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GPS? what? how? recommendations

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by marc, Jul 29, 2005.

  1. marc

    marc Guest

    i have read some some comments from

    bjorn and betzler re: gps

    i just left the garmin website, need some help

    i probably want a new toy.

    your comments, recommendations, experiences

    is it useful, a toy, or what?

    my car has navigation system and i love it.

    i also am familiar with gps from flying planes.

    all info and help , is very appreciated

    i would like to use it with D2X
  2. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  3. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    My reason for using GPS with my cameras is simple (I'm always having a simple reason even for the weirdest things :)  ). I'm currently working on a Red List Species project, you know, species which are threatened and may become extinct. Knowing exactly where I find and record them is paramount. Enter marvels of Modern Times aka GPS + D2X.

    You need the following hardware:: GPS-enabled camera (D1H, D1X, D2X, D2Hs), interconnection cable(s), and a GPS supporting NMEA 2.1 protocol @ 4800 bps (i.e., all Garmins as far as I'm aware of). With the D1-series you need to make your own cable since their serial port is non-standard (2.5 mm jackplug), with the D2-models you simply purchase MC-35 from Nikon and the PC interface cable (RS232 serial port connector , part no. 010-10206-00) from Garmin, and connect these. Enable GPS recording in the camera, and turn on the GPS unit. When you are ready to go, a "GPS" symbol shows in the top LCD panel. Couldn't be simpler than that.

    You need to extract the GPS data from the EXIF header of the file. Several utilities plus Nikon software can do that. I made a small addition to my data base system to allow me to click the geo data to open a satelitte image showing the exact location where the picture was taken. Work like a charm. I may be lost for words, but with this technology wizardry running, at least I know precisely where I am. :D 
  4. marc

    marc Guest

    so far, so good

    which model garmin

    i do not need, street maps and directions as my cars have gps in them

    i looked at the one bjorn is using i need some comments.

    thamks for the help

    i would like to record, the data of where on earth am i
    itravel quite a bit and that might be interesting to have this info

    i am going on cruise to alaska this month, as well as to firestone country club for the NEC, american express golf tourney.
    i will be shooting at both places and the gps certainly will be great for the cruise, since we are going to RUSSIA.


    good VODKA, over there

    paul, CA?
  5. nfoto

    nfoto Guest


    1. Nikon D2X

    2. Nikon MC-35 cable

    3. Garmin RS232 Serial port cable

    4. Garmin ETrex (basic model 12 channels, about $ 105)

    That should be all for enjoying GPS recorded images.
  6. I've used the Garmin ETrex extensively and love it. Dropped in the water a few times, take out, shake it off and still running - water resistant. Use a program like ExpertGPS and you can download all your tracks, waypoints, etc. You can rename your waypoints, or create new ones and transfer from PC to GPS. You can see how far you've trekked/paddled and it will even pull up a map, either aerial or topo, ifyou live in US. You can download great waypoints for things like Appalachian Trail, Grand Canyon, etc, which will show washrooms, trail shelters, parking lots etc.
    My Etrex shows direction and speed at which I'm travelling, how long to get to a certain waypoint and if you find something unusual, you can make a waypoint and send to a friend.
  7. Sandi,

    Which specific ETrex model are you using? (There seem to be dozens.) Bjorn refers to the "basic" model, which sells for approximately $100. I'm confused about all the possible ETrex variations Garmin sells.


  8. This one, basic.... http://www.garmin.com/products/etrex/
    You can see the screen shots, etc. I got it mainly for paddling on lakes in Northern Ontario where you can get lost so easily - once you're out on the lake, you'll never find where you put in as the shoreline looks the same. I've had this lifetime phobia about being lost, and sure don't want to become dinner for some bear while wandering around circles LOL

    Also, if you have a laptop, you can use Microsoft Streets&Maps in the vehicle, put GPS on dash and NEVER EVER get lost. When I was driving to and from Florida, I'd check for traffic problems on I75 in the hotel in a.m., and then get off the highway and take backroads around the problem. I love going the 'road less travelled' and this allows one to get off the beaten path without getting lost. I love taking meandering road trips in Ontario, just keep driving, head down an interesting looking road and then every once in a while, check where I am.
  9. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    Sandi: this is the very same eTrex I use hooked up to my cameras.
  10. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    I bought mine for hiking, don't have a GPS-enabled camera (yet :)  ). I went with the Extrex Vista C for the color screen and ability to download maps. It also has a real compass and a lot of other pretty nifty features.

