Posted on 9 Comments

Built-in GPS in Nikon D5300

Nikon finally did it! They added built-in GPS to the D5300 they announced today. Also Wi-Fi. So, the first Nikon DSLR with integrated GPS is an entry-level DSLR, just as I expected. Lets see how long it will take for this feature to find its way into the Pro DSLRs. Considering the D610 that was announced just a few days ago does not have GPS yet, I’d bet it will still take a while. First we’ll have to see how well the geotagging works, what its effect on battery life will be, and how many customers this new feature will win over…

Until then, of course we’ll still have the next best thing to built-in GPS (if not an even better thing!), for all other more or less current Nikon DSLRs, from the D3100 all the way up to the D4, our great wireless (Bluetooth) direct geotagging solution that does not add any bulk to the camera: the Unleashed!

D5300 Top - GPS
The Antenna seems to be placed to the right of the mode dial on the top of the camera – a better choice, slightly further from the internal flash!

The D5300 uses A-GPS (Assisted GPS), and Nikon provides current A-GPS files on their website: You can download A-GPS data for 28 days, but can only load 7 days at a time into the camera, so you’ll have to reload it every 7 days. It also allows tracking/logging, with an interval of 15, 30 or 60 seconds, for up to 24 hours (12h and 6h also selectable). The track-logs are stored on the SD card, but I do not yet know in what format Nikon will store it. We’ll find out soon enough. I’m looking forward to the first reviews! See details about the GPS feature here. One thing I’m particularily interested in, is whether it’s possible to optionally use an external GPS solution such as our Unleashed instead of the built-in one, the Specifications on the Nikon imaging website do list “GPS units: GP-1/GP-1A (available separately)” under “Accessory Terminal”, so it does look like it’ll be possible!

Read more on the D5300 on or

9 thoughts on “Built-in GPS in Nikon D5300

  1. Why on earth would you buy a camera with built in GPS just to complain about it and connect an external GPS ? Why don’t you buy a better D—- f.ex with better resolution and no internal GPS ? Just asking. I got the D5300 and the GPS chip is as any other, it takes 20-30 seconds to get a fix on startup.. You have to realize the latency in GPS fix is on behalf of battery saving. You either have a GPS that’s on all the time with instant coordinates – but then it’s a good idea to have a dedicated battery for the purpose(as in your geotagger at a certain setting I guess) – or if you want longer battery life, the camera turn off the GPS and turn it on again everytime you switch the camera on/off (with programmable delay – it can stay on for x amount of time after you switch off the camera on my D5300) The initial so called cold or hot start delay in getting enough sattelite data for an accurate fix is how ALL GPS chips on the civilian marked currently work and Nikon didn’t just “choose poor one,” as suggested in the comments here. If you’re hell bent on getting all the parameters filled out (like heading – very important in navigation, not so much in photography unless it’s astronomy photographs perhaps, just my opinion) you can connect the D5300 to a phone with WiFi and choose to use the phone’s GPS data – probably with heading – I never cared to find out, at least when you transfer the pictures wirelessly to your device.

  2. Can anyone tell me why my photos location says Sainte Christe’d’armagnac. Mid Pyrenees when I took the photos in Minnesota ?

  3. The D5300 DOES support heading from a Solmeta N2 geotagger! At the camera store, I waited for the D5300 to acquire GPS. Unlike the D90, you can’t watch GPS info live, so I took a few pictures. The data for these pictures included Lat, Long, Altitude (Blank..not enough satellites), UTC, and…. A field for heading (Blank because the camera does not have an electronic compass).

    I bought the D5300, then at home connected my Solmeta N2 geotagger. The D90 connector works, but the right angle goes the wrong way, so the cable is too short to reach the hot shoe. Once it acquired, I took a picture and heading information was accepted and displayed! However, the “Record Location Data” and “Create Log” menu selections were grayed out. But when I imported the picture into Aperture, heading was there along with Lat, Long, and Altitude! Time was there among the EXIF data. So “Record Location Data” really means “Record Internal Location Data” and is turned off when you plug in an external GPS, which is recorded instead.

    So the D5300 should work with the Unleashed Dx000 (which works with the D5200)….has anyone tried it? I would like to link my D5300 with the GPS and compass in my Android phone (S4), which has been done between a D90 and S3 by Peer S.

  4. I can now tell you for certain that the D5300 DOES record Heading information when an external GPS provides this to the camera.
    Matthias Schwindt tested it (German only):

  5. I further asked Nikon:
    “On my D90 with a Solmeta N2 geotagger plugged in and turned on,
    Under MENU/SETUP MENU/GPS/ Position, The following are listed:
    With a similar menu, does the D5300 also include Heading?

    Nikon answered:
    “The D5300 does not record the heading, only the Latitude, Longitude, Altitude and UTC.”

    But that may be because Nikon’s external GP1-A doesn’t support heading. I will try an external GPS with a D5300 at a camera store before i buy it.

  6. A-GPS did help improve GPS performance of our S9300.
    A recent D5300 review found good GPS performance, but no compass:

    I asked Nikon: “I am disappointed that the D5300 does not have an electronic compass, but it does have a GPS port. If you connect an external Geotagger with Digital Compass will it override the internal GPS and accept heading information? (my D90 accepts and displays heading as part of location info.)”
    Nikon answered: “We cannot be sure if that GPS will work in the fashion you’d like to use it in as that is not a Nikon product. You can try it but we cannot guarantee full compatibility.”

    Has anyone tried the Unleashed Dx000 with the D5300? I would like to link it with the GPS and compass in my Android phone (S4), which has been done between a D90 and S3 by Peer S.

  7. When I first glanced at the GPS section in the menu of the D5300 I was excited – not only could you tag photos you could record a track log in .log format which easily converts to a variety of formats that lets you see your path on a map. And you had some control over the length of time between log points and it generally seemed like a robust system. I have since found that the camera’s GPS can be very slow to get a location signal and quick to lose the signal, even when in clear view of the sky and even when it had a lock a few minutes earlier. At this moment it basically seems like Nikon used the weakest GPS chip on earth and I am disappointed. I will try later with the AGPS data to see how much that helps.

  8. Hi Tony, I do not know whether Nikon included a compass. I will try to find out. The Unleashed only passes on compass data together with GPS data. Although it does sound like it from what I have read, I cannot yet confirm that the D5300 supports external GPS devices (such as the Unleashed Dx000).

  9. Does the D5300 have an electronic compass? Can’t beleive Nikon would omit this Feature already found in several COOLPIX cameras, but I can’t find it mentioned in any D5300 info thus far on line. If not, could your “unleashed” product be used to add an external 3-axis compass?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *