My friend Ajay has prompted me to create this post, and I’ll try to add to it over time as more cameras with inbuilt GPS. Why is inbuilt GPS important? Well it takes all the hassle out of geotagging photos. As you may have read in some of my previous posts, geotagged images are really useful for Emergency Management.
Whilst there are plenty of solutions available, I’m not going to provide the post-processing options here. I only want to record those that embed the co-ordinates at the time of taking the photo. No products that require post-processing are included.
Digital SLRs inbuilt GPS
- None yet, but maybe this year, there are rumours the Canon 60D may have inbuilt GPS.
Digital SLRs with Accessory
- Nikon D5000, D90, D300, D700, D3,D3X – requires Nikon GP-1 accessory or a di-GPS
- Canon EOS 40D, EOS 50D, EOS 5D Mark II, EOS 1D Mark III, EOS 1Ds Mark III – requires Canon Wireless File Transmitter accessory (model is dependent on camera body). More info on Canon GPS, and manual page. It additionally requires a third party GPS as well that can provide position using the NMEA protocol.
Point and Shoots
- Nikon Coolpix P6000
- Ricoh 500SE
- Leica V-Lux 20 – as well as having inbuilt GPS, it also appears to have an inbuilt database of 500k points-of-interest that can be used to show nearby sightseeing opportunities (added: 2010-04-22)
- Sony DSC-HX5V Digital Camera
GPS Receivers with Camera
Mobile Phones with GPS
- Apple iPhone 3G, 3G S
- Nokia – a number of models that I’ll list in due course
Survey Quality solutions
Frankly, Nikon appear to have to produce a far smaller and lighter GPS solution for their cameras. Canon requires not only a bulky grip, but still requires a GPS to be added as well. The Nikon GP-1 or di-GPS look to be far more appropriate for field work for emergency management. Additionally, the Nikon solution can be used in conjunction with a battery grip, which allows additional batteries into camera (two, instead of the usual one). The Canon grip increases the bulk of the camera, but the camera itself cannot use a battery grip to extend the battery life in the field. Of course additional batteries can still be carried and swapped – although to replace the camera battery, the WFT must be removed. Finally, the WFT3/4 also require their own battery to operate.
As a Canon user, I am most disappointed with their solution to geotagging-at-shutter-click, and the Nikon approach appears far superier as it adds very little bulk to the camera, and doesn’t get in the way of using a battery grip to double the life of the camera without changing batteries.