Two years ago, I bought a new DSLR camera. I named her Ethel. She was replacing my trusty Canon Rebel XT, Gertrude, which was 10 years old. It still worked fine, and took beautiful shots of my family’s trip to Hawaii earlier that year, but I decided that I was ready for an upgrade.

Since I already had several lenses in the Canon family, I was sticking with Canon. I headed to QVC and watched a ton of presentations of the Canon DSLR’s and what they were frequently offering was the T5. So, I started stalking the T5 on Amazon. I wasn’t going to go the QVC route, because I didn’t want nor need the starter lens kits they were offering with the camera body. So, I head to Amazon and look at the T5 offerings in “body only” listings. I add it to my Amazon wish list, and start hoarding Amazon gift cards from Swagbucks and PerkTV. Swagbucks even had a gift card sale on Amazon GC’s so I got even more bang for my buck!

After about two months, I notice I am almost to my goal. Then I watch QVC again and see a listing for the Canon SL1 camera. Which is a smaller body than the T5, but it has better specs. It also allows me to use the viewfinder as a touch screen. I have relatively small hands, so having an equally as powerful camera, but in a smaller package, was super attractive to me. After another two weeks of saving (because the SL1 was a little more expensive) I got my new camera body.

At that point, Canon’s prosumer camera bodies didn’t have wifi built in. They do now, and if you can get one, I’d recommend it. But I wasn’t about to upgrade my camera, again, just for wifi. I needed a wifi SD card. Now they’re pretty hard to find in the market, and reviews and experiences vary, but I think I’ve found one that works well for me!

I’d previously purchased and tried the EyeFi Mobi Wi-Fi SD card. It was ok at the time, but after the included 6 month trial to their cloud photo service ended, I realized that I should have bought the EyeFi Mobi PRO card instead. The regular Mobi card transfers every single picture you take to your target device and the Mobi PRO lets you select the pictures you’d like to save to your device. When I’m taking pictures, I’m not taking like 10-12. I’m taking hundreds. I use sports mode, mostly because I’m often shooting swimming or tennis, and I don’t have the time, nor patience, to wait for my camera to transfer that volume of images. Not to mention it often kills my battery to do that.

So ahead of my London trip, I looked for a new solution and decided on the Toshiba FlashAir SD card. It was cheaper in price than either of the Eye-Fi cards, and still allowed me to select the pictures I want to download. Win-win, right? Not so fast.

I read Amazon reviews religiously before I buy things, and this was no exception. And this SD card ran the gambit from raves to pans. For everyone 5 star recommendation, there was a 1 star condemnation to stay far, far away from this card. Most seemed to revolve around the initial setup of the card, but thanks to a handful of reviewers, I compiled a short list of tips and tutorials to help me get going.

My SD card didn’t come with retail packaging or any directions, so the reviewer community on Amazon saved the day! Setup was a little wonky, but the tips did the trick. I tested it out a few times and everything seemed fine. But I still wanted a backup option for London.

What I ended up doing was buying a cheap $8 card reader that can be plugged into my phone. It allows me to also take any SD card that happens to be in my camera, and plug it into the reader. From there, I can download SD card images to my phone. I tested this method out a few times before the trip too, but didn’t end up needing it. The Toshiba FlashAir card worked like a dream. After I watched the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, I was able to immediately download a picture to my phone and post it to my social media accounts. See?

Going after the shiniest and newest tech products are always tempting to me, but often there are much more practical and affordable solutions if you just look around. I likely saved myself a couple hundred dollars by finding a way here. I should remember this the next time I browse lustily at my Amazon wishlist!