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Thread: GF1 GPS options

  1. #1
    kino
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    GF1 GPS options

    Hi photo enthusiasts at getdpi!

    I'm new here, although I have been reading this forum for a few months. It seems to be a great community all doing interesting photographic work. About two months ago I was finally able to get the GF1 with the 20mm and later added the 45-200. It has been really nice learning to take photos with this camera.

    I now have a gig for an architecture firm to do some site documentations. One of the things that is important for this project is accurate GPS data to go along with the photos.

    I researched a bit online and found the JOBO photoGPS unit which slides into the camera hot shoe. Some reviewers have complained that the unit is quite loose on other cameras, but on the GF1 it fits nicely.

    The problem is that the photoGPS unit needs a flash fire signal to record the coordinates when the picture is taken. What this means is that the camera needs to be set to Forced Flash. Yet when this is done with the photoGPS attached the camera only allows for a maximum shutter speed of 1/160 sec. It is possible to use the Flash Slow shutter setting to allow for higher shutter speeds, but in this case the photoGPS doesn't always fire. I guess this is the case when the camera measures adequate light in the scene.

    I read the thread here talking about the Flash sync limitation on the G series cameras and it seem that some hi-speed flashes let you use faster shutter speeds:
    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10800

    I can only see 4 workaround/solutions to this problem.

    1 - Somehow upgrading the JOBO photoGPS to make the camera recognize it as a High Speed Flash Unit. There is only one center contact.
    2 - A firmware upgrade to provide an option to disable the 1/160sec shutter limitation.
    3 - Some other GPS logger. Any recommendations for a work flow that includes the GF1 and Mac?
    4 - Remember to always push the manual location button when the camera doesn't fire the flash when the camera is set to Flash Slow shutter mode.

    If anyone thinks of any other helpful ways to work around this problem, I would be very grateful.

    Cheers

    Jer
    http://vimeo.com/kinomatic/videos

  2. #2
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    Re: GF1 GPS options

    There's an iPhone app that allows you to quasi-tag your photos using the phone's GPS. You sync the time between your iPhone and your camera, then you start the app while you take photos and afterward you match up the time between the photos and the iPhone app to get the GPS location of the photos. I don't know what it's called, nor if it would be accurate enough for the type of architectural work you do, but it's an option.

  3. #3
    Super Duper
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    Re: GF1 GPS options

    All iPhone pictures are tagged so you can use the iphone to take a picture for reference data and get the info from a number of iPhone apps (koredoko is one I have) or loading the iphone shots into iPhoto or Aperture. Again not sure if it is as accurate as a dedicated gps system.

  4. #4
    kino
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    Re: GF1 GPS options

    Thanks for the iPhone tip. I don't have one tho.

    I have done a quick test now by synchronizing the clocks of the camera and photoGPS. Then I set the camera to Flash Slow Shutter so I can have the full range of shutter speed. Then clicking on the manual trigger every time I take a photo. It seems to work and is quite accurate mapping my walk around the block within 10 meters.

    The device mounted on the camera seems made for the GF1, but it blocks the internal flash, as well as taking up the hot shoe. But you can carry it separately since the flash shoe doesn't fire it in any case. But it is convenient to have it there when not using flash.

    I wonder if people here know of any other GPS solutions...

    Cheers

    Jer

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