Garmin Virb Elite Action Camera
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- 16 MP CMOS sensor/image processor for multiple HD video modes 1080p@30fps 960p@48fps720p@30/60fps 848x480@120fps and Still image capture: 16MP 12MP 8MP
- Long-lasting rechargeable and removable 2000mAh Lithium-Ion battery (up to 3 hr. battery life at 1080p) Rugged, durable waterproof (IPX7) with a compact design (1m/30min or 50m with optional dive case)
- Digital Image Stabilization and Lens Distortion Correction with different shooting modes (wide/medium/narrow)
- Internal micrphone and external USB jack with stereo Mic and composite A/V adapter Micro HDMI output for video playback micro SD card socket (up to 64GB)
- ANT+ connectivity for remote control function w/ other compatible Garmin products and data transfer - High-Sensitivity GPS, accelerometer, and altimeter (VIRB Elite only)
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- Size (LWH): 4.2 inches, 1.82 inches, 1.13 inches
- Weight: 6.08 ounces
- Battery Type: Lithium Ion
True 1080p HD Action Camera with Wi-Fi, GPS
- 1080p HD video recording with 16 megapixel CMOS image processor
- 1.4" Chroma display
- High-sensitivity GPS, accelerometer and barometric altimeter
- Rechargeable lithium-ion battery (record up to 3 hours at 1080p)
- Rugged, durable, waterproof (IPX7¹) with an aerodynamic design
High Definition Recording
VIRB records true HD 1080p video that lets you relive every minute of your adventure in full, high-contrast, undistorted detail. Adjust resolution and filming speed for crisp, dramatic slow motion up to 120fps. And it’s all seen through our WideVü lens and processed through 16 megapixel CMOS sensor for the highest quality video, even before you start editing it. Set multiple HD video modes: 1080p@30fps, 960p@48fps, 720p@30/60fps, 848x480@120fps.
1.4" Chroma Display
Why mash a button and hope you got the shot when you can set-up, preview and playback video on a built-in, full-color Chroma display? The 1.4" display on VIRB Elite is also your window into the menu settings. Check your shot before you leap, choose slow motion, or even switch between video and still photography. It’s always on the screen, and the screen is always on (but uses minimal power).
VIRB Elite features a class-leading 2000 mAh lithium-ion battery that tested up to 3 hours recording at 1080p. Which means there’s a good chance you’ll tire out before the battery does. And with multiple charging options (sold separately) you’ll have plenty of juice. Extend your filming time by carrying a replacement battery (sold separately) on your all-day adventure.
GPS and Wi-Fi
VIRB Elite has high-sensitivity GPS for data stamping and GPS-based “smart” recording profiles such as Skiing Mode, which automatically records your downhill runs and stops recording while you’re getting hot cocoa or waiting in the lift line.
It's also equipped with Wi-Fi for wireless communication to your smartphone or computer. So you can see the image preview, control for playback, adjust camera settings, and record and stop the camera or remotely snap still photos, even while the camera is filming.
ANT+ and External Sensors
VIRB uses ANT+™ wireless connectivity so you can use a compatible Garmin device, such as fenix, Oregon and Edge, as remote controls. And because it has Wi-Fi, you can stop and start recording or take still images wirelessly with your smart phone or compatible Garmin device so you don’t have to take your hands off the handlebars or remove the camera from the mount for that perfect shot.
ANT+ also works with our external sensors. Pair VIRB Elite with our tempe (wireless temperature sensor), speed/cadence bike sensor or premium heart rate monitor to include revealing information in your videos. Show how fast your heart was racing on your last bike race or while peering over the edge of the Grand Canyon. VIRB Elite also has a built-in accelerometer and altimeter for data stamping and custom filming profiles.
Sleek and Easy-to-use
VIRB Elite was engineered for easy operation with a large, instant record slider switch on the side of the camera. The slide and click of the switch makes it easy to know that you are recording, even if you’re wearing gloves. The overall design of the camera is both sleek and rugged which helps you integrate VIRB Elite into your activity without having to work around a bulky camera body. So go ahead and ski, zip-line or bobsled, knowing you got the shot.
With the Digital Stabilization feature engaged, VIRB Elite adds a little stability to bumpy rides and adventures so you can share a smoother video with your friends. Plus Lens Distortion Correction (LDC) works to enhance the quality of your video, even before you start editing.
