My Mobile 4G DSLR Rig
by, 01-07-2012 at 04:52 PM (6696 Views)
For CES 2011 I had a problem. I couldn't upload photos from my D5000 without taking out the memory card, putting it into the laptop, finding a wi-fi connection that wasn't swamped, then uploading the pic(s) to Facebook or Twitter manually. That was such a pain I didn't even do it. I posted photos after I got back to the hotel room.
For CES 2012, I wanted something a bit more mobile. With the help of a Verizon 4G phone and a Pro Eye-Fi card I found a solution. The Eye-fi card can wirelessly transfer photos from the camera (D7000 + 17-55mm lens rented from BorrowLenses) to a phone without a separate wi-fi connection. Via "direct mode" the phone connects to the camera via a wi-fi network (the Eye-fi card is like a little router). Once the photo is on the phone I can transfer to Facebook and Twitter at the same time. I set it up so a photo e-mailed to a Facebook page then in turn publishes to Twitter (via syncing the page to Twitter from Facebook). With this I can also automatically upload photos to a Flickr or Picasa account.
It sounds complicated but it's actually not that bad. Here's the flow:
Here's how things are set
- D7000 takes picture (you can set it to only upload some pics by using the lock feature)
- Phone connects to Eye-fi card, sees there's a new pic to transfer, transferrs it to the phone
- From phone pic is transferred to whatever service I want via 4G data connection
- Normal sd card in slot 1 + Eye-Fi card in slot 2
- Under the shooting menu: Image quality is set to RAW + JPEG normal (note that the Pro Eye-fi card can transfer RAW files, but it takes a bit longer to transfer - in my case I don't need to upload RAW files to FB or Twitter anyway. If I really need a high resolution version of the pic, it's on the other card as RAW)
- Role played by card in slot 2 = RAW Slot 1 - JPEG Slot 2
- Eye-fi card enabled via setup menu "Eye-fi upload" (it will be enabled by default)
- When you lock a photo (on card 2) it will be uploaded to the phone
- Installed and setup Eye-fi Android software
- Facebook page mobile publish e-mails saved as contacts (since Android Facebook app currently does not let you publish as a page to a page)
- E-mail address setup
- Connected to Eye-Fi card via phones wi-fi connection for direct mode transfer. The password for the Eye-fi connection is available in the Eye-Fi Center software.
- Unlimited or mid to high GB data plan (especially if you choose to upload RAW files or video)
- Note: the phone will connect to the Eye-fi card via the phone's wi-fi to transfer photos - when this happens you can't use the 4g connection (at least in my case) until the transfer is complete
Eye-Fi Center settings
- No private networks are set - if they are and one is available I believe this will defeat the purpose of direct connect (the card connects to a wi-fi network to do transfers instead of the phone connecting to the Eye-Fi)
- Nothing is set to automatically send to computer - if it is then photos will get sent to the computer instead of the phone. There is also an option to send to the computer from the phone, but that seems redundant.
- Geotagging is off - I found things transfer a little faster with it off
- Under Transfer Mode, Selective Transfer, Selective Transfer is used - when the lock button on the D7000 is pressed, the phone is sent to the phone
Facebook is set so things published to the page are simultaneously published to corresponding Twitter account. I did this because regardless of what Twitter pic publishing service you use, the photo still shows up on Twitter. The opposite does not happen if you connect Twitter -> Facebook. The pic would just be linked to on the Facebook page, not published to the wall.
A note on video: You can also transfer video using the Eye-Fi card, however to do this with the D7000 you need set video to record to the Eye-Fi card. I could do this if I really wanted to, but a minute video file is about 140mb on the 1920x1080 (24fps) HD setting, and the Eye-Fi card is only 8gb. There is an option for "Endless Memory" that automatically frees up space on the Eye-Fi card when it starts to get full (under Eye-Fi Center application, Transfer modes, Endless Memory).
There are several ways to configure the Eye-fi card. For example, I could set it up so it only sends to a laptop. If I have two devices, like a phone and a tablet (iPad), I can change which one the card sends it to. If you have a tablet this would be a great way to preview images taken wirelessly. Eye-Fi has Android and iOS applications available.
Note that you can do exactly what I did with the Eye-Fi Mobile card as well. The Pro card just ads that ability to transfer RAW files and adds geotagging. The mobile card is about $5 cheaper.
For my purposes this is going to work great. I look forward to wirelessly publishing great photos from the show floor!
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