Canon Map Utility in the field test

Canon Map Utility is required for reading from the track memory of Canon GPS devices. How does it work and what else can the software do?

Canon’s GPS-enabled devices include Map Utility as its management software. I had the opportunity to test the Canon GPS solution together with the GPS receiver GP-E2 in practice. Reports on the GP-E2 are already available in Part 1 (Logger) and Part 2 (On the EOS 5D) of the series “Geotagging with Canon”.

Installing Map Utility

Map Utility Installation

Map Utility Installation

Insert the enclosed CD and start the ” Easy Installation “. You should install ImageBrowser EX and Map Utility. For me, only the Image Browser was installed in the first step. Then came the message that an update was available. It was then Map Utility installed. At the time of the test, version was up to date.

Download GPS Tracks from the GP-E2

The most important feature of Map Utility is to download the recorded GPS tracks. That is to my knowledge namely only with this Canon own software possible.

On the tab GPS log files you will find the button below to start the download. Already downloaded tracks will not be saved twice.

Track page in Canon Map Utility Track page in Canon Map Utility

If the track in another program, such as Google Earth, continue to be used, you will find the button for export in KMZ format on the top right.

These were already the track features of Map Utility. Editing is not possible except setting the time zone.

Delete track memory

Delete track memory

To release the memory in the logger, go to Extras – GPS Device Settings. There you will find on the second page the button to delete the tracks from the logger. Above that the setting for the timing interval.

View photos and videos with GPS

You are responsible for transferring the photos to the computer. Map Utility then displays the photos and videos with GPS on a Google map. To do this, drag and drop the desired images in the images tab or import them via the folder on the bottom left. Now the photos are shown looking in the map.

Show photos on the map

Show photos on the map

A common view of photos and tracks is unfortunately not possible. Another weakness of Map Utility occurs when the application is closed. At the next start, the images have disappeared from the Map Utility Map and need to be re-imported.

Photos without GPS data can also be retro-georeferenced with Map Utility on the basis of the recorded tracks (track-based geotagging).

GPS tracks for professionals

If you want to avoid using the Google Earth export (KMZ file) and prefer to use the tracks in better GPS applications, you can access the log data directly with a little work. Map Utility places the original LOG files directly after the download within their own user directory. In my case:

C: Users matthias Documents Canon Utilities GPS Log Files

On closer inspection, these are standard NMEA files with an extra line. At the beginning @ Canon, then the GPS device and the serial number.

The .log file of the desired day (file name is the same date) in a text editor open (I prefer Notepad ++ ). Delete the first line and save it with the new file extension .nmea. Now most GPS programs can do something directly with the file from the GP-E2.

Convert LOG file to NMEA file

Convert LOG file to NMEA file

Unfortunately, Canon Map Utility is still not superfluous, but at least it comes directly to the original GPS tracks

Conclusion Map Utility

Unfortunately, once again confirms my prejudice that included software, especially in the GPS field, is simply bad. So also with Canon’s GPS solution. To download the tracks of GPS cameras and receivers such as the GP-E2, the tool is absolutely necessary. For everything else, really useful tools should be used. For professionals, the direct route to the NMEA data makes sense. This saves you the extra export as a KMZ file.

Nikon D750: Full-format DSLR with Wi-Fi and GPS Option Introduced

Lightweight and compact full-size camera with great technical features. Wi-Fi is built-in, GPS is available as an option.


Nikon D750 with 24-120 lens

Nikon D750 with 24-120 lens

Nikon fills in the gap between D610 and D810 with the new D750.

In short, a new sensor, a folding display and Wi-Fi are integrated into a lightweight and compact housing. The Nikon D750 is also referred to by many as the long-awaited real successor to the D700.

Features and functions of the Nikon D750

At the heart of the camera is the newly developed 24.3 megapixel sensor in FX format. While Nikon does not use an AA filter in most other cameras, the D750 is still equipped with a low-pass filter. The ISO range of the sensor ranges from 100 to 12,800 and can be extended to ISO 50 to 51,200.