High Definition Photography
VIRB Elite is a high-powered digital photo camera too. With 16 megapixel photo capture LDC to make your photos sharper, clearer and less distorted. Shoot 16 megapixel, 12 megapixel or 8 megapixel as a single shot (on-camera button or controlled remotely) or choose Photo Burst or Time Lapse at various intevals. And it’s all processed through a 16 megapixel CMOS processor for high quality images.
Video and Photographs at the Same Time
Don’t lose a moment of video just to capture a photograph. VIRB Elite lets you take still photos at the same time you are recording video with just a touch of the button on either your remote Garmin device or on the camera itself.
Editing Made Easy
VIRB Edit is free desktop editing software that you can download to your computer for intuitive, robust video editing that takes advantage of VIRB Elite's compatibility with external and built-in sensors and other Garmin devices. Include your speed and heart rate on your motorcycle video, or accelerometer and altitude on your sky dive video. Once you have the video you want to share, upload it for all your friends to see. Download the free editing software here: http://www8.garmin.com/support/download_details.jsp?id=6591.
A variety of mounts let you firmly lock the camera in position, virtually anywhere. From curved, flat deck and dash mounts to handlebar, helmet, shoulder and multi-use strap mounts, our mounts have you covered. Mounts have interlocking joints that grip in place instead of relying solely on tension for a more durable, anti-vibration locking performance. We even have an adapter to use VIRB Elite with other industry mounts.
Optional Dive Case
VIRB Elite is rugged and waterproof to IPX7¹ standards right out of the box. For deeper dives and more sustained exposure, the optional Dive Case increases the waterproof rating to 50 meters.
Top Customer Reviews
Virb Edit version 2.8.0 includes new gauges, as well as graphs. Live Location information can be shown directly on the video, updating as you move. Gauge Builder allows you to clone gauges and make new ones.
Prices for the camera have come down too. Some surmise that a new Virb must be coming out soon, but I doubt that. Even if there was, this camera is still great on its own so you should get one and see for yourself.
Update June 20, 2014 - New Firmware, Version 3.70 has made the camera much more reliable, and VIRB Edit (To add Gauges and track display to your videos) for Mac and Windows has been greatly improved as well.
Update June 12, 2014: New version of Android and iPhone Apps are released! You can now take pictures and video from the apps. I still prefer the actual Remote (see my review).
Update: March 10, 2014. I like the VIRB so much that I bought a second one, the basic VIRB this time. I have no regrets, even though the software could be better...
Update March 2, 2014: Now that the camera is at firmware 3.20, I have not had a lockup in weeks. If your camera still locks up with the latest firmware, make sure you turn it off by holding in the power button for 15 seconds. Turning it off from a locked state by removing the battery makes the camera more prone to continue to lock up.
Update: April 10, 2014. Returned the basic VIRB and bought a second Elite. Once you've used the Elite, the basic model is not going to keep you happy. :)
This is the (mostly) original review.
After using this for two weeks, I sold all my GoPro gear because I know it's never going to get used again. I love the feel of the camera. It fits nicely in your pocket so it's likely to be around when you want to use it.
I love the features!
* The energy saving viewfinder which uses daylight for illumination so your battery power lasts longer.
* The great lens with "Lens Correction" so your images don't have to look "Fisheyed".
* The cheap and easily replaceable lens protector.
* The big sliding switch for video recording so you know it's recording.
* The separate switch for taking photographs.
* The Time Lapse Video setting which allows you to make stop motion movies very easily.
* The "Record When Moving" mode which creates separate video files each time you start moving.
* The mounting system which stays in place when you tighten it down, so your camera won't change angles when you least expect it.
* The Smartphone Apps and ANT+ Remote applications
Another feature I love and use a lot - "Record While Moving" - because the Elite has a gps built in, it can start and stop the video recording as you move and stop. This is very handy for me as it makes separate videos of all the sections I ride and does not record a static picture when I stop for a break, or lunch, and forget to shut the camera off.
The battery is the same as that found in the Montana and Monterra so if you have one of those gps units on a powered mount, in your car or on your motorcycle, then when the battery in the camera dies, you just switch for the one in the gps. Your dead battery is now charging, and you have a fresh one in the camera. Also, unlike the GoPro where you need to open the waterproof casing to change the battery, the VIRB's battery is externally accessible. Many times when I changed my GoPro battery in cooler weather, moisture got into the housing and condensed on the lens, causing blurred pictures. This can't happen with the VIRB.
