Sunday, March 18, 2012

Garmin Introduces GPSMAP 64sc


Earlier this month, Garmin announced an addition to its popular GPSMAP devices. The GPSMAP 64sc might look very similar to other GPSMAP units, but it packs quite a few additional features that are sure to make it a win with hunters, geocachers, and hikers alike. Unlike previous editions. the GPSMAP has added an 8MP camera with flash and geotagging, so users can take pictures of the breathtaking views they see on their journeys. The unit also features a dual GPS and GLONASS receiver, allowing it to acquire and maintain signals better even under heavy foliage and in canyons.

Of course, the unit also features a range of features that are similar to other devices in the lineup. Here’s a list of just a few of the perks of Garmin’s newest device:

  • 2.6 inch sunlight-readable transflective color display
  • quad helix antenna
  • 3-axis tilt-compensated electronic compass
  • accelerometer
  • barometric altimeter
  • IPX7 water resistance
  • Smartphone connectivity for receiving messages
  • Free one year subscription to BirdsEye Satellite Imagery
  • Preloaded worldwide basemap with shaded relief
  • 250,000 preloaded geocaches
  • Expandable storage
  • Dual-battery system (NiMH battery pack or AA batteries)

The device is also compatible with a number of maps including Garmin HuntView, Garmin TOPO maps, BlueChart g2 HD, City Navigator, TOPO US 24K maps, and it supports custom and raster maps as well. Additionally, the device supports Garmin Connect mobile app for LiveTrack, which allows loved ones to follow along at home and get updates on your journey. It also supports BaseCamp and can sync with your smartphone to receive messages and alerts on the device.

As stated above, a lot of the features are available on other devices, and personally I never really found things like preloaded geocaches and an additional camera all that useful. But, I am actually pretty excited about the level of accuracy that will be available with the dual receivers, and the convenience of the dual battery system. When I’m out and about, I usually carry AA batteries with me, and being able to use the same batteries for the GPS as my flashlight is incredibly useful and makes packing simpler. Add to that all the other uses, and this device is not too bad.

You can pick up a Garmin GPSMAP 64sc online or at any Garmin retailer for around $399, and it is available immediately. For more information on the features, or about accessories and other Garmin units, check Garmin’s website.


  1. To be perfectly clear, this unit only differs from the GPS Map 64s in that it comes with a camera, as other models in the GPSMap 64 series also have GLONASS capability. Having experienced the camera included in Garmin’s Monterra GPS receiver, I would choose to save the money and use my smartphone instead, as the Garmin camera is nothing special. When combining the time of the photo with the waypoint taken at the same time on my 64s, I can easily know where I took a photo. The best news about this unit’s debut is that it means Garmin is not coming out with a replacement series in the immediate future, so last month’s 64s purchase will have me using the current model, at least into 2017.

  2. Is a quad helix antenna really a feature?

    I haven’t seen evidence the quad helix of the GPSMAP 64 is better than the patch antenna of the Oregon 750.

    Garmin doesn’t publish the GPS gain or radiation pattern of their GPS antennas.

    Emails I have received Garmin said there isn’t a performance difference between the two antenna types, but not sure why they have the two kinds.

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