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04-15-2016, 08:58 AM   #1
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K3 II GPS Work well?

Hi I am considering purchasing a K3 II to replace my K5 for travel this summer. One reason is for the built-in GPS function. I don't see a lot of talk about that subject. Is it because the GPS works so well and without problems that there is not much to say about it? Or not many people using the GPS function?

I am planning a hiking trip to Scotland and think the GPS would be useful there for finding the photo locations when I am back home.

Anybody got any insight on this?

Thanks for your help.

04-15-2016, 09:03 AM   #2
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It definitely works. I've had no problems with location logging (when outside) but haven't tried it in astrotracer mode yet.
04-15-2016, 09:07 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by victormeldrew Quote
It definitely works. I've had no problems with location logging (when outside) but haven't tried it in astrotracer mode yet.
Thanks! I'm not interested in the astrotracer mode for this trip.

Does it drain your battery pretty quickly?
04-15-2016, 09:43 AM   #4
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It seems to me like it drains the battery when the camera is off faster than if the gps was off. But it gets a fix so fast when I leave it on that I don't really care about a little extra drain.

I have not had any real issues with it. I am planning on a 200 mile backpacking trip this summer and will carry it. I plan on turning the GPS off overnight then just leaving it on while hiking.

04-15-2016, 09:47 AM   #5
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I haven't had battery drain problems. I saw advice to turn GPS off before turning the camera off, so I do that. But maybe things have improved, since even when I didn't do that I got pretty great battery life. It's probably pinging the sats to get location at some rate so you don't have acquisition lag if you fire up the camera for a quick shot.

I was using it recently in the CA redwoods (coastal rainforest basically, with 300' trees, a nightmare for GPS) but it worked much better than expected. Nothin' in Scotland that high (heh) so you should be fine. I'm loving the K-3II for hiking even though I have a lighter, older M43. The weatherproofing should be useful too.

And give the Astrotracer a shot. It's super easy to use and you'll probably have some great night skies, if they're not behind clouds....
04-15-2016, 09:50 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by bakerking31 Quote
It seems to me like it drains the battery when the camera is off faster than if the gps was off. But it gets a fix so fast when I leave it on that I don't really care about a little extra drain.

I have not had any real issues with it. I am planning on a 200 mile backpacking trip this summer and will carry it. I plan on turning the GPS off overnight then just leaving it on while hiking.
Thanks!

---------- Post added 04-15-16 at 12:51 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Oakland Rob Quote
I haven't had battery drain problems. I saw advice to turn GPS off before turning the camera off, so I do that. But maybe things have improved, since even when I didn't do that I got pretty great battery life. It's probably pinging the sats to get location at some rate so you don't have acquisition lag if you fire up the camera for a quick shot.

I was using it recently in the CA redwoods (coastal rainforest basically, with 300' trees, a nightmare for GPS) but it worked much better than expected. Nothin' in Scotland that high (heh) so you should be fine. I'm loving the K-3II for hiking even though I have a lighter, older M43. The weatherproofing should be useful too.

And give the Astrotracer a shot. It's super easy to use and you'll probably have some great night skies, if they're not behind clouds....
Thanks! Yes the weatherproofing is also pretty important in Scotland. I'm pretty sure I will get rained upon at some point during my trip.
04-15-2016, 10:03 AM   #7
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I was using the O-GPS1 on the K5 before and find the integral GPS on the K3II to be really easy to use. It is so simple to just press the button and it embeds location into the EXIF.
I have only used the Astrotracer twice on this camera so far (waiting for weather and a trip to some dark skies), but I found the operation to be much easier overall than with the former rig. I even found precise calibration to lock on quicker vs the "old way". I think it is a winner.
I cannot comment on battery drain because I was only shooting for a short bit and the battery meter never changed from FULL. Time will tell, but I bought a battery charger that plugs into my car DC outlet, so I can charge in the field if needed.

Good luck!
04-15-2016, 10:07 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
I was using the O-GPS1 on the K5 before and find the integral GPS on the K3II to be really easy to use. It is so simple to just press the button and it embeds location into the EXIF.
I have only used the Astrotracer twice on this camera so far (waiting for weather and a trip to some dark skies), but I found the operation to be much easier overall than with the former rig. I even found precise calibration to lock on quicker vs the "old way". I think it is a winner.
I cannot comment on battery drain because I was only shooting for a short bit and the battery meter never changed from FULL. Time will tell, but I bought a battery charger that plugs into my car DC outlet, so I can charge in the field if needed.

Good luck!
Thanks! I also have the O-GPS1 for my K5 and I don't really like it that much.

04-15-2016, 03:31 PM   #9
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GPS seems to have basically zero impact on my battery as far as I can tell, but I have some sort of amazing batteries that get me _way_ over the CIPA ratings. ~2k shots per battery with GPS on in the daytime over a course of 4-5 hours (haven't actually hit that yet, extrapolating), much longer if shots are fewer (max so far I've seen was 3/4 of a battery used in 6hrs with ~600 shots and GPS, turned off when not actively shooting), and ~4 hours with live-view and many long exposures and gps/compass running with astrotracer at night seems to be about what I get. 2-day hiking trips with judicious turning off while not using (not worrying about gps off before body off, didn't know about that being a thing) haven't been a problem for a single battery.

I've had some 'funny' locations logged (~1k feet away or something) when first turned on and it isn't quite fully locked but it's got enough to start logging, but mostly I think the second case you describe holds: it works so well it's not something to comment on. I almost always have it on outdoors because I don't have any reason not to.
04-15-2016, 06:23 PM   #10
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It gives pretty precise locations in the other Grampians down here.

Plus, it gives you the astrotracer function. (BTW: Both shots with FA 43mm F1.9, which travels happily in my bag even when I think I will only use a long tele.)
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04-17-2016, 05:36 AM   #11
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I have just used it on a 10 day trip to Chile, it worked very well. I used it to geotag photos and to record logs of my trip. Its impact on battery drain was minimal. Good news for me was that it forced me to get a real flash.

I have yet to master its use in the Astrotracer mode, but I am look forward to doing that.
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