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Thoughts On Oregon 550?


trky chsr
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Some months a go I got a 550T for Sue and I then later upgraded my 76CSX to a 550.. dropped the T as realised that base topology map is close to useless in the T and we had already gone to the discoverer OS maps on her 550T..

 

Agree with ecanderson, the camera is not that exciting, so agree a 450 if looking to save the $$ or ££

 

If price is not a concern, camera will get a few uses for those DNF's when you want to send a pic to the cache owner re help

 

Overall I like the Oregan series .. and its a good upgrade from the 76CSX, you'll be happy

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If you shop around the price difference is around $60- $80 between the 450 and 550. Right now the 550 is $420 at Amazon. So you're talking about a waterproof camera that geo-tags for $80 or less. Not bad in my book. The camera is always at ready and it eliminates another battery eating device in your pack.

 

I will admit the camera is limited but for the money I consider it a good buy for the average user like myself.

 

I left the pics large to emphasize my point.

YellowWaterTrainingArea008.jpg006-1.jpg

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I currently have a Garmin76cs and I am looking to upgrade. Any thoughts on the 550, good or bad? TC

The weakest part of the Oregon x50 is the touchscreen. The Oregon x50 is NOT ruggedized enough to go geocaching! Mine was "cracked" after 3 months and until now i do not know how it happens.

Go for 62s.

Edited by DanPan
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I currently have a Garmin76cs and I am looking to upgrade. Any thoughts on the 550, good or bad? TC

The weakest part of the Oregon x50 is the touchscreen. The Oregon x50 is NOT ruggedized enough to go geocaching! Mine was "cracked" after 3 months and until now i do not know how it happens.

Go for 62s.

There are people on this forum that will disagree with you, and I happen to be one of them. I've had my Oregon 450 for 6 months and have had no problems with the durability of the screen. I do have a screen protector installed which I also have on my cell phone.

OldA'sFan

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As far as ruggedness, I clip my 550 on to a tie-down loop on my canoe when I go downriver racing. It's survived two significant swims, as well as being banged around on the portages. See, e.g., http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=661697 (pretty easy to see where we went swimming).

 

The only problem I had were some passing issues with the USB connection after the Zoar Gap swim. This may have been the result of the rubber gasket at the bottom not being closed completely and some water getting behind it. I'm not sure. For a short period of time, my PC wouldn't recognize the unit. However, the problem went away and it hasn't returned. And, as you can see, the Oregon recorded the track just fine both before, during and after getting dunked and banged around.

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The Oregon x50 is NOT ruggedized enough to go geocaching! Mine was "cracked" after 3 months and until now i do not know how it happens.

Go for 62s.

 

I have accidentally left my Oregon outside in the rain overnight without an issue. To me, that's rugged!

 

(ps. If you have to know, I was trying to get that elusive WAAS lock and forgot about it.)

Edited by New Jersey TJ
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I am into map making - the 550T is outstanding for that. I like the ability to take a picture of what I want to add to the map. Then I can look at the picture and add it to the map. It is also nice to take a picture of a sign with a map of the area you are about to explore.

 

One problem is Earth Caches. Not only have I found it hard to use the camera to take my picture, some Earth Caches require you to include your GPS in the picture. That is a bit tricky when your GPS is your camera.

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Newer production runs of the 550 have an improved screen (re: visibility). So I'll repeat g.o.cashers suggestion to buy from a place with a lot of inventory turnover, like REI or Amazon.

 

No disrespect to this theory, but I have done quite a bit of research on this and asked very prominent GPS retailers and they swear that this is hogwash, that the Oregon 550 screens have not been changed.

 

Also this has been discussed before and no one could give us proof of this - like after what serial # are the "newer" screens included or has there been a side by side comparison of before and after.

Edited by gpscybr
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The Oregon x50 is NOT ruggedized enough to go geocaching! Mine was "cracked" after 3 months and until now i do not know how it happens.

Go for 62s.

 

Seems pretty tough to me. I took a fall that took me to the emergency ward for stiches. The 550 was in my hand when I hit the rocks like a ton 'o bricks. Still working fine. My knee is good too, thanks for askin'.

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I just got mine today. I was able to operate everything on it within an hour of the quick guide and just messin with it. I was able to load caches with ease, and it was dead on for 3 locations, only one found cause I tend to HATE micros lol. I like the pictures it took, and can say I've gone cacheing plenty of times where I forgot a camera but I've never gone cacheing and forgot a gps..

 

Question for other owners: Can I just buy a blank microSD card and find some free maps somewhere or am I bound to spend $ on maps from garmin?...if I want some maps.

