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Wednesday
May212008

Qstarz BT-Q1000P Platinum Photo Tagger And Track Logger

Qstarz BT-Q1000P PlatinumGeotagging is really starting to become popular - the act of embedding the latitude and longitude of where you actual took the photo into the exif data of the image - but the Qstarz BT-Q1000P does this and so much more.

Yes, it can geotag your photos, but using the supplied software it can also easily create track logs, and then export both the track and your photo's into a Google Earth .kmz file - so you can look at your photos, and the track you walked to take them - in glorious 3D in Google Earth.





I originally reviewed this gadget on one of my other sites (that's why the video has an alternative logo..) but now I've been using it for a few months I can heartily say this is a great device that every photographer (who uses jpgs - I don't think it works on RAW) should have in their camera bag.

The best way to see what you can do with this Photo Tagger is to download Google Earth (its free), then download one of my .kmz files that I've made with it.

So what do you think? Isn't it a cool way to share your images? I love these track files with embedded pictures and comments, and it's so easy to do.

When you get your BT-Q1000P, charge it up, install the software (v4 is the best), attach the Geotagger and set up the unit. Turn it on, make sure your camera is correct to the local time, then head out for your walk. Turn the unit on, then start snapping away. When you've finished your walk, turn it off, go home, and connect the device to your PC and launch the software. Copy your images to your hard-drive, then tell the software where to look for it. You can then tag the images, and if you want you can export your own kmz file, or edit the track, add comments, and it even has a built in up-loader for Flickr.

My work-flow when using the tagger is slightly different - I edit the photo's first, then import them to the Tagging software, but it all works fine.

What has really impressed me is the accuracy of this tagger - I've never had to even worry about missed tags, losing GPS lock, etc. It has done the job every time, no hassles at all.

The Qstarz also has built-in Bluetooth, which means that it can also be used as a GPS receiver for a Pocket PC or Mobile Phone with the right software. How good is that? I had a go with my old Windows Smart Phone, and it worked great. In car sat-nav anyone?

Technical stuff - the Qstarz runs off a rechargeable battery that can be charged up via the supplied USB cable while its plugged in if you like, it comes with a great little pouch to protect it and clip it to your belt. You get the software, mains charger, car charger, and usb lead.

In conclusion then, if you want to Geotag your images so they come up on the maps in Flickr or Picasa, you can't go wrong with the Qstarz BT-Q1000P Platinum. Not only is it a Picture Tagger, it's a logger, and can be used as a GPS receiver for Sat Nav. The real bonus is the ability to easily create Google Earth .kmz files - everyone's going to be want to be doing it soon!

Thanks, Rob.

Reader Comments (22)

Hi,

Am wondering if this is the real article. Reason being - when I search for a review of this unit on Google, I practically get a copy of this post on: http://www.sciuridae.co.uk/photography/qstarz_bt-q1000p_travel_recorder_review.htm

Hopefully you're aware of a rip-off.

Cheers,

Anon.

June 4, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteranonymous

That's because sciuridae.co.uk is my site too. I decided to stop putting photography stuff on that site, because I wanted a blog format with a photo focussed website. Some of the kit I reviewed way back I'll put on this site because it's relevant to Photography.

Well spotted though!

Cheers, Rob.

June 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRob_Nunn

Hi,

I have a question before buying it: for example, for a 10 days trip I usually do not bring with me the laptop, with the Qstarz can I upload the data file in a computer that has not the software installed in it (e.g. computer in a hotel and transfer to the external HD)? In addition, for how many days does the memory of the device will store data (approximately)? Is it OK for a couple of weeks trip without saving the data until home?

Tahnks

July 31, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersimone

Hi Simone,

With the Qstarz you must have the software installed, or it won't be able to talk to a computer.

The gps data is stored in flash memory, so should last indefinitely, it doesn't matter if the battery goes flat.

For long trips just make sure you turn the device off when not tagging so you don't fill the memory up.

July 31, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRob_Nunn

Hi Rob,

I ordered the AMOD AGL3080 (which I have not received yet) because it is supposed to be driverless. Therefore I could backup the data in any computer around the world to my Hyperdrive Space. But I read more about the Qstarz that I would opt for the rechargeable battery. So there is no way to have a 'on-the-go' back up in case of full memory. In general my trips last between 10 to 20 days and I would be not very confident if I will run out of memory in the device.

If I am not mistaken you have created a video also for the AMOD, isn’t it? According to your experience, what do you suggest me?

Many thanks for your help

July 31, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersimone

If you can't install the Qstarz software, then the Amod is the way to go. You could risk it, but I bet you'd accidentally leave it on one time, fill it up, and have no way of getting the data off.

Go with the Amod.

July 31, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRob_Nunn

Hi Rob,

Many thanks for your suggestion. I think I am going to stay with the AMOD for the problem of having a device where I can download the data using any computer to bridge to my external HD.

Thanks again

July 31, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersimone

No problem, tell us how you get on! ;-)

July 31, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRob_Nunn

Hi Ron,

I forgot to ask you, or I did not get it: according to your experience what is the maximum storage capacity in hours for the Qstarz? I can not get this data from Qstarz.

Thank you for helping

July 31, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersimone

I've never filled mine up, but according to the box it has enough memory (128mb) to record 70 hours worth of data - 256,000 data records!