It's a LOT more aerodynamic than the GoPros. If you have this on the top of your motorcycle helmet, you won't feel the drag anywhere near as much as with a GoPro. The mounting system cradle is solid and easy to use, even with winter gloves on. I regularly take the camera off the top of my helmet with my gloves on, change modes, then put it back on securely without having to take my gloves off.
The VIRB has a very strong lanyard attachment point at the back of the camera so you can attach it to something solid, in case it does come off the mount. (I lost a GoPro last summer; it didn't have a lanyard on it.) You can also hang the camera around your neck on the lanyard and it's not uncomfortable. Try doing that with your boxy GoPro.
Yes, there have been issues with it locking up at times but they are getting fewer and farther between since Garmin released version 2.80 of the system software. My GoPro 2 used to lock up fairly regularly too and it's been out for a couple of years!
The fact that my Montana and 78S can be used as ANT+ Remotes for the VIRB is also a great advantage. Some models of the Oregon as well as 62S and some other models also can be used as remotes for the VIRB.
Troubleshooting led me to contact Garmin for a resolution. While their response was straightforward, it was very disheartening. Please note the email in its entirety below. The ability to flip camera worked perfectly prior to the update. Garmin took no ownership to resolve the issue. Why should one purchase a Garmin product with the expectation that the product will perform as described?
Thank you for contacting Garmin International. I am sorry to hear that your camera is not flipping with your remote. I will be happy to assist you with this issue.
What did you update? The device or the Virb Remote app? From testing it in the office, it seems as though the preview screen in the Virb Remote app is not flipping, however the images on the Virb Elite are flipped. Researching this further, it has come to our attention that this problem will not be fixed. With the announcement that the Virb Elite is now discontinued there are no future plans to update this device. Unfortunately, there will be nothing else we can do at this point. You will need to flip the camera view on the device before recording with the remote app. Sorry for any inconvenience this might cause.
If you have any additional questions, please let us know.
With Best Regards,
Customer Care - Outdoor Team
The video quality at resolution 720p @ 60fps is fantastic. The camera has a really good image stabilization feature that can smooth out the bounciest of footage. I haven't tried the 1080p @ 30fps recording mode, and don't really care to, unless it's slower footage. Although this camera has been discontinued by Garmin, it's still a very solid purchase. They have a new Virb camera that records 1080p @ 60fps, but it's about double the cost. I compared the two versions of this camera and the image quality of this camera is on par with their new model.
The LCD on top of the camera is a nice feature and it's not backlit, so it really reserves the battery life. It makes scrolling through menus and changing settings a breeze. Another feature is the ability to connect to the camera over wifi. I connected my phone to it and used the Garmin Virb app to help position the camera angle while sitting on my motorcycle. It really helped me dial it in.
I've already had a few friends ask me why I didn't just get the Hero 4 if I wanted a camera. After showing them the riding footage with the GPS data overlay, synced to the video- they see why I chose the Garmin. It really sealed the deal for me. If you're planning on any type of long distance traveling or rides, this is the camera to have. I absolutely love the large slider on the side for recording. Whenever it's time to get on the road, I just flip the switch on the side, which is easy to feel through thick motorcycle gloves, and I know the camera is recording in about 10 or 12 seconds.
The battery life recording 720p @ 60fps is phenomenal. I was expecting about 3 hours of recording battery life and went on a 5 hour ride last weekend. Expecting the camera battery to have died on the way home, to my surprise, it was still recording and had close to half it's battery life still left. The camera is also water tight to 1 meter for 30 minutes in it's original form. There's a separate case for diving that will net you about 50 meters of depth. That's pretty darn good in my opinion.
The only con that I can complain about is that there are only 2 mounting plates with adhesive backing included with the camera. One is flat and the other is curved. I needed at least two curved plates, one for each motorcycle helmet. I had to order a pack of 6 (three flat and three curved) which aren't carried by any retailer locally. Ordered a pack of these for $10 from Cabella's website, which wasn't too expensive. There's also a wind block device attached to the back of the the mount with a foam insert that doesn't really help with any wind noise. I kind of expected there to be a lot of wind noise. Per a forum member with the same camera, he recommended wrapping the rear of the camera with a foam microphone cover and it eliminates the majority of wind noise, while still being able to hear the growl of the motorcycle. So I've got two of those on order.
All in all, very sweet camera and I would definitely buy it again.