Garmin today announced VIRB and VIRB Elite compact, waterproof 1080p HD action camcorders, which feature a rugged and waterproof (IPX-7) housing, so there is no extra case necessary to withstand the elements. These two cameras mark Garmin’s entry into the action camera market. VIRB can capture high quality still photos while the video camera is recording. VIRB Elite adds-on built-in WiFi, data sensors and a high-sensitivity GPS. Both VIRB and VIRB Elite feature ANT+ connectivity for remote control functionality with other Garmin products, and for data transfer with other fitness sensors.
VIRB has a sleek, aerodynamic design that makes it fun and simple to record HD video — just move the slider forward to record. The rechargeable lithium-ion battery can record up to three hours of HD (1080p) video with one charge, and can be easily changed on the go. The WideVu lens captures all the action, and the high-resolution Chroma display makes it easy to change menu settings, set-up and playback shots, but has reflective technology so it doesn’t drain the battery. The 1.4-inch screen uses ambient light (instead of a battery-draining backlight) to illuminate the screen and make it easy to see in bright sunlight.
VIRB is durable enough to capture even the most extreme activities right out of the box. With the rugged external housing, VIRB has an IPX-7 waterproof rating (can withstand accidental immersion in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes), so it can record activities like skiing and kayaking without additional protection or fear of damage. An optional dive case is available for deep-sea adventures, as well as a wide variety of other rugged mounts to secure VIRB to handlebars, helmets, surfboards and more. VIRB easily snaps into the mounts, and the teeth linkages tightly secure VIRB in place to prevent drooping and sagging in high vibration environments. There is even an available industry standard mounting adapter, making it easy for existing action camera users to get started with VIRB.
Video enhancement features ensure quality footage, even before the editing process begins. The digital image stabilization technology corrects camera shakiness for smoother footage, and the lens distortion correction feature gives users the option to automatically remove the fish-eye look that is common with action cameras. In addition to high quality video, VIRB can take 16 megapixel stills with photo burst and time lapse options. VIRB can even take stills while recording video. VIRB also has a micro HDMI output for convenient video playback and a microSD slot that can hold up to 64GB card (64GB microSD card can hold over seven hours of 1080p video).
VIRB Elite incorporates all these features, as well as high-sensitivity GPS, accelerometer, altimeter and WiFi. WiFi capabilities allow users to connect to the free mobile applications for iPhone and Android. VIRB Elite comes equipped with specific activity profiles so users can track location, speed, elevation, heart rate (monitor sold separately) and more while recording. This data can be reviewed right on the device, or can be embedded into their video during the editing process.
Additionally, in Ski Mode, the VIRB Elite is able to recognize the difference between going down the mountain and going up the ski lift. In this setting, VIRB Elite automatically turns on and starts recording when going down the mountain, and then goes into standby mode once on the ski lift. This mode saves battery and memory space, and keeps the user from forgetting to record when going down the mountain. This allows VIRB Elite to record all the action while users focus on their activity.
- True 1080p HD video recording with 16 MP CMOS image processor
- 1.4″ Chroma Display: High-res, Color, Easy setup, playback and adjustments
- 2000mAh lithium-ion battery: Lasts up to 3 hours, Rechargeable, Removable
- Still image capture: Photo Burst and Time Lapse
- Rugged, durable, waterproof (IPX7)
- ANT+ wireless connectivity, for remote control via Garmin device
- Free VIRB Edit desktop software
VIRB Elite Adds
- High-sensitivity GPS accelerometer and altimeter
- Wi-Fi connectivity, for use with smartphone apps
VIRB allows many current Garmin customers to take advantage of the Garmin ecosystem. In addition to the optional accessory remote (available Q1 2014), the Edge 810, fenix, quatix, Oregon 600 series, and many more can control VIRB allowing users to start and stop recording and take stills right on the device through ANT+ wireless communication. Also through ANT+, users are able to control several connected VIRB devices. Just move the slider forward to record on the master device, and all the other connected VIRB devices will record as well. VIRB Elite is compatible with other sensors with ANT+ connectivity such as the heart rate monitor, cadence sensor and tempe temperature sensor. This data can then be embedded into the video during the editing process, or viewed on the display of VIRB Elite.
Price and Availability (September 2013)
Garmin VIRB → $299.99
Garmin VIRB Elite → $399.99