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Garmin VIRB Extremely 30 In-Intensity Evaluation

Ultimate week, Garmin introduced and launched their latest motion cam – the VIRB Extremely 30.  To summarize this 50-million phrase in-depth assessment in probably the most succinct way imaginable: Anyone at Garmin in the end were given it.  They created what may in all probability very best each GoPro’s present or even upcoming choices.  It simply took 3+ years.

This new VIRB contains the entirety from voice regulate (‘Good enough Garmin, take an image.’) to 4K video recording, to YouTube reside streaming.  To not point out upper finish handbook photograph/video controls, a colour touchscreen show that even works within the hard-shell water resistant case, and new travelling time-lapse choices.  Plus after all all of the standard stuff from the previous like GPS, ANT+ and Bluetooth sensor make stronger, and a lot more.  The extra you dig into the digital camera, the extra new options you find.

As famous above, I’ve been on a couple of variations of this digital camera, however this assessment is written in accordance with a last manufacturing unit.  Garmin despatched out each that and pre-prod gadgets for analysis, and prefer standard, they’ll return to Garmin in a while.  In case you discovered this assessment helpful, you’ll hit up the hyperlinks on the backside of the submit to make stronger the web site.

The Government Abstract:


I’ve been the usage of quite a lot of iterations of the digital camera for fairly some time now – and I’ve gotta say that is probably the most inspired I’ve been with a Garmin product in a while.  Common readers will have in mind I used to be ‘no longer inspired’ with the former VIRB X/XE providing.  I felt adore it simply neglected the mark in such a lot of tactics on the subject of being aggressive to GoPro gadgets.

While this unit is terribly aggressive to GoPro gadgets, particularly in mild of ultimate week’s leaks in regards to the upcoming GoPro Hero5.  The best way to think about the photograph/video specifications  (resolutions) of this unit, is that it’s mainly a GoPro Hero4 Black.  So it’s were given all of the 4K/30fps functions, in addition to the 240fps @ 720p slow-mo choices.  Necessarily, there’s nearly not anything that GoPro has within the Hero4 lineup that this doesn’t.

However ahead of we dive too deeply, let’s simply cross with a bulleted listing of what’s new and distinctive/other in comparison to the previous VIRB collection cameras.

– Added 4K/30&24fps & 2.7K/30&60fps recording choices
– Sluggish-mo modes as much as 240fps at 720p, and 120fps at 1080p
– Added burst as much as 60 frames over 2 seconds for photographs
– Added very granular photograph and video handbook settings choices (i.e. publicity, white stability, and many others…)
– Added complete shade touchscreen to again of unit
– Added framing overlays onto contact display reside view (i.e. rule of thirds, and many others…)
– Added overexposure shows onto contact display reside view (to peer if publicity is washed out)
– Separate water resistant case from digital camera, leaving bare digital camera just about just like GoPro Hero4 Black/Silver dimension
– New hardshell case nonetheless lets in transparent audio and touchscreen to paintings when digital camera is in it
– New hardshell case additionally lets in wind-reduction and sound underwater
– Added a brand new ‘body/skeleton’ taste case as an possibility
– Added YouTube Are living Streaming (iOS simplest)
– Added Skill to connect with devoted WiFi networks (MiFi get admission to issues, house networks, and many others…), plus telephones after all
– Added skill to playback by means of Miracast to TV’s in your home wirelessly
– New VIRB Edit multi-cam make stronger (i.e. image in image) with a couple of VIRB’s
– New VIRB Edit apps make stronger upper solution photos now (i.e. 4K)
– New Travelapse mode: Like a timelapse mode, however distance induced vs time-triggered
– Voice controls for photograph, video, highlights (‘OK Garmin, take an image’)
– Added symbol stabilization in-camera as much as 2.7K (reduces shake)
– In reality works with some third celebration gimbals now
– Samples and information inside sensor information at as much as 100 occasions a 2nd (100 Hz) for overlay later, and GPS information at 10 Hz
– Skill to avoid wasting/export settings to percentage with a couple of cameras

As you’ll see, that’s fairly the listing.  In the usage of the cameras, it turns into transparent that Garmin is aiming for extra than simply the ‘moderate shopper’ crowd with this unit.  In fact, it’ll be nice for the common shopper – similar to a GoPro is.  however there’s additionally plenty of little options which have been added that may make it extra interesting to manufacturing firms.  You’ve after all observed that GoPro’s are ubiquitous in TV productions nowadays, akin to MythBusters.  That’s partially as a result of GoPro has added options that those firms want to paintings with massive numbers of cameras and combine that photos into their workflow.

On the subject of Garmin, you spot that with options like the power to avoid wasting and percentage settings throughout cameras.  You’ll be able to now merely export out a given settings profile and temporarily observe that to a lot of cameras.

In fact, stepping again to the patron realm this digital camera takes purpose squarely at GoPro with just about the entirety Garmin had.  In the past Garmin used to be woefully quick on symbol/video solution and facets like dimension.  Plus options just like the loss of a slightly/preview display.  However the ones variations evaporate with the VIRB Extremely 30.  Now you mainly get all of the very best high quality of a GoPro Hero4 Black, however with the options and purposes of the Garmin collection.  Facets like masking your velocity, G-forces, and GPS monitor had been all Garmin staples, and this ties it in combination in a neat little package deal.

In case you wanna get a handy guide a rough have a look at issues – the next video summarizes a lot of this complete assessment in a single tidy little package deal:

As I mentioned initially of this fast review (for people that need to skip the remainder of the submit), that is one of the spectacular product I’ve observed out of the corporate in fairly a while.  It’s steady and has labored neatly for me, whilst additionally ticking off all of the take a look at containers in what I need from each a everyday, and holiday motion cam.


So – able to get this all unboxed?  No drawback, I’ve were given two tactics so that you can step foot into probably the most thrilling of field openings.  The primary is the beneath video unboxing, whilst the second one is the old school photograph and textual approach.  Do one or each, your selection.

