Garmin Virb Elite Action Camera

garmin-virb-elite-reviewGarmin entered the action camera market by introducing its first action camera called the Virb Elite. Primarily, the target of Garmin was the owners of its high-quality sports-based outdoor products. Actually, the VIRB is waterproof and comes with loads of mounts so you can attach it with your helmet with ease.

The VIRB is not the list of me-too products. While the VIRB is the first camera by Garmin, the company did its best to make it as useful as possible. Its main features include full HD recording, rugged build and the addition of WiFi.


Positives
  • ANT+ sensor and remote connectivity
  • WiFi functions
  • Best image quality

Negatives
  • No zoom
  • No live Internet streaming


Amazon Rating

On Amazon, the product enjoys a reasonable rating of 3.6 out of 5.0, which is an indicator of the performance and value of the product. As far as the price goes, the product is worth it.

In this Garmin Virb Elite review, we will take a look at the product from different angles to give you an idea if it is the right fit for you. Let us go ahead and check out the product.

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Design

garmin-virb-elite-action-camera-reviewThe Verb Elite shares the features of a wife stopper and a flashlight. The device measures 4.7 x 2.2 x 1.6 inches and weighs just 6.2 ounces. The device is totally covered in a rubberized coating. The lens glass and the color display are not covered, but they seem solid, and the min-USB and the micro-HDMI ports are under the protection of a rubber door.

A twist-lock keeps the battery door in place, and the Micro-SD card slot can be seen under the battery. As a matter of fact, the design of the device is waterproof as long as you don’t go under the surface of the water deeper than one meter for half an hour. This will give you peace of mind in case you drop the device in water by accident. But if you want to record a video under the surface of water, you may want to go for the $40 drive case.

The controls are located on the sides of the camera. The OK/Snapshot, Power and Up/Down buttons are on the right side, and on the left side, you have a big sliding Record button. The menu will allow you to switch on the viewfinder, enable the level function and choose either dashboard displays. The other buttons let you change the settings with ease. In low light, you may find a bit hard to read the display, but in bright light, you can read it without any problem.

Below the hood, you can see the 16MP CMOS sensor along with a lens. The Elite offers an accelerometer, altimeter and a GPS sensor. The Dashboard screen gives you access to the extra sensors, allowing you to check your speed, direction, elevation and g-force acceleration.

To monitor your heart rate, temperature and cadence, you are at liberty to connect quality ANT+ sensors. Moreover, the sensors allow you to level the camera. As far as my opinion goes, the GPS sensor function is very useful as it enables you to geotag your recorded footage with a .GPX file corresponding with your video.

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Performance

Garmin-Virb-Elite-Action-CameraAs far as video performance is concerned, it is OK. The camera records smooth videos. But if you want to get 60 FPS, you have to record at 720p. At 1080p, you can get only 30FPS. The 1080p video I recorded was bright and colorful in winter in midtown Manhattan. The details were impressive.

At 720p, the details were not very impressive because of lower resolution; however, the footage was sharp because of higher frame rate per second. The GoPro Hero3 Black Edition is known for its excellent HD performance in addition to 15fps 4K recording and loads of fine tuning options for color correction.

The Garmin Virb is a sturdy camera offering great performance at both 720p and 1080p. The great thing about the Elite version is that it offers extra features, such as loads of sensors. However, they are not worth the addition $100 you have to spend. If you are looking for video camera for installing on your helmet, you had better go for GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition, which will handle splashes, spills and falls very well.

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Usability

On the front, there is a fixed camera allowing you to record fisheye videos. Unlike other manufacturers, the company offers some extra settings for image stabilization and lens correction. Although the image stabilization works well, the Lens correction tends to cause distortion in the footage if mounted on the bike. The image stabilization works great when the bike runs on a smooth road. Unfortunately, you cannot use image stabilization without Lens Correction.
With the small screen, you can easily change settings. Moreover, the small screen gives a good view. In the world of high quality action cameras, this is kind of a luxury and feels like a good addition.

On the side of the camera, you have 4 buttons. The power button and the navigation buttons are important. The navigation button lets you toggle between different screens or it can also be used to confirm settings. It is very easy to navigate. Even if you are wearing gloves and trying to navigate, you won’t get irritated as the controls will respond well.

