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Rokuk Dec 8, 2009 8:19 PM

Do GPS Ultracompacts Even Exist (Yet)?
Hi there!

Are there manufacturers out there making ultracompact still digital cameras with built-in GPS? The only models I can find are larger and/or digital camcorders, not cameras.

Is it a problem of them not being able to shrink the GPS components down small enough to fit into an ultra-compact model, or am I just missing them somehow?

Thanks = )

JimC Dec 9, 2009 6:22 AM

Not that I'm aware of (but I may have missed one, as I don't keep up with all of the new non-dSLR cameras).

Ricoh makes a model called the 500SE with a GPS module that attaches to it's side, with the camera automatically writing the GPS Coordinates to the EXIF (similar to the way some of the Nikon dSLR models work with an optional GPS Receiver). But, the Ricoh 500SE is not an ultracompact and it's expensive (>$1000).

One way to handle it is using a separate GPS Receiver that saves logs with coordiates on a regular basis. That way, you can use software to write coordinates to the image EXIF later (by matching up the date time stamps from the photos and GPS logs). There are a number of solutions available for that purpose.

JimC Dec 9, 2009 6:34 AM

Here's another one... The Nikon P6000 has an integrated GPS receiver designed to geotag your images with GPS coordinates. But, it's not really a "subcompact" (and I don't think you can use it as a GPS for finding your way to a destination or anything, as it's sole purpose is to tag images with GPS Coordinates).

TCav Dec 9, 2009 6:38 AM

If you've got a GPS device that keeps track logs, then the applications JimC mentioned will do the trick. Most GPS devices keep track logs, but to my knowledge, no cell phones with GPS do.

JimC Dec 9, 2009 7:18 AM

Are you looking for a way to Geotag your images, or do you want a fully functional GPS in the same device?

I have seen some GPS models with cameras built in (but, they were relatively low resolution and I doubt the photo quality is any good).

If you only want to Geotag images, then a separate GPS Receiver and a Software solution to match up the date/time stamps later is probably your best bet.

Chances are, we'll see more cameras with this functionality integrated in the future, too. If you're not in a big hurry, you may want to wait and see what manufacturers introduce at CES 2010 next month, or at the PMA show in February

Chances are, you'll see a number of new cameras introduced during the first couple of months next year, using those shows as launching points. But, I don't know what to expect in that area (models with integrated GPS).

Rokuk Jan 5, 2010 6:36 PM

THANK YOU very much!! = )

Sorry for waiting so long to reply, my browser crashed and it took me awhile to find my way back here :p

That is something I had not thought of, two separate systems with a software solution to match logs with photo timestamps.

Indeed, the only thing I want out of it is to GEO-stamp all my photos when they are taken.

I will also look into the newer models being released - but will probably need to buy in the next month regardless. Thank you all again!

JimC Jan 5, 2010 6:50 PM

No problem. Yes, lot of new software can do that now, with features that help you compensate for time settings differences (i.e., your camera was set to a different time than the actual time being logged by the GPS unit).

Then, the software just reads through the images in the folder you point it to and writes the GPS coordinates to the EXIF in each image, based on matching up those date/time stamps.

Let me do a few searches and I'll see if I can find a post or two about it (this subject comes up from time to time).

JimC Jan 5, 2010 6:52 PM

Here's one thread with some discussion that includes some links to reviews and software (and there are probably more choices around now):

TCav Jan 5, 2010 7:58 PM

I've been using Garmin GPS devices for years. I keep one in my car and use it to keep track of my travels so I can bill for my time. Any GPS device that keeps a Track Log can support what you're trying to do, but as far as I know, cell phones, even SmartPhones don't keep Track Logs.

And Microsoft has Pro Photo Tools, a free download, that will do geotagging. I've used it for other stuff and seen that it has that capability, but I haven't used it.

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