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Newer production runs of the 550 have an improved screen (re: visibility). So I'll repeat g.o.cashers suggestion to buy from a place with a lot of inventory turnover, like REI or Amazon.

 

No disrespect to this theory, but I have done quite a bit of research on this and asked very prominent GPS retailers and they swear that this is hogwash, that the Oregon 550 screens have not been changed.

 

Also this has been discussed before and no one could give us proof of this - like after what serial # are the "newer" screens included or has there been a side by side comparison of before and after.

 

I got my 550T right when the rumors of better screens were coming out. I've been trying to figure out if I got a newer screen. I have not had any problem with seeing it. But this is interesting as my plan was to return my to REI if it was not the newer one and get the better screen. I was hoping I would not need to exchange it. Has anyone been able to verify some have better screens? I've compared mine to a 400T and my screen is much better. But I have not been able to compare it to a 450.

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squeezing the case does it make noise like it isnt closed tight? mine seems to have some play.

 

downloading maps for it now, first thought, i wasn't wow'd

 

after some maps will see how it goes.

I paid 438 free shipping from the Garmin Factory Outlet store on line. and it came with a battery charger and batteries....If your angry with Cabelas (from another post)

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Oh ya the geotagging thing is awesome. You take a picture and when you look through the pictures you have saved on the unit it has a little globe button at the bottom press it and it goes to the map location for the pic. After years of a small LCD screen on a Etrex Legend that feature is really blowing my mind.

 

I don't know maybe I'm easily wowed but I really like this 550. Even without the maps, which I'm going to get soon.

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If it's significantly better than the 400t, I suspect you have the new screen. The original 550 series screens weren't much better than the x00 screens.

 

I doubt that Garmin is publicizing this to their retail partners. And they do have a history of hardware changes like this...chipset change on the 60C(S)x and a screen change on the nuvi 350.

 

Once again, without proof, this "newer screen" theory is just speculation. I did a little experiment to try to shed some light on this - pardon the pun. I invite other forum members to do the same to prove or disprove this theory.

 

I've got a 550 with a 28xxx serial number which I purchased very recently and which I compared to one with 32xxx serial number and the screens are identical; So, unless the supposed new screens were issued before or after this range of serial numbers (i.e both have "new screens" or both do not / both outside this range) the upgraded screen theory does not hold. This is assuming the serial numbers are sequential and not randomly assigned.

 

In another "experiment" I compared both to a 450 with the same settings. Here I did see a definite difference; if anything, the 550 screen seems better to me / I prefer the 550 screen as it is definitely brighter than the 450's (same backlight setting - at max).

Edited by gpscybr
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I tried out the 550 for a couple weeks. I was pretty impressed. The camera seemed excellent. The resolution isnt super high but I wasn't planning on blowing these up to 8x10's. The ease of using the camera while out in the field even for macros was impressive. I did have a concern about the touch screen in the cold for extended periods. I couldn't really find a straight answer whether this may actually be an issue or just a rumor.

I am looking for an upgrade from my etrex venture hc and I was really impressed at the speed of locating sats and how often I got a waas lock. With the venture in the space of 9 months i had a waas lock twice. With the oregon I had waas almost all the time.

I am currently trying out the 62s. I was surprised that the accuracy seems to be even a little better than the oregon. The 62s is a cheaper unit (doesn't have a camera) but I was consistently at 2m accuracy (3m with the oregon). I think it will just depend on if I really want the camera or i want to carry another camera and how much time I will spend out in the winter for extended periods of time. Before I upgraded my Blackberry the camera wouldn't be an issue but with my new curve they dropped the resolution of the camera and removed the flash!!!!

Well thats my $0.02

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I've got a 550 with a 28xxx serial number which I purchased very recently and which I compared to one with 32xxx serial number and the screens are identical; So, unless the supposed new screens were issued before or after this range of serial numbers (i.e both have "new screens" or both do not / both outside this range) the upgraded screen theory does not hold. This is assuming the serial numbers are sequential and not randomly assigned.

 

My first 550 was serial number 005xxx and was replaced by serial number 031xxx. Whilst I could not compare them side by side, I did notice a significant improvement in the newer unit.

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Question for other owners: Can I just buy a blank microSD card and find some free maps somewhere or am I bound to spend $ on maps from garmin?...if I want some maps.

The uSD would be a good idea if you plan to load more than a few maps. What kind of maps do you want? Had a look at http://www.gpsfiledepot.com yet?

 

Thanks ecanderson----gpsfiledespot is awesome I'm all mapped up now...

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