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Garmin VIRB X & XE Motion Cam In-Intensity Overview

Each every so often within the DCR Overview Realm I’m going forward and pull out a moderately longer evaluate cycle.  This may be a kind of instances.  On this case, I’ve used the Garmin VIRB X & XE motion cameras for a excellent forged 8-9 months now.  The entirety from wasteland stipulations to tropical aquatic adventures to snow within the alps.  I will’t call to mind extra variation in one one in all my evaluations.

However, right here it’s.  Higher past due than by no means, correct?  Since I don’t be expecting a brand new VIRB unit within the speedy long term, I figured this might nonetheless be precious to oldsters.  Plus, I’ve were given about one gazillion photographs and movies of and from the unit that another way don’t have any objective in lifestyles.

With regards to this evaluate, I purchased two VIRB gadgets.  One VIRB XE, and one VIRB X.  Moreover, Garmin additionally despatched over a VIRB XE to take a look at out.  That one will in spite of everything return to them (a wee bit worse for put on), and I’ll stay those I purchased.

With that – let’s dive into issues!


First up we’ll unbox the VIRB XE, after which I’ll provide you with a short lived gallery of the VIRB X unboxing, because it’s just about the similar.



Within we’ve were given the digicam affixed to a few molded plastic, so that you’ll get started by means of eliminating the highest shell:



Then you definitely’ll discover a slew of elements within the field.  I’ll communicate via every one.


First up is a rounded helmet mount.  You’ll see the slight curve at the backside.  The flat-mount is in truth nonetheless throughout the plastic prison observed on the again.  Then there are each a brief and lengthy screw, and a small hex wrench.


You’ll want that hex wrench for purchasing the unit out of the plastic cellular thingy.


Subsequent, we’ve were given a small pile of mounts.  Those assist you to each alternate the route of the digicam, in addition to use it with older Garmin VIRB mounts.



Then there’s the charging cable.  However extra on that later.


Then we’ve were given some stickers to embellish random issues round your pal’s area.


Subsequent are some small moisture strips.  Those soak up moisture within the digicam house to stop fogging.  On one hand that is liked, but at the different, if they’d designed the case so the lens wasn’t open to the weather whilst you alternate the battery – this wouldn’t be a topic.



In the end, the digicam itself in additional element.  Don’t concern, you’ll rise up shut and private with it by means of the tip of this evaluate.

Now, slightly than repeat the entire steps to turn you exactly the very same factor, right here’s the unboxing of the VIRB X (versus the XE).  The one distinction this is that the VIRB X doesn’t include the extra mounts to ‘rotate’ the unit sideways or prolonged moderately.  Don’t concern, you’ll in finding generic GoPro variations of those on Amazon for a couple of greenbacks.

Were given all that? Just right – let’s evaluate some cams.

Measurement & Weight:

So how do issues measurement up?  Smartly first we could take a look at weight.  The VIRB XE is available in at 154g:


In the meantime, the VIRB X at 153g:


Word that I didn’t come with mounting {hardware}, as a result of that’ll range by means of the kind of mount you put it in.  For instance, I will use the GoPro Hero4 Silver with no case at 79g:


Or, make it water-proof and it involves 142g (facet be aware: I record the entire weights of the GoPro combos in my GoPro Hero4 Silver/Black in-depth evaluate).

Hero4 Black with Underwater Case: 150.6g
Hero4 Silver with Underwater Case: 142.1g
Hero Base (2014) with Underwater Case: 111.1g

If I take a look at the older Garmin VIRB, it was once 176g:


In the meantime, from a measurement viewpoint you’ll understand the unit is smaller than the unique VIRB, albeit orientated another way:


And if I attempt to evaluate it to the GoPro Hero4 sequence, you then’ll in finding that it’s clearly a lot wider with no case:


However whilst you upload a case it’s no longer an excessive amount of wider in truth:


In reality, in some ways it’s no longer a lot other when you upload the case in comparison to the GoPro Hero4/Silver:



So it’ll rely on how you utilize it just a little.  For me, I don’t regularly use a water-proof case with my GoPro (apart from close to water), slightly as an alternative I’ll use a body case (thinner), or simply pass hand held with none case (working, the use of round a town as a vacationer, and so forth…).  In fact, each make it at risk of water while the VIRB X/XE is waterproofed initially.

The Fundamentals:


Sooner than we get into the entire main points, let’s quilt one of the most fundamentals at the variations between the VIRB X and the VIRB XE.  Whilst they appear equivalent from the outside (minus the little emblem).  In fact, it’s inside of that issues.  Right here’s the precise options the VIRB XE has that the VIRB X doesn’t:

– Provides 1440p @ 30fps, 1080p @ 60/50/48fps, 960p @ 100/60/50fps, 720p @ 120/100fps, and 480p240fps modes
– Provides Professional Settings mode (for extra keep an eye on over digicam)
– Provides Symbol Stabilization
– Upper photograph burst choices (as much as 30FPS)

Subsequent is that the unit is completely waterproofed with none further case required.  This waterproofing is excellent to a intensity of 50m.  That is other from the GoPro which calls for an exterior case to be waterproofed.  Now the drawback to the VIRB’s waterproofing is that it provides bulk to the case, which is lovely glaring within the earlier segment of measurement comparisons.

In an effort to get to the SD card or battery, you’ll use this little lever machine at the facet to open up the case.  I by no means had any problems with it opening up swiftly – in order that’s undoubtedly excellent.


