Pentax FluCard O-FC1 Review
The FluCard offers two main modes of operation: Remote Capture and Image View. This page serves as a FluCard Remote Capture (tethering) set-up guide for the Pentax K-3, since no other cameras are fully compatible with the card as of the writing of this review. With each step we include troubleshooting tips which you may find helpful if you run into trouble.
The Image View (file browsing) mode can be used with any camera. To connect the FluCard to an older Pentax body, follow steps 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6, and ensure that the card's Wi-Fi features are not disabled.
First, insert the FluCard into the SD2 slot of the K-3. Its wireless features will not be activated if it is placed in SD1.
Note: on future cameras that might only have a single SD slot, the camera's firmware will allow the FluCard to run through that slot. On unsupported cameras, any SD slot should work for Image View mode.
The FluCard goes in the second SD slot on the K-3
Power the camera on. You should hear a single beep followed by a series of beeps from the FluCard. Wait until the beeps stop then proceed to the next step.
Once the card is initialized, a greyed-out wireless symbol will appear on the camera's live view screen, as shown below. While the card is initializing, this icon will flash. Whenever a device is connected to the card, the icon will turn white.
FluCard initialized but not yet connected to a client
Note: if "memory card error" is displayed on the LCD screen after inserting the FluCard in the SD2 slot, remove the FluCard, insert it into the SD1 slot, format it via the 4th of the setup menu, then go back to step 1.
Note: if the card does not emit a series of beeps following the first beep, try power cycling the camera. If this does not help, check to make sure that the card is in the correct slot and that it isn't disabled via the menu.
Go the 3rd tab of the setup menu and ensure that the FluCard is enabled ("Action Mode" -> FLU On).
FluCard setting menu on the K-3 (5th reset option covered by tooltip)
Note: this menu also allows you to check what the SSID (wireless network name) of the FluCard is via the "Communication Info" option. In the future, firmware update can be installed via the "Firmware Info/Options" menu. There is also a setting that allows you to bypass the JPEG size setting selected in the camera, and a setting to reset the FluCard.
Now it's time to set up the device which you will use to connect to your camera. Any Wi-Fi enabled smartphone, tablet, or PC with a modern web browser will work.
Select the wireless network corresponding to the FluCard
First, go to the list of wireless networks on your device and select "FLUCARD_for_PENTAX". Once you select the network, you will be asked for a password; enter "12345678", which is the default password. Check to make sure the connection was successful, then proceed to the next step.
The reason that this step is necessary is that the FluCard creates a short-range network and acts as a server which can be accessed via a web browser's HTTP protocol.
Note: if the password is not being accepted, go back to the 3rd tab of your camera's setup menu (as shown in Step 3), and select the 5th option, which reads "Reset Transfer Settings". This will restore the FluCard to its factory settings. Then repeat Step 4.
Note: selecting the FluCard wireless network will disconnect your device from from your home wireless nerwork, and from the Internet, if applicable. If you're on a PC with a wired connection, we recommend disabling it while using the FluCard to avoid potential IP address conflicts.
Open the web browser on your device. Type in http://192.168.1.1 in the address bar and submit; this will connect you to the FluCard. The first time you do this, you will immediately be taken to the settings screen, and you will be prompted to change the network name and password. Changing these settings is optional; you can tap the arrow in the upper-left corner of the page to exit this screen.
Note: if you do change the default network settings, you will need repeat step 4 with the updated network name and password the next time you connect.
Note: during this initial process, the URL in your address bar may change. This has no effect, as just about any URL request will forward you to the FluCard page.
Note: if you experience an unstable connection, i.e. if many other Wi-Fi devices are in the vicinity, try changing the channel setting.
The settings screen shown after accessing the card for the first time
Note: the main settings menu allows you to change the card's menu language and the resolution of the live view image sent to the FluCard. It defaults to 720x480 but 360x240 is also supported if you are on a low-resolution display or if you are experiencing poor performance.
Note: the selectable channels range from 1 to 11 in the US and Canada, and 1 to 20 in other countries.
Tap the arrow again on the main settings page to proceed to the main menu.
The main settings screen
After exiting the settings menu, you should now be at the main menu. You will see something like this on your screen:
FluCard Main Menu
If you don't see this screen right away, try refreshing the page.
On the next page we will talk about the operation of the Remote Capture and Image View modes.
Note: the Remote Capture option will be greyed when the FluCard is inserted into an incompatible camera or other device. Additional options are shown on the settings page when the card is used in an incompatible camera, refer to the operating manual for details.