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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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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.

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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.

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Nikon D4 GPS with Unleashed D200+

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.

Nikon D4 with Unleashed (front view)

After 3 seconds, the Unleashed had connected to the GPS, and the GPS icon on the LCD lit up:

Nikon D4 with GPS icon (top view)

Took a photo, and what do you know: it’s geotagged with our location in Las Vegas!

Nikon D4 with GPS data (back)


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.

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Nikon D4 released without built-in GPS

So the rumours were mostly true. Nikon released the D4 today, and it meets all expectations. What an amazing camera!

Nikon D4

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.

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