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Garmin Montana 600 vs. 650, 650T


Yeah_meoW
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All three units seem quite similar I'm just wondering what route would be best to take. As far as I can tell the 650T has a camera and comes with a 100k topographic map, which are about the only differences. Unless I'm missing something?

 

I plan to use the unit for geocaching, as well as navigation. I'm also a geography major so the additional mapping features will come in handy I'm sure. From my perspective I wont be using the camera at all so no need to pay extra for that feature. As for the topographic map I'd rather have 24k vs 100k for more precise detail, even if that details covers a select region.

 

With that in mind the 600 looks to be the best buy considering I'm not missing anything. And after crunching the numbers; the camera on the 650 comes out to costing about +$40 so might not be that bad of a deal, just for the novelty of it.

 

The 650T --- $589.85 + $74 (city navigator) + $89 (24K topographic)= $752 (with additional 100k topo)

The 650 --- $499.95 + $74 (city navigator) + $89 (24K topographic) = $662

The 600 --- $459.95 + $74 (city navigator) + $89 (24K topographic) = $622

Edited by Yeah_meoW
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The camera on the 650 is mediocre at best. I must admit I was rather disappointed with it. That said for snapshots that record my presence somewhere it does the job and means I can take a quick snapshot without having to take a pocket camera with me as well. To be clear, I'm talking the kind of snapshot you might use for a virtual or earthcache to prove you were there, not something you'd put in your photo album.

 

I'm not convinced the 650t offers a significant improvement over the 650 to be worth the extra money, especially if you're planning on buying the 24k topo maps anyway.

 

So I'd say the decision comes down to whether you want to pay $40 for a mediocre camera.

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I'm a photographer :) , or was before I decided it was merely an expensive hobby not something I wanted to do as a career, so I've got the camera covered. Seems like the 600 is the best bet then. I'd rather put that extra $40 towards another topo map since the map for my region only cover 3 states.

 

In regards to the additional maps whats the best way of getting them onto the device? I've noticed there are dvd and card options.

The card option is probably a bit limiting since only one card can be installed at a time right? Or can I just buy a blank card and copy all the maps onto that?

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I would highly suggest getting the DVD of any map. The DVD allows you to install it on your computer and create routes with Basecamp. You can then use a map installer to install the maps to your Montana. You can install them to internal memory or to an SD card. I have 24k WA state topo on my sd card, along with NW trails, custom maps and my geocache gpx files. The Montana only has one sd slot.

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I would highly suggest getting the DVD of any map. The DVD allows you to install it on your computer and create routes with Basecamp. You can then use a map installer to install the maps to your Montana. You can install them to internal memory or to an SD card. I have 24k WA state topo on my sd card, along with NW trails, custom maps and my geocache gpx files. The Montana only has one sd slot.

 

Can you use the DVD for more than one GPS unit or is it locked into one once you load it up? I know the downloads are but wasn't sure if the DVD is or isn't.

 

I bought the 650t for a great price but if there weren't any sales I would have gone with the 600. The camera is nice to have for those spur of the moment things but as previously noted, it's not going to win you any photography awards. The 100k map is OK, but compared to the 24k mSD card I have for my region that allows me to be routed, it's severely lacking. I purchased a separate card to download other regions and other maps so when I venture out I just swap out the cards.

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I'm a photographer :) , or was before I decided it was merely an expensive hobby not something I wanted to do as a career, so I've got the camera covered. Seems like the 600 is the best bet then. I'd rather put that extra $40 towards another topo map since the map for my region only cover 3 states.

 

In regards to the additional maps whats the best way of getting them onto the device? I've noticed there are dvd and card options.

The card option is probably a bit limiting since only one card can be installed at a time right? Or can I just buy a blank card and copy all the maps onto that?

 

I rather like having a basic camera in the 650. I'm not short of cameras but when I'm cycling the only one I'll carry is the pocket camera, and the Montana is easier to reach for (being on my handlebars) than a pocket camera in a pannier somewhere.

 

For what I'd call "proper" photos - scenery etc - I'd rather have even my pocket camera than the very limited offering in the Montana. For photos that prove I was at a cache location (for earthcaches, or caches where I didn't have anything to sign them) where image quality isn't important the Montana does the job. For good measure it geotags the pictures so if I forget I can check which cache it was from the coordinates.

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One last question in regards to the 600 series

 

For in car navigation would I need to purchase one of those mounts that include a speaker? For the (turn left... turn right...) navigation prompts or does the handheld unit have a built in speaker?

 

Garmin Montana 600 650 650t Powered Auto Suction Mount with Speaker

http://www.gpscity.com/garmin-montana-6xx-powered-suction-mount-with-speaker.html

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I would highly suggest getting the DVD of any map. The DVD allows you to install it on your computer and create routes with Basecamp. You can then use a map installer to install the maps to your Montana. You can install them to internal memory or to an SD card. I have 24k WA state topo on my sd card, along with NW trails, custom maps and my geocache gpx files. The Montana only has one sd slot.

 

Can you use the DVD for more than one GPS unit or is it locked into one once you load it up? I know the downloads are but wasn't sure if the DVD is or isn't.

 

I bought the 650t for a great price but if there weren't any sales I would have gone with the 600. The camera is nice to have for those spur of the moment things but as previously noted, it's not going to win you any photography awards. The 100k map is OK, but compared to the 24k mSD card I have for my region that allows me to be routed, it's severely lacking. I purchased a separate card to download other regions and other maps so when I venture out I just swap out the cards.

 

The DVD's from Garmin are not locked. I have installed 24k Topo on my Montana and my Dakota without any problems. They are not locked.

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