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GPS Loggers

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darranl  5318 forum posts England
12 Apr 2012 - 11:08 AM

Just interested to know does anyone make use of a GPS logger when out with a camera?

Some cameras have GPS already available or a module can be added but as an alternative I have seen that in Lightroom 4 or even using a standalone tool you can take a GPX log of a route from a GPS logger and then automatically by matching the time and date update the location information for the images.

Using my Android phone I could run an app to capture the log but the risk is that you drain the battery so if something happens and you need it you no longer have access to your phone so I was thinking about dedicated loggers which seem to have much better battery life as well.

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QBoyd  5 United Kingdom
12 Apr 2012 - 11:43 AM

I have been using gps4cam on my iPhone which has been very reliable as well as having settings to stop battery life drain. It syncs really well with my Aperture files but haven't tried it with Lightroom yet. I know they have an Android version as well. May be worth a go for a few quid rather than spending out on a GPS logger?


GlennH  91918 forum posts France1 Constructive Critique Points
12 Apr 2012 - 11:44 AM

I use a JOBO photoGPS4, which adds country, city, street, and POI when hooked up to the software and internet. Not always extremely accurate in cities, as you might expect, but I find it helpful nonetheless for captioning and keywording purposes, and co-ordinates can be cross-referenced directly against Google Maps. I'd prefer to embed geo-data directly into the raw files rather than produce XMP sidecar files, but there's no cheap & easy option to do that with my current Canon bodies.

digicammad  1121988 forum posts United Kingdom37 Constructive Critique Points
12 Apr 2012 - 11:48 AM

At the moment, if I want to record where I was for a particular sequence of photos I take a photo using my iPhone. The co-ordinates are recorded in the exif data and you can also view photo locations in the camera roll on the phone.


mlewis  101476 forum posts United Kingdom
12 Apr 2012 - 12:40 PM

I geotag a lot of my photos. I use my Garmin outdoor gps to record the tracks.

Ewanneil  41118 forum posts Scotland2 Constructive Critique Points
12 Apr 2012 - 1:06 PM

I use the Phottix Geo One GPS module on my D300S. I have to say it is one of the best purchases I have ever made. Almost all of my photos are taken outdoors on my various travels. The Geo One saves me a huge amount of time logging where shots were taken. It picks up the satellites quickly and doesn't add too much to battery drain. I am so impressed with it I leave it on my camera permanently.

The map function in LR3 was good - it just opened up Google Maps for you. In LR4 it is excellent as it is integrated into the modular structure of the software so it is now easy to geo-tag any of your photos where GPS data was not recorded.

I would say that for landscape photographers who travel to lots of new or unfamiliar locations, in-camera GPS logging is a real benefit. You can concentrate more on the photography and less on location record keeping.

digicammad  1121988 forum posts United Kingdom37 Constructive Critique Points
12 Apr 2012 - 1:28 PM

Can it tell you in which direction you were facing when you took the photo? Smile

darranl  5318 forum posts England
12 Apr 2012 - 1:48 PM

Quote: Can it tell you in which direction you were facing when you took the photo?

Hadn't thought of capturing that as well - could be very useful if you wanted to plan for a time of the year with the sun in a better position.

lobsterboy Site Moderator 1014170 forum postslobsterboy vcard United Kingdom13 Constructive Critique Points
12 Apr 2012 - 1:54 PM

Well you could combine it with the photographers Epherimis to work out where the sun was that day then work from there I suppose.

darranl  5318 forum posts England
12 Apr 2012 - 4:21 PM

Thanks for the comments everyone - I think I may start trying gps4cam - my camera can't act as a master flash commander so if I go for anything hot shoe based it could be competing any time I also need to connect a flash so really like the idea of tracking locations Independent of the camera and then matching up the locations by time later.

12 Apr 2012 - 5:56 PM

I have only recently been given an Android and have installed MY Tracks. I have given this a quick test recording a route taking some photos on my DSLR on the way. I was able to add the Geocode in Lightroom 3 using a Plug-in though I have just ordered LR4 which will make this much easier. There was only one snag in that the record in My Tracks is exactly 1 day ahead. Many others have reported this bug so hopefully it will be fixed soon. However, it was quite easy to correct the record using Find and Replace All in Notebook. I do not yet have enough experience in the battery life but you are warned that it will be shorter with GPS on. I would hope that a full charge would give a few hours but not too useful if you have a dead phone at the end of a shoot even if the geo track is recorded OK.


Hugo  9639 forum posts United Kingdom
12 Apr 2012 - 10:01 PM

Having spent some time on this - here's my thoughts. It was always on the "to-do" list, but now Lightroom 4 has maps, it jumped to the top.
1) Use my Android phone. But the battery is so poor as it is...rules it out.
2)Buy an external tracker.
There are lots around - look on Amazon or eBay. I ended up going for one of the more expensive ones- because it offerers much longer battery life (2days) and has a vibration sensor, so it goes to sleep when not moving, this should take the battery beyond two days. For casual day trips it's not an issue, it's more for holidays- I think I could leave it in the bottom of the bag switched on and it would give maybe 3 or 4 days between charges.

This is the model I chose: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Qstarz-BT-Q1000XT-5Hz-66-Ch-Bluetooth-GPS-Receiver-Dat...

There are some others that looked quite the part -this is a 35mm film! - but battery life is less. http://www.ebay.co.uk/ctg/Holux-M-241-GPS-Receiver-/80177589?_dmpt=UK_AudioTVEle...

3)Bought a Canon S100 compact. Built in GPS. The way forward. But it eats the battery and it seems built in GPS is not an option yet even on the top SLR's. I know there are bolt on systems - all very expensive!

With the Qstarz logger you have to use their (free and actually fairly ok) software to get the GPX file and then it's easy in Lightroom. I believe some other loggers just show up as a removable drive in the PC and the GPX file is there.

Last Modified By Hugo at 12 Apr 2012 - 10:03 PM
13 Apr 2012 - 11:55 AM

The Qstarz-BT-Q1000XT looks an attractive option and only 49.99 on Amazon. I will still give my Adroid a try out first as my out in the wild photoshoots are now rarely more than 3-4 hrs; if my Andoid cannot manage that from a full charge, the feature is of little use.


Hugo  9639 forum posts United Kingdom
13 Apr 2012 - 11:36 PM

I did buy a "battery extender" for my Android Desire HD - it just takes AA batteries although there are lots of other designs with special built in batteries.


14 Apr 2012 - 9:37 AM

Thanks another useful tip. I have bought a charger for my car at an amazing price of 1.49 as well.


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