Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 Action Camera
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- ULTRA HD VIDEO - Crystal clear 4K/30fps footage, 1080p/120fps, or slow motion capability at 720p/240fps
- G-METRIX - Built-in GPS and external sensors with connectivity to Garmin devices to capture performance data like speed, elevation, heart rate and G-force
- LCD COLOR TOUCHSCREEN - 1.75-inch display is easy to operate; fully functional in and out of waterproof case
- VOICE CONTROL - Shoot hands-free by using voice commands to start/stop recording, take a photo or tag footage
- 3-AXIS IMAGE STABILIZ3-AXIS IMAGE STABILIZATION - Captures steady footage up to 1080p/60fps
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From the manufacturer
Get spectacular footage with the ultra HD action camera for your active lifestyle. Compact, lightweight, waterproof and easy to use, VIRB Ultra 30 captures 4K/30fps video and features G-Metrix technology, which adds to the experience by letting you overlay gauges and graphs with action data. Built-in image stabilization makes for crisp, steady footage. And for easier use, voice control lets you start and stop recording or even take a picture with a simple spoken command while you're busy doing your thing.
VIRB Ultra 30
4K Action Camera with Voice Control and Data Overlays.
- Ultra HD 4K/30fps footage with 1.75-inch touchscreen display that lets you see what is being recorded
- 3-axis image stabilization captures smooth and steady video, no matter the terrain
- Shoot hands-free using voice control to start/stop recording, take photos or remember moments
- Built-in sensors and GPS capture G-Metrix data to prove how far, how high and how fast you went
- High-sensitivity microphone captures clear audio in and out of the waterproof case
LCD Color Touchscreen
A 1.75-inch display lets you see what you're recording and even works inside the waterproof case.
Voice Control with Sensory TrulyHandsFree
Lets you shoot hands-free video; use voice commands to start/stop recording, capture a photo or 'remember that' to tag footage for easy recall.
One-touch YouTube HD live streaming for Apple devices allows you to instantly share your high-definition video action in real-time using the VIRB app.
Proof of What You Did
Your thrilling trip down the mountain deserves intense stats — such as speed, rotations in air and wind chill — that help recreate the moment.
Relive your time on the water by viewing boat drift, water depth and wind speed.
Fitness + Cycling
Just how much power are you putting to the pedal?
Rec + Outdoor
Viewing your hang time, elevation and heart rate onscreen lets your footage do the bragging for you.
Every jump deserves the stats to prove it. Capture your jump height, altitude, speed and more.
Give more context to your ride by viewing speed, heart rate and even RPM.
|VIRB X||VIRB XE||VIRB Ultra 30|
|Accelerometer and Gyroscope||✓||✓||✓|
|Altimeter and Compass||✓||✓|
|Remote Control||Garmin Devices, Mobile App||Garmin Devices, Mobile App||Garmin Devices, Mobile App|
|Image Stabilization||2-Axis (up to 1440p/30fps)||3-Axis (up to 1080p/60fps)|
|Connectivity||ANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi||ANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi||ANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi|
|Burst Frames||Up to 10fps||Up to 30fps||Up to 60fps|
|Performance||Up to 1080p/30fps||Up to 1080p/60fps||Up to 4k/30fps|
VIRB Ultra 30 Action Camera, MFG# 010-01529-03, 1.75" touchscreen LCD, 4K/30fps, 3-axis stabilization, voice control, built-in sensors and GPS, microphone. Includes waterproof case.
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Long time GoPro user, was using a Hero4 Black and have also owned both prior Garmin VIRB models. This camera has all of the bells-and-whistles, like 4K/30, GPS, advanced photo/video settings and stabilization modes. Recording or photo taking can be initiated through physical buttons (like your traditional camera), on the LCD display or through the mobile app or remotes found on other Garmin products like Edge or Vivosmart. The touch-screen works really well, even through the hard case, which is really convenient.
This is a very powerful and capable camera. Video and photo quality is on par with the Hero4 Black. But what really sets this camera apart is its ease of use. Simple and intuitive, even for the advanced settings. Simplicity is what I want in an action camera, so that I don't miss a shot and I can just focus on the activity.
The Garmin VIRB Edit and Mobile apps have come a long way, and are now very good control and editing tools.
From my personal experience with both Garmin and GoPro customer service, Garmin wins by wide margin. Garmin support is so much more knowledgeable and customer friendly than GoPro. You'd think it would be the other way around, but that is not what I've experienced. I am so glad that I now have a replacement for GoPro with an action camera that is more capable and easier to use.
