D800 compatibility problems caused by RF interference, says Eye-Fi


posted Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 7:31 PM EST

Makers of the Eye-Fi wireless memory cards this week released a fix to an issue that kept their cards from working fully with the Nikon D800 and D800E. The problem, according to an Eye-Fi representative, is caused by noise coming from inside the camera, specifically from the D800's unique new USB 3 connector. Posted on Monday, the update works around the issue by changing the card's broadcast channel.

Early last month, reports surfaced of an issue with Eye-Fi's WiFi-connected SD cards, when used in the full-frame Nikon D800 and D800E digital SLRs. Although the two products were said by their makers to be compatible, users found themselves unable to use Eye-Fi's Direct Mode, and in some cases to use any of the card's Wi-Fi capabilities at all. Now, Eye-Fi has issued a fix, and a statement from Eye-Fi co-founder Ziv Gillat published by The Phoblographer suggests that radio frequency interference from the D800 body is to blame.

"By default," said Gillat, "Direct Mode broadcasts on channel six. In the D800, due to noise that’s coming from the USB 3 interface, we needed to broadcast on channel 11."

Nikon's D800 is the first DSLR with USB 3.0 connectivity, but Eye-Fi has discovered that it can interfere with the default channel used by its Wi-Fi connected flash cards.

Although the problem prevented use of Direct Mode with the D800 and D800E bodies, there was no risk of data loss; images were still written to the flash card, even if they could not be transmitted wirelessly.

Some users have reported more general problems with Wi-Fi beyond the Direct Mode, though, and Eye-Fi's fix doesn't specifically address this. (Nor could problems in other modes be addressed by firmware, if the problem is indeed caused by RF interference on specific channels, as the channel is set by the access point, not the client.) Of course, if you are having problems beyond Direct Mode and have access to the router, it would seem logical that configuring it to use channel 11 -- if too many adjacent networks aren't already using that channel -- would be likely to help the situation.

More details on the firmware update can be found on the Eye-Fi website.

Eye-Fi's Direct Mode allows a direct connection to devices that can't create a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Have you had any issues with Eye-Fi connectivity and your D800 or D800E body outside of Direct Mode? If so, does manually configuring the Wi-Fi channel seem to help? Share your experiences in the comments below...

(via Nikon Rumors)