Shifting to the photograph model, we’ve first were given the outside shell of the field:


Cracking it open you’ll to find the digital camera staring again up at you, and all of the items hidden beneath the sheets.  Principally, it’s just like the intro to a Paris Hilton video.


Right here’s what occurs when the sheets come off:

You’ve then were given a baggie stuffed with items:


It’s at this level you already know you’ve got an excessive amount of time for your fingers:


At the mounting entrance, you’ve were given each a flat and rounded sticky mount, together with quite a lot of extenders and orientation changers.


In the meantime, the digital camera will include a unmarried battery and the unit throughout the case. Along you’ll to find the usual mini-USB cable:


The cable can be utilized to fee the battery by means of the unit, in addition to to sync movies over for your pc by means of VIRB Edit (or any record explorer).

The battery would possibly glance similar to the GoPro batteries, however it’s fairly other.  The GoPro battery has squared off edges, as opposed to rounded edges right here.  In order that they don’t are compatible into every different’s circumstances.  I’ve attempted.  So much.


The battery is going into the port with the little slider lever at the facet.  It’s the similar position you’ll stash the MicroSD card (no longer incorporated).



Ultimate however no longer least, right here’s a couple of pictures of the VIRB in its case with the default mounting choices.  I gained’t use them the remainder of this submit, so have a look now ahead of shifting on.



Now, let’s see the way it sizes up.

Measurement & Weight Comparisons:


Now, you will have spotted I additionally incorporated an in depth dimension and weight comparability phase in the ultimate part of the unboxing video above.  So you might have considered trying to check out that.  It begins at about the ten minute marker.

Subsequent, having a look at sizes, you’ll see that the VIRB Extremely 30 and GoPro Hero4 gadgets are lovely an identical of their circumstances to one another.  The VIRB is in all probability a smidge wider and a tiny bit taller because of the additional button/lever for devoted photograph/video buttons.  However you wouldn’t in reality realize the scale until you had them facet by way of facet.

Then we’ve were given it sans-case.  Once more, just about the similar factor right here.  It’s in all probability a millimeter larger in top/width, however that’s it.  Tremendous an identical:

After which in the end the weights.  Right here you’ll see the weights with and with out the circumstances for each gadgets.

The weights in textual content are:

GoPro Hero4 Silver w/o case: 78g
GoPro Hero4 Silver with case: 139g
Garmin VIRB Extremely 30 w/o case: 88g
Garmin VIRB Extremely 30 with case: 159g

Remember that one has a GPS chipset and further sensor make stronger, whilst the opposite doesn’t.  No longer certain that in reality provides as much as 10g further, however profitable bearing in mind.

The New Stuff:


So there’s boatloads of recent stuff, however let’s center of attention in on what I believe are the important thing new items (excluding 4K resolutions).  The ones being voice regulate, the brand new touchscreen show, and the touchscreen with touch-capable case.   There’s different cool stuff just like the video symbol stabilization, the loopy photograph burst modes, further professional mode choices, and so forth.  However I’ll duvet the ones of their respective video/audio sections.  While those different issues don’t are compatible anyplace else, in order that they’re getting their very own phase.

Voice Regulate – OK Garmin: Following within the footsteps of ‘OK Google’ and others, Garmin has added voice regulate to the VIRB Extremely 30. This permits you to merely communicate to it to take a photograph, file a video, or file a spotlight.  You’ll be able to flip this selection on/off as you spot are compatible, however it works unusually neatly.


The “OK Garmin” instructions to be had to you might be:

“Take a photograph”: Takes a photograph the usage of no matter photograph settings you’ve got configured
“Take an image”: Very same as above, however simply other wording
“Get started Recording”: Begins video recording consistent with your video recording settings
“Forestall Recording”: Stops recording your video.
“Consider That”: Marks a spotlight on your video that the VIRB Edit tool apps will realize/use

How it works is that every time you assert ‘OK Garmin”, you’ll see the little digital camera LED illuminate in short as affirmation that it were given the command.  After that, it’ll blink once more when it hears the second one a part of the command (i.e. ‘Take a photograph’).  That is most simply demonstrated on this quick video I’ve put in combination on the way it works:

General it really works in reality neatly, particularly whilst you’re no longer shifting too rapid or too some distance away.  I discovered it superior for path operating and simply keeping a digital camera out in entrance of me to clutch a photograph.


Now some of the gaps this is the power for the Garmin VIRB Extremely 30 to ‘be told’ new instructions.  So it’d be great to show it that once I say “OK Garmin, Selfie”, or “OK Garmin, mark that”, it’ll use the ones instructions as neatly.  With a bit of luck we’ll see Garmin transfer that path to make it a bit of more uncomplicated to make use of/have in mind.  The ‘Spotlight that’ command particularly used to be one I’d regularly omit.

Contact Show: Subsequent we’ve were given the contact succesful show at the again. This show could be very an identical (just about an identical) to that of the GoPro Hero4 Silver.  It’s full-color and contact succesful, which means you’ll faucet your means via quite a lot of menus to modify settings in addition to preview the video popping out of it.

DSC_9643 DSC_9662

You’ll swipe to free up the display, and you’ll additionally set a show timeout in order that it doesn’t burn throughout the battery like a campfire.  The default is 5-seconds.

However what’s maximum spectacular this is that it in fact works throughout the water resistant case.  Yup, you’ll swipe the display and contact and have interaction with it similar to when no longer within the case.  It’s no longer 100% highest within the case, however I’d put it within the mid-high 90% vary.  Greater than ‘excellent sufficient’.  GoPro had a plastic soft-screen case for theirs as neatly, however that didn’t cross that deep in water.  This can be a significantly better development.

