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GPS in Nikon Mirrorless cameras.

brian09223 brian09223

Is from: Concord, US
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brian09223 Registered since 24th Aug 2009
Sun 28-Mar-21 07:46 PM
Is Nikon making the Nikon Z-7II with GPS?

Brian Padraig O'Connor
Nikon D850...Tamron 15-30 f/2.8,Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 G2, Nikon 24-120 f/4.0
Nikon 70-300...SB-800

ericbowles ericbowles

Is from: Atlanta, US
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#1. "RE: GPS in Nikon Mirrorless cameras." | In response to Reply # 0

ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landsc... Writer Ribbon awarded for for his article contributions to the community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Ribbon awarded as a member who has gone beyond technical knowledge to show mastery of the art a Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005
Mon 29-Mar-21 12:02 PM
Yes and no.

The easiest way to link GPS data is by connecting the camera via Snapbridge. It will automatically tag the GPS coordinates into the EXIF data so it can be used downstream as needed. Better still - it's free.

Eric Bowles
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mklass mklass

Is from: Tacoma, US
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#2. "RE: GPS in Nikon Mirrorless cameras." | In response to Reply # 1

mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, ... Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Ribbon awarded for his most generous donation in 2017 Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the 2017-2018 fundraising campaign Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006
Mon 29-Mar-21 02:20 PM
And getting SnapBridge to work, and work consistently, is not always easy.

Nikon has not built GPS into their mirrorless cameras or DSLR's, except for the D5300.

It's seem like something that would be relatively easy to do, but Nikon does not see any value to doing it.

Mick
"The difference between a professional photographer and other photographers is the pro doesn't show you the bad shots."

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ericbowles ericbowles

Is from: Atlanta, US
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#3. "RE: GPS in Nikon Mirrorless cameras." | In response to Reply # 2

ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landsc... Writer Ribbon awarded for for his article contributions to the community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Ribbon awarded as a member who has gone beyond technical knowledge to show mastery of the art a Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005
Mon 29-Mar-21 02:30 PM
Transfers can be more challenging, but just connecting the two works pretty well. That's all you need for GPS.

Eric Bowles
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mklass mklass

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#4. "RE: GPS in Nikon Mirrorless cameras." | In response to Reply # 3

mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, ... Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Ribbon awarded for his most generous donation in 2017 Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the 2017-2018 fundraising campaign Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006
Mon 29-Mar-21 02:39 PM
I don't think so. Just look through the forums here and there are many reports of connection problems. In my own use, I have found SnapBridge to be a pain.

And frankly, it is also an extra step and piece of hardware that should not be necessary.

Mick
"The difference between a professional photographer and other photographers is the pro doesn't show you the bad shots."

Web Site: http://www.mickklassphoto.com
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pixures pixures

Is from: US
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#5. "RE: GPS in Nikon Mirrorless cameras." | In response to Reply # 1

pixures Silver Member Nikonian since 25th Feb 2009
Tue 30-Mar-21 12:09 PM
Snapbridge works.

I can see where folks say it is a little confusing to accomplish the initial pairing. The instructions could be more clear with a few words added in places. IMO, like all Nikon supplied free SW, it will work, but seems to lack end user experience and feedback into the final release(s). It makes me think that Nikon tests all SW internally by staff that is familiar with the software being tested rather the have open public beta tests. Since Nikon SW is free, Nikon is not protecting market share or competitive advantage for SW, so why not offer public beta testing.

Bill N

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ChristianF ChristianF

Is from: Montreal, CA
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#6. "RE: GPS in Nikon Mirrorless cameras." | In response to Reply # 5

ChristianF Gold Member Nikonian since 21st Jan 2007
Wed 31-Mar-21 09:15 AM
Well said indeed.

I occasionally give Snapbridge a go and always come out frustrated. Yet there are quite a few wireless tethering apps that work easily and consistently. So I'm with you on that.

The Snapbridge 360 was a total disaster which probably contributed to that system's downfall. That & the cost of the gear itself...

So grateful KEH bought my complete kit.


Christian,

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russg russg

Is from: Phoenix, US
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#7. "RE: GPS in Nikon Mirrorless cameras." | In response to Reply # 3

russg Silver Member Awarded for his win in the Nikonians Best 2016 Photo Contest Winner of the Best of Nikonians 2018 Annual Photo Contest Ribbon awarded as a member who has gone beyond technical knowledge to show mastery of the art a Nikonian since 03rd Nov 2007
Thu 01-Apr-21 02:14 AM
I've found that using SnapBridge as a way to automatically geotag my photos to be unreliable, at best. The location data that is recorded into the raw files is not updated as often as I would like (even with SnapBridge set to the highest level of accuracy), and often times the location data is just wildly inaccurate.

