My battle with my 550D and an EyeFi Card

Recently I have dug out my little Canon 550D, My first DSLR (Oscar), with the intention of giving him a new lease of life. I bought him a new lens, A lovely 24mm pancake lens and a fancy new EyeFi card. Now everything was running smoothly until I put the EyeFi card in the camera and turned it on.

Oscar Died. The screen went black and the camera became unresponsive except for the autofocus which functioned fine. Turning the camera on and off didn’t seem to make a difference. Startled, I pulled the battery out and reinserted it and the same thing happened again. I pulled the battery out and started to google. I trawled through forums and many people said that this was a common problem with 550Ds. Now I have had this camera for nearly 7 years now with no issues so I found that hard to believe.

Frustrated and angry, a week went by before I picked up little Oscar again. Now I had not really invested much time into solving this problem but now I was determined. And failing that I was going to get a refund on the EyeFi card. I took the EyeFi card out and the battery and cleaned all the contacts, the sensor, and blew out the camera with some compressed air. I put the battery back in and BOOM he was working! Amazed I took a few test shots and everything functioned perfectly, Then I reinserted the EyeFi card and I was back to square one. Well now I had an answer, The EyeFi Card was the problem.

To those who don’t know, There is an actual EyeFi menu in the canon menu directory that I had never seen before I inserted the card. I called Canon UK support and was informed that the 550D did not officially support the EyeFi range and that was that. My Toshiba Flash Air card worked perfectly, as did every other standard card I put in him It was just the EyeFi. I went digging. For weeks through forum after forum searching for a solution. And I found it, On page 30 odd of a google search.

Magic Lantern.

In my teens I had experimented with Magic Lantern on the camera but never really gotten along with it for various reasons, Mostly due to inexperience but I removed it from the camera and that was that…Or so I thought. Apparently Magic lantern leaves a bootflag on your camera unless you remove it properly, Which I had not done. The bootflag is completely harmless to the function of your camera…Unless you want to use an EyeFi card. For some reason the bootflag conflicts with the booting of the Eyefi and simply crashes the camera. I’m not going to lie, I have no idea why it doesn't work but it doesn't.

The Solution

I imagine that some of you simply came here for the solution so here it is.

  • Downgrade your 550D to Firmware version 1.0.9 (Mine was on 1.1.0)
  • Download Magic Lantern for 550D and load it on to an SD
  • Run the firmware update, Load Magic Lantern and WAIT 60 SECONDS

Thats it. Waiting 60 seconds when prompted will run the uninstaller and remove the bootflag from your camera. I popped the EyeFi card in the camera and everything worked perfectly. The camera turned on, The wifi connected and the card connected to my phone with a satisfying ‘Ding’.

Oscar now lives in my Peli for day to day use when have no need to lug something bigger or heavier around.

I hope this helps anyone in the same boat