Newbie thread: Which Garmin handheld GPS to buy?

Discussion about software such as GSAK, OziExplorer etc, as well as all things hardware, GPSrs, laptops, PDAs, paperless caching, cables etc
LouiseAnn
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Re: Newbie thread: Which Garmin handheld GPS to buy?

Post by LouiseAnn » 24 July 12 12:21 am

We have a 450, have never had a problem with no voice for navigation and I love it for caching. I happily recommend it :)

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Re: Newbie thread: Which Garmin handheld GPS to buy?

Post by quiet1_au » 24 July 12 8:46 am

LouiseAnn wrote:We have a 450, have never had a problem with no voice for navigation and I love it for caching. I happily recommend it :)
When I had to replace my first (dropped) Oregon 550 I was seriously considering a downgrade to the 450 as I didn't use the camera that much to justify the extra expense. I was lucky though in the the 550 came with a great discount at the time from one store so I was able to get it for the same price as the 450 (possibly a fraction cheaper) :) Now I guess I would also take a close look at the Etrex 30 or GPSMAP78S too, but neither seem to support Whereigo?

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Re: Newbie thread: Which Garmin handheld GPS to buy?

Post by gmj3191 » 24 July 12 11:41 am

As more and more people get smartphones, they are fast becoming a great option for in-car navigation.
Google Navigator speaks street names and turns, and uses surprisingly little bandwidth.
Samsung's Navigon uses off line maps, is free, and also very good.

To use the same unit as a caching GPS and a Car Navigator imposes compromises to some extent on one or the other function.
Although my Subaru has an inbuilt sat nav, when I'm caching I tend to use Neongeo or c:geo to identify the cache, and then drop into Google Navigator to take me there.
Then I use my Oregon to find it.

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Re: Newbie thread: Which Garmin handheld GPS to buy?

Post by RobWinmar » 25 July 12 12:02 am

Thanks for your thoughts, folks. I mainly want it for caching, so if there's no great all-rounder I'd definitely go for caching related features, and get a car GPS separately sometime later.

Both the 450 and 550 look appealing, so I'd be happy with either at the right price. Where did you buy your respective ones? I'll check out the Etrex 30 and GPSMAP 78S too. How do they compare?

Edit: Has anyone ever bought anything from www.gpscity.com? They've got good prices on the models mentioned above.

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Re: Newbie thread: Which Garmin handheld GPS to buy?

Post by quiet1_au » 25 July 12 9:06 pm

I bought my first Oregon at a boating place in Collingwood (something of an unlikely combination but they're still there). My second from Johnny Appleseed GPS on St Kilda Road (whichever suburb that is - let's just call it Melbourne). My Nuvi was picked up from an Officeworks whilst out caching in the northern suburbs. I haven't bought one online, for once the local stores have been decent value so I haven't needed to look further afield :) (but I've bought plenty of other kit online from all over)

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Re: Newbie thread: Which Garmin handheld GPS to buy?

Post by tatty » 26 July 12 1:17 pm

My 550 and chirps all came from gpscity.com, very quick postage from the US.

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Re: Newbie thread: Which Garmin handheld GPS to buy?

Post by gmj3191 » 26 July 12 4:53 pm

Being supportive of local businesses :-" I bought my Etrex Legend from Johnny Appleseed, My GPS Map 60 csx from GPSOZ, and my Oregon 550 from Johnny Appleseed.

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Re: Newbie thread: Which Garmin handheld GPS to buy?

Post by RobWinmar » 13 September 12 11:03 pm

I ended up buying my eTrex 20 from Johnny Appleseed in St Kilda a few weeks ago. Still waiting for the free topo maps to come from Garmin though. It's a good little unit and should suit my uses nicely.

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Re: Newbie thread: Which Garmin handheld GPS to buy?

Post by biggles1024 » 27 September 12 4:45 pm

Hi all,

I'm this close (holds thumb and forefinger a fraction of a milimetre apart) to buying my first handheld GPS. I've been using an iPhone 3GS until now and it is very lacking. I was set to buy a Garmin Oregon 550 but when I checked the specs saw that it is identical to the 450 except that it has a camera which I don't need and comes with 2 batteries which I don't need and costs, from JA, $90.00 more than the 450.
Given the above, is there any reason to buy the 550 over the 450?

I will be using the GPSr for bushwalking in addition to Geocaching and a mapping GPS is essential.
Currently, Garmin has a special offer of free topo maps for selected models, with both the 550 and 450 included. Given that special offer, is there any reason not to buy a 450 and receive the free maps rather than buy the 450t?

Thanks for any help.

Cheers,

b

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Re: Newbie thread: Which Garmin handheld GPS to buy?

Post by gmj3191 » 27 September 12 5:19 pm

biggles1024 wrote:Hi all,

I'm this close (holds thumb and forefinger a fraction of a milimetre apart) to buying my first handheld GPS. I've been using an iPhone 3GS until now and it is very lacking. I was set to buy a Garmin Oregon 550 but when I checked the specs saw that it is identical to the 450 except that it has a camera which I don't need and comes with 2 batteries which I don't need and costs, from JA, $90.00 more than the 450.
Given the above, is there any reason to buy the 550 over the 450?

I will be using the GPSr for bushwalking in addition to Geocaching and a mapping GPS is essential.
Currently, Garmin has a special offer of free topo maps for selected models, with both the 550 and 450 included. Given that special offer, is there any reason not to buy a 450 and receive the free maps rather than buy the 450t?