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Observe that you’ll in fact accomplish all touch-screen duties the usage of the buttons.  So in the event you’re underwater the place the touchscreen doesn’t paintings, you’ll use the button instructions to do the similar.  Additionally, the touchscreen most commonly works when rainy.  I used it a lot of occasions within the ocean whilst swimming and on rainy/wet days this summer time.  It could take an additional 2nd for the atypical neglected swipe, however for probably the most section it used to be forged.

Ultimate however no longer least, we’ve were given YouTube Are living Streaming.  Now that is simplest to be had on iOS presently (I don’t have an Android date from them), however it means that you can use cell provider to circulation at once to YouTube from the digital camera.  To get this going you’ll first want to pair up your mobile phone by means of WiFi.  As soon as that’s achieved, you’ll crack open the ‘Broadcast’ possibility at the VIRB cellular app, which can then authenticate you with YouTube.


After of completion of all of the standard YouTube authentication/authorization jazz, you’ll be allowed to hit the settings button at the app and configure the circulation sort in addition to the YouTube reside circulation main points:

IMG_3621 IMG_3620 IMG_3622

You’ll almost certainly need to use the choice for automated bandwidth adjustment, as in a different way you’ll get tough effects in the event you exceed the functions of your cell connection.

As soon as that’s achieved you’ll press the beginning button to start out your livestream.  Observe that it’ll take a couple of seconds or extra to really start, right through which period you’ll see this:


As soon as it starts for actual, you’ll see this. You gained’t get any indication at the digital camera itself that it’s livestreaming, which is kinda atypical.  I’d be expecting both a pink mild (it remains blinking inexperienced), or in all probability even only a textual content message pronouncing ‘Are living Streaming’ with a YouTube brand.


Now the potential general isn’t unhealthy in step with se, however I believe Garmin neglected the mark a bit of right here in no longer permitting information overlays.  In spite of everything, that’s why you purchase a VIRB over a GoPro.  I don’t assume I would like anything else super-complex, however permitting me elementary overlays like velocity, accelerations, and even perhaps ANT+ sensor information (i.e. energy/HR/and many others.) would cross a ways.  Nowadays, you simply get the default video circulation.

Nonetheless, I’d believe that’s a fairly simple factor for them to permit down the street by means of tool updates. So right here’s to hoping!

Video Functions:


The brand new VIRB Extremely 30 has a crapton of recent video modes, most commonly by way of expanding the higher resolutions and frame-rates to be had. The key new modes to be had for most of the people would be the 4K/30fps, 2.7K/60fps, and the slow-mo modes coming in at 1080p/120fps and 720p/240fps.  There are a host of different modes available in the market, however for many other people the ones are those that make it extra distinctive than previous VIRB’s.  In fact, then we’ve were given the brand new digital symbol stabilization (EIS) in addition to Travelapse modes.

However first let’s get started with a handy guide a rough have a look at video modes.  Right here’s all of the to be had video resolutions:

4K: 30/25/24 FPS
2.7K: 60/50/48/30/25/24 FPS
1440P: 80/75/72/60/50/48/30/25/24 FPS
1080P: 120/100/96/90/75/72/60/50/48/30/25/24 FPS
960P: 200/120 FPS
720P: 240/120/60/50/30/25 FPS

So how does this new 4K photos in fact evaluate to one thing just like the GoPro Hero4 Black?  Neatly, lovely darn excellent in my view.  With the intention to enable you do a side-by-side comparability, I’ve taken 4K photos from each gadgets ridden on a motorbike that had been side-by-side.  I then split-screen the 2 gadgets and smashed it right into a unmarried video beneath:

Now what I’ve observed in my trying out is that typically the VIRB Extremely 30 is excellent on the default settings, however it may possibly now and again overexpose video on shiny sunny summer time days, particularly within the sky at sure occasions of the day.  You’ll be able to deal with this regardless that by means of the Professional settings, which were expanded within the VIRB Extremely 30.

The Professional settings will let you set the entirety from publicity stops to white stability to ISO modes.  It’s tremendous robust, particularly at ‘edge case’ sort eventualities, akin to in darkish prerequisites or overly shiny prerequisites.


What’s even cooler is that you just’ll get a preview window for reside preview of those settings.  This manner you aren’t flying blind in looking to set them and seeing how the digital camera reacts:


Alongside those self same veins is the power for the digital camera to ‘overlay’ overexposed sections onto the image in pink.  This feature you’ll activate gained’t have an effect on the recorded video, however slightly simply the LCD at the again.  Anything else blinking in pink is overexposed:

DSC_9706 DSC_9707

Proper subsequent to that characteristic within the menus is the power to overlay quite a lot of ‘rule patterns’ onto the LCD, akin to the rule of thumb of thirds and different patterns (observed above additionally on proper symbol):


Once more, those don’t cross into the recorded video itself, however only for the show.  Every so often it’s a to hand reminder on getting issues a bit of cleaner having a look.

Some other serve as you’ve got for buying cleaner video is the power to permit digital symbol stabilization. This works by way of cropping a portion of the upper solution symbol down to take away jumpiness.  It’s kinda like a deficient guy’s gimbal.  It’s no longer fairly as highest, however it definitely is helping.

This surroundings is enabled within the menus, and will simplest be enabled as much as 1440p, no longer past it (so you’ll’t stabilize 2.7K or 4K photos – UPDATE: As of Nov eighth, you’ll now stabilize 2.7K photos, successfully matching the GoPro Hero5 Black):


To exhibit how this works, I’ve as soon as once more ridden a motorbike throughout a host of various chunks of terrain, with two cameras facet by way of facet.  On one VIRB the unit had EIS enabled, whilst the opposite had it disabled:

As you’ll see there’s obviously a noticeable distinction.  On the identical time, you could need to imagine doing it in tool you probably have upper finish tool (i.e. Ultimate Reduce Professional, Premier, and many others…).  I to find that I’ll get fairly higher stabilization out of FCPX than I might the Garmin gadgets.  However after all, FCXP and Premier are lovely darn pricey items of tool and require a large number of time to stabilize photos.  Or, you’ll use a gimbal (extra in that during my equipment phase beneath).  However in the end, sure, it makes a distinction and is surely price it in the event you’re taking pictures at decrease resolutions.

