Is GPS more a Sales Gimmick than a Real World Benefit?

Started May 9, 2012 | Discussions
consultant1027
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Is GPS more a Sales Gimmick than a Real World Benefit?
May 9, 2012

I personally, have had no desire to use the GPS feature in my Panasonic ZS-7. I thought it would be an interesting discussion to look at how or how not people are getting real significant benefit from GPS.

I am an admitted techno-gadget addict, so it is odd for me not to be using this feature. I will admit, I have never really used it before. The reasons are:

1. I have never had any problem remembering where photos were taken and organizing my files by date and location.

2. Many of the reviews I read from users on various models complain of the tracking being problematic (takes long to get a signal, not accurate)

3. Many of the reviews confirm GPS is a significant battery drain, and in many cases continues to drain the battery while the camera is off unless you remember to turn GPS off.

4. I always have my iPhone on me so if I need to know where I am from a mapping or longitude/latitude aspect, I can easily get that info on my phone.

5. I don't have any special application use of my camera (work for forestry service, travel writer, road tripper, etc.) they may have specialized needs where GPS is a needed tool.

I'm just wondering, am I missing something here? Is there some BIG benefit I would enjoy that I've overlooked? Because if not, it seems more like some company decided to add a GPS as a feature to encourage more people to upgrade their cameras and then all the other manufacturers had to follow along - sort of like the increase in pixel density on sensors.

consultant1027
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Re: Is GPS more a Sales Gimmick than a Real World Benefit?
In reply to consultant1027, May 9, 2012

I should stress here that I'm talking about GPS from the perspective of your average camera user. If you're in a profession that has to takes lots of photos everyday from lots of locations (home inspector? surveyor?) then I can see possible benefit. But what about your "average" user?

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beshannon
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Re: Is GPS more a Sales Gimmick than a Real World Benefit?
In reply to consultant1027, May 9, 2012

I use GPs as often as I can both on my Nikon cameras and on my ZS7.

I like to upload photos to Panaromio and when I share albums with friends and family on Picasa, then can see where the images were taken on a map.
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chopsteeks
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Re: Is GPS more a Sales Gimmick than a Real World Benefit?
In reply to consultant1027, May 9, 2012

gimmick.....

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consultant1027
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Re: Is GPS more a Sales Gimmick than a Real World Benefit?
In reply to beshannon, May 9, 2012

This seems novel. The keyword being 'novel.' On all my photos I share online, there's always a caption or title like, 'Pokai Bay, Oahu, Hawaii' So there's not really any question where the photo was taken.

beshannon wrote:

I use GPs as often as I can both on my Nikon cameras and on my ZS7.

I like to upload photos to Panaromio and when I share albums with friends and family on Picasa, then can see where the images were taken on a map.
--
My Smugmug photos http://www.brianshannonphotography.com/
My photo blog http://brianshannonphotography.blogspot.com/
My 500px photos http://500px.com/brianshannonphotography/

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Brian-Shannon-Photography/157237647635870

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globethrottle
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Re: Is GPS more a Sales Gimmick than a Real World Benefit?
In reply to consultant1027, May 9, 2012

Well, to me its just a gimmick and would not make me buy a particular camera, for first time buyers it probably will sell better, just put as many gimmicks between commas in the spec sheet as you can, and it will sell.

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PaulRivers
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Re: Is GPS more a Sales Gimmick than a Real World Benefit?
In reply to consultant1027, May 9, 2012

Imo, mostly a gimmick - it could be useful if it worked instantly, and didn't drain the battery, but - it does...

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Wayne Larmon
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What does it hurt?
In reply to consultant1027, May 9, 2012

When my wife got a ZS7 a while ago, I was intrigued with the GPS and we used it. It didn't cause any problems. After the LCD on the ZS7 died, she replaced the camera with a Canon SX230, which also had a GPS. Which also worked. But none of my cameras had GPS built in, so I eventually got a GPS data logger, so all our photos could be geo-logged.

GPS built into a camera is there if you need it but can be disabled if you don't want to use it, so where is the problem? (But if you are really interested in geo-logging photos, an external GPS data logger is a better solution, IMO.)

