When Garmin’s new VIRB 360 action camera eventually lands here in SA, it’s going to completely redefine how we enjoy our outdoor action. Boasting a fully spherical 360-degree camera (made up of two lenses, one front, one back) – it allows adrenaline junkies to showcase all their glorious moves in their entirety; namely 360° eye-popping video up to 5.7K resolution. It also shoots 360-degree high-resolution photos, features four built-in microphones (to deliver true spacial surround sound) and responds to voice commands. It’s also easy to use, compact, rugged and waterproof, making it an ideal outdoor companion. Plus its accompanying free app helps make life easier – 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.

That said, here are five other great features of this amazing camera that you probably don’t know about:

1. The ability to add augmented reality data Ooverlays
If there’s one stand-out feature of the VIRB 360 that screams “Wow!” from the rooftops, then it has to be this amazing camera’s ability to add augmented reality data overlays to your videos. That’s because, apart from dramatically spicing up the visual appeal of your footage, it also allows you to include more gripping info and tell better stories. The camera’s built-in sensors, such as GPS and GLONASS, barometer, accelerometer and more, provide countless customisable G-Metrix data overlay options. All you need do is select the pre-made template that displays the data points you want, and then the VIRB 360 automatically takes care of the rest – allowing you to bask in the brilliance of your own creativity when watching the footage later with your mates.

2. Image stabilisation
A common issue with action cameras is that by mounting it on anything that moves, you’ll get camera shake. The VIRB 360 takes things to the next level and allows you to stabilise your image. Although it does not stabilise footage in-camera, you can do so very effectively using the sensor data that it captures during recording. The Garmin Virb Edit software is not only an easy to use video editor, but it also allows you to stablise your footage with the click of a button. Combining the sensor data, the software knows exactly how to compensate for camera shake and thus eliminate it. The higest resolution you can export using camera stabilisation is 4K. Not too shabby.

3. Remote wake up.
The VIRB 360 is also one of the few 360 cameras that can be remotely turned on from standby. This is a must-have option for videographers who are documenting long events, but only want to capture the highlights. With this feature, the camera can remain powered down while you wait for the action from a distance. Then, when your moment eventually happens, you can immediately turn on your VIRB remotely to begin recording. However, bear in mind that this feature does drain the battery on standby – which is why you can deactivate it should you so choose.

4. Instant on
Picture the scene: You’re walking with your VIRB 360 when suddenly something interesting happens and you want to record it immediately. With most other 360 cameras, you’ll have to power on the camera, wait for it to start up, and only then you can start filming. However, with the VIRB 360, you simply slide the recording switch – which causes the camera to turn on and start capturing great moments immediately. And, as recording is initiated by sliding the recording switch (instead of pushing a button), it’s not that easy to switch the camera on by mistake.

5. Control and record from multiple cameras with one smartphone
Just because you’re travelling light and don’t have a technical crew to back you up, doesn’t mean you have to settle for amateur footage. With a single smartphone, you can control multiple VIRB 360 cameras, and even switch between them when the need arises. Basically, what this great features does is allow you to record a single event from multiple angles and look like a serious pro. When using this feature, one VIRB gets designated as the main “shooter”, while the rest are considered extended cameras, ready for action when you need them. – (c) 2017 NavWorld

Note: Launch date is still to be determined and pricing will be confirmed shortly.

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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