Switching to audio, I believe it’s almost certainly profitable stating simply how excellent the inner mic high quality is with the wind coverage.  I’ve regularly used the VIRB XE (older gadgets) in on-bike demos since the mic efficiency is so excellent within the wind.  Other folks incessantly question me what mics I exploit there, and are stunned to seek out it’s the on-camera mic.  The similar is right right here.  The on-board mic efficiency is superb, even within the underwater case.  An instance of this is this video I shot beneath a couple of swimming product.  The whole thing within the beneath video used to be shot at the VIRB Extremely 30 – together with the sound, heck, even in that underwater bit the audio used to be from the VIRB Extremely 30.

You’ll be able to nonetheless use an exterior mic with it if you need, and definitely for sure scenarios chances are you’ll.  That mic can both be stressed out, or by means of Bluetooth for sure supported mics.  That’s somewhat identified capacity that almost certainly will have to get extra credit score than it does.

In spite of everything, we’ll wrap-up with two time-lapse modes – considered one of which is new.  The Garmin lineup used to be in reality the primary to introduce a timelapse mode that mechanically transformed the ‘photographs’ right into a unmarried steady video.  In the past at the GoPro you needed to take all the ones photographs and manually assemble them after the truth on a pc.  Then in 2015 GoPro added the power to have a video timelapse mode as neatly.  This present day it’s just about the norm.

However Garmin has as soon as once more driven into a brand new house right here on motion cams, which is ‘Travelapse’. That mode means that you can have the timelapse be distance induced as a substitute of time induced.


So with an ordinary timelapse the digital camera is induced at a suite time period (i.e. each 1 2nd).  However in travelapse mode, it’s induced the usage of the GPS in accordance with a distance period – akin to each .1KM or .5MI, or anything else you need.

DSC_9776 DSC_9777

That is specifically helpful for longer drives or aircraft flights.  It’s additionally helpful for eventualities the place you need to ‘even out’ the have an effect on of various paces/speeds, as an example, sitting in site visitors or slower roads.  It really works lovely neatly.  Right here’s a tiny snippet from a coastal street in France I shot.  In this street we had been caught in site visitors in some circumstances, but happening sooner roads in others. But it surely all appears to be like the similar.

Once more, it’s simply another choice for buying the correct shot.  And that’s what many of those new VIRB Extremely 30 choices are all about, including inventive tactics to get extra distinctive pictures.  The extra distinctive and leading edge pictures any individual sees on your edit, the much more likely they’re not to skip forward to observe cat movies somewhere else on YouTube.

Talking of choices – one very last thing profitable noting is the brand new solution to save presets.  This permits you to save/export your entire digital camera presets in a single simple package for making use of to different cameras, or, simply to temporarily save them as your personal tastes for Snowboarding vs Biking.  It’s tremendous cool:

DSC_9684 DSC_9686

This kind of factor in reality appeals to the Hollywood crowd that use motion cams (as an example, MythBusters used to be well-known for this), and need to simply validate/observe settings throughout a lot of cameras.  In fact, for the common shopper, it simply makes it simple to temporarily transfer your entire configured choices for a given number of settings without delay.

(Observe: There’s some photos from a pre-prod unit within the Ibiza clips, regardless that the one distinction between that unit and the general unit used to be an replace to the GPS chipset – which I’m informed implies that it could simplest have an effect on any information overlays in the ones Ibiza clips, which I didn’t finally end up the usage of there.)

Photograph Functions:


Subsequent we’ve were given the power to take photographs, be it a unmarried photograph or a crapton of photographs in burst mode.  What’s distinctive in regards to the VIRB in comparison to present technology GoPro cameras is that it’s all the time had a devoted photograph button.  So with the VIRB cameras you’ve got the slider lever for recording video, after which a button for taking a photograph.  The button will cause the digital camera with its F/2.6 lens to take a photograph, in most cases at 12MP.


This nifty little chart from Garmin has the precise box of perspectives indexed:


Moreover, in maximum solution modes (no longer 4K) the digital camera too can take a photograph in the course of recording video – which is to hand in circumstances the place you’re looking to get that highest photograph however don’t need to possibility the danger of lacking it – so you utilize video as a backstop.

With the VIRB Extremely 30 you’ve were given a boatload of recent photograph modes, however maximum notable are the upper finish photograph settings that push the bounds at the burst functions – upwards of 60 frames in 1 2nd at 8MP, or in 2 seconds at 12MP.

Just like the video modes regardless that you’ve additionally were given the power to permit Professional settings, which can permit configuration of options like white stability, ISO, publicity, and extra.

DSC_9679 DSC_9680

In reality, you’ve even were given publicity bracketing choices, which creates HDR taste photograph units:


I discovered that out of the field the digital camera within the default settings did neatly for many sunlight eventualities, however it could battle somewhat bit in low-light eventualities the usage of the defaults.  On the other hand, with the Professional mode if I diminished the ISO a bit of I may typically get better that element and readability, so long as the platform used to be semi-stable.  For instance in sundown timelapses and even travel-lapses.

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That is almost certainly a great time to indicate the variation between the timelapse possibility in photographs mode and the timelapse possibility in video mode.  Throughout the photograph mode you’ll get a big pile of photograph information on the finish of it, while within the video mode you’ll get a video record (in 4K).  Normally talking in the event you plan to only take that snippet as-is, I’d cross with the video mode.  While in the event you plan to do extra enhancing afterward, then you’ll use the photographs at a miles upper solution for zooms and such.  However once more, that calls for third celebration enhancing gear (and abilities) to place in combination.  No longer tough, however simply extra complicated.