Originally I bought a Hero 5 Session from a box store as we were going on vacation (cruise) and I wanted a camera to take some video and to use while snorkeling and time lapse videos. While it worked well but the more I thought about it I was concerned about long term use as it doesn't have a replaceable battery. I took it back and debated between the Hero 5 Black and Virb Ultra 30. I ended up getting the Virb because they support 3rd party products. I ride motorcycles and have a Sena 20S Bluetooth headset which will pair to this and not the GoPros. Also support for OBD-2 dongles.
The first thing I tested was OBD-2 in my car. While this camera does have GPS and can calculate speed based on this, it is nice to be able to compare the two. I couldn't find any information on what OBD-2 adapters were compatible with this camera though. Garmin's website and manual really didn't say anything. I happened to own one already that I use with Torque Pro so I thought I would just test it out and it paired right up and logged data.
Here is the one I am using:
ScanTool 426101 OBDLink MX Bluetooth: Professional OBD-II Scan Tool for Android & Windows
I went into Bluetooth selected Add New then pressed the pair button on the OBD2 tool and it immediately connected and I was off driving. When I imported the video into the Virb Edit software I went into G-Matrix and it dropped in several gauges but you can add/remove/relocate them as you want. There were a couple gauges that didn't display data like fuel consumption and torque but those don't display anything in Torque Pro either. Keep in mind not every car will display every field. So I wasn't shocked about this. With my 2015 Subaru WRX, it displayed quite a few of the gauges that I was looking for like Tach, Speed and Engine Load. In the attached photo I used the Virb Edit software to drop a few of the various gauges available and used it to export a still image to show what it looks like.
I still need to test it out with the Sena 20S Bluetooth Headset but it is a nice to have feature not really something that I won't use a lot. There is too much snow to take a motorcycle out right now to give it a good test. It is nice to have the option.
Overall video quality and ease of use are along the lines of others. I have had no issues. It seems in line to anything I got from the Hero 5 Session. While it is a much larger camera the specs in terms of video are the same as Hero 5 Black.
I have a coworker who built an experimental airplane with a Garmin panel. He is going to test my camera out with the Bluetooth in his plane and I will post a review of that once we get results.
If there is anything negative to say it is that it is Mini USB. I haven't had a cell phone or tablet that uses this connector for many years so now I have to carry a cable just for this camera. It takes a really long time to charge but the battery is also bigger than the Hero 5 Session. I bought a couple generic batteries for this so I can swap them out. I really liked the USB-C port on the Hero 5 cameras as you can plug them in either way. You don't have to look which way they are keyed. Also my wife's and I have Nexus 6p phones which also use USB-C so if traveling and we want to carry a battery pack we only need one cable. This won't apply to everyone out there but it was a feature I miss. I also liked the remote that GoPro has which has a display to actually get feedback on what the camera is doing.
I find the camera quality great at many levels. The video is crisp. The camera is simple to use. The VIRB app for the iPhone allows you to remote control the camera and modify all the settings. Additionally the desktop VIRB edit app is great, and has many guage selections and formats. I really like the data collection aspect of the camera.
A major down side is battery life. i found the battery life was very short when using bluetooth and wireless, while recording. you might get 20-40 minutes of recording.
I purchased the OBDLink MX to connect the camera to my car to overlay performance data on my videos. The camera identifies and connects with the OBDLink MX but doesn't record any of the data. The data indicator is on while recording however no data is recorded by the camera. I tested the OBDLink MX with another third party app and had no issue. I tested on another car and had no issue. I tested other OBD2 diagnostic tools on my car and had no issue. My conclusion is the camera is having issue with the data stream.
I reached out to Garmin for support, however the only thing they offered was to replace the camera with a refurb. I would have to send them my camera and pay for shipping before getting a replacement. They stated it could take 4-6 weeks. I thought this was a ridiculous exchange program, especially since they weren't sure this would address the problem to begin with. They did no further troubleshooting.
Since I bought the camera specifically for this feature and it doesn't work I knocked it down two stars.
It is a great piece of hardware but like others say the battery life isn't what you would expect. With GPS and Wi-Fi on I get maybe 40 minutes of video and that's at lower reso and frame rates. 4k with all that on would be 20 minutes ish. However this camera can simply be plugged into a power source and continue to work perfect unlike a hero5. I also use it to monitor an engine room on a sport fishing boat and it works great coming back through all my Garmin chartplotters and this is where it's very important I can supply it with a permanent power source and not have to mess with removing and keeping up with batteries.