However, I'm not convinced this is SnapBridge's fault. After all, SnapBridge is merely recording the data that is fed to it by my Samsung Galaxy S10 smartphone. I've always carried a Garmin handheld gps unit when shooting in the field, and then syncing the Garmin's tracklog with the raw files using dedicated software designed specifically for that purpose. This method writes the location data directly into the header of the raw file, something Lightroom won't do, and has always proven to be highly accurate and reliable, but it does involve an extra step in post workflow. I was hoping the SnapBridge solution would eliminate the need for the Garmin and the syncing of files, but it just hasn't panned out that way. I suspect that the Garmin is just a much more sensitive and accurate gps receiver than the phone, especially when there is no cell service to corroborate the gps location data, but I'm not really sure. Maybe the problem is carrying the smartphone in my left front pants pocket, limiting its ability to receive data from enough satellites. All I know is that after testing, I can't rely on it for consistent and accurate results.

Russ

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jbloom jbloom

Is from: Wethersfield, US
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#8. "RE: GPS in Nikon Mirrorless cameras." | In response to Reply # 7

jbloom Gold Member Awarded for the continuous and generous sharing of his high level expertise and his always e... Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 15th Jul 2004
Thu 01-Apr-21 10:07 AM
I can't speak to the GPS performance of that particular phone model, but with my iPhone running both Snapbridge and an app that records a GPS track, I've found instances where the track data gave a correct geolocation while the Snapbridge-provided camera data seemed to have gotten "frozen" at a previous position. So while the Snapbridge method is probably better than nothing, I still prefer to use a separate GPS device, be it a phone or a dedicated GPS receiver.

Using a dedicated GPS receiver also reduces the load on the batteries in the phone and camera, which likely improves battery life though I don't know how much because I haven't measured it.

-- Jon
Wethersfield, CT, USA
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thelight

Is from: Denver, US
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#9. "RE: GPS in Nikon Mirrorless cameras." | In response to Reply # 0

thelight Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Dec 2005
Thu 01-Apr-21 02:44 PM
Hello fellow Nikonians,

I've used GPS tracking from di-GPS www.di-gps.com on several Nikon cameras over the years, starting with the D7100, and subsequently my D500 and now my Z6. They work great, especially the model for the D500, which not only gives your GPS coordinates but the direction you are pointing your camera. I like GPS tagging to track my location(s) when my wife and I are biking Europe and doing our hiking / backpacking in Colorado. I found Snapbridge a bit clunky on my D500 but it works great with my Z6. As a result I never use my di-GPS devices anymore. They are great tools but they do drain the camera battery a little. I am now looking for another GPS solution to support a 14 day river float through the Grand Canyon in June. I don't want to deal with my iPhone so Snapbridge is not an option, and the di-GPS is probably not viable because of the battery issue. I am thinking about using a Garmin, similar to how Russ describes in the above message.

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brettb brettb

Is from: Gouldsboro, US
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#10. "RE: GPS in Nikon Mirrorless cameras." | In response to Reply # 0

brettb Silver Member Nikonian since 01st Aug 2006
Sun 04-Apr-21 04:31 PM
This is a topic important to me as well. I tried Snapbridge with my Android phone and I found pairing and connecting simple enough, but position accuracy was terrible even at the high update speed. I will note that this is Not a phone issue as phone images are geotagged reasonably accurately.

I settled, for now anyway, on the Foolography Unleashed. This also connects to your phone for gps data and the results seem reasonably accurate (but not as good as my GP1). The problem is that the Unleashed has a lot of trouble connecting to Android phones, so much so that I would only recommend this solution to iPhone users. The company is in Germany which raises challenges, but they clearly mean well and the device provides other extremely useful remote control capabilities. The techs and owner are pretty responsive to correspondence. They also have an online forum but it isn’t very user friendly, at least for me.

I had a conversation going about GPS alternatives last year in this forum. I received lots of great suggestions. You might look back for my name and “GPS” and review it if you like.

Brett

brettb brettb

Is from: Gouldsboro, US
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#11. "RE: GPS in Nikon Mirrorless cameras." | In response to Reply # 10

brettb Silver Member Nikonian since 01st Aug 2006
Mon 05-Apr-21 12:28 PM
https://www.nikonians.org/forum/topic/477-6886-6886/gps-geotagging-with-z6 is the older relevant thread. I hope you find it helpful.

