Gear Reviews

Garmin International Oregon 550t

This top-shelf GPS can pinch hit as a digital camera.

Brand: Garmin International

Model: Oregon 550t





Make a better mousetrap. That’s what Garmin did when they combined their award-winning Oregon 400t (Editors’ Choice Award, April 2009) with a 3.2-megapixel camera, creating a top-shelf GPS that can pinch-hit as a point-and-shoot. As a result, our map contributors came back with more trail photos than usual, all geo-referenced to their exact location. And the whole thing is a cinch to use, thanks to a three-inch color touch screen and universal icons that even a non-GPS user can understand.

You can access preloaded terrain maps in 3D, save up to 200 tracks and 2,000 waypoints, and use the microSD slot to expand the unit’s 850MB memory. Camera caveat: The 4x digital zoom and autofocus lens are best suited to landscape (not action) photos, and the image quality is best for blogs (not wall art). Bonus: The price includes a battery charger and two rechargeable AAs (expect 10-12 hours of runtime). $600; 5.3 oz.;

The rugged, waterproof Oregon™ 550t combines a high-sensitivity GPS navigator featuring 3” touchscreen with a built-in 3.2-MP autofocus digital camera. Each photo is automatically geotagged with the location of where it was taken allowing you to navigate back to that site. The Oregon 550t comes preloaded with detailed U.S. 100K topographic mapping and features a built-in 3-axis tilt-compensated electronic compass to show your heading even when you’re standing still. A barometric altimeter helps keep track of the altitude and certain weather conditions. Includes a microSD™ card slot. And you can wirelessly share routes, tracks, waypoints and geocaches with other select Garmin devices.