Review Garmin VIRB Elite, action camera with GPS navigation
About Garmin navigators everyone knows who though a little familiar with the issues of routing: whether the metropolis, deaf boundless taiga and even air or water spaces. But the fact that this company is also involved in the development of action cameras, heard not all. However, it is not surprising, because in the Russian market of these devices appeared only in the spring and have not yet received proper distribution among the lovers of active holidays. But in our testing lab, the new action-camera is horrible.
|Feature||Garmin VIRB Elite|
|Sensor||16.0 MP, 1/2. 3-inch CMOS (4664h3496)|
|Video resolution||848h480, 120 frames/s
720p, 30/60 fps
960p, 48 frames/s
1080p, 30 fps
|Photo resolution||16 MP (4664h3496), 12M (4664h2632), 8M (3264h2448)|
|Standard||PAL / NTSC|
|Memory card||Micro SDHC (to 64 GB)|
Mini USB 2.0
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g
ANT+ 2.4 GHz
|Food||Li-ion battery with a capacity of 7.4 WH, 2000 mAh / 3.7 V|
|Additionally||Display 1.4 inches (20,5×14,8 mm)
The acceleration sensor
Class water resistance IEC 60529 IPX7
Digital image stabilizer
Stereo microphone via an adapter
|Recommended price, RUB.||17 790|
The device has a modern 16-megapixel CMOS sensor, similar matrices are the flagship models of action cameras from other leading manufacturers. And like the Garmin VIRB Elite can easily compete with the GoPro and AEE for video, but the picture spoil other specified specifications, namely, a low speed recording at a maximum resolution of 1080p and lack of ability to shoot with higher resolution. If the latter circumstance can easily be put up (shooting in 2K or 4K need not always and not all), low framerate forced to compare the new product with the top models from other manufacturers, and it has great quality, but still middling. So, in 1080p@30 candid camera GoPro HERO3 White Edition, Jr. in the line GoPro HERO3. But the resolution of the matrix has only 5 MP, not 16 MP, like the Garmin VIRB. It should also be noted the relatively low resolution when using the high-speed shooting mode with a frequency of 120 frames per second. It is possible that the above limits are set in software and can be removed in the future. In the meantime, the user will have to settle for what we have.
As for the lens, the manufacturer does not absolutely no data. In the official specification is not even the value of the angle, although this option for many users is especially important. But the Garmin VIRB Elite is a fairly capacious lithium-ion battery is 7.4 WH, so maybe not every action-camera.
Of the additional hardware features of a novelty it is necessary to note the presence of digital image stabilizer, accelerometer, barometric altimeter and, of course, GPS. With the signal of GLONASS satellites the device can not work, but it can hardly be attributed to significant disadvantages for the action camera.
In addition, the Garmin VIRB Elite has two wireless interface for data exchange. The first is a built — in Wi-Fi module designed to remotely control the camera using smartphones based on iOS and Android. The second interface is less popular, but well known to most owners of satellite navigators Garmin. We are talking about wireless communication, ANT+, with which the camera can be connected to other Garmin devices and various sensors, such as Wlodarczyk speed or cadence (cadence), temperature sensor, and the cardiopathic, the controlling pulse and heart rate.
Housing the Garmin VIRB Elite is protected from dust and moisture class IPX7. This means that the device can without consequences be immersed in water to a depth of 1 m and hold it there for 30 min and nothing should happen. For snorkeling and simple swimming with mask and snorkel this is not enough, so the manufacturer offers to buy a special underwater case.
The new camera produced by the manufacturer in three versions, differing both hardware and package. Model Garmin VIRB Elite, which came to our test lab is the most perfect from the point of view of the hardware camera. “Just” Garmin VIRB, without the word Elite in the title, is devoid of the GPS receiver, barometric altimeter, accelerometer and Wi-Fi module. But there is another option for BEBO, characterized in that the set comes with a cycle carriers on the wheel. It is a pity that the “elite” version of the new camera this mount-so why not equip.
The camera comes in a small cardboard box with a large blister, which created a kind of diorama on the subject of sports shooting. Inside, in addition to the camera itself, we found the following accessories:
- flange base with threaded coupling;
- adhesive base for flat and curved surfaces;
- a set of connectors to stand with the bases with fasteners;
- adapter for attaching of mounts third party;
- cable Mini USB↔USB to connect the camera to the computer;
- printed user manual in Russian.
