Canon today announced the EOS 650D/Rebel T4i. You can read about all the other great features in theusualspots, as usual, we’ll concentrate on the geotagging features.
Just like I thought It seems they’re sticking to the same GPS Support via the hot-shoe, which they introduced with the 5D Mark III. That’s great news for us, as it will greatly increase the chance for us to create an Unleashed for Canon.
“The EOS Rebel T4i is also compatible with Canon’s previously introduced GP-E2 GPS Receiver that can be mounted to the camera’s accessory shoe. The GPS unit was created to serve outdoor photographers; it records shooting locations including latitude, longitude and altitude, as well as camera direction. A Logging function can tell how far a photographer has traveled as well.”
More and more software is coming out with support for geotagged photos. Finally Adobe has caught on, and has released Lightroom 4, along with pretty decent geotagging features.
“Map” is now one of the main views available in Lightroom, in which you will see a big map, with markers in all the spots on the map in which you took photos. If you zoom out, markers too close together are merged. Instead of an empty marker representing a single photo, a number is displayed on that marker, indicating the number of photos taken in that area. You can also choose to load GPS tracklog files, and have Lightroom 4 display these on the map. These tracks can even be used to indirectly geotag photos that are not yet geotagged, by matching the timestamps.
Optionally, you can blend in extra panels. The left panel contains three subviews:
Navigator – a smaller overview map
Saved Locations – a set of manually saved spots/areas, defined by location and radius. For each Location you can set a privacy option, if you want location metadata to be deleted whenever you export photos from this area (your home, for example)
Collections – what would be called “Albums” in most other Photo Managment software – not geotagging specific.
The right panel is your usual Metadata panel, in which you can see EXIF, IPTC and other Metadata, including the EXIF Fields with the GPS coordinates, along with button that will center the map to those coordinates. You can even choose to only display Location Metadata.
Along the bottom you have your film-strip panel. The photos in here all have badges in the bottom right corner, indicating whether or not they are geotagged. if you click on one of the markers in the map view, all the photos in that location are centered and highlighted in the film-strip view, so you can quickly see which photos were taken there. Instead of clicking on a single marker in the map, you can also apply one of three Location filters (along the top of the map view):
Visible on Map – highlights all photos in the filmstrip which were taken in the currently visible area on the map.
Tagged – highlights all photos in the filmstrip that are geotagged, and dims the photos without geotag
Untagged – does exactly the opposite.
The latter is especially useful for finding the photos where your geotagging device missed a photo or two without you noticing, so that you can manually add its location – for example by synching Location metadata from another photo taken in the same spot, or using a tracklog that you might have additionally saved.
I have not taken the time to dive any deeper into Lightroom 4 (I use Apples Aperture – which has supported geotagging for quite a while longer), who knows what other gems I might have missed – so feel free to add your own finds in the comments!
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.
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!
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.
Finally the entire current Nikon DSLR Lineup is equipped with GPS capabilities!
The newly announced D7000 (it is still unclear where in Nikons lineup it belongs) and even the entry-level D3100 announced just a few weeks ago, both have a GPS port, for directly connecting a GPS to it for geotagging your images. Along with the D5000 and the D90, which already had such a port, and of course all of Nikons professional cameras, which have had one for several years. This means that all of Nikons current DSLRs are capable of direct geotagging!
Of course, you’re wondering when our Unleashed will fit these new cameras… but you might just have to wait a few more days to get that answer ;-)
For the new year, we were able to work out new conditions and to lower our prices.
The next batch of Unleasheds has been produced, production costs have slightly decreased, and we were thus able to reduce the final price. At the same time, we decided to offer two great new Holux GPS receivers bundled with the Unleashed, pre-paired for your convenience.
These are the Holux M-1000C or the tiny M-1200E. They are both based on the MTK MT3329 low power consumption GPS chipset, meaning great reception quality and very long battery life. Also, both include logging features for documenting travelling routes, or even for indirectly geotagging photos taken with your backup camera, that might not have an Unleashed.
The new prices are:
167.23 € excl. VAT
Unleashed+M-1000C or Unleashed+M-1200E:
167.23+58.82=226.05 € excl. VAT
If the price was holding you back and you have not done so already, go get one in our online-shop.
If you’d prefer to buy the Unleashed from your local dealer or favorite online-retailer, tell them to contact us – we have great conditions for retailers and distributors, and are just setting up our worldwide distribution network. They can become a part of it.
It seems almost unbelievable, but after a long time of preparations, and a lot of hurdles we had to overcome, we have finally reached the point where we can proudly announce the availability of the new Unleashed – our tiny wireless geotagging solution for Nikon D200 and up.
While we’re setting up world-wide distribution to bring the Unleashed to retailers near you, we’ve set up a small online-shop for your convenience in the meantime. You can find it here: www.foolography.com/shop
Since we have quite a few prospective customers waiting for the availability of the Unleashed, we are expecting to be out of stock fairly soon, so don’t hesitate. However, production for the next batch has already begun, and will be available shortly.
We’re very glad to have finally come to this point and we hope you’re as excited as we are. If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact us.
We wish you a happy holiday season, possibly including a lot of fun with your new Unleashed!