Ricoh announces new O-GPS2 unit for Pentax cameras, promises improved Astrotracer performance and more
posted Wednesday, June 8, 2022 at 6:00 PM EDT
Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation has announced the Pentax O-GPS2, a new GPS unit designed for use with Pentax DSLR cameras. The GPU unit makes it easier to capture images of the night sky. The O-GPS2 is the successor to the O-GPS1 and provides more reliable and higher-precision positioning than its predecessor, thanks to data gathered from GPS in the US, QZSS in Japan, GLONASS and Galileo.
When mounted on a compatible Pentax DSLR body, the O-GPS2 enables the advanced Astrotracer function, which couples the GPS unit with the camera's built-in Shake Reduction (SR) system to facilitate the tracking and photography of celestial bodies. You can shoot longer exposures without experiencing star trails, which is the blurring of stars due to the movement of the Earth and the stars.
Ricoh writes, "The unit calculates the movement of stars, planets, and other bodies using the latitude obtained from the location data and the camera's alignment data obtained from its magnetic and acceleration sensors, then shifts the camera's image sensor in synchronization with the movement of the objects. Resulting images show stars and other bodies as solid points rather than blurry streaks, even during extended exposures. It also makes astrophotography much simpler, as it requires only a tripod and eliminates the need for an additional accessory such as an equatorial telescope."
The Pentax O-GPS2 records the latitude, longitude, altitude, universal time coordinated and direction of your shooting location onto captured image files. Image files with this location data can track shooting locations and review location data on your computer.
Additional advanced features made possible by the O-GPS2 include a simple navigation function, which calculates the direction and distance to a given destination from a current position, and an electronic compass function which displays the camera's pointed direction on its LCD monitor with "great precision."
The Pentax O-GPS2 is compatible with the following Pentax cameras: K-3 Mark III, KP, K-3, K-5 II, K-5IIs, K-5, K-S2, K-S1, K-70, K-50, K-30, K-01, 645Z and 645D. The supported cameras run the gamut from APS-C sensor sizes up to the medium-format sensors in the 645 series. Not all supported models support all available functions. Specifically, in addition to Astrotracer Type 1, there's an Astrotracer Type 2 that is only available on Ricoh's most recent camera, the Pentax K-3 III. Type 2 allows the camera to follow the movement of a celestial body at half the speed of the Type 1 function, allowing the photographer to balance the movement of celestial bodies and the foreground landscape.
The Pentax O-GPS2 is weather-resistant for use in light rain. It's powered by an independent power source – a single AAA battery. The O-GPS2 will be available by the end of this month for a suggested retail price of $179.95.