canon rumors FORUM

Rumors => EOS Bodies => Topic started by: prestonpalmer on March 31, 2012, 03:33:19 PM

Title: Canon 5D3+GPS Receiver? VOTE!
Post by: prestonpalmer on March 31, 2012, 03:33:19 PM
As a professional photographer, many of my travels take me overseas to remote and often desolate 3rd world countries.  Places where GPS data in the metadata would be very, VERY nice. 

Since I started shooting with my first Canon DSLR, the 10D, I thought with each revision, THIS TIME, canon will put the GPS receiver IN the camera, rather than a hot she mount that is big, expensive, cumbersome and not realistic to keep on the camera device.  So here we are, a dozen cameras later, at the 5D3, and the best we have is a $270 GPS receiver?

My thoughts... GPS Receivers are wicked small, incredibly efficient, and present in just about every single handheld device we carry.  From a financial and business perspective, I cant imagine that Canon actually sells too many of these external GPS units.  Who wants to pay for this cumbersome thing?  Instead, Canon should put this modern GPS technology directly into the camera body itself.  Marketing a new DSLR with "GPS Receiver built in!!!" would be far more attractive to buyers, and end up selling far more camera bodies, and ultimately make more money that trying to sell an external unit.  Even if they were to mark the cost of each body up by $5 (the cost of a VERY good GPS unit, the kind we find in iPhone4) They would make more money than trying to sell this GP-E2! 

I am a little frustrated that we are this far with technology with no Built in GPS. Id like your opinions!
Title: Re: Canon 5D3+GPS Receiver. WHY?
Post by: Daniel Flather on March 31, 2012, 03:39:14 PM
I'd like it in camera. The current one looks like it begging to be knocked off and damaged. 
Title: Re: Canon 5D3+GPS Receiver? VOTE!
Post by: Tcapp on March 31, 2012, 03:42:28 PM
As a professional photographer, many of my travels take me overseas to remote and often desolate 3rd world countries.  Places where GPS data in the metadata would be very, VERY nice. 

Since I started shooting with my first Canon DSLR, the 10D, I thought with each revision, THIS TIME, canon will put the GPS receiver IN the camera, rather than a hot she mount that is big, expensive, cumbersome and not realistic to keep on the camera device.  So here we are, a dozen cameras later, at the 5D3, and the best we have is a $270 GPS receiver?

My thoughts... GPS Receivers are wicked small, incredibly efficient, and present in just about every single handheld device we carry.  From a financial and business perspective, I cant imagine that Canon actually sells too many of these external GPS units.  Who wants to pay for this cumbersome thing?  Instead, Canon should put this modern GPS technology directly into the camera body itself.  Marketing a new DSLR with "GPS Receiver built in!!!" would be far more attractive to buyers, and end up selling far more camera bodies, and ultimately make more money that trying to sell an external unit.  Even if they were to mark the cost of each body up by $5 (the cost of a VERY good GPS unit, the kind we find in iPhone4) They would make more money than trying to sell this GP-E2! 

I am a little frustrated that we are this far with technology with no Built in GPS. Id like your opinions!

I agree, but its not a highly demanded feature by most users. As a wedding photographer, I wouldn't use it. No need. But it would have been nice to have one thing to hold over the heads of D800 users and tell them to suck it!

But I think the new version of lightroom has a geo-tagging feature so you might not really even need the gps. The gps will just drain your battery a little faster.
Title: Re: Canon 5D3+GPS Receiver? VOTE!
Post by: Bosman on March 31, 2012, 03:44:07 PM
As a professional photographer, many of my travels take me overseas to remote and often desolate 3rd world countries.  Places where GPS data in the metadata would be very, VERY nice. 

Since I started shooting with my first Canon DSLR, the 10D, I thought with each revision, THIS TIME, canon will put the GPS receiver IN the camera, rather than a hot she mount that is big, expensive, cumbersome and not realistic to keep on the camera device.  So here we are, a dozen cameras later, at the 5D3, and the best we have is a $270 GPS receiver?

