Starting to resemble a GoPro action camera, Garmin claims to have changed the VIRB X and XE form factor to allow for more mounting options. In addition to enhanced video and audio modes, the new action cameras come packed with a variety of built-in sensors and wireless functionality options, which can be utilized through the new G-Metrix feature for a wide array of data overlays.
The VIRB XE shoots HD footage at 1440p/30fps and 1080p/60fps, with super slow-mo, image stabilization and different zoom levels. VIRB X shoots HD footage at 1080p/30fps and 720p/60fps, with slow-mo and zoom options. Both versions can capture still photos and photo bursts with up to 12MP image quality. Additionally, VIRB XE has a Pro Mode with more advanced manual camera adjustments such as white balance control, sharpness control, color profile control, ISO limit, and exposure bias.
A high-contrast 1-inch display walks you through camera configuration options, while start and stop recording is all handled through a simple switch. There is also a dedicated photo button to take stills at any time, even while the camera is recording.
Both the VIRB XE and VIRB X are waterproof to 50 meters and don’t require an external case. Featuring a hydrophobic, flat glass lens, water won’t bead up obstructing your shot. A new microphone delivers clear audio, even underwater, and you also have the option to connect Bluetooth-enabled headsets or microphones.
VIRB X and XE come with a variety of built-in sensors and the ability to connect wirelessly to even more through Bluetooth, ANT+, and Wi-Fi. With the new G-Metrix feature, VIRB X and XE utilize these internal sensors like the GPS, accelerometer, and gyroscope, while connecting to external sensors such as HRM-Run, Fenix 3, or the Vector power meter to overlay data on your video–a key selling point that Garmin is pushing.
The rechargeable Li-polymer batteries get up to 2 hours of run time at 1080p, while video and data is stored on microSD cards up to 128 GB–note that a card is not included.
The Garmin VIRB X ($299.99) and XE ($399.99) will start shipping this summer.