I was at the Virtual Futures conference over this last weekend and decided to take a camera and, purely for fun, try photographing the event. This process brought together a number of pieces of technology besides the camera itself, and when I sat down afterwards and thought about it I was amazed at how far photography has come since I was last seriously interested in it 10 years or so ago, when my camera still used film. This is best demonstrated by one particular photograph from the weekend…

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Eye-Fi Connect X2A little while ago I got an Eye-Fi card. My first impressions of it are here. The more I used it, the more useful I’ve found it. One thing I’ve found really useful is the ability to take photos on a real camera, edit them in various simple ways on my iPod Touch, and then post them online – Facebook, Twitter, etc. To do that, though I need a MiFi. The photos go from the camera up to Google’s Picasa (in my case, but could be one of many similar services) via the MiFi. I then download them from Picasa onto my iPod, tweak as necessary and post. The ability to do this out in the field, without the need for a “proper” computer, is more useful than I expected. The iPod, and moreso an iPad if only I had one, is a pretty handy photo editing device when fed with decent resolution images. The only downside is the need for the MiFi. Mobile broadband isn’t always hugely fast, and sending high resolution images through it several times eats up my monthly data allowance pretty quickly. But things have just changed…

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Follow-up to Playing with an Eye–Fi card from Steve’s blog

Yesterday, I thought I understood the Eye-Fi architecture. The Eye-Fi card connects to your PC if it can, and transfers images to the Eye-Fi Center software running there, and from there images go the various online sharing services you’ve configured. If it can’t connect to your PC, the images stay on the camera until it can. And if you want to operate without a laptop, Eye-Fi have a hotspot service you can buy (£25/year) that allows that.

At least, that’s what I thought yesterday. A little experimentation last night and this morning has disproved all that, though. I configured my Eye-Fi to connect to my MiFi, and discovered that with my PC off images still end up in Picasa and in Eye-Fi’s own online storage system, and are eventually delivered to the PC when it is turned on. But that’s what I thought the hotspot service was.

The more expensive cards come with a year’s hotspot service bundled. Mine isn’t one of those. Perhaps it has it by mistake? If any other Eye-Fi users have any idea what’s going on, do please let me know! In the meantime, I’ll continue enjoying functionality I didn’t realise was there…

Writing about web page http://www.eye.fi

I was a keen photographer many years ago, but when kids came along I didn’t have time to keep up with it as a serious hobby. Consequently my recent photography kit has been from the, er, consumer end of the spectrum. Recently, though, my eldest has developed an apparently quite serious interest in photography and we have, between us, invested in a digital SLR – a Sony Alpha A500.

Alongside this, I’ve been researching lots of peripheral kit (any excuse to play with gadgets:-) and one thing that caught my eye was the Eye-Fi card. This is an SD memory card with WiFi built-in, which essentially adds WiFi capabilities to almost any digital camera. After a little bit of research and conversations with a few people that have one, I’ve finally taken the plunge and bought one. There’s a range of cards that provide different capabilities. I bought the most basic one – the 4GB Connect X2.

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