What’s the best all-purpose GPS with a camera?
I want to buy a GPS that will help me drive through unknown cities as well as record points while I'm hiking and photographing nature. Kristina Tpa Bay, Florida
Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
Last May Garmin came out with the Oregon 550/550t (550, $499; 550t comes pre-loaded with topo maps, $599; garmin.com), a scarily sophisticated, easy-to-use device that makes you wonder why people still get lost.
In the wilderness, the three-axis electronic compass shows your heading even if you’re tilting it in the wrong direction. The barometric altimeter tracks your precise altitude and helps you keep an eye on changing weather, and the satellite prediction technology combined with the WAAS-enabled GPS receiver quickly locates and maintains your position in the middle of a dense forest or at the bottom of a deep canyon.
In the city, insert a MapSource microSD card preloaded with detailed maps and you’ll have turn-by-turn directions even in squiggly San Francisco. But what really sets this touch-screen GPS apart is its 3.2 megapixel digital camera with a 4x digital zoom that creates geotagged images so you can return to the exact spot in the future or post and store your images online so that your friends and family can virtually tag along. The 550 and 550t are also compatible with Garmin’s heart-rate monitors and speed/cadence sensors so you can track speed, distance, and elevation in addition to location.