Right here’s a random gallery of pics taken from the digital camera over the process the summer time:

As you’ll see, the pictures prove reasonably colourful.  In fact, anytime you spot motion cam pattern pictures remember the fact that maximum might be in moderation decided on to seek out probably the most visually fascinating photographs.  No other right here.  I may display you a host of pavement photographs, however that’s no longer extraordinarily fascinating.  However, visually fascinating photographs are also harder for a digital camera to succeed in.  For instance motion and shiny colours like reds can simply throw off a digital camera.  So it’s no longer only a case of choosing shiny colours to get lovely pics.

General from a photograph viewpoint I’m quite pleased with the standard.  I used to be ready to make use of it as my go-to digital camera the ultimate whilst for taking pictures at the run of watches (and me) and such, which is what I’ve regularly defaulted again to the GoPro Hero4 Silver for.  However this simply took that spot for me.

Sensors and Information:


In fact, some of the greatest causes to make a choice the Garmin VIRB collection is for its sensor and information overlay make stronger.  This permits you to see information metrics akin to velocity, altitude and distance.  To not point out acceleration and g-forces.  Assuming you don’t have any sensors supported, right here’s the respectable record of knowledge varieties you’ll upload for your movies:

Information Sorts (with out sensors): Pace, Tempo, Altitude, G-Pressure, Orientation, Hold Time, Bounce Peak, Bounce Distance, Rotations in Air, Bounce Rely, Distance, Grade, Relative Elevation, Vertical Pace, Pitch, Roll, Route, Bearing, Coordinates, Monitor Form and Place, Lap Occasions (Automated/CC, Guide), Lap Rely (Automated/CC, Guide)

But it surely’s additionally the make stronger for sensors, akin to ANT+ Pace/Cadence sensors, energy meters, center charge straps, or even car sensors (like I demo’d with the VIRB XE on this video).  All of those can also be discovered within the sensor pairing menu.  Observe that for health sensors they should be ANT+, while for different sensor varieties (akin to car) they are able to be Bluetooth.  It even helps Bluetooth headsets/mics as neatly.


The information is captured to the VIRB Extremely 30 anytime you’ve got the unit became on, although no longer recording.  That is to hand if you wish to have a backup information monitor for your different gadgets.

Then, as soon as in VIRB Edit you’ll see all of those information resources and overlay gauges onto the video.  You’ll be able to customise those overlays in a lot of tactics, however I’ll duvet that within the subsequent phase.


It’s price noting that Garmin has upped the sampling charges for sure kinds of information with the VIRB Extremely 30, to the next ranges:

GPS: 10 Hz location seize
Barometer: 25 Hz elevation seize
Accelerometer: 100 Hz pressure and movement seize
Gyroscope: 100 Hz rotation seize
Compass: 100 Hz bearing seize

Now one oddity regardless that is that there (nonetheless) isn’t any method to configure the altimeter within the unit.  Every so often the information comes out reasonably wonky, and so it’d be ideally suited so that you can set it or in a different way calibrate it.  You’ll be able to reset/recalibrate the altitude afterwards in VIRB Edit, however that’s way more tedious than simply doing it at a close-by marker within the mountains or the usage of any other identified altimeter supply.

Cell & Desktop Apps:


In relation to enhancing, Garmin provides the VIRB Edit apps.  Those are to be had on desktop and cellular, and will let you overlay information out of your actions on best of movies.

At the cellular entrance, the app means that you can preview the display and alter settings at the fly – lovely similar to we’ve observed ahead of.

IMG_3629 IMG_3632

IMG_3630 IMG_3631

You’ll be able to additionally obtain photographs/movies from the VIRB Extremely 30 for your telephone.

The place it will get extra distinctive is the power to create overlays from the cellular app onto movies for sharing, all from the telephone.  The similar is going for the power to have it mechanically make a montage/compilation out of your movies that day.  In my trying out, this kinda works.  It’s no longer highest and doesn’t essentially take advantage of dramatic video – however it does do the trick.

The one drawback to the VIRB cellular app that I’ve observed is that on iOS it has a tendency to be reasonably gradual to enumerate photographs/movies, fairly a bit of slower than the GoPro app is.  That is one thing I’ve observed previously with the VIRB XE, so in all probability it’s simply me.  Both means, I want it used to be extra optimized.

Subsequent is the desktop app.  That is to be had on PC & Mac, and lets in for a lot more complicated video enhancing.  You’ll get started by way of uploading the clips into your library.  You’ll be able to alternate this library location, and I’d suggest you imagine that when you have higher tough drives as opposed to the default one decided on.

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 9.46.09 PM

As soon as the video is in you’ll mix clips in combination to make a video:

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In some ways this works reasonably neatly as a elementary video editor.  Having spent much more time in Ultimate Reduce Professional X in recent times regardless that, I to find that I battle a bit of with the extra simplistic format.  While a 12 months in the past ahead of spending that point I didn’t thoughts.  For my workflow now I simply merely export out the snippets I need after which pull that into FCPX.

In spite of everything, an important piece this is the G-Metrix overlays (templates and gauges).  It’s right here that you’ll observe zillions of present templates or create your individual.  They’ve a lot of types within the defaults, and just about they all can also be custom designed/tweaked.

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 9.51.13 PM

You’ll be able to additionally specify the place the information comes from.  For instance, in the event you had been recording on a Garmin head unit and for some reason why sought after that information as a substitute, you’ll alternate the information supply:

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 9.51.31 PM

Like maximum apps available in the market, they come with a handful of audio soundtracks to make use of totally free (so that you don’t get flagged in YouTube later).  And you’ll upload in transitions and titles as neatly.

