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T.J.

GPS Background Sync

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The latest from Leica on GPS Background Sync...

"Thank you for your feedback.
The GPS background synchronization is independent from the camera firmware. Actual is in a testing environment and hopefully will be released with the next major release of Leica FOTOS.
Please be patient."

 

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All the Leica materials indicate the foros app should be used to include GPS info from phone onto the image with SL2.  I tried all afternoon.  It does not work.  This just confirms (I think) that Leica’s own documentation and marketing materials are erroneous.

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Perhaps they could be a bit more honest and put into their instructions and marketing materials that GPS will be available sometime in the future.  I suspect the Q2 owners have been waiting much longer the us Sl2 owners.  I read it... but that is NOT what their instruction manuals and sales brochures describe.  They all say it works now.  To admit it does not work and is in testing is great... but belies the fact that what they say is different than what they do.  

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Software is hard. Predicting when a line of code will be ready even harder. Writing marketing and instructions is simpler but like hardware difficult to change on the fly. Best to write to the specifications if it’s going to be printed. But whatever, there’s not much else to moan about in these carefree times.

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Thanks T.J🙂 But can you tell when will be the Firmware will be released and form where i can download them. 

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The Leica manual produced at the time the first SL2s were shipped promises that GPS data will be passed through Leica Fotos from whatever platform it is running on as long as the BlueTooth connection is up and running.  Other promises were only made (multi-shot high res and linear manual focus) for a future firmware.  The fellow writing this promise probably felt relatively safe since if it didn't happen, Fotos would be blamed and not him.  And after all, Panasonic can manage this with reasonable reliability on their S1 cameras, so it can't be that hard...

Well it is hard to make this stuff work with every phone in the world.  Apple's platform may be fairly restrictive, but at least it is consistently delivered.  Android's phones are delivered with very different app interfaces, screen characteristics, and facilities that change with each new level.  I've recently had phones using Android 6, 7, 8 and 9, and different apps fail at each stage.  Panasonic probably has a lot more people and more years of experience working this area than Leica, so I would expect some problems.  Maybe the initial SL2 (and Q2 for that matter) firmware provides everything that will be needed, and maybe not (that's the sort of thing to be discovered shortly after the product ships).  Both the SL2 and Fotos are due upgrades soon, and we will hear on this site when it happens.

 

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I have a Sony a6400 which uses a Sony iPhone app to sync GPS data back to the camera over constant Bluetooth connection. The camera takes this GPS data and writes it into the RAW file at the point of capture (ie it's not added to the file afterwards). It works maybe 90% of the time, but occasionally the phone and the camera will disconnect from each other, so you end up performing a silly dance where you turn off the camera, turn it back on, turn off your phone's bluetooth, back on again, etc. Annoying.

On my Leica Q2, I was hoping for a similar feature via the Fotos app, but as many have found out, it only works for photos that are taken using the app. When they eventually add the feature to cover all photos taken with the camera, my hope is that it doesn't require a direct WiFi connection to the camera and just work over bluetooth.

In the interim, I have downloaded an iPhone app named Geotag Photos Pro 2 (I believe there is an Android version too). It's great and it does the job beautifully. First you need to set the time on your camera as closely as possible to your phone - on the iPhone you can watch the second hand on the clock icon to help with this. You should only need to do this once. Then in the Geotag app you create a ‘trip’ when you're ready to use your camera. It records your location at preset (adjustable) intervals, then when you're done for the day you simply end the trip on the app and it exports a GPX file to the cloud service of your choice. You can then either download their companion desktop app to write the GPS data into the metadata of the RAW files, or you can just do it directly in Lightroom as I do.

For the Lightroom route, you simply go to the 'Map' view in Lightroom, click the 'GPS Tracklogs' button at the bottom (looks like a zig-zag, next to the lock icon), select 'Load Tracklog' and open the GPX file from your 'trip' which should be on your cloud drive. From the same popup menu, click 'Select photos on Tracklog' then 'Auto-tag X Selected Photos' to add the GPS data to each photo. The beauty of the DNG format used by Leica is that this metadata can be written into the file without corrupting the image, unlike other RAW formats where any modification to the file is always at your own risk.

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GPS4cam has a similar system, but is far simpler to  sync.

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No solution for Lightroom on iPad unless I missed the release note.

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GPS4cam works fine on the iPhone.  I found the new MacOS does not support the GPS4cam desktop app.  So other tools need to be used.  Still doing research on how to best capture GPS data on the iPhone and then add it to the images from the camera.  Will look into Geotag Photos Pro 2 as well.  thanks.

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