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#8436333 - 01/10/13 12:24 AM Lowrance Elite 7 HDI vs what from Humminbird
MtnDew Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 12/14/11
Posts: 657
Loc: Irving, TX
I can get the Elite 7 HDI w/GPS 2d Sonar and DownScan , 7" screen 800x400 for around $650

That seems like an unbeatable combo ?

The HB 858c HD DI is $999 but with $100 rebate = $899.

Could the HB unit be worth the extra $250.

Or is Side Imaging so worth it that I should drop down to a 5" screen and go with a HB 598 ci HD SI ?

I have no existing units and only plan to get 1 unit for my 14' boat and it must have GPS. So connecting it to another unit or even future upgrade is not much of a concern. 75% of my time will be spent hunting sandbass and hybrids the other 20% for large mouth and 5% crappie.


any comments will be appreciated.

thanks -robbie
_________________________
_________________________________________________
Rob smile

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#8436591 - 01/10/13 07:31 AM Re: Lowrance Elite 7 HDI vs what from Humminbird [Re: MtnDew]
Skeeterbrain Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 07/31/07
Posts: 943
Loc: Cut and Shoot, TX
All are good units. I prefer the Lowrance equipment. I tried Humminbird and they have some great features,like using the LakeMaster map cards. If you are going to go SI you want the largest screen size you can get or afford. I believe that a 5" screen is to small for SI. You need to go somewhere and look at both and decide.

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#8437158 - 01/10/13 09:50 AM Re: Lowrance Elite 7 HDI vs what from Humminbird [Re: MtnDew]
Doug Vahrenberg Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 09/19/06
Posts: 2875
Loc: Truman Lake, Missouri
Side Imaging is the ULTIMATE Sonar! I've used 5" screens and done very well with them but like any sonar get the biggest screen you can afford.


858c DI vs Elite 7HDI

500 Watts RMS vs 250 Watts RMS - HB has more Output Power

800 x 480 vs 800 x 480 - Equal Here

2750 Waypoints vs 3000 Waypoints - 250 More for Lowrance

Warranty 1+1 Years with HB Select Registration vs 1 Year on Lowrance

50 Channel GPS Receiver with 4X Per Second Refresh - Lowrance ???

2D Sonar: 83/200 vs 83/200 - Same Frequencies

Switchfire - Dual 2D Sonar Processing vs Lowrance ???

DI Sonar: 455/800khz vs 455/800kHz - Same Frequencies

Mapping: Contour XD vs Lowrance ??? upgrading to Gold sounds close to equal but additional cost

There are some differences when you compare the specs.
_________________________


Website: www.dougvahrenberg.com
Sponsored by: Skeeter, Yamaha, MinnKota, Humminbird, LakeMaster, Transducer Shield & Saver, LuckyCraft, Dobyns Rods, Daiwa, Dave's Custom Baits, Omega Custom Tackle, Browning Eyewear, Elite Tungsten Co., Angler Innovations, Massey Ferguson.



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#8437831 - 01/10/13 12:47 PM Re: Lowrance Elite 7 HDI vs what from Humminbird [Re: MtnDew]
big10 Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 06/12/06
Posts: 2212
Loc: Temple, Texas
IMO I would not go with side imaging on anything less than an 8" screen. It can be done but it would be very hard. You are probaly going to want to run a splitscreen with your GPS chart up and things get to crowded and small to see anything. For what you are wanting to do, your boat, and budget I would stay away from side imaging. Having said that I like lowrances down scan much better than the birds and would go with the Lowrance based on that alone when comparing these 2 units. I have fished out of a 15' flat bottom a lot and for your needs I belive the Elite 7 is the way to go. It seems to me like a great unit for a great price!


Edited by big10 (01/10/13 12:48 PM)
_________________________

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#8438085 - 01/10/13 01:56 PM Re: Lowrance Elite 7 HDI vs what from Humminbird [Re: MtnDew]
MtnDew Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 12/14/11
Posts: 657
Loc: Irving, TX
WOW ... Thanks Doug .. going forward on your list .. here are some questions that maybe you can help me understand ...

1. GPS receivers. Lowrance specs say 16 vs HB's 50. MY QUESTION is how will that equate to what I experience on the water ? 16 sounds like enough, my current handheld gps is only 12 ???

2. Power - HB has more RMS power, but lowarnce spec shows peak to peak as 30,000 vs HB's 8,000. Again any insight into how that works out on the water. I think the deepest around here is 50-60' and mostly targeting 10-35'.

3.Mapping - the Elite 7 has built in maps. Looked fine for my lakes on the Elite 5 vs HD's built in. Elite 7 ONLY 1 CARD slot.. so if I do buy a map card, I have no card to record sonar logs or screenshots to.. HB 800 series has 2 slots I think. NOT a huge deal during fishing, but being a

4. Switchfire - the elite 7 has the new Hybrid display that mixes the downscan and 2d sonar.. not the same but I am going to call this a draw as they each have something unique.

5. Side Imaging .. I am still struggling on how useful this is to me. MY UNDERSTANDING is it is similar to the lowarnce Downscan, just pointing out to the side. So if I only have Downscan, I would have to traverse the area more to cover the area with the smaller footprint of Downscan as I hunt for hybrids.

Again, any thoughts, comments or scenarios that come to mind are appreciated.

I do know for myself I am a techie junkie and really like the larger screen to have the GPS up at same time to coordinate my search. So I am leaning towards giving up SI to get the larger screen.

I do know there is still a few 2012 998ci HD si ..that maybe had for $1350 .. but that is a big jump in budget. I am just trying to figure out if SI will make my time on the water more productive and more fun to justify it.

Here is another QUESTION FOR YOU ALL not JUST DOUG ?

Ultimately I still have to interpret the graph and use that to figure out the best presentation to catch the fish. Considering that I am a very new fisherman, so my presentation skills/dead sticking /trolling/slabbing are far from expert. WILL SI give me an advantage and offset my lack of experience ??

If someone could explain how SI really increased their productivity, that would help me to decide if I would find it worth it and maybe take funds from other hobbies smile.

THANKS AGAIN. -robbie
_________________________
_________________________________________________
Rob smile

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#8438693 - 01/10/13 04:40 PM Re: Lowrance Elite 7 HDI vs what from Humminbird [Re: MtnDew]
Bardwell Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 11/24/09
Posts: 174
Loc: Ennis, TX
I have just been through this dilemma. My decision came down to the HDS 5 or 7 and the Humminbird 598. If you haven't been on youtube and checked out videos from Doug and others, you need to...there is a ton of info out there. I studyied the thing to death before I decided. My conclusion was this, they're both good. More than one person told me the Lowrance downscan is awesome and the pictures I've seen back that up. I chose the bird 598 because I thought that was the most features you could get for that price ($699 online). Just got the lakemaster card to go with it and it is really cool. Only had it out a couple of times and I'm just learning how to use it. There is a lot to learn, but it's fun especially if you like technology. I maybe sorry I didn't get the 7" screen or bigger, not sure yet. At this point it's such a step up from what I had, I'm thrilled. The Elite 7's look really nice and I consiered waiting on them, but I wanted a side imaging unit even if it was just 5". I sent Doug a PM when I was deciding and he did reply. I don't think there is anything he doesn't know about humminbirds.

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#8438713 - 01/10/13 04:46 PM Re: Lowrance Elite 7 HDI vs what from Humminbird [Re: MtnDew]
BowSlayer Offline
Angler

Registered: 03/06/10
Posts: 385
Loc: Troup, Tx
I can tell you how side imaging has helped me. I can drive beside a boat dock and tell if there are fish holding under it. I can also spot a brush pile that's a long ways from either side of the boat, mark it, then navigate right on top of it. I really did not want to spend the extra money for SI but decided to try a 798. I loved it but wanted a bigger screen so I sold it and bought an 898. Since then I have sold the 898 and bought a 998. Bigger is better, no doubt about it. I'm hoping to be able to jump up to a 1198 in the near future. The ability to see structure that is 100 feet from you and navigate to right on top of it is awesome. It's also nice to know if there are fish holding in it before you ever drop a hook. I would never go back to straight 2D or DI after using the SI for a while. Hope that helps with your decision.