Brett

thelight

Is from: Denver, US
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#12. "RE: GPS in Nikon Mirrorless cameras." | In response to Reply # 11

thelight Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Dec 2005
Mon 05-Apr-21 02:05 PM
Excellent. I will take a look at these options and see what will work best for my trip. Thanks Brett!

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JECoutre JECoutre

Is from: Concord, US
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#13. "RE: GPS in Nikon Mirrorless cameras." | In response to Reply # 0

JECoutre Gold Member Nikonian since 02nd Jan 2008
Wed 07-Apr-21 08:19 PM
I am a long term GPS device user on both DSLRs and now also on Z7ii and Z6ii cameras from Dawn Technologies di-gps and Solmeta's GMAX for Nikon. They are reliable and work great but are an additional expense that I easily justify for knowing many details in the NEF for every capture in every country and where cell phone connections are not available. They both are 100% storing accurate data in real time in the camera file at capture as there respective spec sheets describe. Travel (sans pandemic) has become a big part of my life with spouse and this is the only exact location memory for captures during extended trips.

Both have 10-pin connection/cable configurations however only the Solmeta GMAX has a Z camera connection cable. Solmeta's GMAX for Nikon has its own internal battery that lasts more than a long day (on DSLRs, my Z7ii and my Z6ii) in the "on" mode and then switches to the camera battery when it is depleted. The di-gps runs off the camera battery. No extra synchronization is necessary with either device once you pay for the basic device and no software is required.

I have been using both devices for years and added an additional Solmeta GMAX for Z7ii and Z6ii. The Z connection cable tucks in nicely within the L bracket (does not protrude) giving it great protection from bumps or disconnection. Value is a personal choice.
Cheers.
Jim
mklass mklass

Is from: Tacoma, US
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#14. "RE: GPS in Nikon Mirrorless cameras." | In response to Reply # 13

mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, ... Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Ribbon awarded for his most generous donation in 2017 Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the 2017-2018 fundraising campaign Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006
Wed 07-Apr-21 08:28 PM
I agree, Jim. I have used the GMAX on DSLR and now on Z cameras, and they work great. I use Photo Mechanic to ingest and tag photos. The GMAX works seamlessly with PM.

Mick
"The difference between a professional photographer and other photographers is the pro doesn't show you the bad shots."

Web Site: http://www.mickklassphoto.com
My Nikonians Galleries: https://images.nikonians.org/galleries/showgallery.php/cat/500/ppuser/117796

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thelight

Is from: Denver, US
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#15. "RE: GPS in Nikon Mirrorless cameras." | In response to Reply # 13

thelight Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Dec 2005
Wed 07-Apr-21 08:41 PM
Thanks for that added perspective Jim. I have been using Dawn devices for years but was not aware of Solmeta. It looks like a great tool. The added battery life is especially appealing. I am getting ready for a two week (off the grid) float down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon so I have been exploring options. The battery issue is key for me for this trip. After reviewing various options (I followed up on Brett's post above) I've decided to just take a lot of batteries for my Z6 and use my Dawn device sparingly. I'll also have a couple of charging bricks. If I start to deplete too much power I'll just live without the added GPS info. I still might pick up a Garmin Fenix 6 watch, which tracks GPS and I believe can support a two week battery life if used properly. I could then export the coordinates and match with my photos upon my return. Thanks again.

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thelight

Is from: Denver, US
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#16. "RE: GPS in Nikon Mirrorless cameras." | In response to Reply # 12

thelight Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Dec 2005
Wed 07-Apr-21 08:45 PM
Thanks again for your direction Brett. I looked at the options explored in your post. I also considered using MyTracks, which is a great GPS tracking tool that integrates with your iPhone and computer. All in all that does not solve my battery life issue though. I'll probably just take a lot of batteries for my Z6 and use my Dawn device sparingly. I'll also have a couple of charging bricks. A Garmin Fenix 6 watch, which tracks GPS and I believe can support a two week battery life if used properly is also a possibility but this is added $$$ . Thanks again for your help.

