Garmin’s recently announced VIRB 360 action camera looks set to be a real game-changer. Boasting a fully spherical 360-degree camera – it allows adrenaline junkies to showcase all their glorious moves in their entirety; namely 360° eye-popping video up to 5.7K. It also shoots 360° high-resolution photos, features four built-in microphones and responds to voice commands. Even better, it’s easy to use, compact, rugged and waterproof – making it the ideal companion to take along on your next kayaking or mountain bike adventure.

Please note: Garmin has not yet announced the South African launch dates or pricing for the Virb 360. We’ll update this page as soon as we receive this info.

Trying to capture the perfect shot, especially when you’re the focus of all the action, isn’t easy – until now, that is. Garmin’s new VIRB 360 action camera, for all its sophistication and high-end features, makes things surprisingly easy. All you really need do is set it up, concentrate on doing what you do best and look good. Dan Bartel, Garmin’s vice president of global consumer sales, summed things up nicely when he said: “VIRB 360 owners will no longer need worry about trying to capture the perfect angle or setting up the perfect shot. The camera’s easy-to-use feature set will make even the most inexperienced users look like experts.”

He’s not kidding: Images captured by the VIRB 360’s two CMOS sensors (it has two lenses, one front and one back) are automatically stitched-in-camera (up to 4K resolution), eliminating much of the complicated and lengthy editing process normally associated with 360-degree video or photo capture. 4K spherical stabilisation (applied post production) means your footage will always comes out smooth and steady, no matter how rough the ride. And, using the camera’s on-board accelerometer and gyroscope (that capture data while the footage is shot), it achieves this without cropping into the frame. The accompanying free VIRB app also makes life simpler – allowing you to control the camera, edit footage and augment the look, apply stabilisation, and then conveniently share your antics on social media via your smartphone.

Key features at a glance 

  • 360° Video (up to 5.7K/30fps)
  • 4K Spherical stabilisation
  • 360° Audio
  • In-camera stitching (up to 4K)
  • Live streaming & video sharing
  • Augmented reality G-Metrix

As you’d expect from Garmin, the VIRB 360 easily connects to external sensors (ANT+ and Bluetooth), allowing you to add multiple data overlays to your videos, including GPS, heart rate, power, speed, cadence, as well as automotive and marine specific info. Built into the camera are the following sensors: barometric altimeter (elevation data), accelerometer (force and motion data), gyroscope (rotation data), compass (bearing/heading data) and GPS (with GLONASS).

On the sound front, four microphones located on each side of the camera allow you to record clear surround sound – effectively allowing you to put the camera on the ground and hear your footsteps at all the right places as you walk around it. They’ll also automatically eliminate wind noise, so watch out when next hurtling down that rough single track at breakneck speed – your viewers will definitely laugh as they hear you scream.

Another cool feature is voice control, allowing you to start and stop recording, snap photos and more without having to take your hands away from what they’re doing. Not that the VIRB 360 is complicated to operate – as long as you have one hand free, driving its simple one-touch button interface is a breeze.

Beyond capturing stunning 5.7K/30fps video, the VIRB 360 can also take stitched-in-camera, 360-degree, 15 megapixel spherical photos. Photo modes include single capture, burst shooting, and time lapse. Maximum photo resolution is 5640×2816. It can shoot up to 20 frames per second and auto-bracket +/- 1 EV for HDR photo purposes. You can also configure a self-timer delay (2/3/4/5/10/30/60 seconds), giving you ample time to go hide behind a tree if you don’t want to be caught in the shot.

The VIRB 360 comes with a neat little tripod that can also be used as a handle, along with two different mounts – one being a GoPro style mount (allowing you to attach the camera to other GoPro mounts) and the other for fixing the camera to tripods and the like.

Additionally, the camera is equipped with a sunlight-readable display for users to check stuff like battery life, storage capacity and video modes. It’s also compatible with industry-leading virtual reality headsets, is fully waterproof down to 10 metres, and comes with a removable lithium-ion battery that’s good for an hour’s recording on a single charge. – (c) 2017 NavWorld

Garmin VIRB 360 specifications:

Weight: 133 g without battery, 160 g with battery
Dimensions: (HxWxD): 39.0 x 59.3 x 69.8 mm
Waterproof rating: 10 metres
Memory: UHS-1, Class U3 or higher microSD card up to 128 GB
Battery: Rechargeable Lithium-Ion
Battery life: Up to 1 hour 5 minutes
Video modes: Video and time lapse
360° audio: Yes (4 microphones)
Spherical stabilisation (up to 4K): 3 modes: stabilise, lock, follow
Manual camera controls: Yes (white balance, exposure, etc.)
VR compatible: Yes
Field of view: 360-degrees vertical and horizontal
Single lens mode: Yes
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, ANT+
Livestream (Apple devices only): Facebook and YouTube (with compatible units)
VR mode: Playback compatible with cardboard headsets
Remote control: Garmin devices, mobile app
Real time 360° viewing: Yes, with VIRB app
Replaceable glass cover lens: Yes

Check out DC Rainmaker’s video on everything you need to know about the new Garmin Virb 360. 

About The Author

Sean Woods

Originally a photographer for the Star newspaper in the bad old days, Sean Woods turned to writing after the first democratic elections in '94. The career shift paid serious dividends, culminating in him becoming associate editor for Popular Mechanics magazine with a number of technology writing awards under his belt. His interests include anything to do with boats, motorcycles and all those fancy tech gadgets that help the modern world go around.

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