I'm using the D700 with the Solmeta GPS unit N2 (solmeta.com). I find it to be an excellent unit. It fits into the hotshoe or attaches to your strap. The camera attachment is direct to the ten-pin with no MC-35 required.
It also has a unique feature that I find absolutely necessary. If you go inside, or anywhere the satellites are not visible, it remembers its last fix and continues to send GPS information to the camera.
It runs on its own rechargeable battery, but you can also use the camera battery if you chose to. That is set by a mechanical switch on the unit.
It comes with its own version of the MC-30, so you can remotely release the shutter. This release also has a lock for long exposures.
I also will be receiving this week their ten-pin duplex attachment.
It plugs into the ten-pin socket and has two ten-pin attachments on the other end of a short cord.
If you need/want GPS I can't say enough about this product.
Nikonian in North Carolina
#1. "RE: D700 and Solmeta GPS unit" | In response to Reply # 0Bangkok Paul Charter MemberMon 04-Aug-08 05:50 AM
It looks very similar to the di-GPS unit from dawntech in Hong Kong, from just across the border.
I got one of these units about a year ago and two more of the pro version, which has a 10 pin connector jack already ON the unit. When you consider that the Solmeta unit charges $45+ $10 to $40 more for shipping for the Y connector, it make the Dawntech unit much cheaper and a bit more compact.
A friend of mine says he found the older Dawntech unit without the 10pin under a still different name even cheaper.
I have these units on each of my cameras and never take it off. It's really cool being able to click on the GPS data in Lightroom and have it open up Google Earth and show you where you took the picture.
D3, D300, D2X & D200
New 14-24 F2.8 too!
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#2. "RE: D700 and Solmeta GPS unit" | In response to Reply # 1JoeC Nikonian since 18th Feb 2006Mon 04-Aug-08 10:57 AM
Do any of these units support electronic compass input to the camera? This is data that shows the direction the camera is pointed when there is no physical motion. I assume that the unit does provide altitude data.
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#3. "RE: D700 and Solmeta GPS unit" | In response to Reply # 2Mon 04-Aug-08 12:05 PM | edited Mon 04-Aug-08 12:07 PM by markgrif
I don't know about the other unut, but the Solmeta has an internal elctronic compass and supplies heading info. It also supplies altitude.
The compass is very accurate. It can be set for declination and local magnetic fields easily.
Edit: Also the ten-pin Y adaptor can be used without the GPS unit, so you then have two ten-pin adaptors.
Nikonian in North Carolina
#4. "RE: D700 and Solmeta GPS unit" | In response to Reply # 3JoeC Nikonian since 18th Feb 2006Tue 05-Aug-08 07:40 PM
FYI. Here are some questions (1,2,,3) I emailed to Solmeta and the response from Bryan (A, B, C) to those questions within 2 days.
Sales Manager,Solmeta Technology CO.,LTD
Address: 513,ChuangYe Building Chuangye 2nd Road, BaoAn District, Shenzhen,China
E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
After reading the downloaded users manual for this unit, I have some questions:
(1) The compass used for headings. With the DP-GPS N2 mounted on the camera. It appears that the provided data will not be accurate when taking a picture with the camera not in the horizon level position. For example, taking a vertical format picture or flowers when the situation requires a non- perfect horizontal orientation. Is this true?
Bryan 1A: For question 1: Yes, it needs to be in horizontal orientation to get a best accuracy result.
(2) The battery in the unit is rechargeable or power can be obtained from the camera. Is there any way to utilize alkaline batteries? Wonder about going on a long backpack or hike when there is no battery charger facility available but could carry alkaline batteries.
Bryan 2B: For question 2: It is Li-on rechargeable battery in our products. There is no way to utilize alkaline batteries. If you use D300, D700 or D3, it doesn't cosume too much power for they have a auto meter off function.
(3) When using the auto mode wherein the unit is turned on and off via the camera, when it is turned on is that a warm start or cold start time? If cold start, when does the warm startup time become applicable.
