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ATP Photofinder

4th September 2008

By Darren Griffin

 

GPS Photo loggers which allow you to add geotag information to your pictures are the current 'must have' gadget, indeed we have reviewed a fair few already. ATP's Photofinder however, approaches this market segment from a new angle.

 

Whereas the majority of solutions to date have required dedicated software that links the data gathered by the photo logger to the photographs taken, ATP's unit has an SD card slot into which you insert a memory card containing photographs. the unit then writes the location data it has logged into the EXIF data for each photograph.

 

This is very much simpler and is software independent. It has been our experience when reviewing photo loggers in the past that the core differentiator has been the quality of the software supplied, however even the better solutions are far from perfect. ATP's novel approach means you can use commercial photo packages that are EXIF aware and that can read location data, a much better option in my opinion. The unit also has full data logger functionality with sufficient memory to store 550 hours worth of log data (5 sec intervals).

 

ATP PhotofinderThe Photofinder

The unit itself is larger than the majority of basic photo loggers but not overly so. Our review unit came in a lurid lime green/black colour combination, not one you could easily misplace!

 

Externally the only buttons are Power On/Off, Up/Down for interaction with the menu, a mini-USB socket and the SD/MMC card slot.

 

Power is supplied courtesy of 2 x AAA batteries which resolves any issues should you run out of power in the field and there is a lanyard slot for carrying together with a plastic karabiner type clip.

 

Although the memory card slot is SD/MMC, you can also utilise other card formats such as Compact Flash or Sony Memory Stick using a card reader (not supplied) and the bundled mini-USB to USB cable.

 

ATP Photofinder and Card Reader

The card reader shown is not supplied

 

Specification

 

Display 128 x 32 Dot Matrix FSTN with back light
Compatible Cards

Compact Flash

SD 2.0 SDHC

MMC 4.2

Memory Stick PRO/Duo

Interface Mini USB
Memory 128Mb
Battery

2 x AAA

USB Cable Mini USB to Type A Female
Dimensions 82mm x 43mm x 26mm
Weight 60g without batteries
GPS Chipset SiRFStarIII

 

In Use

Rarely are devices as simple to operate as they claim but this one really is very straightforward. Insert batteries, switch on and obtain a satellite fix.

 

Once a fix has been acquired the UTC time is displayed on the LCD display. All that remains to do is to ensure the clock on your camera is set to the same time.

 

You can then clip the Photofinder to your belt or some other convenient location and proceed as normal taking your photographs.

 

At the end of the day/session, remove the memory card from your camera and insert into the slot on the Photofinder. A simple dialogue on the LCD display indicates how many photos have been located and asks for confirmation before writing the data.

 

The Photofinder also has the ability to create a Google Earth format .kml file which can also be saved to the memory card if desired at this stage.

 

5 Easy Steps

 

HowTo1 HowTo2

 

HowTo3 HowTo4

 

HowTo5

 

 

During testing we were able to eke out about 7hrs of continuous usage from a fresh set of Duracell Alkaline batteries.

 

PicasawebThe Photofinder integrates with any package that is GPS/Geotag aware and there is a long list of well known and respected solutions including Picasaweb from Google and Immageo.

 

Picasa is a free download (see here) and provides image organisation, edit facilities and sharing options via its online albums as well as Geotag features and Google map/Google Earth integration.

 

Easydevices.co.uk are currently offering a free copy of Immageo pro with every purchase. Immageo is not only a superbly implemented photo Immageo Screen-Shotalbum package that allows you to store and archive your image collections but it also allows you to browse them via thumbnails and search via keywords, EXIF tags etc.

 

Most importantly in this instance, Immageo has full GPS support for geotagged images.

 

Every image you take that has the location data embedded into it can be viewed from within Immageo on a Google Earth map. Even images that do not contain location data can be updated by manually locating the location of the photo on the map. Once done, Immageo will add the geotag data to the image file.

 

Pricing

The ATP Photofinder is available in the UK from Easydevices and at time of review was £76.00 inc of VAT. Our thanks to everyone at Easydevices for the loan unit.

 


PocketGPS Thumbs UpConclusion

ATP's Photofinder is superbly simple to use and worked quite well. I did experience some issues with poor satellite lock when I had the device attached to my belt and so it may be preferable to ensure it is carried in a manner that allows a good view of the sky but this is an issue that is not unique to this unit.

