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06-11-2011, 11:57 PM   #1
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[langtitle=da]Pentax and GPS[/langtitle]

I am disappointed that Pentax did not build a GPS unit into their top DSLR cameras.
I own three GPS units for photography and none are very good/very easy to use.
The best one I have is the JOBO unit, that only take readings when the shutter is released. It is mounted in the hot shoe. Unfortunately Pentax hot-shoes don't work at shutter speeds faster than the flash syncronisation will allow - appr. 1/160 seconds. So, when using the JOBO unit, I can press a small button on the JOBO unit to activate the unit to make a reading. That's nice, but still somewhat annoying to have to do this, because sometimes I forget to pres the button at each location.
Does anyone know of a better solution? It would be great to have a firmware update that would allow the hot shoe to get activated at faster shutterspeeds.

Regards
Jens/Photodana, Denmark


Last edited by Photodana; 06-12-2011 at 12:02 AM.
06-12-2011, 08:37 PM   #3
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photodana said

"I am disappointed att Pentax did not build a GPS unit til deres top DSLR cameras."

An add on unit costing a lot money isn't a solution to satisfy the r3equest for Pentax building GPS into the camera.

And I agree with the poster "photodana"

Many mobile phones have GPS built in. Why on earth can't a £1k camera have it built in? £250 extra for GPS is a rip off.
06-12-2011, 11:38 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Smeggypants Quote
photodana said

"I am disappointed att Pentax did not build a GPS unit til deres top DSLR cameras."

An add on unit costing a lot money isn't a solution to satisfy the r3equest for Pentax building GPS into the camera.
But the rest of the his post asks for a better solution then his current add on GPS that isn't fully compatible.

O.T. Do I have a weird forum setup? Because if I press "Original message in Danish" I get a better English text.

06-13-2011, 09:54 AM   #5
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Hey photodana, I feel your pain. I always thought that it would be nice to have an integrated GPS. At least we see some progress, pentax just released their own GPS system, which means that an integrated GPS can't be far away anymore. That would be a reason to upgrade my k-7!

QuoteOriginally posted by Gimbal Quote
O.T. Do I have a weird forum setup? Because if I press "Original message in Danish" I get a better English text.
I have the same issue, maybe photodana has the wrong settings?
06-13-2011, 10:35 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Smeggypants Quote
photodana said

"I am disappointed att Pentax did not build a GPS unit til deres top DSLR cameras."

An add on unit costing a lot money isn't a solution to satisfy the r3equest for Pentax building GPS into the camera.

And I agree with the poster "photodana"

Many mobile phones have GPS built in. Why on earth can't a £1k camera have it built in? £250 extra for GPS is a rip off.
Because that would add $50-100 to the cost of the camera.

Mobile phones can do it cheaply because it's OK for them to band-aid around a cheap horrible-performing correlator chipset using SUPL and ephemeride preloads.

Try using a mobile phone GPS in a no-service area (no SUPL) and no ephemeride preloads - enjoy your 10 minute+ lock times.

(I am reasonably familiar with the capabilities of some mobile phone GPS units, as at one point I tried to add SUPL and ephemeride preload support to the GPS driver for xdandroid, an Android port for phones originally intended to run Windows Mobile.)

There's also the fact that it ties the upgrade cycle of your camera and GPS together.

GPS L2C goes live? Ooops, gotta buy a new camera too!
Awesome new sensor in the latest body? Gotta pay for the GPS again.

Let's not forget that if the GPS is built into the camera, the antenna will only be optimally oriented in portrait or landscape orientation - not both, while with a standalone logger you can have it ALWAYS pointing upwards.

The only case where integrating a GPS directly with the camera makes sense is for the new astrophotography features of Pentax's new offering, or for the epically lazy who can't even be bothered to spend 30 seconds per photo album loading a tracklog.
06-13-2011, 11:11 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Entropy Quote
Because that would add $50-100 to the cost of the camera.

There's also the fact that it ties the upgrade cycle of your camera and GPS together.

GPS L2C goes live? Ooops, gotta buy a new camera too!
Awesome new sensor in the latest body? Gotta pay for the GPS again.

Let's not forget that if the GPS is built into the camera, the antenna will only be optimally oriented in portrait or landscape orientation - not both, while with a standalone logger you can have it ALWAYS pointing upwards.

