GiSTEQ PhotoTrackr Lite DPL700 GPS Photo Tracker
List Price: $99.99

Our Price: Too low to display

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Product Description

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Features:
  • Share your photos with locations tagging in PhotoTrackr software
  • Supports Flickr, locr, Smugmug, and Picasa Web Album for easy online photo sharing
  • Lightweight and low power consumption, runs for 22+ hours on one AA battery
  • Geo-tagged function enables photo sharing in any geo-photo websites with embedded GPS info
  • Built-in waypoint management and seamless Google Earth integration

Customer Reviews:

  • Pretty nifty, but too easily broken.
    I purchased the DPL700 just over a year ago, and have used it fairly often since then with no major problems... until about a week ago. But I'll get to that later.

    Installing and using the software wasn't the most intuitive thing in the world, and it feels a bit kludgy, but once you figure out what you're doing it works very well for getting your photos geotagged.

    As I said, I've used my Trackr fairly often in the past year... just normal, everyday use -- I usually have the device clipped to my camera strap, so it gets the same level of care that I give to my camera. After several months of use, I noticed that the body of the device had a small crack next to the battery door (similar to that seen in the user photo uploaded by E. Richards). This crack did not affect the use of the device in any way.

    A couple of weeks ago, we traveled by train from the midwest to Washington State, and I took my Trackr along for the ride. I kept it placed near the window and on at all times, and it was able to acquire and keep a satellite connection for most of the journey. The battery lasted about 10 hours, as expected, so I did need to change that out several times on the trip.

    And now for the bad news... While doing some sightseeing in Washington, I was in the middle of snapping a picture when the little black strap that connects the Trackr to the clip unexpectedly fell apart, and my Trackr went crashing to the ground. At first glance, the device appeared unharmed, but when I tried to close up the battery compartment door, it would not stay shut. Sadly, that flimsy little itty bitty piece of plastic that holds the battery door closed had snapped off, just the same as other reviewers have mentioned. I tried holding the compartment closed with my fingers, and the device began working again. However, the force needed to hold the door shut is more than you might expect, so I was unable to hold it closed for more than a few minutes at a time. I then tried to McGuyver it shut with duct tape, which did work for about 20 minutes, until the duct tape began to stretch under the pressure from the battery, causing the device to stop working again.

    So... because of the easily broken-ness of the device, and the very poorly designed battery compartment, I'm only giving it one star. If I could find something stronger than duct tape that would hold the battery compartment shut -- a portable Incredible Hulk, perhaps, or maybe a small vice -- I might have given it 3-4 stars, because the device does still *work* (IF you can hold the door shut), and it is good for tagging your photos. And it did work just fine for 14 months...
    ...more info
  • GPS Unit - way to hard to use
    This thing works, but it is just way to hard to get it synced to camera, using Nikon GPS unit now on d200. If you don't have a dedicated GPS option, and want tagging, this is a way to get there, but it requires a lot of post work. a dedicated unit is better, and a standard gps with waypoints might work as well
    ...more info
  • Save yourself many headaches - get something else
    I rarely bother to take the time to submit negative reviews about products, but this one really deserves it. I bought 10 of these units for an educational project, and it's turned out to be a complete nightmare. The units themselves are flimsy and completely unreliable. When they are working, the satellite reception is tenuous at best, and they often shut off for no apparent reason or simply refuse to receive satellite signals no matter how long you choose to wait.

    The most serious problem, however, is the software. If you use a Mac, don't even think about buying this product. Despite many months (years) of promises from the company, the Mac software still doesn't function properly. The latest release (March 2009) will finally allow GPS track logs to be downloaded, but the elevation data are lost (which I need).

    It seems that every time you finally resolve one problem with the hardware or software, a new problem appears. Today I updated the software on a PC, but now I can't connect to the unit because the firmware is out of date. But when I try to update the firmware, some kind of error occurs. It just never ends!

    This has been one long, frustrating experience. I would strongly suggest that if you are considering one of these, get a low-end regular GPS unit instead. I wish that I had taken this approach....more info
  • Poor software, proprietary interface, and build quality issues
    I purchased a GiSTEQ PhotoTrackr Lite last April. The Windows software was unintuitive and unnecessarily difficult to use. Unfortunately, the logger does not show up as a standard USB device, and so far as I am aware GiSTEQ's software is the only tool capable of retrieving and reading files from the logger. As annoying and difficult as the software was, it did have a lot of good features and it was able to do much of what I wanted. The logger and software do work, and if the build quality was decent the product might get three stars. Unfortunately, the build quality (or more likely the engineering) is poor, and the plastic case cracked near the latch after fewer than 14 days of actual use. I should also note at this point that the battery life is significantly lower than advertised (I don't remember the specifics well enough to state a number of hours), which means that the battery door gets more use than you would expect from looking at the specs.

    I didn't discover the biggest issue with this logger until, several months after installing the software, I deleted the installation files from my desktop. One would think that the installer files are not necessary to run the already-installed software, but one would be mistaken. The next time I tried to start the software it refused to start, saying that it needed the installation files. Since I no longer have the installation files, I downloaded the version of the software that is available on GiSTEQ's web site. The software now runs, but says that I need to update the firmware on my logger before it can be used. If the update were free this would be fine, but GiSTEQ forces you to purchase a Pro version of their software in order to download firmware updates. My logger, which works just fine (in spite of the broken plastic), is now effectively useless unless I pay more money. They do not offer for download the older version of the software that works with the old (less than a year) firmware, and I will not pay a second time to regain functionality for which I already paid. Given that the only way to access the logger is through GiSTEQ's software, that the software is difficult to use in the best of circumstances, and that the only version of their software available for download tried to make me pay again to let me use a device for which I have already paid, I recommend avoiding this product....more info
  • Great when it works .... but then it doesn't.....
    This is a slick little unit - easy to carry, clip to your camera bag or belt, and schlep it all over. Even performed well inside a plane when I was testing it. It does not have the option to change logging rates while on the go (would be nice to have walk/drive/fly options without having to go back to a computer.)

