Garmin Oregon 550
Price Paid: $499.95
I picked up the Garmin 550 from REI a couple of months back now. I have been using it ever since.
I got the 550 for the fact that I could use the map software that I already had for my 76 CSx that was not locked. It has been great!! There are so many new features compared to my past unit. I recommend checking out the website http://garminoregon.wikispaces.com/ the site is extremely informative and can answer many questions about the unit. I think that this is the site that Garmin is using for its technical support, it is that good.
You will see reviews about the display not being read easily. It has its problems, but rotating the unit a little and you get a clear readable display. And yes, if it is really sunny out, you can turn the backlight off completely.
Also, the issue of what can be used for a microSD card. I am currently using a 16GB card in my unit. To do this you cannot have all of your maps in one gmapsupp.img file. The limit is 4GB per file. I renamed all of my maps to tell me what maps they are, then go into setup/maps and select which maps are active in the current profile.
It is a great change being able to use different maps names and using profiles, you'll love them, I did.
In closing, if you get any touch screen GPS unit, definitely get an InvisibleShield screen protector for it. Any grime from the trail can scratch the screen, and this just protects your investment.
I would recommend this unit, but if you don't have all the cash to lay down on it, look at the Dakota 20 model. It has almost all of the features and is hundreds cheaper, drawback is a smaller screen.
Happy trails, all!!
Where to Buy
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Here's what other sites are saying:
It's hard to get a traveling companion who always has directions, knows the way, totes a camera at the ready, and tracks the weather, so pick up Garmin's Oregon 550 GPS when you're leaving nothing to chance. Equipped with everything from a tilt-compensated compass and easy-to-use touchscreen to a 3.2 megapixel camera and the ability to wirelessly share data among similar units, this small device makes itself consistently handy with turn-by-turn directions and constant weather monitoring.
- Mountain Gear
The Oregon features an easy-to-use, touchscreen interface with 5 different user profiles: automotive, marine, recreation, fitness, and geocache. The Oregon includes a built-in basemap, color screen, high-sensitivity receiver, SD card slot, color display, waterproof case and more. Store up to 50 routes, 1000 waypoints and 20 tracks. 450 and 450t (T adds built in topo maps) feature a 3-axis tilt-compensated electronic compass, barometric altimeter, shaded relief basemap, electronic compass, barometric altimeter, wireless exchange of user routes, tracks, waypoints, and geocaches. 550 and 550t (T adds topo and street level maps) include a built-in 3.2 megapixel camera and 850 MB of internal memory for map data and photos. Weight: 6.8 oz with batteries (not included).
- Altrec Outdoors
The navigator with the photographic memory-the Garmin Oregon 550 combines rugged outdoor touchscreen navigation with a 3.2 megapixel digital camera.
The Garmin Oregon 550 sports an integrated digital camera, a groundbreaking touch screen interface, spectacular trail mapping, geocaching and a vivid display for the ultimate GPS experience. Built-in digital camera features 3.2 megapixels, auto focus and geotagging capability. Enjoy vibrant 3D ''walk the trail'' maps with Topo 2008 mapping software, sold separately. Enhance your view and understanding of your surroundings by adding Garmin BirdsEye Satellite Imagery (annual subscription card sold separately). Large, sunlight-readable screen offers crystal clear colors and high-resolution images. Easy, intuitive touch screen operation is fun and simple to use. Waterproof MicroSD(TM) card slot for storing additional data; accepts Garmin MapSource(R) and BlueChart(R) data cards and software. Built-in electronic compass and barometric altimeter provide additional navigational aid. Supports Geocaching.com GPX files for downloading detailed geocache descriptions, terrain, difficulty and hints directly into GPS unit. Groundspeak Wherigo Player application comes pre-installed and includes an instructional tutorial; learn more at www.wherigo.com. Built-in basemap stores up to 1,000 waypoints, 50 routes and 20 tracks with up to 10,000 points; Digital Elevation Model shading enhances map view. Enjoy effortless sharing of waypoints, tracks, routes and geocache locations between the Oregon- and Colorado-series units with ANT wireless communication function. High sensitivity receiver and HotFix(TM) satellite prediction provide rapid first fix and help maintain signal, even in urban canyons and under dense foliage. WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System) enabled receiver delivers accuracy to within 10 ft. in North America. Offers configurable profiles for end use: auto, marine, recreation, fitness and geocaching. Includes 2 AA NiMH batteries.