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Lostby7
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-06-07
Posts: 3190
Location: Lake country area, WI

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:57 pm Reply with quote Back to top

First the camera:
It works great although it would be nice if it had a click noise along with the capture. To focus the camera you touch the screen and it auto focuses when you are ready release the button and the photo is taken. Zoom is done on screen by touching + or - . The whole screen of the GPS acts as the viewfinder. The images are stored on the unit as well as shown as waypoints on the map. If you click on the waypoint the picture shows on screen. The pictures are very nice....much better than I expected...even zoomed. It works well from a few inches away to across the street (as far as I have shot thus far).
The first image is the waypoint once clicked. The second image is the picture as it appears off the unit...or on the image viewer on the unit.
Image
Image
 
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Lostby7
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-06-07
Posts: 3190
Location: Lake country area, WI

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:28 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Screen:
The Oregon's before this one (200, 300 and 400 series) had a screen which was a bit opaque. The 550 has a very clear screen making the unit appear brighter...though I wonder if its very glossy finish will make it more susceptible to scratching.

Compass:
Very nice the 3-axis electronic compass works pretty much like a real compass. Even holding the unit straight up you get a pretty good read as to the correct direction. Calibration is done once on each plane (three times total).

Battery:
I'm not sure yet how long the batteries last in this unit but included in the box are two NiMH batteries and a 4 slot charger.

Unit:
The door on the back of the unit has been retooled a bit with a spring closure added. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not as springs are known to fail at some point.

Camera:
The unit also allows for three modes of Resolution: 3.2, 2 and 1 Megapixel. You can also choose a low light setting. The above images were shot with the 2MP daylight setting. The images can be stored on the unit or on an SD card.


Last edited by Lostby7 on Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:19 pm; edited 2 times in total 
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cheezehead
WGA Member



Joined: 2006-07-02
Posts: 6063
Location: Hayward, WI. USA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:52 pm Reply with quote Back to top

So can you add your old Mapsource like CN & Topo t it via cards?
I see the 550T comes pre loaded with topo maps for an extra $100.
 
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Lostby7
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-06-07
Posts: 3190
Location: Lake country area, WI

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:01 pm Reply with quote Back to top

cheezehead wrote:
So can you add your old Mapsource like CN & Topo t it via cards?
I see the 550T comes pre loaded with topo maps for an extra $100.

I have a store bought City Nav NT SD card installed in the unit (I have the 550 with no topo). That mapping software works great. If you have NT maps on SD cards which you purchased they should be able to go from unit to unit (I'm not sure if other versions will work or not).
 
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Vegas Gamblers
WGA Member



Joined: 2006-06-27
Posts: 6627
Location: Milwaukee

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:54 pm Reply with quote Back to top

See I was hoping you would have left it at the store so I could get it. Laughing Keep us (me) updated as to the fucntion of the unit and how accurate the unit is. I wish there was a jealous emoticon so I could use it here. Soon my friend I will have one I hope.
 
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Lostby7
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-06-07
Posts: 3190
Location: Lake country area, WI

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:10 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Vegas Gamblers wrote:
See I was hoping you would have left it at the store so I could get it. Laughing Keep us (me) updated as to the function of the unit and how accurate the unit is. I wish there was a jealous emoticon so I could use it here. Soon my friend I will have one I hope.

Are you kidding me? I flew to the store so there would be no chance you'd be able to talk them into giving you my unit. I will report on accuracy and other items (routing, battery life, etc) over the next couple of days.....for the most part it is likely going to be the same in most ways as the other Oregon series. I will be reporting on the items unique to the 500 series.
 
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Vegas Gamblers
WGA Member



Joined: 2006-06-27
Posts: 6627
Location: Milwaukee

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:38 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Yeah, your right, I would have raced you there. I am looking forward to your reviews. How do you like the SD card for the maps? I usually get the CD, but they get expensive. I really am looking forward to the camera, three axis compass and the slick screen. I can deal with the accuracy of the unit if it is the same.
 
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Lostby7
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-06-07
Posts: 3190
Location: Lake country area, WI

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:03 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Vegas Gamblers wrote:
Yeah, your right, I would have raced you there. I am looking forward to your reviews. How do you like the SD card for the maps? I usually get the CD, but they get expensive. I really am looking forward to the camera, three axis compass and the slick screen. I can deal with the accuracy of the unit if it is the same.

I have two sets of maps on the computer...the first set is fairly out of date...the second one now has "locks" which allow it to work on X number of units (which is my biggest Garmin complaint). I really like the SD card as I can move it between my Oregon and Map60 series. But if I could choose only one format I would pick the computer software every time as I do a heck of a lot of plotting and scheming on the computer maps.
 
