Canon’s GP-E2 GPS Receiver

Canon GP-E2 GPS Receiver

I was really excited to get my Canon GP-E2 GPS receiver about 2 weeks ago!  I’ve had a chance to try out most of its features so I thought I’d share my experience with it.  In a word, I love it!

I’m using the GP-E2 with my Canon EOS 5D Mark III, but it’s also compatible with the 1D X and 7D.  Note that when using the GP-E2 with the 7D, the GP-E2 attaches to the camera via the camera’s accessory shoe (the flash hot shoe), but a supplied connecting cable is needed to communicate with the camera so that the location information from the receiver is recorded with the image.  With the  1D X and 5D Mark III, the GP-E2 attaches to the camera’s accessory shoe and does not need a connecting cable.  The receiver is powered by a single “AA” battery (not included) so it doesn’t draw power from the camera.  A storage case, carrying case, software, and manual are also included with the receiver.

The basic function of the receiver is to geotag your images as you shoot.  This includes, latitude, longitude, elevation, shooting time (UTC), and shooting direction via the camera’s digital compass.  Shooting direction is only available on the 1D X and 5D Mark III, it’s not supported on the 7D.

The receiver also has a logging function that keeps a record of location information along the route you are travelling.  While in log mode, the receiver does not have to be attached to the camera.  In fact, the receiver can be packed in a suitcase and still record location information although this depends on how well the GPS satellite signal is received.  I have not tested this so I can’t say how well the logging works while the receiver is packed in a suitcase, or any other container.  The logged information and map can be viewed via the supplied Canon Map Utility

Although I have only used the receiver while shooting in my local home area, it has worked flawlessly, accurately recording latitude, longitude, elevation, shooting time, and shooting direction.  Per the manual no location information or inaccurate location information may be recorded in areas where GPS signal coverage is poor such as underground, in tunnels, near tall buildings or in valleys.  As a Lightroom 4 user, I’ve wanted to really make use of Lightroom’s new Map module, and I have to say that it’s very cool to be able to take my geotagged images into the map module and be able to see exactly where it was taken!  Detailed GPS information can be viewed on the camera’s LCD screen.  Lastly, the digital compass is a very cool feature.  After enabling the digital compass via the GPS device settings menu, if you press the INFO button on the 1D X or 5D Mark III the electronic level will be displayed along with the compass.  The image below shows you what this screen looks like.  The compass is also shown in live view and movie shooting.

5D Mark III digital compass

I’m very pleased with the GP-E2 GPS Receiver and am excited to finally be able to get into geotagging my images.  The GP-E2 is accurate enough for my needs, and I’m really pleased to be able to easily geotag my images.

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