Nikon CoolPix AW100 GPS camera review


Nikon’s CoolPix AW100 is one of the cameras we talked about in our compare GPS digital cameras article. The price has gone down on this camera to $300 right now and that’s pretty good deal for a waterproof camera with GPS technology.

So we decided to look around the web for some user review snippets and found these:
Pros:

  • lightweight and small
  • quick between shots
  • GPS does not waste power
  • higer ISO photos are clear
  • good battery life
  • vibration reduction works really well

Cons:

  • complicated menus
  • waterproofness needs to be serviced yearly
  • poor zoom performance when in video mode

Here’s the Amazon link: Nikon COOLPIX AW100 16 MP CMOS Waterproof Digital Camera with GPS and Full HD 1080p Video

QStarz GPS Sports Recorder (BT-Q1300ST) and QSports software review


OVERVIEW:
If you are an endurance workout junkie, this is the perfect tool for you. Lightweight, easy to use, with multi-functional software, the QStarz GPS Sports Recorder and its associated QSports program allow you to track your routes and your progress throughout your training regimen. The GPS unit itself is compact and simple, but the software provides the user with a gold-mine of information related to health, fitness progress, and workout details.

GPS UNIT:
The data logger itself is straight-forward to use. The included instructions describe what each light means, but the take-home message is that pressing and holding the main button will achieve any functionality that you need. The only drawback to this design that I encountered had to do with the brightness of the indicator lights. In the glaring sunlight, it was sometimes tough to see if the GPS was in fact tracking, data logger was active, etc. Simply shading the unit alleviates the issue.

When you first download and install the Qsports software, you must plug your data logger into the computer using the USB cable included with the unit. Leave the unit plugged in for the specified amount of time (included in software instructions) to charge the battery for use. Once the software recognizes the data logger, the first thing you should do is configure the GPS unit using the button highlighted below.

At this point, determine what activity that you’ll be using the GPS device to track. Runners, hikers, and cyclists will all want slightly different settings, and these will even vary by athlete. You can use the default settings to require the GPS to log a data point at specific time intervals, or customize to your liking. As I used this to track running routes in Phoenix’s South Mountain park trails, I selected the running setting. The default ‘running’ setting logs every 5 seconds, which works perfectly for most runners. Since South Mountain trails can be sinewy and full of switch-backs, I changed the setting to log every 3 seconds to achieve even finer “accuracy” of my routes. Make sure to play around with the options and become familiar with all setting to determine which might best for your workout. There’s really no “wrong answer” here.

Also, be sure to set your User Profile at the bottom with height, weight, and age, which assists the tools under the Health Management tab.

After configuration, the GPS is ready to take into the field. I used the arm-band that came with the device; a “standard” runners’ armband. Even in the mid-90s dry, desert weather that I encountered, the band was quite comfortable. Before starting on my runs, I’d make sure the GPS signal indicator was recording my position, along with the data logger. I never waited more than five (5) minutes for a signal lock, allowing me plenty of time to stretch and prepare my gear without having to wait for the GPS to achieve a signal.

Keep in mind that this GPS has no interface that displays real-time data. Some runners prefer having the GPS devices which show speed, location, etc. on the fly. If you prefer having constant updates during your workout, I suggest wearing a watch in addition to the GPS data logger. Personally, I’m a runner that prefers to minimize electronic gadgetry, particularly on trail runs. Too often, I would find myself looking at my watch and other instruments while working out, instead of paying attention to how my body reacts during workouts. For this reason, the GPS suited me perfectly. This is strictly personal preference, though.

Battery life never became an issue on my runs. Some of my longer trails runs would range between 90 and 120 minutes. So long as I charged the battery before each long run, I could track the entire workout without issue.

The GPS data logger does include Bluetooth functionality, but I did not interact with this functionality, as I do not own any Bluetooth devices. I guess that means I’m behind the times in some regards…

Finally, regarding the GPS’ accuracy, I found the positional accuracy to be comparable to a Garmin unit. Certainly for the purposes of tracking a workout, the accuracy of data on the QSports software’s Google Maps interface was impressive.