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Lostby7
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-06-07
Posts: 3190
Location: Lake country area, WI

PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 5:34 am Reply with quote Back to top

Routing:
The biggest complaint I had with the Oregon 300 was that the auto-routing was painfully slow when you needed it to recalculate a route (if you went off its suggested road). I have so far had mixed results with the new 550. One day I kept turning off the route and it did a pretty good, albeit slow, job of recalculating a new route but I found that if you are on a road parallel to the route (within say .25 of the planned route) the unit would not recalculate the route. I was hoping for better routing on the unit but it is still sluggish (taking about .25 to .30 miles before recalculating). The Garmin Map60 series is still much quicker in making recalculations on the fly. That said you always have the option of forcing the Oregon to recalculate by entering in the destination a second (or third) time.

Accuracy:
I selected a waypoint at a telephone pole by my work and have navigated back to that spot before and after work each day. I found the unit exceptionally accurate bringing me to the same spot and the unit claiming to be within 4 feet accuracy (which it clearly was in real life). The pointer is also BIGGER and really nice and easy to see:
Image

I will report back on both of these items in about a week after I run the unit through its paces under thick cover.
 
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gotta run
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-11-26
Posts: 3306

PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 6:14 am Reply with quote Back to top

Lostby7 wrote:
Routing: I was hoping for better routing on the unit but it is still sluggish (taking about .25 to .30 miles before recalculating).


The 450 does a recalc within a few seconds. I wonder if it's a difference between using a hardware-installed map (CN uploaded to the device) versus your SD card?

I'll let you know if I have the same experience with the 500 (when it get's here Evil or Very Mad )
 
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Lostby7
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-06-07
Posts: 3190
Location: Lake country area, WI

PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 6:34 am Reply with quote Back to top

gotta run wrote:
Lostby7 wrote:
Routing: I was hoping for better routing on the unit but it is still sluggish (taking about .25 to .30 miles before recalculating).


The 450 does a recalc within a few seconds. I wonder if it's a difference between using a hardware-installed map (CN uploaded to the device) versus your SD card?

I'll let you know if I have the same experience with the 500 (when it get's here Evil or Very Mad )

That is a good question. I'd be interested in that. I will inquire at the Oregon WIKI site and see what other users find and report back here as well.
 
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PCFrog
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-05-11
Posts: 728
Location: Sparta, WI

PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 2:00 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx taking a price cut at many stores.... wonder if there is a connection.
 
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hogrod
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-07-24
Posts: 639
Location: New glarus, WI

PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 4:17 pm Reply with quote Back to top

PCFrog wrote:
Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx taking a price cut at many stores.... wonder if there is a connection.


That price drop might be related to them starting to use a different GPS chipset in the 60 series, I've seen a few post on the geocaching.com forum where its now using some new MTK chipset now, not a Sirf III.

http://www.mediatek.com/en/news/info.php?sn=15
 
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Lostby7
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-06-07
Posts: 3190
Location: Lake country area, WI

PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 6:01 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Lostby7 wrote:
gotta run wrote:
Lostby7 wrote:
Routing: I was hoping for better routing on the unit but it is still sluggish (taking about .25 to .30 miles before recalculating).


The 450 does a recalc within a few seconds. I wonder if it's a difference between using a hardware-installed map (CN uploaded to the device) versus your SD card?

I'll let you know if I have the same experience with the 500 (when it get's here Evil or Very Mad )

That is a good question. I'd be interested in that. I will inquire at the Oregon WIKI site and see what other users find and report back here as well.

Garmin is still working on the routing issues...here is a list o fthe known problems:
http://garminoregon.wikispaces.com/Issues+List#toc7
 
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Lostby7
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-06-07
Posts: 3190
Location: Lake country area, WI

PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:26 am Reply with quote Back to top

Well I took this unit to South Dakota this past week. I took hundreds of pictures and found a couple dozen geocaches.
The camera worked great and took awesome pictures.

It routed pretty well and even did a reasonable job of re-routing when off the route when driving.

I did crash it a couple of times going from one screen to another but it was no big deal. In all the unit was very stable and reliable for the week of heavy usage.

In terms of accuracy and signal lock, I cannot report any issues or problems (even in the mountains and valleys of the Badlands and the Black Hills there was no problem with signal lock).

I'm not sure this unit is a home run but it is a triple with a man trying to steal home....the price is hefty though; I'd wait at least 6 months and the unit will no doubt drop in price by $100.
 
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