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Make a decision Pleeeease


merseycacher
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I have been faffing for ages about which GPS to buy. I have whittled it down to 2 (I think). 1. Garmin gpsmap 62st

2. garmin oregon 550t. At the moment i am using my garmin edge 705 but i feel its not really a proper GPS more like a bike computer (which its superb at by the way)with satnav. My main foible is accuracy.I obviously would like the paperless doodah but thats not my main concrn. I know there are lots of experienced cachers (of which I am not one) out tere to point me in the right direction (excuse the pun) please help.

 

Lonely and sad of Wallasey (brian) :yikes:

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the main difference between those units is touchscreen vs. buttons. along with that comes higher resolution on the oregon with the tradeoff of slightly lower visibility under certain conditions.

 

the 62 should have slightly better reception due to the better antenna, but judging from people's reports it doesn't seem to make any real difference in practice.

 

and then there's the camera of the 550t. if you don't care for that, go for a 450t to save some good bucks.

 

and then you may also want to drop the "t" for either of them to save some more bucks and get some better and free maps for them online.

 

all this is personal preference and nobody can answer that for you.

Edited by dfx
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I spent the last few days looking at all of them and feel that the Oregon 450 is the best buy with the most features. 450t has more maps, but is $100 more than the 450, and the 550 adds a camera, but I already carry a $600 camera that is well, a camera and doesn't pretend to be a GPSr. So, I went with the 450. JMHO. Can't wait until I get it.

 

Do you know what might help you decide? Look at the user reviews on Amazon. Very helpful. BTW, the 450 at Amazon is $312 and comes from Beach Camera which sells it for $308. I saw it on eBay for $288, but no returns allowed. I went for Amazon because of their liberal return policy.

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It depends how you are going to be using it. If you need a rugged, easy to use with gloves on, easily seen screen, very slightly more sensitive antenna - go for the 62s. If you need something that isn't so rugged and that you won't be using with thick gloves on, then go for the 550 or 450. This has a higher resolution screen but it is slightly harder to see without the backlight. Don't go for the 450t or 550t or 62st as you can get very good free maps from gpsfiledepot.com and save yourself quite a lot of money. Alternatively, if you hate touch screens then get the 62s and if you love touch screens then get the 450 or 550. If you don't need the camera, get the 450.

Edited by Mako-Shark
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It depends how you are going to be using it. If you need a rugged, easy to use with gloves on, easily seen screen, very slightly more sensitive antenna - go for the 62s. If you need something that isn't so rugged and that you won't be using with thick gloves on, then go for the 550 or 450. This has a higher resolution screen but it is slightly harder to see without the backlight. Don't go for the 450t or 550t or 62st as you can get very good free maps from gpsfiledepot.com and save yourself quite a lot of money. Alternatively, if you hate touch screens then get the 62s and if you love touch screens then get the 450 or 550. If you don't need the camera, get the 450.

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I am surprised but also very pleased by these responses. I never even considered the Oregon 450 and certainly didn't know about the free maps. just one question? I am in UK. are the free maps you mentioned available here does anyone know. As aintnorock said I have a perfectly good dslr in my bag so I don't need a camera. I will have a think and maybe by this time next week i will have FINALLY made a decision

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I am surprised but also very pleased by these responses. I never even considered the Oregon 450 and certainly didn't know about the free maps. just one question? I am in UK. are the free maps you mentioned available here does anyone know. As aintnorock said I have a perfectly good dslr in my bag so I don't need a camera. I will have a think and maybe by this time next week i will have FINALLY made a decision

 

It seems to come down to the Oregon and 62s. I've owned a 60CSx for years so I naturally chose the upgrade to the 62s. I like the buttons rather than touch screen and the slightly clearer screen. Both are good units so I doubt you will be disappointed with either a 62 or an Oregon. I did notice your comment about not needing the camera. I have to think that the camera costs at least $75 extra to put in so that money is going to waste if you don't need it. Have you checked battery life? I don't know which is better but that would be an important consideration. Another poster said that the 62s will give you a better antenna but the difference will be slight. I suppose the reviews should show if there is a difference but the 62s seems to have a very robust antenna. I've found it very accurate even compared to the reliable 60 series Garmins.

 

Both good units. Use the same logic that camera stores often use when comparing similar DSLRs, "buy the one that feels best in your hand".

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As aintnorock said I have a perfectly good dslr in my bag so I don't need a camera.

