Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Transcend WiFi SD Review and Setup

Last week, I was browsing through Instagram and saw someone post about this. I've been hearing about Eye-Fi before but it was the first time I heard one from Transcend. Curious, I immediately checked out videos and searched the internet for more information about this product. After 5 minutes, I scanned through TipidPC and Sulit for this. After a few exchange of messages, I ordered one! Got it for P2,300 plus they agreed to meet me at the location of my choice!

This just proves that social media is really effective from promotion to checking reviews to decision making up to the last step which is purchasing! I met with the seller next day with my fingers crossed because usually, I get disappointed in a feature or two which didn't work like I hoped to. Not this time.

First Impression
The material used is similar to an ordinary SD card. At first glance, it does look exactly like any other SD cards, until you see the 'WiFi' symbol. So far, it only comes in 2 capacities -- 16GB and 32GB. You better check your devices' compatibility with this before you make any decision. [ ]

First thing you need to do is download the app:
WiFi SD app for iOS
WiFi SD app for Android 

After downloading the app, you can already open it but unless a WiFi SD is in range, it will look like this where the last 2 options won't be clickable.

Connecting to the WiFi SD
There are two ways to connect to the WiFi SD. One is via direct WiFi connection called 'Direct Share' and the other is via an internet connection called 'Internet Mode'.

With this setup, you'll see a WiFi network called 'NikonD90' in your WiFi list
In 'Direct Share', it's as simple as connecting directly to the WiFi SD. You can browse your files inside the SD card, do a shoot and view and access the settings. Thing is, in 'Direct Share', you are already utilizing your WiFi connection so, you won't have access to internet. You also can't do mobile data (3G, LTE etc) because once WiFi is activated, mobile data is automatically deactivated. Before you get discouraged, let me tell you that Transcend has solutions for both mobile data and WiFi internet connection problems which I will discuss later.

My WiFi SD and iPhone connected to the pocket WiFi
In 'Internet Mode', you won't be connecting directly to the WiFi SD. For example, I have my pocket WiFi with me. I will set the WiFi SD card to connect to the pocket WiFi AND I will connect my phone to the pocket WiFi itself. Doing so, you can enjoy all the features available in 'Direct Share' plus, have an internet connection.

By entering the SSID above, the WiFi SD automatically connects to the said SSID
But what if you are using internet via mobile data like 3G or LTE? You will use 'Internet Mode' as well. Here's a quick step-by-step procedure:
1) Insert WiFi SD card and power-on your camera
2) Select 'Internet Mode'
3) Turn on the personal WiFi hotspot feature of your Smartphone.

Make sure that your WiFi SD hotspot SSID is matching with your Smartphones SSID. Basically, what you are doing is switching your WiFI SD to 'Internet Mode' and connecting it to your phone's WiFi. This way, the SD is connected via tether to your smartphone (and not via WiFi) and you can still connect to your 3G or LTE mobile data.

I encountered one problem though and this might differ from camera to camera. But worry not, I also found a quick fix for it. The problem is whenever I'm not using the camera, the power saving feature of my Nikon D90 automatically sets it to standby mode and by doing so, it won't be supplying power to the SD card. With that happening, it would switch off the WiFi of the SD card and you'll be disconnected. Annoying, right?

Well, a quick fix I found was to fix the delay in my camera settings. Whenever I want to access the SD card or transfer some files to my phone from the camera, I set the preview delay to 10 minutes. When you are reviewing your photos in the camera, the delay is now 10 minutes which means that the camera will continuously supply power to the WiFi SD. You can also delay the 'menu display' for 10 minutes which does the same thing. An option taught by Transcend is to put the camera into 'live view'. I do not recommend that because when you do 'live view', your battery drains faster, your camera heats up really bad and you are risking of damaging your camera's sensors and other parts.

In other cameras as I've read, their problem is that the camera won't go into power saving mode. By doing so, their camera battery drains. Transcend has a built-in solution for that by accessing the power saving mode in the app's settings.

Using the WiFi SD App
After successfully connecting either via 'Direct Share' mode or 'Internet mode' as discussed above, open the app and click 'Re-scan'. When successful, it will ask for a username and password. Default would be username 'admin' and password 'admin'.

If access is granted, main screen would look like this where the last two buttons are now clickable.

WiFi SD App features
'Shoot and View'
Once you snap a photo on your SLR, it will be automatically sent to your phone via the WiFi SD app. You have the option to just look at it or save it.

You can browse your files inside the WiFi SD. Save photos, review shots and even share it to a social media site. See actual screen captures below.

List of files inside the SD card
Photo takes a bit to load depending on the size of the file
The photo when loading finished
You can save it to your camera roll or in the WiFi SD app folder
..or share it via one of these options.
Other WiFi SD App features
Available options inside the WiFi SD App
Since the default username and password is 'admin', you can change it here.
You can also check some basic information about your WiFi SD app and the WiFi SD itself
Also included in the package is a WiFi SD card reader
Overall, I am very happy with this device and the app is well developed. It has proven to be very useful in a recent photowalk I joined. I will continue using this and hope that it won't stop working within just a few months or years. I will let you know in this post if that happens.

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cheftonio said...

For the user manual, check out: