Wednesday, August 28, 2013

New Garmin VIRB Action Camera

As the owner of a Replay XD action camera and a constant observer of GoPros and other action cams I'm always interested in new and affordable, high quality video recorder that can take a beating.

Garmin (the company known for all its GPS related devices) is attempting to diversify itself with its Garmin VIRB action camera.  Likely a good idea as GPS information is becoming ubiquitous in seemingly every device that we own and turn by turn directions are available on nearly everyone's phone.

Though I haven't used the VIRB personally, I will say that upon initial impressions I'm not sure this is going to offer Garmin a new, viable, revenue stream.  For one thing its price point is too high at $299 and $399.  With middle of the road GoPros and Replay XDs going for significantly less and WiFi capabilities being built in on other models, the VIRB doesn't offer that much extra to justify the higher cost.

Secondly, it just LOOKS big and bulky right down to its attachments.  While the Replay XD is downright miniscule and unobtrusive and the GoPros have sleek mounting units (comparatively) the VIRB looks like it belongs mounted on some sort of crane or boom at a movie shoot and not on your head or bike.

Lastly, the video footage that Garmin has put up on their site is, well, less than impressive.  While GoPro has the marketing aspect of their product down tight (LOVE the videos of surfing in Hawaii or boarding at Mt. Hood or on a baby's head in the kitchen) with just gorgeous TV advertisements making everyone think "Wow, I could look that cool in my own video.  Look at the colors and clarity!!" the videos on the Garmin site reportedly from the VIRB look drab and boring without emotion or humor.

Again--I haven't used this camera myself so it could certainly surprise me...It just screams that it is a first effort from a company that has traditionally been focused on satellites rather than producing more fun and artistic products.

Wired GadgetLab on Garmin VIRB...

1 comment:

Photograph said...

Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
thank you :)