 

I also found the reverse white on black LCD screen difficult to read, particularly in bright sunlight and so it was sometimes difficult to confirm that a position fix had been achieved.

 

However, it's support for a wide range of the more common card formats (and further support for many others including the smaller formats such as mini-SD via adapters) makes it a versatile tool and earns it a PocketGPS thumbs up.

 

Review unit supplied by

Easydevices


References

Manufacturers Web site

http://photofinder.atpinc.com

ATP User Manual Download Link
Pocket GPS Contributor

Darren Griffin

Pocket GPS Contributor Web site

www.Pocketgpsworld.com

   

 

 

Comments
Posted by MaFt on Thu Sep 04, 2008 11:32 am Reply with quote

I like the idea of the card adaptor (both my cameras use XD) - any ideas how much these are on top of the logger itself?

MaFt


MaFt®

 
Posted by Darren on Thu Sep 04, 2008 11:45 am Reply with quote

MaFt Wrote:
I like the idea of the card adaptor (both my cameras use XD) - any ideas how much these are on top of the logger itself?

You can use any card reader, the device comes with a short mini-USB to USB A Female cable. All you need do is plug the card reader, memstick or whatever into that cable and the cable into the ATP Photofinder for any card connected to the car reader to be accessible by the unit. (it's in the review Wink )


Darren Griffin - Editor

 
Posted by MaFt on Thu Sep 04, 2008 11:47 am Reply with quote

oh! i missed that part! i thought it meant 'sold separately' as in you had to buy a specific model! even better then :D

MaFt


MaFt®

 
Posted by Darren on Thu Sep 04, 2008 11:51 am Reply with quote

Easydevices have a 7 in 1 Card Reader listed at £6.99.


Darren Griffin - Editor

 
Posted by Kritou on Thu Sep 04, 2008 12:00 pm Reply with quote

This looks just the job for a forthcoming motorbike tour of Turkey - but the battery life seems a little sparse and expensive for all day riding. Does the unit accept rechargable cells?


 
Posted by Darren on Thu Sep 04, 2008 12:01 pm Reply with quote

Yes, it will accept re-chargeable cells.


Darren Griffin - Editor

 
Posted by Colinsp on Sat Sep 13, 2008 10:06 am Reply with quote

The biggest problem that I see with this device is its unique ability to write to a memory card. I want a copy of all my photos before anything changes any data in them. I hope this is recommended loud and clear in the manual otherwise I expect there will be a few annoyed users of it.


 
Posted by Deepfour on Tue Sep 16, 2008 4:25 pm Reply with quote

Would it be too naughty to point out that the MyGuide M.iTagger which is about to be released has a 2 week battery life if set to 5 seconds and up to 4 weeks for longer intervals?
Released in November at £59.99 and available from Maplin!


Leyio = Share anywhere anytime!

www.leyio.com

Keep your eyes open in 2009 for a new way to share and swap files......Leyio!

 
Posted by Darren on Tue Sep 16, 2008 5:39 pm Reply with quote

Deepfour Wrote:
Would it be too naughty to point out that the MyGuide M.iTagger which is about to be released has a 2 week battery life if set to 5 seconds and up to 4 weeks for longer intervals?
Released in November at £59.99 and available from Maplin!

Yes it would, now go stand in the corner and consider the error of your ways!


Darren Griffin - Editor

 
Posted by jonthetourist on Sun Oct 26, 2008 5:06 pm Reply with quote

I bought one of these based on the review and used it to tag my pictures of villas in Cyprus last week. We rent holiday villas at www.cypruspropertyvillas.com and I am aiming to show people exactly where their villa is rather than "a short walk to the beach".

Basically it does what it says on the tin. Two major faults though. Where customers were in a villa and I was only doing a location external shot the logger faileed to get a signal in time and I was often hanging around waiting for it to fix (and trying to read a tiny dim screen in bright sunlight). It was better off the belt loop and placed in a prominent position, but I ended up losing because of this - left on a wall at the end of a long day :-(

The battery life on duracells is well under a day, which is annoying.

So in conclusion, I will get another logger, but perhaps not this one.

HTH

Jon


Jon

 
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