As soon as open the inner house is reasonably unprotected there, which is a minor problem on the subject of getting snow and water within the unit, because it’s clean to then get moisture which results in condensation.  I truly want they’d separated the battery converting house from the lens house.


To the facet you spot the battery and Micro-SD card slot. The VIRB X/XE helps a card measurement as much as 128GB, which is healthier than the GoPro’s 64GB (maximum don’t paintings with the Hero4 cams).


In the meantime, the battery sits to the left of all that:


Subsequent is that in contrast to the unique VIRB/VIRB Elite, the VIRB X/XE doesn’t have a preview display of what you’re filming.  As an alternative, it simply has a generic LCD display.  I believed the preview display (regardless of how restricted the colours would possibly were) was once large for temporarily framing a shot.  Sadly, that’s long past.


For the reason that GoPro has a lovely colour display of their Hero4 Silver, it’s undoubtedly a con of the VIRB XE.


As for the VIRB X/XE’s LCD display, it displays you present configuration settings.  And the crispness of the tips is lovely excellent.  You’ll see your present video and photograph modes alongside the ground, in addition to the battery and SD card garage proven.


I’ll dive extra into the menu machine all through the remainder of the put up.

To take a video with the VIRB X/XE, you’ll merely slide the toggle transfer. This works large, and is superior in case you have a helmet or different fixed situation the place you’ll’t see the digicam itself, so it permits you to validate by means of really feel that the unit is recording (a long way higher than a GoPro).


In the course of that transfer is a devoted photograph button.  This could also be superior (and in addition no longer at the GoPro), as a result of you’ll principally single-handedly shoot movies and photographs with out each and every having a look on the digicam to validate modes.  Superior sauce.


Finally, the mount machine.  Garmin switched from a proprietary mounting machine with the unique VIRB to the GoPro mounting machine with the brand new VIRB X/XE.  You’ll see the ground of the unit makes use of the acquainted two-prong adapter:


That is large, as it dramatically will increase compatibility with third birthday celebration mounts.  I’ll display a variety of mount choices all through the put up, in addition to later on the finish.

In terms of battery lifestyles, I’ve typically discovered the VIRB X/XE reasonably disappointing.  It’s spec’d at 2 hours (in a temperature vary of -20°C to 45°C (-4°F to 113°F)), however in fact I nearly by no means get above an hour, regardless of which settings I take advantage of.


And it’s a long way worse within the match I am getting into the chilly.  All the way through ski journeys I used to be solely getting a couple of mins ahead of the unit would close off.  Garmin says a up to date firmware replace fastened the problem, and in my refrigerator trying out issues do appear to be higher than I noticed snowboarding.

VIRB XE: 1hr 20mins 16secs
VIRB X: 1hr 20mins 19secs

Then in any other check at room temperature:

VIRB XE: 1hr 18mins 30secs

Those had been all executed at 1080p/60fps (and 1080p/30FPS for the common VIRB).

Clearly chilly climate affects all batteries – so that is undoubtedly significantly better than I noticed in the past.  Extra spectacular is that the battery drain profile was once solely 3 seconds aside ahead of the gadgets mechanically close down.  Kinda nifty.


I want I may just say I used to be by myself on this, as many others appear to be getting an identical battery efficiency.  Taking into account I’ve were given 3 other gadgets and further batteries – and none appear any other, I’ve gotta consider that it’s greater than only a unmarried lemon.

Sensors & Knowledge:


Most likely probably the most differentiating function of the VIRB sequence in comparison to different motion cams is the facility to glue quite a lot of sensors and show knowledge overlays.  Rather frankly, with out that capability there’s no level in purchasing this digicam.

The VIRB X/XE gadgets can each connect with a number of ANT+ sensor sorts, in addition to positive Bluetooth sensor sorts.  Moreover, they are able to connect with Bluetooth (audio) microphones.

At the ANT+ sensor sorts, these kind of revolve round biking and working, and particularly they beef up:

ANT+ Biking Energy Sensors
ANT+ Biking Velocity-only, Velocity/Cadence combo, and Cadence-only Sensors
ANT+ Middle Price Straps (together with Working Dynamics beef up with Garmin straps)
ANT+ Tempe temperature sensors

For probably the most phase, the above will fulfill just about any triathlete on the subject of sensor knowledge.  About the one different house I’d love to look could be digital transferring beef up (eTAP and/or Di2).

To pair up those sensors you’ll dive into the ANT+ sensor menu and you’ll seek for quite a lot of sensor sorts personally, or simply the rest within reach.


Like most up-to-date merchandise, the unit can save a lot of sensors (even of the similar sort).  I’ve were given more than likely 10+ sensors stored in right here, together with a lot of energy meters and center charge straps.  Because of this it’s clean to change between motorcycles you probably have a couple of motorcycles every with a couple of sensors.


This knowledge is then recorded along the video.  In reality, it’s in truth a .FIT record no much less, that means you’ll technically add it to websites like Garmin Attach or Strava.  Alternatively, maximum will simply let the VIRB Edit app overlay the information for you mechanically.  However extra on that later.


All the knowledge recording procedure works fantastically, as does the rendering of the information later.  I see no explanation why to debris with different tool apps until you truly need the show layouts other than the ones to be had.

Word that you might want to technically use the VIRB X/XE as a unit to show some present metrics.  The show atop the unit can also be switched to turn quite a lot of metrics, together with ANT+ knowledge streams:


Despite the fact that in truth – it’s no longer an ideal head unit another way – so I’d persist with your Edge for now.

