GPS receiver with D300

Started Dec 18, 2007 | Discussions
WSLam Veteran Member • Posts: 4,148
GPS receiver with D300

Wondering if anyone can give me any pointers as to which GPS receiver to get to use with the D300/D3. Ideally it will be small, possibly stay attached via hotshoe.

Thanks!

(Cross post to D3 forum)

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ac385 Junior Member • Posts: 32
Re: GPS receiver with D300

This may be the best setup I have seen to date.

http://www.stockholmviews.com/diyphotogear/nikon_mc-35.html

OP WSLam Veteran Member • Posts: 4,148
Re: GPS receiver with D300

Thanks!
How is this different from say this sort of setup?

http://www.dawntech.hk/di-GPS/n2.htm

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Roy Deters Regular Member • Posts: 437
The Dawn Tech one is great.

I love mine, used it with the D200 and now the D300. I don't work for them.
--
Roy

'Live now; always make now the most precious time. Now will never come again' -- Captain Jean-Luc Picard

Nikon D300 / D200 / D70 / F4s

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snorri Regular Member • Posts: 325
Re: GPS receiver with D300

Keep in mind that the GPS device will have to point in the same direction as the camera for any built-in compass to work. If all you need is latitude / longitute / elevation, you won't care, but you will if you also want to know which direction your shot was taken in.

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snorri

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malch Forum Pro • Posts: 13,918
Re: GPS receiver with D300

ac385 wrote:

This may be the best setup I have seen to date.

http://www.stockholmviews.com/diyphotogear/nikon_mc-35.html

I think this one is the coolest I've seen but it's too expensive for me:

http://www.foolography.com/unleashedxmas.php

I've tried using a GPS data logger and tagging the pics during PP. That worked for me until the data logger was stolen (along with my car!). I wasn't real happy with the build quality of the Gisteq PhotoTrackr logger and I'm still trying to find a replacement. The PhotoTrackr has impressive sensitivity and power management but the case/packaging is just dreadful. I didn't like their software either but I was able to work around that.

Although the SirfStar III chipset is highly rated, it may not be the best for photo tagging. The Nemerix and/or MTK may have the edge.

theFool Regular Member • Posts: 184
Re: GPS receiver with D300

snorri wrote:

Keep in mind that the GPS device will have to point in the same
direction as the camera for any built-in compass to work. If all you
need is latitude / longitute / elevation, you won't care, but you
will if you also want to know which direction your shot was taken in.

Hi Snorri,

have you used any GPS with a built in compass with your camera? I don't know of any that will work, nor was I able to find out how Nikon wants the compass data sent... If a GPS receiver has a compass built in, they usually have a manufacturer-specific protocoll, and I'm sure nikon hasn't bothered to build in every one of those!

many Greetings
theFool

http://www.foolography.com
Christmas special on Bluetooth GPS Solution!

theFool Regular Member • Posts: 184
Re: GPS receiver with D300

malch wrote:

I think this one is the coolest I've seen but it's too expensive for me:

http://www.foolography.com/unleashedxmas.php

thanks for the compliment

still too expensive? - even with the christmas special? do you find the price unfair, or is it just more than YOU want to spend on something like that? What would, in your opinion be a fair price, and at what price would you "cave in"?

Although the SirfStar III chipset is highly rated, it may not be the
best for photo tagging. The Nemerix and/or MTK may have the edge.

what makes you say that? I'm a total fan of the Sirf III GPS Receivers, so much so that I haven't even tried out any of the others, because I'm so satisfied with it! What makes you think otherwise?

thanks for your interest

theFool
http://www.fooloography.com
Nikon GPS Solutions

Jim Trunck Contributing Member • Posts: 786
Dawn Tech N2 di-GPS Unit

This unit is SMALL, clips onto the flash hot shoe, and works with the D3, D300, D2's, D200, etc.

Moose Peterson uses one; here is his write-up URL:

http://www.moosenewsblog.com/?s=di-gps&submit=Search

Bjorn Rorslett has a write-up about it on his site.

Here is the URL (picutres and info and purchase instructions):

http://www.dawntech.hk/di-GPS/index.htm

Ships OVERNITE FedEx from HK. Excellent Service.

If you use Adobe Lightroom, the Lat/Lon will show in the image's EXIF data section with an arrow next to it. Clicking on the arrow will automatically open a Google Earth window showing you exacly where you took the photograph.

I am enjoying mine and have NO complaints, only GOOD comments.

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JT

snorri Regular Member • Posts: 325
D300 works with GPS compass

Hi theFool,

no, I haven't used it, but I read the D300 manual. Twice.

There is a whole chapter in it about GPS, including said note about compass data.

http://www.nikonusa.com/pdf/manuals/noprint/D300_en_noprint.pdf

By the way: Your wireless GPS gadget is very cool, but the product photos on your page are wayyyy too dark!

