Pentax announces today the O-GPS1 unit, a unique GPS add-on for DSLR cameras which adds location data to images, camera direction and helps track movements of stars and planets.
By mounting the O-GPS1 onto the hotshoe of select Pentax Digital SLR Cameras, the user can record the latitude, longitude, altitude, coordinated universal time (UTC) and direction of the camera lens for shooting locations onto the captured images. The O-GPS1 unit is presently fully supported by the Pentax K-5 and K-r via a firmware update, as well as partially supported the the Pentax 645D.
This GPS unit offers unique functions by taking advantage of the built-in stabilization system (Shake Reduction) of Pentax DSLRs:
- GPS function records the latitude, longitude, altitude, coordinated universal time (UTC) and direction of the camera lens directly into captured images.
- ASTROTRACER for effortless astronomical photography. When mounted on a Pentax K-5 or K-r, the O-GPS1 calculates the movement of stars and planets using GPS coordinates and the camera’s tilt and pitch data obtained from its magnetic and acceleration sensors, then shifts the camera’s image sensor in synchronization with the movement of the objects. As a result, stars and planets are captured as solid points rather than blurry streaks, even during extended exposures, up to a certain limit of course.
- Simple Navigation function which calculates the direction and distance to a given destination from the current position. The user can either locate destinations using location data stored on recorded images. At the time of purchase, the O-GPS1 stores nine Pentax service centers as preset destinations.
- Electronic Compass which displays the camera orientation on its LCD monitor with great precision. Using geomagnetism measured by its magnetic sensor and GPS location data, the unit indicates direction in relation to true north.
- Simplified weather-resistant construction for use in light rain.
- Independent power to avoid draining the camera battery. The O-GPS1 runs on a single AAA battery.
While there are plenty of GPS solutions to geotag images, this GPS unit from Pentax is offering unique capabilities which are only possible be combining the magnetic sensor-shift used to stabilize all lenses on a Pentax DSLR.
The Pentax O-GPS1 is scheduled to be available in July for a suggested retail price of $249 USD.