However ANT+ knowledge isn’t the one sort.  You’ll additionally connect with each marine and automobile knowledge.  For instance, with the Bluetooth OBDII knowledge connector pod, you’ll get car metrics directly to the VIRB as neatly.  Whilst I’m a long way from an automobile particular person, it’s lovely darn cool.

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Right here’s a video I put in combination appearing how this works all through a up to date automobile apartment in Las Vegas.

As soon as put in (takes about 2.5 seconds), then it’s excellent to move and also you don’t have to debris with it.

As you’ll see, maximum of my trying out is with the ANT+ facet of items, slightly than the automobile or marine (no person has given me a ship but to make use of).  Alternatively it will have to be famous that the VIRB sequence will NOT connect with Bluetooth Good sensors (i.e. Bluetooth Good HR straps or pace/cadence sensors).  At the vivid facet, many Bluetooth Good sensors are twin ANT+/Bluetooth Good nowadays anyway.  Despite the fact that nonetheless, it’d be great to look Garmin escape of the ANT+ protectionist facet and beef up Bluetooth Good sensors right here.

Video Modes:

So let’s dive into the video modes and the way that works, along side some pattern pictures.  Word that the entirety you configure settings-wise you’ll do from both the digicam or the telephone app.  I’ll simply display them from the digicam since that’s just a little extra visible than the app.

As we mentioned previous, you’ll all the time see the present video mode within the decrease left nook of the visual display unit.  Normally, with the VIRB XE I’m going to movie in 1080p60.

To modify that alternatively, you simply hang down the menu button for a moment, after which choose ‘Video’:


Subsequent, we will be able to make a selection one in all 4 video settings:

Tall: Permitting: 1440p30, 1440p24 or 960p100, 960p60, 960p48.  Word that this has a 4:3 facet ratio, which is sorta old-school having a look nowadays (like your outdated TV).
HD Video: Permitting: 1080p60, 1080p48, 1080p30, 1080p24 or 720p120, 720p60, 720p30.  Those are all usual 16:9 facet ratios, extra not unusual.
Sluggish-Mo: Permitting 720p120, or 480p240
Timelapse: Recorded solely in 1080p

Right here’s their at hand desk as neatly of all the modes of the 2 cameras (direct from the guide):


For probably the most phase you’re going to stick within the HD Video class (until you’re doing a timelapse).  Since you’ll get to slow-mo taste 720p120 from HD Video, simply stay it someplace in that vary.

At the slow-mo entrance, don’t pass less than 720p.  Have in mind, buddies don’t let buddies do 480p.  That’s simply gotta glance fugly to your video.  You’re at an advantage recording at 720p120 after which slowing down simply moderately if you must.  However extra on that later.

Subsequent, we’ve were given the sphere of view.  This controls how extensive a shot you will have.  Call to mind it like a zoom to your motion cam.  You’ve were given 3 choices:

Vast: The widest imaginable shot, nearly fish-eye like on the edges.
Zoom: A little bit cropped, however feels extra herbal.
Extremely-zoom: Smartly, because the identify implies, it’s extra zoomed.

Right here’s a at hand chart with the true levels of box of view:

VIRB X/XE Box of View Angles

Zoom Mode Vertical FOV deg Horizontal FOV deg Diagnol FOV deg
4:3 Vast 94.6 119.5 141.2
4:3 Zoom 72.8 94.2 113.2
4:3 UltraZoom 49.7 65.6 80.2
16:9 Vast 70.3 115.4 128.2
16:9 Zoom 53.6 90.9 102.2
16:9 UltraZoom 36.2 62.8 71.6

To reveal, beneath are 3 photographs taken from the very same level with the 3 zoom settings.  Makes it super-easy to look the variations.  And, I simply made it an animated GIF, so it merely rotates throughout the 3 perspectives.


Subsequent we’ve were given the Lens Correction settings.  It’s a easy sure or no possibility, which can mechanically cut back that fisheye point of view (but additionally crop just a little), in addition to allow adjustment for low-light.
There’s additionally a picture stabilizer possibility, which makes use of the inner gryo knowledge to electronically stabilize the picture. That is solely to be had at the VIRB XE.

Subsequent let’s communicate in regards to the VIRB XE Professional Mode (no longer to be had within the common VIRB X).  That is moderately like GoPro’s complicated choices. But in addition moderately other.  With regards to GoPro they have got their ProTune mode, which allows upper bitrate recording that can be utilized afterward all through the enhancing procedure.  Kinda like .RAW imagery with cameras.


While with Garmin, it’s as an alternative simply permitting specification of digicam settings.  So right here you’ll Specify: Colour, White Stability, Sharpness, ISO Restrict, and EV Bias and Lock.

All of which might be super-useful in the event you’re taking pictures in lighting fixtures stipulations which might be converting.  So this might assist you to take care of the similar white steadiness profile over an extended length of filming.  Or to make sure that the grain doesn’t get too excessive by means of proscribing the ISO settings.


In my case, I’ve used this essentially when filming in low-light stipulations, in addition to when filming beneath synthetic lighting fixtures.  Since I do know the colour temperature, I will specify that prematurely with the Garmin VIRB XE, slightly than hoping it will get it correct.

Subsequent, we’ve were given the integrated timelapse mode.  Garmin was once in truth the primary to do that within the motion digicam global with the unique VIRB.  GoPro then adopted a 12 months in the past.  The speculation is that as an alternative of getting your motion digicam take a gazillion nonetheless photographs that you must manually sew in combination afterward, the digicam can do this internally and get ready a video mechanically.

You solely wish to specify how regularly you need the unit to take a shot. Your choices are: .5-seconds, 1-second, 2-seconds, 5-seconds, 10-seconds, 30-seconds, and 60-seconds.

