Price When Reviewed: 80
Pros: Unique function. Unit works perfectly.
Cons: Niche applications. GPS has problems in high-rise areas.
For photographers on the move, Sony’s GPS-CS1 records your location while shooting, enabling you to incorporate this data into how you use your photos.
Though mainly aimed at consumers looking to record their holiday journeys and mapped photoblogs using Web 2.0 applications such as Flickr, it has appeal to photojournalists and other creatives working in tourism or property.
The CS1 works by recording its location every 15 seconds. The data can then be added to images later by matching the GPS location database with the time that the pictures were taken. For this reason it’s important to make sure the clock on the digital camera is correctly set. No setting is needed on the GPS device because the time is also transmitted on the satellite signal.
The biggest problem we had with the system is that it kept losing the GPS signal, but I think this has more to do with the high buildings that surround us than anything to do with the unit. Loss of the GPS signal doesn’t mean pictures taken during that time won’t be tagged with location data – Sony’s GPS Image Tracker software, which inserts the location data into the JPG image metadata, will take the most recent location data and record that.
The CS1 works best with Sony cameras, but we had no problem testing it with a Pentax Optio and Nikon D70. It should work on any digital camera that outputs JPG images with EXIF 2.1 standard metadata.
That’s a welcome change from so many gadgets that are designed to work with only the manufacturer’s products. In fact, far from being proprietary, the GPS location data output by the device is a plain text file so it could easily end up being incorporated into other systems should there be an application.