight feedback loop and obtain instant feedback from your photography while you are in the field. I found their instructions to be somewhat lacking so decided to provide a step by step workflow to get you up and running in under 5 minutes.
1. Any camera that accepts SD Cards
2. A smartphone
3. 5 min of time to set up
4. An eyefi mobi card. These come in the following sizes:
Once the software is installed add the activation code that can be found inside the package that came with your eyefi card. This seems like a silly step but you will have to cut the very bottom off your card to reveal the code card within.
You will then be brought to the main menu. Here tap "Get Started" and then "Set Up Mobi Card". As I did this on iOS the next few steps are rather iPhone specific. But I imagine the app is almost identical on Android.
Firstly you will be taken to the Settings pane where you need to click "Install" and then follow through the next screen to input your iPhone administrator passcode.
You can guess what to do here... tap "Install" and "Done". Return to the Eyefi app and follow the on screen instructions. Now here we enter the details that were shown on the card again and install the profile as displayed. Then we are prompted to "Start taking photos!" But hold on sailor.
Before you start snapping you need to remember that this is only capable of sending jpegs to your phone. Even if it would be capable of sending RAW files there would be nothing that you could do in order to render them on your phone anyway. So before you get all trigger happy. Hold up and follow through the next few steps.
Firstly ensure you have the card inserted in your camera. If you are like me you did this straight away and then realised nothing was happening and were taking photos of your feet, the wall and the cat.
These steps were done on a 5d Mark iii but the canon menus are all similar (all cameras for that matter) so you could follow this process on any camera. Start by navigating to the Eye-Fi settings and enable Eye-Fi trans(mission).
I have a CF card and an SD card slot. So my workflow requires RAW files on the CF card and JPEG "backups" on the SD card. I set the camera to record separately which saves the same shot as whatever formats I chose. As this is just for social media and quick shares with friends I suggest using a medium sized JPEG for this purpose. If you are only shooting to your Eyefi card and no CF card I suggest choosing the option of RAW + Medium JPEG. That way your Eye-fi card will detect and transmit only the JPEG files.
So finally you are ready to shoot. I suggest lining up the closest thing possible and pressing the button. As you can see I was highly eager to get this process over and done with so I took a shot of the packaging for the Eyefi card. Truly one for the ages! Now you want to quickly pick up your phone. Go to the wifi settings. Browse through until you se the Eye-Fi Card wifi point. Navagate to this and tap it to connect to it.
Once connected to the Eyefi card you will begin to see all of your recent photos downloading onto your smartphone. From here you are able to navigate them and share them out to your friends or to your social networks. Isn't my shot great. Prints will be up soon ;)
I am now working on providing a longer work flow and a review of this product as I use it more in the field. If you have any requests or are having any issues at the moment please drop a comment on my Facebook Page or write to me directly @benkepka on twitter. Check out the articles section for more reading on improving your photography. Thanks for reading.