My thoughts... GPS Receivers are wicked small, incredibly efficient, and present in just about every single handheld device we carry.  From a financial and business perspective, I cant imagine that Canon actually sells too many of these external GPS units.  Who wants to pay for this cumbersome thing?  Instead, Canon should put this modern GPS technology directly into the camera body itself.  Marketing a new DSLR with "GPS Receiver built in!!!" would be far more attractive to buyers, and end up selling far more camera bodies, and ultimately make more money that trying to sell an external unit.  Even if they were to mark the cost of each body up by $5 (the cost of a VERY good GPS unit, the kind we find in iPhone4) They would make more money than trying to sell this GP-E2! 

I am a little frustrated that we are this far with technology with no Built in GPS. Id like your opinions!
they want more sales so they seem to add all these little add on's rather than offer more. Nikon will do it first then Canon will. LOL
Title: Re: Canon 5D3+GPS Receiver? VOTE!
Post by: prestonpalmer on March 31, 2012, 03:51:21 PM
I agree, but its not a highly demanded feature by most users. As a wedding photographer, I wouldn't use it. No need. But it would have been nice to have one thing to hold over the heads of D800 users and tell them to suck it!

But I think the new version of lightroom has a geo-tagging feature so you might not really even need the gps. The gps will just drain your battery a little faster.

Tcapp.  I completely agree.  I am a professional wedding photographer as well, and the GPS serves no purpose for wedding photos.  The question is still valid.  Would you have flinched at paying an additional $30 for the camera knowing the GPS unit was built in?  Of course you would have the option of turning it off to conserve battery on shoots like weddings.
Title: Re: Canon 5D3+GPS Receiver? VOTE!
Post by: Tcapp on March 31, 2012, 03:59:05 PM
I agree, but its not a highly demanded feature by most users. As a wedding photographer, I wouldn't use it. No need. But it would have been nice to have one thing to hold over the heads of D800 users and tell them to suck it!

But I think the new version of lightroom has a geo-tagging feature so you might not really even need the gps. The gps will just drain your battery a little faster.

Tcapp.  I completely agree.  I am a professional wedding photographer as well, and the GPS serves no purpose for wedding photos.  The question is still valid.  Would you have flinched at paying an additional $30 for the camera knowing the GPS unit was built in?  Of course you would have the option of turning it off to conserve battery on shoots like weddings.

I would have been happy to pay even an extra $50 for it. Even though I doubt I would use it. I like having it just in case i decide to play with it. Sure, my camera is a professional tool, but its still a toy (big boy toy). I like to be able to play with all the silly little features (cough cough HDR mode, cough cough).
Title: Re: Canon 5D3+GPS Receiver? VOTE!
Post by: Sharp on March 31, 2012, 03:59:37 PM
I agree it would be nice to have a "built-in" GPS. However a real "GPS chip" is a bit bigger that what we see in phones. Most of the phones (i work in the telco industry) do not carry a "real" GPS, but rather an assisted-GPS which requires a cell tower to position the phone.

However, I can see cases/reasons why Canon has not done that. The first that come in my mind is when I go to Cuba. Cuba does not allow GPS device in their country. In that case, I would be so sad to leave my DLSR home when I go there. So I see more a legal issue then anything else.

Does it make sense?
Title: Re: Canon 5D3+GPS Receiver? VOTE!
Post by: Daniel Flather on March 31, 2012, 04:01:51 PM
Nice site Preston.
Title: Re: Canon 5D3+GPS Receiver? VOTE!
Post by: Daniel Flather on March 31, 2012, 04:06:20 PM
The first that come in my mind is when I go to Cuba. Cuba does not allow GPS device in their country.


Yes!!  I had my GPS unit in my bag the last time I went to Cuba.  They kept it at the airport when I arrived, and I picked it up on my way home.  But wow, the red tape was crazy!  I had to fill out lots a paper work and pay an fee that was about $8 CAD when I claimed it back.  The Cubans were most interested in the device than anything.  I showed them how it worked and the were utterly amazed when it showed our location on its map.

Cuba is an amazing place, go if you can.


Title: Re: Canon 5D3+GPS Receiver? VOTE!
Post by: Tcapp on March 31, 2012, 04:08:20 PM
I agree it would be nice to have a "built-in" GPS. However a real "GPS chip" is a bit bigger that what we see in phones. Most of the phones (i work in the telco industry) do not carry a "real" GPS, but rather an assisted-GPS which requires a cell tower to position the phone.

However, I can see cases/reasons why Canon has not done that. The first that come in my mind is when I go to Cuba. Cuba does not allow GPS device in their country. In that case, I would be so sad to leave my DLSR home when I go there. So I see more a legal issue then anything else.

