Nikon GPS cameras: how to add location data to your photos

GPS equipped cameras 01

The Nikon D5300 is the first Nikon DSLR to have a GPS, or ‘Global Positioning System’, receiver built in. However, if you don’t have a GPS equipped camera, you can add GPS capability to many other Nikon DSLRs using Nikon’s clip-on GP-1 accessory.

It costs around £200/$280, and it could prove a boon to fans of travel and landscape photography. It’s also extremely simple to use.

Whereas mobile phones use a short-range cellular network that tends to give the best coverage in well-populated areas, GPS receivers calculate their position using a network of geostationary satellites in orbit above the earth.

This means they don’t work so well in cities between tall buildings and won’t usually work at all indoors, but under an open sky a GPS receiver will give you a perfect ‘fix’ anywhere on the globe.

SEE MORE: Nikon D5300 vs D5100 vs D5200 – 13 key differences you need to know about

GPS equipped cameras – plug in and go!

01 Make the connection

If you don’t have a GPS equipped camera the GP-1 slots into the camera’s hotshoe, but the connection’s actually made via the camera’s accessory port. The unit comes with a 10-pin connector for attaching to your Nikon. There is a GP-1A version with a redesigned 10-pin locking nut, but that’s the only difference. 


02 GPS setup

The Nikon GPS options are on the Setup menu. By default, it powers up only when the meter is active. This means a short delay, so the GPS data may not be available if you raise the camera to your eye and shoot quickly. You can opt to have the GPS active all the time, though.

SEE MORE: Nikon D3300 vs D3200 vs D3100: which camera should you choose?

03 Red or green?

Now all you have to do is watch the lamp on the back of the GP-1 unit. If it’s green, it means it’s receiving a signal from the GPS satellites and embedding the location data in your images. If it turns red, it’s lost contact, but it will turn green again as soon as it can get a new fix.


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