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Nikon D800/E and Eye-Fi Cards, INCOMPATIBILITY WARNING!

DigitalDarrell

Knoxville, US
5987 posts

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DigitalDarrell Team Member Founding Member of the Nikonians writer Guild. Author of most of the NikoniansPress books. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Charter Member
Thu 18-Oct-12 06:49 PM | edited Fri 19-Oct-12 02:28 AM by DigitalDarrell

Eye-fi upload for Eye-Fi X2 Pro cards does not work properly in Ad hoc or Direct mode in the Nikon D800/E cameras, due to the design of the SD port (more metal in the camera’s body, blocks the signal). I was able to establish ad hoc (Direct) contact with my laptop computer using an 8 GB Eye-Fi X2 Pro card when I was testing for my book; however, I was only a few feet away. The problem is simply that the D800/E camera has such a strong metal body that the Wi-Fi signal from an Eye-Fi card cannot make it out of the camera very well, seriously reducing the card’s signal range.

This has also been a reported problem in the older M-series Leica DSLR cameras because of their metal bodies, so much so that Leica has included a glass plate, in their brand new M series line, over the SD card slot, to allow Eye-Fi signal to escape.

Eye-Fi posted the following information on their website:

http://support.eye.fi/cameras/nikon/d800_/_d800e

“Eye-Fi engineering has found and confirmed a compatibility issue with the Eye-Fi card that impacts the use of Direct Mode in the Nikon D800. We are currently investigating an issue with the D800's SD slot that appears to contribute to a lack of steady signal while the Eye-Fi card is in Direct Mode which makes the Direct Mode feature incompatible with the camera. The Nikon D800/D800e passes all other wireless network tests and is compatible with wireless transfers via a wireless router.”

I called and spoke to Eye-Fi about this issue. A senior technician was pulled into the conversation. Even though their paragraph above states that the card is compatible with normal (non-direct, non-ad hoc) Wi-Fi image transfer with a Wi-Fi router in the middle, the senior tech said the company does not list the Nikon D800/E as compatible (in any way) with “any known” Eye-Fi cards.

This is a troubling situation, for the simple reason that Nikon has included Eye-Fi support in the camera for a device that has insufficient signal strength to be used at any useful range with the D800/E. The technician stated that you may or may not be able to use an Eye-Fi card to communicate with your tablet, smart phone, or computer. It varies according to the signal strength of your Wi-Fi router (for internet transfer), and the send/receive signal strength of your tablet, phone, or computer (for Direct or Ad hoc transfer). Because of the inconsistency, they now list the card as incompatible.

I have included this information in the errata document for my book, which can be downloaded, but wanted to post it for the benefit of those who are considering purchasing an Eye-Fi card to use with their D800/D800E cameras. Even though Nikon has given the camera Eye-Fi support, it may or may not work well, or at all, for you!

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Darrell Young (DigitalDarrell) www.pictureandpen.com
"Better too many words than not enough understanding."
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km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
3559 posts

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#1. "RE: Nikon D800/E and Eye-Fi Cards, INCOMPATIBILITY WARNING!" | In response to Reply # 0

km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009
Fri 19-Oct-12 06:43 AM | edited Fri 19-Oct-12 06:44 AM by km6xz

If I had one I would try an experiment of cutting an odd multiple of 3.12cm(1/4 wavelength at 2.4Ghz) length of metalized tape and attaching it to the back of the Eye-Fi card with an adhesive before inserting it. Trim the width of the tape to about 1/8th the length or narrower. Then let the metalized tape hang out slightly from the card compartment by some small amount when the door is closed. A reasonable total length would be the 3/4 wavelength of 2.4ghz or 9.37cm long. That should act as an antenna and couple signal to the card's antenna. I've done this before in other low Ghz telemetry sensors and was able to get workable distance improvements.
The metalized take can be regular adhesive tape with a metallic coating, in my case I used decorative ribbon for gift wrapping that has a platting of aluminium on Mylar. Flexible, no-cost, and worked great.
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

DigitalDarrell

Knoxville, US
5987 posts

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#2. "RE: Nikon D800/E and Eye-Fi Cards, INCOMPATIBILITY WARNING!" | In response to Reply # 1

DigitalDarrell Team Member Founding Member of the Nikonians writer Guild. Author of most of the NikoniansPress books. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Charter Member
Fri 19-Oct-12 10:23 AM

Stan,

Oddly enough, I suggested something similar to Eye-Fi when I was talking to their engineer yesterday. They could include a sleeve or attachment for the SD card that would, as you posited, extend the card's range.

I may well experiment with your excellent suggestion. I already own an 8 GB Eye-Fi X2 Pro card and would love to use it for image transfer to my laptop computer at certain events. It would be cheaper than a Nikon WT-4 Wireless Transmitter by an order of magnitude.

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Darrell Young (DigitalDarrell) www.pictureandpen.com
"Better too many words than not enough understanding."
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flashdeadline

Havelock, US
4109 posts

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#3. "RE: Nikon D800/E and Eye-Fi Cards, INCOMPATIBILITY WARNING!" | In response to Reply # 0

flashdeadline Administrator Expert professional photojournalist Awarded for his multiple contributions to the eZine, Newsletters and more Nikonian since 07th Apr 2002
Fri 19-Oct-12 11:48 AM

Almost afraid to ask because this could be a real dumb question-- but here goes:
If you google "SD car extension" a few small cable devices come up right away. These are basically a stretch of ribbon tape connected to a female SD card socket and a male SD card docking element.

I could visualize an item like that carefully wrapped along the side of a flash bracket. or on the legs of a tripod (near the camera with plenty of slack for mobility).

Cost seems to average less than $30 USD.

Anything flat out wrong with that approach? The only thing I can think of would be a safety sensor in the D800 that won't allow shooting with the card slot cover open. I checked the manual and see no such warning.

The WT-4 Wireless runs more than $700 USD and if you can afford the D800 you can probably afford it-- but I'm thinking of someone who rarely has the demand for wireless shooting and has already strained the budget with extra goodies for the D800.
---Tom

"Shoot everything f/16 at a 100 and let the lab boys worry about it."

"Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the camera."

DigitalDarrell

Knoxville, US
5987 posts

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#4. "RE: Nikon D800/E and Eye-Fi Cards, INCOMPATIBILITY WARNING!" | In response to Reply # 3

DigitalDarrell Team Member Founding Member of the Nikonians writer Guild. Author of most of the NikoniansPress books. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Charter Member
Fri 19-Oct-12 11:51 AM

Hmm, I didn't even know those existed. I think I'll buy one and test it in the field. Who knows, that may well be the cheap solution.

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Darrell Young (DigitalDarrell) www.pictureandpen.com
"Better too many words than not enough understanding."
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G