Does it make sense?

Makes sense to me. But would Cuban customs know enough about cameras to know which has a GPS and which doesnt? Who is going to look at a camera and think it has a gps if they arent a photographer?
Title: Re: Canon 5D3+GPS Receiver? VOTE!
Post by: prestonpalmer on March 31, 2012, 04:31:08 PM
I agree it would be nice to have a "built-in" GPS. However a real "GPS chip" is a bit bigger that what we see in phones. Most of the phones (i work in the telco industry) do not carry a "real" GPS, but rather an assisted-GPS which requires a cell tower to position the phone.

However, I can see cases/reasons why Canon has not done that. The first that come in my mind is when I go to Cuba. Cuba does not allow GPS device in their country. In that case, I would be so sad to leave my DLSR home when I go there. So I see more a legal issue then anything else.

Does it make sense?


The Cuba issue is valid.  However, I would argue with you on the size of the GPS unit. I am a pilot, and both my iPad 2 and iPhone 4 have fully functioning GPS units that don't need any sort of cell reception to deliver a perfect GPS signal.  I know this because there is positively no cellular coverage in my cockpit at 14'000 feet.  Yet my iPad an iPhone grab a GPS signal in seconds and deliver results every bit as accurate as the $15,000 GPS on my dashboard.  If they can fit one that good in the iPhone, they can fit one in a 5D body.

So back to the Cuba question, do they not allow cell phones in the country then?  Evey cell phone now days has a built in GPS.  Very curious about this one...
Title: Re: Canon 5D3+GPS Receiver? VOTE!
Post by: BillyBean on March 31, 2012, 04:39:11 PM
I too would like GPS built in. But there are some real challenges to this which some posters don't seem to realise. This is not a plastic bodied iPhone with a big glass screen - this is an almost totally wrap-around magnesium alloy body. The GPS receiver *must* have line of sight radio visibility to the satellites, which means NO METAL in the way.

You can have a metal body, or you can have built in GPS, but not both.

I'm sure that a strong, professional composite body could in theory be developed, but you really think most people are going to accept that it's stronger than alloy? People like to *feel* the money they just spent...

It's a pain, I agree.
Title: Re: Canon 5D3+GPS Receiver? VOTE!
Post by: Tcapp on March 31, 2012, 04:48:17 PM
I too would like GPS built in. But there are some real challenges to this which some posters don't seem to realise. This is not a plastic bodied iPhone with a big glass screen - this is an almost totally wrap-around magnesium alloy body. The GPS receiver *must* have line of sight radio visibility to the satellites, which means NO METAL in the way.

You can have a metal body, or you can have built in GPS, but not both.

I'm sure that a strong, professional composite body could in theory be developed, but you really think most people are going to accept that it's stronger than alloy? People like to *feel* the money they just spent...

It's a pain, I agree.

Maybe just leave a small opening in the alloy shell, to allow the signal to pass through. I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard.
Title: Re: Canon 5D3+GPS Receiver? VOTE!
Post by: prestonpalmer on March 31, 2012, 04:50:44 PM
I too would like GPS built in. But there are some real challenges to this which some posters don't seem to realise. This is not a plastic bodied iPhone with a big glass screen - this is an almost totally wrap-around magnesium alloy body. The GPS receiver *must* have line of sight radio visibility to the satellites, which means NO METAL in the way.

You can have a metal body, or you can have built in GPS, but not both.

I'm sure that a strong, professional composite body could in theory be developed, but you really think most people are going to accept that it's stronger than alloy? People like to *feel* the money they just spent...

It's a pain, I agree.

BillyBean, You are absolutely right. GPS needs line of sight.  However, this is not a difficult engineering problem to solve.  With modern GPS technology, you can actually USE a part of the Magnesium Allow body as the GPS receiver/antenna.  This could be done with the camera in the portrait or landscape position so it gets signal in either orientation.  There are other solutions as well, like adding an insulated antenna on the outside of the body.  Neither scenarios compromise the integrity or weather proofing of the body. 
Title: Re: Canon 5D3+GPS Receiver? VOTE!
Post by: BillyBean on March 31, 2012, 04:59:37 PM

BillyBean, You are absolutely right. GPS needs line of sight.  However, this is not a difficult engineering problem to solve.  With modern GPS technology, you can actually USE a part of the Magnesium Allow body as the GPS receiver/antenna.  This could be done with the camera in the portrait or landscape position so it gets signal in either orientation.  There are other solutions as well, like adding an insulated antenna on the outside of the body.  Neither scenarios compromise the integrity or weather proofing of the body.