Bryan 3C: For question 3:That is a little complicated. When you are using auto mode, if the gps device for example our N2 is already being fixed and you are in a clear sky, when you turn off the camera and then turn on the camera some time later, the N2 get a fix very quickly usually in a second, that is hot start. If you turn off the camera and N2 for a day, then you turn them on, that is a warm start, that needs around 30 seconds. And if you turn off the N2 for a few days and then turn it on, that needs around 1 minute, that is cold start.
1 second is in an open sky. If the N2 lost connection with the satellite, for example when you walk into a house, then N2 lost a fix, in that case, when you walk out of the house and that need a refix, that will cost 40 seconds even a few minutes to get a fix, and the time depends on its nearby environment.
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#5. "RE: D700 and Solmeta GPS unit" | In response to Reply # 4Tue 05-Aug-08 08:36 PM | edited Tue 05-Aug-08 08:48 PM by markgrif
I think that it should be made clear (not that you didn't) that the GPS info from the satellite is just as accurate in the vertical position. It is only the electronic compass info that may suffer.
Also, AFAIK, most handheld GPS units that you would connect with the MC-35 require motion to get a heading. This not true of all units, but most.
Edit: I also agree that their customer service is extraordinary. I dealt with them on the phone and by e-mail extensively before I bought the product. What I liked was (as you say) the response time and also the honestly about what it can and cannot do. I have used the unit now for two weeks in the forests of the mountains in North Carolina and am completely satisfied!
Edit: Sorry about the edits but my brain works "off and on" at a red hot 1-20 ratio. I forgot to mention that this unit is available at Nikonians Mall. Let's support ourselves!!!
Nikonian in North Carolina
#8. "RE: D700 and Solmeta GPS unit" | In response to Reply # 5niksi Nikonian since 20th Jul 2006Mon 08-Sep-08 07:40 AM
Just to clearify the info a bit...
GPS is a very complex system and the position accuracy depends on many factors, including signal strengths, velocity, precipitation, obstacles to the sky and finally also on an antenna position.
The GPS receiver constantly calculates the predicted precision of the geographic position based on these parameters. It is called DOP -- Dillution od Precision. It is calculated in meters from the ideal position.
For best accuracy (lowest DOP) the GPS antenna should be oriented in such a direction to get the best signal from satellites and that is usually the horizontal position. Therefore I have to agree with Bryan that the accuracy is better in horizontal position of the receiver.
In order to maintain higher accuracy and lower DOP when shooting in vertical position it is advisable to hold the camera with GPS receiver attached to flash hot-shoe in horizontal position to pick-up a fix. The camera should be turned into vertical position shortly before the shot and the GPS unit will send to the camera the last GPS fix. The fixes are taken every second.
The GPS receivers that are not attached to the hot-shoe maintain the same accuracy regardless of the camera position but for the best accuracy the receiver itself should be carried somewhere in the open air (not in the pocket) and oriented properly to get the best signal from satellites.
#7. "RE: D700 and Solmeta GPS unit" | In response to Reply # 0
>It runs on its own rechargeable battery, but you can also use
>the camera battery if you chose to. That is set by a
>mechanical switch on the unit.
I have the di-GPS unit from dawntech and it sucks my camera battery down very fast. How long does the Solmeta unit’s battery last? Once it is dead, how much does it suck out of your camera?
#10. "RE: D700 and Solmeta GPS unit" | In response to Reply # 7gkaiseril Nikonian since 28th Oct 2005Tue 09-Sep-08 11:59 AM
The newer dSLRs have a GPS timeout so that the dSLR metering is truned off while the GPS is connected and the shutter release is not being used. The D200 does not have this feature. One can always turn off the D200, since its startup time is rather short.
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#9. "RE: D700 and Solmeta GPS unit" | In response to Reply # 0
I took a gander at all the GPS units I could find, and finally went with the blue2CAN bluetooth GPS adapter from Red Hen. It's basically a small box the size of your fingertip that plugs into the 10-pin, and it communicates via bluetooth to a separate GPS receiver. The advantages to this: drain on the camera battery is absolutely minimal, you have more freedom in choosing a GPS receiver, and most important, the footprint on the camera is virtually unnoticeable. I leave it on all the time, and just hook the GPS receiver to my bag, belt or camera strap when I want to use it.
#12. "RE: D700 and Solmeta GPS unit" | In response to Reply # 11Wed 10-Sep-08 03:43 AM
>I just wanted to know if RedHen's solution can use my wm6
>mobile phone and its internal gps.