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 9.52.25 PM

In spite of everything, you’ll additionally use the ‘Auto Create Video’ possibility and make a selection a large pile of clips to have it mechanically put in combination a nifty video.  Right here as an example I decided on all the video clips that I had created right through a paragliding consultation (about half-hour lengthy):

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 9.54.11 PM

Then I decided on the precise theme, which drives the track variety and in the end the duration.

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 9.55.19 PM

In spite of everything, I will be able to make a selection the kind of job inside that:

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 9.55.38 PM

A brief bit later (like, a couple of seconds) it’ll get a hold of a video snippet to preview.  You’ll be able to edit clips if you need.  For instance, in my case it had 3 intro clips of me getting at the raise.  That appeared over the top, so you’ll tweak it.  You’ll realize it has facets like center charge spikes and jumps induced inside the video above the timeline.

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 9.57.30 PM

And heck, it even does image in image mechanically.  On this case, the belt used to be blockading the chest cam (so I will be able to’t blame Garmin for that), however you get the theory (or image).

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 9.59.53 PM

In spite of everything, you’ll view the map as neatly if that is helping with aligning clips.

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 10.02.52 PM

As soon as that’s achieved, you’ll whack the export button and make a selection your export settings ahead of getting the entire clip.  Beneath is the auto-edited clip (no adjustments from me) immediately from the VIRB Edit tool.  As you’ll see, it’s OK, and may use some minor tweaks.  However I discovered this did a significantly better process than TomTom’s automated enhancing tool.

As I’ve mentioned previously, I’ve all the time been super-impressed with the VIRB Edit staff.  They’ve persisted to push out quite a lot of updates to the tool for years, nearly per month.  Those little edge circumstances ultimately upload as much as a reasonably robust piece of tool, even ignoring the truth that it’s unfastened.  Neatly achieved.

Mounts, equipment, and drones:

In relation to equipment, the VIRB Extremely 30 works with just about any GoPro similar accent – which is the important thing factor you want to grasp.  It makes use of the similar mounting machine as a GoPro motion digital camera, regardless that Garmin does have some funky fast liberate mounts of their very own in the event you’re so susceptible (don’t be).

For far of my utilization I finished up the usage of a mix of mounts for the cameras.  For instance, whilst biking I tended to position them at the Okay-Edge aluminum motorcycle mounts:


I additionally connected one in my again pocket whilst biking and operating to a GoPro 3-Manner stick.  It’s my favourite for buying all forms of inventive pictures:

DSC_9724 DSC_9731

However what about one of the most super-smooth pictures?  Neatly for that I went with a Gimbal, particularly the Feiyu Tech gimbal.  Now this isn’t fairly a really perfect are compatible.  The buttons at the VIRB Extremely 30 are precisely the place the clamp fingers are at the gimbal, so when you have it great and cushty, it’ll stay turning the WiFi off and on continuously.  However, in the event you simply pull out the clamp fingers somewhat bit, then all is easily.  That used to be nice for operating with it – however I wouldn’t in fact cycle with the gimbal that means (a minimum of in site visitors), as one forged jolt and it will come flying off.

DSC_9721 DSC_9717

Talking of flying, I did use it with a drone.  In reality, in the event you glance in moderation at some of the Garmin advertising and marketing movies you’ll see the tell-tale caricature representation of a DJI drone, and that’s what I finished up the usage of.  No, no longer my great new DJI Phantom 4, nor even my Phantom 3, however slightly my older Phantom 2 with an H4-3-D gimbal.  That unit were given to depart the retirement house or even were given a brand new gimbal on it for some VIRB Extremely 30 flights.  For a greater have a look at how I did it, I put in combination this quick video:

As you’ll see, it’s no longer a really perfect are compatible.  In fact, you might want to simply use a non-gimbal answer at the GoPro mounts, however in truth that’s lame (and we all know it’s lame).  If you need silky-smooth photos within the air, you want a gimbal – therefore the stuff I needed to rig in combination.

Nonetheless, with the scale of the unit being very just about the GoPro, you’ll escape with so much in the case of GoPro gimbals.  But it surely’d be in reality great if Garmin labored with some of the gimbal firms to make one thing that are compatible the digital camera neatly.  In all probability with the impending liberate of the Hero5 we’ll see Feiyu Tech liberate a brand new gimbal variant, and in all probability that’ll paintings with each the Hero5 and the VIRB Extremely 30.  Both means, gimbals will temporarily transform common (and I believe even by way of firms like GoPro themselves), so Garmin will want one thing to stick aggressive in that portion of the marketplace position.

Comparability Charts:


I’ve added the Garmin VIRB Extremely 30 into the product comparability database, permitting you to match it towards different motion cams I’ve reviewed.  Within the case beneath, I’ve when put next it towards the Garmin VIRB XE and the GoPro Hero4 Silver and GoPro Hero4 Black.  I determine the ones are the nearest in options to the Garmin VIRB Extremely 30.  However you’ll mix’n’match towards all cameras I’ve reviewed previously right here and make your individual charts.

