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Garmin VIRB Elite Garmin VIRB EliteGarmin VIRB Elite

Garmin VIRB EliteGarmin VIRB Elite

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

User reviews

Average user rating from: 1 user(s)

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Rate This Gear 
 
4.0  (1)
 
Garmin VIRB Elite 2013-11-21 03:25:01 rexdelrey
Rate This Gear 
 
4.0
rexdelrey Reviewed by rexdelrey    November 20, 2013 View all my reviews

A real alternative to GoPro

So I gave the Contours a full thorough run and at the end of the day I wasn't all too thrilled with the video quality. The focus gets fuzzy at around 5 feet from the camera. I started seeing this as I got more and more footage recorded. This may be a moot point as Contour is now out of business, but you can still pick them up on Amazon. For the price point, it's a simple and easy to use camera. My favorite features are the twistable lens which you can physically turn for camera orientation and the giant slide record button.

I gave up on GoPros due to the constant freezing/locking up issues. The menu is a pain, but you eventually get used to it.

Ultimately I ended up going with the Garmin VIRB. If the GoPro and the Contour had a love child, it would be the Garmin VIRB. You get the ease of use of the Contour with the image quality of the GoPro.

Pros:

1. Built-in viewfinder: The Garmin Virb has a screen and it makes setting up the camera shot easy. Additionally, you can navigate the menu on the screen. The screen uses little power as it uses sunlight to illuminate the screen.

2. 5 buttons: There is a power button, a giant slide REC button, an OK button and an up and down button. I used to get anxiety about changing anything on my GoPro setting because I always accidentally pressed the wrong button and I'd have to go through the whole menu again. Also, there were many times I took a photo instead of the video, because in the heat of the moment I switched the camera mode settings instead of pressing record.

3. Timelapse is a video setting: This is a cool feature and it just makes sense. Instead of having to process 1,000 time-lapse photos into a video sequence, the Garmin does it for you. For those that use time-lapse for your hero shots, there is still a photo burst and timed shot feature in the photo menu.

4. The cradle: The Garmin pops into a cradle what acts like a quick release mount. The cradle is mounted using very similar pieces as used in the GoPro mounting system. The advantage of the cradle is can use one camera and set-up multiple mounting set-ups around your kayak by buying additional cradles.

5. The mounts have teeth: The connectors and mounts have teeth, so once you screw them in - they ain't moving.

6. Audio: Audio is excellent. Mainly because you don't need a dive case to keep it waterproof. Don't try to dive without a case though, it's only rated up to 1 meter under water.


Cons:

1. Heavy: The GoPro is very light weight and compact. When I used GoPros, I always added a battery backpack to maximize the battery life. The Garmin is a bit larger than the GoPros, but I'll deal with it to have an easier menu navigation, viewfinder and large record slider button.

2. Max 1080p resolution: The GoPro has a lot more video recording options like 4K and recording 1080 at 60 fps. Me personally… I always shoot at 1080 30 fps, so it wasn't a big deal. If you want to shot at 60 fps, you'll have to shoot at 720.

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