>I have htc touch cruise
I have no idea.
You should give them a call. They're responsive, friendly and helpful.
#13. "RE: D700 and Solmeta GPS unit" | In response to Reply # 12Wed 10-Sep-08 05:44 AM
I mean its internal GPS can be used by my pc via bluetooth.
Can it be used by RedHen's adapter ??
Is it a general adapter for *any* BT-GPS module ??
Or does it use special modules that support a special feature
#14. "RE: D700 and Solmeta GPS unit" | In response to Reply # 13Wed 10-Sep-08 05:50 AM
>I mean its internal GPS can be used by my pc via bluetooth.
>Can it be used by RedHen's adapter ??
>Is it a general adapter for *any* BT-GPS module ??
>Or does it use special modules that support a special feature
Now I'm thoroughly confused.
The RedHen is a small little box that has one plug, and that's for the 10-pin port on the Nikon. It's sole purpose is to connect the Nikon to an external GPS unit via bluetooth. It will supposedly work with any bluetooth GPS receiver, as long as the GPS receiver doesn't require a passcode.
If you're asking whether the RedHen can be used to connect your phone to your computer, the answer would be no.
If you're asking whether the RedHen can be used to transmit GPS from a bluetooth GPS unit to your computer, the answer there would be no, since you can't connect the RedHen to a computer.
If you're asking whether it could be used to connect your phone's GPS to the camera, well, as long as the phone doesn't require a passcode, and assuming your phone can actually transmit GPS data via bluetooth (do phones do that?), there's a very good chance it will work.
Honestly, your best bet is to call them. You'll probably talk to the guy who designed the thing. I did.
#15. "RE: D700 and Solmeta GPS unit" | In response to Reply # 14Wed 10-Sep-08 06:54 AM
My wonder was the last one..
In fact WM6 phones have a special setting in "Start/settings/system/External GPS"
allowing external devices to use its internal GPS without confirmation
(or with a minimal confirmation of code 0000)
All I have is to give it a try.
Thanks a lot
#20. "RE: D700 and Solmeta GPS unit" | In response to Reply # 15gkaiseril Nikonian since 28th Oct 2005Tue 04-Nov-08 03:17 PM | edited Tue 04-Nov-08 04:06 PM by gkaiseril
The phone needs to send the GPS data without any software or hardware control in a format that conforms to version 2.01 or 3.01 of the National Marine Electronics Association NMEA0183 data format.
See Which GPS devices have been approved? for a list of Nikon approved GPS units and what the software and hardware requirements are.
You really need to contact your phone's manufacturer and see if the phone meets these requriments and is not transmitting the data in another format.
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#17. "RE: D700 and Solmeta GPS unit" | In response to Reply # 0
I acquired a Solmeta N2 directly from Solmeta for use on my D300. I used it a couple of times without a problem. I traveled from the U.S. to a small island in Palau which is without mail service. After leaving home I discovered that the N2 would not work correctly on my D700. I contacted Bryan at Solmeta who told me that the unit must be defective and that he would send me, at his cost, a new one.
I want everyone to know that I had that replacement unit within a week, although the last leg of the journey needed to be by private boat from an island 30 miles away. I could not be happier with the service I received and recommend Solmeta highly. I have read similar remarks by others. The service is first-rate, truly world class. The new unit functioned flawlessly for the next two weeks in the jungle. The N2 on a D700 is a great combination. No problem with draining batteries and the compass is handy. The unit never lost the satellites, even under the jungle canopy.
For what it's worth, I am sold on the N2 and Solmeta because of the product, but even more so because of the great service. If you are undecided what to buy, keep the service from Solmeta in mind.
#19. "RE: D700 and Solmeta GPS unit" | In response to Reply # 18David McQ Registered since 30th Jul 2004Tue 04-Nov-08 08:39 AM
I don't use an MB-D10. The D700 and 17-35mm are heavy enough to keep me anchored on the earth, although balance might be a little better with the MB-D10. The charge in the N2 pretty much lasts all day. The times I forgot to charge it, I can't say that battery drain on the camera battery was an issue that I noticed. I'm sure it made a difference but I never needed to swap batteries in the D700. I was averaging about 200 to 300 images each day. I did not attempt to measure anything nor compare it to any other unit or on any other camera. This is simply my subjective impression. I do think that the N2 takes a rather long time to recharge--several hours.
