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How to wirelessly transfer photos from your DSLR to your smartphone

How to wirelessly transfer photos from your DSLR to your smartphone

You have a great digital camera. You have all your social media apps on your phone. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could take a great photo with your DSLR and upload it directly to your phone to post on Facebook or Instagram? With a cheap upgrade, any camera can become a Wi-Fi enabled camera.

One of the most convenient features you’ll find on new digital cameras is built-in Wi-Fi connectivity that lets you transfer files to a computer on your local network or to a nearby smartphone over a Wi-Fi network. Ad hoc . If you have an older camera (or a newer one that just doesn’t come with this feature), don’t worry, you’re not in the cold. A Wi-Fi SD card can add Wi-Fi connectivity to any camera you own, as long as it has an SD card slot.

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UPDATE: Keenai, the company behind the Eye-Fi product we recommend in this article, announced on September 4, 2018 that it would be shutting down. Eye-Fi cards should continue to work in standalone mode (meaning no cloud sync) as long as apps are available in the App Store. There will be no future updates for your apps. The Keenai service used to store your data in the cloud will be closed on November 30, 2018. After December 1, 2018, you will no longer be able to access your data. by Keenai website has instructions on how to retrieve your data from the service.

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We discuss this in detail in our tutorial on wirelessly transferring photos to your local computer from your camera, and many of the same things apply here. Rather than repeat our selection process, we’ll just say we recommend the Eye-Fi Mobi Pro ($50). You can refer to our previous article if you want more information about the different Wi-Fi SD cards and how they work.

Setting up Mobi Pro with your phone

Take your mobile device and download the appropriate software by following one of these links for ios, Android, Where Phone windows, or search for it in your device’s app store under “Keenai”. Why Kenai? The Eye-Fi company was bought a few years ago, and as a result the name of the software (but not the card itself) was changed.

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Run the app, then enter the registration code from the physical card that came with the Eye-Fi package. Once you have entered it, click on “Install Profile”. (The “Install Profile” will only appear for iOS users, anyone can continue to the next step.)

Click “Install” on the profile page that appears. If it asks for a password, enter the password you use to unlock your device to confirm that you want to install the profile.

You will return to the Keenai app, where it will ask you to insert the Eye-Fi card into your camera and turn it on. Do it now. Take a few photos to turn on the card and activate the Wi-Fi radio. Then open the Wi-Fi settings on your phone or tablet. There, look for a new Wi-Fi network whose name starts with “Eye-Fi”. Select it. You should not be prompted for a password, but if you do, the password will still be the card registration code that came with your Eye-Fi card.

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Now that you’ve established a direct connection between your camera’s Eye-Fi card and your mobile device, transferring photos is as easy as taking the photos while connected to the card and then viewing the app. Keenai.

In the screenshot above, you can see the three photos we took after completing the installation process: a photo of our dog and two photos of the iPhone accepting the transfer of the first photo. We are in business! Now we have wireless transfer on the go, so we never have to stop and transfer our photos to our laptop just to post them on social media.

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Activation of selective transfer

We strongly recommend that you enable selective forwarding. Without it, your Eye-Fi card will simply take a backseat, trying to transfer as many photos as possible from your camera to your mobile device. If the point of using the card is to do just that (upload each photo so you can, say, back it up with Google Photos or iCloud), that’s fine, but it’s time-consuming and drains your camera’s battery.

Most people don’t want to transfer all the photos, especially if they only took dozens of photos using burst mode. Instead, it’s more convenient to just upload the individual photos you want to edit and share. Eye-Fi includes a neat way to handle this selective transfer that works across different camera platforms. Once enabled, any time you “protect” a photo from being deleted on your SD card, the Eye-Fi software on the card itself will notice that the protect flag has been set and start the transfer. Although the protection process varies from camera to camera, most cameras have some type of clearly labeled button or combination of buttons that activate it, as shown below.

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Unfortunately (and we see this as a huge oversight on the part of the Eye-Fi company), you can’t enable Eye-Fi Mobi Pro’s selective download feature using the mobile app; you must use the desktop app. However, on the plus side, it’s trivial to change the settings.

To do this, download the Eye-Fi card management software. Like the mobile software, the desktop software is also marked “Keenai”. Install the software and run it. It will launch an introductory wizard intended to guide you both to sign in to Keenai’s cloud photo storage and to link the Eye-Fi card to the software so you can change settings. If you want, you can go through the entire setup wizard (the biggest benefit is activating the free trial of online photo storage that comes with the Eye-Fi card), but the easiest way to enable selective backup is to simply undo all steps of the wizard, insert your SD card into an SD card reader connected to the computer, then right click on the Keenai software on the status bar of your PC system. There, select “Options”.

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In the resulting options menu, look for the “Activate” button in the bottom corner. Click on it.

Since your Eye-Fi card is currently mounted on your PC via the card reader, it will read the activation number directly from the SD card.

Check that the code in the slot matches the card that came with your Eye-Fi, then click “Next”. At this point, you can close the wizard. You’ll want it to go through the process of setting up the card for use in a wireless camera-to-computer workflow, but we’re not interested in that – all we wanted was to get the card into the Keenai software so we can toggle some settings .


After closing the wizard, reopen the “Options” menu. You will see your Eye-Fi card listed. Click the arrow under the “Advanced” column, then turn on the toggle for “Selective Transfer.” (You can also enable “Wireless RAW Transfer” if you wish and use RAW file transfer in your mobile workflow.) Do not change any other advanced settings. Click “Save” at the bottom of the Settings window.

Eject the card from your computer and put it back in your camera. Now, whenever you take photos and want to send some of your photos to your mobile device, you can do so by simply marking them as mentioned above with your camera’s image ‘protect’ feature. Only the marked images will be transferred to your device.

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With a little time and money up front, you can easily turn your “dumb” camera into a smart camera and enjoy all the convenience of on-the-go computing (like easy uploads to social media). Directly from your phone) with the superior photos that only a dedicated camera can provide.