QSPORTS SOFTWARE

This feature is truly where the strength of this purchase lies. After returning home, I could plug my GPS back into the computer and view my workout across the Google Maps interface, and view the vital statistics (the software comes with the Google Maps map, satellite, and terrain views). Downloading your track from the device to the software requires plugging the USB cord back into the data logger and choosing the “Import Wizard” function in the QSports software interface. Once the track is uploaded, each data point logged in the field will show two attributes of interest at the time (choose from speed, altitude, distance, time acceleration, total ascent, and SRTM elevation). **Note SRTM refers to shuttle-collected elevation data, which will produce slightly different elevation values in some locations**

The three basic tabs (Summary, Graph, and Play) comprise the ‘Activities View’ window. Summary tab shows the basics: total time, moving time, distance, moving speed, elevation gain, and calories burned. The subfields of Time, Distance, Speed, and Elevation offer more detail. The graph tab offers up the information at each logged data point, as described above. The Play tab is a playback of your total route, with each logged data point serving as a point of reference (see below). This allowed me to see places in my runs where I slowed or accelerated.


Above is example of data accuracy taken outside my office in Phoenix, AZ. I was standing precisely there when I activated the data logger

The Statistics tab lets you track all workouts in monthly, weekly, or daily increments to see spikes or dips in your training time, which is handy to compare against recommended training plans.

The plethora of data and statistics available to the runner, cyclist, hiker, or any endurance athlete makes this a useful training tool. Short-term and long-term workout analysis are available to those using the QSports software. I would highly recommend the QStarz GPS Sports Recorder (BT-Q1300ST) and QSports software for any and all endurance athletes.

HOLUX GPSport 260 Pro field review


HOLUX GPSport 260 Pro Review

First off, this unit is decidedly made for road bikes, not mountain bikes. It will work for mountain riders, but it’s more risky. Since I am a mountain biker, I used it for my test ride (Desert Classic Trail in South Mountain park), and the GPS functioned quite well.

Two things make this unit unfriendly for mountain bikers

1)The mount to the stem and headset is built for a road bike frame (the piece is too narrow to fit on a wider mountain bike stem). You’ll have to get a different mount to place the GPS unit on the frame.
2)The location of the sensor on the pedal/chainstay is dangerous when going over rocky terrain and could easily break the GPS

Road cyclists should not have these concerns, though.

Read the rest of this entry »

TomTom Start 10 review


Back in October we talked about some leaked information revealing the new TomTom Start. PC World from Australia already has a short review about the new GPS navigation system from the company.

First off their review model was TomTom Start 10. Though we’re not sure what other models from the Start series will be out. Start 10 seems to be the entry level device featuring only advanced lane guidance, speed and red light camera warnings in addition to basic guidance. It has a 3.5″ screen and comes with TomTom’s now famous EasyPort mount. However TomTom did not include a wall charger for the unit so you’ll have to charge it in your car or from your computer with the USB cable.

But anyhow the bottom line of the review is that TomTom Start 10 – though lacking many features – still functions nicely and can save you some money. It costs $179 AUD…

Read the rest of this entry »

best GPS digital camera


UPDATE: See our post about “compare GPS digital cameras“.
Since we can not stop sharing about our whereabouts and what we are doing, we need to connect instantly and stay connected always.

Facebook, twitter, foursquare and so on, let us announce the world all the great stuff we are doing, amazing stuff that we have seen.

Just like our phones got smarter, so did our cameras. Especially with GPS capabilities, cameras are helping us stay connected. Now we have GPS digital cameras. So we can keep sharing.

Some of these GPS cameras not just record where exactly you took that picture, but they also will let you connect instantly. You can also synchronize with Google Maps and get a bird eye view or from the direction in which the photo was taken (Sony HX5V).

The internal clock will be adjusted to the local time of the place where the camera is (Sony HX5V and Panasonic DMC-ZS7).

GPS enabled cameras will let you them as fully functional GPS device (Casio EX-H20G). You can upload your picture to Web, to the selected photo sharing sites ( Picturetown for Nikon Coolpix, Picasa for Samsung).

Some cameras (Ricoh G700) will need optional GPS unit to be attached. They may also have WiFi, Bluetooth capabilties (Samsung CL65, Ricoh G700).

With all the ones we reviewed Nikon Coolpix has the heftiest price tag of $1000 at Amazon.com. Panasonic DMC-ZS7 is the most economical one; $249. Samsung is the easiest to carry around, it weighs only 5.5 oz. For most detailed pictures are offered by Panasonic thanks to its 14.5 MP and 12X optical and 4X digital zoom.

Panasonic with its technical capabilities and price is a standout on our review. Apparently we are not the only one who likes it, it is #26 on Amazon.com’s best selling list on electronics.

Here are the links to Amazon where available:

GPS enabled Leica V-Lux 20 review


Wired has a short review of the Leica V-Lux 20 we mentioned a while back which really resembles Panasonic Lumix DMC ZS7. Though it only deserved 6 dots out of 10 in their eyes we couldn’t really find what they didn’t like. Probably the fact that it costs $410 more than its identical cousin from Panasonic. Yes Leica V-LUX 20 costs $700 whereas the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 costs only $290. Some other negatives include laggy geotagging and laggy capture speed.

