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Thread: Need a Camera. GPS, Viewfinder & SLR body

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    Need a Camera. GPS, Viewfinder & SLR body

    Hi.

    I'm hoping I can get some help?

    I want to move from my smartphone onto a real camera.

    I've spent months looking at cameras and I reckon I've settled on what I need. GPS, a Viewfinder & what I call a grab handle.

    GPS
    I take photos mainly when I go away, I travel to the outback alot, so it is very helpful to be able to geo tag my photos as some places I visit don't have roads shown on maps. I use the lat/long co-ords on the photos to then create maps of where I've been.

    Viewfinder
    Most times I can't see what I'm shooting on the smartphone, it's just too hard using a screen when taking a photo. I want a Viewfinder.

    Grab Handle
    What I mean by this is the camera needs to be of a good size, the typical SLR body style is great, you can carry it easily etc etc.

    The best example of everything I'd like is on the Nikon P900. That would be the ideal camera for me, the only downside is the weight & size. I don't need a 2000mm lens.

    I was all set to buy a Canon M50 but realised it didn't have an inbuilt GPS. The Canon EOS 6D Mark II would suit, but doesn't suit my budget.


    I hope I can get some advice and help form the folks here.

    With thanks.
    Matt.

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    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    Budget $$$$$ ?????
    Cheers
    Kev

    Nikon D810: D600 (Astro Modded): D7200 and 'stuff', lots of 'stuff'

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    What Cage said.
    Can't help without this vital bit of info.

    BUT! in saying that, in terms of budget, I doubt you'd find a better value for money device than a Nikon D5300.
    Note D5500 or D5600, D5300 only! Only DSLR camera they made with built in GPS. (strange as to why too tho).
    Paired with a lens like an 18-140mm VR lens .. will do 99% of what most folks would expect of a budget camera range.

    Even tho it's old now, it's still modern tech in terms of sensor and focus ability. Some are still available new if you look around. Otherwise second hand.

    Now with that outta the way, I have to say tho .. I'd recommend against a camera with a GPS in it!
    Better option is an external GPS with bluetooth, and a bluetooth dongle on the camera.
    Some won't like that kind of option tho, but it's a much better option in terms of battery range.

    GPS uses a lot of battery power, and any of those smaller bodies mirrorless type cameras that usually have small batteries, won't survive any decent amount of time on a single charge with the GPS on.

    I've had a few GPS setups myself(I'm a bit of a GPS/mapping nut myself). Even on a large DSLR with a fairly decent battery to help it .. with an accessory GPS attached by cable, the DSLR(D300) barely lasted 180 images before battery died.
    I usually used to get a min 800+ shots out of it. But the GPS drained battery severely whilst it's on. I didn't have a spare battery .. so if you really want to keep it ultra portable with built in GPS, I'd suggest at a minimum 2 extra batteries.
    For a D5300 those extra two batteries may cost you about $20-30 .... aftermarket types.

    For a better GPS setup on a camera ... get a bluetooth capable GPS logger, a bluetooth dongle that attaches to the camera, it then becomes an untethered GPS to the camera. I keep my GPS on a carabiner hooked onto something(clothing/bag/camera/tripod).
    Bt range is 10m or so.
    Works brilliantly. Last a couple of days.
    With due care, can last weeks too. Sometimes what I do is take a single shot of a location with GPS coordinates, then using the Nikon software copy the GPS data from that one image into the other images of the same location.
    Actually only done that twice as I'd lost the GPS's charge cable, so had to conserve it's battery. GPS battery usually last about 12-20 hours continuous use.
    Learned from that mistake, so now when I drive off into no mans land, I always pull the GPS unit out of the camera bag, ALSO it's cable and have it on in the car and charging all the time.
    GPS I ended up with is a Holux M1200E.

    What I can't find any longer is a cheap Bt dongle for the camera(s). These will cost about $150-200 now, unless you can locate any second hand.
    I got my AOKA dongle for $60 back then, but they seem to have stopped, or shut up shop.

    This is going to be 'more expensive' but cheaper in the long run, if you use it heavily .. which I used too.
    Otherwise as said it'll just cost you more in batteries(and could be a good idea to have a mobile charger .. ie. for the car).
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC

    {Yongnuo}; -> YN35/2N : YN50/1.8N


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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    What Cage said.
    Can't help without this vital bit of info.

    BUT! in saying that, in terms of budget, I doubt you'd find a better value for money device than a Nikon D5300.
    Note D5500 or D5600, D5300 only! Only DSLR camera they made with built in GPS. (strange as to why too tho).
    Paired with a lens like an 18-140mm VR lens .. will do 99% of what most folks would expect of a budget camera range.

