How To Tether Your Camera To An Ipad Without Jailbreaking

How To Tether Your Camera To An Ipad Without Jailbreaking

Last year I released a video explaining how to wirelessly tether your camera to an iPad by jailbreaking the iPad. Since then Eye-Fi has released a firmware update that makes wireless tethering possible without the need for jailbreaking. Now, not only is the whole process much easier to set up, it is also much cheaper because you no longer have to pay for the more expensive Pro Eye-Fi card, you can make this work with the cheaper Connect X2 card.

Today Eye-Fi released an update to their iPad app which includes some pretty helpful updates.
New features:
- Landscape mode support in the gallery view
- "Add network" button to automatically add the Wi-Fi network to the iOS device even when the Direct Mode network is not broadcasting
- Directly transfer from iOS device to computer when they are on the same Wi-Fi network (requires the user to set the computer destination for the iOS device in Eye-Fi Center again to enable this feature)
- Email up to 5 photos through the native mail app

User Interface:
- Show icons for items pending transfer and actively transferring
- Icon in the tray to indicate when connected to a Direct Mode network
- Added Spanish and Italian languages
- Double tap to zoom into a photo (only on iPhone4 and iPads)
- Smoother transitions when swiping through photos
- Single tap to dismiss the navigation elements in single photo view
- Provide feedback when card is not paired to device on a Direct Mode network

- Stability improvements
- Turn off video transfers from the Eye-Fi Card to the iOS device if the video type is not supported by iOS
- Screenshots are now automatically uploaded

If you had a little extra money I would suggest buying the ShutterSnitch iPad app as it has many more professional features and the new version is extremely stable. I've also found that I still prefer the older jailbreaking method of tethering (which requires the more expensive card) for a number of reasons. If you have your device jailbroken anyway, the "old" way may still be the best way.

Youtube version

tether ipad wifi sd memory card

Eye-Fi X2 Wireless SD Card The Eye-Fi X2 card is the perfect companion for any SD capable camera (and some CF cameras can use this adapter). Almost every photoshoot we do now has the iPad tethered for close monitoring of our images. [Amazon | B&H Video]


tether camera ipad wifi eye-fi

Apple iPad 32 GB Almost every photographer these days is on the go, and the ipad is the perfect travel companion. The battery life is simply awesome for all your multimedia needs when traveling, and the ipad has become our favorite digital portfolio. Also the iPad allows a photographer to easily tether to a camera for on site review which is really cool. This is not a replacement for a true computer but it's definitely a good accessory for any photographer. [Amazon | B&H Video ]

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Cody Wayne Bridges's picture

Do you know if this will work with the android tablets?

They have an Android app as well.

Dear Eye-Fi,

When are you coming out with CF version?

7D User

Cody Wayne Bridges's picture

If you click on the "Connect 2X Card" link on this post there is a bundle kit for a 4g + 8g sd card with a
Extreme MMC, SDHC, SD to CF Type II Adapter all for $144.44 So yeah they do have an CF version as well

Lee Morris's picture

I've been told by a few people that using a CF card adapter will eventually destroy the eye-fi card and you will lose all data on the card. I've also been told by everyone at Eye-Fi multiple times that they have no interest in making a CF card which makes me wish I had enough money to produce them myself because I feel like every pro on the planet would buy a couple of them. 

Cody Wayne Bridges's picture

Thanks for the info on that. I know I would definitely buy a hand full if they had CF cards :/ bummer

Patrick Hall's picture

I think the reasoning behind Eye-fi's decision is that they think SD cards will be the standard memory on all future cameras.  It is interesting to see more and more Pro DSLR cameras including SD card slots while less and less are using CF.  I personally can't stand SD cards but a change is probably coming.  

Cody Wayne Bridges's picture

I understand them wanting to move with new developments in technology. But in all I think they would gain more income if they produced a CF card, for not everyone upgrades all the time to camera that has an SD or both SD and CF slots. You guys should convince them to produce a CF version lol do it!

Andreas Feustel's picture

I did some tests with a Quenox SD/CF-card adapter and an Eye-Fi PRO X2
8GB Card in my 7D. I got it running but unfortunately it‘s not reliable. The
radio signal was shielded too much by the CF-card adapter so that the range I
could use the Wi-Fi connection in was reduced down to approx. 1 meter. Additionally it takes ages to transfer pictures to the iPad because of bad connection quality. Everything works fine with my Canon G10.

