Last week Toshiba announced “FlashAir” SD card with built-in LAN functionality, and today SanDisk is launching a counterattack. Rather than develop its own wireless cards, the company is partnering with Eye-Fi to sell co-branded wireless SD cards to European customers. The cards, which allow photos to be transfered to a computer over Wi-Fi, will be available in 4GB and 8GB sizes, and are basically Eye-Fi cards with a SanDisk logo slapped onto them. No word on price or release date as of yet.
It looks like wireless memory cards are going to be one of the next big things in digital photography as more and more big players are hopping onto the bandwagon.
Here’s some good news for people who find memory card readers and data cables a hassle — Toshiba has unveiled a new “FlashAir” SDHC memory card with built-in wireless LAN functionality. It’s similar to Eye-Fi‘s offerings, but Toshiba’s cards will offer something that Eye-Fi’s don’t: two-way transfer. This means they can not only send photos wirelessly, but receive photos as well — perfect for quickly exchanging photos on the go with a friend’s camera! You’ll be able to purchase the cards starting in February 2012.
The Israeli army has a tactical intelligence device called the “Firefly” — a wireless camera that’s launched out of a grenade launcher, capturing eight seconds worth of imagery as it floats on a parachute from 500 feet in the air. It’s military grade technology that isn’t available to private citizens, but two hackers are trying to create a DIY version of the device for $500. Vlad Gostom and Joshua Marpet built their version of out of a 37mm flare gun, and showed it off this week at DefCon. They hope that, if perfected, the device could one day be useful for people ranging from law enforcement officers to search-and-rescue teams.
Apple is looking to make an even bigger splash in the camera market with the photography-related features they’ve included in the upcoming iOS 5, with one of the huge ones being cloud connectivity. iPhones running iOS 5 will be connected to iCloud, Apple’s online backup solution, and every photograph captured will be automatically and wirelessly copied to the cloud and into the user’s “Photo Stream”. The photos can then be accessed from other computers and devices, and are deleted after 30 days unless moved to a permanent folder. Read more…
Eye-Fi announced their new Mobile X2 memory card today, which allows you to instantly transfer photos taken with your camera to mobile devices running iOS or Android. With the card in your camera and their special app on your device, a direct Wi-Fi connection will be established allowing you to shoot straight to your device. The 8GB card will be available later this week for $80.
iPhone photography continues to grow in popularity, but transferring photographs to your computer can be a hassle. If you’re sick of having to plug in your device via USB every time you want to sync your photos, you might want to take a look at Cinq, a free app that allows you to wireless transfer full-resolution photographs to your computer as you take them. You simply download the app to both your computer and your phone, and photos taken through the app will automatically be sent to a folder on your computer. The free version is ad-supported, while there’s an ad-free $2 version.
You’ve probably heard of EVIL cameras already, but how about WVIL? The Wireless Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens is a concept camera design by Seattle-based design firm Artefactgroup. What’s novel about the design is that the imaging sensor is situated in the back of the lens rather than in the camera body, allowing the lens to be detached and used apart from the body wirelessly. Read more…
If you shoot often, then you probably go through the hassles of sticking your memory card in a card reader and battery in a battery charger often as well. While these tasks don’t take much time in themselves, doing them day after day can cause them to become quite tedious. Canon’s Cross Media Station is designed to make these things a breeze, allowing you to do both by simply placing your camera (or two, or three) on the device, which looks like a slick scanner. Read more…
Yesterday, Canon announced a rather strange and unexciting Canon 7D “upgrade.” It’s not exactly an upgrade either — all of the camera specs for the new Canon 7D Studio Version are unchanged. For $1829 for the body only ($130 more than the current 7D), photographers can have several “locked levels” of the camera. Pay even more and you get a barcode scanning kit and a wireless transfer unit, the WFT-E5A.
So essentially, an extra $900 on top of the regular 7D price lets you have the camera equivalent of parental controls, plus barcode scanning that embeds information into the EXIF data in photos.
Sure, there’s a (somewhat niche) practical application for these features. The locked levels can allow for quick settings that can’t be changed without a password — perfect for head photographers to who send mindless drones out to shoot or have little faith in their assistants. Read more…
Toshiba is gearing up to take on Eye-Fi, the memory card that allows you to throw out your card reader and transfer photos wirelessly. They’ve teamed up with Trek 2000, a Singapore-based flash corp., to form the “Standard Promotion Forum for Memory Cards Embedding Wireless LAN” in an effort to standardize the technology behind wireless SD cards. Toshiba is pushing a new 8GB SD card that transfers JPEG and RAW files over IEEE 802.11 b/g, entering a market previously dominated by Eye-Fi.
This is great news for consumers, since increased competition in this space will likely help drive prices down. An 8GB Eye-Fi SD card currently costs about $100.