After that’s executed, it’ll pass forward and report the video and create a 1080p video as soon as whole.  Right here’s a handy guide a rough instance of 1 I did at night time, which demonstrates each the nice and the unhealthy.  The nice in that the capability works, the unhealthy in that even with the Professional settings you’ll’t get excellent high quality night time timelapses.  Oh, and for the ones curious I did the rotation the use of this little rotating timer.

Right here’s just a little more uncomplicated one I did all through sunlight in a port in Croatia as our boats moored up for the night.

The one problem this is that in contrast to GoPro or TomTom Bandit, Garmin has limited the output to 1080p.  In fact, they may have simply outputted 2.7K or 4K timelapse movies – which offers you a long way higher solution.  That’s since the digicam takes a far upper solution image than the video sensor does.

Picture Modes:

The VIRB X/XE has a devoted photograph button for taking photographs, making it super-easy to take a shot of one thing, even whilst mid-video.  To take action, you’d simply faucet that little digicam button in the midst of the video lever:


Alternatively, you will have greater than only one photograph mode.  In reality, you will have a host of them.  Right here’s what you’ve started working with:

Singe: Vast (12PM), Zoom (7MP)

Burst: 3 shoots/1-second, 5s/1s, 10s/1s, 20s/1s, 30s/1s, 10s/2s, 20s/2s, 30s/2s, 30s/3s, 30s/6s

Timelapse: Any place from 1-second to 999-seconds between period (Vast or Zoom)

Prolonged Timelapse: Means that you can do super-long timelapses by means of shutting off unit between pictures

Now you could be asking what the variation is between the timelapse right here within the photograph segment as opposed to the video segment?  Smartly when doing a photograph timelapse you get a large pile of JPG photographs to your digicam, while when doing a video timelapse you’ll get the rendered timelapse video (extra handy for instant use, however much less versatile for complicated enhancing).

Along with all the ones modes, you’ve additionally were given some usual choices like a Self-Timer (from 2s to 60s in quite a lot of steps) for selfies, to lens correction or even a date stamp possibility (bringing you again to 1985 in a single fell swoop).

General I in finding my enjoy with the photograph modes at the VIRB blended.  In vivid sunny stipulations the unit does truly neatly.  Similar is going for the rest with ‘lovely’ colours (like shiny vegetables).  Right here’s a gallery of a few higher pictures, completely untouched.

However on the similar time, relating to decrease gentle stipulations, the unit struggles excess of the GoPro Hero4 Silver does (each in non-pro mode).  Photographs regularly seem flat, or simply misplaced element or intensity.  Right here’s any other gallery of much less superior photographs.  Once more – it’s no longer in regards to the topic/object of the shot – however that the digicam hosed up the shot and didn’t get lighting fixtures or no matter correct.  Word specifically the again to again shot (taken as a part of a photograph timelapse) at the motorcycle the place 1-second aside the colours are dramatically other.

So on one hand it may possibly take great pictures – however on the similar time I simply don’t in finding it super-great for daily utilization as a digicam on journeys (past game utilization, like simply exploring a brand new town on foot).

Cell App:


At kind of the similar time that Garmin launched the VIRB X/XE, additionally they remodeled the Garmin VIRB cellular app.  In doing in order that they added some key options – significantly the facility to obtain photographs and video.  Sure, that sounds completely foolish that the former era was once lacking them – however come what may it was once.  Both means, with that water beneath the bridge we discover ourselves with the VIRB app lately together with many different new options.

For instance, now it may possibly additionally overlay knowledge metrics – one thing the former app couldn’t do.  Which means ahead of you had to make use of the desktop app.

Finally, from a fundamentals viewpoint we’ll get started with controlling the digicam.  On this case you’ll pass forward and adjust any of the configuration settings for video or photographs, in addition to take such video or photographs.

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Now I’ve discovered there can also be large delays within the are living feed from the digicam.  From time to time it’s just a few seconds, however at one level this night I had a 30 moment extend.  No kidding.

Moreover, I’ve discovered the app will regularly (very regularly) fail to load my library of pictures from the digicam.  Like beneath:

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Have in mind, that is some 8 months after the app and digicam got here out – by means of now this stuff shouldn’t be going down.

Finally, when it does load, you’ll pass forward and select quite a lot of photographs or movies.  I do very a lot respect the clear out for appearing simply photographs or simply movies.  Additionally, they’ll correctly crew timelapse/burst photographs as a unmarried photograph consultation (so that you don’t have hundreds to kind via).

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From right here you’ll obtain those movies/photographs onto your telephone (apart from oddly timelapse movies, which gained’t switch).  After downloading them you’ll overlay metrics in addition to add them to anywhere you’d like via different third birthday celebration apps.

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General I’d put the VIRB app within the ‘practical’ class – however undoubtedly no longer one thing I like.  And it’s no longer as it has any much less options than GoPro’s app.  It’s simply that GoPro’s app in truth works 95% of the time, while Garmin’s works possibly 60% of the time.  Plus it fails on easy stuff, like in the event you alternate the display all through export (even for a break up moment) – it’ll kill the export.

Desktop App:

With out query the shining get started of the VIRB ecosystem is the desktop app (each PC & Mac).  Severely – it’s one of the vital best possible items of tool that the corporate has ever launched within the health realm.  Now not solely that, however through the years it sees each power, and considerable updates.

Whilst the cellular app can generate quite easy video exports, it’s the desktop app that lets you get extra complicated to your edits, but additionally to deeply customise templates and gauges.

