Nikon's GP-1, a GPS tracking device that fits into the company's cameras and writes location data into image files, is starting to go on sale for a price of about $210.
Nikon announced the GP-1 in August along with the D90 SLR, saying it would arrive in November, but didn't give a price at the time. Now it's on sale: J&R.com lists it for $209.99 and Adorama for $209.95.
Don't expect to get one immediately, though. Adorama lists it as out of stock, though it lets you order it. J&R just describes it as "coming soon."
Although it costs more than many handheld GPS units that offer maps, waypoints, and other navigation features, the GP-1 is specialized for photography. It plugs into a Nikon SLR's flash hot shoe and adds latitude and longitude data to photos as they're taken, a process called geotagging.
Although geotagging is only a niche technology today, it holds some promise for photographers. For one thing, geotagged photos can be located on a map, helping people remember where they took a particular shot or find out what a certain region looks like by browsing with a map. For another, it can help people organize photos by searching for a place name on their computer or a Web site hosting their photos. But geotagging can be a hassle.
The GP-1 and similar devices mean geotagging gets a lot easier: there's no need to download track logs to your computer, make sure your camera's clock is synchronized with the GPS clock, run software to write the location data into files, or worry that doing so will cause problems with the image file itself.
The GP-1 is compatible with Nikon's D90, D200, D300, D3, and D3X cameras, Nikon said. It comes with two cables, one for a dedicated port on the D90 and another for the other Nikon cameras that use a Nikon 10-pin connector.
Nikon has been bitten by the geotagging bug. Its compact Coolpix P6000 has built-in GPS technology, too.