Weye Feye by Xsories is a little device that I have tested out for a while as an alternative or a supplement to the Eye-Fi Pro X2 wireless SD-card that I have had for a while now. What is Weye Feye? Basically it is a wireless tethering and remote shutter gadget that works for most cameras on the market. I also believe they will have support for future cameras as well.
- Dimensions: 83mm x 45mm x 16.5mm, 27g
- Battery: Lithium polymer – 2000mAh
- Battery-Life: 7/8 hours
- Signal distance: 80m (depending on conditions)
- Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi technology 802.11n
In the box
What’s in the box? The Weye Feye device, a hard rubber cover with velcro straps, a micro USB-cable for charging the device and some product registration forms and a quick setup guide.
Wireless Connection – 802.11n
From their pages they claim that it has a range of 80 meters, I believe it would be free sight, because testing it indoors from one room to another it got about 80% signal strength. It has also a built in repeater module so you can still access the Internet through the device. Some quick configurations has to be done in the Android App. The connection once up and running is a bit flimsy and I have noticed some times that the network drops out and in and by the time have some problems controlling the camera. But overall the connection is fairly stable.
Android App Weye Feye
Since I have only one Android device, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, I have only gotten to test the device with the Android App, Android Appwhich can be downloaded here. It is an easy setup, from the main menu you got three choices, top right the setup menu, the camera-view and a gallery choice. In the setup menu you can connect the Weye Feye to an existing wireless network. Also you can make some choices of the layout of the screen, image review, setting the volume rocker as a shutter release button, the web-address to where other devices connected to the Weye Feye can get a gallery of the files stored at the memory cards of the camera, and finally where to store downloaded files.
The camera part of the app works more or less like a regular android camera. What you should notice is that in order to have full control of the shutter, ISO and aperture you need to set your camera in “Manual mode”, in aperture priority or shutter priority you can just change the either or.
On the left side of the camera app there is also settings for Time-laps shots, self timer, aperture bracketing, shutter speed bracketing, ISO bracketing and Focus Stacking.
Using Weye Feye and Phone / Tablet as an external Monitor
I haven’t gotten to test out this part of the app to the full extent, but according to the xsories-webpage the latency is around 0.2 seconds which makes it almost real time while filming. Here you have full control of the aperture, shutter, ISO and white balance. You can choose to have a histogram displaying while recording helping you calculate your exposure. During recording you cannot change any settings except the auto focus area, changing the focus point around by tapping the screen. From the settings menu you can also choose to have a 16:9 overlay for easily composing your shots. The control area for starting and stopping the camera will take up as much as 1/5th of the screen. Using your mobile phone as an external monitor isn’t that practical. On the Nikon D800 you cannot make use of the HDMI-port while doing tethered shooting, either USB to computer nor the Weye Feye.
Tethering from Nikon D800 to a computer via Weye Feye
You can tether both JPG and RAW-files directly to a computer. On my D800 I make use of both the CF- and SD-card slot where I write the RAW-files to the CF and Small, Fine JPGs to the SD-card, an EyeFi Pro X2 card. Xsories has developed a PC/MAC-software for tethered shooting. PC-version can be downloaded here and MAC-version can be downloaded here. For PC version, just unzip and run the WeyeFeye Tethering.exe-file to start up. Here you can select the path where you would like to save the files and what files should be downloaded, JPG or RAW or both.
My experience is that shooting with the D800 resulting in RAW-files around 60-80 MB pr. file takes time to transfer through any wireless interface. If you shoot a sequence of 10-15 files you would have to wait for quite a while. Transfering JPGs on the other hand works like a charm. I haven’t done a scientific test of transfer speeds and such, but for everyday use shooting models in studio it is a better alternative than the more expensive original Nikon UT-1 with WT-5A.
Another feature I am found of is that the Weye Feye can set up a small website where other devices connected to it can access the photos of the memory card and download on the fly new photos. Just connect to the Weye Feye and open the URL in the settings menu of the app.
Weye Feye vs. EyeFi
Having worked with the EyeFi card, both 8Gb- and 16Gb-version I found that in the early stages camera compatibility, such as the Nikon D700 and other non-cfII class cameras didn’t work at all with the card. Also the wireless connection would drop in and out occasionally and overall stability was very low having problems connecting to both HotSpot- and Direct-modes. The EyeFi-team has updated the card and now it works flawlessly. The transfer speeds of RAW-files will with the 802.11n standard always be slow.
Considering the two devices for file transfer only I would still stick with the EyeFi-card, having a dongle hanging from the camera isn’t very practical. The EyeFi app and software have been modified and upgraded several times and works fine, either to mobile or a laptop.
As a wireless remote control the Weye Feye can come to good use shooting pack shots in studio, time laps shots, bracketing for HDR-photos. It has powerful antennas and you can set it up as a second camera during weddings and such and cover other parts and be at two places at the same time.
I wouldn’t recommend replacing your field monitors for video production. You can’t output USB-feed simultaneously with the HDMI-output. As of today you can’t get to view the output in full resolution, nor have focus peaking or other field monitor functions to overlay the source. I have also had problems getting the manual focus to work with the Android App with my D800.
Weye Feye hack
So I am missing a big feature on this device. You might think it’s obvious that you would have a 1/4″ 20 screw mount for hot shoe or other types of fastening to the camera as well as the velcro straps for mounting it to tripods and such, but no. What I did was remove the rubber cover, peal of the straps and glued a 1/4″ 20 nut beneath and center it. To have some more room to screw in a cold shoe I added a washer and voilà there’s the missing tripod mount.
The device works almost as described, okay range and transfer speed. Not the best mounting options (only velcro to a tripod or monopod). It has its own battery (Lithium polymer – 2000mAh), mine was running the device for seven hours at most, it won’t drain the camera battery and if you are in a dead spot for power outlets it can also work as a spare battery booster.
Where to buy – Norway
You can access the Xsories-website and get it for around 1490NOK or 249.99$, not including tax and shipping. FotoVideo.no has it in stock for 1499NOK, the same for Interfoto, Japan Photo and Foto Schrøder in Nordregate Trondheim, who is the cheapest at 1490NOK.