To start out, whilst you plug your VIRB X/XE unit in, it’ll be offering to import the movies into your library.  I in most cases do that for movies (however no longer photographs), as a result of I would like it to import in all the knowledge/metrics data.  Else, if I simply replica/paste it from an SD card, then I’ve simply were given the video – however no longer the metrics (with out it being a significant ache within the ass to compare up information manually).


As soon as it’s imported in, you’ll begin to slice and cube the recorded segments right into a full-on video.  It’s all lovely directly ahead and prefer maximum video editors in that you’ll drag and drop them onto a timeline.

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Generally I in finding that the VIRB Edit suite is healthier than GoPro’s GoPro Studio relating to simplicity (despite the fact that GoPro Studio has extra purposes on the upper finish).  For those who take a look at GoPro’s more recent suite they simply launched, it sort of feels to reflect many VIRB Edit ideas and may be very an identical.

Alternatively, neither lets in image in image, or dual-video choices (which Sony lets in).  That is slightly notable for those who wish to use a couple of cameras without delay, one thing that Garmin prominently demonstrates each in advertising movies and on their VIRB web site in options and capability.

In an effort to make the multi-cam capability paintings you wish to have to be 190% positive (sure, that a lot) that the GPS timestamps are completely covered up, in addition to typically have every other tool beginning/preventing the gadgets (or have them paired in combination).  In a different way you gained’t get the paranormal textual content required beneath.


Or the brand new menu UI observed within the mid-left segment of the display:


From there you drag a unmarried video onto the timeline and you then transfer from side to side by means of deciding on which digicam attitude you need.  So principally you break up up a unmarried video into a host of chunks, after which alternate the view for every chew.


At the cellular app facet, you’ll connect with a couple of cameras, however you’ll’t display a couple of cameras without delay, it as an alternative permits you to toggle between them:


For instance, right here I’ve were given each a ahead and backwards dealing with view on my motorcycle.


Once more, truly want I may just display entrance/again without delay on one display.  Right here’s some pattern pictures however:

In terms of including metrics, you’ll drag and drop pre-configured templates onto a display, or drop particular person gauges.  Or, you’ll save and make your personal templates.  Or tweak an present one after which put it aside.  Lots of choices.


You’ll additionally validate positions on a map too; at hand for double-checking the place within the task quite a lot of ‘motion parts’ could have befell.


Something I want there was once a method to do is to have gauges correctly ‘snap’ onto others.  At this time if I wish to switch out one gauge metric for a distinct one (i.e. cadence for elevation), I’ve to play a sport of looking to get issues to align, which is a ache within the butt.  I in the end get it, however I spend a couple of mins looking to get it best possible.


Whenever you do get that template correct, you’ll simply put it aside – so it’s yours ceaselessly it doesn’t matter what occurs subsequent.  Like an outdated Valentine’s Day card from the lady that dumped you.


After you’ve completed enhancing the video you’ll upload song and titles, and tweak plenty of different pieces.  The app general truly has grown up a ton because it was once presented a couple of years again with the primary VIRB motion cameras.


And then, you’ll choose an export folder and export high quality degree.  Generally, I in finding that the exporting takes roughly ceaselessly on the upper resolutions.  A lot more than GoPro studio or Home windows Film Maker does.  However in the end it will get there.  You’ll additionally choose to push your video directly to YouTube/Fb/Vimeo in the event you’d like.  I in my view like to make a copy in the neighborhood despite the fact that after which manually add it.

Right here’s an instance of a video I did the use of no further ANT+ sensors, however as an alternative the use of the quite a lot of inside sensors, whilst crusing.  On this case had the boat been supplied with further marine sensors of the precise sort – I more than likely may have tied the VIRB into the ones as neatly.

Like I famous previous, the VIRB Edit suite is superior and lovely darn spectacular.  With the exception of wishing it had image in image mode (or twin video mode), it’s undoubtedly one in all Garmin’s best possible apps in the market.  Now not solely that – however in the event you take a look at the Garmin Boards, it’s one of the vital few ones the place product builders are extremely lively (day-to-day) and in truth incorporating comments and proposals in new tool releases (in most cases per 30 days).  So props to them.

Keep watch over by way of Garmin Units:


A couple of years in the past when the primary VIRB got here out, it was once in truth a large deal that the cameras might be managed by means of your Garmin watch, wearable, or biking tool.  Since then we’ve kinda forgot how at hand this is – since nearly each and every Garmin tool now helps it.  From the Vivosmart sequence to the high-end Edge gadgets.


This lets you both manually keep an eye on the video (or taking a photograph), or to easily set it up such that in case your Edge (or different tool) begins recording your task that the digicam will have to do the similar.


I’ve used this a host whilst biking, despite the fact that I believe it in truth works higher in different sports activities (merely since the VIRB X/XE’s battery doesn’t remaining lengthy sufficient to seize maximum rides).


An instance that labored neatly despite the fact that is once I went off-road buggy using not too long ago.  On this case I had a Garmin Fenix3 HR on my wrist after which paired it to the unit on my helmet (and in addition at the entrance sprint house).

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This was once at hand in that it allowed me to temporarily take photographs with out taking my arms off the wheel, since I may just simply faucet the photograph button (or video every so often).


Would additionally paintings neatly if I had fixed it in other places at the car out of succeed in – which is truly the principle function right here.  The beneath photograph was once taken similar to that from the VIRB XE:


Word that this has no dependency on WiFi, however slightly as an alternative simply makes use of ANT+ between the gadgets.  In reality third events can in truth keep an eye on the gadgets too in the event that they sought after to.  Garmin additionally makes a small devoted far flung keep an eye on for the unit as neatly.