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JECoutre JECoutre

Is from: Concord, US
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#17. "RE: GPS in Nikon Mirrorless cameras." | In response to Reply # 14

JECoutre Gold Member Nikonian since 02nd Jan 2008
Wed 07-Apr-21 09:43 PM
Decades long user of PhotoMechanic too for a lot of reasons not to mention speed!
Jim

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JECoutre JECoutre

Is from: Concord, US
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#18. "RE: GPS in Nikon Mirrorless cameras." | In response to Reply # 15

JECoutre Gold Member Nikonian since 02nd Jan 2008
Wed 07-Apr-21 10:03 PM
With a Z6 or Z7 (ii versions or not) the camera has user settings for how quickly it resorts to power saving after each capture. Any attached GPS without internal batteries may still call on camera battery rather than go into the sleep mode of the camera ... I have not checked this. I will attach the di-gps to Z6ii and observe what happens with the Z6ii as it goes to sleep mode relative to activity of the di-gps. BTW to use a 10-pin di-gps or the Solmeta GMAX from a 10-pin connector, you can obtain a GPS splitter from Solmeta that takes the initial connection into the splitter which opens up two ports ... so from Z camera use the Z connector to the splitter's 1st of 2 ports an then directly connect the di-gps to the second port of the splitter while the initial cord of the splitter connect to the Solmeta GMAX device head. And if you need a wireless remote shutter release from your DSLR kit, attach it to the through port of the di-gps device. I have successfully been using both gps devices even though the di-gps is only 10-pin port at this time in the above way. For the Solmeta device, just to change the connector cord for the camera body to the device connection, ie one cord no splitter needed. Connector cords are ~$25 USD each and the splitter is ~$45 USD each. BTW I use the splitter on the Z's for the wireless remote shutter.
Jim

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mklass mklass

Is from: Tacoma, US
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#19. "RE: GPS in Nikon Mirrorless cameras." | In response to Reply # 0

mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, ... Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Ribbon awarded for his most generous donation in 2017 Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the 2017-2018 fundraising campaign Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006
Thu 08-Apr-21 12:10 AM
Solmeta also sells a wireless remote shutter release that triggers the shutter through the GMAX. No extra cable needed

Mick
"The difference between a professional photographer and other photographers is the pro doesn't show you the bad shots."

Web Site: http://www.mickklassphoto.com
My Nikonians Galleries: https://images.nikonians.org/galleries/showgallery.php/cat/500/ppuser/117796

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JECoutre JECoutre

Is from: Concord, US
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#20. "RE: GPS in Nikon Mirrorless cameras." | In response to Reply # 19

JECoutre Gold Member Nikonian since 02nd Jan 2008
Thu 08-Apr-21 12:29 AM
Have you used it? Wait level of delay with actual shuuter lag? I picked up one that was just delivered.

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mklass mklass

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#21. "RE: GPS in Nikon Mirrorless cameras." | In response to Reply # 20

mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, ... Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Ribbon awarded for his most generous donation in 2017 Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the 2017-2018 fundraising campaign Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006
Thu 08-Apr-21 12:38 AM
I haven’t used it much. Seems to be OK

Mick
"The difference between a professional photographer and other photographers is the pro doesn't show you the bad shots."

Web Site: http://www.mickklassphoto.com
My Nikonians Galleries: https://images.nikonians.org/galleries/showgallery.php/cat/500/ppuser/117796

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stlsailor stlsailor

Is from: Ballwin, US
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#22. "RE: GPS in Nikon Mirrorless cameras." | In response to Reply # 21

stlsailor Gold Member Nikonian since 18th Jan 2016
Thu 08-Apr-21 03:05 PM
I really like the wireless remote shutter release I use now, but it sits in the hot shoe and uses the 10-pin connector. So if I go for a Solmeta I've two units vying for the same real estate.

The splitter Jim mentions would solve the connector problem but it appears to give me another dangling cable. The remote you mention is about the same price as the splitter. It doesn't have the release mode options, it appears, that my current remote release has, but since I use it primarily for landscape setting that on the camera ahead of time should be sufficient. You said shutter lag was OK. I assume with Bluetooth that range is not an issue either?

Dale

Ballwin, MO, USA



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mklass mklass

Is from: Tacoma, US
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#23. "RE: GPS in Nikon Mirrorless cameras." | In response to Reply # 22

mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, ... Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Ribbon awarded for his most generous donation in 2017 Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the 2017-2018 fundraising campaign Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006
Thu 08-Apr-21 03:55 PM
Dale, as I said, I haven't used it much yet. I also generally am using a wireless remote as a substitute for a corded one, and am at close range. When I have a chance, I'll do some more rigorous testing the Solmeta wireless remote, but suffice to say, it meets my needs.

Mick
"The difference between a professional photographer and other photographers is the pro doesn't show you the bad shots."

Web Site: http://www.mickklassphoto.com
My Nikonians Galleries: https://images.nikonians.org/galleries/showgallery.php/cat/500/ppuser/117796

See my portfolio.

G