To: "'Jill Dening'" <>, "'birding-aus'" <>
From: "Paul Dodd" <>
Date: Sun, 2 Mar 2008 01:41:44 +1100
Hi Jill,

I must admit that I don't know anything about the device that you have
identified, but I do have considerable experience with similar devices and
handheld GPS units.

There is a Sony unit that I have used and also another one (whose name
escapes me). Both in the same sort of price range - around $150 Australian.
The Sony unit certainly did the job, it tracked my position from moment it
was turned on until I stopped it or the battery ran out or the internal
memory ran out. I could then plug it in to the USB of a PC and save a GPS
track. I could also use some provided software to synchronise the location
information in photos that I had taken with the GPS track in the device. I
couldn't get it to work with Google Earth or Google Maps.

The most significant problems I found with the Sony unit were:

* Short battery life - only a few hours - not long enough for a long day's
birding or a pelagic, for instance.
* Small amount of internal memory - once again, not enough for a long day's
* Couldn't get it to work with Google anything.

Because of these issues, I tried a different tack and bought a Garmin 60CS
handheld GPS unit. This unit has a display for a map and has the ability to
record tracks. It is much larger and heavier than the units designed to fit
in a pocket like the Sony one I mentioned, and the one you have highlighted.
Battery life is easily 2-3 days. There's also sufficient internal storage
for 4-5 days of continuous tracking too. To tell the truth, I find that I
would like to be able to track longer without having to download the data to
a PC. A mate of mine bought the next model Garmin from mine - the 60CSX
which has the ability to accept an SD memory card up to 2Gb and can store
both maps and tracks on it. That's probably enough memory to record a GPS
track continuously for about a century! Some other downsides with the
handheld GPS are that maps from Garmin are expensive (although there are
some good public domain maps like Shonkymaps available for nothing). Also
you need Garmin software (that must be purchased) to communicate with the
device for saving maps and for downloading tracks from device to the PC. In
addition, you need to purchase some third-party software to synchronise GPS
tracks with the location information in your photographs (this is called
"geostamping"). On the plus side, the GPS tracks are perfectly compatible
with Google Earth and Google Maps.

If you don't want to buy a handheld GPS at least check how long the battery
lasts in the unit before it needs recharging - and can you carry a spare
battery and replace it in the field. Also check how long the internal memory
will last doing continuous tracking - is it possible to supplement the
memory? Finally, does it come with all required software to download tracks
and geostamp your pictures?

All the best,

Paul Dodd
Docklands, Melbourne

-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Jill Dening
Sent: Saturday, 1 March 2008 12:21 PM
To: birding-aus
Cc: Dorothy Pashniak

Hi Everyone,

I wonder if any subscribers have experience of the picture tracker
photofinder at the following website. I am a bit interested in it, but
perhaps others have a better option. I like the way this item allows
bypass of a computer for date and location stamping. Bypass would be an
advantage when travelling. I take a lot of shorebird habitat pics, and
the locator ability would be a distinct advantage. Any feedback would be 
appreciated from someone who knows how the little beast performs.

 From the website:
-Designed for Google Earth & Google Maps
-Compatible with digital cameras for major brands and all major card
formats on the market.
-Built-in LCD screen provides instant feedback on the status GPS Data
synchronization without PC



Jill Dening
Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

26° 51' 41"S    152° 56' 00"E


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