Fish finders 2 - What about resolution?

Ok, so you decided the ability to peer into the depths to find fish with an electronic device is a cool idea. And you already know the importance of power because you were smart enough to read my previous entry and you did a little research in addition to that.

So now what?

There are a lot of fish finders out there and you can spend a little or a whole lot of money to peer under the water's surface.  In many cases you get what you pay for. You remember me telling you about the Hawkeye finder? That finder simply shows fish and generic bottom structure. That's what you can expect to get for about $50. The Humminbird 560 shows a lot more including detailed bottom structure, fish size, depth, temperature, battery power, hours, etc. That one costs about $160.

Now I am going to mix it up a little with another Humminbird finder called the Piranha 5. This finder shows the same structure and contours, but the quality of the image varies. On the 560, the lines are smooth and detail is much greater than the Piranha 5. The reason is that the 560 has a higher resolution (320 pixels by 320 pixels) while the Piranha has a resolution of 160 pixels by 65 pixels. 

The extent of the detail is revealed when you look at the photos. The 560 image is clearer and has a better mix of grays. The Piranha 5 detail is coarse. Both show fish and both use the same transducer but when looking at the nuances of the bottom structure or looking for thermoclines, the 560 is a better choice. Of course neither is going to show you an HD quality picture of what's under or around the boat. Even the $3000 unit won't do that (however the GPS units can help you get home if you get lost).

Remember, the cost of a finder often equates to the quality of the unit. I have owned both Lowrance and Humminbird and both are quality products. Humminbird looks to be taking an greater interest in meeting the needs of kayak anglers.

In a future post, I will talk about mounting the transducer inside the hull, power, and dealing with cords.

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