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Oregon 550 or 60CSx or 62s? Please help me decide.

We have narrowed our choices down to these 3 GPS units to help our local Parks & Rec with plotting coordinates in developing a trails system. Our terrain is hilly to mountainous with lots of tree cover in NW Arkansas.

Which one would you buy and why?

Thanks

Comments

  • Boyd 1974 Points
    Have you seen our Oregon vs 60csx track comparison thread?

    I'm wondering, do you mean the 62s instead of 60s? If you do, I can change the thread title. I haven't used a 62s but now that the firmware is maturing it seems to get positive comments. But the gps chipset is the same as the Oregon, so any difference you might see in terms of performance would only be due to the antenna (which some feel is superior on the 60csx and 62s).

    Also, ask yourself first whether you want a pushbutton or touchscreen interface. If you need to enter much in the way of text or coordinates, the pushbutton system can be frustrating.

    Also curious why only the Oregon has a camera? If you got the Oregon 450 instead you would save a fair amount and it would be comparable to the 60csx and 62s which don't have cameras.

    If you can afford it, look at the Montana 600. Much larger screen and if you are entering text you can turn it to landscape mode and have a full QWERTY keyboard.

    I don't think any of these units will have much trouble with tree cover.
  • Have you seen our Oregon vs 60csx track comparison thread?

    I'm wondering, do you mean the 62s instead of 60s? If you do, I can change the thread title. I haven't used a 62s but now that the firmware is maturing it seems to get positive comments. But the gps chipset is the same as the Oregon, so any difference you might see in terms of performance would only be due to the antenna (which some feel is superior on the 60csx and 62s).

    Also, ask yourself first whether you want a pushbutton or touchscreen interface. If you need to enter much in the way of text or coordinates, the pushbutton system can be frustrating.

    Also curious why only the Oregon has a camera? If you got the Oregon 450 instead you would save a fair amount and it would be comparable to the 60csx and 62s which don't have cameras.

    If you can afford it, look at the Montana 600. Much larger screen and if you are entering text you can turn it to landscape mode and have a full QWERTY keyboard.

    I don't think any of these units will have much trouble with tree cover.
    Yes, I have seen the comparison thread ... a little over the top for me ... I need some laymanspeak.

    Yes, I meant the 62s ... would you please change the thread title?

    Interesting comment on the antenna ... sensitivity will be important to us as we will be in deep valleys and under trees a lot. The touchscreen would be handy, though, because I do think we will be inputting lots of data. As for the camera, that was something our Director wanted ... I'm not sure of the advantage of having a camera in the GPS as opposed to to having a better-quality sub-compact camera with you, also...is there an advantage?

    Now that you mention it, I can see the advantages to the Montana ... input ease is important.

    Lastly, one reason we have considered the 60CSx, even though it has been discontinued, is that it seems to be the gold standard as far as reliabilty and features ... tons of positive reviews.
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    The bottom line of that comparison thread was that the tracks created on the Oregon were more consistent than the tracks from the 60csx. In other words, when walking over the same narrow trail many times the Oregon tracks were closer together than the 60csx tracks.

    I don't know that the reviews you're seeing of the 60csx are still relevant. Almost three years ago Garmin stopped using the SiRFStar chipset in the 60csx. The premise of many of the older reviews is that the 60csx is superior because of the SirF chips, but you can no longer buy one of those.

    You should decide if you need a camera. If so, the 60csx won't meet your needs. There is also a version of the 62 series that has a camera:

    https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=145&pID=89556

    Do you want satellite imagery? It is not available for the 60csx but works on the others that have been mentioned

    https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=70144&pvID=69889

    You might also find the "custom maps" function useful. It is also not compatible with the 60csx:

    http://www.garmin.com/us/products/onthetrail/custommaps

    I suggest that you visit a store such as REI that carries these models. There is really no substitute for holding them in your own hands.
  • Thanks very much for the continued help, Boyd.

    The more you say, the more it sounds like the Oregon or Montana are the way for us to go. Should the touchscreen lack of visibility in sunlight be a concern? Or, the fact that it eats batteries?

    As for the camera, I don't understand the importance of a built-in camera versus having a separate, higher-res pocket camera ... please feel free to talk down to me.

    Your suggestion to get our hands on these prior to buying is a good one, and we have done just that ... basically, our Director is old school and prefers the 62s and a member of our staff who will be using it a lot prefers the Dakota or Oregon.
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    Screen visibility is excellent on the Montana, it is very close to the 60csx in that regard (I have both). See our big Montana thread for some comparison photos.

    I have never felt the need for an integrated camera myself, but the advantage is that it's integrated into other functions of the GPS so you can easily associate photo's with their location and any data you are collecting. If you have a smartphone, there should be apps that can do the same kind of thing.

    The Montana includes a rechargeable battery, or you can use standard AA's. The Oregon 550 and GPSMap 62sc also include rechargeable batteries, but the Oregon 450 and GPSMap 62s do not.

    I have never done any testing of battery life myself, but my Montana easily gets me through a typical day. If you carry a couple extra AA batteries with any of these units, you should be able to make it for many, many hours.

    I recall seeing that Oregon users are getting 12-16 hours using high quality rechargeables.
  • billhman 0 Points
    I know this is a little late but I would like to comment that I have an Oregon 450 and a 62SC. They are both less than two years old. I must say I was a die hard 60csx fan and that is why when I upgraded I went to a 62. It did not disappoint me. About a year later I got an Oregon 450. I must say both units are simply great. I can not detect any advantage one has over the other in terms of accuracy. However, I will say that if you are looking for a gps to be used for geocaching, hunting, hiking, etc. and also automotive navigation I would recommend the Oregon 450. This is because of its over smaller dimensions, and larger viewing screen. It fits in my pocket and on the dash of my Camry a lot better than the 62. I hope this helps anyone trying to decide between the two.
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