Wayne

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KCampbell
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I use a data logger
In reply to consultant1027, May 10, 2012

I purchased a GPS datalogger which records my position every 2 minutes for about 18 hours on a charge, and I then Geo-tag my RAW files when I get home.

Personally I can't remember exactly where I took a picture in a country I've only visited once, 4 years later. I find it very helpful to be able to publish my images to Flickr on a map, both for myself and for friends or family who want to share the journey.

So, to me - not a gimmick.

Kevin

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robert1955
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Re: Is GPS more a Sales Gimmick than a Real World Benefit?
In reply to consultant1027, May 10, 2012

with gps you can also share the map [thru google maps]. With trekking and other activities where you move around the map is better [more fun] than mere placenames [even if you remember them at all].

consultant1027 wrote:

This seems novel. The keyword being 'novel.' On all my photos I share online, there's always a caption or title like, 'Pokai Bay, Oahu, Hawaii' So there's not really any question where the photo was taken.

beshannon wrote:

I use GPs as often as I can both on my Nikon cameras and on my ZS7.

I like to upload photos to Panaromio and when I share albums with friends and family on Picasa, then can see where the images were taken on a map.
--
My Smugmug photos http://www.brianshannonphotography.com/
My photo blog http://brianshannonphotography.blogspot.com/
My 500px photos http://500px.com/brianshannonphotography/

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Brian-Shannon-Photography/157237647635870

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jj74e
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Re: Is GPS more a Sales Gimmick than a Real World Benefit?
In reply to consultant1027, May 10, 2012

consultant1027 wrote:

I personally, have had no desire to use the GPS feature in my Panasonic ZS-7. I thought it would be an interesting discussion to look at how or how not people are getting real significant benefit from GPS.

I am an admitted techno-gadget addict, so it is odd for me not to be using this feature. I will admit, I have never really used it before. The reasons are:

1. I have never had any problem remembering where photos were taken and organizing my files by date and location.

some people do, you might as you get older sadly

2. Many of the reviews I read from users on various models complain of the tracking being problematic (takes long to get a signal, not accurate)

technology is getting better

3. Many of the reviews confirm GPS is a significant battery drain, and in many cases continues to drain the battery while the camera is off unless you remember to turn GPS off.

which is why you don't leave it on all the time just leave it on for a few shots to secure the location for the whole series of shots

4. I always have my iPhone on me so if I need to know where I am from a mapping or longitude/latitude aspect, I can easily get that info on my phone.

idk people who use camera gps to know where they are O_O

5. I don't have any special application use of my camera (work for forestry service, travel writer, road tripper, etc.) they may have specialized needs where GPS is a needed tool.

well then it's not for you

I'm just wondering, am I missing something here? Is there some BIG benefit I would enjoy that I've overlooked? Because if not, it seems more like some company decided to add a GPS as a feature to encourage more people to upgrade their cameras and then all the other manufacturers had to follow along - sort of like the increase in pixel density on sensors.

i'm personally not interested in GPS either. but i could imagine situations where it would be nice- for example, if i met someone i love, we took a roadtrip out to some unknown place, it'd be nice/sentimental to be able to go back to the exact same place.

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MissingLinkie
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Re: Is GPS more a Sales Gimmick than a Real World Benefit?
In reply to jj74e, May 10, 2012
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Johan Borg
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Re: Is GPS more a Sales Gimmick than a Real World Benefit?
In reply to consultant1027, May 10, 2012

consultant1027 wrote:

1. I have never had any problem remembering where photos were taken and organizing my files by date and location.

A well functioning camera GPS would allow software to organize by date and location automatically, even correcting the time to the local time zone since it knows where the photo was taken and since the GPS signal contains the time and date accurate to the nanosecond level.

So, yes, I'd like to have GPS in my cameras as long as it sticks to saving the correct time and position and otherwise stays completely out of the way.

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Simon Zeev
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Re: Is GPS more a Sales Gimmick than a Real World Benefit?
In reply to consultant1027, May 10, 2012

I am sorry that my camera doesn't have an GPS.

