Recommended Geotrackers?

Started Apr 26, 2010 | Discussions thread
sunhorse
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Re: Recommended Geotrackers?
In reply to Peter Rivard, May 2, 2010

Peter Rivard wrote:

CameraCarl wrote:

Do the Qstarz and Wintec record a data point every time you push the shutter button? Or do they simply track where you have been walking or driving? I'm looking for a logger that only registers where each image is taken so I can easily incorporate that location in my exif data. I'm also limited in that only one of my three cameras has WFT, so I would like something that will work with all three bodies.

From your question, it seems you don't quite see how geotagging works. Every unit logs a data point every second (or at whatever interval you choose) while it's activated. There's none that just logs one point when you press the button (it takes units 2-15 seconds to acquire and stabilize the signal, depending on the unit and conditions, so it wouldn't make sense to make a unit that did what you're asking).

This isn't quite accurate. While you're right that the unit must take time to acquire satellite signals, etc., there are indeed dedicated geotagging GPS units that works exactly as Carl wants. Nikon's GP-1 is a hotshot mounted unit that works at exposure time with the press of the shutter button. It is able to communicate with the camera body to geotag images as they are taken. Unfortunately, this is compatible only with Nikon DSLRs. There is no other the unit that works exactly the same way for Canon DSLRs. The closest I've seen is the Jobo photoGPS. This is also hotshoe mounted and is triggered by the hotshoe when an image is taken, it then records the current location. It can't directly tag the images in-camera, but must be hooked up to a PC via USB and then you have to run the provided software to actually embed the GPS data. So it's not a one step process.

Because with these general purpose data loggers there's nothing to set up with your camera, you don't need any extra accessories, you don't need extra power to run those accessories, and you don't have the complications of setting up all the connections. And it'll work with any digital camera ever made. They're also all pretty small and rugged and most run all day on a single charge. As a bonus, if you get one that also has bluetooth, you can use it with software on your PDA, smartPhone, tablet, netbook, notebook, or whatever as a navigation aid too, if you like (though you don't have to have any of those with you when you're just using it for geotagging).

The general purpose loggers have the big advantage of working with every camera you have, provided you sync the clocks on the camera and the geotagger as you rightly pointed out. However, a dedicated unit like the Nikon GP-1 is not complicated to use. It is in fact simpler since there is no need to geotag your images afterwards.

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Ramesh

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