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Author Topic: GPS for 5DMII  (Read 4811 times)

Anders P

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GPS for 5DMII
« on: October 21, 2009, 03:11:06 pm »

Hi,

I am trying to find a convenient system to geotag (??) my images on my 5DMII. Canons WFT-E4 combined with a GPS seems like a very expensive and cumbersome solution. I am only getting into this stuff now, but to speed thing up does anyone have a more convenient solution than the WTF-E4 to recommend?

//Anders

Misirlou

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« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2009, 06:32:56 pm »

Does it have to be something attached to the camera so the positions are recorded at time of exposure, or can you tolerate a solution that automatically tags the positions to your photos in post?
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stever

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« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2009, 07:28:24 pm »

i use an Amod in my pocket (compact, cheap, and it works although max battery life is about 16hr so you need a charger and extra AAA batteries) and Downloader Pro.

once you figure out to set up Downloader it works well.  but i'm never far from my computer for downloading usally every day.  If you cross time zones, you must remember to reset the camera and computer time to local time (there are some complicated ways around this and to recover the correct location if you've forgotten to reset the time -- but you're very likely to get tangled up.  no matter how you geotag, if you make a mistake you won't find out about it until can get an internet connection

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Thomas Krüger

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« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2009, 02:03:56 am »

Canon is way behind integrating GPS. You can use a small GPS logger and tag your files with software like the free Geosetter from http://www.geosetter.com (Windows).
It would be so simple to attach a GPS logger with a simple USB cable to the camera. But with custom and proprietary solutions Canon can earn much more money...
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Anders P

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« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2009, 06:11:48 am »

Quote from: Misirlou
Does it have to be something attached to the camera so the positions are recorded at time of exposure, or can you tolerate a solution that automatically tags the positions to your photos in post?

It doesn't matter when the positions are recorded I guess. What is most important for me is avoiding all unnecessary hassle - the fewer gimmicks and batteries that I can get away with the better. Making it fit into my work flow (importing raw-files to Lightroom, some work in PS and Photomatix, and exporting from Lightroom) while keeping it streamlined is always number one priority.

//Anders

Nick Rains

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« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2009, 11:13:22 am »

Quote from: Anders P
It doesn't matter when the positions are recorded I guess. What is most important for me is avoiding all unnecessary hassle - the fewer gimmicks and batteries that I can get away with the better. Making it fit into my work flow (importing raw-files to Lightroom, some work in PS and Photomatix, and exporting from Lightroom) while keeping it streamlined is always number one priority.

//Anders

The iPhone with a tracking app works well. Nikon's GPS unit is super accurate but gets in the way rather. Better to have a GPS tracker in your pocket and export later methinks...

Photo Mechanic has really good GPS synching capabilities once you have a track log exported.
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Misirlou

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« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2009, 11:33:07 am »

Quote from: Anders P
It doesn't matter when the positions are recorded I guess. What is most important for me is avoiding all unnecessary hassle - the fewer gimmicks and batteries that I can get away with the better. Making it fit into my work flow (importing raw-files to Lightroom, some work in PS and Photomatix, and exporting from Lightroom) while keeping it streamlined is always number one priority.

//Anders

In that case, get an Amod. I found mine on Amazon for around $60. if you use Lightroom, there's a free plug-in available that will tag your shots from Amod position files. Works pretty well, and you can't argue with the price. My only issue is that I sometimes forget to turn the Amod on or off.
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fike

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« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2009, 02:42:46 pm »

I add one more vote for any USB-capable tracking GPS along with Downloader Pro.  Once you get Downloader Pro setup, it is easy to do.  I like to use my GPS for tracking distance and occasionally for actual navigation, so I generally have it with me when I am shooting. I just turn it on and stick it on the outside of my pack.  At the end of the day I turn it off.

When I get back to my computer to download images, I just plug-in my GPS to another USB port and then download with a CF Card reader.  Assuming I have the timezones set right, everything else is automatic.  

