Author Topic: GPS accessories  (Read 427 times)

Ilkka Nissilä

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1375
  • You ARE NikonGear
GPS accessories
« on: April 13, 2021, 00:00:54 »
Hi,
I would like to attach GPS data to all my nature images at the point of capture. I have an old GPS device but I didn't use it as it blocked the use of the remote terminal for other uses such as cable release. I noticed that Nikon have discontinued their GP-1/A.

I wonder which device is recommended nowadays? di-GPS now have 10-pin connectors so that a cable release could be used while using the GPS device. This is what I need.

I know there is Snapbridge but not all cameras support it and I'm a little concerned about battery use on the D850 if I keep Snapbridge always connected. I got hooked on the built-in GPS on the D6 which seems to work well and doesn't seem to affect battery life in a noticeable way.

I have decades of regret not having GPS data logged on images. ;) In my early years I could remember image details but things are becoming more clouded now as I've photographed more, I remember less about each image. ;)

Anyway thanks for your suggestions as to which product to get.

David H. Hartman

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2360
  • I Doctor Photographs... :)
Re: GPS accessories
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2021, 00:24:00 »
I know there is Snapbridge but not all cameras support it and I'm a little concerned about battery use on the D850 if I keep Snapbridge always connected.

Snapbridge works fine for me with my D850 *povided* that I have my phone close and *provided* that I remember to turn Snapbridge on. Unfortunately I can't be relied on to remember.  >:(

I haven't noticed battery life as a problem but I haven't done any with and without tests. Carrying one more spare battery pack should take care of any extra battery drain.

Dave
Beatniks are out to make it rich
Oh no, must be the season of the witch!

Zang

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 309
  • You ARE NikonGear
Re: GPS accessories
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2021, 02:54:17 »
Please consider using a separate GPS logger and match the data after the pictures were taken. You will need to set accurate time in your camera for it to be accurate.

Birna Rørslett

  • Global Moderator
  • **
  • Posts: 3158
  • A lesser fierce bear of the North
Re: GPS accessories
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2021, 07:05:01 »
Alternatively, take a "calibration" picture when you turn on the GPS logger, in order to allow an estimate of  delta-T. Use that time offset with EXIFTool or similar to line up pictures with coordinates later. I use that approach with those cameras which have no direct GPS support, such as my various Panasonic, Olympus, or Sony NEX. For the Z50, Snapbridge set to GPS mode works, but accuracy is not high (due to the 'phone no doubt more than the program in itself).

In my experience, nothing beats having a small, unobtrusive GPS unit permanently connected to the camera. I use the Foolography devices. These are tiny GPS data receivers and can either sit on the 10-pin port, or USB, and draw negligible power from the camera. Put a bluetooth GPS logger or similar in your pocket and you are all set. The Foolography has an extra port to allow use of a cable release (mini-jack type usually, the USB models provide the Nikon-kind of USB connector).

MFloyd

  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 1502
  • My quest for the "perfect" speed blur
    • Adobe Portfolio
Re: GPS accessories
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2021, 10:51:22 »
GPS data with your pictures is a godsend. With the D6 it’s permanently on. With the D850, I have to connect it to my iPhone through SnapBridge. My old method was to take a picture with the smartphone (which has GPS data embedded) before or after a session in a particular location. Problem: you tend to forget, in the middle of the action.
Γνῶθι σεαυτόν

Ilkka Nissilä

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1375
  • You ARE NikonGear
Re: GPS accessories
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2021, 11:13:02 »
GPS data with your pictures is a godsend. With the D6 it’s permanently on. With the D850, I have to connect it to my iPhone through SnapBridge. My old method was to take a picture with the smartphone (which has GPS data embedded) before or after a session in a particular location. Problem: you tend to forget, in the middle of the action.


Yeah, I really love the D6's built-in GPS because it's always there and doesn't need to be remembered.  The D6 can also act as a GPS logger for other cameras (the data is transferred afterwards based on time) but I haven't used that feature yet. Also I don't always have that camera with me, usually when going to shoot landscape I just bring the D850.

I will try to remember to turn on Snapbridge when going out with the D850 so it too gets the GPS data.

I just ordered the Foolography UNLEASHED N1 with cable for D5 and D850. The devices were out of stock and they expect deliveries in May.

David H. Hartman

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2360
  • I Doctor Photographs... :)
Re: GPS accessories
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2021, 11:21:29 »
Snapbridge offers high, medium and low accuracy with high draining your smart device battery more and low saving battery for both the camera and smart device. There is a warning about using high while traveling in a car or train as that increases battery drain. This option is controlling the frequency of updates.

I placed options for GPS in the last page of my menu to make it easier to check to see if data was available to my D850. It always was so I stopped checking and then I forget to check my phone for Snapbridge running.

