BC 4x4 Forums banner
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

8,221 Posts
Carlos said:
I am contemplating the two and I don't know if the extra money is worth it for the extra Vista features or any recommendations ??
If you're going to be doing a lot of travelling and use the uploadable maps, the 24MB of the Vista is a huge benefit over the 8MB of the Legend.

The Vista's built-in compass is pretty handy, too, although I would probably carry an external compass as a backup, anyway. If you need an altimeter, the Vista might be the best choice for you. It has a 10 ft accuracy (if you keep it properly calibrated). If you don't need that much accuracy, you might be able to use the GPS-determined altitude. On our last trip through the Hope-Princeton, my GPSIII+'s alt. readings were within 15-20 feet of the posted altitudes at a couple of the summits.


Join | BC4X4 | .com

1 Posts

I ended up buying the Vista a few months back. Overall, I am happy with the choice versus the Legend. Here is why:

1) The 24 MB of memory has already come in very handy. To give you an idea, right now I have part of Sask, all of Alberta & BC, the lower part of Alaska, street level for Vancouver and enhanced basemap for parts of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and part of Montana. In total I think this is taking over 20 MB of memory. Just the Vancouver street level is, from memory, about 6 MB. Do you always need the maps loaded? Not really, but it's nice to have the buffer zone in case you decide to make a border run on a camping trip, etc...

2) The magnetic compass at first was just a toy and wasn't too accurate unless you calibrated it after every battery change. (it's easy, you just walk in a circle twice) You also really need to hold the unit flat. Then I tried geocaching (www.geocaching.com) which often puts you into dense bush. Came in really handy there and had some fun. Then last week I was fishing up in Prince Rupert on the ocean and the guy I was with had a fancy GPS unit in his boat. We were trying to find a waypoint he had marked where there was a very small shelf where he had good success once before. We got close to the spot with his GPS but since he couldn't get a directional reading unless the boat was moving (as would be the case with the Legend model) it was tough to get close. (the spot was 40 or so feet wide) So I pulled out my Vista and used the magnetic compass and GPS to guide us right on top of it. Pretty cool - caught a nice fish to boot. Overall, any unit without a magnetic compass will not be able to give you a bearing or direction unless you are moving - if you are walking and then stop and turn around it will give you the last available moving data. If you are only using it in a vehicle while moving it's not necessary to have the feature because when you turn around in a car it takes up enought space to get an accurate reading easily. I usually turn off the magnetic compass while driving and just use the GPS compass to save batteries.

3) As for the altimeter, I have found it fairly accurate. But Lars is right, you need to calibrate it. But that's isn't as easy as it sounds. You need to know exacts for two elements: Current elevation and barometric pressure. You may know the elevation, but is it exact? And the pressure the weatherman on TV says isn't always the same in your area - especially if you are in a suburb. So I went to a small airport and talked to a flight school. They always know the exact elevation of their field and almost always have a mini weather station there. Once it's calibrated, I have found it pretty much dead on. Even without calibration, it was only off by a few feet.

Hope that helps you in your choice.


1 - 3 of 3 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.