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#8442675 - 01/11/13 04:25 PM Re: Lowrance Elite 7 HDI vs what from Humminbird [Re: MtnDew]
MtnDew Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 12/14/11
Posts: 657
Loc: Irving, TX
oh the decisions smile

thanks for all the input..

-robbie
_________________________
_________________________________________________
Rob smile

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#8444130 - 01/11/13 10:26 PM Re: Lowrance Elite 7 HDI vs what from Humminbird [Re: BowSlayer]
Bobcat1 Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 01/15/07
Posts: 17021
Loc: Sanger,Texas
Originally Posted By: BowSlayer
I can tell you how side imaging has helped me. I can drive beside a boat dock and tell if there are fish holding under it. I can also spot a brush pile that's a long ways from either side of the boat, mark it, then navigate right on top of it. I really did not want to spend the extra money for SI but decided to try a 798. I loved it but wanted a bigger screen so I sold it and bought an 898. Since then I have sold the 898 and bought a 998. Bigger is better, no doubt about it. I'm hoping to be able to jump up to a 1198 in the near future. The ability to see structure that is 100 feet from you and navigate to right on top of it is awesome. It's also nice to know if there are fish holding in it before you ever drop a hook. I would never go back to straight 2D or DI after using the SI for a while. Hope that helps with your decision.
What BowSlayer said. Once you fish with Side Imaging nothing else compares

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#8448955 - 01/13/13 02:17 PM Re: Lowrance Elite 7 HDI vs what from Humminbird [Re: MtnDew]
Doug Vahrenberg Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 09/19/06
Posts: 2875
Loc: Truman Lake, Missouri
Originally Posted By: MtnDew
WOW ... Thanks Doug .. going forward on your list .. here are some questions that maybe you can help me understand ...

1. GPS receivers. Lowrance specs say 16 vs HB's 50. MY QUESTION is how will that equate to what I experience on the water ? 16 sounds like enough, my current handheld gps is only 12 ???


There are not currently 50 Channels in the sky yet but a 50 Channel Receiver allows for longer holds on satellites as they leave the horizon and quicker to lock on to emerging satellites. Which allows for Quicker Acquisitions. Plus it can track and use more satellites to determine your position. I've seen many times 18 Satellites being tracked. Also standard is 4X Per Second Refresh Rate with the GR-50 which provides position locations more often to the unit to track the exact position more often. You'll also learn alot of great things about GPS Here: http://www.bbcboards.net/humminbird-sonar-gps/172969-gps-mapping-information-resource.html

Originally Posted By: MtnDew
2. Power - HB has more RMS power, but lowarnce spec shows peak to peak as 30,000 vs HB's 8,000. Again any insight into how that works out on the water. I think the deepest around here is 50-60' and mostly targeting 10-35'.


Power is the amount of energy transmitted to the crystal at a given frequency. The higher the power, the deeper the penetration into the water column. Power is rated in watts and will be referred to as peak-to-peak or RMS (Root Mean Square: a formula for describing the DC voltage to produce the power effect in AC voltage). When comparing electronics make sure you are comparing the same type wattage. The higher the power the better the return signal which provides better fish, bait fish and structure finding capabilities of the sonar. Power is very important in the total sonar equation. The performance of any fish finder is a balance of proper cone angle, power and frequency.

For most Fresh Water Application 2,000W Peak to Peak is plenty to penetrate and provide plenty of power to see the bottom and all the details in the water.

Lots of good Sonar Information Here: http://www.bbcboards.net/humminbird-sonar-gps/172968-all-sonar-information-resource.html

Originally Posted By: MtnDew
3.Mapping - the Elite 7 has built in maps. Looked fine for my lakes on the Elite 5 vs HD's built in. Elite 7 ONLY 1 CARD slot.. so if I do buy a map card, I have no card to record sonar logs or screenshots to.. HB 800 series has 2 slots I think. NOT a huge deal during fishing, but being a


I use dual card readers alot for Mapping. LakeMaster is a huge feature for Humminbird units with super accurate and detailed maps with Exclusive Patent Pending Mapping Features that allow you to customize to your current condition and needs. Plus I utilize sonar recording and snap shot features alot with the second card reader.

LakeMaster Exclusives: http://youtu.be/QaVqoLeJeeM

Originally Posted By: MtnDew
4. Switchfire - the elite 7 has the new Hybrid display that mixes the downscan and 2d sonar.. not the same but I am going to call this a draw as they each have something unique.


Switchfire is 2D Sonar data processing. Max Mode is UnFiltered Data. Clear mode shows only the structure and fish. This Post will teach your more about Switchfire Sonar: http://www.bbcboards.net/humminbird-imag...son-images.html

Originally Posted By: MtnDew
5. Side Imaging .. I am still struggling on how useful this is to me. MY UNDERSTANDING is it is similar to the lowarnce Downscan, just pointing out to the side. So if I only have Downscan, I would have to traverse the area more to cover the area with the smaller footprint of Downscan as I hunt for hybrids.


Side Imaging is not like Down Scan. Side Imaging has a much larger coverage area outside of the boat. Down Imaging and Down Scan are similar and only look down. You can't determine direction to the right or left with DI or DS but you can with SI. This Video Explains Coverages of all sonars: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sq74UJaNMSs

Originally Posted By: MtnDew
Again, any thoughts, comments or scenarios that come to mind are appreciated.

I do know for myself I am a techie junkie and really like the larger screen to have the GPS up at same time to coordinate my search. So I am leaning towards giving up SI to get the larger screen.

I do know there is still a few 2012 998ci HD si ..that maybe had for $1350 .. but that is a big jump in budget. I am just trying to figure out if SI will make my time on the water more productive and more fun to justify it.

Here is another QUESTION FOR YOU ALL not JUST DOUG ?

Ultimately I still have to interpret the graph and use that to figure out the best presentation to catch the fish. Considering that I am a very new fisherman, so my presentation skills/dead sticking /trolling/slabbing are far from expert. WILL SI give me an advantage and offset my lack of experience ??

If someone could explain how SI really increased their productivity, that would help me to decide if I would find it worth it and maybe take funds from other hobbies smile.

THANKS AGAIN. -robbie


I've got many Video on my playlist for Humminbird that help you learn more and how to operate and get the most out of your investment: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFBA73CD339FC6B95
_________________________


Website: www.dougvahrenberg.com
Sponsored by: Skeeter, Yamaha, MinnKota, Humminbird, LakeMaster, Transducer Shield & Saver, LuckyCraft, Dobyns Rods, Daiwa, Dave's Custom Baits, Omega Custom Tackle, Browning Eyewear, Elite Tungsten Co., Angler Innovations, Massey Ferguson.



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#8451370 - 01/14/13 01:58 AM Re: Lowrance Elite 7 HDI vs what from Humminbird [Re: MtnDew]
MtnDew Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 12/14/11
Posts: 657
Loc: Irving, TX
Thanks again to everyone and especially Doug .. I have watched a bunch of your videos and your posts and participation to help us out is great. I have learned alot.

-robbie
_________________________
_________________________________________________
Rob smile

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#8484845 - 01/21/13 09:28 PM Re: Lowrance Elite 7 HDI vs what from Humminbird [Re: MtnDew]
cetsa Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 7
Robbie,

If I were you would follow advice from independent websites such as fishfinders.info and not from me people who get paid by the manufacturers.


Edited by cetsa (01/21/13 09:28 PM)

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#8492664 - 01/23/13 08:03 PM Re: Lowrance Elite 7 HDI vs what from Humminbird [Re: MtnDew]
MtnDew Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 12/14/11
Posts: 657
Loc: Irving, TX
I picked up the 2012 HB 998c SI ... the price was to good to pass up. I decided I wanted SI and this was the best deal at the time.

I liked the elite 7 and the HDS 8 was in my opinion the best screen for size vs pixels. But could not justify the price of HDS 8 and structure scan vs 998c's closeout price.

