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Author Topic: Oregon 450 or 550T: cleanest route to accurate topo trail detail?  (Read 2301 times)

ksnh

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Oregon 450 or 550T: cleanest route to accurate topo trail detail?
« on: September 23, 2013, 04:42:39 AM »
I plan to buy a Garmin Oregon 450 or 550T for hiking; primarily in NH and ME, but potentially in the Pacific NW at a later date. There is about a $110 premium for the 550T. The obvious step-up with the 550T is camera and pre-loaded, routable 100k national maps. I have some newbie general questions, and then a request for suggestions.   

Questions:

1. Is topo shading active on the 450 if Garmin 24K or 100K maps are installed, and if so, can it be toggled on/off??

2. Is upgrading the 550T to a higher res map than the pre-loaded 100K significantly different vs. installing/configuring the same map on the 450? I had heard that there were features related to the 550T's pre-loaded maps that could complicate the process.

3. I have read cautionary tales about 300' position errors with the 100K maps; is this more likely to be a map creation error or a limitation of the overall zoom level? 

4. Are the Garmin map DVD's more comprehensive in detail than the Micro SD maps?
 
5. Are there consensus recommendations for any "not overkill; just works!" micro SD card, and if so: brand, model, and size?

Forum posts seem to suggest that GPSFD map files w/trails tend to be more detailed and up-to-date than commercial maps. Routable trails are nice but not a deal-breaker. I'm reasonably tech-savvy, but I don't want to have to educate myself down to hardcore hobby level to correctly install and configure non-commercial maps from this site in either model. I want to go the route that will provide accurate and readable trail maps in NH and ME via the best bang for the buck. Iím looking for feedback on the cleanest way to get there without ultimately spending much more than the $260 purchase price of the 550T. Thanks!

popej

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Re: Oregon 450 or 550T: cleanest route to accurate topo trail detail?
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2013, 05:50:37 AM »
550T has 3GB internal flash memory more, some generic wide area map saved in this memory, and a camera like you already have in your phone.

IMHO none of this features is worth increase in price.

Actually I don't know US map in T version, but European equivalent is not very usable. It is a kind of better basemap. I remember that first version of Europe Recreational had a blank hole where Switzerland should be. Fortunately someone had explained to Garmin difference between Europe and European Union ;)

eaparks

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Re: Oregon 450 or 550T: cleanest route to accurate topo trail detail?
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2013, 08:35:16 AM »
The Oregon 450 will do everything the Oregon 550T will do - less the factory installed Topo maps and the camera.

This might help to make up your mind, at present Cablelas has the Oregon 450 on sale until 9-25-13 for $149 with free shipping.  Is the best price I've ever seen for the Oregon 450.  Makes me want to buy 1 just for a spare.
http://www.cabelas.com/product/Garmin-Oregon-GPS/709846.uts?productVariantId=1402051&WT.tsrc=CSE&WT.mc_id=pricegrabber&WT.z_mc_id1=709846&rid=40&mr:referralID=29f13a77-246b-11e3-bae4-001b2166c2c0

Boyd

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Re: Oregon 450 or 550T: cleanest route to accurate topo trail detail?
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2013, 08:41:10 AM »
Wow - at $150 I'd say it was a no-brainer.

FWIW, Garmin has introduced a new version of the 100k topo maps, and evidently it's an improvement, with road data from Navteq like City Navigator and the 24k topo products. However the 100k map is not routable like the 24k versions.

This is the map they are putting on the newer "T models", like the Oregon 650t. I doubt that it's what you would get on an Oregon 550t, since it's an old model that was no doubt manufactured awhile ago. And Garmin's topo maps aren't upgradeable.

eaparks

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Re: Oregon 450 or 550T: cleanest route to accurate topo trail detail?
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2013, 09:13:53 AM »
I plan to buy a Garmin Oregon 450 or 550T for hiking; primarily in NH and ME, but potentially in the Pacific NW at a later date. There is about a $110 premium for the 550T. The obvious step-up with the 550T is camera and pre-loaded, routable 100k national maps. I have some newbie general questions, and then a request for suggestions.  Buy the Oregon 450 at $149.99

Questions:

1. Is topo shading active on the 450 if Garmin 24K or 100K maps are installed, and if so, can it be toggled on/off??  Yes and Yes. With it turned off the screen is easier to view

2. Is upgrading the 550T to a higher res map than the pre-loaded 100K significantly different vs. installing/configuring the same map on the 450? No  I had heard that there were features related to the 550T's pre-loaded maps that could complicate the process.  Don't know what your referring to.

3. I have read cautionary tales about 300' position errors with the 100K maps; is this more likely to be a map creation error or a limitation of the overall zoom level? The older Topo 100k maps did have some street errors in some parts of the country.  They are a topo map first with some roads.

4. Are the Garmin map DVD's more comprehensive in detail than the Micro SD maps?  Same maps.
 
5. Are there consensus recommendations for any "not overkill; just works!" micro SD card, and if so: brand, model, and size?  I've never had any problems as long as I stay with Sandisk or Kingston memory cards.  Unless your are loading a whole lot of Birdseye imagery than an 8 Gb card will do anything you want.  A lot of users use 16 Gb without any problems, some use 32 Gb and some have reported problems with the 32 Gb cards.

Forum posts seem to suggest that GPSFD map files w/trails tend to be more detailed and up-to-date than commercial maps. Yes Routable trails are nice but not a deal-breaker. I'm reasonably tech-savvy, but I don't want to have to educate myself down to hardcore hobby level to correctly install and configure non-commercial maps from this site in either model. I want to go the route that will provide accurate and readable trail maps in NH and ME via the best bang for the buck. Iím looking for feedback on the cleanest way to get there without ultimately spending much more than the $260 purchase price of the 550T. Thanks!  If your somewhat tech savy you won't have a problems plus forum members will glad to help.  The biggest obstacle will be learning your way around in Garmin's free programs Mapsource and/or Basecamp.
 

BobT

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Re: Oregon 450 or 550T: cleanest route to accurate topo trail detail?
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2013, 06:01:01 PM »
X2 to everything said above regarding getting the 450.  I have several friends that have the Montana 650T with camera and they NEVER use the camera.  If you are hiking it might be different but we ride ATV's and the camera faces forward with no lens cover and it is always dirty and muddy.  They all have duct tape over the lens.  Also, in our case it is a pain to take the GPS out of the cradle to take a picture.  We all have cheap cameras hanging around our necks.

eaparks

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Re: Oregon 450 or 550T: cleanest route to accurate topo trail detail?
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2013, 09:07:52 AM »
The Cabelas sale price of $149.99 for the Oregon 450 was to good to last long.  The price has gone up to $169.99 now. 

 

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