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Suitable GPR receiver for a Canon DSLR
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Sibs
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:18 pm    Post subject: Suitable GPR receiver for a Canon DSLR Reply with quote

I think this is a long shot, but I thought I'd try finding an answer to this amonst the GPS community......

I'm trying to find a basic USB GPS receiver that's compatible with Canon DSLR cameras. I need to add location information into the file info of photographs. The camera body is a Canon 1D Mark IV DSLR used with a WFT-E2 II wireless receiver, which provides support for GPS devices via its USB port.

However, it seems that the support is very limited. In the manual, it lists the following devices as being tested and compatible:
Garmin GPSMAP or eTrex series
Magellan eXplorist series

However, all the devices seem to be large hiking units, with screens and bundled maps costing up to 500.
I'm looking for a simple lightweight receiver that can just supply the gps data feed - no screen / maps etc.

It says that there should be compatibility with 'devices that produce data in the format NMEA 0183 Ver. 3.01, as well as some devices that produce Garmin protocol data'

I've already tried a USB GPS dongle purchased from Maplin, that claims to output NMEA 0183 v3 but it comes up as an incompatible device when connected.

After some research on the internet I found one basic receiver that claims to be compatible, but it would need to be shipped over from Hong Kong and costs almost $200. I can't believe that there isn't something available here in Europe that will work.

I have some decent contacts at Canon UK and Canon Europe, but no one so far has come up with any info for me. Does anyone have any ideas about the type of receiver I should be looking for - or is it likely that just the devices listed above are the only ones outputting the sort of data the camera needs ?

Just for your information, I'm not able to go down the more basic 'geotagging' route of adding the data after the photo is taken using a separate programme, as the photos are being automatically uploaded via wifi direct from the camera to another location so we need the data added directly in camera at the time the photo is taken.

Thanks for your help.

John
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Skippy
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Suitable GPR receiver for a Canon DSLR Reply with quote

Sibs wrote:
I need to add location information into the file info of photographs. The camera body is a Canon 1D Mark IV DSLR used with a WFT-E2 II wireless receiver, which provides support for GPS devices via its USB port.


Welcome

Have you considered just buying one of the GPS tracker units to record the time/location, checking that the camera date and time are accurate and then post processing the photos to add the location data?

The nice thing about the little tracker units is that they are small and some of them are even motion sensitive so they can sleep when not moving and save battery power.

Or have you already invested a lot in the wireless link and want to use that? From what I can see, you need a bluetooth dongle for it and then you could talk to pretty much any bluetooth GPS because they all use the industry standard NMEA protocol.
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Sibs
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Skippy,

Thanks for the reply - We already have the wireless link, and like I mentioned, we need the data added in camera as the photos don't actually touch a laptop before being transmitted somewhere else.

I've been slowly coming to the conclusion that bluetooth might be the easiest way forward.

Any recommendations for a decent bluetooth unit ?

Cheers,

John
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does your dSLR actually have Bluetooth built in as the Wireless accessory looks more like WiFi rather than a BT device.

Not too sure about a WiFi GPS, is there anything in the product manual about the camera having the ability to embed the GPS data in to the EXIF header in the jpeg? - Mike
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PaulB2005
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This maybe a red herring and I apologise if it is but would an Eye-Fi card help here? It's an SD Card with a GPS receiver built in.

There is a version which can have WiFi too so you can immediately upload to a server, Flickr, etc as soon as the photo is taken.
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Darren
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Almost every GPS receiver will support NMEA data, but that is not the same as having a transmission protocol that is supported by Canon.

For Bluetooth options you would need a suitable low profile BT dongle on the Wireless Transmitter. Kensington do one that is little bigger than the USB plug itself and is cheap at 20, see here.

I've heard that it works well with the WFT-E2 II units so that should be a good option for you. As for BT GPS units, they used to be ten a penny but are becoming less common now. This should work fine with the Kensington BT receiver and your WFT-E2 and is under 50 so 70 all in.

Hope that helps, any more questions please ask and let us know how you get on, it's an interesting question!
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Last edited by Darren on Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:15 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PaulB2005
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eye-Fi Geo X2 is what I'm thinking of here 69.99
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Sibs
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mike,

No, bluetooth is not built it, but you can add it via the usb port. It's a Canon made dongle so will definately work ( priced at a ridiculous 70 ! )
But I was reluctant to go down the bluetooth route as it will add yet more variables to the system - more hardware, making sure that the reciever stays paired and that the battery is regularly charged etc.

But once the camera has a gps feed, either via bluetooth or usb cable, it will definately add the gps info to the exif of the jpeg - all the info is in the manual and available via a video tutorial from Canon here:

http://www.canon.co.jp/imaging/wft/wft-e2/manual/gps/index.html


The only difficult part is finding a simple, small gps receiver that will work !

Thanks,

John
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Darren
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

See my reply above!
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Sibs
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Darren,

I've heard mixed results from the kensington dongle - some people say it works others not - but it's worth a try for only 20 and it's a fraction of the size of the Canon 'official' one too !

I think this seems to be the way ahead.

PaulB2005 - Thanks- looks interesting, but I need to do this via the WFT unit.

Cheers,

John
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PaulB2005
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's all built into the card! I'll be honest and say I didn't follow all of the thread but I was talking to someone the other day about a situation where he wants to take photos and have seem sent straight to the company servers via wifi as they were loosing too many laptops to theft / damage and loss. The geo tagging was a bonus.
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Darren
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sib', I've heard that the Kensington works fine with the E2 but not the E4 so you should be fine.

Paul, I'm using an Eye-Fi Pro x2 8Gb and it's a good card but the Wireless location is variable. Good in urban areas where there are many geo-located WiFi spots, poor in the country. It's not a replacement for GPS positioning though and I'm not sure if the geotagging takes place on the card or when it is imported via Eye-Fi's service.
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Sibs
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi PaulB2005,

I don't thin that the Eye-fi Geo actually has GPS built in. According to the website:

How is geotagging provided?
Geotagging is provided through Wi-Fi Positioning System (WPS), which is different from Global Positioning System (GPS).

Geotagging is made possible through Wi-Fi Positioning System (WPS) technology. Using built-in Wi-Fi, the Eye-Fi Card senses surrounding Wi-Fi networks as you take pictures.
70% of the UK is covered

Skyhook coverage area is constantly expanding. Today, about the top 50 metropolitan areas are covered in Europe, including 70% of the populated areas in Germany, France and the UK. 70% of the population of the US and Canada is covered. Coverage is expanding in Western Europe as well as several areas of Asia, including Japan, Korea, and Taiwan.


We need gps ability around europe, so it's not a solution for us - but looks like it could be a cheap and simple solution for some people

Cheers,

John
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PaulB2005
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah right. Scratch that and ignore. Just seen that myself! Sorry and good luck.
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Sibs
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:03 am    Post subject: Multiple Bluetooth connections ? Reply with quote

Darren and everyone,
Thanks for your input on this.
I think the bluetooth option seems the most sensible so I'll order some kit this week and try it out.

One last question.......Can a bluetooth gps receiver connect and supply data to multiple sources ?
Don't really use b/t any more, the only b/t piece of kit that I have these days is the hands free kit in the car ! Can't remember the connection limitations of b/t.
We'd likely be having several cameras in the same place, so if we could get away with just one gps receiver that would supply data to two or three cameras, that would make things a lot simpler and straightforward.

Anyway, will let you know how I get on with the set up and post the results.

Cheers,

John
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