Category Archives: Gear

Geocoding Photos

Is ‘geocoding’ a word? According to this site it is, and who am I to quibble?

Geocoding basically means adding location info to image files, which then opens up all sorts of possibilities for mapping, such as in Flickr, which I mentioned just a few days ago. I can’t help but feel that in a hundred years time or more, assuming anyone can still find the right bit of kit to open those quaint old jpg or dng digital images, it will actually be important that someone will know where the hell the picture was taken. Like finding a scribbled note in pencil on the back of a Victorian black & white photo. Only much, much better. The exact date, time and location, all stored within the file.

So, back to the RoboGEO software. The more I learn about this ‘little’ piece of software the more ‘Wow!’ it becomes. If you have a GPS you can automatically geocode your pictures by matching the image timestamp with where your GPS says you were. But you can also retrospectively do this for old images by using Google Earth or one of many other methods. And if that ain’t enough, it can then directly upload them to Flickr (and resize them at the same time), create a Google Earth KML/KMZ file, etc etc.

Fantastically easy interface, and all for $34.95

The demo version is fully functional, but rather cleverly introduces random small positioning errors into it’s output.

I found it via something called the Jelbert Geotagger, which just seems the most bizarrely over-engineered and cumbersome piece of kit you could possibly add to your camera bag! The only benefits I can see is that it only creates a waypoint a the moment of image capture (so it’s 100% accurate and less data intensive), plus it has directional data. But you still need to buy a GPS to go with it!

Lots of lovely Canon F1 equipment for sale

Well, the enigmatic Zeus camera mentioned previously has been handed over to Royal Mail who should hopefully deliver it to its rightful owner by 1pm tomorrow.

/etcetera/cameras/eBay/f1servoeefinder/060119ebay074.jpgMeanwhile I’ve been busy listing a whole load of other auction purchases on eBay, the real highlights of which being some fabulous 30+ year old accessories for the Canon F1 (I am keeping the body for now – for some reason I felt loathed to part with such a gorgeous piece of kit!). If all goes to plan I expect that the Servo EE Finder, a device which gives this essentially all manual camera a shutter-priority mode, to go for upwards of a hundred quid. Likewise I am hopeful the Booster T Finder and Motor Drive Unit will fetch good money. Things are looking good, with more than a dozen ‘watchers’ so far and none of the auctions close until Sunday evening (UK time). Oddly it’s actually the battery case that powers these items that is the only one with any bids on it so far.

etcetera/cameras/eBay/kodak8mm/060119ebay045.jpgThere are also some more eclectic photography items listed, including some 40+ year-old 8mm cine film (one box still has all the original seals), and some instructions and a warranty card from items that I don’t even own!

Should anyone visit this page and feel like placing a bid, I’ll take off 5% from the final selling price if you mention this site before paying.

Mysterious old camera – Zeus

I was in my local auction house on Monday and spotted three old cameras in one lot. A couple were nice-looking (but seemingly valueless) Kodaks – an old folding ‘Junior’ and a Box Brownie. The third was intriguing, a simple box labelled ‘Zeus’ and ‘Made in England’ and inside a very, very basic compact-sized 35mm camera with an almost home-made look to it.

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I made a few notes and headed home to do a bit of research on eBay/Google but on the little Zeus drew a complete blank. So I posted a message on photo.net’s Classic Cameras (pre-1970) Forum and the rest, as they say, is history.

In a nutshell someone on that list pointed me to gbcameras.org.uk which had somehow eluded my Googling, and a quick email to the site owner David Gardner (who also happens to be newsletter editor for the Photographic Collectors Club of Great Britain) and a very enthusiastic reply came back asking for more info. The long and the short is that I ended up winning the camera on David’s behalf and it will soon be winging its way up the M1 to him in Sheffield.

The history of this little camera is something of an enigma – we don’t even know who made it and when, although David does have the address of the distibrutor from a magazine advert from 1950. That’s it – that’s all that seems to be known about it, anywhere!

Anyway, temptation got the better of me and I walked around Kew yesterday with a B&W film in it. If anything comes out, I’ll post the pictures here!

New cameraphone

I do like my gadgets but I’m not a label freak, so the idea of some trendy slick phone with polished aluminium and a name that sounds like it’s the result of a six-week brainstorming session by a bunch of marketing execs just doesn’t appeal. I was due an upgrade and the SonyEriccson k750i immediately stood out – a natural upgrade from my k700, a music player, a wapping two-megapixel camera, and a whole load of (expandable) memory to go with it.

I haven’t been disappointed.

It was only after I had chosen the phone that I checked out the website and saw what the marketing types had come up with. But this is a serious, non-gimmicky phone, so no young things in wine bars, but reknowned lifestyle photographer Martin Parr taking the phone on his travels for what was in effect a 12-week photoshoot. Add to that a user gallery to upload your best shots to, and the ability to vote on other peoples pictures, and you’ve got an engaging and absorbing site. The only downside is that it’s all in Flash. But go on, try it out….

Anyway, here are some of my efforts.

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Don’t worry Martin, looks like your job is safe for now, and I’ll be back at my day job in the morning!