All flagship and semi-pro Nikon cameras since the D1X and D200, mid-range models since the D90 and “Baby-Nikons” since the D5K/D3100 are capable of automatically recording geo-referenced meta-data into image headers (Exif), a practice popularly known as “geo-tagging”.
Geo-tagging has become increasingly popular over the last couple of years, and many sites, like Flickr, Facebook and Google Earth/Maps – for example – can now extract and show these data, either automatically or manually.
Similarly, the Nikon View NX2 software includes a (Google) geo-location module, which allows reviewing photos per their shooting location and shows so-called “path-views”; the route(s) along which these were taken, while a program like Adobe Bridge – among many others – is also capable of extracting these data from Exif.
The Dx and Dx00 series allow for the connection of an external GPS device through the so-called “10-pin Remote Terminal”, located at the front of the camera, while all GPS capable cameras since the D90 (Dx000-series), and now also the D750 and D600-series use the so-called “Accessory Terminal” for this purpose.
This terminal is located at the left-hand side of the camera body, which is vulnerable and far from ideal, but most certainly better than nothing.
Nikon’s propietory GP-1(a) GPS device (SRP: $ 312) connects to any of these cameras with an accessory cable, either the 10-pin GP1-CA10 or the D90-type GP1-CA90, which are both included with the unit. Bought separately, these cables would set you back $ 56 a piece.
However, most third party devices come with a fixed connection cable, featuring either a 10-pin CA10 or a CA90 plug.
With the launch of the Nikon D600, the CA90 connector has now found its way into the semi-pro series, which means that owners of third party GPS’s with a fixed 10-pin connector will be incapable of connecting it to this camera, or any other with a CA90 connector, for that matter.
Fortunately, the makers of my own GPS devices, Promote Systems, informed me that my GPS-N1 CA10 units ($ 99) can be converted into CA90 in just a few minutes by changing the connector cable, and were kind enough to ship me samples through USPS.
|Detail of the interface connector and plug|
Since the cable connects to the device’s interface board with a small, 3-pin connector plug, after removing the 2 Phillips-screws on the back of the unit to open it, it’s a simple matter of pulling the 3-pin plug out of the interface connector and plugging in the one on the replacement cable. No soldering required.
Promote also informed me that owners of their devices who wish to make this same conversion may contact customer support, who will send them a replacement cable for the modest sum of $ 25 plus shipping.
| GPS-N1. Screws to remove. The device opened, CA90 cable in place.
Geo-tagging compatible Nikon cameras:CA10 Remote Terminal: Nikon D5, D4-series, D3-series, D2-series, D1X, D800 series, D700, D500, D300(S), D200 (with MC-35 serial adapter cord+portable device, Nikon GP1(a)+CA10 cable or a third party GPS device with a CA10 connector).
CA90 Accessory Terminal: D90, D750, D600 series, D7000-series, D5000-series*, D3100, D3200, D3300 (with Nikon GP1(a)+CA90 cable or a third party GPS device with a CA90 connector)
* The Nikon D5300 has built-in GPS and Wifi. Note that the Nikon D100, D40(X), D50, D60, D70, D80 and D3000 are not instantaneous geo-tagging capable.
You might also want to read:
Geo-tagging Flickr images: the coolest game on (Google) Earth.
Promote Systems launch their GPS-D90 for the D90 (D7000, D5000-series, D3100, D3200)
“Geotagging” with your Nikon. Review of the Promote GPS N-1
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