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Photography

Eyefi shoots for pros with new Wi-Fi SD card, but it's not without cons

The 32GB Mobi Pro SDHC card adds some key wireless features that photography professionals and enthusiasts will want, though its specs are less impressive.

Joshua Goldman/CNET

Eyefi's Mobi Wi-Fi enabled SD cards wirelessly send photos and videos taken with just about any camera (as long as it uses SD cards for storage, of course) straight to a smartphone, tablet or computer.

The Mobi card's set up and use is nearly effortless too, something camera manufacturers have yet to master, which is consequently why there's still a market for Eyefi's cards. That simplicity is now coming to a card targeted at photo enthusiasts and professionals in the 32GB Mobi Pro.

So what makes the Mobi Pro more pro than the original Mobi card? For starters, you can transfer JPEGs as well as raw format pictures from your camera. That means you can shoot smaller JPEGs to share online or quickly display on a phone or tablet, but you can also send raw files to a computer for processing.

Second, you can pick and choose which shots get transferred to your mobile device or computer. With the standard Mobi card, once you're connected to a device or computer, it transfers every single shot you take automatically. The Mobi Pro card, however, can be set up so you can individually select images to transfer on the camera using its lock or protect button.

Joshua Goldman/CNET

Lastly, you can use Eyefi's desktop software to give the card access to a home or studio wireless network. When transferring directly to a phone, tablet or computer, the card automatically takes over your device's Wi-Fi connection, sends the images over and then drops the connection. By adding a wireless network connection to the card, it can send pictures over the network to your computer without the computer losing its Internet connection.

Those are all great things to have, professional or not, but what's a bit disappointing are the card's specs, namely read/write speeds. The Pro card has a maximum write speed of only 23MB per second and a read speed of 13MB per second -- not great numbers for burst shooting raw or raw plus JPEG.

The card is also only available with a 32GB capacity, which is more of a rub when you consider the price of $100 (AU$113 in Australia and £58 for UK buyers). In comparison, a 64GB PNY Elite Performance card with speeds up to 90MB per second can be picked up for $35 on Amazon. Eyefi's price is somewhat mitigated by the inclusion of a year of its unlimited Eyefi Cloud storage service, though.

Since the service, working in concert with Eyefi's apps, stores and syncs photos automatically ( among other things) there's less need to have larger storage capacities. However, after the year is up, you'll have to fork over $50 yearly (£35, AU$50) to keep the unlimited storage.

Despite those shortcomings, if you need an easy to way to wirelessly send photos and videos to a computer or mobile device on the fly, the Eyefi Mobi Pro experience is currently one of the best and most affordable options out there.