    Liked it so much I sent one to my sister for Christmas to log her once-in-a-lifetime trip to India.

    Then on a trip to Scotland, for no apparent reason, it just stopped acquiring satellites and I lost about 1/4 of that trip and all of my next trip.

    Customer support at GiSTEQ told me to update the firmware. Once done, the power LED blinked away but could not acquire satellites. Changed batteries, re-updated firmware, reset the unit ... still, no acquisition.

    Sister had the SAME problem with her unit failing while in India - can't return the unit until her big trip is over.

    My unit is back at the manufacturer at the moment (probably a couple weeks to turnaround, who knows.)

    Bottom line: a tool like this should not need much coddling. It should work well for years, the battery should be easy to replace (it isn't) and the user should not have to wonder whether the unit is working or not.

    It should not require having a computer and internet access to update firmware in the middle of a trip.

    For me the jury is out - if GiSTEQ can make both units 'right' in one fix then it will be worth keeping. If not, I'll be howling for a refund and go on to another more reliable unit.

    ...more info
  • Works well, with some caveats
    So far, this is working well for me to map out my travels and especially to tag my photos' EXIF with GPS info and get them mapped. I work outdoors and wanted to document where I'm going and where I shot photos along the way as part of the documentation for the engineering work I do.

    I got a little twisted up getting the software set up, and ended up on their forum looking for help, but I got the answers I needed fast and then it was a breeze. I still haven't worked out how to get it to play well with RAW photos from my Canon 40D, but I make a copy from the RAWs as a JPG Proof, and it works terrific them. I also haven't been able to work out how to get to work seamlessly with Google Earth, but it works with Google Maps like it was born for it (and I guess it was!)

    One thing I'm finding is that it tends to eat batteries a lot more than I anticipated. I turn it on first thing in the morning when I set off to do my work, and leave it on all day till I get back home. That's about 10 hours, and it works the whole time - no problem there. But if I try to use that same battery the next day, I find later that it's shut off somewhere along the route, and I'm missing all the data I'd have had after that. The only solution I've found so far is to pop in a fresh AA battery each morning. That said, I'm planning to switch to rechargeable batteries for use with it, in order to keep the cost down.

    UPDATE: 4 months has now gone by, and the plastic case has pretty much fallen apart, especially the little plastic nubs that hold the battery compartment door closed, and the black plastic that surrounded one screw on the bottom of the case. They broke off, so the door wouldn't shut tight anymore, and the device began to work intermittently. The yellow outer case cracked also (from sunlight through windshield maybe?).

    To get it working again, I cannibalized the device, whereupon I found that one of the battery leads to the tiny motherboard had broken off at the solder connection, and was only working from pressure of what was left of the cracked yellow case pushing them together (thus the intermittent problem). After re-soldering that, I soldered the leads from a AA battery holder that holds two batteries (for longer use between battery changes) that I picked up at a local Radio Shack to the appropriate places inside the device, slipped the cracked yellow cover back into place, then Gorilla Glued the new battery holder to the outside of it. It works great, and twice as long, even if it looks funky now.

    I upgraded to the "Pro" software, and it works great with my RAW files now. I also switched to rechargeable batteries, and that's worked out great to keep the cost down.

    Bottom line is that the thing works very well electronically, but the case's build quality is sub-par. It can't stand the constant opening and closing of the battery compartment door, but since the battery only lasts about 10 hours of constant use, there's little choice if you're going to use this pretty much every day, like I do. It appears to be weakened by sunlight as well, which is pretty bad for an 'outdoor' piece of equipment like this.

    If I could down-rate the stars at this point, I would because of the bad build of the case. And if I knew when I bought it what I know now, I'd look for a better-built device. That said, if you don't mind throwing a little McGyver action at it, it's a nice piece of gear....more info
  • Works okay, BUT is cheaply made and the software is garbage
    I've had this since the day it came out and I have to say it does what it's supposed to do: it keeps track of where you are. And that's about it.
    The device itself is poorly made of cheap plastic, plastic so cheap in fact that while sitting on my desk doing nothing the thin piece charged with securing the battery flap broke. Given how tightly the door must be closed for the device to function, tape was a difficult and awkward solution. On the bright side, Gisteq was quick to send me a replacement unit, so no complaints there.
    The software is, in a word, garbage. You can browse their support forums and see that for yourself, and note that most of the 'fixes' involve deinstalling, downgrading, and/ or reinstalling the software. Yes, it's like installing Tie Fighter or B-Wing in DOS to get sound to work. Lame. While it is updated now and then it never seems to get much more user-friendly, though in the first versions getting it to work at all was a nightmare, and now it's just a bad dream. For example, no matter what I do I cannot get it to tag more than one set of photos for each set of tags. What I mean is this: say I take a trip and two memory cards with pictures. I run one set of photos through and it works, when I try and tag the other set of photos with the same data the program errors out and closes itself. No amount of renaming/ dating/ etc can change this. If I find a fix I'll edit my review. Another plus for gisteq, at least as people, is that they do monitor and post in their forums.
    Bottom line, put your $90 towards something more rugged and useful. Or at least find some 3rd-party software. I want to rate this higher, I really do, but I can't. I'd give the people a 5 and the product a 2. ...more info