In the end, for loss of any place else to position it – be aware that you’ll chain a couple of VIRB gadgets in combination in order that one unit controls all gadgets.  I used this in one of the vital multi-view video segments you noticed at the motorcycle.  You’ll then layer in one thing like a Garmin watch or Edge unit to keep an eye on all of the ones without delay.


There are a slew of equipment for the Garmin VIRB X/XE, and much more in the event you come with the older authentic VIRB ones.  However that will get just a little extra complicated.

See, the brand new VIRB X/XE makes use of the usual GoPro mount adapter machine, in order that implies that for probably the most phase anytime you spot a GoPro appropriate merchandise – it’ll paintings with the VIRB X/XE.  The only house that wouldn’t observe is such things as gimbals or exterior circumstances, which might be form-fit or weight particular.

However for selfie poles/sticks, mounts, harnesses, and so forth… – they all are completely appropriate with every different.  In fact, you’ll use the Garmin VIRB X/XE chest harness, which I’ve used a host with each the GoPro and Garmin lineup – works large.


Additionally for sticky mounts you’ll use both GoPro or Garmin.

For batteries, I’ve were given a couple of additional, since the VIRB regularly turns out to burn via them like no person’s industry.  Its about as unhealthy because the GoPro Hero4 Black (kind of an hour), while the GoPro Hero4 Silver is nearer to two hours.  In my refrigerator trying out I in truth were given extra time than out of doors (in most cases an hour) – which makes me assume that the impact of motion on accelerometers and such most probably has a battery burn have an effect on too.


In terms of charging cables, the unit has its personal particular one, which is wanted as it has a completely waterproofed exterior case.  The only sure facet to the crazy-thick cable of the VIRB X/XE is that it’s clean to search out in a nest of wires to your bag: Simply search for the thickest one.



Right here’s an inventory of the equipment I generally tend to make use of maximum regularly with the VIRB X/Xe, from each Garmin and GoPro:

Needless to say you truly don’t wish to acquire branded GoPro or Garmin pieces for many equipment – particularly such things as sticky mounts.  Simply remember to search for excellent (and excessive rely) scores on Amazon in the event you’re buying off-brand stuff, in order that you don’t lose a digicam in a nasty spot.

What’s Modified From Previous:

I initially had this segment in my preview put up, however I believe it’s in truth reasonably detailed for individuals who would possibly have already got an present Garmin VIRB/VIRB Elite digicam, and wish to perceive the core variations.  So that is my bulleted run-down of the brand new stuff in comparison to outdated stuff, distilled from the selling fluff:

– Each fashions now have WiFi, GPS, accelerometer, and whole ANT+ sensor features (in the past solely the upper finish VIRB had it)
– Addition of gyroscope, larger sensor knowledge assortment at upper charge
– Slight solution build up to 1440/30p for VIRB XE
– New slow-mo choices: 240fps @ 480p, and 120fps @ 720p (XE solely)
– Natively waterproofed to 50-meters (no exterior case required)
– Flat entrance glass/case that Garmin says will repel water droplets (it most commonly does)
– Talent to hook up with supported Bluetooth-enabled OBD sensors (automobile essentially)
– Talent to hook up with Bluetooth 4.0 audio gadgets (i.e. microphones)
– New ‘Professional’ mode for adjusting white steadiness, sharpness, ISO limits, publicity bias, and colour profile
– New auto symbol rotation possibility, which guarantees photograph/video is right-side up
– New steady photograph mode
– New photograph burst to ten frames in step with moment for VIRB X (in the past was once 6 fps
– New photograph burst to 30 frames in step with moment for VIRB XE (in the past was once 6 fps)
– Talent to have digicam ‘sleep’ in between long-interval timelapses (as much as 120-seconds now)
– Devoted photo-taking button (additionally mechanically tags video spotlight too)
– Talent to seize Garmin HRM-RUN Working Dynamics & Garmin Vector Biking Dynamics knowledge
– Stepped forward microphone that isn’t blocked by means of rubber stopper, works underwater
– Talent to proportion movies/photographs immediately from Garmin VIRB cellular app (outdated gadgets couldn’t)
– Talent to create gauge/dashboard overlays from the Garmin VIRB cellular app on movies
– Talent to keep an eye on and circulation as much as 10 cameras from the Garmin VIRB cellular app
– Reinforce for 128GB micro-SD playing cards (larger from 64GB)
– Makes use of usual GoPro mount on digicam itself

There also are some issues that had been lower from the former era fashions, or are other sufficient to be profitable noting.  They’re:

– The unit itself now not has a preview display show (solely has menu/settings data on show). Reside preview calls for cellular app.
– Not more HDMI output port
– Decreased battery lifestyles, from “as much as 3 hours” right down to “as much as 2 hours”
– New battery design isn’t appropriate with outdated design
– Barometric altimeter has been got rid of, simply GPS elevation knowledge now
– Removing of Ski Mode, because of removing of barometric altimeter
– New mounts are sorta backwards appropriate. They’re appropriate with the former collared mounts, and a $10 adapter is to be had to suit different present first era VIRB mounts.

Phew – were given all that?  Just right, let’s get to a few ultimate comparability charts ahead of wrapping issues up.

Comparability Charts:

I’ve added the Garmin VIRB X & XE into the product comparability charts for motion cams.  Those are most often cams that I’ve launched in-depth evaluations on.  So that you wouldn’t discover a evaluate right here for an unreleased cam (i.e. the Nikon 360° cam).  Nonetheless, this permits you to evaluate all types of other options.  Additionally, you’ll mix’n’match your personal comparability chart the use of the whole comparability calculator right here.