    Even tho it's old now, it's still modern tech in terms of sensor and focus ability. Some are still available new if you look around. Otherwise second hand.

    Now with that outta the way, I have to say tho .. I'd recommend against a camera with a GPS in it!
    Better option is an external GPS with bluetooth, and a bluetooth dongle on the camera.
    Some won't like that kind of option tho, but it's a much better option in terms of battery range.

    GPS uses a lot of battery power, and any of those smaller bodies mirrorless type cameras that usually have small batteries, won't survive any decent amount of time on a single charge with the GPS on.

    I've had a few GPS setups myself(I'm a bit of a GPS/mapping nut myself). Even on a large DSLR with a fairly decent battery to help it .. with an accessory GPS attached by cable, the DSLR(D300) barely lasted 180 images before battery died.
    I usually used to get a min 800+ shots out of it. But the GPS drained battery severely whilst it's on. I didn't have a spare battery .. so if you really want to keep it ultra portable with built in GPS, I'd suggest at a minimum 2 extra batteries.
    For a D5300 those extra two batteries may cost you about $20-30 .... aftermarket types.

    For a better GPS setup on a camera ... get a bluetooth capable GPS logger, a bluetooth dongle that attaches to the camera, it then becomes an untethered GPS to the camera. I keep my GPS on a carabiner hooked onto something(clothing/bag/camera/tripod).
    Bt range is 10m or so.
    Works brilliantly. Last a couple of days.
    With due care, can last weeks too. Sometimes what I do is take a single shot of a location with GPS coordinates, then using the Nikon software copy the GPS data from that one image into the other images of the same location.
    Actually only done that twice as I'd lost the GPS's charge cable, so had to conserve it's battery. GPS battery usually last about 12-20 hours continuous use.
    Learned from that mistake, so now when I drive off into no mans land, I always pull the GPS unit out of the camera bag, ALSO it's cable and have it on in the car and charging all the time.
    GPS I ended up with is a Holux M1200E.

    What I can't find any longer is a cheap Bt dongle for the camera(s). These will cost about $150-200 now, unless you can locate any second hand.
    I got my AOKA dongle for $60 back then, but they seem to have stopped, or shut up shop.

    This is going to be 'more expensive' but cheaper in the long run, if you use it heavily .. which I used too.
    Otherwise as said it'll just cost you more in batteries(and could be a good idea to have a mobile charger .. ie. for the car).

    Hey thanks very much for the detailed reply.

    Budget is up to $1500.00, but less is always better.

    When I started looking, I went into a store (I live in the bush, not near anywhere that sells cameras) and had a good look at a Nikon 5600 and fell in love with it, so a 5300 wouldn't be hard to take.

    But as I looked into it more & more I found I wanted this, and that and that and that.

    I've ended up with good list of what to look for, I know I've already listed that above, but I left off that the camera will need to be easy to use for a beginner that knows nothing.

    I'm happy to get a 2nd battery and can charge all manner of things up in my vehicle.

    Does the bluetooth GPS you mentioned put the lat & long co-ords onto the photo as it takes it or do you somehow have to manually go in later and do it yourself?

    I also need to ask about how the photos are saved on the camera. Can I put them on my PC and view them instantly or do I need to convert them into JPG/GIF/BMP/PNG etc before I can see them???

    Thanks for any help.
    Matt.

  5. #5
    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    What Cage said.
    Can't help without this vital bit of info.

    BUT! in saying that, in terms of budget, I doubt you'd find a better value for money device than a Nikon D5300.
    Note D5500 or D5600, D5300 only! Only DSLR camera they made with built in GPS. (strange as to why too tho).
    Paired with a lens like an 18-140mm VR lens .. will do 99% of what most folks would expect of a budget camera range.

    Even tho it's old now, it's still modern tech in terms of sensor and focus ability. Some are still available new if you look around. Otherwise second hand.
    re above
    Note D5500 or D5600, D5300 only!
    .... Uncle Arthur had a slip of the finger there and inadvertently added an 'e' to 'not' so to clarify the only D5XXX model with built-in GPS is the D5300.

    Cheers

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    Ausphotography Regular Hawthy's Avatar
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    Photos are recorded to an SD Card in your camera. You can transfer these to your computer either via a USB cable (supplied with your camera) or by inserting the SD card into a card reader. Some computers have these built in or you can buy readers that have a USB connection pretty cheaply.

    You have the option on your camera to record images as either raw or jpeg (or both - but let's not get too confusing). You will be able to view jpegs straight out of the camera but you may need to use either the software that comes with your camera, or dedicated photo processing software like Photoshop, to view raw images.

