Ok, so I have the WFT-E2a up and working. Here are some initial observations.
For some reason, I expected an updated driver or some other form of software with the WFT. I dont know why, but I did. What you get is a CD with several folders of PDF files. The only software you need is the EOS Utility software that comes with the 1D3.
It comes with a (cheap looking) draw-string baggie and a very cool belt-clip pouch. You also get an "inclement weather" dust cap that fits over the USB port on the WFT. (The other USB port, remote port, and video ports are all easily accessible.)
Set Up/ Connection
Set up is pretty straight forward and relatively easy (unless you accidentally hit the wrong button on your camera and get to start over, which I did twice. Just pay attention, don't be in a rush, and it's pretty easy.)
You get three options: FTP, P2P, and HTTP. I set mine up as a P2P for now. I've been playing with it for about 30 mins and Im kinda digging it. Am I $1000 digging it? Hmmmmmmm. Tough question. Read on.
What do I Like?
I like being able to store an image to the card as well as to the laptop.
I like the ease of use - using the EOS Utility is pretty straight forward.
I like the responsiveness - if you change a setting on the camera, it changes on the EOS Utility immediately. (I expected a little lag)
What do I Not Like?
Being able to shoot from the PC in combination with Live View is sweet, no doubt. However, practically speaking I think it would be easier in the field just to shoot onto a card and transfer the files later. In a studio, it would be nice - I simply don't see this as being practical in the field (a sporting event, a wedding, outdoor location, etc).
The transfer rate is pretty quick, but not as fast as I thought it would be. It definitely isnt slow! I haven't timed it formally, but will do that 10 images or so later this evening.
When shooting remotely, there is a (very) slight lag when you clicked the shutter button on the laptop to fire the camera. I havent tested this in Live View mode, yet, but that is next.
The EOS Utility crashed four times as I adjusted settings from my laptop. In particular, when you make large adjustments to the aperture (say, moving from F5.6 to F11) or the shutter speed (from 1/80 to 1/4), it can cause issues. Also, the utility itself is a little slow as you have to click a button (> to move forward incrementally.
At one point (after about an hour of testing), for an unknown reason, the camera lost connectivity to the LAN, which then caused the EOS Utility to crash. I tried re-opening the utility, but it gave an error and said no camera was connected. I turned the camera off, then on, and that re-established the connection.
Also, when using Live View and the WFT for a remote connection, I took a shot, which resulted in another lost connection. I tried several things to restore the connection, then decided I needed to turn the camera off. There were 2 images that were hung up in the ether (?) ... It's been several minutes and it still says
"Recording." The camera is off, so Im not quite sure what to do at the moment.
Hmmmmmm. If any of these non-Live View problems happened while shooting at a wedding, it would be DISASTER.
My intent is to use this in the studio to simplify the work-flow for product shots. I also plan to use it for interior architectural shots (another controlled environment). I could see this being used for astral-photography.
Many have talked about uses for weddings and macro photography. The latter does not seem very practical to me unless you were in very controlled conditions.
I cannot see the WFT and Live View being very useful for remote wild-life photography because there is a very noticeable lag between the camera and the laptop. In reality, you could use the monitor to verify your scene is what you wanted, but you would need a direct line of sight to the scene to ensure what you pop is what you get. (I have not tested Live View with a direct PC connection.)
This is going to sound like I am slamming the WFT. It's pretty cool, but based on two hours of testing, Im not sure I would trust this in the field.
In all honesty, the more I use this, the more I question whether this will speed up my studio workflow (for product and architectural shots) or not. I'm still testing it out. I found myself repeatedly going to the camera to make adjustments, then moving back to the PC to take the shot.
This could be user error (or inexperience?) on my part, but if you turn the camera off, then on, it seems like the camera gets a little quirky (confused) about images it has already transferred, asking to transfer "New Images" that have already been transferred. I never used the WFT-E1, so maybe this is normal.
Maybe I shouldn't draw any firm conclusions, but if any of you out there are "dying" to get the WFT-E2A, don't sweat it. Keep using your cards and manually transferring files. It's safer. (After 5 minutes, my 1D3 still says "Recording - Remaining Images = 2" ...... I turned the camera back On, and that went away. However, when I turned the camera Off, it came back. I think I am stuck in some weird loop. This happened when shooting Live View remotely through the WFT-E2A.)
Ok, this is weird. Following the lock-up, I turned the camera back on with WFT still attached. There is still no connection, but the LAN light isnt red, isnt green, and isnt blinking green - it's off completely.
I waited a few minutes, then took a shot, but now the "Image Loading" light on the camera won't go off. It's just red.... as if it were still writing the image data to the card. If ANY kind of freeze happened during a wedding, it would definitely not be good.
I was expecting to have a lot of good news here, but I dont have a lot of confidence in this at the moment.