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Oregon 550 Display Visibility?


Didjerrydo
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I was considering getting a Garmin Oregon 550, IF & only if, the display visibility has been vastly improved over the first units. Surely it's been fixed by now.

I think the camera thing is kinda' hokey and unnecessary, and that certainly wouldn't be a selling point to me, because I'm sure its images are tiny .jpg files like a cell phone, but if they've actually made the display visible in lower light without having to use the backlight I'd be impressed!

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I was considering getting a Garmin Oregon 550, IF & only if, the display visibility has been vastly improved over the first units. Surely it's been fixed by now.

I think the camera thing is kinda' hokey and unnecessary, and that certainly wouldn't be a selling point to me, because I'm sure its images are tiny .jpg files like a cell phone, but if they've actually made the display visible in lower light without having to use the backlight I'd be impressed!

 

The screen has improved on the 550 over the 400/300/200. There have been a few members here that can back this up (ask redhawk44p for one). Also, the software in the unit seems to have gotten a polishing, not exhibiting many of the track logging/accuracy quirks some people claim to have. Many here are stating that it is more stable overall than the 400/300/200 models.

 

Don't discount the camera just yet. I thought it was kinda goofy at first too, kinda like the GPSrs that have music players... but the more I think about it, it could be very useful for capturing views on the go while out hiking or geocaching. The reviews on the 550 state that it is a decent camera, not like a stand-alone obviously, but very decent for what it is. It does have auto-focus, is 3.2 megapixel resolution, and also geotags the pictures. Out of all gimmicky things they could put on these GPSr's, the camera could be one that I see being somewhat useful. If I have the option of just lifting my arm up a few inches and snapping a picture with the GPS, or having to take my pack off, unzip a pocket to get my camera out, turn it on, wait for it to start up, frame the picture I want etc, I would pick the GPS with the camera!

 

That is just my take on it. But to summarize my answer, yes the 550 screen viewability has improved over the 400/300/200 lineup.

Edited by Tahoe Skier5000
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I was considering getting a Garmin Oregon 550, IF & only if, the display visibility has been vastly improved over the first units. Surely it's been fixed by now.

I think the camera thing is kinda' hokey and unnecessary, and that certainly wouldn't be a selling point to me, because I'm sure its images are tiny .jpg files like a cell phone, but if they've actually made the display visible in lower light without having to use the backlight I'd be impressed!

 

The screen has improved on the 550 over the 400/300/200. There have been a few members here that can back this up (ask redhawk44p for one). Also, the software in the unit seems to have gotten a polishing, not exhibiting many of the track logging/accuracy quirks some people claim to have. Many here are stating that it is more stable overall than the 400/300/200 models.

 

Don't discount the camera just yet. I thought it was kinda goofy at first too, kinda like the GPSrs that have music players... but the more I think about it, it could be very useful for capturing views on the go while out hiking or geocaching. The reviews on the 550 state that it is a decent camera, not like a stand-alone obviously, but very decent for what it is. It does have auto-focus, is 3.2 megapixel resolution, and also geotags the pictures. Out of all gimmicky things they could put on these GPSr's, the camera could be one that I see being somewhat useful. If I have the option of just lifting my arm up a few inches and snapping a picture with the GPS, or having to take my pack off, unzip a pocket to get my camera out, turn it on, wait for it to start up, frame the picture I want etc, I would pick the GPS with the camera!

 

That is just my take on it. But to summarize my answer, yes the 550 screen viewability has improved over the 400/300/200 lineup.

The camera is not really that bad. It defaults to 2 megapixel and you have to set it specifically to 3.2 in order to get the higher resolution. The big thing is the storage space. Be sure to transfer them off the unit often to clear up available memory or use high capacity MicroSD's. I have city maps on my SD and also use it for JPEG's so it fills up pretty fast.

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I came from colorado 300 to oregon 300 now a oregon 550

 

The screen is perfect for me, also in the sun, backlight off, the more sun the better readable.

They definitely solved the oregon screen problem, if there was any.

 

The gps seems to react faster overall and the tracks are where they should be, I did not see any spikes yet.

 

The camera is very nice and the geotagging can be very handy

Newly made tracks and waypoints are set in separate files.

 

This is handy because you can edit them directly, also dangerous because there's no backup anymore in the Gps

 

Overall a very nice Gps that seems to work and do all the tricks well.

Edited by splashy
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The nice thing with the 550 and its camera, is that like the rest of the GPS its waterproofed just like the GPS. Unlike your cellphone/point and shoot camera. I've come across a few caches, that required a picture, as well as waymarks. So its nice to have the camera, it is gimmicky, but its the most useful gimmick one could add to the GPS in my opinion. The 550 is really a all in one Geocaching GPS that can do pretty much everything needed.

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I think the camera thing is kinda' hokey and unnecessary, and that certainly wouldn't be a selling point to me, because I'm sure its images are tiny .jpg files like a cell phone ...

 

The pictures are pretty good actually. It's "only" 3.2 MP, but the picture quality is much better than what my cell phone is able to produce (which has a 5 MP camera). File size of each picture is up to around 600 kB, which probably puts it around 90-95% JPEG quality. It's not a substitute for a proper digital camera, but it's a handy tool to have.

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I was considering getting a Garmin Oregon 550, IF & only if, the display visibility has been vastly improved over the first units. Surely it's been fixed by now.

I think the camera thing is kinda' hokey and unnecessary, and that certainly wouldn't be a selling point to me, because I'm sure its images are tiny .jpg files like a cell phone, but if they've actually made the display visible in lower light without having to use the backlight I'd be impressed!

 

Improved yes. Vastly definitely not.

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Ive had the Oregon 550 for a year and also wasnt sure about the camera ahead of time but now love it. The quality of the photo's is not equivalent to a $500 camera but a $500 camera dosnt give you coordinates and altitude and show where the picture was taken on a map. I think Ive only used my Casio camera once since I got this gps.

Like stated above the screen shows up best with full sun on it.. save the battery and turn the back light off. The back light on mine kills the battery FAST and I find myself turning it on and off as needed.

Garmin is always updating the software for these. Right out of the box there were updates for mine and I just recently went back to their website and found there were almost a dozen more. This is the only time I ever got anything out of registering a product

Ive found that the accuracy goes way down when my tracks are 80% full. now I regularly delete the tracks.. was thinking this was a memory issue but recently found out when you delete the track the gps archives and stores it?

hope these thoughts help

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