Garmin VIRB X/XE Thread

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by keeper1616, Apr 13, 2015.

  1. keeper1616

    keeper1616 Been here awhile

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    #1
  2. SpeedyR

    SpeedyR SE in the SE

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    interesting read. somewhat dissapointed with the video specs, but mostly the battery life. I know it's not a huge deal but I sometimes want to record a 2 hour race scramble race. With my gopro I only get the first hour or so of the race.

    the other thing is they changed the battery dimensions from what I read? I guess it's not the same size as the Monterra/Montana battery pack any more? so no more charging it off the powered mount with the other is in the camera..

    the size is fine with me and having the GoPro mounts is nice.
    guess we'll just have to wait and see how the actual unit looks and feels.
    #2
  3. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

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    I was a beta tester until I saw it in the flesh and was incredibly disappointed. I wrote Garmin a long list of complaints I had with it, and that I couldn't in all conscience be part of the beta team.

    I hate everything about it as much as I hated GoPro, which is pretty much what they created.


    Sent using strings and tin cans and Tapatalk.
    #3
  4. ER70S-2

    ER70S-2 Long timer

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    Did they use the GoPro type mounts (non-serrated)? I know how much you hated those. :D
    #4
  5. kave

    kave Gravel rules

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    To summarize:
    1 Screen removed ?!?
    2 Altimeter removed?
    3 Mounts are worse?
    4 Lower Photo resolution, from 16 to 12?
    5 HDMI Removed?
    I am currently on hold when it comes to buying more Garmin units, and this new version is not tempting me back. I have had a year where I bought 4 new Garmin units, two of them has been replaced so many times I don't even remember.
    #5
  6. JohnMcL7

    JohnMcL7 Adventurer

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    I'm extremely disappointed in this as it just looks a poor GoPro clone that throws away all the great features that I liked about the Virb. I bought a GoPro 3 Black Edition on release and I've never liked it even after they'd fixed some of the numerous bugs - it was my first time with a GoPro camera and being used to shooting with professional camera equipment I expected something very reliable with great controls which the GoPro absolutely is not. The controls are terrible, it's chronically unreliable, the mandatory dive case is fiddly, the mounts themselves are fiddly, the firmware update procedure is a joke and the batterylife is poor.

    The Virb by comparison was a breath of fresh air with its great controls (standard up/down/back/confirm plus the dedicated record slider), it's extremely reliable, it doesn't need a dive case for normal use, the mounts are quick and easy to use, the firmware update procedure is simple and the batterylife is reasonable.

    When I see so many glowing comments about GoPro I did wonder if I had an unfairly biased view against their cameras. When a third Virb didn't turn up in time for recording an event and I was wanting to use three cameras, I decided to use the GoPro instead and to be honest it was worse than I remember. With the Virbs it's just a case of stick them on the charger, take them off and pop them on their mounts and slide the switch forward...that's it. With the GoPro it needed repeated battery pulls at times to convince it to finish charging and getting the dive case and mounts together is a real fiddle, they just don't click together like the Garmin mounts do. Needless to say that's likely to be the last time it gets used.

    What I was hoping for was improved image quality (the GoPro is definitely better there) and possibly an improvement in batterylife but for them to throw just about everything away that makes the Virbs better than the GoPros is frustrating. I can understand it must be difficult for Garmin to watch GoPro dominate the market but I'd say that's largely down to marketing and branding which is certainly something GoPro are extremely good at.

    John
    #6
  7. K1W1

    K1W1 Long timer Supporter

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    Yeah but they have

    Ability to share videos/photos directly from Garmin VIRB mobile app


    Isn't that what every teenager wants these days?
    #7
  8. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

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    It makes me laugh to read in the Blog:" both VIRB XE and VIRB X are waterproof to 50 meters and don’t require an external case."

    That's because the camera's already in a case which you need to open to change the battery. A battery which is totally unlike anything I've ever seen, and certainly not the same as the Montana's.

