The original PhotoFinder did look a bit cheap with its Day-Glo-green plastic, but a bit more styling effort has been put into the PhotoFinder Mini. Both parts of the device are attractively designed and quite well made, although the rubber port cover on the bottom of the receiver unit is rather loose and comes open with little provocation. The shiny black plastic does pick up scratches quite easily too, but it appears to be sufficiently robust that it won’t mind a few knocks and bumps. My review sample, supplied direct from the manufacturer, is fitted with an American-type two-pin mains plug, so I’ve had to use a mains adaptor for our three-pin British sockets, but I expect that UK retail units will be equipped with the appropriate mains plug.
The PhotoFinder Mini is quite easy to use; the only control on the receiver unit is an on/off button. Holding the button for three seconds activates the unit, whereupon it starts scanning for satellite signals. A small blue LED flashes inside, visible through the black acrylic body to indicate the status of the GPS signal. The original PhotoFinder took around 10 minutes to locate a signal, which could be a bit frustrating, but the new device is much quicker. I found that on first use it would take three of four minutes to find a signal, depending on the surroundings, however on subsequent attempts, such as when leaving a building or a car, it would find its signal again in about 20 seconds, which is pretty quick.
The device doesn’t connect to your camera in any way. It works by comparing the time code on its recorded GPS data with the time recorded by your camera in the JPEG EXIF data of your photos, so it’s vitally important to ensure that your camera’s internal clock is set to the correct time. It is possible to set the time-zone when downloading your pictures, but it’s a good idea to make sure this is also set correctly on your camera as well.