The action camera market is booming at present, and for several different factors. The demand (mainly due to slick advertising) is huge, the technology allows for super small devices to be packed with high-end features and the cameras themselves are well-built robust devices that will benefit any user….. not just the adrenaline junkies!
Now, even the action cam itself has begun to evolve with the rise of 360° video. These cams use multiple lenses to record, or capture, a full sphere around itself rather than straight ahead. This provides a more immersive experience for videos, and creates some rather interesting images.
Garmin Virb 360
Unsure what a 360° video looks like? The marketing video helps to explain!
So what is included inside this tiny package that delivers such results? BIG specs!
Before covering the tech that makes the 360 magic work, it is worth looking at the features most will recognise, that will help you understand, just how powerful this device is.
Today, most action cameras shoot in 4k, some might even have 4k TVs at home, and very few will have a 4k display on their laptop. Yet the Virb 360 can shoot up to 5.7k! So even in normal video you are going to get a crystal clear image with amazing clarity!
Whether you use an action cam or even your smartphone for video the big problem is a steady hand. The Virb has three different modes of stabilisation each suited to whats happening while you are filming.
- Stabilise mode smooths quick movements and vibrations without overriding camera orientation.
- Use lock mode to secure the orientation of the camera in a specified direction.
- In follow mode, the orientation follows the GPS trajectory.
In my opinion, one of the strongest features of the Virb is the free app. Available on Android and iOS, the app has a great array of options for you to program the cam to suit your needs. It is here where you can tweak the stabilisation mentioned above, but you can also include data overlay to your video. Making use of the motion sensors and GPS on the cam, the app will collate this data and map it over your recordings.
If your big on social media, you can live stream direct from the app, although this only works on iOS devices at present.
Load the app on to a tablet and you have an editing suite that enables you to trim your video as required, add some special effects such as slow motion then finish it off with some added audio.
The World in 360°
The Virb has two lens that work together to capture a full sphere of recorded video or captured images (It can also work in a single lens mode). Instead of needing desktop software to join it all together, as some 360° cams, the Virb 360 has an auto stitching feature, which means the device will do it for you. Although it drops the resolution down to 4k from 5.7k to achieve this, it will not massively effect the overall outcome of your video.
You can choose between different recording modes such as time lapse, manual and more. Even capture 360-degree photos, burst shots, time lapse and Travelapse™ photo capture up to 15 megapixels — stitched in camera. Combined with the 4 built-in microphones for 360-degree audio, you and your viewers will be totally immersed in the 360 experience.
A full, detailed list of specifications can be found on the Garmin site, the main ones are:
- Size – (H)39.0 x (W)59.3 x (D)69.8 m
- Weight – 160g
- Battery Life – Around 1 hour
- Video Resolution – 5.7K/30FPS, unstitched; 5K/30 FPS, unstitched; 4K/30FPS, stitched; 3K/60FPS, unstitched
- Photo Resolution – 15MP
- Photo Modes – single shot, burst shooting, exposure bracketing, time lapse, travelapse
The Virb 360 is £649 direct from Garmin. Now all you need to do is go and create!