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  1. #1
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    Anybody using a Garmin VIRB camera?

    I've been looking at the GoPro cameras for a trip to Hawaii next month, for biking, diving, flying (my son's a pilot), and whatever else we do there, but in checking around this new Garmin caught my eye. It has GPS of course, plus altimeter, accelerometer, and image stabilization, plus since it is also ANT+ will take speed, cadence and HRMs. The video specs are on par with the GoPro, where reviews seem to go either way on the actual video results.

    It just seems like this has a lot of stuff we'd want as cyclists. What it doesn't have as of yet is the full range of accessories, which is where the GoPro really excels. But what do I really need? A helmet or handlebar mount and some mount for in the water. I don't ski, snowboard, mtb, skydive, or do anything like that, but my kids ski and would probably want to use it.

    One really cool use I can see is making videos of your standard rides, but having it display all the data that also gets recorded, so you display speed, cadence and HR and you can match that on your trainer. Better than the Sufferfest! (which are pretty good btw, they keep me motivated.)

    Checking around the net hasn't really brought up any real-world users, mostly just the announcements with a few side by sides with the GoPro. So has anybody here tried it yet?
    Last edited by zacster; 11-24-13 at 10:35 AM.

  2. #2
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    I have not tried it yet, but some activity on my other site of interest, Advrider (motorcycle folks). Looks good so far.

  3. #3
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    I guess this thing is still too new and maybe only just started shipping. The few things I've read are either press release reactions on Aug. 20, or reviews done this month.

    Maybe I need to be the guinea pig. It's kind of expensive though if I don't like it.

  4. #4
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    And now that I've looked for it I see that it isn't readily available yet at the B&Ms nearby, but Amazon has it.

  5. #5
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    One thing I really like with my bullet shaped Contour is that I can mount it
    almost everywhere using strips from an old inner tube. I've mounted mine
    on my helmet, fork, handlebars, seat post, top tube, rear triangle, etc. I
    guess one can do the same with similarly shaped cameras(Virb, Sony Action,
    JVC Addixion, etc.) but you cant't do the same with blocky/rectangular cams
    (GoPro, Kodak, etc.). For skiing; I would strap it on the inside part of my boot
    so it would have a view between the skis.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jea4lv48bDQ


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFyXxrqWbPA

  6. #6
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    COOOOOL. You rode right past my office on 42nd St! I found the angle a bit much though.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1nterceptor View Post
    One thing I really like with my bullet shaped Contour is that I can mount it
    almost everywhere using strips from an old inner tube.
    What I really like is the rotating lens. The only surface I could mount it to on the side of my motorcycle helmet is sloped, and the rotating lens enables me to get a level image. It is mounted low by my jaw on the right side, making it barely noticeable to the cagers, and totally hidden to anyone on my left.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #8
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zacster View Post
    COOOOOL. You rode right past my office on 42nd St! I found the angle a bit much though.
    Ha, ha, I know; rear triangle mounting is not for everybody.
    Here's a different angle from the bars; again just using strips
    of an inner tube to secure the cam:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oK7zbLmm4Q

  9. #9
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
    What I really like is the rotating lens. The only surface I could mount it to on the side of my motorcycle helmet is sloped, and the rotating lens enables me to get a level image. It is mounted low by my jaw on the right side, making it barely noticeable to the cagers, and totally hidden to anyone on my left.
    Yup, that's another feature I like. I can mount my cam sideways, upside down, diagonally, etc.
    Don't know if this is common on other cameras; I know GoPros don't have this capability.

    From your photo; it may be possible to mount the cam by the side mirror stalk/base. I still
    have a motorcycle endorsement on my license even though I don't have a scooter or motorcycle
    anymore. My last motorbike was a Honda VFR Interceptor(sounds familiar?). Otherwise I would
    play around mounting the cam in different spots. Boots, swingarm, turn signal stalk, etc.


    FORK MOUNTED CONTOURGPS CAM by 1nterceptor, on Flickr


    Rear triangle mounted by 1nterceptor, on Flickr

  10. #10
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    I also saw the sj1000 reviewed online. For $80-90 or so, it does a pretty good job at 1080p. Considering that I'm not totally wedded to the idea of a camera on the bike, maybe that's a good way to go to see what I'd really do with one.

    The review was at http://techmoan.com

  11. #11
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    Sony Action cam discounted from $200, now $130.
    Don't know how long the sale will go for. Seems to
    have good reviews in comparison to other top cams
    on Youtube.

    http://www.rei.com/product/856841/so...built-in-wi-fi

  12. #12
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    I ordered an SJ1000 from a US based shipper. I'll let you all know how it works out. As I said, I'm not all that committed to the idea of recording my every move. I'll use it on my climb of Haleakala, while snorkeling on that same trip, and for some rides at home to make a training video out of my usual routes. My son will use it for flying. My daughters both had ideas for using it, but I don't know what.

