iPhone Photography

BlueSLR Blues

When I first saw an article about the release of the BlueSLR, I thought that it was a totally cool idea, and more then I was actually looking, the remote shutter and intervalometer were just bonus, when all I wanted was the geotagging pulling the data from my iPhone… The initially announcement was that the device was compatible with both my D90 as well as my D7000, but that was to change due to a unforeseen change in the connector on the D7000, and I’m ok with that…

I told my wife about this great little gadget, and she decided to get it for me as a Christmas present, totally cool, but reality being reality, the unit did not show up until 3 weeks after Christmas (why does it take so long to get stuff shipped from Canada), and as luck would have it, it got here while I was on a business trip…

I get the unit mounted to my D90, and I am not really impressed with how the BlueSLR unit hangs off the camera, not a real deal killer, but not the greatest looking set up. With the device mounted I’m ready to go, fire up the camera, go to pair the BlueSLR device with the iPhone, it rejects the pairing a couple of times but eventually it pairs all is happy, and on to the BlueSLR app. Yes it technically does what  it says it does, it fires the shutter and I think autofocus worked once or twice, but not consistently, the intervalometer worked as far as I could tell. As I was playing with the app, trying the different features, I noticed that the time stamp is not changing, its static, I hit the GPS button, and the time started updating, but the GPS data stopped updating and then the app says the  GPS disconnected  I go to the bluetooth section of the iPhone settings and it says it is disconnected, then it connects as I’m looking at it, I go back to the BlueSLR app says its connected, I fire off a picture and then it says it’s disconnected again. This is the point where I l0ok again at how far the unit hangs off the camera and I think maybe its not all the way in, so I go to remove the device in an effort to reseat it and maybe resolve the bluetooth dropping issue, but as I pull the device out of the socket the unit comes out but the metal shield around the connector stays in the camera. This is the point where I am no longer a happy camper, and after spending a bunch of time pulling the metal shield out of my camera, making sure I didn’t do any damage to my camera. This is the point where the BlueSLR device went back in the box, and will be on its way back to canada early next week.

I really wanted the BlueSLR to work, and I was really planning on getting one for the D7000 when they worked out their issues with the inverted connector, but I think I’ll wait a lot longer and read a few more reviews before pulling the trigger on another.

The idea is really good, but the implementation is where things go wrong…

I guess for the time being I’ll continue to carry my GPS, and tag my pictures with PhotoLinker from Early Innovations…

apple iPhone mapping Photography smartphone

Earthscape Errors

Daliesque MacBook Pro

Daliesque MacBook Pro


I have been playing with earthscape for a while now and I still think it is pretty cool app, but needs some work, and a couple of days ago I talked about these errors, but didn’t have any details. Well I made a trip up to DC and had some issues with the accuracy, as well as some in the office this morning…

Here is an example of a picture that is right on, standing still in a Starbucks parking lot…

This picture was taken real close to the location on the map, but not uploaded for a while (Maybe an hour), because of crappy coverage, I had several EDGE bars, but data was not moving to the earthscape servers.

Sitting at a signal light 4 3G bars of coverage, I get this

Here is an example of the moving vehicle issue. This picture was taken while going over the Rappahannock river, but the earthscape app puts me a mile down the road…

Then we have this picture which was taken about 30 feet from this picture and neither are correct.

This picture and this picture were taken at the exact same place, yet are miles apart.

It seems to me that unlike the way the iPhone Camera app works by GPS tagging the picture when it is taken, the earthscape app doesn’t do that and as far as I can tell the picture isn’t GPS tagged until the “Use Photo” button is pushed. The question is then why doesn’t earthscape tag the picture as soon as it is taken, because they don’t I checked, unless they decided to .

Just to clarify I do understand how GPS works, and limitations when under cover etc…, but the same device in the same environment should have the same error regardless of application.


GoogleMap Driving Times

I am taking my first road trip since I got the iPhone, and I decided to do a head to head with the google maps app and my Garmim GPSmap 60CSx. The routing in some cases needs some work, or at least a way to change routing preferences, because it pretty much insisted on sending me to the highway, even though city streets were over 5 miles shorter. Once I got to highway 13 the google maps app and the GPS were in agreement on the route, but not even close on the dirving time.
Both units were within a mile on the distance to go, but the time was over an hour off. The google maps apphad the driving time a full hour and twelve minutes longer then the GPS. Highway 13 on the Eastern Shore pretty much averages 55, and real world speeds are a bit faster. The google maps app figured out to an average speed of 40, while the GPS came in with a more realistic 55. So I guess the moral of the story is let the google maps apps route you, or locate you (it does a real good job at that, close to my GPS), but don’t rely too much the drive time.
Sorry about the quality of the GPS screenshot, it was taken at night, with the iPhone at 55 mph.