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Anders P

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« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2009, 01:32:27 pm »

Thanks for all your comments. I think I am going to start with checking out the Motion-X GPS app for the iPhone combined with the free GPicSync software recommended by Pete in his blog: http://incapete.blogspot.com/search/label/geotag

Don't know if its a good solution, but it doesn't seem like much trouble to test it. I'll let you know how it worked out

//Anders

fike

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« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2009, 03:59:19 pm »

Motion X GPS for the iPhone works well, but it doesn't come close to matching some of the small hiking GPS that are out there.  

Multitasking and Battery Life
If you are running Motion X, you can't run anything else on the Iphone (no multitasking on iPhones) and your battery-life will be sucked down badly.  I have run the iPhone down in 4 hours with the GPS running.  That won't work for a full day of photo work or touring.  My Garmin GPS batteries (2 x AA ) last about 12-18 hours.  

Signal Performance
iPhone GPS signal sensitivity is inferior to most handheld GPSes.  I can put my Garmin eTrex Vista HCx in my camera bag on the floor of my backseat and it will track perfectly.  With the iPhone, I can't even put it in my pocket and expect it to maintain a signal.  

Usability and Convenience
The iPhone is great!  motionX is great.  It sends you an email with your tracklog file and a link to Google Maps that shows your path.  Really Great!!  Here is a link to a hike I did last week.
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Anders P

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« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2009, 12:54:25 pm »

Quote from: fike
Motion X GPS for the iPhone works well, but it doesn't come close to matching some of the small hiking GPS that are out there.  

Multitasking and Battery Life
If you are running Motion X, you can't run anything else on the Iphone (no multitasking on iPhones) and your battery-life will be sucked down badly.  I have run the iPhone down in 4 hours with the GPS running.  That won't work for a full day of photo work or touring.  My Garmin GPS batteries (2 x AA ) last about 12-18 hours.  

Signal Performance
iPhone GPS signal sensitivity is inferior to most handheld GPSes.  I can put my Garmin eTrex Vista HCx in my camera bag on the floor of my backseat and it will track perfectly.  With the iPhone, I can't even put it in my pocket and expect it to maintain a signal.  

Usability and Convenience
The iPhone is great!  motionX is great.  It sends you an email with your tracklog file and a link to Google Maps that shows your path.  Really Great!!  Here is a link to a hike I did last week.

I tried Motion X during a fishing trip last weekend and you are absolutely right, the signal is really weak. Accuracy when Motion-X uses the phone network base station for positioning is not good. I need accuracy enough to tag buildings. And also, as you said, it really drains the battery fast. Judging from this experience it not a good solution for me. I guess I have to start looking at proper GPS equipment

//Anders

rosemanbridge

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« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2009, 02:01:44 am »

I use a Garmin Vista to record the tracklogs every 5 seconds, import the tracklogs to the Mac & use ImageIngester to import the RAW files which automatically attaches the GPS co-ordinates to the RAW & newly created DNG back-up file.

More info here:

http://thedambook.com/smf/index.php?board=30.0

http://basepath.com/ImageIngester/ii-info.php
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fike

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« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2009, 08:00:52 am »

Quote from: rosemanbridge
I use a Garmin Vista to record the tracklogs every 5 seconds, import the tracklogs to the Mac & use ImageIngester to import the RAW files which automatically attaches the GPS co-ordinates to the RAW & newly created DNG back-up file.

More info here:

http://thedambook.com/smf/index.php?board=30.0

http://basepath.com/ImageIngester/ii-info.php

I use a Vista too, Etrex Vista HCX to be precise.  With Downloader Pro, you don't even need to import the track file.  You just plug the GPS into the computer as a USB hard drive, and Downloader Pro finds the right track file. It's pretty easy, assuming that I remembered to turn on the GPS.
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sbacon

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« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2009, 11:43:07 am »

I agree that any mobile phone solution is limited. Its totally dependent on the coverage of your provider and is completely insufficient for most of the work I do (off-grid).

I too, use one of the hiker GPS models (Garmin 60Csx). But if I didn't need the GPS for its navigation-based features, I'd use one of the compact GPS data loggers. There are many current models and new ones coming out all the time.

+1 on Jeffrey Friedl's Lightroom Geoencoding Plugin. It fits perfectly into my workflow. I was happy to support his excellent work and sent in my donation without a second thought.
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