Previewed: Garmin Oregon 550 series

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Garmin today unveiled two brand-new GPS devices—the Oregon 550 and the 550t—both of which incorporate a feature never before seen: a 3.2 megapixel digital camera.


The 850-megabyte capacity camera makes storing and uploading GPS-coordinate-enabled images easier than ever.


For mountain bikers, the lightweight (6.8-ounce) Oregon unit works with Garmin’s existing heart-rate monitors and speed/cadence sensors, and an optional handlebar mount puts all your ride information right in front of your eyes.


The $599 Oregon 550t comes with preloaded topo maps covering the entire U.S., and the $499 550 model comes with a less detailed map package.


In addition to the sunlight-readable touch-screen feature, the new units also come with a 3-axis compass. Both models come with two pre-charged AA NiMH batteries, providing up to 16 hours of power on a single charge that doesn’t depreciate when not in use. The units also come with a charger, carabiner clip and USB cable.


The Oregon 550’s built-in barometric altimeter precisely pinpoints altitude, and helps predict weather conditions by plotting pressure over time.


If you don’t already have a GPS device for your bike or your car, the Oregon 550 series is a chance to kill two birds with one stone. The optional City Navigator mapping feature provides detailed national street maps, and an optional Auto Nav kit adds a suction mount and car charger for getting turn-by-turn navigation out of the same bar-mount unit you use to log—and now photograph—your ride.

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