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sk1939
Premium
join:2010-10-23
Mclean, VA
kudos:10

[Misc] GPS

Do any Nikon shooters use GPS, or utilize an external GPS unit? I'm thinking of getting one for my D300s.



jvmorris
I Am The Man Who Was Not There.
Premium,MVM
join:2001-04-03
Reston, VA
kudos:1

Gee, no responses so far?

Well, I do. Unfortunately, it's on my smartphone and its predecessor.

I believe that there are currently two implementations of add-on GPS available for cameras at the moment. One connects directly to the camera and automatically adds GPS information to the EXIF file. The other is essentially a stand-alone unit that you have to manually synchronize (time-wise) with the time on the camera and then, in post-processing, import both the images and the GPS information to your computer which then integrates (using the date/time stamps on both) the GPS information into the EXIF information.

Last time I checked, you either had to spend an unconscionable amount of money to get an external GPS unit that would rival what you can get in a standard smartphone or stand-alone GPS hand-held unit or you could spend a little and get a clunky bit of equipment of dubious accuracy and reliability. (When I say reliability, I mean reliability in whether of not it will actually have a GPS fix when you take the shot.)

Quite frankly, I'd be happier if I could just find a dongle (see other thread) that would allow me to get the GPS information from either the smartphone or a stand-alone hand-held GPS unit wirelessly (either via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth). You pick the right phone and you can get good accuracy (better than on my old hand-held units, for that matter) and they are sensitive enough these days to give you GPS location under a thick canopy and in many buildings.

A lot of time when I'm in the field (literally), I'm in very nondescript terrain so having the GPS location (and a map) tends to be important regardless of whether I'm hauling around a DSLR with me.
--
Regards,
Joseph V. Morris


sk1939
Premium
join:2010-10-23
Mclean, VA
kudos:10
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·Verizon FiOS

said by jvmorris:

Gee, no responses so far?

Well, I do. Unfortunately, it's on my smartphone and its predecessor.

I believe that there are currently two implementations of add-on GPS available for cameras at the moment. One connects directly to the camera and automatically adds GPS information to the EXIF file. The other is essentially a stand-alone unit that you have to manually synchronize (time-wise) with the time on the camera and then, in post-processing, import both the images and the GPS information to your computer which then integrates (using the date/time stamps on both) the GPS information into the EXIF information.

Last time I checked, you either had to spend an unconscionable amount of money to get an external GPS unit that would rival what you can get in a standard smartphone or stand-alone GPS hand-held unit or you could spend a little and get a clunky bit of equipment of dubious accuracy and reliability. (When I say reliability, I mean reliability in whether of not it will actually have a GPS fix when you take the shot.)

Quite frankly, I'd be happier if I could just find a dongle (see other thread) that would allow me to get the GPS information from either the smartphone or a stand-alone hand-held GPS unit wirelessly (either via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth). You pick the right phone and you can get good accuracy (better than on my old hand-held units, for that matter) and they are sensitive enough these days to give you GPS location under a thick canopy and in many buildings.

A lot of time when I'm in the field (literally), I'm in very nondescript terrain so having the GPS location (and a map) tends to be important regardless of whether I'm hauling around a DSLR with me.

Would be nice, but I'll be in the jungle quite a bit aways away from a cell phone tower, and my smartphone unfortunately has a battery life measured in hours not days.

I was looking at the Nikon GP-1 personally, it has a nice looking output (Lightroom supports it's GPS tagging)



It also has the benefit of not being super clunky in size. GPS fix might be an issue admittedly.



jvmorris
I Am The Man Who Was Not There.
Premium,MVM
join:2001-04-03
Reston, VA
kudos:1

said by sk1939:

. . . .

Would be nice, but I'll be in the jungle quite a bit aways away from a cell phone tower, and my smartphone unfortunately has a battery life measured in hours not days.

At least on the phones I've used, the cell phone connectivity (voice and data) aren't necessary when you're out in the field. The basic GPS is independent of that and I've used both the Garminfone and the Galaxy GS III far away from any towers. (I checked -- no phone and no data coverage.)

You do a last update and make sure you've got all the maps you'll need downloaded and saved off for offline use before you go walk-about. Spare batteries are always a consideration, but I suspect you already know that.

I was looking at the Nikon GP-1 personally, it has a nice looking output (Lightroom supports it's GPS tagging)

Indeed, that was the first thing I looked at, right after it came out. (Now if they'd halve the price.) Later on, I started following some reviews and decided to just wait for a next-generation unit. I suspect that the reported problems with accuracy and reliability is probably due to the fact that it is relying on a very short antenna to receive the GPS signals from the satellites. I tended to discount complaints about start-up latency since that's primarily due to the lack of AGPS (no cell phone towers, as you already pointed out).

It also has the benefit of not being super clunky in size. GPS fix might be an issue admittedly.

Yes, size and connectivity are well thought out on that unit. If they put out a second generation with one of the newer GPS chipsets and can figure out how the heck to get a more reliable antenna into that small package, it would be unbeatable.

Actually, that why I would find the cellphone solution appealing -- they've already got the newer GPS chipsets in them and they're large enough for a reasonable antenna. All we'd need would be an appropriate Bluetooth dongle to put on the camera. The one I'm using on this laptop is smaller than my thumbnail.

Actually, I think some of the more expensive cameras (on the pro-am level) now have either Wi-Fi or BlueTooth already built in.
--
Regards,
Joseph V. Morris

sk1939
Premium
join:2010-10-23
Mclean, VA
kudos:10
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·Verizon FiOS

said by jvmorris:

Yes, size and connectivity are well thought out on that unit. If they put out a second generation with one of the newer GPS chipsets and can figure out how the heck to get a more reliable antenna into that small package, it would be unbeatable.

Actually, that why I would find the cellphone solution appealing -- they've already got the newer GPS chipsets in them and they're large enough for a reasonable antenna. All we'd need would be an appropriate Bluetooth dongle to put on the camera. The one I'm using on this laptop is smaller than my thumbnail.

Actually, I think some of the more expensive cameras (on the pro-am level) now have either Wi-Fi or BlueTooth already built in.

I wonder if they will release a new generation or not if they' coming built in. That being said, even the D7100 dosen't have built in GPS afaik, it still relies on the GP-1.


jvmorris
I Am The Man Who Was Not There.
Premium,MVM
join:2001-04-03
Reston, VA
kudos:1

Sorry, I meant with built-in Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, not built in GPS.
--
Regards,
Joseph V. Morris



bluebaron2
Stuff Happens
Premium,Mod
join:2001-02-01
North of 44
Reviews:
·Xplornet
reply to sk1939

I have a GP-1 that I use on my D90. Unfortunetly on a trip through the Rockies a couple of years ago I almost dropped the camera with the GP-1 attached and "yanked" the cord where it attaches to the D90, now I have an intermittent connection. I have to apply pressure to the cord where it attaches to the camera body to get it to work. ( I understand that others have had problems with the cord as well). Before the almost accident the unit worked well and I didn't have any problems with it's accuracy. And yes Lightroom 4 displays the information without any problems.
--
bb2

There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want. ~Bill Watterson