On the bright side it produces great photos, has 12.1MP, 12X optical zoom, and of course the built-in GPS!

GPS X Guider Review


Sometime ago we mentioned a new GPS for back tracking – called GPS X-Guider. We decided to get this GPS back tracker for a thorough review and want to share our findings here.

The term GPS backtracker is quite new – usually referring to small handheld GPS devices dedicated to routing you back to a waypoint you’ve marked. This could simply be the spot you parked your car, your favorite camping site, or even the spot where your buried the body in the middle of desert. This is nothing an advanced GPS device can’t do but it’s nice to have a small easy to use GPS handheld for the job. You could even claim your smartphone can get the job done – but good luck with that battery life. Since acquiring GPS signal usually eats up a lot of power your Android/iPhone may be out of out juice within the first hour of your adventure. You might as well keep the last 5 minutes of your battery life to record a voice message for your loved ones.

But anyhow – back to GPS X-Guider. First thing you’ll notice with this GPS device is its simplicity. Simple menus, only two buttons, but still a lot of features.

Hardware

We’re not sure what kind of GPS receiver chip is in this GPS back tracker but we’re happy with it. Out of the box (cold start) it took less than a minute to get a satellite fix and after that it was literally seconds for GPS X-Guider to figure out where it is.

GPS X-Guider is super light. Without the two AAA batteries it pretty much weighs nothing – really good if you’re anal about how much weight you’re taking with you. The batteries actually add some needed weight – so it feels good to hold. Speaking of battery life; all we can say is that it is really decent. After 3 days of on and off review it still has one bar left but we’re never patient enough to actually run it out completely and give you a specific number. The manual claims 16 hours of straight use. And you can always carry spare batteries with you.

The screen is not very exciting but it gets the job done without wasting power. It is definitely sunlight readable and when it is dark out the neo blue backlight comes in handy and makes it a pleasure to use GPS X-Guider.

GPS X-Guider comes with a really durable silicon case that fits tightly and makes it IPX6 water resistant. Pressing the buttons with the case is still very easy; so no worries there. There’s also neck strap / lanyard in the case so it is ready to attach to your backpack or put around your neck.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mainnav MG-600 Review


So we had about a week to play with the new Mainnav MG-600. This device is mostly designed for cyclists. It can track speed, distance, time, and odometer. It can log your data, mark a single point, etc. You can save your complete route for viewing on Google Earth or Google Map.

In data logging mode MG-600 saves tracks every second if you’re moving and every one minute if you’re motionless. One thing we’d like to see here is the auto power-off. I left the device in my vehicle for about 6 hours and found it still on. Good news is that it still had plenty of battery when I came back.

An interesting feature is the “you’re losing” reminder. They like to call it the “speed behind” reminder. What this does is that when your current speed lower than average speed , the screen will flash every 3 seconds to alert you to catch up. Another unusual feature is the light-sensor. This turns on the backlight when it is dark out. We like this a lot.

Read the rest of this entry »

i-gotU GPS Travel and Sports Logger review

i-gotU GPS travel logger is a neat little device to help you record point by point your travels and your expeditions.

It is a fairly simple device. Basically you click whenever you want ( it is so small, fitting to your palm) and i-gotU records those points on its internal memory. That memory is 64MB. Then all your real time records can be uploaded to your computer. i-gotU’s software will show your exact route via Google maps app. Plus, since you clicked your little i-gotU when you take those beautiful pictures during your travel, when you upload those pictures , i-gotU mashes all the data with google maps, and voila, now you know exact locations and the date for your pics.

Your data also includes the speed, the distance and the duration for the travel. As we said before it is very user friendly device and software. It works well with Windows 7, Vista and XP. It does retail around $150 (or less), an OK price for all you can accomplish with it.

Stay tuned, we may be giving away this to our readers.

smartphone GPS navigation review


Thank you engadget for putting together this very needed review.

They are reviewing Blackberry Storm running VZ Navigator application, Motorola Droid with Google Maps, and Nokia N97 with Ovi Maps.

Here is what we think: If your work is paying for it VZ Navigator is fine. If you need your maps where no cell signals can reach you go with Nokia (works all over the world; obvious choice for your Euro trip), all others stick with Google Maps. There.

If you’re one of those tl;dr types (too long; didn’t read) here is the summary: