I had the RL and Color version on my previous boat. THere is no comparrison between them and the E series. I have also had the Garmin on a different boat. I liked the Garmin a lot, but still opted for the E series.
To answer your question, the ability to turn down the E to a readable level without hurting your night vision is easy to do and much better than the previous models. It also scrolls, refreshes, overlays, and in general runs better.
If you are used to the RL series, you will be able to run the E series pretty easily as it is basically the same thing, but with a few refinements in pages. The only thing I have found that I do not like on the Raymarine series is when you lose a HS Bus it really screws everything up... and not just the unit that loses the buss. Do all manufacturers have this problem??? I don't know. Most of my experience is with Raymarine. But I would not rule out the Garmin either. They make a nice product and it is pretty easy to navigate.
PS Just one comment on night vision: I have found that CP's (esp color) all screw up your night vision. Not sure there is a way around that. You can turn it down so it is very dim... but it still eats at the night vision.
10-21-2007 12:37 AM
Chartplotter Backlighting: Garmin vs. Raymarine
We currently have a Raymarine C70 on our boat. I like the functionality, but I haven't been able to adjust the night functionality of the unit to a level I like. If you turn it to night mode and then turn down the brightness to a level that isn't horrible for your night vision, you can barely make anything out.
Is the E series the same way? What about the Gamin 5200 touch screen series? Non-backlit units that change colors and color intensity would be better for night vision from my perspective. Any suggestions or thoughts?
We're looking to put together an pretty comprehensive electronics package for our next boat.