I really don’t understand why Eye-Fi refuses to build a CF-card version.
I can’t effort a Canon 1DMKIV and I really don’t wanna downgrade to an EOS xx0D/ Rebel. I guess It’s basically the same problem with Nikons midrange Cameras!?

By the way, sometimes it is better not to use direct mode to increase
the distance between camera and iPad. For longer distances I’m using a HUAWEI
E585 3G Wi-Fi Modem as an access point.


Andreas- I just tried this tonight with my D3, and I've had the exact same experience as you.  Also, the landscape mode doesn't work.  I'm also wishing they made a CF card, I'd buy two!

Samuel Joubert's picture

I did some tests as well with my D300 and a SD to CF adaptor, with the Eye-fi PRO card... Never worked at all... Even at 1 cm, my iphone or Ipad couldn't see the network! So it's SD or nothing for me... I have the wire option but it's not as cool!!

Eye Fi won't do it. They have basically missed the boat. Within a year all manufacturers will be building Wi Fi in to their cameras. They know that the longevity of their business is very limited and won't invest in a CF card.

Eye Fi won't do it. They have basically missed the boat. Within a year all manufacturers will be building Wi Fi in to their cameras. They know that the longevity of their business is very limited and won't invest in a CF card. 

Chaz Westwood's picture

well thats me out of the picture then.. What rubbish is this, i don't know any pros who use SD cards more than CF...
My other question was going to be, does it mean you have to shoot in JPEG?  Can you shoot RAW and the iPad will still pick it up?

They never will.

Richard Grebby's picture

but how quick is it with raw and won't it fill up an iPad super quick unless you are shooting jpg

Patrick Hall's picture

many cameras now take 2 memory cards.  So what you can do is send small jpegs to the eye-fi and ipad while your Raws are being sent to your 2nd CF or SD card.  You definitely don't want to send a ton of RAWs to your ipad.  

Lee Morris's picture

You can shoot RAW + Jpeg on the Eye-Fi card and tell it to only transfer the Jpegs to the iPad

How to tell the iPad to transfer only the Jpgs? 
I want to ask - if I take a few shot, does it appear instantly appear one after another? How do I do that? I seem to need to swipe on the screen to go to the next one.

Wayne Leone's picture

Lee - thanks for keeping tabs on latest developments and sharing with us. I feel the same about the CF thing. I'm about to purchase a Nikon D3s which has 2 CF slots I'm not sure I'm going to go with the CF adapter. Do you know if any other manufacturers are developing a CF solution?

The issue you will run into is that the D3s uses CF1. Where as adapter cards are CF2. We are talking about (mm) a tiny difference, but a difference none the less.

There is no adapter for the D3s. D3 yes, but not the D3s.
The D3s takes Type l cards. No adapter is made for them

Arthur Nava's picture

This begs the question, can I send the pictures to multiple devices at the same time? Maybe have it go to two or three ipads at the same time? Or a computer, an iphone, and an ipad at the same time? btw I'm almost positive all new cameras will include an SD slot.

Lee Morris's picture

I wish but no, it can only connect to 1 device at a time. 

Arthur Nava's picture

Well one device without any wires is good enough.

Tom McQuarrie's picture

You might only be able to sync with one device directly, but I don't see why you couldn't then sync from that device to a range of others?  Maybe via a dropbox account? No idea how it would go in practise.  Just a theory :)

Arthur Nava's picture

I had actually thought of dropbox as a viable option to do exactly that. haha Awesome.

ALAN VITUG's picture

Thanks for the tutorial. During my other job, I use a portable document scanner to scan documents on the go and then have to use a memory card adapter to plug it into my iPad. Is it possible to set up the Eye-Fi to pick up images from a specific folder inside the card? I'm worried that the scanner might create images into a folder that Eye-Fi cannot read.

Tom McQuarrie's picture

You mention that the jailbreak method is better than this method.  How so?

Lee Morris's picture

I just find it to be easier to have a constant network that I KNOW is working coming from my iPad. If I need to I can easily cycle the camera on and off to reconnect. If the card is the network and they disconnect you have to leave the application and go back into settings and look for the eyefi network again. 

This way works, but I will only use it when I am on an iPad that isn't jailbroken. It's nice to have the option though, especially for people that don't want to jailbreak.  

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