Sony CX500V GPS - fun to use, value...? at
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Old January 2nd, 2010, 07:06 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Rockville, Maryland
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Sony CX500V GPS - fun to use, value...?

I had my Sony GPS enabled the first few days I owned the cam, but then turned it off as I was doing all indoor filming (and I know where my house is...). Today, while waiting for a train, I decided to turn it on for fun and to see if it picked up the signal OK. I was out in the parking lot of an Amtrak station. It took somewhere between 1 and 2 minutes to lock onto the signals at full strength, so I went ahead and filmed that way.

When I got home, I transferred the clips to Picture Motion Browser and then selected each in turn, checking to see where the clip was taken in "Map View". This looks like it loads Google Maps in a window for you, and then it pinpoints where that clip was taken per the GPS coordinates.

The two locations I used today were maybe 20-40 yards apart. One was right at the end of a walkway at the railroad station - the other was about 20 yards further away to get back near the engines while the train was parked. The places where I was standing where very easy to identify exactly on the Google satellite-based map picture. Even the in-camcorder maps marked me as being at the Amtrak station though they're far less detailed, of course.

It looks to me like the GPS coordinate today was accurate to about 10 yards. The recorded position was right between the two filming locations themselves. I went back to look at three other filming sessions, all taken in my house. Two of them were each within 10 yards of the living room where I stood; the third was about 75 yards away up the street. Maybe there were clouds or other interference for that third session. You could probably check that in advance in-camcorder to make sure the recorded coordinate is the best it can be.

Anyway, this worked really well today and I'm somewhat impressed. I still don't think I'll use it most of the time, but I wish I had had this last summer when filming in Canyonlands and Arches National Park. It's hard to pinpoint the stills exactly for many of the Canyonland locations in case I want to return to the best places...
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Old January 4th, 2010, 08:32 AM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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I too wished the SR11 I took to Australia last year had GPS like the XR500 I now have. I got the time wrong several times in moving across the country and now have full daylight shots recorded as 1:30 am !!!! For just setting the correct time I think its great !!! I am also amazed how it manages to get a lock inside the house. The first Garmin hand held I got when GPS first came on the market would take 15 mins to get a lock outside.

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Old January 5th, 2010, 04:00 PM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Apple Valley CA
Posts: 4,874
At first glance the GPS seems like a gimmick, but I think it would be very handy for a lot of people when cataloging footage on a long trip - when you can't "quite" remember where you took that shot, you can just pull up the map for a tickle to the old gray matter! I see no reason to turn the function off, just leaving it on seems like a reasonable plan.
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