Take 2: The ATP Electronics GPS Photofinder

I don’t post comments. I read and respond to the ones that deserve a response but I don’t post them.

That said, Gilber Buve has lots of positive things to say about the ATP GPS Photofinder and I had none.

Here is Mr. Buve’s “comment.”

Comment: I used it for 3 months and I felt it’s a very useful tool for Geotagging application. I have the SONY GPS-CS1, it’s the first geotagging device on the market, but it’s too stupid. Why ?

1. ATP PhotoFinder has a LCD screen: It just provides a function to adjust and check your camera’s clock. Nobody won’t always watch the small sceen. Why ? Because it’s not a navigation device to provide a map. I think nobody will always watch the small screen because it doesn’t have any function besides show the UTC time. To adjust the camera’s clock is ensure the photo’s record time and date can match PhotoFinder’s GPS data. Like SONY’s GPS-CS1, because it has no LCD screen to adjust my camera, so I often took a lot of photos but several can’t be tagged successfully. Why ? Because the time record can’t match and sync.. ATP PhotoFinder has a LCD screen, it’s a benefit for users.

2. Signal lost: As we know the GPS has 3 modes: Cold start/Warm start/Hot start. From my experience, any GPS device is easy to lose signals because the signal is easy to interfere by environment, especially tall building, cloudy day or even rainy day. But if the GPS device can receive the 1st signal and stable, anytime it can be a hot start mode as long as you don’t power off it. What is the hot start mode? When you lost the signal, it can acquire the signal within 1 second depends on the GPS module chipset. I think SirF III can reach the standard and I ensure PhotoFinder can do.

3. Built-in SD/MMC/MS card reader: It’s also a benefit. I believe other similar products on the market, when they do the tagging function, PC is necessary. But they need to install a lot of softwares and steps to tag one photo. If I took 300pcs photos, how long I spend to repeat the step ? Find the location and tag to my photos. But PhotoFinder provides a OTG ” On the Go ” function, I can insert my SD or Memory Stick into the PhotoFinder directly, select the correct Time Zone then it will tag all my photos automatically. It’s like a magic box and I don’t need a PC to do it. And any brand of camera can use it. It’s the biggest benefit.

Geotagging is a new field and I believe more and more people will join it and find the joys.

That’s my experience, for everyone’s reference. It’s not a navigation device, PhotoFinder is a Geotagging tool, a magic box to tag all you photos.

And the camera formats, ATP already provided a PC side revised software, you can download it from photofinder.atpinc.com/manual.html I tested it and the PC software can solve a lot of format compatibility issues before.

Good luck !!

The whois information has Mr. Buve representing the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre. He may find his Photofinder to be all that and then some or, and this is my take, he is representing a client. The Photofinder is made in Taiwan.

Follows is my comment on Mr. Buve’s comment.

As I said in the post, it is an adequate GPS but it fails to do the one thing that sets it apart from other devices… it would not append GPS info to any jpeg made by any of the 4 different Canon cameras that I own. I have two Garmin GPS devices… I can dump tracks on to my computer and tag jpegs there. If the ATP Photofinder cannot append info in the field directly on SD cards than it is just a small GPS unit and I have one that is small enough (and has many everyday advantages over the ATP unit.)

We can disagree on the tiny LCD read out. You are right that it is used infrequently, I am right that it is to small to use at all. And the contrast is so awful that the tiny letters are only part of the problem. It is extremely hard to read and that is a problem.

The hard to read problem extends to the LED status lights. They are simply too dim to be of use in average daylight. On a device that is fussy about orientation it is a requirement that the user be able to confirm that the device has satellites. I expect a device like this to both work and to inform me when it is working.

And the thing simply eats batteries. Why not AA rather than AAA for power?

The included booklet, the PDF and the information on the Web site all have different and often conflicting information on what the device does and how it does it. One source specifically mentions Canon (the largest maker of digital cameras on the planet), while another says “that the Photofinder works with most JPEGs.” Finally, the included pamphlet specifically named cameras by manufacturer and model and Canon was not included. So, which is it?

No mention is made of the Zulu offset available on the unit. I reset cameras to Zulu only to find out that I could adjust for local time. Not that it mattered. Either way the unit could not and would not append Lat and Lon on my jpegs

Go over to B&H and read similar criticism. It is a very good idea with very poor execution.