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New Aokatec AK-G GPS units for Nikon cameras

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Aokatec released new AK-G GPS units for Nikon DSLR cameras (compatible also with the Coolpix P7700). The different models are currently available on Amazon for $80. For comparison, the Nikon's GP-1 GPS unit costs $194.95 (the GP-1A version for the D600 costs $312).

More info on the Aokatec GPS units:

The Aokatec AK-G GPS receiver allows you to "geotag" your images with valuable information such as latitude, longitude, altitude, heading and time information. For those who are on the go such as outdoor photographers, nature shooters, climbers, sports enthusiasts, news hounds, surveillance people, real estate agents and many more, this item provides a valuable way to accurately document when and where you shot a specific photo.

Compatibility:

  • Aokatec AK-G1 for Nikon D4, D800,D800E, D200, D300, D300s, D700, D2X, D2Xs, D2Hs, D3, D3X, D3s, & Fujifilm S5Pro
  • Aokatec AK-G2 for Nikon D3100, D5000, D5100, D3200, D600, P7700
  • Aokatec AK-G7 for Nikon D7000
  • Aokatec AK-G9 for Nikon D90

Key features:

  • Wireless, Mini size
  • Built-in compass for heading info
  • Fast satellite acquisition
  • Auto sleep mode for power saving
  • Support GPS in building---remember the last known position
  • With on/off switch
  • Support remote switch
Specifications:
  • Data Retention: Latitude, longitude, altitude, heading and time information
  • Update rate: Once per second
  • Time Stamp: Time required for satellite acquisition:
  • Cold start Approx. 30 sec. ( open sky ),
  • Hot start approx. 3 sec.( open sky ),
  • GPS accuracy : 10 m/33 ft
  • Power Source: Supplied from camera body
  • Average working power consumption: 60mA
  • Average sleeping mode power consumption: 2mA
  • Operating temperature: 0 °C – 40 °C/32 °F – 104 °F
  • Dimensions: Approx. 24.0 (W) x 33 (H) x 13 (D) mm
  • Weight: Approx. 13g
  • Compatible accessories: remote cord (available separately)
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  • Plug

    And now for something completely different…

  • http://ronscubadiver.wordpress.com Ron Scubadiver

    Just what I need…

  • NotNikon

    They might not be in magnesium alloy or gold but I bet they do work fine.
    Nikon is stealing us money with the GP-1, I paid $289 for it.
    With the current technology there is no reason (except to get some extra profit) not to include the GPS on the Nikon main board.

    Thanks Nikon!

    • Phil

      The reason Nikon DSLRs don’t have onboard GPS, is simple: money. In that Nikon want you to splash out for an ugly external GP-1, and make some more money out of us.

      However, this should change with future iterations of DSLRs. Not because Nikon want to, but due to pressure as competitors start producing GPS-ready DSLRs and thus forcing Nikon into keeping up with the Joneses.

      • NotNikon

        As I said then. Just wait til Canon (unless they already have) will come out with an onboard GPS unit and Nikon will follow.

        Agree, the GP-1 is ugly, sloooooow and takes lot of juice from the internal battery. However, an external device – for those smarter then me :-) – gives the choice to buy different brands, much faster and cheaper than the GP-1, and almost all of them are.

        We will see.

        • onboardgps

          yeah the 6D has onboard GPS + wifi

          this doesnt stop it from being a failure though imo.

        • Michael

          I’m pretty sure Canon and Nikon wouldn’t put GPS on board. I might go as far as suggesting they might have a secret agreement on that. They want money. Other manufacturers might and would force them to do it.

          • Chris Zeller

            Well the Canon 6D will have GPS onboard so they already have the pressure they need.

            I hopoe Nikon does this on future cameras. The external GPS is always snagging the cord and will eventually ruin the jack. It prevents use of the popup flash for fill and its plain ugly.

    • mikils

      Let us be fair and remember that while Canon did not do it for years (still not doing it, AFAIK) Nikon already includes a handy intervalometer for time lapse photography. Maybe not as cool al a GPS (or is it?) but hey, there is something nikon provides and others don’t

    • Smudger

      The Phottix Geo One is good, cheap and almost a dead ringer of the Nikon GP-1. They could amost come off the same production line.

      With the addition of heading data, this should be more useful and at a lower price than the Phottix.

  • Ronbo

    It’s nice to have a cheaper option but couldn’t they make it look a little better instead of a square black box.

