The Garmin VIRB at Sea Otter 2014. © Cyclocross Magazine
The Garmin VIRB marks the venerable GPS unit company’s move into POV video, a market dominated by GoPro with its Hero 3+ but filled with competition including the Japanese component maker Shimano and a relaunched Contour brand. Fancy making videos of your cyclocross suffering? Garmin wants to help you.
We first gave you a preview of the Garmin VIRB cameras at Interbike 2013, but the units are now ready. There are two models of the new Garmin camera, the standard VIRB and the VIRB Elite. The VIRB shoots in True HD 1080p and is said to produce great-looking images thanks to a bevy of features including image stabilization and lens distortion correction.
The camera itself has a high resolution Chroma display, 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 an optional case for true waterproofness for use in water sports. Additionally, the sleek design is billed as being more aerodynamic than the competition.
Not borrowing any design elements from GoPro on the Garmin VIRB. © Cyclocross Magazine
The rechargeable lithium-ion battery will provide three hours of operation of 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.
Coming from Garmin, it makes sense that the VIRB is ANT+ capable. The camera can pair with your Garmin computer, which itself will serve as a remote for the camera.
The VIRB will retail for $299.
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 then overlaying your ride data to your favorite videos. Thus you and your friends will know without doubt as to whether you were sandbagging the last race or are way behind on your training.
The VIRB cameras are available from Garmin directly, at local bike stores and specialty retailers, and online and shipping now through retailers like REI and Amazon (often at a discount).
More info: garmin.com
Check out all of our tech goodies from Sea Otter 2014, and keep checking as we start to get rolling into the long weekend.