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The Photography Show in Birmingham

We’ve arrived at our first ever trade show in the UK. For the next few days we’ll be exhibiting at The Photography Show at the NEC in Birmingham, Hall 5, Booth J111.

foolography at the Photography Show

The Booth is set up, and we’re looking forward to seeing you, and showing you our products in action!

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Nikon D5500 – no more integrated GPS

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.

Nikon D5500
  • The good news: the Unleashed Dx000 works on the D5500 (see the GPS Satellite icon)
    Nikon D5500 screenshot GPS icon
  • The bad news: I was unable to properly test how well it fits the D5500, but can tell you it’ll be tight!
    Unleashed Dx000 on Nikon D5500Unleashed Dx000 on Nikon D5500
    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!
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D4s – Unleashed D200+ looks like it will be compatible [Update: it is!]

I just saw the Nikon D4s at CES, and it looks pretty much identical to the D4, just looking at the body. While I’m sure they’ve greatly improved it on the inside, the good news is that the 10-pin port is still there, and I assume it will work just as it did with the D4, meaning that our Unleashed D200+ will fit and work on the D4s.

D4s at CES

[Update 2014-04-06: Unleashed D200+ is indeed compatible]

I was able to test it today, and can confirm it works just as well as on all other Nikon DSLRs. One thing I might note: Although the Unleashed D200+ does fit, and works well – the D800 modification makes it fit even better.

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D3300 – Unleashed Dx000 not compatible

Nikon announced the D3300 a few days ago – a great entry level DSLR, I’m sure! As usual, I won’t bore you with the specs and features – you can read these on nikon.com or dpreview.com.

Being at the CES 2014, I was able to have a look at the camera, and to test the Unleashed Dx000 on the D3300. Unlike the D5300 – the D3300 does NOT have GPS built-in. It’s still compatible with the Nikon GP-1 and other third party GPS devices. Unfortunately, the Unleashed Dx000 will not physically fit the D3300, because the socket is recessed a little too deeply for the Unleashed Dx000 to plug in completely.

D3300 recessed port D3300 with Dx000 - doesn't quite fit

We’re working on a solution, and will let you know when it’s ready.

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Nikon Df – add GPS with Unleashed Dx000

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.

Nikon Df in Silver

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 :-)

Nikon Df with 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: Df GPS icon

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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: http://nikonimglib.com/agps2/. 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 nikon.com or dpreview.com.

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Nikon D7100 – add GPS with our Unleashed Dx000

Today, Nikon announced the new D7100. A successor to the popular D7000, now 2.5 years old.

Nikon D7100

Some also rumor it to be the merged successor of the D7000 and D300s, and the updated specs do seem to lend these rumors some credibility. One example is that the D7100’s AF module has been updated to the Multi-Cam 3500DX with 51 AF points (15 cross type), which is the same as the as the D300s. However, it even comes with updated Algorithms, and just like the D4, D800 and D600, Nikon specifies it to be able to focus in low light, down to -2EV. The center point is functional at f/8, an advantage especially for the use of teleconverters combined with telephoto lenses. Of course that’s not all thats new, some important updates are the 24Megapixel Sensor without optical low pass filter, ISO range of 100-6400 (or Lo-1:50 to Hi-2: 25600), increased speed, 1080/30p video recording, dedicated movie record button, 1.3x crop mode, ca 100% frame coverage viewfinder, and much more, which you can read about in detail on nikon.com, dpreview or engadget.

The most interesting news is of course, that the D7100 is compatible with our Unleashed Dx000, as the connector and its position at the bottom right of the left side of the camera remains mostly unchanged from the D7000. Nikon has still not built in GPS into any of their DSLRs!

D7100 GPS terminal

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D800 modification of Unleashed D200+

We’ve been getting many requests about the D800 this year, as unfortunately the current Unleashed D200+ physically does not fit the D800. The new year 2013 will also bring a new version of the Unleashed with exciting new features. But it is not quite finished yet. As always, we try to make everything perfect which turns out to be a little bit more complicated than anticipated.

Unleashed D200+ Modified for D800

Electronically, the Unleashed D200+ still works perfectly on the D800, so we decided to offer a modification for all our customers with Unleashed D200+, to end the wait for using an Unleashed on their new Nikon D800.

  • For a small fee of 15 Euro, we will make this modification for you, and ship it back to you. Of course you need to send us your Unleashed first.
  • If you order a new Unleashed D200+, we will modify it for you for free. Just select the respective product in our shop.
  • If you can’t wait, and/or don’t mind a little DIY: We made a video of how you can modify it yourself safely. This modification method (melting) will not void your warranty.

watch on youtube

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Nikon D5200 – Unleashed Dx000 compatible

So, last week, Nikon announced another great consumer DSLR, the D5200. Nikon updated their only DSLR model with a swivelling Display to specifications close to the D7000, while remaining physically almost identical to the predecessor: the D5100.

Nikon D5200 GPS Port

Read all the details on dpreview or engadget.

The Nikon D5200 is compatible with our Unleashed Dx000, Nikon really seems to be sticking with this port for GPS support in their consumer DSLR lineup, and is showing no signs of integrating GPS into their DSLRs just yet.

D5200 Ports
Unleashed Dx000 position on D5200 Image by dpreview

Again, just like with the D600, the Rubber cover needs to be either removed or a have rectangular hole cut into for the Unleashed to fit on properly, but most our customers do this anyway, so that the rubber cover is not flapping about all the time. See our D600 post for details on a nearly entirely reversible method for removing the flap.

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Nikon D600 – Unleashed Dx000 is compatible

We’re back from photokina2012 – a great show and a great success! As promised I headed over to the Nikon Booth, and tested our Unleashed Dx000 on the D600.

At first, my heart sunk: No GPS icon on the top LCD. Luckily, when I took photos, the GPS data was embedded in the EXIF data! I figured that Nikon might have simply not included a GPS icon at all on the top LCD. Looking through the manual (page 175 7) it is evident that this is not the case. – there definitely should be a GPS icon. Maybe I simply overlooked it, or the Model on display malfunctioned in some way. Sorry for this false information. Page 175 shows the INFO display, not the top LCD. Top LCD or “Control Panel” is shown on page 7, and definitely does NOT have a GPS icon.

D600 with UnleashedDx000

The Unleashed will fit nicely on the D600, the only problem being that the rubberflap is in the way. While it is possible to use the Unleashed like that, the pressure from the flap will, over time, cause the Plug on the Unleashed to break off the PCB inside, which eventually result in malfunction. There are two nice solutions for this:

  • Cut a rectangle out of the flap, just over the port – so the flap remains closed while the Unleashed is plugged in.
  • Remove the flap entirely: A customer figured out a great, almost entirely reversible method for this:
    D7000 Flap cut
    [image from georgle’s blog]


    by cutting the rubber hinges that wrap around the metal pin right next to the flap, it is possible to remove the flap entirely. By threading the hinges back under the metal pin, the flap can be replaced and will retain its full functionality.

Update:

I misread the manual: Page 175 shows the INFO screen, not the TOP LCD. On page 7 one can see that the top LCD really does not have a GPS icon – in other words, the D600 is fully compatible with the Unleashed Dx000, no “odd behaviour”, no doubt about it.