UPDATE 10/14/13: It takes 2 weeks and four days for USPS to get to Dawn Technologies from NY for the update program. I did not pay the extra $19 for USPS tracking so after two weeks I just decided to buy another Di-GPS and have it expressed mailed. A few days after I mounted the new Di-GPS on my D4, I received word that my original model finally made it back to HK. The moral of the story is that service and shipping from HK is slow or expnsive and is a big drawback. Perhaps some day they’ll find someone to distribute and service stateside.
With that being said, I found the new Di-GPS retaining nut to be a much better solution for attaching to the D4. It takes a bit of getting used to, (having a GPS ‘wart’ ) recessed about right about where you put your left hand to hold your camera lens. It does not seem to interfere with changing lenses, and in my field work, I used everything from 24 thru 70-400mm without being impeded by the GPS. The actual GPS attachment to the Nikon’s 10 pin connector is not ridged but seems to have a bit of float to it. Functionally, you can use the gps exteranl pass thru 10 pin for your shutter release with out any difficulty. Inside your favorite image catalog system, you’ll see each image with its geo cords, and they’ll open up in google maps without any issue. All in all, it’s a very impressive piece of technology and is much improved over the original design.
UPDATE 9/19/13: Dawn Technologies has an upgrade program for 200HK to add a locking swivel nut. I have sent my unit back in a small brown box via USPS for $10 for an exchange unit. The version which I purchase in July has a nasty habit of disconnecting from the ten pin socket on my Nikon D4. I think it is good customer service to offer this upgrade exchange program. I only wonder if the supplier knew the upgrade was coming when I made my original purchase two months ago. It is quite a hassle to exchange and return to HK and it takes extra time and money. However, it is decent of the company to give you and an upgrade path.
A common discussion point, at the photography workshops I have been to, is the subject of having and using a GPS attached to your DLSR. The complaints with using most DLSR GPS products revolve around acquisition time, accuracy, mounting to the hot shoe and cable tethering back to the cameras ten pin connector, battery drain, water resistance concerns, loosing hot shoe flexibility if you need flash, etc, etc. Critiques from GPS users have been going on for several years now without any robust solutions from manufactures. In the past, I have purchased two GPS models from different manufactures and because of my gripes with them they stayed at home Nothing is worse than paying for something and finding out that it does not meet the ‘field test’ grade.
So I was very interested in reading Moose Peterson’s blog a few weeks back and noticed he did a quick piece on the Di-GPS Eco Professional. I was soon on the Honk Kong website, did some research, and purchased via Pay Pal ($140)* and did a Fed-X two day delivery. The shopping experience and confirmation/tracking/delivery was all first rate.
Then the gear trial began on the Di-GPS Eco Professional. Here is my take on this great piece of engineering.
- It is SMALL, very small. (Half the size of your thumb, shorter than a cork, the size of a small strawberry)
- It attaches quickly to your 10 pin Nikon DLSR,
- Pull back the Nikon cover
- Push this unit onto Nikon 10 pin. (it glides into place and seats into position)
- This unit has a grommet which seals for water-protection
- It does not get in the way of the front camera lens mount or interfere with accessing any controls on a D3,D3s or D4
- It has a pass thru 10 pin connector on the front. Works as advertised with tethered shutter releases. (MC-30/12a)
- GPS device has small lanyard which you can loop thru camera ring so you don’t loose it.
- There are no cables !!
- It does not use the hot shoe for mounting !!!
- There are no batteries, it self powers from camera !!!!!
- The construction is very high grade plastic. No moving parts, all seams sealed.
- This is a new design and has very low battery drain.
- This is a new design and has very quick GPS access.
- 66 Channel GPS Receiver
- Media Tech Chipset
- Access time: 2-5 sec in active Field use (ref User Guide link below for more info)
- Simple green led on side stays lit when GPS is engaged and acquiring signal !
- It is very quick and easy to configure your DLSR to use the GPS . Setup Menu/GPS/ you config (ref User guide link) !
I am quite satisfied with the look, performance and quality of the Di-GPS Eco Professional and I’m glad to see that the GPS technology has miniaturized to the point that it can be designed and used successfully in the field. On a scale of 1-10, this GPS unit rocks at a 10.
User Guide is at www.di-gps.com.
The Di-GPS Eco Professional supports these NIKON camera’s:
- Nikon D4, D3, D3S, D3X, D700, D800, D800E, D300, D300S, D2XS, D2X, D2HS, D200 & Fujifilm S5 Pro.
*Special pricing being advertised of $140 USD