View Full Version : GPS enable camera

Ed Richards
10-Jul-2007, 07:38
I record GPS coordinates for all of my shots. This is important for my Southern LA work, because there is a good chance that a lot of the areas will be underwater in the next 25-50 years. It would be very useful to have a camera/GPS combo that would let me shoot a digital picture including the GPS info. Navman makes one, I am curious if there others anyone knows about. I am interested in cheaper models, under $1000, under $500 would be better. None of the GPS enabled cell phones seems able to put that data on a cell phone picture, but would be a great solution. (I do not need high rez, that is what the 4x5 is for.)

Alan Davenport
10-Jul-2007, 08:14
I don't think there's such a thing as a GPS-enabled large format camera; this stuff is lo-tech (almost by definition.)

A Magellan or Garmin GPS receiver will let you mark the coordinates. You can give the waypoint a name that corresponds with your notes for each shot.

evan clarke
10-Jul-2007, 08:21
Nikon had a module for their D1, I don't know if it is still available...EC

Walter Calahan
10-Jul-2007, 08:22
Many of the DSLR cameras on the market can record GPS when you make an image with a cheap Garmin of other brand is attached.

But I'm curious why you think it is necessary to record this information if you really believe these sites will be underwater? If you return in 50 years and they are all underwater, won't your second image of the location look the same as all the other underwater locations? Grin.

10-Jul-2007, 08:24
Ed, I think this little thing might be what you're looking for:


Cheaper than anything else I've seen but, based on description, looks very promising.

Gordon Moat
10-Jul-2007, 09:53
You could use a Google Earth Trackstick (http://www.googleearthstore.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=1%2DTSII). This records your path and all locations, and can be coordinated with the Google Earth browser. You could then place any images onto your personal verison of Google Earth for future reference.


Gordon Moat
A G Studio (http://www.allgstudio.com)

Ed Richards
10-Jul-2007, 13:43

Along these lines there is a software solution that takes your digital photos and the track information from your GPS and matches them up. It does work, but I am looking for a one box, limited post processing solution.

Ted Harris
10-Jul-2007, 13:56
Ed, I know you can connect some GPS units directly to the Fuji Finepix S5 and store the GPS ata inthe image metadata. Not large format but at least you could do a 'record' shot and then go from there.

Ed Richards
10-Jul-2007, 15:02
Ted et al - I am not looking to put the GPS info into the metadate on the 4x5 film.:-)

I just want an easy way to do a visual map of where I have been shooting so I can return to the locations and so that I let others locate the shots more precisely. The Navman N60i looks like it can do the job, but the Jobo unit is also pretty interesting.

10-Jul-2007, 17:07

Along these lines there is a software solution that takes your digital photos and the track information from your GPS and matches them up. It does work, but I am looking for a one box, limited post processing solution.

Ed, I understand perfectly what you're after, but the Jobo unit seemed closest to your requirements, especially for the price. Way cheaper than a regular GPS + third party software and, IMO, more efficient.

Google Earth Stick that Gordon found also looks pretty neat.

Don Hutton
10-Jul-2007, 17:46
I use a Garmin Ique for my BTZS calcs - pretty handy because it is a GPS unit too, so it's a simple matter to record that data too (although I don't).

Ed Richards
10-Jul-2007, 18:25

The Jobo unit looks very interesting, and I will probably try it when it becomes available. I also use a GPS for navigation, which is why the combined camera GPS looked good, but it is a handful to carry and not get very good shoots. I find it pretty handy when I am out in the sticks to have the GPS when I need to back track.

15-Jul-2007, 02:40
I've currently got an ipaq along with globalsat receiver and software. It's a nice idea but a PITA for setting up each time to capture a point. Switch everything on, wait for receiver to lock onto a signal, fire up port-splitting software to stop TomTom nicking the data, fire up gps software, take a point reading, wonder if it's worked, shut everything down in the correct sequence remembering to make sure the software is off as it disables powersave and then put it all away until next time...

The Jobo unit looks promising but I bet it needs a live hotshoe to trigger it rather than a pc cable from the LF shutter. I've enough to carry round without adding the DSLR as well. Even if it stored time, date, place, heading, altitude etc it would be useful as you could cross-reference it to the info on the film holders etc.

Presumably it's worldwide use as it's just giving out a dataset. The other option I'd thought of was to get something like a Garmin gps unit with a high enough spec to have the "proper" compass, i.e. stationary reading so you know the position and heading. These would also help with the navigation / getting home or back again later. I know someone who bought one quite cheaply in the US compared to our UK prices and then found out about the map sets being different (D'Oh) and Garmin UK wouldn't talk to him...

15-Jul-2007, 02:44
And if you use a Canon, taken from the Canon website:

Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E2 – faster workflows

Responding to feedback from Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E1 users, Canon has expanded the functionality of the Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E2 to also support two-way communication via peer to peer (PTP) and HTTP protocols. Remote users can trigger the shutter button or download images from the camera via an internet browser window, dramatically reducing the time it takes from capture to publication. The Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E2 offers users a greater degree of security by allowing up to 4 types of WEP encryption as well as WPA2-PSK, which supports high security AES encryption.

USB host functionality means photographers can shoot directly to external storage media on longer shooting assignments. The unit also supports recording of GPS data - when connected to a portable GPS device, the location and time of capture is automatically added to each image as EXIF data.

Requiring no additional batteries, the Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E2 fits neatly onto the side of the EOS-1D Mark III and offers the same degree of weather resistance as the camera body.

Ed Richards
15-Jul-2007, 07:11

Even if you could trigger the Jobo unit with a PC cord, the LF camera is not recording the exact time of the photo, so there is no data to match to it. Now I have a simple (cheap) Magellen Explorist 210. I hit a button to mark a Point of Interest, and I note the point of interest's number in my notes on the shot that go on the permanent file for the shot. That lets me match the photo to the making program I use when I download the POIs. It also does navigation so that I can use it for figuring out where I am, and will download more detailed maps, but I am too cheap to buy them. While it does not have a static compass, I just carry a simple compass for headings of locations, and note those with the shot if necessary.

15-Jul-2007, 12:08

I generally write the date and sometimes the time on the outside of the quickload sleeve so that it gives me a cataloguing reference and running order when I go through the pictures later. It wouldn't need to be accurate to milliseconds - by the time I've changed sheets I'm probably to the nearest minute and my wristwatch can handle those... ;)

My GPS units for the car satnav and other things pick up the time as part of the signal so it shouldn't be too arduous cross-referencing.

I also carry an "analogue" compass to go with my sunrise/sunset indicator but it could double up for headings and a clinometer if required. The one on the ipaq gps software is neither use nor ornament as it jumps around so much :(

I've used Memory Map software which can take maps at 1:25K and 1:50K but as I mentioned above, it's the time spent setting it all up is a bind when I'm never that far away from civilisation to know where I am... ;)