iCloud’s Photo Stream feature is a great way to automatically upload images you take on your iOS device to iPhoto or Aperture – but as nearly any serious photographer will tell you, an iPhone isn’t the right tool for all of your photography (no matter how good the iPhone 5 camera may be). Wouldn’t it be great if you could use Photo Stream with your digital camera or DSLR as well? If you’ve ever asked yourself this question, I have good news for you. You can use PhotoStream with a 3rd-party camera – provided that you’re willing to engage in a bit of hackery!
In this article, I’ll cover two methods for uploading your digital camera images to Photo Stream using an Eye-Fi wireless SD card.
Method 1: Set your Eye-Fi to import photos into iPhoto
The first and easiest method involves setting up your Eye-Fi card to import photos into iPhoto or Aperture. In order for this to work with Photo Stream, you must also set up iPhoto or Aperture to automatically upload imported photos to Photo Stream. Then, every time Eye-Fi dumps images into iPhoto or Aperture, they appear in Photo Stream automatically, and can be viewed from all of your Macs and iOS devices.
Here’s how to set it up.
Importing Eye-Fi photos into iPhoto on your Mac
To set up your Eye-Fi to automatically add images to iPhoto, start by launching the Eye-Fi Center app on your Mac (available for free from the Eye-Fi website). Once you’re in the app, click the gear icon next to your Eye-Fi Card. Select the Photo tab, and make sure the “Upload photos to this computer” box is checked. Then, select “iPhoto” in the drop down box after the “upload photos to” field. Finally, click the Save button. Your photos will now automatically be transferred to iPhoto – and in turn, to your Photo Stream.
It’s possible that your photos may not appear in iPhoto right away. If this happens to you, try exiting iPhoto and then re-launching to resolve the issue. It’s worth noting that this method works best if your Mac is running most or all of the time.
Automatically Stream Eye-Fi Photos to Your iOS Device
The second method involves transferring the images to your iOS device, which will then upload the images to Photo Stream. To do this, you’ll need the free Eye-Fi app for iOS, and you’ll need to have your Eye-Fi card inserted in your camera, and have your camera powered on. You’ll also need to enter your iOS devices WiFi settings, and make sure you’re connected to the Eye-Fi card’s WiFi network.
Once you have your card set up, launch the Eye-Fi app, and go through the initial setup to pair your card to your device. Make sure you select the check boxes to stream the appropriate photos, RAW images, and videos to your device that you want uploaded. My personal preference is to upload only “Photos,” as RAW images and videos take up a lot of space, and do not stream quickly.
When you’ve finished setting everything up, your photos will automatically be uploaded to your Camera Roll on your iOS device, and as long as you have Photo Stream enabled on your device, your images will automatically be uploaded to Photo Stream for viewing from any of your iOS devices, Macs, or PCs with iCloud.
That’s all there is to it! For more helpful tips on making the most of your Eye-Fi, check out the Eye-Fi forums (I referenced this post when writing this tip).
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