Perhaps - though remember that if this were easy, Apple, with much larger resources, would not have screwed up the iPhone 4 antenna.... But for sure it is easier for Canon not to bother, and make a few hundred quid extra. It's just another of those little annoyances with the 5D3 - no USB3, no SD-UHS, etc. Nothing that would actually stop me buying the thing, but just annoying.
Title: Re: Canon 5D3+GPS Receiver? VOTE!
Post by: prestonpalmer on March 31, 2012, 05:07:50 PM
Exactly... Annoying. I still bought it, but annoying.
Title: Re: Canon 5D3+GPS Receiver? VOTE!
Post by: Marsu42 on March 31, 2012, 05:27:07 PM
Places where GPS data in the metadata would be very, VERY nice. 

One reason I got for wanting a Nikon back when I originally bought my Canon was the (missing) gps port. But today, I see why Canon never bothered about it in the past: I've got a 40€ external, precise gps logger that runs 48 hours with one battery charge, put it in my pocket an then forget about it. Afterwards I extract the tracklog and attach it to the files including additional geolocation metadata. Works for me, doesn't drain my camera battery and is always available without any delay when I turn on my camera.

The one thing that is better on an in-/on-camera gps solution is that it can detect the direction and even inclination of the camera.
Title: Re: Canon 5D3+GPS Receiver? VOTE!
Post by: CanineCandidsByL on March 31, 2012, 05:32:46 PM
I'm annoyed because it goes where the flash or flash transceiver goes. You have to choose between them. Even on the 1Dx you have to choose....no combination unit.

I'm a little disappointed to hear to wedding photographers say it has no use. I'd agree it has no use for them, but if the customer gets any kind of digital copy that could contain that information, then it has what they, children, grandchildren, and anyone else interested would need to go back to that spot.  We have all read or heard of the stories of grandchildren going over seas and trying to find the spot where the photo was taken and only find it after tremendous effort (admittedly I think the effort is what makes the story), or they never find it....perhaps the town is even gone. With a geotagged picture, locations never need to be lost again.  The downside is your competitors might find that great spot of yours, but that always happens eventually.

I can't agree that there are any technical limitations that would either prevent integration or require the cost be so high. Once all cell phones were required to have it, the price fell dramatically. The original price was already under $5 cost per unit (that was to the end user), its supposedly is under a dollar now, but I can't find confirmation of that. I can't imagine there would have been less complaints for 3504.99 vs 3499.99, other than than maybe the psychology of break the 35xx barrier.
Title: Re: Canon 5D3+GPS Receiver? VOTE!
Post by: prestonpalmer on March 31, 2012, 06:12:50 PM
What if it cost an extra $100 - $200 to put GPS in the camera?

And then there's the extra drain on battery power.

They can't use part of the body as it is made from a single piece of metal (no joins.) To just use part of it would mean weakening the body.

I'm more than happy to have a separate GPS in my backpage/camera bag, stuffed into a corner.

It is assumed that you could turn the GPS off to conserve battery.  Dillbert, What GPS receiver/logger are you using?  What does it cost?  How do you sync the GPS data with the metadata, and how close are those points given time differences in camera clock and GPS clock?
Title: Re: Canon 5D3+GPS Receiver? VOTE!
Post by: prestonpalmer on March 31, 2012, 06:14:10 PM
What if it cost an extra $100 - $200 to put GPS in the camera?

I can only speak for myself here, but I would pay an extra $200 for an IN camera GPS.  I am likely the minorty on that though.
Title: Re: Canon 5D3+GPS Receiver? VOTE!
Post by: Marsu42 on March 31, 2012, 06:16:29 PM
How do you sync the GPS data with the metadata, and how close are those points given time differences in camera clock and GPS clock?

Use Geosetter or Lightroom 4 - the camera/gps clock sync is extremely precise, and you can get a better gps unit with shorter logging intervals so even every turn of a fast moving car is logged just fine.
Title: Re: Canon 5D3+GPS Receiver? VOTE!
Post by: prestonpalmer on March 31, 2012, 06:21:03 PM
How do you sync the GPS data with the metadata, and how close are those points given time differences in camera clock and GPS clock?

