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Episode 133: My Rant Against Fujifilm, Canon and CaptureOne on GPS and Geo-tagging

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Greetings, welcome to the Liam Photography Podcast, I’m your host Liam Douglas and this is Episode 133. I want to take a moment to thank all my listeners for Subscribing, Rating and Reviewing in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and anywhere else you might be getting your podcasts.

In this episode I wanted to switch it up a bit and rant a little about something that bugs me with camera companies. As my listeners know, there are several big camera makers out there, but I want to rant about Canon and Fujifilm.

Each of these camera companies make various models of cameras for their consumers, but lately there has been a trend that kind of bugs me a bit. Why are camera makers leaving GPS units out of their bodies? Canon had the 6D and the 6D2, the 5D4, the 1Dx line, all of these cameras had GPS built in. But when Canon released the EOS R, RP, Ra, R5 and R6, none of these bodies had GPS units built in. Now Canon does at least give you the ability to use their as well as third party GPS hotshoe units, so at least you can still get GPS for Geo-tagging your images as you shoot.

But, why no GPS unit in these cameras? I mean it’s not like it’s a cost savings thing as the EOS R was $2,000+ when it came out and the 6D bodies were around $2k when they released and they had GPS built in. The EOS R5 retails for $3,800 as did the 5D4 when it came out. The 5D4 had GPS built in and yet the R5 does not, why?

Then let’s look at Fujifilm and their cameras. For some reason Fujifilm has NEVER offered a camera body with built in GPS. They also, unlike Canon do not even include the ability to use an external GPS unit mounted in the hotshoe. Fujifilm’s excuse is, “Well you can pair your camera with your smartphone and get Geo-tagging that way”.

Now why would I want to use my phone to Geo-tag my photos? If I do that even if it’s bluetooth, my camera battery depletes faster as does my smartphone battery. How hard is it to put a GPS communications stack in the firmware to allow us to use third party hotshoe mounted GPS units to give us that function? I mean I have sent feedback to Fujifilm numerous times as have many other photographers asking for this update to their camera firmware and nothing. Our requests seem to fall on deaf ears and still we have no external GPS options.

As someone who has a degree in Computer Science, specializing in programming I know it’s not that hard to add to the existing communications stack to expand GPS to external units as well as via their smartphone app.

When I started looking at Mirrorless Medium Format I was looking at both Hasselblad and Fujifilm. I have shot with both Fuji and Canon for most of my 30 years of shooting, so I knew Fujifilm would be a good system, but I considered the X1D 50C MK2 as well, mostly because it had built in GPS, but since the Hassy was out of my price range at $10K for just the body I opted for the GFX 50R. I absolutely LOVE my 50R, don’t get me wrong, I make AMAZING images with it, I just don’t understand Fujifilm’s total refusal to give us the ability to at least use an external GPS unit. Even Fuji’s $10K GFX100 doesn’t have GPS nor does the new GFX100s and it just baffles me. What is so hard about spending what another dollar or two to put a GPS chip in the camera or at least put the communications stack in the firmware so we can use external, hotshoe mounted units?

I know some people will say, “Why do you need GPS in your camera?” Well, I am working on two massive documentary projects in which I am traveling to all the counties in Georgia and Pennsylvania documenting abandoned small business buildings and factories, and it just makes things easier to be able to Geo-tag all of my images for these projects. Right now I have to carry both my Fujifilm camera and one of my Canon cameras. The Fuji of course I use for my Super high quality images of the buildings and I use my Canon with it’s external GP-E2 to Geo-tag my images so I can look up their locations in Maps later. It makes it easy to recall where I was when I shot the images and makes it easier to reach out to the County Historical Societies to get more info on the buildings themselves.

Now my second rant related to GPS is the bone I have to pick with CaptureOne and the way they handle Geo-tag data. CaptureOne software accommodates Geo-tag data, but does not allow me to Sync the data from one RAW file to another. So, again, because my Fuji cannot use an external GPS unit, I have to use my Canon camera for that but then when I import my images into CaptureOne, I cannot copy the GPS data from one RAW file to another.

And before you flame me in the comments, I know there are other ways to get the Geo-tag data from to my Fuji RAW files, but that adds more steps and complexity to the entire process. Additionally, the only way that works accurately is if the GPS unit and the GFX 50R’s time are totally in sync. I just want the ability to get my Geo-tag data directly into my Fujifilm RAW files quickly and easily, and until that happens on Fujifilm’s side, which means it will probably be a cold day in Hell before it happens. If I am lucky, maybe CaptureOne will come to the rescue first, I have submitted support tickets and feature requests to BOTH companies, but so far, no dice.

So, this is going to wrap Episode 133 of the Liam Photography Podcast, I want to thank all my listeners once again for Subscribing, Rating and Reviewing in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and anywhere else you might be getting your podcasts.

For now, have a good one and I will see you all again in another seven days.

Also be sure to join the Liam Photography Podcast Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/liamphotographypodcast/ You can reach the show by call or text @ 470-294-8191 to leave a comment or request a topic or guest for the show. Additionally you can email the show @ liam@liamphotographypodcast.com and find the show notes at http://www.liamphotographypodcast.com.

You can find my work @ https://www.liamphotography.net on and follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @liamphotoatl. If you like abandoned buildings and history, you can find my project @ http://www.forgottenpiecesofgeorgia.com. and http://www.forgottenpiecesofpennsylvania.com.

Please also stop by my Youtube channels Liam Photography

Forgotten Pieces of Georgia Project

Forgotten Pieces of Pennsylvania Project

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