Serve as/Function Garmin VIRB Extremely 30 Garmin VIRB XE GoPro Hero4 Black GoPro Hero4 Silver
Copyright DC Rainmaker – Up to date October thirteenth, 2020 @ 9:29 am New Window
Worth $399 $399 $499 $399
Availability Aug thirty first, 2016 Summer season 2015 International International
WiFi Builtin Sure Sure Sure Sure
Bluetooth to Telephone Sure Sure Sure Sure
Recording Gentle Sure Sure Sure Sure
GPS builtin Sure Sure No No
Altimeter builtin Sure No (makes use of GPS elevation) No No
Water Resistant 131ft/40m inside case 50m 40m with incorporated case 40m with incorporated case
Accellerometer Sure Sure (+ Gryoscope) No No
Video Preview Display Sure No Accent Sure
Voice Regulate Sure No No
Battery Garmin VIRB Extremely 30 Garmin VIRB XE GoPro Hero4 Black GoPro Hero4 Silver
Recharges by means of Mini-USB USB Mini-USB Mini-USB
Detachable battery Sure Sure Sure / 1160 mAh Sure / 1160 mAh
Recording Time 2 Hours – 1080p30 2 Hours As much as 1hr 50min, 65min at 4K 2 Hours
Secondary connected battery No No Accent Accent
Garage Garmin VIRB Extremely 30 Garmin VIRB XE GoPro Hero4 Black GoPro Hero4 Silver
Garage Card Kind MicroSD Micro-SD MicroSD Card Micro-SD
Most Card Measurement 128GB 128GB 64GB 64GB
Video Garmin VIRB Extremely 30 Garmin VIRB XE GoPro Hero4 Black GoPro Hero4 Silver
4K 30/25/24 FPS No 24/25/30 fps 12.5/15 fps
2.7K 60/50/48/30/25/24 FPS No 24/25/30/48/50/60 fps 24/25/30 fps
1440p 80/75/72/60/50/48/30/25/24 FPS 30 FPS 24/25/30/48/50/60/80 fps 24/25/30/48 fps
1080p 120/100/96/90/75/72/60/50/48/30/25/24 FPS 24/25/30/48/50/60 FPS 24/25/30/48/50/60/80/90/120 fps 24/25/30/48/50/60 fps
Information 360* Video No No No No
Automated Symbol Rotation Sure Sure Sure (Feb 2015 replace) Sure (Feb 2015 replace)
Symbol Stabilization Sure No No
Looping Recordings Sure Sure Sure Sure
Timelapse Mode (constructs timelapse video) Sure YEs Sure (Feb 2015 replace) Sure (Feb 2015 replace)
Travelapse/Hyperlapse Mode Sure No No
Professional Settings Mode Sure Sure Sure
Audio Garmin VIRB Extremely 30 Garmin VIRB XE GoPro Hero4 Black GoPro Hero4 Silver
Inner Microphone Sure Sure Sure Sure
Helps Bluetooth Microphones Sure No No
Professional mode with seperate tracks No No No
Customized Modes Sure
Photograph Garmin VIRB Extremely 30 Garmin VIRB XE GoPro Hero4 Black GoPro Hero4 Silver
Megapixels 12MP 12 MP 12 MP 12 MP
Timelapse Mode (photographs on period) Sure Sure 0.5,1,2,5,10,30,60s 0.5,1,2,5,10,30,60s
Burst Mode Sure UP TO 30 PHOTOS/SECOND As much as 30 photographs/2nd As much as 30 photographs/2nd
Steady Taking pictures Mode UP TO 60 PHOTOS/SECOND Sure Sure Sure
Concurrent w/video mode Sure Sure Sure Sure
Information 360* Photograph No No No No
Professional Settings Mode Sure Sure Sure
RAW photograph advent make stronger Sure (added in firmware replace) No No
Sports activities Garmin VIRB Extremely 30 Garmin VIRB XE GoPro Hero4 Black GoPro Hero4 Silver
Snowboarding Mode No No No No
Regulate from game pc Sure Sure No No
ANT+ Sensor Connectivity Sure Sure No No
Bluetooth Sensor Connectivity Sure No No
ANT+ Profile Sorts HEART RATE, SPEED, CADENCE, TEMPERATURE, POWER (+ Bluetooth OBD information) HEART RATE, SPEED, CADENCE, TEMPERATURE, POWER (+ Bluetooth OBD information) No No
Overlays game information on recording Sure Sure (by means of Garmin apps) No No
Telephone Garmin VIRB Extremely 30 Garmin VIRB XE GoPro Hero4 Black GoPro Hero4 Silver
App platforms to be had iOS/Android iOS/Android/Home windows Telephone iOS/Android/Home windows Telephone iOS/Android/Home windows Telephone
Use as far off regulate Sure Sure Sure Sure
Video preview Sure YEs Sure Sure
Switch video-photos from digital camera Sure Sure Sure Sure
Multi-camera reside regulate/preview No As much as 10 cameras No NO
Are living Streaming to Web Sure
Instrument Garmin VIRB Extremely 30 Garmin VIRB XE GoPro Hero4 Black GoPro Hero4 Silver
App for pc VIRB Edit (Mac/PC) VIRB Edit GoPro Studio GoPro Studio
Accent Garmin VIRB Extremely 30 Garmin VIRB XE GoPro Hero4 Black GoPro Hero4 Silver
Far flung regulate button/key Sure Sure Sure Sure
Diving case Incorporated No (unit already waterproofed to 50m) Incorporated Incorporated
Mount Kind GoPro Mount Suitable
Tool Connections Garmin VIRB Extremely 30 Garmin VIRB XE GoPro Hero4 Black GoPro Hero4 Silver
USB Connector Kind Mini-USB USB Mini-USB Mini-USB
Micro-HDMI Sure No Sure Sure
Composite Video Adapter To be had Adapter To be had Adapter To be had Adapter To be had
Audio 3.5mm Stereo Mic Adapter To be had Adapter To be had Adapter To be had Adapter To be had
Acquire Garmin VIRB Extremely 30 Garmin VIRB XE GoPro Hero4 Black GoPro Hero4 Silver
Amazon Hyperlink Hyperlink Hyperlink Hyperlink
DCRainmaker Garmin VIRB Extremely 30 Garmin VIRB XE GoPro Hero4 Black GoPro Hero4 Silver
Evaluation Hyperlink Hyperlink Hyperlink Hyperlink Hyperlink

Once more – have in mind you’ll create your individual comparability charts right here the usage of the product comparability device.  Revel in!

My Recommendation:

So, can’t come to a decision?

Neatly, I’m almost certainly no longer going to make your lifestyles so much more uncomplicated…but.  At the present, we’re simply a couple of weeks clear of GoPro’s announcement of the long-awaited Hero5 lineup.  So until you’ve were given some pressing commute to Tahiti with an Olympic volleyball staff subsequent week, I’d almost certainly wait until the tip of the month to make any new motion cam choices.

