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05-04-2011, 08:04 PM - 2 Likes   #1
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645D, eye-fi & iPad - landscape shooting

For anyone else interested in using their iPad to receive near-realtime images from their 645d (or any camera with 2 SD cards), I thought I'd share my experience.

I'm new to my 645D. My most often used style of shooting is wide angle landscape, long exposure with filters, and striving for critically sharp focus throughout the frame.

Coming from the D3x, I was comfortable using Liveview and the 24mm PC-E Tilt Shift to confirm I had sharp focus prior to taking the shot.

My copy of the 35mm f/3.5 manual lens is capable of terrific sharpness, but there is a noticeable difference in edge to edge sharpness with the slightest change in focus. My target focus setting isn't the hyperfocal length indicated on the lens, but a marked spot that I've settled on after much testing.

While I'm not able to check critical sharpness prior to shooting, I went for the next best thing, checking immediately after the shot on my iPad.

I purchased the eye-fi card and set it up for direct mode. This basically makes the eye-fi card a wifi network broadcaster, which the ipad can connect to. This works in the field, with no other wifi networks, and no need for a portable wifi router.

I have a 32GB SD card in slot 1, set to RAW
I have the eye-fi SD card in slot 2, set to small JPG

There is now a free ipad app for eye-fi, but I went ahead an purchased shuttersnitch as the app to manage the connection and receive the photos.

It takes about 10 seconds for the jpg image to show up in shuttersnitch on the iPad. I can double-tap on any area of the image, and zoom to 100% in the image. My 1st gen iPad takes a second or 2 to render the details when zooming to 100%, but it's totally workable for me.

For my intended use, this is a great solution. After setting up on the tripod and establishing my composition, I can take a test shot, and use the iPad to ensure I have the sharpness I'm looking for. Once I tweak the focus to get where I want, I can shoot away, knowing what I'll be working with back home in processing.

For the use case of a slow, deliberate landscape shoot, with manual focus, I find this to be a nice compliment to the 645D.

Hope this is helpful to anyone else contemplating similar ideas.

05-04-2011, 08:45 PM   #2
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Thanks for the tip; that's a great way to use the second card slot!
05-09-2011, 08:22 AM   #3
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Yes, this is quite useful and helpful. Thanks for posting and providing this solution.

05-16-2011, 08:58 AM   #4
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Which version of the eye-fi did you use? In reading the specs it looks like you would have to use the Pro version to have it act as a hotspot.

05-16-2011, 08:02 PM   #5
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I happened to buy the Pro before I realized they upgraded all their cards to have direct mode. It's direct mode that let's it act as a hot spot, which according to this chart, all of the cards they sell now have it.

Eye-Fi wireless memory card comparison chart | Eye-Fi

"On-The-Go Uploads with Hotspot Access" is to access eye-fi's servers via commercial hotspots.
05-17-2011, 05:41 AM   #6
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05-17-2011, 07:03 PM   #7
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and the Pro version which can transfer RAW is probably a waste of money. RAW takes far too long to be useful. Just transfer 6MP JPEG....
05-21-2011, 03:30 PM   #8
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I used a Mobile X2 card in the second slot during a trip to Europe. I found the EyeFi card software setup extremely frustrating and discovered (after I left) that you really need Shuttersnitch if you want to visualize incoming images painlessly. After three weeks of use in the field, here are some thoughts: Evaluating incoming images on the iPad in bright daylight (i.e. under the Tuscan sun) is practically impossible. The only time I found the process useful was at dusk, but then the amount of time it takes to view an image is too long when light is changing rapidly. My goal was strictly to check depth-of-field, but it was far more efficient to shoot several shots with micro adjustments and/or to review focus in-camera after the fact. I was initially worried about DoF, but I found out that shooting the 35mm A at f/13 was easy and nailed sharp focus almost every time. Another negative consideration was that using the iPad and the 645D in a crowded location drew way too much attention, which I found distracting, and I rarely had the opportunity to keep the Pad close at hand and away from potential grab and run thieves. In the end I think this is not a practical solution in the field, unless you have plenty of time, a shady sky, and you have the place to yourself. My advice to landscape photographers is to put your money in additional large capacity cards instead.


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