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05-14-2015, 02:15 PM   #1
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GPS stealth tracking on Pentax K-3 ii

Does anybody know whether it is possible to track a camera in case of being stolen using the GPS unit on the new Pentax K-3 Ii or not?

05-14-2015, 02:19 PM   #2
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Not really, since it's not connected to the internet / cellular network.

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05-14-2015, 02:30 PM   #3
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I don't believe a gps enabled device needs Wifi/Data to transmit coordinates, GPS function on the Pentax dslr is independent of connectivity.
05-14-2015, 03:06 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stavri Quote
I don't believe a gps enabled device needs Wifi/Data to transmit coordinates, GPS function on the Pentax dslr is independent of connectivity.
Actually GPS is a one way communication: satellite to GPS receiver, the GPS receiver does not transmit anything. The satellites send a time stream that is received by the receiver and converted into lat/long coordinates. So to function as a GPS no connectivity to wifi or cellular is needed.

However, to function as the OP proposed (locate a lost or stolen camera) connectivity would be required and that is not present. The camera, assuming the GPS is on and the camera powered up, will know where it is at but will have no way to tell anyone where that is.

05-14-2015, 03:10 PM   #5
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GPS does not require any cellular or internet network. GPS connets directly to satellites to give relatively accurate location (in my Garmin it is +/- 8m).
So the idea in the end is: If I invest USD 5000 (at least) in the Pentax FF and for any reason my camera is stolen, just by using the GPS I could locate it. I know this idea has been already implemented, for example, by spedition companies to track their trucks.
05-14-2015, 03:22 PM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by KreiselC Quote
GPS does not require any cellular or internet network. GPS connets directly to satellites to give relatively accurate location (in my Garmin it is +/- 8m).
.
How does the camera contact you to tell you where it is, without cellular or internet network?
05-14-2015, 03:31 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by KreiselC Quote
GPS does not require any cellular or internet network. GPS connets directly to satellites to give relatively accurate location (in my Garmin it is +/- 8m).
GPS does NOT connect to the satellites. It receives a signal from those satellites. There is no two way communication. No different than trying to locate your car using the FM radio in it, it won't work. Your camera (or Garmin) will know where it is at but they have no way (without wifi or cellular) to tell anyone where that is.
QuoteOriginally posted by KreiselC Quote
I know this idea has been already implemented, for example, by spedition companies to track their trucks.
No it hasn't. That system uses a cellular connection to "phone home" the GPS location of the vehicle. GPS by itself has no way to communicate anything.
05-14-2015, 03:42 PM   #8
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Thanks a lot for the replies and clear answers.

05-14-2015, 04:14 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by KreiselC Quote
I know this idea has been already implemented, for example, by spedition companies to track their trucks.
GM's OnStar system can track vehicles equipped with the system but it uses a CDMA cellular connection for voice and data transmission. GPS is used to locate the vehicle.
05-14-2015, 04:15 PM   #10
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Yup, it's like a radio receiver.


Just because you can listen to a radio station, does not mean the radio station can work out where you are.
05-14-2015, 07:08 PM   #11
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No, the GPS is a passive receiver, as others have pointed out. But it should be possible to fit a camera with a location sender unit which would work in conjunction with the GPS receiver. The solar powered satellite tracking units fitted to baby sea turtles for research purposes give a good indication of how small such units can be. But it would have to be manufactured into the camera. An after-market unit could be removed too easily. Maybe we will see it in the future.
05-14-2015, 07:15 PM   #12
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That said, if you enable the GPS and make sure you register the camera with the proper website(s) if someone swipes the camera and uploads a photo, you might at least know where its being used since the camera will embed both the location and the camera's serial number in the EXIF data.
05-14-2015, 07:38 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by richandfleur Quote
Just because you can listen to a radio station, does not mean the radio station can work out where you are.
That is a relief!


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05-14-2015, 07:45 PM   #14
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Are there any SD cards that have cellular built-in?
Then you might have an option to track the camera, I guess.

Some geolocation is also possible via WiFi, if you can get a WiFi signal and the access point is in someone's location database. So if you left a Flucard in the K-3, or an EyeFi card, there might be a way for the camera to 'phone home' that way too (depending on the capabilities of the WiFi card).
05-14-2015, 08:03 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
That is a relief!

It's very much like radio stations really. GPS satellites broadcast information, and GPS receivers make use of that information to determine your present location on earth. It's very much a one way streak.


I can see a big niche for cameras to have cellular data capabilities. That's essentially what a smartphone does, with most having cellular data and GPS and wifi capabilities for not much money at all.
With data onboard you could send your photos to a cloud backup, or to facebook etc directly from the phone, just like you can with an iPhone etc.


Find my camera would then work just like find my phone does.
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