However the batteries only last 15 hours at most - that should be long enough for a days shooting!

Remember the GPS data is stored in Flash memory, so its safe when the batteries go flat, however you wouldn't want the batteries to go flat during recording, it could corrupt the data file.

Every time you turn it on and off, a new file is created, so that's the safest way to use it.

July 31, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRob_Nunn

Thanks Ron,

But does the Qstarz has 128mb of memory as well as AMOD? I ask you this because I can swap the ordered AMOD with a Qstarz without too much trouble (I have not received it yet). In summary, the possibility to send it back and the fact that I would not be battery related (as for the AMOD) is making me thinking towards the Qstarz. But I wanted to know the storage capacity of the Qstarz. In the manual I cannot retrieve this data. I read in the net that it should have 32mb of memory but I am still not sure for how many hours it can record the logs before having to download the data log to a computer to avoid the lost of data itself.

Sorry to bother you,

Many thanks again

July 31, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersimone

Sorry, I didn't read your question properly!

Ok, the Amod AGL3080 that I've got has 128mb of memory, with a battery life of 15 hours and it can record up to 70 hours of gps data. (It records a fix every second).

The Qstarz BT-Q1000p doesn't say how much memory it has, but it can normally record about 150,000 waypoints. How often it logs is user configurable, so if you told it to log every 10 seconds (ok for walking and taking pics), that would give you 400 hours of GPS data. If it were to record every second, like the Amod, you'd get 40 hours of data. Its battery is good for a max of 32 hours, depending on how hard it has to work to get a fix.

I haven't used either units for that long, so can't say how accurate either the battery or memory stats are.

July 31, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRob_Nunn

Hi Rob,

I think I going to send the AMOD back (as soon as I receive it) to replace with the QStartz. This is because it can stand for 200000 points and I am not going to keep it ON all time and I do not need to have a record every 1 second but I will set the recorder to 30 seconds or with 10 meters.

Since I am learning now I wanted to ask you another question regarding the workflow: I just need to embed in the EXIF file of the image the latitude longitude and altitude. Once I have the log file from the receiver how can I embed those parameters to the EXIF file of the image? Do I need to do it with the software from QStarz or using for instance another such as GeoSetter? Can you suggest me workflow?

At last, I have read about a java app called BT747 (that works also with MAC) have you tried it out? It is supposed to be much faster than the original software from QStartz. The link is:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/bt747

Thanks again

August 1, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersimone

Ok, I'm pretty sure the supplied Qstarz software only works on PC, not Mac, and the software is essential for pulling the data off the device. You can then tell the program to embed the GPS data into the exif data of the photo files, create KMZ track files for Google Earth, upload to Flickr, etc.

I've only ever used the software that came with these units, so I can't comment on other programs, but I would say that what I think is good about the Qstarz is the device AND the software - they compliment each other - like Ipod and Itunes.

You could, I guess, achieve with other programs the same things the Qstarz software does, but I love having everything in one, easy to use package.

August 1, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRob_Nunn

I just got my 1000P yesterday. I went for a walk snapped a few pictures along the way and then started playing with the software. I'm sure everything will work for me eventually but I ran into a few problems.

1. It geotagged all of my photos with the same location.
2. I kept losing the exif datam, and therefore the time, when I was optimizing for the web in Photoshop.

Any suggestions for resolving these? Thanks

August 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNathan

Ok, check that the time on your camera is correct. Check your PC time is correct. Make sure you tell the software which timezone you're in - thats pretty critical.

If you optimise for web you will lose all exif data. Resize first, then use "Save As" instead.

August 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRob_Nunn

Hi Rob,

I am going to receive mine today. I would like to know how you can quickly check the time in the 1000P to sync with the camera time. I presume I need to have the software installed isn't it? Besides, when I sync the time in the camera do I need to be second precise (or minutes is enough)?

Thank you for your help

August 6, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersimone

You don't need to set the time inside the Qstarz - it gets that info from the Satellites. You need to check the time in your camera and on your pc. Your pc is probably synced automatically, in your camera just set it when a minute rolls over, that'll be close enough.

August 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRob_Nunn

Great review, I think I will get one of these.

I'm heading Normandy this summer for the 65th D-Day celabration and I'm not taking a laptop.

One question, the manual seems a little lacking on information about the waypoint count and data recorded.

I read a review of the non-p version that said that if you include speed and altatude you loose alot of storage.

Have you done any testing with with different recording setting to determine the waypoint count.

Thanks
Mindy

November 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMindy

Hi Mindy,

Sorry, I haven't tested the Qstarz like that, I just use it to record my track, then tag my photo's and create a .kmz.

Looking at the data embedded into pictures I've tagged, it includes the lat / long and altitude, not sure I'd bother with speed, as I'm normally stopped when taking pictures!

I'd just say turn it on when you're taking photographs, and off when you're not, (with a few minutes either side) take a mini usb travel charger, and set your camera to local time.

Sounds like a great trip - make sure you share your photos when you get back!

Cheers, Rob.

November 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRob_Nunn

hi, Rob,
I have a question. is this bluetooth availiable? and how does it power supply, with built-in battery or get power from my camera?

November 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlinon

Hi Linon,

The uint has it's own rechargeable battery.

Cheers, Rob.

November 9, 2010 | Registered CommenterRob_Nunn

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