Garmin Virb

Garmin Virb cases

As fans of the GoPro camera, we were quite excited to get our hands on the Garmin Virb.

Although larger and heavier than the GoPro Hero, we found the Virb a joy to use. With the extra weight comes nearly an hour of extra battery life, so unless you are going to mount it to a quad-copter or something, the extra weight is more than justified. The larger controls meant we didn't have to guess if the device was powered on and recording, as the large side button does both at once, leaving us to enjoy the action worry-free.

The device does not come with a micro-SD card, but we were able to load up a Class 10 Sandisk and hit the road without too much fuss (Class 10 cards can store 10MB/sec,which is excellent for capturing high quality video).

It became obvious that the video captured vs the GoPro was evenly matched in quality, the main difference being the frame-rate (Virb only supports 24fps at full 1080p resolution), but unless you want to capture slow-motion video, it's not going to slow you down, and we found it saved us a good deal of video storage card space, vs 60fps. Another thing of note is time lapse mode, which allows you to set an interval for capturing, and rather conveniently combines the finished photos into a smooth timelapse, ready for upload to YouTube (or Vimeo, we don't judge!). The colour on the Virb was notably more vivid, sometimes to the point of being oversaturated, however we found it easy to tweak this in our video editor afterwards.

Another slick feature is the dashboard-cam mode, which records 30 minutes of video in a loop, so you can prove it wasn't your fault if you run into trouble on the road, or capture cringe-worth antics of your fellow drivers without taking your hands off the wheel.

The Virb is also capable of overlaying need-for-speed style AMD+ information over your video, so you can brag about how fast you accelerate using only your legs, and likewise, how fast you can stop before you hit whatever it was you were heading for whilst playing with your Virb.

In total, the overlay features readouts for speed, heart-rate, cadence, pace as well as braking and acceleration.

Since access to all these features are a must, we wanted to make sure our cases allowed all ports to be accessible (especially that awesome power/record slider), and the back left open for the mount while offering enough padding on the sides to stave off dents and scratches, and indeed produce a nice muffled *thud* sound if dropped on concrete, followed by a pleasant bounce to redirect the force away from the device. We know you will appreciate these things as well, especially the first time you drop it!