    If this becomes a regular thing for me, maybe I'll consider the upgrade to the Garmin and pass this one down to the kids.

  13. #13
    Senior Member JonnyHK's Avatar
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    I've managed to borrow a Garmin VIRB and I'm having a play with it.

    Here I am on the tail of a couple of other riders on the descent into the beach town of Shek O on the south side of Hong Kong - quite a popular bike route.



    There are many pre-set formats for the data displays.

    Good:
    - quality of image
    - sturdy mount, yet quick to unclip
    - built in GPS and ANT+

    Annoying:
    - didn't pick up my cadence or power (only HR)
    - has proven difficult to sync up my full data from my Edge500 (can be done easily, but it is not running in time with the images)

    Still a work in progress. There must be a trick to matching up the data and video accurately.

    Other thoughts:
    - Helmet mount might sit quite tall. My Contour mount is very flat and the camera sits low.
    - The free VIRB Edit software could be used to sync footage from any camera to data from any source (haven't tried, but presume so from the import options)
    - lens cover is very domed, perhaps more likely to be scratched in use compared to the more recessed glass on other cameras.

  14. #14
    Senior Member JonnyHK's Avatar
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    Here is the camera in an 'underslung' position using a K-Edge mounting and the GoPro adaptor provided. Easy menu option to flip image.

    PC040114.jpg

    (it is just heading to winter here, hence all the lights and the 'front of a Star Destroyer' look!)

  15. #15
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Since the Virb has ANT+, does it serve as a replacement for an Edge in doing data-logging of your rides?

  16. #16
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    For JonnyHK.. have you been able to get Cadence and Power working… it would be the only reason for me to dump my Contour+2. Your image is a bit more stabilized then mine.. it's pretty good.

  17. #17
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    Wow, that looked great. Now I'm really psyched to see how my video works out with my cheaper camera. Like I said, if I really get into this I'll upgrade to something much better, and the Garmin with the bike specific features would be a great camera.

    Was that the Elite model or the base model?

  18. #18
    Senior Member JonnyHK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
    Since the Virb has ANT+, does it serve as a replacement for an Edge in doing data-logging of your rides?
    You can use it as a partial replacement. The small screen on the top can be set up as a dashboard.


    Quote Originally Posted by spdntrxi View Post
    For JonnyHK.. have you been able to get Cadence and Power working… it would be the only reason for me to dump my Contour+2. Your image is a bit more stabilized then mine.. it's pretty good.
    I haven't had the time yet to get that working. There is a menu option for HR (working) and for cadence (selected, but not working), but nothing for power. Will have to check the website to see if the VIRB supports power.

    I've got the image stabiliser turned off!


    Quote Originally Posted by zacster View Post
    Wow, that looked great. Now I'm really psyched to see how my video works out with my cheaper camera. Like I said, if I really get into this I'll upgrade to something much better, and the Garmin with the bike specific features would be a great camera.

    Was that the Elite model or the base model?
    This is the Elite model.

  19. #19
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    I received my SJ1000 yesterday and only had time to open the box and check it out with all the attachments. I won't get to use it today either since I need a card, and it isn't a very nice day outside. I'll give a report when I do get to use it.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zacster View Post

    The review was at http://techmoan.com
    I love that guy! I could listen to him talk for hours.
    I bought an auto dashcam based on his reviews.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
    I love that guy! I could listen to him talk for hours.
    I bought an auto dashcam based on his reviews.
    Yeah, he convinced me to buy the SJ1000. Pretty thorough, combining both review and instructions on use.

  22. #22
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    A guy in our group just got one and seems to like it. I used it for a minute and the angle was really wide.

    Here's a link to a video he took. Nothing amazing here, but still you can see the quality.

    http://youtu.be/AYrPXadLTrg

  23. #23
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    I still haven't used mine, except to make sure it works around the house. I'm leaving for Maui tomorrow and it'll get plenty of use there. I'm biking Haleakala, my daughters want surfing lessons, my son wants to fly, and we'll all be snorkling.

  24. #24
    Senior Member JonnyHK's Avatar
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    DC Rainmaker has a full review up now.

    http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2013/12/g...th-review.html

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bakerb24 View Post
    A guy in our group just got one and seems to like it. I used it for a minute and the angle was really wide.

    Here's a link to a video he took. Nothing amazing here, but still you can see the quality.

    http://youtu.be/AYrPXadLTrg
    The quality on this video was very good. I wonder if this was on the highest setting...

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