Posted on

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!
Posted on

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.

Posted on

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

Posted on

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.

Posted on

Nikon D610 – no built-in GPS, Unleashed Dx000 compatible

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.

Nikon D610

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!

Posted on

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.

Posted on

Photokina 2012

Preparations for the worlds biggest photography trade fair are keeping us busy – just a little under 3 weeks left and a lot left to do!

Photokina starts on September 18th, and is open for 6 days – until the 23rd of September. Of course, we’ll be there in Cologne – our Booth is in Hall 5.1, Booth F006:

photokina2012-hallplan-foolography

We’d love to see you there, show you our products, and answer any questions you might have.

We might just have something up our sleeve, that you wouldn’t want to miss. ;-)

Posted on

D800 and Unleashed D200+

As promised, I checked the possibility of modifying the Unleashed D200+ to make it fit the D800:

Unleashed D200+ on Nikon D800

It is possible to get it to work, but you have to remove A LOT of the casing, and actually you would even need to remove some of the PCB (see how it sticks out of the cut case), which will quickly cause great problems if you overdo this.

D800 mod for Unleashed D200+
(yes, that extra cut out is for the new “3D” white dot)

While some brave souls will attempt to do this and will probably manage, This is not a solution I will recommend to our customers.

Forum thread showing the modification

We’re working hard on a successor to the Unleashed D200+, and are redesigning it to make sure it fits the D800 properly. We will make existing customers some sort of an upgrade offer, be it trade in, or just a loyalty rebate of some sort, we still need to work out the details on that. So don’t hesitate to get the Unleashed D200+ for your current camera, while you’re saving up for that D800 – you’ll be able to upgrade the Unleashed as soon as we have the new version ready.

Sorry… I wish I had better news than this.

Posted on

Nikon D800/D800E – still no built-in GPS

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.

Nikon D800 with its 10-pin port for GPS

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.

Nikon D800 Top view with Unleashed D200+ outline
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.

Posted on

Nikon Interview – questions about GPS

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).