I have a smaller boat and only having 1 transducer to mount was a nice feature for the 998c. At this point the weak link is my skills not the boat or electronics smile

-rob
_________________________
_________________________________________________
Rob smile

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#8495212 - 01/24/13 11:34 AM Re: Lowrance Elite 7 HDI vs what from Humminbird [Re: MtnDew]
Fish Hauler's Guide Service Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 02/04/08
Posts: 3953
Loc: Waco
Elite 7 has no side imaging.
I love lowrance, this seems like great unit, but side imaging is a must.
_________________________
Fish Hauler's Guide Service

Waco's Premiere Catfish Guide
redtuck1@yahoo.com
www.facebook.com/fishhauler
(254) 495-6726

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#8582806 - 02/12/13 08:32 PM Re: Lowrance Elite 7 HDI vs what from Humminbird [Re: MtnDew]
Fishton Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 10/30/11
Posts: 2
The Elite 7 is a quite a nice range 'filler', where it incorporates conventional 2D sonar (200/83kHz) with high frequency (455/800kHz) DownScan Imaging. This is a good idea, because until now you would have had to go all the way to the HDS range, or buy two seperate Elite displays in order to get the benefit of both technologies. For all the specs and marketing details you can visit the Lowrance website.

The first thing I thought when I bought the unit was "Why not include the suncover and the transducer in the box as a single one time purchase?"



The Elite-7 is a great looking display and just feels like a high end quality device. The screen is the same wide format as the HDS7 Touch with a full 7" display and not just 6.4" like the HDS7 Gen1 and Gen2. The only sad thing is ... still no EXIT button!



The back of the display is very simple and has the standard plugs like the HDS and HDS Touch units, but remember there is no sonar sharing due to the lack of an Ethernet network. You can however network to other Elite7 and HDS models to share GPS receiver and Waypoints. And once again a quality look and feel to the device is very pleasing.



Fitting the transducer was an absolute dream because I already had the skimmer bracket fitted to my boat, so I simply removed the HST-WSBL and bolted the new Elite-7 transducer straight to it. In hindsight I should have just slid the DSI transducer off and slid the Elite7 straight on because it is exactly the same slide on mounting. I do however need to re-arrange the transducer brackets so they can all fit better. Thank goodness for my transom saver block.



The power up time of the unit is quite long, but the brightness and vibrant colours of the screen when it starts up, hit you with quite a blow. I found the same thing when I got my first Touch unit, very sharp and vibrant colours when compared to the older HDS Gen 1 & 2. The resolution of this unit is fantastic, at 800x480 compared to the older HDS7 units of only 640x480, it makes a huge difference.



It took some time to acquire position the first time it started up, but seemed to be a bit quicker after that. I then popped my micro SD card with the local LCM (Lowrance Chart Maps) of Inanda Dam in, and was shocked to see how quick they loaded and did not cause the unit to crash. This is a major pain in the rear with the new Touch units at the moment, but hopefully will be sorted out soon enough. The contours are fine and the text is sharp, the only problem is that you can't zoom in close enough. An extra two zoom levels are required at least.




The page menu is also greatly improved from the Elite-5 range, offering a host of new options.




I have been nagging Lowrance for a 3-way vertical split since the first HDS came out. So when the Touch came out with this option I was over the moon, and now the Elite7 has it too! But hold on, the Elite7 has something the Touch does not ... you can adjust these 3 vertical panels to suite your application - just awesome. I look forward to the Touch getting this option.




The result is more chart room, and a little less for the two sonar panels. The wide format of the 7" screen and the extra horizontal pixels make this a great option.






Then it was time to put the Elite-7 up against the HDS9 Touch with StructureScanHD and see how the DownScan compares.

Elite-7 HDI



HDS9 Touch


Pretty close in my oppinion, but still nothing like the good old LSS-1, still the best DownScan I have ever seen, especially on 800kHz.

The target seperation on fish holding tight to standing timber is also VERY good on this Elite-7 HDI, as seen in this screenshot. Without DownScan you would have been hard pressed to identify that arc in the 200kHz as a fish and not another brach.


[img]http://www.fishtec.co.za/elite7_12.jpg[/img]

I only bought this unit this morning, and got to fit it and try it out this afternoon for the first time, so I'm sure there will be a lot more to find out about this unit - but for now ... I love it!

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