Sunday, March 18, 2012

Its official – Garmin VIRB and VIRB Elite announced

Garmin VIRB action camera

UPDATE: Read my hands on review of the Garmin VIRB.

Just a few days ago, when a new Garmin product cleared the FCC, I speculated that it was an action camera.  It turns out I was right, as the company has made it official and announced the Garmin VIRB and VIRB Elite.

The ruggedized and waterproof (IPX-7) VIRB series records up to three hours of 1080p HD video on a single charge. A 1.4″ Chroma reflective color display can be used for setup and playback, and helps extend battery life. The rechargeable 2000 mAh li-ion battery is removable.

Digital image stabilization technology is included, as is lens distortion correction, which “gives users the option to automatically remove the fish-eye look that is common with action cameras.” Both models can capture 16 MP stills while video is being recorded.

Two models

The VIRB Elite adds WiFi, accelerometer, altimeter and high-sensitivity GPS. The WiFi-enabled Elite allows users to connect to “free mobile applications for iPhone and Android.” It also includes activity profiles — in Ski mode, it only records when you’re going down the mountain, not up on the lifts. The Elite is also compatible with other ANT+ sensors, allowing you to embed (or view on the VIRB display)  heart rate monitor, cadence sensor and tempe temperature sensor data if you wish…

To complement VIRB Elite, Garmin is launching a mobile application for preview, playback and remote functionality, along with a free desktop software application to edit and upload VIRB and VIRB Elite videos. With this software, users can easily edit their footage and embed sensor data in the video, then share with family and friends or upload to social media sites such as YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.

Both models feature ANT+ to allow for remote control from Garmin models including the Edge 810, fenix, quatix, and Oregon 600 series.


Garmin promises an optional dive case, “a wide variety of other rugged mounts to secure VIRB to handlebars, helmets, surfboards and more,” and a mounting adaptor for users of other action camera brands. You can see the range of offered mounts on the accessory tab on this page.


Priced at $299.99 and $399.99 (MSRP), Garmin says both models will be widely available this September.

UPDATED: I’ll update this post with Here’s the full news release and when it becomes available. H here’s a link to the VIRB mini-site and a promo video:

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.


  1. Boyd Ostroff says:

    Interesting product, although not something I would ever buy myself. This is a really different kind of thing for Garmin though, and I can’t help but wonder whether it will end up like the “Nuvifone”. 😉

  2. I see myself getting this, I have an old GoPro and have been holding on getting the latest models. if the Virb can deliver similar image and video quality to the new GoPros it would be very convenient in terms of size, not requiring a case or a lcd backpack, and using the fenix / oregon /edge as a remote control, The VIRB contents list “Adapter to popular industry mounts” so who knows if they might enable connection to existing GoPro Mounts , this would surely make the transition easier. I will sure be expecting this product reviews!

  3. I wonder if the still mode will geotag each photo, that would be an excellent feature. These units are extremely similar to the Contour line, which was out before (I think) the GoPro and what I currently have. As I understand, Contour is going out of biz, ceding to GoPro. Contour already had a unit that did most of these features (did have GPS for one series). Skeptical this will be a long term product from Garmin if a focused company couldn’t make it profitable (ie Contour).

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