There is an option in the D850 to keep it updated while turned off. That doesn't seem to have a large impact on battery drain.

I'm OK with Snapbridge for GPS but I need to get back into the habit of check to see that Bluetooth and Snapbridge are running.
Beatniks are out to make it rich
Oh no, must be the season of the witch!

Anthony

  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 1498
Re: GPS accessories
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2021, 13:02:45 »
Please consider using a separate GPS logger and match the data after the pictures were taken. You will need to set accurate time in your camera for it to be accurate.

This is my preferred solution. A good app will have an offset facility in case the camera and phone are not synchronised. An advantage is that it easily provides a map of a trip which can be viewed separately and shared with friends.
Anthony Macaulay

golunvolo

  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 4383
  • You ARE NikonGear
Re: GPS accessories
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2021, 18:33:45 »
With D500 and Z6 I've tried snap brige connection, follography device paired with phone app and foolography with external gps. Theh all work but the latest is by far the easiest and more accurate. The foolography unleashed was on sale recently (100€) and the compatible gps was around 75€.

golunvolo

  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 4383
  • You ARE NikonGear
Re: GPS accessories
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2021, 18:35:17 »
To be fair an old di-GPS module on a D3S works very well onthe open field too.

Ilkka Nissilä

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1375
  • You ARE NikonGear
Re: GPS accessories
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2021, 22:58:00 »
I tested Snapbridge for GPS tagging, it appears that the transfer of location data needs to be activated before the session and has a time limit (of two hours, I read this somewhere in Nikon's pages but did not verify). I noticed that although the bluetooth connection remains in effect, location data transfer is not happening unless refeshed from time to time from the application. I guess they are trying to manage battery consumption. Still, it's disappointing as the built-in GPS tagging works nicely in the D6 with no timeouts or battery consumption issues.

Since I would like to have a solution that works across all cameras, I went on and purchased a Garmin GPS device and am uploading regional open data maps that contains among other things, contours for elevation and boundaries of private yards. This is important information as I don't want to walk on someone's yard by accident. It has a lousy screen and 1980s style user interface but what is wonderful is that it can be used with a smartphone app that shows the same map and location info but on a big bright screen. :) Track logs can be downloaded to the mobile or a computer. I will test tagging nef files based on GPX track log files when I find the time, probably tomorrow. It can use AA NiMH batteries which I also use in my Speedlights.

What is nice is the maps that this can work with, and that I can use it to GPS tag the files from any camera. I will still pursue automatic tagging via Foolography once it arrives hopefully in May (back-ordered). I will probably not use Snapbridge in my D850 to do this as while it had worked problem-free in wifi mode for quite some time, now trying to activate bluetooth took five minutes of frustration until it suddenly worked. I had forgotten about the hard time Snapbridge had given me early on. Anyway, I will continue to use it for wifi transfers, hopefully without problems as it has been.

(Edit) I now realize my mistake, the Auto link options contains Synchronize location data option which was not selected. I wonder why that changed, as previously I've had this data automatically tagged, but perhaps it has defaulted to having this feature off when the app has been updated or removed and reinstalled. My mistake. I'll give it another go! :-) Now it works.

Overwriting original GPS data based on GPX track files from the Garmin in Nikon Studio NX worked fine, and was easy to apply. Now I am not sure how the data is stored, if in sidecar files, is it something easy to read from a third-party application. I'll look into a search solution next.

David H. Hartman

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2360
  • I Doctor Photographs... :)
Re: GPS accessories
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2021, 02:57:18 »
Taking the data from the menu in my D850 and placing it in Google Maps the pin thing lands about three blocks away. Taking the data from the NEF file's EXIF the pin lands about 20 meters/yards off the mark. Taking data from my android phone and GPS Waypoint Finder from Keuwlsoft the pint is about five or six meters/yards off which seems pretty good for modest priced Moto G7 phone.

Is this about what I should expect? Is there anything better than Nikon Snapbridge I can run on my phone to enter GPS data into a Nikon NEF file?

Dave
Beatniks are out to make it rich
Oh no, must be the season of the witch!

Øivind Tøien

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1362
  • Fairbanks, Alaska
Re: GPS accessories
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2021, 04:08:05 »
I use an open source app on the phone called GPS logger that can log position at 1 sec intervals (screen with lots of red opposed to some other apps with the same name, quite accurate, but uses a lot of battery). I then open the GPX file in the map mode of ViewNX-i (now NX Studio), and import all the positions into the EXIF from the Log. With good synchronization of clocks (also watch out for daylight savings time settings), this gives more accurate positions than with the built in GPS of my AW1.
Øivind Tøien

David H. Hartman

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2360
  • I Doctor Photographs... :)
Re: GPS accessories
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2021, 06:56:35 »
Thank you!
Beatniks are out to make it rich
Oh no, must be the season of the witch!