The autofocus is equipped with the Multi-Cam 3500 II module with 51 measuring fields (including 15 cross sensors).

Folding display of the D750

Folding display of the D750

Brand new at Nikon is the folding monitor. The 3.2 “display with a resolution of about 1.2 million pixels can be folded down to 75 degrees and 90 degrees to the top. A touchscreen is not included. Also known from the D5300 turning function of the monitor is not available in the full-frame camera.

The housing is made of a mixture of carbon fiber reinforced plastic and a magnesium alloy.
Thanks to numerous seals, the D750 – like the D810 – is protected against dust and moisture. Because of the new case, another battery grip is needed. The D750 fits the MB-D16.

Video features of the D750

Video menu on folding display

Video menu on folding display

Videos record the camera in full HD resolution with up to 60 frames per second. Alternatively also 24p, 25p, 30p, and 50p.

The aperture is controlled during recording. An uncompressed video output via HDMI is possible, even directly while recording to the SD memory card. New is an automatic ISO control with manual iris and time. For example, aperture and shutter speed can be preset for video, and exposure is controlled by ISO sensitivity.

Movie support includes a switchable zebra pattern. During the recording, scorched lights are highlighted on the display.

Built-in Wi-Fi

Built-in WLAN module Built-in WLAN module

A Wi-Fi module is installed directly in the housing. Technically it will be a WU-1b module. This allows remote control of the camera from the tablet or smartphone.

As software, Nikon offers the “Wireless Mobile Utility” app for Android and iOS.

WirelessMobileUtility WirelessMobileUtility

Download QR code WirelessMobileUtility Developer: Nikon Corporation Price: Free  Wireless Mobile Utility

Download QR code Wireless Mobile Utility Developer: Nikon Corporation Price: Free

However, outstanding features are not to be expected, as my WMU test has shown.

GPS for the Nikon D750

The photographer does not need an internal GPS module. If I think of my experience with the D5300 but that is not a disadvantage.

GPS connection - at the top

GPS connection – at the top

As with all current Nikon DSLR cameras Geotagging can be retrofitted via the GPS receiver GP-1. The Geotagger can be connected via the MC-DC2 compatible accessory socket.

Also the numerous alternatives Geotagger are compatible. Which GPS receiver to the Nikon D750 fit I summarized in the Geotagger database .

[Update November 2014]
In this article I have summarized all details about GPS with the Nikon D750.

My first assessment

Space for 2 SD memory cards Space for 2 SD memory cards

Exactly the camera that I imagined. A “small” D810 without the 36 megapixels and with a decent autofocus. The folding screen is cool. How this works in practice will become apparent.

I see the WLAN as a nice add-on. The function will (unfortunately) not go beyond the known WLAN wart WU-1a.

At the photokina I will get further information at the press conference. After a hands-on I can certainly say more. Even if that will be my new camera.

Price and availability

Nikon D750 Nikon D750

For the Nikon D750 Body is a price of 2149 euros. There will also be two kits. Once with 24-85 f / 3.5-f / 4.5 for 2699 euros and with the 24-120 f / 4 lens for 2799 euros.

The delivery date is already called the week after the photokina. As of September 23, 2014 camera and 24-85 kit should be commercially available. The kit with the 24-120, however, only from the end of October 2014.

However, why the set with the 24-120 is not available at the same time as the body, I’m surprised.

GPS Track on Android with MyTracks Record

Record the distance covered with the Android app “My Tracks”. Useful for track-based geotagging. The free GPS program can do even more.

On the way to track-based geotagging, the first thing you need is a record of the distance covered during the photo tour. So why not record this route with your constant companion, an Android smartphone? With the Google-developed “My Tracks” or “My Tracks” beginners quickly come to the first recorded route. Advanced users will find in the extensive settings and transfer options to other Google services always new uses.