Read Also:  DJI Mavic Mini In-Intensity Assessment
Serve as/Function Garmin VIRB X Garmin VIRB XE Garmin VIRB (Elite) GoPro Hero4 Silver
Copyright DC Rainmaker – Up to date October third, 2016 @ 6:07 am New Window
Worth $299 $399 $299 $399
Availability Summer time 2015 Summer time 2015 International International
WiFi Builtin Sure Sure Sure Sure
Bluetooth to Telephone Sure Sure No Sure
Recording Gentle Sure Sure Sure Sure
GPS builtin Sure Sure Sure No
Altimeter builtin No (makes use of GPS elevation) No (makes use of GPS elevation) Sure – Barometric No
Water Resistant 50m 50m IPX7 (1 meter for 30 minutes), separate 50m dive case to be had 40m with integrated case
Accellerometer Sure (+Gyroscope) Sure (+ Gryoscope) Sure No
Video Preview Display screen No No Builtin Sure
Voice Keep watch over No
Battery Garmin VIRB X Garmin VIRB XE Garmin VIRB (Elite) GoPro Hero4 Silver
Recharges by way of USB USB Mini-USB Mini-USB
Detachable battery Sure Sure Sure / 2000 mAh Sure / 1160 mAh
Recording Time 2 Hours 2 Hours 3 hours 2 Hours
Secondary connected battery No No No Accent
Garage Garmin VIRB X Garmin VIRB XE Garmin VIRB (Elite) GoPro Hero4 Silver
Garage Card Kind Micro-SD Micro-SD Micro-SD Micro-SD
Most Card Measurement 128GB 128GB 64 GB 64GB
Video Garmin VIRB X Garmin VIRB XE Garmin VIRB (Elite) GoPro Hero4 Silver
4K No No No 12.5/15 fps
2.7K No No No 24/25/30 fps
1440p No 30 FPS No 24/25/30/48 fps
1080p 25/30 FPS 24/25/30/48/50/60 FPS 30 fps 24/25/30/48/50/60 fps
Information 360* Video No No No No
Computerized Symbol Rotation Sure Sure No Sure (Feb 2015 replace)
Symbol Stabilization No
Looping Recordings Sure Sure Sure Sure
Timelapse Mode (constructs timelapse video) Sure YEs Sure Sure (Feb 2015 replace)
Travelapse/Hyperlapse Mode No
Professional Settings Mode Sure
Audio Garmin VIRB X Garmin VIRB XE Garmin VIRB (Elite) GoPro Hero4 Silver
Inner Microphone Sure Sure Sure Sure
Helps Bluetooth Microphones No
Professional mode with seperate tracks No
Picture Garmin VIRB X Garmin VIRB XE Garmin VIRB (Elite) GoPro Hero4 Silver
Megapixels 12 MP 12 MP As much as 16 MP (4664*3496) 12 MP
Timelapse Mode (photographs on period) Sure Sure 2,5,10,30,60s 0.5,1,2,5,10,30,60s
Burst Mode UP TO 10 PHOTOS/SECOND UP TO 30 PHOTOS/SECOND As much as 6 photographs/moment As much as 30 photographs/moment
Steady Taking pictures Mode Sure Sure No Sure
Concurrent w/video mode Sure Sure Sure Sure
Information 360* Picture No No No No
Professional Settings Mode Sure
RAW photograph advent beef up No
Sports activities Garmin VIRB X Garmin VIRB XE Garmin VIRB (Elite) GoPro Hero4 Silver
Snowboarding Mode No No Sure No
Keep watch over from game laptop Sure Sure Sure No
ANT+ Sensor Connectivity Sure Sure Sure No
Bluetooth Sensor Connectivity No
ANT+ Profile Sorts HEART RATE, SPEED, CADENCE, TEMPERATURE, POWER (+ Bluetooth OBD knowledge) HEART RATE, SPEED, CADENCE, TEMPERATURE, POWER (+ Bluetooth OBD knowledge) Middle Price, Cadence, Temperature, Energy No
Overlays game knowledge on recording Sure (by way of Garmin apps) Sure (by way of Garmin apps) Sure, by way of integrated desktop apps No
Telephone Garmin VIRB X Garmin VIRB XE Garmin VIRB (Elite) GoPro Hero4 Silver
App platforms to be had iOS/Android/Home windows Telephone iOS/Android/Home windows Telephone IOS/ANDROID/WINDOWS PHONE iOS/Android/Home windows Telephone
Use as far flung keep an eye on Sure Sure Sure Sure
Video preview Sure YEs Sure Sure
Switch video-photos from digicam Sure Sure No Sure
Multi-camera are living keep an eye on/preview As much as 10 cameras As much as 10 cameras No NO
Tool Garmin VIRB X Garmin VIRB XE Garmin VIRB (Elite) GoPro Hero4 Silver
App for laptop VIRB Edit VIRB Edit VIRB Edit GoPro Studio
Accent Garmin VIRB X Garmin VIRB XE Garmin VIRB (Elite) GoPro Hero4 Silver
Far off keep an eye on button/key Sure Sure Sure Sure
Diving case No (unit already waterproofed to 50m) No (unit already waterproofed to 50m) Sure, as much as 50m Incorporated
Instrument Connections Garmin VIRB X Garmin VIRB XE Garmin VIRB (Elite) GoPro Hero4 Silver
USB Connector Kind USB USB Mini-USB Mini-USB
Micro-HDMI No 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 AVAILABLE Adapter To be had Adapter to be had Adapter To be had
Acquire Garmin VIRB X Garmin VIRB XE Garmin VIRB (Elite) GoPro Hero4 Silver
Amazon Hyperlink Hyperlink Hyperlink Hyperlink
DCRainmaker Garmin VIRB X Garmin VIRB XE Garmin VIRB (Elite) GoPro Hero4 Silver
Overview Hyperlink Hyperlink Hyperlink Hyperlink Hyperlink

Have in mind once more that you’ll make your personal comparability chart the use of the whole software right here.

