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08-06-2017, 03:27 AM   #1
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Do you use in-camera GPS for travel?

I've not yet done much astrophotography and never felt the need to by an add-on GPS, so my first experience was when I bought a K-1.

I've just returned from a trip to Scotland, where I spent a lot of time driving around and jumping out of the car if the scenery looked good rather than going to planned destinations - and for this, of course, GPS is ideal for pinpointing where shots were taken.

Two things struck me: one is how accurate the GPS on the K-1 is (judging by the results that I have an alternative fix on), and the other is that you don't have to keep juggling the camera all the time to get it accurate - when the camera goes into standby, the GPS goes into standby with it, and when the camera fires up again,the GPS fires up and knows where it is. The increase in power consumption is trivial compared to live view, for example - and of course the GPS data in the EXIF automatically map the image in Flickr, or whatever (if you allow).

On the face of it, it seems a classic no-brainer for this type of photography, and I wondered what other people's experiences were, good or bad.

08-06-2017, 06:18 AM   #2
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Another one here, using the GPS tracker on my K-3II. It's a lot of fun putting the log file into Google Earth and seeing exactly where you've been and where photos were taken. Great for holidays - did it in Switzerland last year, the Scilly Isles this year, and will be doing it on upcoming trips to Spain and New Zealand.
08-06-2017, 06:37 AM   #3
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I use the K-1 GPS for all of my major travels. While I have the GPS module on the K-3 (as an add-on) its implementation is not nearly as good as the built in GPS of the K-1. The only advantage of the K-3/O-GPS1 is that it retains the built-in flash of the K-3. I assume from the post above and others that the K-3II implementation was much better than the K-3/O-GPS1 module. On the K-1, I find that the GPS tracker is also quite accurate and useful on photowalks. While you can do much of this on your smartphone, it is nice to have a record of location/time/EXIF for each exposure and a map to accompany it. All in all, it is much more useful than I originally imagined.
08-06-2017, 06:50 AM   #4
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I just leave it on all the time. If anyone ever asks "Where did you shoot that?" I can tell them exactly where it was taken!

08-06-2017, 06:54 AM   #5
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I don't leave it on all the time, and end up kicking myself. I often do wilderness trips and the GPS ends the arguments, "Where was that picture taken.?" Used to load my GPS files into Aperture and do a lo of fiddling to get the GPS tags right. It is just so nice to have it all automatic.
08-06-2017, 08:00 AM   #6
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In may K-1 it is on all time, therefore every photo has a gps information. During holidays or tours, i switch on gps-log too. I just came back from a 6 day tour with 1500 shots.

Last edited by joergens.mi; 08-06-2017 at 10:59 AM.
08-06-2017, 11:04 AM   #7
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I'm often curious about mountains in the background of my shots. With the K-1 GPS, it's a simple matter to bring up the location on Google Earth and draw a line in the direction of the shot (which is also recorded) to identify background features. Sometimes it's surprising in that it's the same mountain from another perspective.

The GPS is pretty accurate alright. In one of my shots, the Google Earth location was accurate to within a couple of feet of where I was standing. I had the feeling I could zoom in (on GE) and see myself standing in that very spot taking the picture.

I thought the GPS was going to be a power hog from the description in the manual, but, as mentioned, the K-1 GPS only comes on when the camera is turned on and I couldn't notice any battery life difference when using it. The only downside is that you might not want someone else reading the GPS EXIF data and finding "your spot" where you took a great shot.
08-06-2017, 01:53 PM   #8
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you can remove the gps-information with geosetter or the exif tools.

The accuracy is good but not excellent. Very often when I takes pictures of buildings and look at them in google earth there is quite a constant difference between the picture and the Coordinates - if it would be simple gps inaccuracy, this error should be typically below 10 meters and on a random based -, but the direction is allways excellent. And there is a difference between a landscape shoot, and a architectural photo in a historic city.

08-06-2017, 04:06 PM   #9
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On my recently ended two month vacation in Europe I took 5,963 images with my K-3II. As of yesterday, I have all but 35 of them geo-tagged down from 100-150 earlier. Most if the images were easily located, museum interiors, church interiors and other places. In Ljubljana, I went stupid and turned it off for an afternoon (street view in Bingle (Bing/Google) saved my bacon on that faux pas) .

I had issues with getting the GPS to find satellites inside old (100-500 year old) stone buildings, modern steel framed buildings and trains in Central/Eastern Europe. The pictures I can not geo-tag are mostly from inside trains shooting through the window. My phone would not get GPS location at these places either.

One of the reasons I bought my K-3II was to have GPS as a standard default on the camera. I am still slowly working my way through my earlier trips to New Zealand (2006), East Coast/family vacation (2013), Scotland (2012) and various trips to the Olympic Peninsula. Depending on your RAW converter, you can include/exclude GPS information on export. In Capture One Pro (v10) GPS on export is a discreet button.

Last edited by PDL; 08-06-2017 at 04:14 PM.
08-07-2017, 12:36 AM   #10
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So far the responses have been pretty overwhelmingly positive about GPS. I started the thread because I wondered if people were just not using it, but it seems clear that the reason there isn't much discussion is that there isn't much to discuss - it's a great feature to have, and it works very well for those who use it. I know that I'd think long and hard, after my experiences with the K-1 about buying a camera for use in the types of photography where place matters that didn't have built-in GPS - so well done Ricoh for a great implementation! As long as there has to be a choice, I'd much rather buy a subsidiary flash which is better than the built-in one than a GPS unit which is often worse than the built-in one. Great feature
08-07-2017, 01:59 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by ffking Quote
I've just returned from a trip to Scotland
I hope you enjoyed your visit.

It's something I've never considered using on my K1s... perhaps I should, as I'm the man who can't remember why I've entered the room.
08-07-2017, 02:16 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
I hope you enjoyed your visit.
very much so - some of the photographic results are slowly leaking out onto Flckr (Graham Hobbs | Flickr) - although it isn't the time of year I'd chose from a photographic point of view, every season has something to offer, and it's a very photogenic part of the world.

Use GPS when out and about in unfamiliar territory - you won't look back
08-07-2017, 03:18 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by ffking Quote
very much so
Good to hear, I see you were mainly over on the East... the West has much to offer as well and with the added bonus you get to go past me to get there.
08-08-2017, 02:31 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
the West has much to offer as well and with the added bonus you get to go past me to get there
Ah yes - I did go more West on my first of (only) three trips to Scotland, about 20 years ago, but this time we were staying with cousins inland from Aberdeen, and I wanted to explore that area a bit - not so magnificent as further west, but summer isn't the best time for dramatic scenery anyway
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