Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Full Review: K-5 Wi-Fi, Q Wi-Fi and EOS 5D6! ;-)

(Above: My New 5D6!~)


I bought this and all my current cameras have now suddenly become Wi-Fi capable! :-D

So, my Pentax Q is now the Pentax Q Wi-Fi, my K-5 is now the K-5 Wi-Fi and my 5D3 is the 5D6 now, which is actually a 5D3 with some of the Wi-Fi features of the 6D two in one!~

Basic Operation

This card has two transfer/connection modes, the first is that the card acts as a Wi-Fi Access Point itself, which is called the "Direct Mode" by the maker and the second is that the card logs in a common Access point so that it can communicate with all other mobile devices that are connected to the same LAN under that AP, which is named as the "Internet Mode".


Install the App for the OS of your device, then photos/videos in the card can be browsed, selected and downloaded. Actually there is nothing to set up for the card and device, what you need to set is only the login username and password when the card acts as an AP (for your mobile devices to log in) and also the AP(s) that the card is to be connected, which a maximum of three AP logins can be remembered. For better security, the user may also wish to change the default admin login and password. That's all of it!

For other devices with other OSes other than the above, e.g., a laptop runs on Windows, the SD card still provides a webpage interface to do the jobs for the same function set. The internal IP address for that webpage is

Btw, the full user manual and working instructions of the cards (in 16 and 32GB) can be downloaded from the official Transcend website here.


It should be noted that Transcend has maintained an official list of compatible and incompatible cameras with their this model of the Wi-Fi cards, which they have fully tested, I believe. In fact, my card was programmed with the Firmware version 1.4 which I found was really not compatible with my K-5 (even with the latest Pentax firmware 1.14), but it did work well with both my Q and 5D3 instead. So, their compatible and incompatible lists are 100% correct for what I tested!

So, what I did was to update the firmware to 1.5 (which can be found here, together with full update instructions) and after that I was happy to find that it also works in my K-5 now! :-D Btw, I have not tested it with my other cameras (many) but I hoped that it will work eventually!

Connection Speed and Stability

Overall speaking, I found that the connection is stable and transfer is fast for the "Direct Mode", while in the "Internet Mode" the performance is not that good and it is rather slow, although the connection did not break anyway, last time I tried. I have tested it with my above three cameras and no problem of any was found. One important tip to keep the Wi-Fi connection alive is by always keeping the camera awake when Wi-Fi is needed. This can be easily achieved by either seting a longer power save activation time or to half-press the camera more frequently from time to time when needed.

Power Consumption

As for the power consumption, as any other WiFi cards and devices, it uses up the battery juice quite a bit and the card will become warm after a certain period of use. I found that for device that has a small capacity battery like the Q should be used more cautiously whilst for devices that have a larger battery like my 5D3 and K-5, it is much a lesser problem.

There is one tip of mine to save power yet, that is, to set the auto power off to one (1) minute for the time-out period after the card is powered on but not connected. And at the same time, the camera's auto power off time limit could be set to longer, e.g., 4 minutes for my 5D3 after idling. So, the WiFi SD card will become a normal SD card without wasting power to transmit RF when it is actually not connected - best of both worlds. :-D

Supported File Types

The card and software should support all common photo and video file types. It fully supports JPEG directly without the need of installing any external App. As for other more special file types like the PEF and DNG etc., I have tested it with my Pentax Q in RAW(DNG) mode and it does fully work also! Just press hold (instead of just click directly the file, which will launch the associated App) or use the selection function (if there are more than one files in folder) and download the selected DNG files under the Transcend App's Browser (under the "Others" File Type Tab) and then you can start working with any installed App that can handle the DNG files after they are downloaded. Ditto for the MOV/AVI video files, which can be downloaded under the "Video" File Type Tab instead.

Trick for Using with the 5D3

Btw, there is a special using tip of mine with the 5D3, I think, i.e., with its dual card slots and flexible saving configuration options, I set to record separately with the CF and SD cards. Whilst for the CF card I set to the best quality JPEG or RAW as needed, I set for the SD card to record a small 2.5MP "S2" JPEG which is far smaller and thus much faster to transfer to my mobile devices. Just see the illustration below:-


All in all, this Transcend card is the best buy I can find now and I am impressed with the support, stable software and continuous improvement of its software (including firmware) as a whole package. It is a Class 10 card in 16GB for mine, and it is much cheaper when compared with other (older) alternatives such as the Eye-fi and the Toshiba FlashAir for the same storage size and speed. Do note that both the Eye-fi or FlashAir does require a first-time setup at the computer instead of capable to do the transfer On The Go with *any* Wi-Fi device like that the Transcend can do, without the need of a setup computer. Nonetheless, there are other options of Wi-Fi SD cards like those made by the Chinese brands of PQI and EZ-Share etc., but I do trust Transcend more for the SD card itself as a storage mean as the brand is more famous and well known.

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