GPS ready Digital SLR Cameras
July 25, 2006 11:16 PM   Subscribe

GPS ready Digital SLRs : What are the best available? Coming soon? Am I better waiting until the industry catches up?

I've been eyeing up digital SLRs for a while now (my past askmefi question), and have decided a GPS ready one would really hot things up.

(For those who don't know, Geo Positioning System (GPS)cameras will stamp every photo with your exact location on planet earth as it's taken.)

What's your opinions on this tech? Worth waiting until the next camera season?

Thanks
posted by 0bvious to Technology (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
P.S. The Nikon D200 looks mighty sexy, but is a bit out of my price range...

Cheers
posted by 0bvious at 11:21 PM on July 25, 2006


Nikon is announcing a new DSLR on August 9th.... 10.2 megapixels, but very little other information is available at present. Here's a non-flash set of images from the teaser. Might want to wait a bit.
posted by pjern at 11:48 PM on July 25, 2006


Unless things have changed dramatically in the last year, GPS-ready cameras are uniformly way more expensive than similar-spec but not GPS-ready cameras. My solution, when I want geocoded photos, has been to make sure the camera's clock is synchronized fairly closely to my handheld GPS (it doesn't have to be dead accurate--within a few seconds is fine) and then later use a utility which reads the timestamps on photos and the GPS track log and adds the appropriate lat/lon to the photos.

I use GPSPhotoLinker, which is a mac application. There are a bunch of similar tools for other platforms, though.
posted by hades at 11:50 PM on July 25, 2006 [4 favorites]


(I realize this doesn't exactly answer your question; sorry. But if you're looking at a camera that you'd buy now if only it had native GPS support, and you didn't know about geotagging in post, maybe it's useful information.)
posted by hades at 11:52 PM on July 25, 2006


Personally, I wouldn't bother - but that's just me... I only take photos because I think they'll look good and not because I'm gathering evidence or somesuch. GPS coords in the EXIF data wouldn't be admissible anywhere anyway because they're trivially modifiable without crypto support in the camera.

What about running a separate GPS datalogger that records your path? They can all do that. You can then look up your position in the GPS track for each photo using the EXIF timestamp data.

Of course, it ain't gonna work indoors either way.
posted by polyglot at 11:52 PM on July 25, 2006


damn you, hades! damn you to, um, hades!
posted by polyglot at 11:53 PM on July 25, 2006


I have decided to wait for the next Nikon... Whether it has GPS or not it sounds exciting. I was tempted by a D70s / D50 anyway.

Know any good online camera shops (probably based in Hong-Kong/Japan would be better for prices)?
posted by 0bvious at 6:13 AM on July 26, 2006


Shit... I just now purchased a D200. Just for the GPS... oh, and the killer features, too. Not that it won't be a good camera forever, but if this 10.2 megapixel unit has GPS support...

Did I make a poor decision? Is it likely that this unit will be much cheaper?
posted by fake at 6:35 AM on July 26, 2006


Nikon is announcing a new DSLR on August 9th.... 10.2 megapixels, but very little other information is available at present. Here's a non-flash set of images from the teaser. Might want to wait a bit.
posted by solopsist

Damn! ;-)
posted by dance at 6:37 AM on July 26, 2006 [1 favorite]


Oops, dodgy link!
posted by dance at 6:37 AM on July 26, 2006


solopsist writes "Nikon is announcing a new DSLR on August 9th.... 10.2 megapixels, but very little other information is available at present. Here's a non-flash set of images from the teaser. "

The new body is a prosumer replacement (you can tell by the pictures of the top of the body) and is wildly unlikely to have GPS capabilities.
posted by Mitheral at 6:47 AM on July 26, 2006


Realistcally, you are limited to the Ricoh which has inbuilt GPS but takes seriously crap photos, or something like the D2x with an external NMEA compliant unit - which is expensive. (The D2x not the NMEA Unit) On a plus side, it works incredibly well, (Issues re. accuracy notwithstanding) and if you have a use for it along the lines of architectural or the like, you get the best of both worlds.

Red Hen make the unit - http://www.redhensystems.com/

Good Article overall - http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1887065,00.asp

Interesting thread on the inaccuracy of same - http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1021&message=13002431

General Reading - http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/digitalphotography/prophoto/gps.mspx

Sorry for not linking, but using Opera 9 the option has vanished form the post window for some reason!??!
posted by DrtyBlvd at 7:47 AM on July 26, 2006


How much you reckon the new Nikon will cost?
posted by 0bvious at 8:48 AM on July 26, 2006


I second hades's advice. I also use a GPS and software (in my case, the WWMX Location Stamper) to sync the GPX track data into the EXIF data of the images.

This also allows me to move between any number of cameras - a SLR for when I'm doing more intense shooting, and a point-and-shoot for snapshots, travel, etc.

As for cameras, Canon's 5D is getting rave reviews as the first affordable full-frame sensor DSLR. It's priced to be *almost* consumer level, but I know several pros who have moved to it recently.
posted by squishy at 11:58 AM on July 26, 2006


Polyglot: note, on the topic of admissibility, that in general (IANAL), what is admitted as evidence is direct testimony of the photographer that "yes, I took that picture, at substantially the documented time and location, and that the print reflects what I saw there".

If you don't have that testimony (which is often ignored on all those cool courtroom dramas :-), then the pictures themselves are not, in fact, admissible, as I understand it.
posted by baylink at 12:24 PM on July 26, 2006


baylink: you are probably right and IANAL. Here in AU however, there was recently a speeding fine thrown out because the defendent pointed out that MD5 was susceptible to deliberate collisions. The images produced by the speeding cameras have an MD5 sum printed on them and he successfully argued that this did not constitute evidence of high enough quality. Or something. Regardless of the exact legal shenanigans, dude got away with the speeding fine because of breakable crypto and caused a lot of panic for the state govt. Note: not demonstrably broken crypto in his case, just crypto that could be broken if someone tried.

0bvious: my guess is that they will attempt to compete with the Sony Alpha 100, which is a 10MP DSLR for USD900. The Nikon content-free teaser ads came out just as the Sony is coming to market. For that reason, I'm thinking it's gonna be a pretty basic camera.
posted by polyglot at 7:27 PM on July 26, 2006


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