For several months, I am the proud owner of a Nikon D7000. It’s a nice DSLR with a lot of features; so it supports geotagging with an external GPS receiver as well.
The original one from Nikon, the GP-1, costs around 180€… So my idea was to build it by myself for less than 50€.
Since the camera is equipped with TTL (5V) UART-interface and understands NMEA, so you do not need too much hardware.
This is just, what I used:
1x GPS module (SkyTraq Venus 6) ~20€
1x plastic enclosure ~2€
1x cheap cable release (for the Nikon-plug) ~5€
1x hot shoe cover ~0€ (shipped with the camera)
1x Goldcap (1.0F, 5.5V)
1x 1N4148 (similar diodes should work, too)
In total: ~30€
Make sure that the gps module is able to send with 4800 Baud, since standard of some modules is 9600 Baud!
Unfortunately, Nikon does not use a standard connector, so you need to find one. The cheapest way is a cable remote from eBay for a few bucks, at which you need to change some connections. This requires a little work and skill, but it’s still posibble.
At first, you need to open the connector carefully (to reuse the jacket) and remove the white grouting compound:
Now you can reconnect the pins. You need just three of them: VCC, Ground and Data In (RX). Therefor I used the pinouts from dan’s blog:
Once everything is solderd, you can mould it in epoxy resin with the original jacket:
It’s time to solder the „circuit“ for the gps module:
I used a diode in series to reduce the supply voltage, because my camera supplies about 6V and the gps module is only rated up to 5.5V.
The goldcap is used as „backup battery“ to provide a faster start up after a short sleep (cold start time: 29 sec. / hot start time:1 sec.).
If you want to use the modul also on your PC or want to update the AGPS-data for a even faster start, you can connect a 2.5 headphone jack and plug in an old data cable for UART <-> USB.
Once the soldering is completed, put everything in the enclosure:
And finally you can screw the hot shoe cover to mount the moudle on top of the DSLR:
This should also work with other Nikon DSLR’s like D2Hs, D2X, D2Xs, D3, D300S, D3X, D5000, and D90.