GPS Add-On

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Today’s Question: Is there an add-on GPS accessory you would recommend for a DSLR without a built-in GPS receiver?

Tim’s Quick Answer: GPS accessories are available for a variety of different digital cameras, including digital SLR models and others. In addition, you can use a separate device to record a track log during your photography, which can later be synchronized to the photos you captured during the recording of that log.

More Detail: Some digital cameras include a built-in GPS receiver, so that you can have location information added to metadata for potentially every photo you capture. For cameras without a built-in GPS receiver, you may find that an accessory GPS adapter is available. In addition, you can use a completely separate device to record a GPS track log during a photography outing.

There are a handful of GPS accessories available for various camera models. In some cases you may find that your camera manufacturer offers such an accessory. In addition, there are some compatible devices available from other manufacturers. A couple of examples include Aokatec (http://www.aokatec.com/AK-G.html) and Promote Systems (https://promotesystems.com/products/promote-gps).

If a GPS accessory is not available for your camera model, or if you simply don’t want to use such a device, there are a variety of ways you can record a GPS track log. For example, a variety of smartphone apps are available that enable you to record a track log. In addition, many GPS navigation devices include this feature. The idea is that you can record a GPS track log during the time you are out photographing, and then you can synchronize the track log with your photos using supported software (such as Adobe Lightroom Classic CC) to add GPS location information to the metadata for your photos based on the track log you recorded.

To be sure, the simplest overall solution is to upgrade to a camera with a built-in GPS receiver. A good alternative is to opt for a GPS accessory (if available for your camera) so you can still have location information added automatically. But if this isn’t an option for you (or you want to avoid the additional battery drain caused by the GPS receiver), creating a track log during your photo outings is a great option as well.