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Hands On With The SanDisk Wireless Media Drive

July 18, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

SanDisk Wireless Media Drive

This is a quick hands-on impressions post on the SanDisk Wireless Media Drive ("WMD"). My write-up relates to a very specific use case. I use the WMD to transfer photos from an SD card to my iPhone. That is the only thing I use it for, so that's all I'm going to write about.

The Nikon D800 does not have built-in WiFi, so if I want to be able to share photos when I am in the field, I need some way of getting those photos to my iPhone. Unfortunately, the Apple Camera Connection Kit cable doesn't work with an iPhone. I've tried Eye-Fi SD cards and found them to be way too flakey and difficult to configure, so I've given up on them. This is where the SanDisk WMD comes in. It has an SD card slot and 802.11n WiFi built right in.

When I power up the WMD it automatically creates a WiFi hotspot. My iPhone automatically connects to this wireless network. I usually insert the SD card into the WMD prior to powering on, but it really doesn't matter when I do that. Once the network connection is established, I open up the companion iOS application and navigate to the Photos section. I see every JPEG file on the camera's SD card in thumbnail view or list view with a smaller thumbnail. I tap on the thumbnail if I want to see a larger version of the photo. I select the photos I'm interested in sharing and transfer them to my iPhone. The transfer speeds are fast...much faster than when I transfer photos from my GH3 using the built-in WiFi. When using my D800 on trips, I typically save a RAW file to the CF card and a small, basic JPEG to the SD card. That keeps the JPEG file size down to a manageable level.

The battery life on this little bugger is fantastic. The spec is for 8 hours of battery life. Since files transfers take place so quickly, I go months between recharges. My WMD has 64 GB of internal flash memory in addition to the SD slot. I plan to use that internal flash memory as a backup for the JPEG files. That way I'll have the original RAW files and two copies of the JPEGs. True, I won't have a backup of the RAW files, but that's a risk I'm willing to take. The unit itself is quite small, coming in at 2-1/2 inches square, half an inch thick and weighing only a couple ounces.

To sum it up, I highly recommend the SanDisk Wireless Media Drive. I love it when a device works every time you power it up and is simple to configure. No muss, no fuss!

The 32 GB version is available at B&H for $72.


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