Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Using an optional GPS unit, part of Learning to Shoot with the Nikon D3200 and D3300.
- For many photographers, the ability to geotag their photos is important. Maybe it's for professional reasons like tagging real estate photos to know where a particular location is or maybe travel photography and you just want to remember where you went. Well, if you plug in the optional GPS unit into the camera, it can actually record information based on the camera's current position. This includes things like latitude, longitude, altitude, as well as the current time set by the satellite clock. It provides the same sort of information that a satellite navigation system can get and it does require that you have an unobstructed view of the sky.
Now what happens here is it captures this information and then it embeds into a photo. Now, pretty straightforward. Let me show you how to attach this. This simply slides into the hot shoe and you have an optional strap that you can connect to the camera if you'd like. And then, on the other side here are just two ports. You have to actually tether this with the cable. The smaller end is going to go right in here to the unit and then the next one goes into your camera's accessory port.
And this will power the accessory. Once the camera's powered on, you can go into the Setup Menu and turn this data on. Simply press the Menu button. Choose the Setup Menu and navigate to the Accessory terminal and press Ok. Now, choose Location data and press to the right. Here, you could adjust things. For example, setting the camera's clock based on the satellite as well as recording your position time. If the unit's flashing red, that means that it can't receive enough satellite information.
In this case, pretty straightforward because we're in a studio. But, if I take the camera outside, it's very easy to get in green light and know that I'm capturing data. Once you start to capture data with this, it works pretty well. Couple more options there in that. Choose the Standby timer and this will allow you to enable the Standby timer. And what's good is that if no photos are taken for a while, well then it's going to power down into sort of a standby mode.
And this will reduce the drain on your battery. Now remember, the position data and all of that is only going to be available when things are connected but if you properly capture this way, this will actually allow you to get data about the images. Let me show you. Outside, I was able to capture some extra information. So, after I go through all my information screens about a particular image, you'll notice that the last screen that's added contains data.
It tells me the latitude, longitude, and altitude of the photo I took as well as precisely when I took it. Now, if a photo doesn't have that data, it won't appear. But for images that do, you'll get that extra set of overlays making it easier to determine where a particular photo was shot. On the back of the camera with the info screen, you can also judge if you've got a stable signal. For example, let's just press this now. And you'll notice, near the upper left corner is a flashing satellite.
This means that the unit is actively searching for GPS data. If it's flashing, you won't likely get any data with your photos. On the other hand, if that icon is solid, then that means that there's a successful link to the satellite and that the unit is receiving GPS data. And lastly, if there's no icon whatsoever, well, that means that there has not been a satellite able to get picked up for a while and it means that there is no location data being written.
Not only can the data be viewed on the back of the screen, but when you go into other applications, for example, like Lightroom or photos for OS 10, there is a mapping component where you can actually see your photos on a map. This can do all sorts of things when you start to do things like layout books or do searches to find particular images shot in a specific location. Now, if you want to disable the unit, that's simple. Just pull the cable or remove it from the hot shoe and disconnect it and you'll no longer be receiving that GPS data.
The unit has to be plugged in and powered with an active, solid satellite to actually get that data so if you decide you don't need it, maybe you're shooting something that's sensitive or you don't want to geotag it, not a problem. Just remove it. Remember, with geotagging, great for things like vacation photos but remember privacy concerns and if you're shooting pictures with kids in them, not necessarily the best idea to geotag that data. Always think about what information you're capturing with your photos and decide if that information is only for you to help you keep things organized or if that information should be included with the JPEG files when you publish to the web.
Use good judgement when it comes to GPS data.
Knowing how your camera works will always help you get the best results. Watch this course to learn how to adjust settings of the D3200 or D3300 for the best exposure and focus in any shooting scenario.
- Getting ready to shoot with Nikon D3200 or D3300
- Shooting in scene modes
- Working with the built-in flash
- Focusing with modes or by hand
- Changing ISO
- Using autofocus
- Understanding shutter release modes
- Switching exposure measuring modes
- Shooting video
- Working with optional wireless and GPS add-ons