Garmin enters action camera segment with new VIRB

OLATHE, Kan. - The powersports camera market just got a whole lot more interesting with the entry of electronics giant Garmin.

The new Garmin VIRB and VIRB Elite bring Garmin’s knowhow to the segment with a focus on durability, ease of use and all-new features that should easily distinguish it from competitors.

The VIRB’s chassis is designed to be IPX7 waterproof and rugged, capable of taking the hits that are all-too common in action sports. An accessory dive case makes it scuba-ready down to 50 meters. A larger 2000 mAh battery is claimed to provide longer life than the competition. A robust slider controls recording and a standard 1.4 inch display provides both viewfinder and playback functions.

But what makes the VIRB special is the amount of technology that has been integrated to make it easier than ever to record high-quality video. The WideVü lens can shoot with three different viewing modes from wide to narrow, and both image stabilization and lens distortion correction are standard. The 16-megapixel CMOS sensor is capable of taking both single stills and bursts while recording video.

Being a Garmin device, the VIRB Elite integrates GPS along with a high-precision accelerometer and altimeter. And the VIRB is able to synch with other Garmin pieces to provide remote control and record data such as heart rate, cadence and outside temperature. The VIRB Elite adds wifi to connect to the matching smartphone app as well.

Garmin is aiming to take over the action camera market in one fell swoop, starting at $299.99 for the VIRB and $399.99 for the VIRB Elite.