Garmin Gets Into GoPro’s Game with the VIRB and VIRB Elite Cameras – Interbike 2013
by Daniel Curtin
The Garmin VIRB marks the venerable GPS company’s move into POV video. There are two models, the standard VIRB and the VIRB Elite. While entering into a crowded market dominated by GoPro may seem risky, Garmin is packing their new camera with connectivity options and plenty of features in attempt to make their camera a game changer.
The $299 VIRB shoots in true HD 1080p and produces great looking movies and images thanks to a bevy of features including image stabilization and lens distortion correction. It shoots in three modes: wide, medium and narrow.
The camera itself has a high resolution 1.4″ Chroma display built into it allowing users to easily frame shots, utilize menu options, and even offers some playback capability. The case is highly water resistant and Garmin will offer a case for true waterproofness for use in water sports. Additionally, the sleek design is billed as being aerodynamic.
The rechargeable lithium ion battery will provide three hours of operation for shooting video and the camera will shoot still images in 8, 12, or 16 megapixels either as a photo burst or in time lapse sequence. The mount features multiple placement options as well as a ratcheted position set-up that prevents the camera from slipping.
It will accept up to 64 gb micro SD cards, which will allow up to 7 hours of HD video filming, allowing you to race the entire Holy Week in New England or Christmas Week in Belgium on just one card.
Since the camera is designed and built by Garmin, it makes sense that the VIRB is ANT+ capable. A neat feature for current Garmin GPS users is that the camera can pair with your Garmin computer, which itself will serve as a remote for the camera.
The $399 VIRB Elite adds wi-fi capability so that your phone, when running Garmin’s app, will act as a remote as well as a preview and replay device. Additionally, the Elite model houses it’s own accelerometer and altimeter and has heart rate and cadence sensors for recording and overlaying your ride data to your favorite videos.
We can imagine the trash talking video potential already. Film yourself racing your local cyclocross race, pass your buddy, and show him how your heart rate was only 135 bpm as you flew by. Priceless.
More info: sites.garmin.com/virb/
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Looking forward to a future review. Definitely seems like a worthy competitor to the others in this segment.
Looks like a cool design, but how come on my computer at least, the video on Garmin's site advertising it and showing its capabilities looks worse than anything I've seen from a GoPro?