Is there a compact camera with decent zoom (30x) with which it would be easy to have the photos geotagged?

What is the best practice to have both good picture quality (use a compact camera, not phone) and geotagging?

I think to buy a camera with GPS is not an answer because the last models with GPS are disappearing from the market. There is still one or two (Sony), but they will disappear very soon.

I had Lumix TZ60 with GPS, but I broke it. The new Lumix TZ70 has no GPS.

What I tried: Panasonic image app allows, in principle, a phone to be used as an external GPS device. But according to the manual, its use is too much fuss: you need to take out the phone, connect it to the camera via WiFi, launch the app, turn on geotagging, wait a bit, disconnect the camera, then shoot -- ah, where is that funny bird that I wanted to take a shot of?

Alternatively, you can use the phone as remote control to the camera: have both turned on whole day, hold the phone in one hand, the camera in the other hand, press the shot button on the phone's screen with your... nose? and enjoy your travel this way. Anyway latency is too slow and coordinating the two hands is not trivial.

Am I missing something? Is there a way to turn the app on in the morning and forget about it, batch copy geolocation data to the phone in the night? I did not find it. Plus it will drain phone battery (which is not replaceable) and leave me without geotagging and without phone.

Any better way?


3 Answers 3


There are several options, but all of the take time. There is no such thing as a free lunch (or free beer):

  • Add geolocation in your photomanagement software: this is the manual way. This procedures relies on your memory and the functionality provided in your photomanagement software such as Lightroom, ACDSee, etc. Here are two descriptions: by Photography life and by Adobe.
  • Use your smartphone to log your location and make sure the date and time between your camera and phone are synced. Afterwards, your location log provides the data to tag your photos. To do that you can use software specifically for that task, such as GPicSync (not updated anymore) or your photomanagement software, such as Lightroom (see instructions). Other similar options are listed here.
  • Use a specialized app to log your location when you make a picture. I used gps4cam some time. This automates the steps outlined in the previous option to some extent.
  • Some camera's used to have the option to connect an external gps such as the Pentax O-GPS1.
  • \$\begingroup\$ gps4cam is available for Android, too, though not in pro version. I will give it a try and get back here. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 26, 2017 at 10:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ "integration if GPS capability in a lot of camera's" -- my understanding is the opposite: there are only two models of compact cameras with real zoom and GPS left on the market (one Sony and one Nikon), and I am sure in their next versions GPS will be removed. Compact cameras don't have GPS nowadays. I would be very happy if you can prove me wrong. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 26, 2017 at 13:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ I can think of three main reasons why camera manufacturers omit GPS: 1. Price; 2. Battery drain; 3. It doesn't work all the time (e.g. indoors). I'm not aware of a general trend that GPSs are omitted as a feature. \$\endgroup\$
    – agtoever
    Commented Apr 26, 2017 at 14:14
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ DPReview lists 74 of 1960 non-interchangable-lens cameras with GPS. Indeed, a lot less than I expected. Although I'm not sure if it's declining. I'll edit my answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – agtoever
    Commented Apr 26, 2017 at 14:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Worse: of those 74, some (most?) are obsolete models not sold anymore, such as Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60. The model you can get, TZ70, was "improved" by taking GPS out. This trend is very alarming, and my question is how people cope with it. Geotagging is, in my view, an absolutely essential feature for compact cameras. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 26, 2017 at 15:56

The way I have done it in the past is this:

  • Carry a handheld GPS, which records a GPS track
  • Take your pictures, while carrying the GPS
  • For best results, take a picture of your GPS displaying the current (GPS) time
  • Use an application, which correlates the timestamps of your photos with the position recorded in the track
  • Let that application store the position in the photos later on.
  • \$\begingroup\$ Can I use an Android phone as handheld GPS? What app would you recommend for this? Preferably the one that I could leave in the background whole day (while still using the phone normally) and not open it and doing something with it before taking each photo. Preferably not draining the battery too quickly. Preferably with an ability to export the collected data in a file (and not just sending it to Google). The rest is easy, I am a programmer (not Android programmer, so I prefer a ready app). \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 26, 2017 at 10:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Maybe gps4cam is the answer. I will give it a try. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 26, 2017 at 10:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ In my experience, GPS build into smartphones (iPhone, Samsung phones) severely drains battery. A dedicated GPS device (Garmin) can survive a couple of days with one set of batteries. \$\endgroup\$
    – Grimaldi
    Commented Apr 26, 2017 at 18:12

If you have a friend who is really into electronics design and microprocessor programming you are half way done with little-to-no effort at all.

If your camera has flash mount, you can use it as a trigger. Your friend can build a small magic box consisting of:

  • Arduino or Atmega microprocessor (To gather the coordinates and process them)
  • SD card/Ethernet shield (to store the data)
  • GPS module (to gather the GPS coordinats)
  • Flash mount (just a trigger)

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