Geotagger Dawntech Di-GPS M3-DC with Compass Under Test

The Dawntech Geologger for Nikon SLRs combines two geotagging features. Determine position data and shooting direction and save directly in the photo. In addition the practice test.

With the di-GPS M3-DC Dawntech offers a Geotagger for Nikon DSLR cameras. DC stands for Digital Compass and already says that besides the location information from the GPS signal, the viewing direction is also determined by means of a digital compass. Both information is written by the camera directly into the Exif data of the photos.

In addition, there is a coordinate buffer if at the time of recording no GPS signal is available. In buildings, the last known position is then taken out of the store before entering. In practice this is perfectly sufficient to determine the place clearly.

I received the Geotagger from the company MBK ( gps-camera.eu ) for the test.

M3-DC versions

The connection cable between GPS module and camera is permanently installed in the Geotagger. Therefore, pay attention to the right plug when buying. The following plug variants are available:

  • Dawntech M3-DC- S3 ( Geotagging Database )
    for 10-pin connection (Nikon D200 *, D300, D300s, D700, D800, D2X / s, D2H / s, D3, D3x, D3s, D4, Fujifilm S5 Pro)
  • Dawntech M3-DC- S9 ( Geotagging Database )
    for USB connection variant A (Nikon D90)
  • Dawntech M3-DC- S5 ( Geotagging Database )
    for USB connection variant B (Nikon D3100, D3200, D5000, D5100, D7000)

Otherwise, the three models are identical.

The scope of delivery consists of:

  • Dawntech Geotagger
  • Neoprene carrying bag
  • Clip for the camera strap

Mounting M3-DC to the camera

Dawntech M3-DC Geotagger

Dawntech M3-DC Geotagger

The 10-pin connector fits perfectly in the accessory socket of my D300. Nothing stands – that’s how it should be. The cable has a good length. With a small loop over the left wheel misplaced the operation as good as not. If the compass is to be used, the logger must be placed on the hot shoe. Only then is the correct orientation given. Electrically there is no connection. This is a pure attachment, and alignment matter. If the hot shoe is required or if the internal flash should be unfolded, the logger can also be attached to the camera strap with the attached clip. Of course, the compass will no longer deliver meaningful values.

Operation of the Dawntech Geotagger

Dawntech M3-DC Geotagger on the Nikon D300

Dawntech M3-DC Geotagger on the Nikon D300

The M3-DC has a slide switch and a button. The switch toggles between Off, Auto and On. The button is used to start the compass calibration.

I prefer the position one. Although this needs more power but it is always the best possible GPS position available. With the switch position AUTO, the operating state is coupled to the light meter of the camera.

The calibration of the compass is slightly different than the previously presented Solmeta models . Horizontal wobble in landscape and portrait position is announced. Overall, that works properly. And you do not have to do it too often.

All operations are listed in a well-written German manual.
Results with the M3-DC Geotagger from practice

At the position information, there is never anything to complain about in the loggers. Also with the M3-DC the accuracy is great. Incidentally, a SiRF III GPS chipset is installed.

There are more differences in the compass function. Again, the Dawntech convinced me. The viewing direction matched over 90% of the images during the test. I would particularly like to highlight the best performance so far in portrait format. The rate of the correct direction was indeed below the landscape, but much better than previously tested GPS modules.

Photo in portrait orientation

Photo in portrait orientation

Conclusion Dawntech M3-DC Geotagger

Perfect fitting with the Dawntech M3-DC

Perfect fitting with the Dawntech M3-DC

For currently 169 euros you get an excellent geotagger of information about the location with coordinate buffer and viewing direction delivers. Operation and processing are very good. I particularly liked the precision of the compass.