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04-21-2010, 09:02 AM   #1
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Any news on Built-in GPS on any of Pentax's Cameras

I just was looking at another camera make that offers Built-in GPS, plus some other cool stuff like WiFi. I would love to see something like that built by Pentax. Something Waterproof and rugidized would be even better. Any rumors or products out there I haven't seen yet?

04-21-2010, 01:12 PM   #2
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Rugged they have, Wi-Fi not yet. However I think there was a grip with a GPS at one point. Or perhaps it was only rumored.
04-21-2010, 01:13 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by omega leader Quote
Rugged they have, Wi-Fi not yet. However I think there was a grip with a GPS at one point. Or perhaps it was only rumored.
Samsung projected (showed prototype) a grip with built-in Wifi.
04-21-2010, 01:17 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by nstocke Quote
I just was looking at another camera make that offers Built-in GPS, plus some other cool stuff like WiFi. I would love to see something like that built by Pentax. Something Waterproof and rugidized would be even better. Any rumors or products out there I haven't seen yet?
What other camera brands have built in GPS anyways? I thought that Nikon had some kind of attachment that would work with it, but I don't think I know any really not professional cameras that have it built in already.

04-21-2010, 06:47 PM   #5
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Having an integrated gps/ direct geotagging feature (without have to pass through software) would help differentiate pentax even more. It would be a very useful feature, even if they add it only in the grip.

As for wifi, there is the eye fi. But then, they could easily put back PC tethering before all of this....
04-21-2010, 09:15 PM   #6
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Samung's stillborn GX-30 DSLR would've had GPS. If you want WiFi, try an Eye-Fi SD card. They work in most cameras.
04-22-2010, 08:29 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by davidvcd Quote
Having an integrated gps/ direct geotagging feature (without have to pass through software) would help differentiate pentax even more. It would be a very useful feature, even if they add it only in the grip.

As for wifi, there is the eye fi. But then, they could easily put back PC tethering before all of this....
Integrated GPS will be a "dealbreaker" feature for me until all cameras have it and I simply can't avoid it.

As in, I refuse to pay the money for such a useless and soon-to-be-obsolete feature.

GPS receivers are constantly improving in sensitivity, accuracy, and performance, and it makes no sense to tie your camera and GPS upgrade cycles to each other.

Especially since the Air Force is in the process of launching the next phase of GPS satellites, and once enough are launched the L2C (dual-frequency civilian) signal will go live. No GPS receiver currently on the market supports L2C.

There is also the fact that to maintain a lock, you now will have to be careful about your camera's orientation when "stowed", as opposed to doing what I do (GPS datalogger velcroed to top of backpack when hiking for optimum signal.)
04-22-2010, 10:46 AM   #8
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stupid feature, never want to pay for it

04-22-2010, 01:19 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Entropy Quote
Integrated GPS will be a "dealbreaker" feature for me until all cameras have it and I simply can't avoid it.

As in, I refuse to pay the money for such a useless and soon-to-be-obsolete feature.

GPS receivers are constantly improving in sensitivity, accuracy, and performance, and it makes no sense to tie your camera and GPS upgrade cycles to each other.

Especially since the Air Force is in the process of launching the next phase of GPS satellites, and once enough are launched the L2C (dual-frequency civilian) signal will go live. No GPS receiver currently on the market supports L2C.

There is also the fact that to maintain a lock, you now will have to be careful about your camera's orientation when "stowed", as opposed to doing what I do (GPS datalogger velcroed to top of backpack when hiking for optimum signal.)
If we all refused to buy cameras that have features we don't use and won't spend money on things that are soon to be obsolete, none of us will have cameras....

I think it is a valuable feature that many users in the target market would benefit from. Since my last 3 mobile phones have all offered this and that is driving a lot of sites leveraging geotags, I think it is a no brainer that it would it would become prevalent.
04-22-2010, 02:03 PM   #10
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gps is a battery hog

just notice how fast the phone's battery goes when you turn gps on

I'd rather not have anything in my camera that makes me recharge its battery every week instead of every three months

I already have a gps-enabled phone (that I recharge every three days) for tracking (though it can only track for two hours and then the battery is no more), and a specialized gps logger can be had off ebay for $40

or I can spend ten minutes geotagging photos by hand which is less time than I take to download the track off my phone and convert, sync and process the file

so I think this is just another example of the kitchen sink syndrome, same as wifi

would I purchase a gps-equipped camera? of course, as long as it's the best camera I can buy for that money and the gps can be switched off if I want

would I spend an extra penny to purchase a gps-equipped camera? definitely not

IMHO.
04-23-2010, 06:38 AM   #11
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GPS is a very useful feature but I think it is an unnecessary expense to build into the camera. It belongs as an accessory but it would be better if cameras incorporated a way to get third party information and tag photos on the spot from accessories like GPS modules.
04-23-2010, 07:04 AM   #12
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GPS is a feature that is discussed on this and other forums rather frequently. The concensus seems to be that there is no concensus. Some want it badly, and will buy any camera that offers it. Others (like myself) see absolutely no use for it in our style of photography.

Builtin GPS would require additional hardware, and therefore additional expense. How much additional expense, I don't know.

I think that Pentax should work out a deal with one of the major GPS makers, such as Garmin or TomTom and create a standardized interface for connecting their GPS unit to the camera. If it were connected via the hotshoe, it would require not additional hardware, just firmware to read the current position from the GPS at the moment of exposure and store it in the EXIF data. They could also use the existing USB interface, but at least on current Pentax cameras, you must open the access door on the side of the camera, which may defeat the weather sealing.

Any builtin GPS is bound to be a compromise, due to the size limitations and the need to keep costs as low as possible. By interfacing to an external GPS, those problems are minimized. Those who want GPS can have it, and those who don't won't need to pay for the extra hardware required.

This would also fit in with Pentax apparent desire to remain a camera maker. Hoya execs have said publicly that they need a strategic partnership with an electronics maker. I think that GPS would be a foray deep into the world of electronics and away from cameras. I realize that modern dslrs are heavily electronic, but I think that we can agree that GPS is not the kind of thing that Pentax does best. Since the demand for it seems to be somewhat specialized, why not let someone who really knows GPS do it for them?

But then, what do I know?
04-23-2010, 08:20 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by JamieP Quote
If we all refused to buy cameras that have features we don't use and won't spend money on things that are soon to be obsolete, none of us will have cameras....

I think it is a valuable feature that many users in the target market would benefit from. Since my last 3 mobile phones have all offered this and that is driving a lot of sites leveraging geotags, I think it is a no brainer that it would it would become prevalent.
The problem is that this is one feature that can't be integrated into a camera without severe technical compromise on antenna positioning (GPS performance) and camera battery life (camera performance).

The fact is that this is one feature where any external solution will blow away an integrated one in terms of performance, and will always remain that way. Who cares if the tagging is automatic if the tags are worthless because the GPS receiver's position fix was dismal?
04-25-2010, 03:41 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Entropy Quote
The problem is that this is one feature that can't be integrated into a camera without severe technical compromise on antenna positioning (GPS performance) and camera battery life (camera performance).

The fact is that this is one feature where any external solution will blow away an integrated one in terms of performance, and will always remain that way. Who cares if the tagging is automatic if the tags are worthless because the GPS receiver's position fix was dismal?
Agreed. It's really not so difficult to sync my DNGs with my GPS log out of my Garmin trekking unit. And that unit keeps about 15hours on two NiMH batteries and... it is WR'ed !
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