My contribution to the discussion is simply that the N2 works as described and that the service is remarkable. I received excellent treatment from the company and I am not a special customer, in any respect.
#22. "RE: D700 and Solmeta GPS unit" | In response to Reply # 21gpoole Nikonian since 14th Feb 2004Fri 07-Nov-08 12:46 PM
I do it most of the time. I'm using the Solmeta. It has 3.5mm socket for a cable release and the release was included in the package from the Nikonians Pro Shop.
Gary in SE Michigan, USA.
Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the camera.
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#28. "RE: Hor to Read Magnetic Heading?" | In response to Reply # 24Bart B Registered since 06th Mar 2007Mon 13-Sep-10 08:13 AM
>Can anybody recommend a software package that will allow me
>to read the magnetic heading in the NEF EXIF from my Solmeta
Geospatial Experts has software that's used all over the world. US military units have it in Iraq and Afganastan. May be the best stuff out there. It also uses the EXIF data's equivalent 35mm focal length to create a fan-shaped shadow showing the field of view for the lens' focal length. www.geospatialexperts.com
My youngest Son developed the software and he owns the business. So I'm a proud daddy.
DSLR's: D40, D700
FSLR's: FG, N80, F100
DX Lenses: Nikkor 18-55, 18-70, 55-200
FX Lenses: Nikkor 18-35, 24-85, 28-80, 28-200, two 50's, 70-300; Series E 28, 100 & 135.
#26. "RE: D700 and Solmeta GPS unit" | In response to Reply # 0
Unfortunately I have not been lucky with my Solmeta Geotagger Pro and my D700...
My D700 Camera settings are:
Auto Meter-off delay at 30s (I tried every setting over 30s all the way to "no limit").
GPS "auto-meter OFF" setting in D700 Tool menu is set at "ON"
a- GPS starts up... Its own GPS icon blinks.
b- D700 Camera LCD shows blinking
c- GPS locks unto satellites... Its own GPS icon is now solid.
d- Camera LCD now shows solid
e- Take a picture
f- GPS data is written to EXIF file
g- Take a picture
h- GPS data is written to EXIF file
i- Camera metering goes to sleep.
j- GPS still locked unto satellites... Its own GPS icon is solid.
k- Wake up camera
l- Camera LCD shows solid
m-Take a picture
n- GPS data is written to EXIF file
o- Take a picture
p- GPS data is written to EXIF file
after a few more pictures... the problem:
r- GPS still locked unto satellites... Its own GPS icon is solid, shows changing LAT, LONG etc... (Seems to be working fine)
s- Turn off both Camera and GPS
t- Start-up again...
u- GPS starts up... Its own GPS icon blinks
v- GPS locks unto satellites... Its own GPS icon is now solid.(Seems to be working fine)
w- Camera does NOT show any
x- Nothing I try seems to help... connect/disconnect cable... The Camera has lost communication with the GPS.
I sent back the unit and Solmeta sent me a new GPS and a new cable... but same problem happens...
Anyone can help?
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#27. "RE: D700 and Solmeta GPS unit" | In response to Reply # 0
I've had two of the Solmeta GPS N2 units (both purchased from the Nikonian Photo Pro Shop). Initially pleased with them, however both subsequently have failed -- granted out of warranty but expected better for something that cost >$250 each. One of the remote shutter release control failed just before ANPAT 8, the other remote release failed during ANPAT 8. I ended up getting the Y-splitter cables so I could used my more reliable Nikon MC-35 remote. One of travel chargers failed when one of the blades to connect to the 120V side came loose and remained in the wall socket. Finally, on the way to ANPAT 9 one of the GPS units stopped working (didn't send the GPS location to the camera even though the lights were flashing as if it did have a GPS location signal). During ANPAT 9 the 2nd unit also stopped working, and thus I needed to manually enter GPS location data for my images from this trip (some of the GPS location data thanks to Jim Nichols from his Garmin GPS). Bottom line, I can't recommend these units.