When I travel, regularly with organize tours, I take a lot of pictures without knowing tha name of the place (I take pictures when the guide is speaking also). At home I look at some 1-2000 pictures and sometime I don't have a clue where the pictures were taken.
A GPS can help.
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deleted_081301
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Re: Is GPS more a Sales Gimmick than a Real World Benefit?
In reply to Simon Zeev, May 10, 2012

Of all the gimicks which modern digital cameras have ..Face recognition,social network thingys,art filters,very high Asa/Iso ,off camera radio controll flash.. even Auto focus modes , and exposure modes

I think GPS would be much more usefull to me than most of them ..every picture (if i turn GPS on) would be instantly Identifiable as to where it was......Brilliant ....when i get home (From the middle of nowhere)with 700 + photos i can sort them out much easier

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JulesJ
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Re: Is GPS more a Sales Gimmick than a Real World Benefit?
In reply to consultant1027, May 10, 2012

consultant1027 wrote:

This seems novel. The keyword being 'novel.' On all my photos I share online, there's always a caption or title like, 'Pokai Bay, Oahu, Hawaii' So there's not really any question where the photo was taken.

I beg to disagree, in fact only a few days ago I asked someone on this forum where a picture was taken.

beshannon wrote:

I use GPs as often as I can both on my Nikon cameras and on my ZS7.

I like to upload photos to Panaromio and when I share albums with friends and family on Picasa, then can see where the images were taken on a map.
--
My Smugmug photos http://www.brianshannonphotography.com/
My photo blog http://brianshannonphotography.blogspot.com/
My 500px photos http://500px.com/brianshannonphotography/

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Brian-Shannon-Photography/157237647635870

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JulesJ
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Re: Is GPS more a Sales Gimmick than a Real World Benefit?
In reply to Simon Zeev, May 10, 2012

Simon Zeev wrote:

I am sorry that my camera doesn't have an GPS.

When I travel, regularly with organize tours, I take a lot of pictures without knowing tha name of the place (I take pictures when the guide is speaking also). At home I look at some 1-2000 pictures and sometime I don't have a clue where the pictures were taken.

I totally agree. Gimmick it is not. I don't have it on any of my cameras, but there are lots of my tens of thousands of images that I wish i could accurately locate. I took a month long trip in India in January and traveled across the country at it's widest and back and sincerely wish I knew exactly where I had taken some of the shots, I have a terrible memory, especially for foreign village names.

Last year I visited two Outer Hebrides islands and was driven to many places and bays. Another person on the trip had GPS and I was amazed looking at the site she put them on showing exactly where each shot was taken on the map. I probably won't buy an external one to hang on my DSLR but it is a feature I would have liked incorporated.
Jules

A GPS can help.
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Zeev
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http://public.fotki.com/zeev-simon/
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LensBeginner
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Re: Is GPS more a Sales Gimmick than a Real World Benefit?
In reply to JulesJ, May 10, 2012

Gimmick, except on rare occasions.
I always tag after I shot so not worth the huge battery drain.

I've always been able to reconstruct the position of the shot from google maps + memory, even where there's no street view available.

Greatest issue (at least to me) is to find the name of something that I don't know, even knowing where it is.

I once took a photo of a temple just outside Taipei, near the toll booth of an expressway. Found it on the map, couldn't find its name...

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CAcreeks
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Why do you care if I like GPS?
In reply to consultant1027, May 10, 2012

I think it's great to have latitude and longitude in EXIF.

It is much less of a gimmick than stupid stuff that doesn't work, such as redeye reduction, or stupid stuff that does work, such as pet detection.

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DuaneV
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Re: Is GPS more a Sales Gimmick than a Real World Benefit?
In reply to consultant1027, May 10, 2012

Gimmick. We've been shooting for 100 years and never needed it, I dont see a need now. I have the GPS turned OFF on my new Nikon. I have no interest in it. I dont think we need GPS in our cars either. It dumbs-down people.

I will admit that in todays technology based society there might be a FEW people who actually need it, but I think that number is VERY FEW.

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