[Update] My tracks have been discontinued

Info about the end of My Tracks

Info about the end of My Tracks

Unfortunately, Google has decided to set the Android app “MyTracks” or as it was called in the German Store: “My Tracks”. Since the last update welcomes this info page.

The GPS logger will be discontinued on April 30, 2016. Until 5 April, the tracks can still be exported to an external storage or Google Drive. Then only external memory.

Too bad that Google is going that way. Does anyone want to push Google Fit?

My Tracks – App Datasheet

  • Tested app version: 2.0
  • Price: free
  • Test device: Samsung Galaxy S2
  • Android Version: 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • Root: Not necessary

Record route

Start recording as soon as the GPS signal is good enough

Start recording as soon as the GPS signal is good enough

The app is available for free in the Google Play Store. After starting, simply tap the circle with the red dot and start recording as soon as the GPS position is accurate enough. Once triggered, the recording continues in the background. You can use other applications, even other GPS applications, such as navigation, or turn off the power-saving screen. Even in the list of previous records can be browsed during the recording.

In the status line, the program icon signals the current recording. When the photo tour ends, stop the tracking over the red square. Enter another name and save.

Save photo locations of special interest on the way in addition as a waypoint with name and description.

Of course, the quality of the recording depends crucially on the hardware used.

Export as a GPX file

Save track to SD card

Save track to SD card

Now bring the track as a GPX file on the computer and start the track-based geotagging there. Select the track in the list of recordings. With the menu button “In the ext. Memory “and save as GPX. The file is now in the folder / mnt / sdcard / MyTracks / gpx on the memory card.

For a single track, sharing a track file makes sense. So simply send the GPX file as an e-mail attachment to your own computer.

Personally, I prefer to automatically sync the track folder with my Dropbox . This is Dropsync Pro (-> App Presentation ) used. So the GPX tracks land directly in the correct directory on my PC and are ready for geotagging with GeoSetter or Lightroom.

Incidentally, Lightroom in version 4.1 accepts the generated GPX files in the card module. That is not self-evident. With some GPX files, which GeoSetter reads easily, I already had problems in Lightroom. Everything fits with my tracks.

Other features, settings and user interface

Flight along the track with Google Earth

Flight along the track with Google Earth

For those who want to record more than just tracks for geotagging, “My Tracks” still has a lot of networking features. Recorded tracks can be viewed on the phone in the Google Earth app in an impressive overflight. Redirects to Google Maps, Google Fusion Tables, or Google Drive (formerly Google Docs) make it easier to publish on the Internet. Once uploaded to Google Maps, sharing via Google+, Facebook or Twitter is easy.

If you want to monitor and record your workout in a professional way with a heart rate monitor, you can pair Bluetooth sensors from Polar or Zephyr.

Nice setting option is the color representation of the track on the map. Depending on the speed, the color of the line changes. In the section “Recording” you can set the distances between individual track points, depending on time or distance. Important for interruptions in GPS reception, such as in buildings, is the time, how long a recorded track is continued. After the set time a new track is created. I prefer the setting “Always” to save each photo tour in a single GPX file.

For trips to remote areas or abroad, another note: No mobile signal is required for the recording. Without a data connection, only a previously downloaded map or a gray area behind the track will be displayed.

As Google’s own development, of course, it fully complies with the current Android design guidelines and is easy to use.
The entire application can also be operated in landscape format.

Picture gallery My Tracks

Track List; Google Earthwaypoint

Conclusion My Tracks – Android App

The program runs fast and absolutely reliable. I had no crashes. MyTracks (or “My Tracks” in Germany) is more than just a record tool for covered tracks with good GPX export. Google shows how many of their own services can be perfectly linked.

In the GPS recording tools on Android smartphones, “My Tracks” is at the forefront. There is my app recommendation for the GPS recording for track-based geotagging!