    Agree that the D5300 (or any of the D5XXX series) are a good choice for a budding photographer. Have most of the features on more expensive DSLRs but at a reasonable price. Sure they have a smaller sensor than full frame DSLRs but provide a good balance for the price. Other brands also produce excellent cameras but I don't know enough about the different models to make any recommendation.

    I would definitely go for the D5300 over the P900 because of the larger sensor and the capacity to switch lenses and use external flash, etc. You just don't know where this photography journey will wind up. Here is a comparison between the D5300 and the D900 specs: https://cameradecision.com/compare/N...vs-Nikon-D5300

    Good luck.
    Andrew




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    Quote Originally Posted by Cage View Post
    re above .... Uncle Arthur had a slip of the finger there and inadvertently added an 'e' to 'not' so to clarify the only D5XXX model with built-in GPS is the D5300.

    Cheers
    Haha, Uncle Arthur. Yep, I sus'd that out. Nikon say the 5300 can work with a GPS but it's a plug in, not built in GPS.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawthy View Post
    Photos are recorded to an SD Card in your camera. You can transfer these to your computer either via a USB cable (supplied with your camera) or by inserting the SD card into a card reader. Some computers have these built in or you can buy readers that have a USB connection pretty cheaply.

    You have the option on your camera to record images as either raw or jpeg (or both - but let's not get too confusing). You will be able to view jpegs straight out of the camera but you may need to use either the software that comes with your camera, or dedicated photo processing software like Photoshop, to view raw images.

    Agree that the D5300 (or any of the D5XXX series) are a good choice for a budding photographer. Have most of the features on more expensive DSLRs but at a reasonable price. Sure they have a smaller sensor than full frame DSLRs but provide a good balance for the price. Other brands also produce excellent cameras but I don't know enough about the different models to make any recommendation.

    I would definitely go for the D5300 over the P900 because of the larger sensor and the capacity to switch lenses and use external flash, etc. You just don't know where this photography journey will wind up. Here is a comparison between the D5300 and the D900 specs: https://cameradecision.com/compare/N...vs-Nikon-D5300

    Good luck.
    Thanks for your help Hawthy, much appreciated.

    Great to know that I can just view the photos straight away without any extra editing req'd, thanks for that.

    I agree with your comment re lenses etc. I always like keeping my options open and swapping lenses is part of the whole experience I reckon.

  8. #8
    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    OK, as you can see from our signatures AK and I are Nikon shooters so we are mainly going to talk Nikon. I am sure that Canon have an equally good comparable set-up.


    I've ended up with good list of what to look for, I know I've already listed that above, but I left off that the camera will need to be easy to use for a beginner that knows nothing.
    Most modern cameras have the ability to let you chose a 'Scene Mode' type of operation so if you are shooting landscapes you just select 'Landscapes' and away you go.

    Easy Huh? It gives you the option of taking photos while you are learning the ins and outs of your camera.

    I'm happy to get a 2nd battery and can charge all manner of things up in my vehicle.
    The OEM batteries are very exxy so ask here before you buy a couple. I've just bought a couple of after market Hahnel batteries for my Nikon and they are looking every bit as good as the Nikon ones at about 1/2 the price.


    Does the bluetooth GPS you mentioned put the lat & long co-ords onto the photo as it takes it or do you somehow have to manually go in later and do it yourself?
    Yes, it automatically adds the info into your camera.


    I also need to ask about how the photos are saved on the camera. Can I put them on my PC and view them instantly or do I need to convert them into JPG/GIF/BMP/PNG etc before I can see them???
    Saves to SD, SDHC (UHS-I compliant), SDXC (UHS-I compliant) and all you need to view your masterpieces is a card reader and a spare USB slot on your computer.

    Something like this kit would leave you change for your GPS unit. https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Nikon-D5...item41ebca4847

    Good luck with your deliberations.

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    Thanks once again Cage, the help is much appreciated.

    I went and read a bit more about the 5300 and it does indeed have a built in GPS. I looked at the Nikon site and in the Tech Specs it just says it has an accessory terminal for a GPS device. It also says that for the 5600, so I guess the 5600 will work with an external GPS device as well.

    Sorry if this all sounds pretty elementary, but this all new ground to me.

    That kit looks extremely tempting. I was moving towards the 5600 as it has Bluetooth which the 5300 doesn't.

    What's the video quality out of the 5600? I was told video quality out of Nikons isn't that good? If it's as good as my smartphone I'll be happy enough.

