Interbike 2013: Garmin Releases the VIRB Action Cam

Everyone knows that Garmin is the king of collecting and displaying your essential ride data. Now the navigation giant is taking a shot at recording YOU while you create it with the new Garmin VIRB and VIRB Elite Action Cameras. These cameras both have the ability to shoot 1080p video at 30fps in addition to capturing 16MP stills during video recording. The high mega-pixel count for the stills is very impressive but we’ve seen similar video specs from competitors. So what new features set the VIRB apart from the rest of the pack and make it worth your hard earned cash you ask? Here’s a few for you.

  • Longer battery life – 3 consecutive hours on one 2,000mAh cell battery
  • Integrated 1.4″ LCD Screen – Allows for menu navigation and footage viewing and doesn’t kill the battery
  • Digital Image Stabilization – No one likes bumpy video so the VIRB takes care of that for you.
  • Rugged Yet Sleek Body – Less bulk to carry around, durable to withstand intense activity and waterproof (IPX7)
  • Easy to Use – large, instant record slider switch makes for pain free operation that isn’t hampered by the use of gloves and the ergonomic shape is easier to use on and off the bike
And my favorite feature? It’s made by Garmin. For those of us that already use and love Garmin products, connectivity and compatibility with our favorite gadgets is a god send. The new Garmin VIRB cameras are ANT+ compatible so you can use some of your favorite GPS computers, like the Edge, to control your VIRB remotely. The VIRB Elite takes it one step further, allowing you to display the data from your Garmin speed/cadence bike sensor or heart rate monitor in your videos. Now you can’t lie when your buddies ask if that last descent got your heart racing.

Garmin has created a unique product that holds it own when it comes to performance and truly edges out the pack with additional features and ease of use.

Check out the chart below for a comparison with the GoPro Hero3.

GoPro HERO3 and Garmin VIRB Comparison Chart
Garmin VIRB and VIrb elite GoPro Hero 3 Black
Resolution / Frame Rates
1080p 30 fps 60, 50, 48, 30, 25, 24 fps
960p 48 fps 100, 48 fps
720p 30, 60 fps 120, 100, 60 , 50 fps
WVGA (slow motion) 120 fps 240 fps
Other 4K @ 12, 12.5, 15 fps / 2.7K @ 30, 25, 24 fps / 1440p @ 48, 30, 25, 24 fps
Still Photos 16 MP 12 MP
Time Lapse Controls Yes Yes
Codec MP4 MP4
Image Stabilization Yes (Digital) No
Input / Output Micro HDMI / USB / External Mic HDMI / USB / External Mic
Remote Control ANT+ compatible for remote control by Garmin devices (Both) / Wi-Fi and ANT+ Sensor compatibility (Virb Elite) Wi-Fi with Smart Phone app and remote control unit
GPS Yes (Virb Elite) No
Weather / Waterproofing Water resistant: IPX7 (1 m/30 min) without case / Optional Dive case can increase depth to 50M 197′ / 60M waterproof housing included
Storage MicroSD; Up to 64GB capacity supported MicroSD; Up to 64GB capacity supported
Battery Life 2000mAh rechargeable lithium-ion; 1080p (30 fps); up to 3 hrs 1050mAh rechargeable lithium-ion; 1080p (30 fps); up to 1.5 hrs