If you follow me on facebook or twitter, you’ve probably noticed that I post pictures via eye-fi (you’ve seen my eye-fi automatic updates every time pictures are posted). I bought one of these eye-fi cards last May, so I’ve had plenty of time to play/experiment. I thought I’d offer and actual review. In case you aren’t familiar with eye-fi, here’s a quick video that explains the basics.

So I bought this card for two reason.

  1. I love new tech and it look super cool.
  2. I loved the idea of not having to connect my camera to my computer anymore (I feel SO lazy typing that).

When I first got it and tried it out, I was impressed, but not totally sold. I wasn’t entirely sure it was worth $50 for it to just send photos to my computer. What I thought would be really cool is if you could actually access this card from you computer like a wireless storage device. Over the coming weeks I spent more time getting to know what the eye-fi card does and it seems like eye-fi kept updating the card with new features. It wasn’t long before I was in love, probably one of the coolest gadgets I got in 2009. What I loved the most was not how it just uploaded pictures to my computer, but how it also sent them to flickr and sent tweets with links to the pics (for all my twitter and facebook friends to see) as well as sending me twitter direct messages letting me know that all the pictures were uploaded. Genius.

It’s such a great device, I bought one for my dad for Christmas. My dad likes gadgets too, but I’ll admit, I bought him this card for selfish reasons. He takes a lot of pictures, but only seems to download them to his computer a few times a year. I think he uploads pictures to his facebook account once a year. I figured that he would (and me too) get a lot more enjoyment out of his pictures if getting them online was automated.

It also has features to work with your camera’s lock/protect features (just discovered this one… didn’t know that most cameras had this feature) so that you can only submit pictures you want to your social photo sharing websites that you approve. That way you don’t have to worry about accidentally taking a picture of something you don’t want the world to see and it getting online before you can stop it.

Have I sold you yet? Yes, it’s great for personal use, no doubt. But it also has some great ministry uses. Here are just a few ideas I’ve thought of.

  • Setup a facebook page for your ministry and set the eye-fi card to upload to that page. Take pictures at events or services (depending on your church’s photo policy). Facebook’s privacy policy won’t upload the pictures immediately (I think you can work around this if you want though). All you’ll have to do (or have someone else do) is log in to facebook and approve the pictures and they’ll automatically upload to a photo album on that page.
  • Your photos actually have an RSS feed. When taking kids off to a camp or retreat, use Feedburner to set up photo feeds for your parents. They can either use a reader like google reader to see photos after they’ve been uploaded or sign up to get daily emails with all the photos that have been uploaded that day.

My recommendations:

  • Right now you can get a free 4GB photo card when you sign up for 200GB of online storage with Picasa. 200GB for storage with Picasa costs $50 for a year. So you essentially get a year’s worth of online storage and the card for the price you would pay just for the card. Unless you have more than 50,000 photos to upload to Picasa, you don’t really need that much space though. Click here though if you’re interested in that deal.
  • Just buy a 2GB photo card for $50. It’s totally worth it. Get one here.
  • Get a 4GB video share card. It’s like $10 more and you can upload your videos too. See, I still have to plug my camera in from time to time and I’m highly considering ditching my photo card and getting the video card. Get that card here.

For a chart of all the eye-fi cards and their features, click here.

Oh, and I forgot to add. They’ve just develoed an iPhone app for eye-fi. You can send pictures you take on your iPhone to sync with your computer and post to the social sites you have synced with eye-fi. I’ve gotta download this one today. I guess this will turn my iPhone into an eyePhone, huh?