The last of our gear for the trip which had been ordered online arrived today – ironically, it was also the first stuff that got ordered.
This time it was an 8GB memory card for the DSLR – I can now take 515 photos before having to download … although I will also take the 4GB card as a backup, which gives me a total of 772 photos before I run out of space. It is a pity that the A650 uses a different memory format – otherwise I could share the cards between the two cameras. As it is though, I had a couple of 2GB SD cards already which give the A650 a capacity of about 568 photos on each card (this is at the 8mp setting rather than the default 12mp setting!).
I also got a USB data/charging for my Nokia mobile phone. The idea is to be able to charge my phone from my laptop rather than needing to take an extra power adaptor – saving space and weight. That was the theory at least … now that I have the cable, it is longer (and hence heavier and bulkier) than I expected. 58g versus 72g for the normal charger … and not terribly much more compact either. Almost not worth the effort. The only real benefit is that I don’t have to find another power socket – I already have the laptop, the AA battery charger, the Canon battery charger, and Leanne’s phone charger (unfortunately Leanne’s phone is not compatible with this charger). I’d have to spend half the night swapping chargers over if I had yet another device that needed to be plugged in.
[EDIT: I tried the cable in Leanne’s phone when she got home (there is an adaptor at the end for different plug sizes) and it worked! This is better than I expected – not only do we not need to take my phone charger, we no longer need to take Leanne’s either. Turns out this was a very good buy after all!]
The third item is the one I’m the most excited about – although it’s more of a toy than something useful. I bought a GiSTEQ PhotoTrackr Lite GPS logging unit. This simple little unit has a GPS receiver built in and simply records a log of GPS coordinates each interval period that you specify (eg every 5 seconds). It runs on a single AA battery and has a mini-USB port on the bottom to connect to your computer.
The idea is that you synchronise the time on your camera to the GPS time of the data logger, then you simply turn it on, attach it to you somehow (your pack, camera strap, even just shove it in your pocket). It connects to the GPS satellites, and logs your position continuously until your turn it off. Later, you connect it to your computer, download the log files, and use the supplied software to “geo-tag” your photos. This simply matches the GPS coordinates from the data log at the time the photo was taken and writes that information to the EXIF data in the photo – which can then be read by photo management software or photo sharing sites. You then have an accurate record of where each photo was taken, plus a complete history of where you went during your trip.
I haven’t had much of a chance to use it yet … I wandered out to the letterbox and back, and it wasn’t that accurate when I used the supplied software to look at my track on Google Maps … but then I jumped in the car and drove around a bit, and it managed to track fairly accurately where I had been and show it on the map.
Pity it didn’t come last week – would have been good to use it at the zoo on Tuesday. I might have to go for a walk down to Tunks Park later – with the camera – and try the photo geo-tagging features.