Garmin eTrex 30x Review – Best Handheld GPS for Photographers

Joachim Bardua

AHome » Garmin eTrex 30x Review – Best Handheld GPS for Photographers

You are looking for a handheld gps device? You are a photographer? Then you should read on – especially when you are interested in outdoor, landscape or wildlife photography!

A handheld gps device supports you:

  • Finding you way to a destination or back home.
  • Marking image spots as waypoints.
  • Geotagging your photos with a track log.
  • With features like a sun and moon calendar or an alarm clock.

But which gps device is the right one for photography? A couple of companies are offerings handheld gps devices: CompeGPS, Falk, Garmin, Magellan and Satmap. But not all devices fit your needs, some are too heavy, some have limited mapping capabilities …

So, as beeing quite experienced with all GPS topics (in German), we recommend one GPS device from Garmin – the eTrex 30x. The eTrex 30x is a great – but still not perfect – device for all outdoor photographers. The pros and cons are listed below.

Garmin eTrex 30x Outdoor GPS Handheld


  • Excellent high resolution display
  • Class leading battery life
  • Fast satellite reception (GPS & GLONASS)
  • Glove friendly
  • Expandable memory for maps
  • All necessary navigation features
  • Automatic track log archiving
  • Profiles for different settings
  • Barometric altimeter and electronic compass
  • Small, fits in every pocket (2.1″ x 4.0″ x 1.3″ / 5.4 x 10.3 x 3.3 cm)
  • Lightweight (5 oz / 141.7 g with batteries)
  • Availability of maps (different types, worldwide, free OpenStreetMaps)


  • Quite slow when zooming and panning maps
  • Takes some time getting used to (menu, thumbstick and five buttons)
  • Needs some knowledge for a perfect setup

Setting up the Garmin eTrex 30x might be a bit difficult at the beginning, especially when using the profile functionality. But for making your life more easy, we created different profiles for using the eTrex 30x as a

  • barometer for weather predictions,
  • data logger for geotagging,
  • hiking device for navigation and marking image spots as waypoints.

You can download this profiles (“English Version”) and use them for free! As an addition, on this page you can download different opensource software products for geotagging.

Your eTrex 30x rating: [ratings]