The only case where integrating a GPS directly with the camera makes sense is [...] or for the epically lazy who can't even be bothered to spend 30 seconds per photo album loading a tracklog.
You make a good point entropy, but wouldn't it be nice if it were integrated? I'm not a big fan of attaching an additional device on top of your camera or on your bag. I would love it were integrated in the camera and if it would 'just work'.

If it makes the camera too expensive, why not add it to the grip? I understand that it may not be the best location for a GPS, but it should still work somehow. (Correct me if I'm wrong.)

I'm still pretty confident that a GPS is going to be standard in DSLR's in a few years.

As for the lazy part, I'm 100% guilty!
06-14-2011, 07:54 AM   #8
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If it's in the grip, the antenna element will almost always be covered by your hands or facing downwards. This will degrade accuracy significantly. Plus I don't want to pay $50-100 extra for GPS in my grip, for the same reasons as not wanting to pay for it in the camera. Anything less than $50 and it's going to be an inferior chipset to anything I can buy standalone.

Also, having a GPS receiver always running is going to eat battery. If it's not always running, it will suffer degraded accuracy.

I don't like camera-top attachments either - similar reasons. It makes the camera bulkier, it results in the GPS not performing as well.

My iBlue is nice and small, and it Velcros perfectly to the top of my backpack. (It even came with Velcro!)

08-08-2011, 04:12 AM   #9
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I have now updated my Pentax O-GPS1 slideshow with more images showing the camera (K-5)LCD screen for checking the recorded geodata:

Geotagging on the fly - a set on Flickr

Regards
Jens
08-08-2011, 04:26 AM   #10
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Tried mine out this weekend; worked flawlessly so am beginning to excuse myself the expense.
As have mentioned previously in another thread, had suggested to Pentax some years ago that bluetooth could have provided a rather inexpensive geotagging solution but given the specification of O-GPS1 and the likelyhood of support on future bodies with enhanced or extended functionality can understand their direction.
You never know, there may even be a 'spear' adapter in the pipeline that will enable direct coupling of p-TTL.
08-08-2011, 09:49 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Entropy Quote
Because that would add $50-100 to the cost of the camera.
even a 100 is better than the cost of the current add on unit. I would say a more realistic price is another 50 though. And given the way these things drop in price, it won't be long befoer tat price halves.

if it adds another 25 to 50 to the next model Pentax DSLR,the K-3, or whatever it's called then we're looking at goof value.
08-08-2011, 11:39 PM   #12
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Yes but how many people complain about the cost of the camera and they don't want GPS etc etc. I agree it would be nice to have it built in, but when they are trying to sell more cameras, features and price can be sensitive.



QuoteOriginally posted by Smeggypants Quote
even a 100 is better than the cost of the current add on unit. I would say a more realistic price is another 50 though. And given the way these things drop in price, it won't be long befoer tat price halves.

if it adds another 25 to 50 to the next model Pentax DSLR,the K-3, or whatever it's called then we're looking at goof value.
08-09-2011, 12:07 AM   #13
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Using GPS for astrography is the first and only use I discovered for cameraGPS yet. Why would you increase the cost of an already expensive camerabody even more, and thus frightening away more potential customers, just to please the limited numbers that like to shoot astrography?

I cannot think of any other application where GPS would be usefull. Oh yea, it's easy for googleearth, but I wouldn't even use that if the GPS was included for free.

But then again, I am a 'special' person, who doesn't even see the use of the liveview function. I would instantly buy a DSLR with a just only a very good OVF.
08-12-2011, 09:27 AM   #14
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Geotagging is a nice reason for non-astro GPS use - but you can use standalone GPS receivers at $50-70 for this. Using such receivers gives you more data (like a complete tracklog) and more control (no accidental geotagging of photos at your house, leading the entire Internet to know exactly where you live).

Web Photo Geotags Can Reveal More Than You Wish - NYTimes.com - this is why automatic geotagging is BAD. It's too easy to screw up and leave it turned on when it shouldn't be.
08-12-2011, 07:36 PM   #15
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My solution is to use a wrist mounted external GPS unit (a Foretrex 301) and tag the photos using Geosetter afterwards. Geosetter also enables other exif info to be set at the same time for multiple shots. As Entropy said, this also provides a complete track log and navigation solution when you are travelling or hiking, and data can easily be obtained from or linked back to Google Earth to support the whole experience. I keep the whole track log (with way points etc) in the same folder as my photos on the computer.
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