On the back of the camera, you have a rubber flap, and below the flap, you have the connectors of the camera, such as HDMI and USB. What is the use of the flap? Actually, it gives the camera protection against a hard downpour; however, Garmin claims that water won’t damage the camera as long as it is not more than 1 meters under water. But it’s not recommend to drop the camera in water just to record videos. If you want to do this, you should go for a protective case.

On the bottom of the action camera, you can see a hatch holding the car slots and the battery. The design is similar to that of many other Garmin handle gadgets. As long as the card is large enough, you can record for hours non-stop. For instance, a 32GB card will be enough for three hours of recording with the camera.

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Value

To cut a long story short, as far as value is concerned, the Garmin Virb Elite is a challenger for the GoPro range cameras. As a matter of fact, the Garmin product is much better than the GoPro due to several reasons. But we cannot say for sure if you would like it too.

At $199.99, the product is easy to use, record quality videos and offers a good deal of features. The best price and the best features make this camera one of the best 10 camcorders of the world. Hope you have found this Garmin Virb elite action camera review useful.

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So what do Other Think about Garmin Verb Elite Action Camera?

Amazon

Amazon gives this product a rank of 3.6 out of 5.0 based on 151 reviews. 97 out of 100 people found this review helpful.

PCMag

On PCMag, the device has a rating of 7 out of 10. The Garmin Virb and Virb Elite are functional, durable action cameras that aren’t quite as durable or functional as their main competitor.

Tech Radar

Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0

Our Verdict

The VIRB exploits Garmin’s GPS expertise, and it’s well designed with a simple slide switch to start and stop recording. It arrives with a GoPro mount adapter, and the whole package has been well thought out, though it’s only waterproof to 1m without the optional waterproof casing.

Engadget

80 out of 100

BestBuy

5 out of 5 based on 6 customer reviews. 100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (6 out of 6).

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Additional Resources

Below is the link to a video review of the product. It has over 20,000 views on YouTube.

Garmin Virb Elite Action Camera

Garmin Virb Elite Action Camera

Advrider forum

Garmine Virb Elite action camera manual

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Garmin Virb Elite Action Camera

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Last update was in: November 17, 2017 2:07 pm GMT

$ 187.49 399.99

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Garmin Virb Elite Action Camera
Garmin might be best known for their GPS products, but they're looking to take on the action cam market with the VIRB, and they might just have what it takes to compete against the current champ,GoPro. TrustedReviews says "in good lighting, the picture has plenty of detail and accurate color." But, while Garmin rates battery life around three hours of use, DC Rainmaker says "the VIRB scored a bit under the marketed times." Stuff was happy with the design and layout of the VIRB, noting that the "buttons are more logically laid out than those on the latest GoPro," and the screen offers a "big, glove-friendly slider for toggling recording on and off." Garmin also offers an Elite version of the VIRB which includes GPS, a barometer, an altimeter and WiFi, but all these extra features also push the price up by $100. Both models may be priced much higher than the competing GoPro line, but they do offer more features you might find beneficial depending on desired use. If you have other Garmin products or ANT+ devices, the VIRB deserves your attention. If you're on a budget, or are a casual user, the GoPro models will do just fine.
9.5 Total Score
Conclusion

Garmin might be best known for their GPS products, but they're looking to take on the action cam market with the VIRB, and they might just have what it takes to compete against the current champ,GoPro. TrustedReviews says "in good lighting, the picture has plenty of detail and accurate color." But, while Garmin rates battery life around three hours of use, DC Rainmaker says "the VIRB scored a bit under the marketed times." Stuff was happy with the design and layout of the VIRB, noting that the "buttons are more logically laid out than those on the latest GoPro," and the screen offers a "big, glove-friendly slider for toggling recording on and off." Garmin also offers an Elite version of the VIRB which includes GPS, a barometer, an altimeter and WiFi, but all these extra features also push the price up by $100. Both models may be priced much higher than the competing GoPro line, but they do offer more features you might find beneficial depending on desired use. If you have other Garmin products or ANT+ devices, the VIRB deserves your attention. If you're on a budget, or are a casual user, the GoPro models will do just fine.

DESIGN
8.5
PERFORMANCE
9
USABILITY
9
VALUE
9.5
0
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