Garmin Gets Snappy with Camera-Equipped Oregon 550/550t

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GPS maker Garmin has taken the wraps off its new Oregon 550 and Oregon 550t GPS units, two new multipurpose GPS units designed to appear to everyone from traditional in-car GPS users to hikers and boaters as well. Plus, the 550 and 550t include a 3.2 megapixel camera, so there’s no need to cart along a separate camera to chronicle a trip…or a day hike.

“As everyone looks for ways to do more with less, Oregon 550 and Oregon 550t can be the one GPS device you turn to for all of your activities, in any climate, on any terrain, at any time of year,” said Garmin VP for worldwide sales Dan Bartel, in a statement. “Easy enough for beginners to master, Oregon will guide you in your adventures, capture the highlights and bring them back home.”

The 550 and 550T feature a 3.2 megapixel camera with a 4× optical zoom, and users can save photos to 850 MB of internal memory—more storage is available via a microSD card slot. Naturally enough for a GPS system, the units geotag photos with GPS coordinates as they’re taken—and for the hiker, boater, or geocacher on the go, the units are water-resistant for outdoor use..

The 550 and 550t also feature a 3-axis compass and a sunlight-readable 3-inch touchscreen display; the GPS’s also feature a barometric altimeter and the ability to store up to 2,000 waypoints, 200 routes, and 5,000 geocaches. The units run on two pre-charged NiMH AA batteries that offer up to 16 hours of operation. Garmin also offers an optional City Navigator service with detailed street males, and an option Auto Nav kit with a car charger and dashboard suction mount for in-vehicle use.

The Oregon 550 GPS should be available from major retailers soon for a suggested price of $499.99; the Oregon 550t comes pre-loaded with 100K topographic maps of the United States with 3D elevation perspective rendering, and should be available soon for $599.99.

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