 

Do you always carry your camera when you cache? Does your camera geotag the photo locations so you can see the locations on mapping sites and navigate back to the location if you need to?

 

I also have no shortage of good cameras I usually carry, but the Oregon 550's camera is still really nice to have around, and well worth the extra cash.

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If you need something that isn't so rugged and that you won't be using with thick gloves on, then go for the 550 or 450.

 

what exactly makes the 450/550 less rugged?

 

Larger screen, more chance you are going to hit it and break it if it is dropped or bumped badly. Not much difference though. I just think that the 62s is better for harsh conditions for this reason, and the easier to see screen, and it is easier to use with gloves.

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I am surprised but also very pleased by these responses. I never even considered the Oregon 450 and certainly didn't know about the free maps. just one question? I am in UK. are the free maps you mentioned available here does anyone know. As aintnorock said I have a perfectly good dslr in my bag so I don't need a camera. I will have a think and maybe by this time next week i will have FINALLY made a decision

I am also in the UK. Free contour only maps are available from gpsfiledepot.com but if you want routable road maps, then you can download them from http://talkytoaster.info/ukmaps.htm

 

These maps are updated about every two weeks to keep up with the constantly updating open street map. The maps are available with and without contours and include a lot of point of interests and mark most footpaths. They also support routing and include most UK roads, although a lot maybe lacking names. If you do notice a mistake in these maps though, you can correct the mistake on the Open Street Map and it will be corrected next time the updated map is released. :D

 

I use these maps on my 60csx and they work very well, including the routing. Although lock on road doesn't work for some reason but that doesn't really matter as most Garmin's are accurate enough for this not to be needed. Lock on road just locks the map pointer to the nearest road to compensate for any GPS inaccuracies that may show you just off the edge of the road.

 

Hope this helps.

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I just think that the 62s is better for harsh conditions for this reason, and the easier to see screen, and it is easier to use with gloves.

 

I think it's actually the Oregon which is easier to use with gloves. The on-screen buttons are effectively much larger than the tiny 62 versions, and when I'm on my motorcycle I rarely have trouble using the buttons on the Oregon, but I have to be very careful to hit the buttons just right on my 62S.

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Larger screen, more chance you are going to hit it and break it if it is dropped or bumped badly. Not much difference though. I just think that the 62s is better for harsh conditions for this reason, and the easier to see screen, and it is easier to use with gloves.

 

i dropped my oregon several times already, on concrete no less, and it survived all of that. the oregon's screen is recessed while the 62's screen isn't, honestly i think that gives the oregon an advantage over the 62. same with the touchscreen: it's a myth that it's hard to use with gloves, i'd rather say it's the other way around.

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Larger screen, more chance you are going to hit it and break it if it is dropped or bumped badly. Not much difference though. I just think that the 62s is better for harsh conditions for this reason, and the easier to see screen, and it is easier to use with gloves.

 

i dropped my oregon several times already, on concrete no less, and it survived all of that. the oregon's screen is recessed while the 62's screen isn't, honestly i think that gives the oregon an advantage over the 62. same with the touchscreen: it's a myth that it's hard to use with gloves, i'd rather say it's the other way around.

You could be right as I have never actually used an oregon but I am merely going from experience of similar devices with resistive touchscreens. I would have thought that it would be very hard to drag maps on the screen with rubber gripped gloves on as they would stick to the screen and not slide, is this not the case? I agree that having the screen recessed is definitely an advantage to protect it from scratches and impact. Both are very good units though so it really comes down to preference over touchscreen and screen visibility.

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As aintnorock said I have a perfectly good dslr in my bag so I don't need a camera.

 

Do you always carry your camera when you cache? Does your camera geotag the photo locations so you can see the locations on mapping sites and navigate back to the location if you need to?

 

I also have no shortage of good cameras I usually carry, but the Oregon 550's camera is still really nice to have around, and well worth the extra cash.

good point

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I've found that gloves or no gloves, my accuracy goes up dramatically when I just use the closed tip of my signing pen to manage the Oregon's touch screen. I'm particularly fond of doing that with coordinate entry and field notes. Far less mistakes.

 

The downside to the resistive displays on these units is that they are not by nature as transparent as a capacitive display (there's a micro-thin layer of metal film across the screen), but the upside is that you can touch them with anything and they'll respond. Capacitive displays typically don't respond well to a closed pen.

 

FWIW, the screen is pretty tough, but I'd recommend a screen protector - not that my pen seems to have ever caused it any grief so far.

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