What's a good wireless solution for uploading photos from a DSLR on the fly?
May 22, 2012 3:15 PM   Subscribe

I've got a Canon 5D, an iPhone, and an iPad. What's a good on-the-go solution for uploading photos while bike touring?

I want to do a week-long bike tour in the future, riding about 4-6hrs per day. I suspect I'll be taking a decent enough photo worth sharing about once every 20-30 minutes. Ideally, I'd like to have to pack/unpack as few things as possible. I'd love if I could just grab my Canon 5Dmk3 from a handlebar bag, take a shot, then grab my iPhone to give the photo a name and send it on its way. On spotty 3G, the final photo might take 20min to upload but that's fine as I'm on a tour. I want to post from the road, not wait until I stop each night to download/upload.

I don't know what combination of hardware/software would make this painless and easy. I could put an Eye-Fi card in the Canon. It could connect to the iPad's wifi hotspot and share the 3G/LTE connection. I would be willing to buy any iOS app necessary if there was one that could talk to the camera. I don't really want to use dongles, USB, or wires to do this.

Is it possible to do this on the fly, on the road, and wirelessly as possible?
posted by mathowie to Technology (9 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I think the Eyefi is the way to go and it will connect directly to the iPad or iPhone without any tethering necessary. Once it grabs the photos from the camera you can edit and upload from the iOS device.
posted by genial at 3:35 PM on May 22, 2012

This SD card reader. Don't bother with the USB reader doohickey. Just get the SD card reader. I know it is a dongle, but it is slick. Slide in your SD card, put the dongle in the Ipad, and voila, instant photo upload is yours. I used this all the way through China.
posted by bearwife at 3:40 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Is there any way to talk to the Eye-Fi card through iOS? I'd love to be able to properly title it when it first gets uploaded instead of uploading later.
posted by mathowie at 3:42 PM on May 22, 2012

I used the Apple card reader. Purchased a Dropbox size upgrade for 1 month, uploaded photos from iPad to Dropbox (slow even on WiFi), and rested confident that my photos were backed up in the cloud.
posted by matildaben at 3:44 PM on May 22, 2012

Response by poster: For some reason in all my searches, I didn't know that Eye-Fi released an app a few months ago that lets you send photos to your iOS. I think this will work exactly like I needed if I can get it to work on the road.
posted by mathowie at 3:47 PM on May 22, 2012

uploaded photos from iPad to Dropbox

If you're going to do this, make sure you check your upload quality settings otherwise Dropbox will helpfully mangle your photographs for you.

Are you shooting RAW or JPG? RAW could take a while to upload...
posted by entropicamericana at 3:58 PM on May 22, 2012

Response by poster: Looks like the Eye-Fi app plus an Eye-Fi card will make this work exactly as I want, sending the photo to my phone to upload (slowly) with my own description. I didn't know their pro cards do GPS too, which would be nice to have on a tour. I just ordered a new pro card and hope this will work, thanks all!
posted by mathowie at 4:15 PM on May 22, 2012

Consider for the purposes of the trip replacing one of the iOS devices with a full OS device. Your Air would do what you want to do with OS X and a 3G/4G hotspot. Or pick up an inexpensive Windows or Linux netbook, perhaps with an internal WiMax or LTG data card.

You'll have a lot more control over and connectivity with the EyeFi card and be able to automate the tagging and uploading.

Also, isn't there a "Pro" EyeFi version that will automatically target a remote server or service with your images as long as it has a WiFi route to the internet? If the iPad can act as a transparent mobile hotspot that could be an option, but I don't know how well that plays with iOS.
posted by loquacious at 4:20 PM on May 22, 2012

Just as a note: the EyeFi Pro is only doing GeoTagging through WiFi triangulation, not an actual GPS chipset. So no wifi, no geotagging. I don't know if you can use an iOS devices GPS to tag the photos as they come in before it uploads it.

I used to carry a GPS data logger like this, which records GPS coordinates to a text file which you can just then import into the exif data for the photos after the fact. It won't help with your on the the go photography needs, but would let you create a nifty geotagged map afterwards.
posted by mrzarquon at 4:32 PM on May 22, 2012

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