This post brought to you by the wonderful eye-fi card. Canon and Nikon sell wireless adapters for their DSLRs but the Eye-Fi card is cross platform and will work in DSLRs or P&S – basically any camera that you can slide a SD card into. Eye-Fi cards let you beam your photos directly from the camera to your computer, iOS device or smartphone. The smartphone is probably my favorite, sure smartphone cameras are loads better than they were just a few years ago and the iPhone camera is especially nice but they still dont compare to a DSLR sensor and the image quality you get from a DSLR. Not to mention the flexibility a DSLR offers with all of lenses.  The T4i (and T3i) support the Eye-Fi cards, they get their own menu entry and setting up direct mode is quite easy. Direct mode lets you go directly from your camera to your smartphone or iPad/iPhone and is what I used here – I took the photo of my daughter playing checkers, using direct mode I sent that directly to my Android smartphone where I selected the photo and shared it to my wordpress app, no computer necessary. I could have just as easily emailed it or posted it on Facebook.

You do need a computer for the initial setup of direct mode – basically you use the included Eye-Fi card reader to turn direct mode on. At the same time, on your smartphone, add the wireless access point info SSID and WPA2 password .

Eye-Fi Center Direct Mode
Eye-Fi Center Direct Mode Setup


I also make sure my share is selective when I know I will be using direct mode, this way every photo I take won’t end up on my phone, just the ones I protect

Eye-Fi Selective Transfer - Best for Direct Mode
Eye-Fi Selective Transfer – Best for Direct Mode

To trigger the transfer I press the play button, swipe to the photo I want to share, press the Quick Control button and tap the key and enable.  A few seconds later the image begins to transfer.

Canon T4i - Quick Control During Playback
Canon T4i – Quick Control During Playback – Protect

Once they transfer to the phone I can choose to put them on Facebook, Google+, WordPress or any other site your smartphone is capable of sharing to.

Sharing Options from Eye-Fi center on Android
Sharing Options from Eye-Fi center on Android


This post most obviously brought you by my love of Eye-Fi cards like the affordable Eye-Fi Connect X2 4 GB Class 6 SDHC

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 Box Canyon Tunnel on the descent from Paradise, Mt Ranier National Park Captured with the #GH5 and 12-35 f/2.8
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  1. When you say this “I also make sure my share is selective when I know I will be using direct mode” does this mean – when you think you’re going to use the phone for transfers you specifically load the card in the computer and turn this on?

    Then when you return home, and the card is in range of your regular wireless, and regular computer, you turn it off?

  2. Toby, I’ll be taking a trip in Feb to Costa Rica with my new Canon T4i (and my wife) and am looking for a way to easily geotag and transfer images to my iPhone. I’m thinking an Eye-fi card might be a good way to accomplish this without running up a huge cell phone bill. A couple questions, though:

    1) How long does a file transfer take in direct mode for a raw file (you’ve convinced me to try raw)?
    2) Approx. how many raw images will fit on a 8mb card?

    • Steve, I am headed to Costa Rica in January!! And last week I was thinking about the exact same topic – how will I geotag my photos while traveling. . . Great minds 🙂

      I am taking my 5D Mark 3 and I went ahead and spend the big bucks on the GPS dongle from Canon the GP-E2 It arrives tomorrow. Sadly that doesn’t help you, I really wish Canon would include some options for the Rebel series. The Eye-Fi card is not going to help here either – it will only geotag when it is in range of wifi and when using direct mode it is not smart enough to use the location of the iPhone- -this is something I would love to see them address in the future. I will time a raw file transfer tonight, I guess it is about 30 seconds, not terribly fast but not to slow either. This is going to impact your battery life on the camera and somewhat on the phone. When I use direct mode I use selective transfer and really only transfer those special photos. About 300 images can fit on an 8GB card.

      So that leaves us with other solutions – I think the best is to run an app on your phone that records your location, the good news is they don’t need cell data to work, you can turn it off Settings>General>Cellular>Cellular Data>Off and not worry about roaming fees. This will give you a file(s) that when you get home you can use a program on your computer to sync the images with the GPS track. Do you have a mac or pc? Do you use Lightroom? Let me know and I can provide some specifics.. actually I just found this guy – he has a great write-up of one of the possible apps I am still happy to chat more and I’d love to know where in CR you all are headed.

  3. Excellent info Toby, and cool that we’ll be following you to CR. There are four of us heading to Playa Flamingo in the Guanacaste region. I’m planning a time-lapse sunset or two during the week. Will also attempt to capture – photgraphically – a howler monkey and several iguanas. Can’t wait.

    I’m a PC guy and plan to get Lightroom 4 through your Amazon link once Santa come through with the T4i. I watched your geotagging video with great interest and took note of the GPS tracking app. I’ll read that app article in a minute.

    Again, I really have enjoyed your articles and videos. You’ve provided some great guidance for a guy that used to be (high school) heavily involved in B&W photography and darkroom work. Now excited about graduating from a digital point & shoot to DSLR. I’m thinking that Lightroom might bring back some of the thrill of seeing my photos come to life in the developer tray. Steve

    • Steve, We are headed to the Limon area for a few days and over the border for a quick visit to Bocas Del Toro in Panama – I am very excited and hope to capture some wildlife too. I asked about Lightroom because it will read GPX files and nicely plot your photos if the times all match up. Don’t forget to change your camera time, though you can make the correction later too. So you don’t need anything other than an app that will great the GPX file on the phone. I appreciate your kind words. I am having a blast and glad folks can benefit. –T

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