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Which GPS to create gpx files for geotagging travel photos?


I have a few trips planned this year and am looking into geo-tagging my images in Lightroom, which requires a gpx file.

To achieve this I really want a simple GPS track logger, as simple as possible - switch it on and it starts logging, switch it off to save the file and stop logging.

However I can't work out what would be most suitable.

The Holux RCV-3000 seems popular, but from what I can gather doesn't natively record gpx files (requires conversion on a computer - an extra step I'd prefer to avoid if possible). It appears to have enough memory to store a few days worth of logs, but uses an internal rechargeable battery rather than replaceable AAs, and there isn't any obvious way of carrying it attached to the loop on the shoulder strap of my backpack.

Various other offerings on eBay and Amazon all seem to have similar shortcomings in one area or another.

I started looking at something a bit more sophisticated such as the Garmin eTrex 10 which is available in the UK for a similar amount to the RCV-3000. It looks pretty good but then I started reading about how it automatically overwrites the previous track each time you switch it on, unless you save the track but then it strips out the time data which renders it useless for geotagging photos. I saw another discussion which said that saving the tracks to the micro SD card didn't strip the data, but the eTrex 10 doesn't have a memory card so it must've been referring to the eTrex 20 or above, which is more than I wanted to spend.

So I'm a bit confused what to get. I simply want an AA (or AAA) powered GPS logger that works with gpx format and has enough storage space to keep a few days worth of logs without having to transfer them to computer.

Is the stuff about the eTrex 10 stripping the time data true, or can anyone recommend any other product to look at?

Many thanks in advance.


  • nevw 88 Points
    I suggest that an extrex 20 would suit you best.
    Every time you switch it on it starts to record a gpx file and you can set ut up to automatically archive those as a daily file which is saved to the internal memory and this is readily downloade when connected to a computer. The gpsr will hold years worth of gpx tracks. You can use 2 aa or rechargeable aa and if you buy the white and blue eneloop rechargeables you will have a high quality set that will last for many years and you can carry a couple of ordinary aa batteries if the others run out of charge. Fully charged batteries will last many days of use. Up to about 25 hours switched on use so that would be 3 days if you swithed it on for 8 hours activity each day.
    You can insert an sd card to store maps and gps tracks that you create to use as a guide along a hiking path
    The etrex 20 does not come with a suitable map for general use (only a basemap which has a different purpose) but you can download and use openstreetmaps for free or buy the garmin maps.
  • nevw 88 Points
    I am not familiar with lightroom but i would expect that you don't need a gpx file to use photos on the site. I thought you would only need to georeference the photos by adding the coordinates to the exif? Info of the photo. There are many tools to do this though if have not needed to do this to date.

    If you do need a gpx file, the cheapest way would be to use a free app on your smartphone (assuming you already use one).
  • I had very good results from using the track files from my eTrex to geocode photos. I would just copy the saved GPX file into the same folder as my photos and then use Geosetter to batch-geocode them with the coordinates. You should be able to use any Garmin handheld to do this. They all record track files.
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