That mentioned, I believe it’s honest to mention that in the event you had to shop for an motion cam presently the Garmin VIRB Extremely 30 is probably the most succesful motion cam available on the market.  There’s no longer in reality a lot to discuss there.  One may debate nuances in high quality between the Hero4 Black and the GoPro VIRB Extremely 30, regardless that I believe that will get down to private personal tastes (because it nearly all the time does when two cameras are very shut).

Presently Garmin has an enormous set of options associated with appearing sensor information.  I be expecting they’ll proceed to win that ‘warfare’ towards GoPro, even/if GoPro provides GPS and elementary sensor make stronger.  It’s a must to needless to say Garmin’s been operating on including sensor information to movies now for approximately 3 years, in order that they’ve were given a forged head get started there.  Plus, we’ve by no means in reality observed GoPro nail tool at the first strive.  So I might wager it’ll take a bit of of time for issues to settle out.

At the flipside, I believe we’ll see the Garmin finally end up being $100 overpriced.  It’s unattainable to me that GoPro will pop out with a $499 digital camera with the similar actual specifications as they did 2 years in the past.  GoPro’s taken a beating within the business for being observed as overpriced.  So my wager is that they arrive out at $399 with all of the options of a Hero4 Black and Hero4 Silver merged.  In the event that they did that, then Garmin is once more, overpriced. [Update: Sept 19th – Upon GoPro’s Hero5 announcement, Garmin has matched GoPro at $399.  It’s battle Royale time now!  At this price point, both are incredibly well priced and compete very well against each other.].  Beneath are the variations to the Hero5 Black:

GoPro Hero5 Black vs Garmin VIRB Extremely 30

Function Checklist GoPro Hero5 Black Garmin VIRB Extremely 30 Function Winner
Normal: Worth $399 $399
Normal: Touchscreen regulate Sure Sure
Normal: Water-resistant Internally to 10m With case to 40m GoPro (however is determined by choice)
Normal: Battery lifestyles ~2hrs @ 1080p30 ~2hr 15min @ 1080p30
Normal: WiFi & Bluetooth Sure Sure
Information: GPS Enabled Sure Sure Garmin makes use of information higher
Information: Accelerometer/Gyro/Altimeter/Compass Gyro/Accel simplest Sure to all Garmin
Information: Can hook up with game/car/boat sensors No Sure Garmin
Normal: USB Connector Kind Kind-C Mini-USB Will depend on choice
Normal: Voice Regulate Sure Sure GoPro (can customise)
Video: Very best solution 4K @ 30fps 4K @ 30fps
Video: Very best body charge 720p @ 240fps 720p @ 240fps
Video: Digital Symbol Stabilization Sure as much as 2.7K/60FPS Sure as much as 2.7K/30FPS GoPro – Slightly
Video: Take away distortion mode Sure Sure
Video: Wind cancellation Sure Sure
Video: File particular person mic tracks Sure to seperate information Sorta to split channels GoPro
Photograph: Very best solution 12MP 12MP
Photograph: Very best burst mode 30 frames/sec 60 frames/sec Garmin
Photograph: Skill to have professional settings mode Sure Sure
Photograph: Skill to shoot RAW information Sure Sure
Photograph: HDR photograph possibility Sure Sure
Equipment: Makes use of GoPro mount Sure Sure
Equipment: Far flung regulate Sure Sure
Equipment: Gimbal possibility Sure – 1st celebration third Birthday party with Feiyu Tech G5
Equipment: Drone connection possibility Sure Sorta however no longer ideally suited GoPro
Instrument: Cloud Sync Answer Sure No GoPro
Instrument: Cell app Sure Sure GoPro sooner, Garmin extra choices
Instrument: Desktop Apps Sure Sure Garmin for extra robust enhancing
Instrument: Can mechanically create spotlight films Sure Sure GoPro’s cellular higher, Garmin’s Desktop

At the shiny facet for Garmin – their product is in reality forged, and I believe it’ll rise up to GoPro’s entrants.  So it could simply want a value adjustment they usually’d be hyper aggressive.

Both means, come again on the finish of the month and I’ll let ya know.



Okey doke – many hundreds of phrases and a lot of ideas later, I’ll try to wrap all of it up in a tidy bow.  In brief, Garmin has delivered what is well their very best motion digital camera so far.  No query – they nailed it this time.  At the options entrance they no longer simplest performed catch-up on the subject of evaluating to GoPro’s characteristic set, however they exceeded it with distinctive options no longer discovered on motion cams so far (i.e. voice regulate, travelapse, upper velocity information sampling charges for g-forces, and many others…).  Principally, they’ve were given a winner technologically.

On the other hand, it’s no longer all comfortable pavement forward for Garmin.  They’ve were given two hurdles to triumph over with this digital camera, and nor is the generation.  First is after all the selling energy of GoPro, which is now synonymous with motion cams.  However 2nd, and extra importantly would be the pricing.  If GoPro releases at Hero5 fashion on the identical or higher specifications as Garmin’s at $399 in a couple of weeks, then Garmin can have had the tablecloth pulled out from them in probably the most unceremonious of manners.  If GoPro releases at $499, then Garmin’s in a in reality excellent spot (regardless that, they’d be higher by way of undercutting GoPro’s pricing to make-up for loss of emblem reputation within the motion cam marketplace). [Update: GoPro released at $399, and Garmin immediately matched it.]

Regardless of the case, or the associated fee, the digital camera’s tech is forged and Garmin’s achieved a perfect process this time round.  As I famous initially of the assessment, I used to be no longer a lot keen on the former Garmin VIRB X/XE cameras for a host of causes – however they gave the impression to have listened to the comments of the entire group this time and in reality made a forged entrant.

With that – thank you for studying and be happy to drop any questions beneath!

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