Why in-camera GPS matters

I concluded my review of current camera options with the claim that I’d switch lens systems for a compact interchangeable lens camera that had built-in GPS.

Why do I want GPS? Because the competition for all the cameras I listed there is my iPhone, and one of the reasons I prefer my phone is because every photo I take with it is a little breadcrumb helping me track my travels with very accurate date, time, and location information.

My travels around Paris and the rest of Europe last winter are easy to review thanks to the automatic geotagging that allowed me to put the photos on the map. Yes, I shot a lot of photos with my Lumix LX3 that weren’t automatically geotagged, but I also had to consciously shoot one photo with my phone in each location to track it. That frustration was enough to leave the LX3 at home for my road trip this summer.

GPS integration also allows the camera’s clock to be set automatically, and that’s a huge convenience on its own. Yes, I’m the guy who corrects the timestamps on his photos when he realizes they’re wrong. When I’m doing it I wish I was the guy who remembered to set the camera’s clock in the first place, but can’t we all agree that setting clocks is one of those last century things that nobody has yet looked back fondly on?

Olympus, Pentax, Panasonic, even Nikon and Canon are putting GPS in their consumer lines. Canon took a chance with it in their EOS 6D at almost $2,000, but dropped it from the features of the EOS 70D. Why is this feature missing from the cameras I’d really like to take on a trip with me.

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