My Recommendation:


So, which digicam to get?  My recommendation right here hasn’t modified a lot over the last 12 months.  I believe the VIRB X/XE makes for an incredible digicam for taking pictures knowledge along side your video.  Alternatively, it doesn’t make for an incredible throughout motion cam.  Right here’s my breakdown:

All Round Motion Cam – GoPro Hero4 Silver: I like my little Hero4 Silver.  Severely, you’re no longer taking it from me.  It’s no longer only one factor that makes it superior.  It’s the standard of the lens/solution I am getting on each photograph and video, it’s the super-crisp contact display at the again, it’s the truth that the cellular app is super-mature and clean to make use of (and a long way sooner and extra loyal than Garmin’s), plus the scale makes it clean to hold round in my pocket with no case.  I deliver this all over the place; it’s all the time with me on each and every commute and the majority of runs and rides.  Plus, once I wish to shoot 2.7K, I will do this.

When you need knowledge overlays – The VIRB X or XE: If you wish to produce movies with quite a lot of dashboard metrics overlaid on it – like energy, pace, tempo, acceleration, and so forth… For this, the Garmin VIRB X/XE rocks.  They’ve taken all the quirks of the unique VIRB and truly wiped clean them up, and the desktop tool is solely tremendous clean to make use of and produces truly lovely movies (however I in finding the telephone app flaky).  In the end – the VIRB X/XE comprises an implausible wind relief microphone.  You’ll see it in motion on this actual video the place it appears like I’m in truth dressed in a typical mic, regardless of transferring alongside at 20MPH.  While with the GoPro, all you’d listen could be wind.

So why no longer simply use the GoPro blended with a Garmin wearable to report the information and blend after the truth?  Smartly, it’s only one other thing to take care of.  For me, I in finding the time financial savings value it.  So if I’m taking pictures one thing that I wish to proportion that form of data (i.e. a journey or one thing else that will have knowledge overlaid), I’m going to move for the VIRB X/XE.  I do in finding that the photograph efficiency in low-light lags a long way in the back of the Hero4 Silver, however in excellent sunny stipulations it does reasonably neatly.

Oh, and at the variations between the VIRB X and XE?  Smartly I believe the principle receive advantages is truly the 1080p60 as opposed to 1080p30.  Certain, Professional mode is superior in the event you’re going to make use of it.  Alternatively, if you already know sufficient to tweak with Professional mode, my wager is you’d truly need the upper high quality of the GoPro sequence.  Simply my two cents.



For those who’re in search of a digicam (and related tool platform) that does knowledge overlay –there’s merely no more sensible choice lately.  There’s no more uncomplicated method to get knowledge onto your movies than with the VIRB XE and VIRB apps. Duration.

Alternatively, that knowledge does come at the price of video/photograph high quality, in addition to battery lifestyles (in comparison to competition).  Priced the similar because the Hero4 Silver at $399, the VIRB XE makes for a difficult selection for athletes having a look so as to add knowledge to their movies.  Unquestionably if you have already got a Garmin you might want to merely import GoPro pictures after which upload your present Garmin task knowledge the use of the unfastened Garmin VIRB Edit tool suite.  That’s undoubtedly legitimate.  However it’s additionally extra steps to take, as opposed to VIRB Edit simply doing it for you.

I additionally want we’d see Garmin do extra integration with third events, à l. a. GoPro’s fresh tie-in with Periscope.  That’s allowed for some cool features in motion sports activities – but it surely’d be even cooler with knowledge overlaid (i.e. streaming a race in real-time).  Simply the day gone by any other new entrant into that marketplace is doing precisely that, and their primary promoting pitch is appearing are living knowledge overlays.  With a bit of luck, including an identical are living streaming by way of WiFi to an app for broadcast could be easy for Garmin.

As for the gadgets themselves, the VIRB X (no longer XE) is truly the candy spot at $100 less expensive ($299USD).  In reality, nearly all of my time in trying out I didn’t finally end up the use of the upper finish VIRB XE options (Professional Mode or Symbol Stabilization), alternatively I did regularly use 1080p60fps in movies.  So that may be a little bit of a tradeoff, particularly in case your ‘motion’ is fast paced.  If it’s much less fast paced, it most probably gained’t topic an excessive amount of.

Whilst the motion digicam marketplace is indisputably turning into extra crowded, I don’t be expecting to look too many new entrants till fall – no less than for standard motion cameras.  For instance, GoPro has pop out and obviously mentioned their Hero5 motion cam will arrive in Fall 2016.  However on the similar time, they’ve additionally mentioned a brand new 360° motion cam will arrive in a while (most probably in April).  However I don’t’ see 360° motion cameras competing immediately with common motion cams but, as an alternative I believe that they’ll be moderately other audiences – no less than to begin with.

With that – thank you for studying!

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Garmin VIRB X (choose from drop-down)
Garmin VIRB XE (choose from drop-down)

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