  • Niko

    what’s with the different versions, I know different models have different connections but couldn’t they make different addon adapters and use just one GPS unit, what if i have D300, D7000, P7700 do I need to buy 3 items, come on, be inventive !!!

    • NotNikon

      +1

      Have you ever tried to use a Remote Release plus the GP-1? Lot of adapters/wires to plug both in the 10 pin connector. I found a remote that can plug in into the GP-1 and let this go to the 10 pins. Still a very ugly solution.

      Another one: have you seen what do you have to do to give power to a D800 with an external adaptor? It is simply crazy. Was it too difficult to add a connector to the camera?

      Guess Nikon engineers don’t have much brain today.

      • SoCal Dave

        The GPS and wireless remote should both be a part of the extended battery grip – all in one unit – no wires!

    • DidItGoLikeThis?

      Long after the camera was on the production line:

      Nikon engineer:
      Sir, in my blue print for the D800 I forgot to put a connector for an external PS. I am so sorry.

      Nikon boss:
      Don’t worry, we can make a faked battery with a connector that doesn’t connect to anything and leaves the battery compartment open, then we use an adapter and/or a wire of the D1x that connects to a PS of the D7K and they can power the D800! See, it’s easy, why do you always worry so much?

    • Xiaoxing

      For users who have multiple devices, consider their other products, like AK-N7000, AK-N90, etc. These devices look very similar to AK-G series but they are cheaper($40) and SMALLER, without a GPS module integrated, but are compatible with most bluetooth GPS receivers. You could then get a GPS with bluetooth ($70) to pair with multiple devices. In this case the GPS does not drain power from your camera. Just turn on the GPS and leave it in your bag. I am using N7K + AK-N7000 + BT-Q818XT.

  • Cold Hands Luke

    I look forward to seeing reviews of these, especially to see how they compare to the GP-1 in terms of battery drain and acquisition speed.

    I’m sure there was a review of another 3rd-party GPS on NR a while ago, but I can’t find it. Anyone got a link?

  • Clumsy

    I still like my current solution: I have a cheap external GPS tracker (Garmin) and I just adjust the clocks of my both cameras with it maybe every second day during my phototrip. Then I will just combine the GPX file with picture infos in Lightroom. Sure, I admid that that it doesn’t insert the location info into NEF files, but Lightroom is able to dig more info of that location via Google Maps. And I don’t look my NEF fines normally, I look PP’ed JPGs.

    The location info is a very nice feature to have. It is very nice to be able to open a map from a photoviewer and check where that specific picture was shot.

  • Aokatec Fanboy

    I have used the AK-4NII bluetooth GPS solution with my D300 for a couple years. Great product. Aokatec’s products work well in my experience.

    • Chris

      Agree… I had it with my D300s and now use it on my D800 and it works great. I only had to took away a bit of the plastic from the AK-4Nii to let it fit on the D800. Works really good and does not took too much energy from the Nikon.

      I have a really small gps-receiver that fits in the pocket of my black-rapid-strap nicely – very good combo! Small & cheap ;-)

      Chris

  • Domenico

    The title of this article is Technically wrong. There are different AK units, depending on the connector used for the external GPS on s specific Nikon Camera Model.

    ” New Aokatec AK-”x” GPS units for Nikon cameras ” Here is a list of the units for the different cameras:

    http://www.aokatec.com/

    AK-G1 for Nikon D4, D800,D800E, D200, D300, D300s, D700, D2X, D2Xs, D2Hs, D3, D3X, D3s, & Fujifilm S5Pro

    AK-G2 for Nikon D3100, D5000, D5100, D3200, D600, P7700

    AK-G7 for Nikon D7000

    AK-G9 for Nikon D90

  • Domenico

    With an internal GPS receiver, you don’t have any of the problems indicated on the video below. Why do we need the problems of external wires and adapters, when cheap mobile phones have built-in GPS receivers. B&H charges $195 for a Nikon GPS receiver. You can buy a smartphone with GPS receiver and maps built in- for less. The GPS chip doesn’t cost $10.

    I believe the GP- 1 is a crap product, as shown by the video below. It damages you camera equipment if you are not extremely careful when using it. It’s unacceptable. I wish Nikon Rumours can post the video below on you main page for everyone to see.

    Have you actually used a GP-1 on a camera? The wires are in the way and a hastle.

    Every Nikon user should take note of the following video, and the problems associated with the Nikon GP-1 / external GPS receivers:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqWRRdyalHc

    New DSLR cameras should have built-in GPS’s, just as the Nikon Flashes should have built in radio transmitters. I don’t want an “external” PocketWizard and external GPS on my camera.

