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Sony DSC HX-5V - The OSM Mappers Camera?

Posted Sat 15 May 2010 04:51:39 PM CEST

Cameras with GPS are rare and typically expensive. Now Sony produces a compact camera for ~350€ with GPS and even a compass to show bearing.

The Camera is easy to use - just put it into Easy mode and start shooting. Shutter-Lag is astonishing low. One thing which is a bit annoying is that as soon as you have a little rain and you have a little drop on your Windscreen the camera trys to make a "Macro" shot of the drop. The Macro automatic seems to be a little too agressive.

The GPS has assitance functionality (aGPS) which means that you may preload the GPS Almanach for the next days. GPS acquisition time is good when you put the assistme.dat**
onto your SD Card. This is possible without special software or
knowledge. One simply needs to download the file and put it into the
Private/SONY/GPS** folder on your SD Card. When done you'll get a fix within 5-10 seconds after turning on the camera.

The first impressions are that the GPS works quite good compared to a GPSMap 60Csx when in good conditions. When entering the car it depends on where you put the Camera. On the passengers seat it already looses fix quickly. The annoying fact is that in case the camera looses fix it writes the last known good position into the image, which is okay when you only want to know which part of the city you are in, but we are OpenStreetMap mappers, we'd like to know which side of the street we are at. So the camera is missing a "shutter block without gps fix switch" or even better a choice what to do with images when there is no fix - "Last known good position", "No position" or "Shutter block".

So when you were planning to eliminate your GPS Logger with using a GPS enabled camera you are out of luck. The GPS is just a workaround when there is no GPS available and it needs training to produce usable results.

Here is another review with some Windows software capable of showing bearing and focal length as a horizontal angle - very nice. Someone working on a JOSM agPifoJ extension?