Use Geosetter or Lightroom 4 - the camera/gps clock sync is extremely precise, and you can get a better gps unit with shorter logging intervals so even every turn of a fast moving car is logged just fine.

Geosetter is only for Windows.  How do you sync the GPS device with the camera initially?  What GPS recorder do you use?
Title: Re: Canon 5D3+GPS Receiver? VOTE!
Post by: Marsu42 on March 31, 2012, 06:50:17 PM
How do you sync the GPS device with the camera initially?  What GPS recorder do you use?

The camera and the gps device are simply synced by clock, no initial sync necessary - which is why you have to make sure your camera clock is current, the gps device gets its clock from the satellites. Then get the gpx log file from the tracker by usb and  import it into Lightroom 4.

I've got a cheap Holux GPSport GR-245 because it has a display and also shows bike speed, distance traveled et al and allows for coordinate entry while outdoors for ad-hoc geocaching or usage with a paper map.

For photography tagging alone, get another logger without display but more precision (higher number of sats tracked = more accuracy when in your pocket or trunk), the bt747 chip is said to be very precise and power efficient.
Title: Re: Canon 5D3+GPS Receiver? VOTE!
Post by: LetTheRightLensIn on March 31, 2012, 07:13:45 PM
As a professional photographer, many of my travels take me overseas to remote and often desolate 3rd world countries.  Places where GPS data in the metadata would be very, VERY nice. 

Since I started shooting with my first Canon DSLR, the 10D, I thought with each revision, THIS TIME, canon will put the GPS receiver IN the camera, rather than a hot she mount that is big, expensive, cumbersome and not realistic to keep on the camera device.  So here we are, a dozen cameras later, at the 5D3, and the best we have is a $270 GPS receiver?

My thoughts... GPS Receivers are wicked small, incredibly efficient, and present in just about every single handheld device we carry.  From a financial and business perspective, I cant imagine that Canon actually sells too many of these external GPS units.  Who wants to pay for this cumbersome thing?  Instead, Canon should put this modern GPS technology directly into the camera body itself.  Marketing a new DSLR with "GPS Receiver built in!!!" would be far more attractive to buyers, and end up selling far more camera bodies, and ultimately make more money that trying to sell an external unit.  Even if they were to mark the cost of each body up by $5 (the cost of a VERY good GPS unit, the kind we find in iPhone4) They would make more money than trying to sell this GP-E2! 

I am a little frustrated that we are this far with technology with no Built in GPS. Id like your opinions!

the price is crazy, no way for me
their unit costs as much as an entire ipad practically, crazy
Title: Re: Canon 5D3+GPS Receiver? VOTE!
Post by: prestonpalmer on March 31, 2012, 09:06:48 PM
Exactly.  I just can't imagine that enough people are willing to buy it to even cover the cost of tooling the equipment to make it!  Seems backwards if you ask me.
Title: Re: Canon 5D3+GPS Receiver? VOTE!
Post by: CanineCandidsByL on April 01, 2012, 02:18:14 AM
There is also a nice little iphone app called gps4cam.  It will take snapshots of your location on a regular basis and then you photograph the iphone screen to capture some data which additional software will process and add GPS data to the photos.  It works well with JPG, but I keep forgetting to try it with RAW photos.

What it doesn't capture is compass direction. Not generally a big deal, but something I would love to see when trying to decipher lighting in other peoples photos. Knowing direction, location, and time, you could know exactly where the sun was in relation to the subject.

I'll see if I can get that taken care of.

dilbert, if the costs were even over $10, or if it couldn't be disabled, I wouldn't want it included. Unlike many of the software only features many complain about existing or not existing, this would be a tangible cost on every camera body. But then again, you can find this feature in "very" cheap cameras.

One option with the antenna, since that seems to be a concern to many, is to layer it just outside of the metal body. We are only talking about a thin laminate that doesn't have to be larger than a postage stamp. Another option is an external antenna (I don't like that idea either)

Or we could go in a different direction with  integrated bluetooth which could allow various accessories including 3rd party GPS, phones/tablets as screens/controllers, cellular network access, and 3rd party network devices. I'm not holding my breath on this one either.