The Nikon GP-1 Geotagging GPS has been in the market for a while now even though it is still difficult to find one from reputable places. In case you are still debating if you want one, the Nikon GP-1 user manual may help answer some of your questions. Just a friendly warning if you are on a slow connection: the file is >10MB in size. It is not because the GP-1 is complicated, but because the manual contains translations of 20 different languages.
Do you still remember the Lexar Shoot-n-Sync WiFi SD Card we talked about a while ago? It appeared to be just a Lexar-branded Eye-fi card. It turned out to be exactly the case. The Lexar even uses the same Eye-fi management software according to its support site.
Back then I was curious about why Eye-fi has three flavors (Home, Share, and Explorer) but Lexar only has one. After reading the review by CrunchGear, I now know why: you simply choose to pay $15/year to add unlimited Geotagging. Another $15/year gives you the access to wi-fi hotspots managed by Wayport. Actually this is just like the customized service upgrades offered by Eye-fi.
According to the review, the Lexar Shoot-n-Sync WiFi SD card only supports wireless uploading and sharing of jpeg files. It won’t do anything to a RAW file. If you are a RAW shooter, you can shoot RAW+JPEG, it will upload the JPEG but leave the RAW untouched on the SD card. It may be OK for casual usages but is quite limited for serious RAW shooters who can fill up 2GB in no time. Hopefully larger capacity versions and CompactFlash (CF) form factor will be available soon.
Have you ever wondered why the memory card are becoming so cheap? Well, the NAND flash chips that go in those CF SD cards are in severe over-supply as the manufacturers such as Samsung, Hynix, Toshiba, Micron, etc continue to fight for market share. The average selling price (ASP) of NAND flash chips has declined 30% last quarter. This and the next quarter will be uglier for the chip manufacturers. Obviously the current global economic situation does not help either. We can expect the price trend to continue for a while, before some chip makers quit the market for good, or the solid-state drives (SSD) pick up the demand.
According to Nikon Japan, the GP-1 GPS unit has a suggested retail price of ¥21,000. Quick check using Google showed that it is about US $220 (subject to currency exchange rate variation). The price is similar to the US price we have seen.
There still isn’t much official availability information yet. Someone on DPReview said it should be available before December 10th.
This is the first reported US price of the Nikon GP-1 GPS geotagging unit. J&R has it list for US $239.99 and $30.00 saving brings it to US $209.99 final. The price is consistent with the Canadian price of $275. You still pay a premium for a Nikon brand product but the price isn’t awfully hefty in comparison.
Update [November 26, 2008]: Same price at Adorama.
Nikon GP-1 is a GPS unit for geotagging your images with latitude, longitude, altitude, and time information when you press the shutter release button. It attaches to camera’s accessory shoe or a camera strap and connects to camera’s accessory terminal. Two different connection cables will be provided so it is compatible with all the latest Nikon DSLR cameras: D90, D3, D300, D700, D2Xs and D200. Read More…
Geotagging is the process of adding geographical identification metadata to various media such as photographs, video, websites, or RSS feeds and is a form of geospatial metadata. This data usually consists of latitude and longitude coordinates, though it can also include altitude, bearing, accuracy data, and place names. — [Wikipedia]
Previously, I did a research on geotagging hardwares for Nikon DSLRs and found that most of them are quite expensive, except the $149.99 Geomet’r GPS Receiver Adapter (GNC-35). Here is an user review posted on flickr in the GeoTagging Flickr group. From the comments posted after the review, The GNC-35 seems to work well. Read More…
The UV filter is supposed to block ultraviolet rays. This was perhaps important for shooting film but most today’s digital image sensors are not very sensitive to UV. Most of the UV is blocked by the glass in the lens anyway. So often these UV filters are recommended by people as a lens protection mechanism.
At beginning, I bought into this. After all, it costs more to repair a scratched front element than a filter. I have never bumped my lens into anything or gotten a scratch of any significance but the filter really kept the front element particle free. I found myself comfortable wiping down the filter even with my shirt sleeves when I cannot find lens tissue or lens pen. I wouldn’t do that with the lens front element. I know that small scratches will hardly cause any image degradation. However I may have trouble selling my lens with scratches on the front element because not everyone understand this… Read More…