Thanks for any help.

Cheers,

b
I have a 550 and I do use the camera ocassionally because it's there, but really, it's better to use the camera in my GS2 smartphone because it's better quality and easier to send the photo on to others via email, touch or viber, while you can't do anything with the photos on the GPS until you get home.
Get the 450, unless you want to look at a Montana which has a bigger screen and some say is easier to use. More $$$$s though and not necessary.

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Re: Newbie thread: Which Garmin handheld GPS to buy?

Post by biggles1024 » 27 September 12 5:34 pm

gmj3191 wrote: I have a 550 and I do use the camera ocassionally because it's there, but really, it's better to use the camera in my GS2 smartphone because it's better quality and easier to send the photo on to others via email, touch or viber, while you can't do anything with the photos on the GPS until you get home.
Get the 450, unless you want to look at a Montana which has a bigger screen and some say is easier to use. More $$$$s though and not necessary.
Thanks for that. I always have my iPhone for photographs, (I'm not much of a photographer) but the geotagged photos that I have taken with it, shows even photos that were taken in exactly the same location, to within a foot, were taken anything up to a few hundred metres away and that's despite being in an area clear of buildings and trees. I can only hope the later models, there are now three later models are more precise.

I would love to have a Montana just for the extra screen size, but its out of my price range.

The 450 with the free maps is looking pretty good.

Cheers,

b

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Re: Newbie thread: Which Garmin handheld GPS to buy?

Post by AusMoss » 27 September 12 10:28 pm

We've also been looking to buy a new GPS (which will be our first for geocaching) and have been looking at Garmin GPSs online today too (as it sounds like they're the most compatible with paperless geocaching - is this true?), and we also figured we might as well take advantage of the free maps promotion...

Models that have stood out to us after looking at the Garmin website and reading/watching some reviews are the Oregon 450, the eTrex 30 (we will probably get one of those two) and the GPSmap 62s

The Orgeon 450/550 has had a lot of recommendations, but it sounds like the screen might not be as good in the sun as the non-touch screen GPSs. Another disadvantage of the touchscreen I saw mentioned is not being able to use it while wearing gloves (unless they're fingerless) although I'm not sure how often that would come up as an issue for us. Having said that, the screen is bigger, and the menus look fairly straightforward from what I've seen on youtube.

The eTrex30 is smaller but looks ok, although I'm not sure how the joystick and buttons would compare to the touchscreen for navigating the menus and scrolling the maps (the one bit of scrolling through a map I saw on youtube looked pretty slow with the joystick). I assume typing on the touchscreen would be easier than selecting letters with a joystick, too.

The GPSmap 62s is more expensive, and seems quite similar to the eTrex 30 apart from having more navigation buttons, and an external antenna. I read somewhere that the external antenna makes the GPS slightly more accurate. The screen looks better in the sun than the Oregon 450, but not sure how it compares to the eTrex. Are there any other significant differences/features that make this more expensive one worth considering?

We'd be really interested in hearing about any other geocaching-related differences between the Oregon 450 and the eTrex30 that might help us choose between them. It's hard to get a feel for all the features just looking at the specs and descriptions on the website, and we don't have any personal experience with geocaching that would help us talk to a sales rep about what we're looking for. We're interested in making geocaching as convenient as possible, so paperless geocaching and being able to load multiple geocaches and then go and get them when we were in the area would be perfect for us.

Thanks in advance for any advice :)

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Re: Newbie thread: Which Garmin handheld GPS to buy?

Post by gmj3191 » 28 September 12 12:42 am

Youtube has lots of video reviews and product tests that may help.

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Re: Newbie thread: Which Garmin handheld GPS to buy?

Post by biggles1024 » 28 September 12 7:38 am

AusMoss wrote: Models that have stood out to us after looking at the Garmin website and reading/watching some reviews are the Oregon 450, the eTrex 30 (we will probably get one of those two) and the GPSmap 62s
<snip>
The GPSmap 62s is more expensive, and seems quite similar to the eTrex 30 apart from having more navigation buttons, and an external antenna. I read somewhere that the external antenna makes the GPS slightly more accurate. The screen looks better in the sun than the Oregon 450, but not sure how it compares to the eTrex. Are there any other significant differences/features that make this more expensive one worth considering?
You've probably already done this, but the Garmin website makes it very easy to compare the specs from different Garmin models.
The three you've mentioned can be compared here.

https://buy.garmin.com/shop/compare.do? ... duct=87774

The 62s is certainly worth looking at for me because I favour bush caches but also want to use the GPSr when I'm out hiking and hunting. Its also in my price range, just. :)

Cheers,

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Re: Newbie thread: Which Garmin handheld GPS to buy?

Post by gmj3191 » 28 September 12 12:23 pm

The 62 range have a much clearer screen but a lower resolution.
I was concerned about this when buying my Oregon but I have never had an issue with the screen.
The 62 has buttons whereas the 450 has a touchscreen and the 40 has a joystick.
My original GPS was a Garmin Legend which had a joystick, and that eventually became less and less sensitive until it failed altogether. Possibly they have improved the design now, but hey, it lasted about 4 years and you might want a newer model by then anyway.

The 450 will hold about 5,000 caches, don't know about the others. You don't tend to see that quoted.
The 62 has a more exposed antenna which might be a little more sensitive but I've been happy with the accuracy of the Oregon.
Battery life isn't all that significant because you always carry spare batteries.
That's all I can think of for now.

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