In addition, supplied with our copy was still in memory card format MicroSD capacity of 16 GB with an SD adapter, but according to the official specifications, the basic package is not included. Not part of it and the HDMI cable to output images on the big screen. But if all of the above is not so important, no lace safety and a very simple cloth cover should be attributed to the shortcomings of the package.
Generally, in the configuration in Garmin went the way of the GoPro and most other related manufacturers. In the box with the camera is only basic fastening elements, without which there can not do, and a flat pad with an adhesive base for mounting on a perfectly smooth surface. All the other mounting kits (handlebar, helmet and so on) will have to be purchased separately.
For example, we got an additional camera mount on the head. Yes, on the head, not the helmet. It comes in a small cardboard box in which, in addition to the accessory itself, there are only quick instructions for its use.
Appearance and ergonomics
Model Garmin VIRB is not similar to any of the currently existing action cameras, although its form factor is quite possible to classify the classical type camera with a fixed protective housing. The latter circumstance distinguishes the new product from similar devices GoPro or AEE, but it shares with many other, far less familiar to the Russian consumer brands. Very familiar Garmin VIRB seem more and owners of handheld tourist Garmin — relatively bulky, but dustproof and waterproof devices with small by modern standards display. The structure of the body and many structural elements Garmin VIRB largely borrowed from these satellite receivers.
The camera body is a monolithic structure, a cursory examination of which quickly creates a feeling of reliability and durability. Durable and very hard plastic frame with a rubber coating, tightly closed with rubber plugs connectors, silicone o-rings the battery cover and interconnected elements — all this can be seen not only in new action-camera, but on satellite navigators Garmin. The owners know very well that these devices will work and in the swamp, and in the middle of a dust storm in the hot desert. The lens is protected by a removable cover with a spherical (due to its shape at speed with a flow of air blown drops of water) of the eyepiece. In the event of a fall the lens is not affected, and the lid can be replaced.
Basic mount from Garmin VIRB is made removable. To operate the camera without this attachment is almost impossible, so how to install it anywhere without it will not work. The mount is a long platform with the ledge behind and a spring lock in front, which this accessory is attached to the corresponding recesses in the bottom of the camera body.
The platform is mounted on the camera tight enough, but the chance that the strong vibration of the lock may open, still exists. However, the camera is always possible to insure strap, mount for which is provided in the rear of the case.
To the platform in a regular package attached lots of swivel bases with mounting hardware, so the camera can be set at different angles and at different distances from the object to which it is attached. But, threaded base, though made accurately and reliably, but still deserves reproach for the relative complexity of installation. Maybe “hothouse” conditions of his mount and simple, but how to do it, for example, wearing gloves in the cold — is unclear. In this respect, the fastening-slide with a latch is used everywhere, look much more practical.
In the upper part of the housing the Garmin VIRB Elite is a display. While glass is closed not only himself, but also a significant part of the camera body. This solution looks quite attractive, but the glass is Gorilla or not Gorilla — still is very vulnerable to external influences.
The sides of the glass are applied designations of buttons, which are located on the side faces of the housing. With one hand under a waterproof rubber coating are three control buttons menu button power control. On the other hand is another key, with which you can also turn on the camera, but she immediately puts it in shooting mode. This key has a sliding spring mechanism, and — due to its large size — easy to reach location even when the camera is mounted on the head.
In the lower part of the chamber is a large battery cover. Here the hull design Garmin VIRB Elite is completely identical tourist navigators Garmin. Cap has proven a reliable lock with a metal mechanism that is driven by rotation of the protruding metal loops. After that, the lid is removed. Water resistance and dust-proof design is ensured by a silicone ring located between the cap and the main part of the body.
All the space under the lid is large enough Li-ion battery, and under it, as in satellite Garmin is a memory card slot. It is worth noting that, unlike many other action cameras, Garmin VIRB Elite battery removable. By purchasing second, you can easily increase the battery life of the device twice.
To exchange data Garmin VIRB Elite has a Mini USB port that is located along with a Mini HDMI port under the rubber seal — reliable cover, the construction of which is also borrowed from the tourist navigators. Generally, borrowing for action camera most design decisions have sports and tourism navigators turned out to be a very sensible idea, because both of them are designed to work in extreme conditions and should be ready for active service. Even it is a pity that Garmin decided to develop this market just now.