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    What's the video quality out of the 5600? I was told video quality out of Nikons isn't that good? If it's as good as my smartphone I'll be happy enough.
    I don't have a D5600 and I don't do video but I reckon the video out of Nikons would be on a par with the opposition. Oh, and I reckon it would be heaps better than your smartphone. Ask Google your question.

    There are some really good deals on right now for Black Friday but they finish in the next few days so get your finger out and save some money. Oh, and I don't buy grey market on anything with a motor or a PCB in it for warranty reasons.

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    Ausphotography Regular Hawthy's Avatar
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    Video resolution on the D5600 is 1920 x 1080, which is Full HD, the same as your standard 1080p High Definition Television, I think. After that you start getting to 2K and 4K resolutions. I have a 4K TV and can only get limited programs on it in 4K - the cricket is one. I really don't notice a lot of difference between Full HD and 4K but my eyes aren't what they were. And, I also don't shoot a lot of video so I can't speak with any authority on video.

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    Hi...welcome to AP.

    Haven't completely read everything above, so, not sure if anyone has mentioned you could still use your phone and take a random pic while travelling at different location then source the GPS info later to add to your map. A cheaper alternative perhaps?


    Cheers -

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    Thanks everyone for the help, it's greatly appreciated.

    I purchased a D5600 with the 18-55 & 170-300mm lenses from a well known retailer for which I am quite sure is a very good price. Pick it up tomorrow and will play with it over the weekend.
    Last edited by ameerat42; 29-11-2019 at 3:57pm. Reason: Edit as requested.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    I had a look at the video specs on this page from DP Review, and although it doesn't do 4K video, it's no slouch up to 1080p/60!!
    This sort of feed should scale up very well on a capable 4K TV (as it does on ours - a non-Android Sony) .

    With such "high-end" video streams (1080p/60 or 4K and stereo sound), make sure you have a pretty fast card in the camera
    (and that the camera can utilise the card speed), or video may become jittery. I found this out trying for 4K video onto a modest
    microSD card in my (OK, so it's old) Galaxy S5. (I think) it was OK when I switched to internal memory, but I haven't bothered
    with recording 4K in the few years since, as 1080p/30 is tops on our display.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    I had a look at the video specs on this page from DP Review, and although it doesn't do 4K video, it's no slouch up to 1080p/60!!
    This sort of feed should scale up very well on a capable 4K TV (as it does on ours - a non-Android Sony) .

    With such "high-end" video streams (1080p/60 or 4K and stereo sound), make sure you have a pretty fast card in the camera
    (and that the camera can utilise the card speed), or video may become jittery. I found this out trying for 4K video onto a modest
    microSD card in my (OK, so it's old) Galaxy S5. (I think) it was OK when I switched to internal memory, but I haven't bothered
    with recording 4K in the few years since, as 1080p/30 is tops on our display.
    Thanks Ameerat42, that's good to know, I'll be shopping for an SD card over the weekend.

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    I don't have the D5600, but do have the D5500.
    Remember only the D5300(model previous to the D5500) has the built in GPS.

    Nikons GP-1 model GPS devices can be used on the 5500 and 5600, but are the most useless accessory available.
    Will kill your battery in less than 100 shots. Avoid this GPS at all costs.
    Any wired GPS actually, they all drain battery very quickly.

    I'll poke around and see what half decent bluetooth GPS accessories are available for 'ya too. Many products once available have dropped off the earth now.

    Anyhow, once you have the camera, the D5600 has the ability to read the GPS data from your smartphone(if your smartphone has GPS)
    So you connect the camera via wifi to the smartphone, have the smartphone's GPS enabled, and the camera will set GPS data into the images from the smartphone ... no need for any other GPS devices.

    That's the theory! .. the reality may be far from it tho. I've tried to use wifo connected to smartphone on the D5500, and was nothing but a hair loss exercise. After 10 mins of not connecting, I gave up!
    I'm generally patient, and like the challenge of working out why stuff that should work, doesn't! .. But this one from Nikon was beyond painfully stupid.
    I heard that they updated the wifi app for the smartphone, so maybe things have changed. if it works, there'ya'go .. easy GPS data in your images.
    I think it works better on Android than iOS(from what I've read).

    Note too, I hate Nikon's latest software, but they do have some useful features.
    You don't even need a GPS to add GPS data to your images.
    ViewNX-i(which I hate passionately!!!) has this feature, where you can estimate your GPS data from a map in the program, and then send that estimated location data to the images.
    Works good.
    ViewNX2 originally did this, but VNX2 no longer supported .. won't work with the D5600 camera, so VNX-i is one way to get location data into your images.
    And the maps no longer work in VNX2. So only reason I have VNX-i is for those times when I want to edit gps data in images via maps.

    eg. say you were at Uluru, and you had photos of it, and you knew approx where you were for a shot.
    In ViewNX-i, you use the Map menu, and in there you find the place you were at on the map, and you can then pin the image to that location. This method doesn't output direction or elevation data if this is important. Only Lat/Lon.
    Sometimes that's good enough, sometimes elevation can also be handy tho.

