Review by Gary Wolstenholme
The Phottix Geo One is a direct alternative for Nikon's own GP-1 GPS receiver, which adds location information to the EXIF data of each photo taken. This can then be loaded up in software that supports GPS information such as Picasa, or freeware such as Geosetter, to show where the images were taken.
Compatible Nikon Cameras:
The Phottix Geo One can also be attached to a computer via a standard mini USB cable, which can function like a Satnav with the right software. It will be of interest to those who travel a lot, and wish to share details of their travels in a precise, yet convenient way.
Phottix Geo One: Features
The device mounts onto the hotshoe or neck strap of the camera being used and connects to the remote terminal for data transfer and for triggering the camera with the supplied remote. The remote will be useful for long exposures, or when camera shake is a problem. Connecting the device is easy - I was getting a GPS position reading in just over 30sec to start off with, then much quicker afterwards.
The unit continues to receive GPS data as long as it's connected to the camera via the supplied cord, even when the camera is turned off, which helps to speed up the acquisition of a GPS signal. Power for the unit is drawn from the camera, so it requires no extra batteries.
An indicator light on the top of the device lets you know whether it has acquired signal from enough GPS satellites to ascertain your position correctly. A red blinking light warns that no GPS data will be recorded, just so that you know. The blinking light changes to green once three GPS satellites have been detected, which is just enough to work out your position. When four or more satellites have been detected, the green light stops blinking, remaining on until the signal is interrupted. You can check the information that will be recorded at any point by selecting the GPS option in the custom settings menu of your camera.
A red light means no signal has been found.
Once the location has been found, it will add to the EXIF data and be able to display on the screen of the camera.
No software is supplied with the Geo One, although freeware programs to support the GPS information created can be readily downloaded from the internet. Google Earth
is one that most will be familiar with, plus there's also GeoSetter for Windows
which is specifically designed for managing geotagged images. I had a good search for navigation software to use the device with a laptop. There are several solutions available, but most of the good ones will cost you about as much as a separate navigation device, and I imagine the device will be much easier to use on the move.
Phottix Geo One: Build Quality
For a lightweight plastic device, the Geo One is reassuringly well-built, at least as well as the Nikon equivalent. All the connections are sealed with rubber gaskets to keep dirt and moisture out, which will allow you to set the device up and forget about it, whatever the conditions. It sits firmly on the hotshoe and the supplied clip for attaching the device to a strap feels very secure.
Phottix Geo One: Performance
Once the device has been connected and a GPS signal has been found for the first time, it appears to have no issues updating the position. When the GPS signal is good, it appears to be very accurate updating for small movements, even just a few steps here or there.
Phottix Geo One: Verdict
Geotag information shown in the EXIF data on the camera.
Right: a screengrab from photosetter, the supplied software.
Although the Phottix Geo One is under half the price of the official £230 Nikon GP-1 GPS unit, it appears to work very effectively, and in very much the same way.
Overall the Phottix Geo One is a good product, at a good price, that does exactly what it says it should do with the minimum of fuss.
Phottix Geo One: Plus points
Warm-up time is fairly quick
Sensitive enough to adjust to small changes of position
Easy to set up and use
Phottix Geo One: Minus points
No software supplied to support GPS data, although several freeware solutions are available.
The Phottix Geo One is available to buy direct from Phottix's website for £110.
Phottix Geo One