    Bjørn, do the D2 cameras only work with GPS devices that have a serial connection? Most of the newer models use USB now (mine included).
  11. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    Yes, the MC-35 cable only accepts a serial connection.
  12. This is all very helpful!

    Sandi, do you mean that you connect the Garmin to your laptop via a serial connection?? Or do you manually enter the lat/long data via the keyboard??


  13. Perfect then. Just for my own info, does the GPS record the info, ie record it as a waypoint, or does the actual photo contain the gps waypoint info inside the header?

    Dave, all depends which software you're using. If it's MS Streets&Maps, you have to manually enter the co-ordinates into your GPS. If you're using the ExpertGPS and have pulled up a map, you can then log a waypoint or even make a trail and it will transfer it to the GSP. Hope I've explained this correctly: you can make trails on your GPS while you walk around and then download them thru ExpertGSP and see on a map where you've gone; or - you can make a trail on an ExpertGPS map and then send it to your GPS so you can follow it in real life. Same with the waypoints.... You can even use scanned maps, but you have to co-ordinate them first. If you go to ExpertGPS website, you can download a trial and the manual and this will probably explain it much better than I can as my brain thinks in ideas, not words, and it's difficult to translate *LOL*
  14. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    That's a shame, doesn't really strike me as forward looking considering that serial ports are becoming more and more obsolete as far as most peripherals go these days.
  15. There is a USB to serial adapter available, Jeff.
  16. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    Another point is that Nikon follows an established practice, since all of their camera-to-data connectors are serial (F90/N90, F5, D1-series, D2-series). The connector is shielded from the camera by an optical interface so no harm can occur with the camera, whatever strange signals or currents which may occur in the cable. A clever and well thought out safety scheme.

    So instead of having to purchase yet another set of cutting edge technology, I'm now in a position where the same trustworthy GPS unit works with 4 of my cameras. Really nice as far as I'm concerned, and when you consider how small amounts of data which are transferred, USB is a vast overkill for this application anyway.
  17. Thanks a lot, Sandi.

    I've just ordered the Etrex Summit.

    When it arrives next week, I'll take some time to get familiar with its functions, and how to interface it with mapping software, before deciding whether to spring for the MC-35 ($100!).

    Thanks again,

  18. David the only different betwee the Etrex basic and the Etrex summit is: 1. It will give you a rate of descent regarding altitude 2. you can stand still and it will give you direction. Unless you do an extreme amount of mountainclimbing, I'd save the $100 and use it for the MC-35. Even taking one step will give you a reading for direction and speed with the basic unit.
  19. Hi Sandi,

    Actually, there seem to be a couple of other differences between the basic Etrex and the Summit --

    Besides the electronic compass, the Summit adds barometric altimeter, and is able to store 20 reversible routes (vs. 1 for the basic model).

    Beyond those differences, the two units seem identical, as you pointed out, except for battery life, where the basic unit is listed at 22 hours vs. 16 for the Summit.

    In any case, the cost of the Summit was approximately $150, and the added features seemed to justify the price difference for my needs.

    Thanks again for your help.

    Can't wait for the new toy to arrive! There are loads of woods and back roads where I live, and this device might even allow me to find my way home occasionally.

    Best wishes,

  20. Not sure the difference betwee regular altimeter and barometric, but I know mine does altitude when I store a waypoint. Also, you must have misread the details somewhere because the basic does 20 reversible routes as well. Just trying to save you some moola but if you've only sprung an extra 50, then you're OK. I thought it was more than $120 difference so that's what had me concerned about the differences.

    Better check with the wiffy to see if she WANTS you to find your way home!! *LOL* just kidding!

    The fun thing about the program and scanning maps in, etc, is you can then make a route and figure out how far it is, I do it for paddling - is it going to be a full day paddle or is it a half-day paddle.
    Once you get used to using it, you'll be able to find your way in the dark. Very reassuring.
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