A couple of weeks ago I’ve been on a short holiday and that was a great moment to use my iPad and Eye-Fi WiFi SDCard for real. I did not bring my laptop so I had to rely on my iPad for transfering photos. It all worked out quit well and raised some questions too.

The setup was my iPad 2 with Eye-Fi app installed. My Nikon D90 was equipped with the Eye-Fi X2 Pro 8Gb memory card. A direct WiFi connection between iPad and Eye-Fi card was setup. Additionally, at the holiday location a public hotspot was available to use internet on the iPad.
I’ve set the camera to store both a basic JPG + RAW file. The Eye-Fi card was setup to transfer both file type to the iPad.

So I started taking holiday pictures. The first thing I noticed is that the Nikon RAW files (*.NEF) are transferred to the iPad as *.TIF files and within the iPad only a minor thumbnail is shown of this type of files. On the other hand, the JPG files were transfered too and shown correctly.

  • Is the TIFF file that is stored on the iPad actually a NEF file (Nikon RAW)?
Back home I’ve examined the TIF files and it turned out that they are the original NEF files. I believe they are renamed to TIF by one of the components so they are accepted by the iPad and more important, by Apple iCloud! So after transfering them to your PC, just rename them to NEF again.
Yes, the JPG and the TIF files are synced by iCloud. So it turned out that once my iPad was connected to the WiFi hotspot it began to sync the JPG and TIF files to iCloud. After a little while they showed on my iPhone too and back home, they synced perfectly to my PC! On the PC I could easily rename the TIF files to NEF again and import the files into Lightroom for further processing.
  • Can I transfer those files easily using an USB cable from iPad to PC?
Yes, connect the iPad to the PC and a removable drive is shown. Just copy the photo files you need. It’s good to know this option, but it might be obsolete because photos are synced using Apple iCloud!
iCloud only syncs the last 1000 photos, so if you take more than 1000 photos before saving them from the iCloud you might need the USB cable. (remember shooting JPG and RAW makes only 500 unique images sync because you have 2 files of a photo).
  • Can I configure the file type to be transferred (JPG and/or RAW) while I’m out in the field?

Actually this took a while to figure out and I’m not completely done with it. My current answer is:
Do it before you go out in the field. Connect both iPad and Eye-Fi card to a wireless network (I have not yet tested direct mode!)  and take a picture (to make the Eye-Fi really wakeup).  Then on your iPad in the Eye-Fi APP turn on or off the transfer of Photos (JPG), Video and/or RAW Files. Wait a couple of seconds and turn camera off and on so the Eye-Fi card reads its settings  from somewhere. Take a picture and test if it does what you want.

I still have to test this with Direct Mode. I will update this post with the results.


Using the Eye-Fi card is great. Results of a shoot are directly visible on the iPad and files are stored (backup) on the iPad. The combination of the Eye-Fi with Apple iCloud is the best!  Back home, turn on the PC wait a while and all files are there. No cables necessary.

Only downside: You can’t see the difference between the JPG and RAW file on the iPad so you always have to guess when you open a file…. Does it open the high res JPG or the tiny RAW thumbnail. The fact that NEF files are renamed to TIF is not a big deal but when you think about it, it’s weird that it is necessary.

The Eye-Fi card can transfer images to online services like Flickr too. I have no need for that so I did not test it.