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snorri

--
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malch Forum Pro • Posts: 13,918
Re: GPS receiver with D300

theFool wrote:

I think this one is the coolest I've seen but it's too expensive for me:

http://www.foolography.com/unleashedxmas.php

thanks for the compliment
still too expensive? - even with the christmas special? do you find
the price unfair, or is it just more than YOU want to spend on
something like that? What would, in your opinion be a fair price, and
at what price would you "cave in"?

I certainly didn't mean to suggest the price was "unfair". But it is more than a lowly amateur with three kids to support can justify spending to geotag a few vacation snaps. Keep in mind I'd have to buy a Bluetooth capable receiver too.

And, then, for those of us in the US, the Euro is really starting to suck

I'd probably cave in at $100 but you shouldn't consider me a serious market!

If I was a pro and traveliing a great deal, I'd buy one in a heartbeat because I think you have nailed the PERFECT application for Bluetooth and justifying the investment would be a no-brainer!

Although the SirfStar III chipset is highly rated, it may not be the
best for photo tagging. The Nemerix and/or MTK may have the edge.

what makes you say that? I'm a total fan of the Sirf III GPS
Receivers, so much so that I haven't even tried out any of the
others, because I'm so satisfied with it! What makes you think
otherwise?

The Sirf III is excellent -- it has a lot of very satisfied fans. Gisteq claim that Nemerix does a slightly better job of tracking slow-moving targets (i.e. a photographer on foot versus an automobile on the freeway). Of course, Gisteq saying so, doesn't make it true. But I have seen some corroborating tests and evidence (at GPSPassion, I think).

The Gisteq Phototrackr uses the Nemerix and I was truly impressed with the sensitivity, tracking and accuracy as well as their very smart approach to power management. Sadly, the mechanical engineering and software sucks.

OP WSLam Veteran Member • Posts: 4,148
ordered!

Thanks! I just ordered one!

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theFool Regular Member • Posts: 184
Re: D300 works with GPS compass

snorri wrote:

no, I haven't used it, but I read the D300 manual. Twice.
There is a whole chapter in it about GPS, including said note about
compass data.

http://www.nikonusa.com/pdf/manuals/noprint/D300_en_noprint.pdf

OK, it seems that since they only write about Garmin GPS Receivers, then the Garmin receivers with a compass should work, so I'll have a look at the protocoll that those receivers use for the compass heading. Maybe they have one that has a compass and transmitts the data via bluetooth as well, which would be ideal.
(then I just need to get a D3 or D300 for christmas

By the way, thanks for the link of the manual, I now found out that the new "power-saving feature" of the D3/D300 (auto-meter off even during GPS data reception) might mean that some photos might not have the GPS data written to them, if you take the picture too fast (don't half-press the shutter first, but press it all the way through, directly after not shooting for a while).
So that might not be all that great after all..

By the way: Your wireless GPS gadget is very cool, but the product
photos on your page are wayyyy too dark!

Thanks for that hint, I have meant to add some more close up photos, but just haven't gotten around to it... I'll try to find some time to do that!

Although the photos only seem to be too dark on some PCs - Macs display them just fine.

many Greetings

theFool
http://www.foolography.com

theFool Regular Member • Posts: 184
Re: GPS receiver with D300

malch wrote:

I certainly didn't mean to suggest the price was "unfair". But it is
more than a lowly amateur with three kids to support can justify
spending to geotag a few vacation snaps.

I was just asking whether you thought it was unfair, not implying that you did think so. And apropos "lowly amateur" ... what should I say? - I wanted such a bluetooth Geotagging solution so bad that I decided to spend thousands of Euros (that was as a lowly amateur, when I was still a University Student!!) and go out on a limb and produce it professionally myself, and make it available for everyone else wishing for this wireless freedom.

And, then, for those of us in the US, the Euro is really starting to
suck

Tell me about it. I've only had one customer from the US!! - that was one of the first ones - he bought one of my latest (fully functional) "prototypes".

the problem is not only the Euro, but on top of that that US citizens are used to paying about the same amount in Dollars for photo gear that we here have to pay in Euros (just check out the D3 price: $5000 and here almost 5000 Euro which is almost $7500)

So I have almost no chance of reaching US customers, as it would be against my Nature of a European to give US-Customers a lower price than the rest of the world.

Keep in mind I'd have to buy a Bluetooth capable receiver too.

yeah, but those are dirt cheap these days. you can get good new ones for less than $50, and if you'd look for one on ebay, you'll get them for much less.

I'd probably cave in at $100 but you shouldn't consider me a serious
market!

