We have used quite a variety of GPS equipped cameras for the last 5 years and the results have been quite mixed. Most of the cameras have been point and shoot Nikons (P6000, P510, P520, AW100, etc.) and two Panasonics. Also tried Nikon's GPS1 plug-in GPS on a DSLR and the relatively new D5300 DSLR with GPS built in. The bottom line for all the cameras is that all they all work, but they take a long time to get a GPS fix. The GPS also drains the battery. And the GPS is not all that accurate.
We are now using a good quality Garmin GPS (like the GPSmap G2sc) and leaving it running during the entire field day. Then we download the tracks from the GPS and use the excellent free software, Geosetter, to geotag the photos. This method is much more accurate and reliable than the in-camera GPS. It is easy and works great - with all cameras. All you have to do is record the time offset between your GPS and your camera. That is a critical input parameter. You can take a picture of the GPS screen displaying the time with your camera to use for this time offset. Or you can set your camera time with the GPS so there is no time offset. This is much easier than it may sound. We resisted geotagging this way for years, but we finally realized that the camera GPS systems will never be that good. Peter Morrison Executive Director Pacific Biodiversity Institute PO Box 298 Winthrop, WA 98862 www.pacificbio.org -----Original Message----- From: Ecological Society of America: grants, jobs, news [mailto:ECOLOG-L@LISTSERV.UMD.EDU] On Behalf Of Jacob Hadle Sent: Sunday, May 03, 2015 11:53 AM To: ECOLOG-L@LISTSERV.UMD.EDU Subject: [ECOLOG-L] Built in GPS unit in Point and shoot cameras Hello, I have a question for those of you who are familiar with point and shoot digital cameras that have built-in GPS units. A project I have acquired this summer involves a plant inventory on a ~7,000 acres site (open and dense canopy areas). In part, the protocol requires us to take a picture of each plant species and document their latitude and longitude coordinates. To optimizes my time effectively, using a camera that geotags each picture would seem to work well. The main interests I have in the point and shoot camera in not so much how the quality the picture takes, but how accurate the camera will pick up coordinates. I have spent a considerable amount of time online, and calling local camera stores researching which point and shoot camera would have the best GPS quality; however, I have found very little information about the accuracy and performance in these built-in GPS units. I am currently looking into the Canon PowerShot D20 or the Ricoh G700 SE-M. If anyone has experience using digital cameras with built-in GPS units in the field, I would truly appreciate your thoughts. Most grateful, Jacob