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Garmin Virb Elite HD Action Camera Review

by Daniel Puddick
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Garmin Virb Elite Action Camera HD Sport

We live in a world where everything is documented. If you go to a sporting event, not only can you watch it back in hi-definition from the BBC or other news/sports channels, but you can watch the same event (or plenty of snippets) from 1000s of other viewpoints on YouTube from the budding spectators. No one wants to miss an opportunity to show their friends a tiny screen video of their favourite sports person whizzing past at 50 mph.

Then step forward and let’s bring the new generation of point of view photography and videos. It is now common practice in a race brief for the marshalls to request ‘no selfies’ while riding. But for video enthusiasts, bike and head mounted cameras bring the ‘action’ in full HD to our excited audience to view once we get home. There are lots of motivational ideas behind wanting to film your riding but the Virb gives you even more excuses to get one.

Firstly, get yourself a microSD card. Without it nothing will happen. No playing with this device at all, unless you enjoy the charging experience. (32Gb will give you 3hrs 30 mins of video recording at hi-def 1080)

The App

You need to connect your phone to the Virb. The Virb actually makes its own WiFI network and you connect to this network. First message (of course) update the software on the camera. It was actually Garmin Connect that updated the software but only once a micro-sd card was installed.

On the app, don’t forget to go into settings and de-Americanise your units. Remember, metric units sound better for speed! Eject your Garmin Virb, then let’s get back to the app. The camera provides a nice wide angle view with the fisheye effect. In settings you can change the field of view between Wide, Zoom 1, 2 and ultra Zoom. In video mode you can also flick between 1090p (your standard HD) and a bunch of other modes including Time Lapse, I am sure useful for the long rides TBC. 

The Software

Download from for Mac or PC. So for our testing we will use the Garmin edit software and not Adobe Premier so we can compare this also.

First thing you need to do is import your clips. Easy enough.

The software is very straight forward to use, especially if you have previous editing experience. Features like speeding up the clip footage, slowing it back down, and changing how the dials look are all good fun. Some basic features that are missing include dragging out the edges of clips: once you have cropped some footage on the timeline expanding the edges there is no easy way that we can tell do do this.

To spice up your video you will want to use the overlays, and this feature is really what makes the software. Choose from a wide collection of overlays, or change the subject (e.g. to cycling) to see what overlays are available. If you are not happy with the options you can create your own. The overlays are basically the data from your ANT+ devices and GPS along with other data captured by the Virb. Once you have selected them, you can drag the position around until you are happy with their placement. Under appearance you can also change their colour transparency.

Garmin Fenix / Remote Recording

The app on the phone is pretty awesome. You can use this to remote record. You can also use your Garmin Fenix, but the button is so sticky to press while you are cycling for example, it is hard to know if you have activated it or not.


The software does not have a save feature. It is in constant save mode.

You can not drag out clips to extend a crop or trim.


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