Garmin Virb HD
Garmin Virb (Cycling)
We're long-time users of GoPro cameras, so what did we think of the the Garmin Virb?
It's larger and heavier to be sure, but the convenience items made the Virb nothing but the ultimate joy to use. There's more battery life, for one (about an hours worth), the extra weight is definitely a justified aspect. When mounting to a quad-copter, you'll of course want to check the weight against the max carry load, of course. We also enjoyed the large sliding power/record button on the side, which never leaves you wondering if you've hit record properly.
Although the Virb does not come with a memory card, we were able to scrounce up a Class 10 micro SD card and take off without too much undue ado (You'll want that Class 10 card, since it can store 10MB/sec, ensuring max frame rate for high quality video).
In our tests, video quality vs the GoPro was fairly evenly matched, though the Virb's 24fps frame rate will disappoint some that like to slow-motion edit in post. We the space-saving of 24fps was better for our needs, but ymmv. Time lapse mode was a cool new feature of the Virb, which allows one to set an interval for capturing, assembles the shots into a smooth timelapse, which is then ready for upload to YouTube (or Vimeo, if you like!). The colours in the resulting video popped! Maybe a little on the over-saturated side, however, correcting this to our liking in post was not too much of a problem.
We also found the dashboard-cam mode to be quite useful, and it records 30 minutes of video in a loop, so if something happens, you have all the evidence you need to prove the accident wasn't your fault! You can also capture the insane antics of your fellow drivers and never have to take your eyes off the road!
To top off the cool features, the Virb will, at your option, overlay a high-tech looking dash with AMD+ information over your video, which makes your ride look like a Grand Prix telecast. The overlay features meters for speed, heart-rate, cadence, pace, braking and acceleration... Accelerate responsibly!
Naturally, you'll want all ports accessible for this awesome bit of kit (including that awesome power/record slider!). We have you covered (or un-covered, is it?) with the ports, buttons and back left open to quickly attach and detach from the mount while maintaining ample padding on the sides to prevent accidental scratches and dents. Produces a pleasantly muffled *thud* sound when dropped on concrete or other hard surfaces, harmlessly bouncing to rest, and ready to get back in the game. Like all our garmin cases, our cases for the Virb come with an extra screen protector that you'll want to apply to keep the screen in mint condition.