We recently had
the opportunity to test out the new Nikon GP-1 GPS positioning device,
a Nikon digital SLR accessory which provides a Geotagging
feature when connected to a supported camera. By tagging your photos with
geotags you will not be left wondering down the road "Where was that
The Nikon GP1 works
by receiving signals from a number of satellites in space. Through triangulation,
the camera will know where it is on the surface of the Earth
and record the latitude and longitude and altitude in the meta data on
pictures. Once the GPS data is stored, images can be plotted on a map
in Nikon View NX software or on-line at myPicturetown.com, as well as
many other programs and web sites.
The Nikon GP-1 GPS unit
is compatible with the Nikon
D90, D200, D300, D300s, D700, and the Nikon D3, D3x and
the D3s (also: D2Hs, D2X, D2Xs) digital SLR's. The unit is slated to be
available at the end of the month for a manufacturer's recommended retail
price (MSRP) of $275 Canadian. (12/11/08)
The Nikon GP-1
unit attaches to a cameras accessory shoe or a camera strap
via the supplied strap adapter GP1-CL1. Power is supplied from the
There are three
connection ports found on the Nikon GP-1, one (marked 'CAMERA' on
the top of the unit) to connect via supplied cables to a supported
camera, one (marked with remote graphic icon) to connect the new
Nikon MC-DC2 remote release cable, and one USB type connection to
a computer (found on the back of unit).
The Nikon GP-1
comes supplied with two types of camera cables, the GP1-CA90 that
allows connection to the Nikon D90, and the GP1-CA10 for connection
to the 10-pin remote terminal of other compatible cameras, including
the Nikon D200, D300, D700 and the D3, and the older Nikon D2X,
D2Hs, and D2Xs.
MC-DC2 Remote Release Cable
An optional accessory
that plugs into the accessory terminal of specific Nikon SLR cameras
(currently only the Nikon D90) and allows the shutter to be released
without making direct contact with the camera body. Use of this
cable can help avoid camera shake when shooting with a tripod, and
it can be used to activate long exposures (bulb).
GP1 GPS Unit Major Features
Geotag: image positioning
information of pictures such as latitude, longitude (Geodetic System WGS84)
can be added to the image.
pictures and maps is supported by GPS function in conjunction with ViewNX
version 1.2 software (no-charge download from Nikon website) and my Picturetown.
Acquired data: Latitude,
longitude, altitude, time information
Time required for satellite
acquisition: Approx. 45 sec. (cold start), approx. 5 sec. (hot start)
Power source: Supplied
from camera body (or computer using USB connection)
to use the Nikon GP-1 GPS unit with the Nikon D90, there are a few steps
that first have to be followed. To
begin we connected the supplied GP1-CA90 cable between the "CAMERA'
socket on the GP-1 and the "GPS" connection port found on the
side of the Nikon D90. The GP-1 GPS unit simply slides into the hot shoe
connection of the camera for secure placement. You can also attach the
Nikon GP-1 unit to the strap of the camera with the supplied strap adapter.
(GPS data not recorded)
Nikon GP-1 LED receiving indicators:
(GPS data recorded utilizing three satellites)
Green solid (Four
or more satellites detected, GPS data is more accurate)
the Nikon GP-1 Accessory with the Nikon D90 SLR
the next step we set up the camera by selecting the GPS option found
under the "Set Up" menu on the Nikon D90.
GPS menu on the D90 offers two selections: "Auto meter off"
and "Position". It is recommended to set "Auto meter
off" to OFF, since the Nikon GP-1 draws its power from the camera.
The camera could otherwise enter sleep mode while using the Nikon
order to activate the Nikon GP-1 and establish a GPS connection you
select the 'Position' option in the menu.
the Nikon GP-1 receives GPS signals, the 'Position' coordinates (Latitude,
Longitude, Altitude, UTC) show up in the menu display.
In our tests using
the Nikon D90, the GP-1 was able to determine a location in as fast
as 40 seconds when used in an open area.
It took almost
60 seconds to get a signal when we tested the GP-1 closer to tall
Once we took an
image we were able to verify the geotag data directly on the camera
in playback mode.
The Nikon GP-1
does not provide a Compass heading.
The below screen grab
shows the original tagged image as seen when opened in Nikon View NX software
View NX software there is a tool bar that provides a dedicated "Geo Tag"
button. One click of the button and the software will automatically load
a Google map (internet connection required) and show the location were
the selected image was taken.
The software extends the
usual Google Maps application offering a Map, Satellite or a Hybrid view
of the position. A thumbnail of the image is displayed at the corresponding
location on the map. File name and top line meta data is available as well.
experience testing the Nikon GP-1 GPS unit with the D90, we would have
to say that the unit performs as promised. In all of our test shots the
GP-1 tagged the picture with the correct data and managed to pin point
our location in most cases to within 10 meters.
GP-1 GPS unit earns a recommended rating and should provide a useful accessory
for keeping tabs of those family vacation photos, as well as serve as
a practical working tool for business applications, law enforcement, geotaggers
and geocachers alike.
US? Buy the Nikon GP-1 from Amazon. See the Nikon
GP-1 accessory deal