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.
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!