Pentax Astrotracer Guide and GPS Feature Comparison

A look at the O-GPS1 versus in-camera GPS

By K David in Articles and Tips on May 10, 2018

Pentax cameras offer GPS functionality in two ways: either through the built-in antenna found in the Pentax K-1, K-1 II, and K-3 II, or through the O-GPS1 accessory, which works with most other DSLRs since 2010.

Sample 78-second star photo taken with the Astrotracer

GPS data unlocks another unique Pentax DSLR feature: the Astrotracer.  With the help of location information and the Shake Reduction system, the camera can track stars by turning the sensor to match the stars' movement.  This allows you to more than double the exposure time of astro photos without introducing star trails— which can result in more detailed starscapes!

While this is great, it gives rise to a number of questions:

  • What are the practical exposure time limits of the Astrotracer?
  • How do you optimize the Astrotracer's performance?
  • What is the difference between in-camera GPS functionality and cameras using the O-GPS1?
  • Can I use the O-GPS1 on GPS-enabled cameras?

We answer these questions and more through a series on hands on tests.  Read on for the answers!

Pentax Astrotracer Guide & O-GPS1 vs In-camera GPS Comparison

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