I guess not

If I was a pro and traveliing a great deal, I'd buy one in a
heartbeat because I think you have nailed the PERFECT application for
Bluetooth and justifying the investment would be a no-brainer!

do you hear that, all you pro's out there reading this thread?
Although I think the same, I didn't write that!

The Sirf III is excellent -- it has a lot of very satisfied fans.
Gisteq claim that Nemerix does a slightly better job of tracking
slow-moving targets (i.e. a photographer on foot versus an automobile
on the freeway). Of course, Gisteq saying so, doesn't make it true.
But I have seen some corroborating tests and evidence (at GPSPassion,
I think).

The Gisteq Phototrackr uses the Nemerix and I was truly impressed
with the sensitivity, tracking and accuracy as well as their very
smart approach to power management. Sadly, the mechanical engineering
and software sucks.

Ah, OK, I see your point...

I guess I'll buy some GPS devices some time next year, to test for quality and compatibility with my device..

But I tell you something, I was at a 40 Year anniversary of the ESOC of the ESA (European equivalent of "Houston" of NASA), and all the highest guys of the ESA gave talks, and one of the main topics was the new Galileo project, which will make the GPS system entirely obsolete, with its 0.5 meter accuracy That's what I'm really looking forward to!!!

theFool
http://www.foolography.com

Bjorn Rorslett Contributing Member • Posts: 912
Re: D300 works with GPS compass

The new feature to enable Auto Meter Off when a GPS unit is connected works great with the di-GPS and similar devices over a serial connection, but is incompatible with the Bluetooth based "Unleashed" unit from foolography.com. The BT will go to sleep and will wake up in time for the next shot. I lost many GPS data sets before I understood I had to set my D3 (and D300, same behavior) to Auto Meter Off = disabled with this unit.

Bjorn Rorslett Contributing Member • Posts: 912
Re: D300 works with GPS compass

Oops, correction: ... the BT device will NOT wake up in time for the next shot. (So having the Auto meter off feature disabled is the only solution)

Other than this niggle, the "Unleashed" is a great asset for any pro photographer. I only wish it would be updated so it fits better on the D3 and D2-series. Then I gladly buy more of them.

malch Forum Pro • Posts: 13,918
Re: GPS receiver with D300

theFool wrote:

If I was a pro and traveliing a great deal, I'd buy one in a
heartbeat because I think you have nailed the PERFECT application for
Bluetooth and justifying the investment would be a no-brainer!

do you hear that, all you pro's out there reading this thread?
Although I think the same, I didn't write that!

Hehehe. Seriously, Bluetooth is a great way to get the GPS coords into the camera. It was a great innovative step on your part and I salute you for that!

As for pricing, Euro's, and stuff... have you considered getting these things made cheaply in Asia? You may be able to hit a price point that will significantly expand the market. And, if you don't, somebody else probably will, later if not sooner.

squeamish Senior Member • Posts: 2,268
Re: GPS receiver with D300

I don't find the price "unfair," but I do find it to be very high for something that, to be fair, does so little. For instance, my GPS datalogger has a bluetooth chipset, a GPS chipset (SirfStarIII), a battery, a controller board, and enough memory to log a day's worth of waypoints, and it cost about half of what you're selling, a device that basically just replaces a cable.

I think that product is a great idea, but the most I could ever see spending on something like that is around $50. $30-40 seems most appropriate.

This is the data logger I use:

http://www.usglobalsat.com/p-44-bt-335-gps-data-logger.aspx

It has worked flawlessly since I got it.

malch Forum Pro • Posts: 13,918
Re: GPS receiver with D300

squeamish wrote:

This is the data logger I use:

http://www.usglobalsat.com/p-44-bt-335-gps-data-logger.aspx

It has worked flawlessly since I got it.

I've heard a lot of good things about that device. However, it doesn't have a USB port, right?

I could live with that IF it had a similar kind of power management to the Gisteq devices. They include a vibration sensor such that the thing powers down after some period (e.g. 15 mins) of no movement. As soon as you pick the thing up it wakes up again. Net result: battery life goes from hours to days!

theFool Regular Member • Posts: 184
Re: D300 works with GPS compass

Bjorn Rorslett wrote:

I lost many GPS data sets before I understood I had to set my D3
(and D300, same behavior) to Auto Meter Off = disabled with this unit.

Hmm I thought I had informed you of this when you ordered the Device...

no, wait, I know I did... See the PS in the mail I wrote on Oct. 19th at 10:31 AM.

But I really do need to add some more D3 compatibility info on my website.

Other than this niggle, the "Unleashed" is a great asset for any pro
photographer. I only wish it would be updated so it fits better on
the D3 and D2-series. Then I gladly buy more of them.

It definitly will. I might even manage to make a more "inline" and less square casing for the current Version, but at the latest the next version will be a great improvement, especially in its physical shape and size.

many Greetings

theFool
http://www.foolography.com

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