    The other thing you can do with an external GPS is to tracklog one. That is, leave the GPS on all the time, and it makes a tracklog. ViewNX-i has the ability to then geo reference your collection of images if you upload this tracklog into VNX-i, then do some stuff and it pins them to the tracklog(or something). Never used it myself .. may try one day.

    As for video quality .. actual quality is fine. More of the quality of a video is dependent on the operator(not the device).
    Where Nikon really falls down is in many of the spec in the device capturing the video(AF, mics, levels, ie. tweaking settings to get better video)
    But with a stabilised lens, the look of the video will be fine.

    OH! and don't use AF with video on a Nikon using any lens not marked AF-P. Sound is horrendous. AF-P lenses do a good job of keeping quiet during AF.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    I don't have the D5600, but do have the D5500.
    Remember only the D5300(model previous to the D5500) has the built in GPS.

    Nikons GP-1 model GPS devices can be used on the 5500 and 5600, but are the most useless accessory available.
    Will kill your battery in less than 100 shots. Avoid this GPS at all costs.
    Any wired GPS actually, they all drain battery very quickly.

    I'll poke around and see what half decent bluetooth GPS accessories are available for 'ya too. Many products once available have dropped off the earth now.

    Anyhow, once you have the camera, the D5600 has the ability to read the GPS data from your smartphone(if your smartphone has GPS)
    So you connect the camera via wifi to the smartphone, have the smartphone's GPS enabled, and the camera will set GPS data into the images from the smartphone ... no need for any other GPS devices.

    That's the theory! .. the reality may be far from it tho. I've tried to use wifo connected to smartphone on the D5500, and was nothing but a hair loss exercise. After 10 mins of not connecting, I gave up!
    I'm generally patient, and like the challenge of working out why stuff that should work, doesn't! .. But this one from Nikon was beyond painfully stupid.
    I heard that they updated the wifi app for the smartphone, so maybe things have changed. if it works, there'ya'go .. easy GPS data in your images.
    I think it works better on Android than iOS(from what I've read).

    Note too, I hate Nikon's latest software, but they do have some useful features.
    You don't even need a GPS to add GPS data to your images.
    ViewNX-i(which I hate passionately!!!) has this feature, where you can estimate your GPS data from a map in the program, and then send that estimated location data to the images.
    Works good.
    ViewNX2 originally did this, but VNX2 no longer supported .. won't work with the D5600 camera, so VNX-i is one way to get location data into your images.
    And the maps no longer work in VNX2. So only reason I have VNX-i is for those times when I want to edit gps data in images via maps.

    eg. say you were at Uluru, and you had photos of it, and you knew approx where you were for a shot.
    In ViewNX-i, you use the Map menu, and in there you find the place you were at on the map, and you can then pin the image to that location. This method doesn't output direction or elevation data if this is important. Only Lat/Lon.
    Sometimes that's good enough, sometimes elevation can also be handy tho.

    The other thing you can do with an external GPS is to tracklog one. That is, leave the GPS on all the time, and it makes a tracklog. ViewNX-i has the ability to then geo reference your collection of images if you upload this tracklog into VNX-i, then do some stuff and it pins them to the tracklog(or something). Never used it myself .. may try one day.

    As for video quality .. actual quality is fine. More of the quality of a video is dependent on the operator(not the device).
    Where Nikon really falls down is in many of the spec in the device capturing the video(AF, mics, levels, ie. tweaking settings to get better video)
    But with a stabilised lens, the look of the video will be fine.

    OH! and don't use AF with video on a Nikon using any lens not marked AF-P. Sound is horrendous. AF-P lenses do a good job of keeping quiet during AF.
    Thanks for all the useful info arthurking83, it's greatly appreciated. I saw a video on Youtube about obtaining GPS co-ords off your smartphone ang getting them onto your photos via Snapbridge, it looked simple, so I'll be trying that out.

    I'm looking forward to putting some pics up in the forum when I get my head around the camera.
    Last edited by siringo; 02-12-2019 at 9:23am.

  18. #18
    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by siringo View Post

    I'm looking forward to putting some pics up in the forum when I get my head around the camera.
    Why wait? Post photos to get advice about getting head around camera faster?
    Last edited by Mark L; 02-12-2019 at 10:27pm.

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