    • chris zeller

      Yep.

      I have the opteka copy of the Nikon and it has the same issue: http://opteka.com/gpn1.aspx

      Nikon needs to build these in. Even $100 pocket cameras have this now.

  • derWalter

    are we taking photos from others, or do others take photos from us?
    so why are you complaining about the look then :P?

    what does it matter if you or your camera look ugly as hell,
    as long as you are doing a good job?

  • chris zeller

    I have had the opteka version for a few years now. Its half the price:
    http://opteka.com/gpn1.aspx

    It works great for $40. It still just as bad as the Nikon version in that it uses the side jack. I need a right angle connector. Any ideas? Putting the camera into bags with this on is a big no no as it stresses the connector (and socket on the camera side). The accuracy and function is excellent. The build quality isn’t as good as the Nikon but for $40 who cares?

    • Chris Zeller

      BTW This Opteka unit works with my D600 just as well as it did with the D7000. Why are there two models of this Aokatec for the D600 and D7000 and what is the difference between the Nikon GP-1 and GP1-a? GP1-a is $100 more and only compatable with D600? Thing is, I would pay the stupid $300 price if it would work through the hotshoe without the cable.

  • srdunn

    I have been wanting something like this ever since I saw the foolography GPS units. I kept thinking WHY cant they build something that is supported right by the port, the GPS unit weighs nothing after all (most of the weight of other units are the cord!). Finally some one is doing it!

    Also a really nice feature of these Aokatec units is that they repeat last location if they don’t have GPS signal. It is so frustrating with the Nikon GP1 turning the camera on and the first few pictures in a burst don’t have any GPS, I would rather it be a little out than NOTHING! Heading is also a bonus that isn’t included in the GP1.

    The Solmeta was going to be my go to solution for my D4, however Im now thinking Im going to this Aokatec unit. The Aokatec also claims lower sleep consumption modes than the Solmeta (and the same working consumption) which apparently already gets much better battery life than my GP1 which eats batteries.

    I have emailed Aoketc to see what GPS chip set they are using, the Solmeta N3 (and Pro 2) both use the MTK MT3329; Im willing to bet we will see the same thing in the Aoketc!

    Overall looks like an order to me!

    • srdunn

      Well I must say Aokatec responded very quickly to my request. Kevin from the company got back to me very quickly and in excellent english! It would appear they use a company called u-blox for their chips vs the Leadtek in the Solmeta unit. To quote Kevin’s response:

      “Thanks for interested in our product.
      We use the latest 55 channel U-blox chip set in the AK-G1.

      AK-G1 have a 2.5mm connector is not weatherproofed, the cover is very strong for normal use. In some bad weather situation you may cover the connector with removable tap.”

      I think I will be ordering one this afternoon!

      • BB

        Note : there is a typo here as no such U-blox GPS chip exist.
        I asked them to confirm:
        the chip they use is a 50 channel chip (GPS chip version 6)
        the latest chip from U-blox is version 7 with 56 channels.

        • srdunn

          I just came back to mention that I couldn’t find a u-blocks chip with 55 channel!

          Thanks BB!

          Any thoughts on how this might affect things?
          On the one hand, there are only ~35 satellites (thus channels)
          On the other hand if they didn’t need these channels why would the newest chipset have more?

          • BB

            You can check this article on the channel usefulness:
            http://www.gpsreview.net/gps-chipset-channels/
            to summaries what they say: there will be no difference.

            however some channels are certainly used for WAAS/EGNOS signal, while others might be used for GLONASS system, though I am not sure GLONASS tracking is enabled in the Aokatec GPS

    • RGwooden

      I emailed and was told: “The GPS chipset is U-blox NEO-6M in AK-G7.”
      Here is the spec sheet on this chip:
      http://www.u-blox.com/images/downloads/Product_Docs/NEO-6_DataSheet_(GPS.G6-HW-09005).pdf

  • pola

    ordered one already.

  • trondsto

    Is it true that AK-G2 works with Coolpix P7700? This amazon customer says it doesn’t:

    http://www.amazon.com/review/R3GMMJ2INZIFKY/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B009NL7H62&linkCode=&nodeID=&tag=

    I hope someone can clarify this; I already have the AK-G2 for my Nikon d5100 and am considering buying a used P7700. It would be nice to have a pair of cameras (d5100 and P7700) that share the same battery, charger, external flash/flash cord and gps unit.

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