So, just in time for CES, Nikon announced the D5500, successor to the D5300. The D5300 was Nikon’s only DSLR that had GPS built-in. Its successor, however, no longer does. It seems the function was either not popular enough, or did not work as well as it was supposed to. My guess/experience: Both! (The worst was the battery drain). As usual, you can read the details on dpreview.com or engadget.com
At CES, I went over to the Nikon booth, to test our Unleashed on the D5500 there. Luckily, one of the guys there was curious enough himself to let me test it – even though they were just prototypes, and he wasn’t supposed to let me.
- The good news: the Unleashed Dx000 works on the D5500 (see the GPS Satellite icon)
- The bad news: I was unable to properly test how well it fits the D5500, but can tell you it’ll be tight!
It would have been necessary to remove the rubber flap to insert the Unleashed Dx000 completeley, and of course was not going to do that on Nikon’s prototype. The socket is a little more recessed than on other cameras, so I cannot yet promise that the Unleashed can be plugged in all the way, and therefore get enough contact to work properly. I will update this post when I know more – if you’ve tested it, let us know in the comments!
Nikon launched yet another DSLR, just weeks after the D610 and the D5300. Catching up to the retro trend the Nikon Df (which stands for Digital fusion) looks similar to the classic FM/2 and the F3, but internally is on par with Nikons current flagship cameras. It contains the 16MP full-frame sensor and Expeed processors of the D4, and the AF system of the D610. Read more about the specs and features on nikon.com or dpreview.com.
The Df does not have built-in GPS, but it is compatible with our Unleashed Dx000, which will sit nice and flat on the side of the Df, adding GPS capability to the Df, without adding bulk or cables, or getting in the way when you take photos, very much unlike the Nikon GP-1 :-)
The Nikon GP-1 on the Df – “less than ideal”
One more thing: there is no GPS icon on the top LCD, and the one on the info screen on the main LCD has changed to this:
Nikon announces the D610 as the successor of the D600, but only with minor updates. Many had hoped for built-in GPS and wifi, but again, Nikon did not add this. Instead they gave the D610 a new shutter mechanism, probably to put an end to the oil spot problem of the D600, but at the same time offering slightly increased frame rate (6 as opposed to 5.5fps) and a new quiet continuous shooting option. Read the details on nikon.com or dpreview.com.
The good news is that our Unleashed Dx000 will still be compatible with the D610, just as it was with the D600. As such, it will also be necessary to completely remove the rubber flap covering the GPS Port, to allow the Unleashed Dx000 to fit properly. We describe a almost entirely reversible way to do so here.
Order your Unleashed Dx000 in our online-shop today!
Today, Nikon announced another full-frame DSLR, the D600. Read the reviews on dpreview, engadget or elsewhere.
Of course Nikon added GPS support, again it’s not integrated, but via an external Module, such as their GP-1 and of course our Unleashed. According to Nikon, the D600 fits in right below the D800 and is just as much a Pro DSLR as the latter. Rumor had it, that this was going to be the first consumer DSLR with an Fx sensor, and there was much evidence to back this. One example is that the D600 does not have the “pro” 10-pin port on the front of the camera, which would have fit our Unleashed D200+. Instead, it is equipped with the port found on all the consumer DSLRs, on the side of the camera, making our Unleashed Dx000 compatible with the D600.
In a couple of days, we’ll be at photokina, and will try the D600 with our Unleashed, just to verify it works, and get you some pics of how it looks.
A few days ago, Nikon announced the D800 and the D800E, and again they did not build in a GPS Receiver. While I’m sure this will happen in the future, Nikon do still have some work ahead of them to get this to work well enough for a pro camera! And contrary to what they say – it’s not (just) about the limited space inside the camera body. Read some of my thoughts here. Nikon did keep their 10-pin port for attaching external GPS devices.
Unfortunately, Nikon changed the physical design of the area around that 10-pin port in such a way, that our Unleashed D200+ no longer fits, at least not without modification.
The problem is that Nikon made the D800 smaller, the lens mount wider, and most contours of the camera more slanted. This results in less space near the 10-pin port to begin with, and that space decreasing even more as you try to push the Unleashed further into the socket – so much, that it is not possible to firmly plug the Unleashed into the socket. Electrically, it would still work, but physically it does not fit.
Illustration of the problem area – proportions are not exact.
We now need to wait until we get a D800, in order to evaluate whether it might be possible to make the Unleashed fit by modifying its casing (i.e. cutting or sanding off the one edge of the back of the Unleashed) to fit the slanted edge of the lens mount, and how we will need to redesign the next version of the product to account for the changes.
I just read an interesting interview by imaging-resource with Nikon’s General Manager of Design: Toshiaki Akagi, amongst others. After talking about several aspects of the D4 and other general topics, they got to the topic of why there is no built-in GPS in the D4:
Dave Etchells, Publisher, Imaging Resource: We had a number of readers, also, asking about GPS, and why you can attach a GPS receiver, but people are saying why wasn’t GPS built into the camera?
Toshiaki Akagi: We always have a GP-1 GPS accessory, then we want to use a GP-1, and if we include a GPS function in the camera, the camera would be bigger. And GPS still has a little problem, so for example indoors, we cannot get GPS data, then we are considering now to adapt the GPS to the next model, in the future. While you are indoors, the performance is not stable, so that’s why we gave up to install the function in the body as of now.
There is more, so read the rest at imaging-resource.com (found via nikonrumors.com).
We were at PMA@CES, exhibiting our products. On a slow morning I wandered over to the CES, heading straight to the Nikon booth. After admiring the D4 for a while, I seized the opportunity, to gather proof for everyone, that our Unleashed D200+ is compatible with the D4. I took my favorite GPS, which managed to keep a fix even inside the Convention Center hall and plugged an Unleashed into the D4. It fits beautifully.
After 3 seconds, the Unleashed had connected to the GPS, and the GPS icon on the LCD lit up:
Took a photo, and what do you know: it’s geotagged with our location in Las Vegas!
View Larger Map
So there you go: Proof that our Unleashed D200+ is fully compatible with the new Nikon D4!
PS. I went to see Canon’s GP-E1, which they announced 3 months ago! They did not have one with them! Can you believe it? I certainly couldn’t! On top of that, no-one at the booth had any knowledge about it, other than having heard it exists.
So the rumours were mostly true. Nikon released the D4 today, and it meets all expectations. What an amazing camera!
I won’t go over the spec’s again, you can read those on dpreview.com, engadget or any other gear-site. One thing you might not read much about on other sites, are its GPS capabilities:
The Nikon D4 does not have built-in GPS. This might be unbelievable to some people, but I completely understand Nikon’s decision. Yes, there are plenty of other cameras that have built-in GPS, and that cost a fraction of the D4. But before I’ll try to give you some pointers as to why Nikon might have decided against GPS functionality. But first, the good news:
Our Unleashed D200+ is compatible with the Nikon D4
That means that you’ll have the possibility of adding what some people call “the next best thing to built-in GPS”, but we consider it to be even better than built-in GPS: our tiny Bluetooth Module on the camera, connected wirelessly to an external GPS of your choice. You can choose the GPS you prefer, whether it’s the cheapest you can find, or a sub-meter Trimble or Leica GPS that may well be worth more that the camera itself. And the greatest advantage: you can easily upgrade that GPS without having to upgrade the whole system.
Continue reading Nikon D4 released without built-in GPS