We finally got a chance to get our hands on the Garmin VIRB XE. This camera looks different than what you’re used to seeing and has many more options than most actions cameras on the market. “I was fifth geared pinned” has a whole new meaning now that you can bring up the video from your Garmin VIRB XE and prove it. What did we think about using it? Keep on reading!
You don’t have to be a dirt bike rider to realize you have choices when it comes to buying an action sports camera to capture your adventures. Garmin realized this and brought their GPS’ to the table when developing their VIRB X and VIRB XE. The X stands for metrics and the E stands for Elite; For us, it’s how slow we are and the ability to custom tune the footage.
This small camera packs a punch and we look forward to having a few months to dig into all the options available to its users. For this initial review, we wanted to use the camera, use their native editing software and upload to YouTube. With the poor weather, this had to be done on our mountain bikes. We know you’ll still enjoy it.
As the video tells you, there is little to not like about this camera. We did record for an hour and 3 minutes, with GPS on, and when we got back to the truck the battery was almost dead; That’s our biggest complaint. For those that want to really explore the backcountry, that’s not much battery life. Sure you can carry extra batteries, but when other cameras have many more hours on one battery, is capturing metrics really worth it?
The VIRB app and the VIRB XE on-camera menu are both very easy to use. However you choose to set your settings for the camera, both are very straight forward. We shot in 1080 at 30fps for this first test. The VIRB XE has the ability to shoot in 1440, which we plan to test during the next few months. As well, it has a few slow motion settings, but you do loose resolution if you choose to use it. It’s good to note though, this is fairly common in action cameras today.
The metrics that you have access to out of the box are pretty dang cool. As long as you have the GPS on, you’re capturing all the cool, extra information that most other cameras on the market can not capture. When using VIRB Edit, there are plenty of options on how you would like to display these metrics. If you’re looking to be specific in the way you layout the metrics, you have that options too. We choose to stay within the general options to stay closer to the typical user.
Should you buy the Garmin VIRB XE? If you’re looking to spend $400 on an action sports camera, your closest competitor is the GoPro Hero4 Silver. Having used this camera a lot, it all depends on what you’re looking to capture. The Hero4 Silver has an LCD Screen, which has been a huge help for us during productions. The VIRB XE has the GPS and Metrics, which are something no GoPro can give you. Think outside the box, use the metrics in a fun and different manner, and the Garmin VIRB XE will give you something that can make your footage stand above the rest.
Whatever you decide, have fun, tag us in your pictures and always enjoy a Pint Full of Awesome!