    All I can hope is that Garmin continues to sell the Elite in addition to the new models. I said so to my Garmin contact.
    #8
  9. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

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    I don't think this will tempt you back. Again, IMHO.
    #9
  10. JohnMcL7

    JohnMcL7 Adventurer

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    There's been quite a few cheap Amazon lightning deals where they've dropped the Elites to a very low price I assume to clear out of them. I had held off buying any more as I didn't want to spend any money on them then find I'd prefer to spend the money on the new Virb but I hadn't expect them to produce such a poor followup. I'll be keeping an eye on cheap Elites now, I have one Elite and two basics but wouldn't mind getting another Elite or two to have longterm.

    I'm surprised at the DCR blog mainly complaining about the new cameras lacking high resolution modes as I can see why people want them from a simple specs point of view where it's easier to go with bigger numbers but I can't say I'm remotely bothered about 4K from a tiny action camera sensor. Sure, if I was buying a full frame camera that can produce very high quality video I'd want 4K but that's a different case entirely, with the action camera I find 720p is largely fine particularly given the quality drops anyway when uploaded to Youtube which is what I do with most of my videos.

    John
    #10
  11. ER70S-2

    ER70S-2 Long timer

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    Worst idea ever, deal breaker ...
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  12. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

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    No kidding.


    Sent using strings and tin cans and Tapatalk.
    #12
  13. SpeedyR

    SpeedyR SE in the SE

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    <rant>

    sometimes I wonder about Garmin...

    I have a 276C GPS. great unit even 9 years in. Simple to fix the "issues" it had, get rid of the proprietary card and put in an SD card slot. Maybe make it a bit smaller and the antenna a bit more durable. but other than that, leave it alone. nope can't do it.

    looking at a Monterra because I thought that would be ideal- control my gopro and Virb from the apps, swap batteries with Virb, better satellite tracking compared to the Montana, etc. But they never seemed to get rid of the bugs with it and now it looks like it's DRT (dead right there). scratch that unit off the list.

    now with the virb, they could have just upgraded the sensor to give you a bit better resolution (I shoot mostly 1080p 30 but often bump it to 60fps and with most mainstream TV technology going to 4k it's nice to have it be a bit "future proof") and they could have had it all.. instead you get less battery life, different battery, still lower specs than GoPro and who knows what else... I kind of understood the original Virb as it came out right after GoPro announced their new camera and I think they caught a lot of folks with their pants down as far as technical specs. But with the 2nd gen for the Virb it seems like it's hardly any "upgrade" compared to the orginal Virb. It's actually closer spec wise to the Hero 3 or 3+ if you compare them.

    WTF?

    </rant>

    I might have to take a look again at the RePlay cameras at least they have an option to fit a large battery pack, or hard wire them in to the bike power. easy on and off, better form factor, etc. I had heard that Garmin was working on a new camera, but was hoping it would allow me to have my cake and eat it too...
    #13
  14. s0ulchicken

    s0ulchicken MTB Grinder

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    At least we might be able to pick up some Elites cheap - the only silver lining I can find with the the X and XE cameras being released.
    #14
  15. USAIR

    USAIR picking and riding

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    That's what I have been thinking... &#128521;

    Seems like a big step backwards...

    There is a couple of features on the XE I would like .
    But wonder how well they work.

    What consumer is Garmin trying entice?
    I can only see one purpose for this form that's body cam.

    Even that could be solved by a shoulder mount.
    The company is not stupid...can't imagine they want to just copy GoPro.

    I don't know..

    Fred
    #15
  16. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

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    I'll tell you who it's not: existing Virb owners.

    I have not heard one current owner say they plan to upgrade. Most are shocked that Garmin would do such a thing.
    #16
  17. kave

    kave Gravel rules

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    Altimeter is removed from the new camera, I verified it from Garmins home page. It clearly says Altimeter: No.
    Maybe the 33% reduction in battery life will temp me back :)
    I am really considering yet another Virb Elite.
    #17
  18. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

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    Will wonders never cease?


    Sent using strings and tin cans and Tapatalk.
    #18
  19. AndreyUK

    AndreyUK n00b

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  20. JohnMcL7

    JohnMcL7 Adventurer

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    The sad thing is I suspect the existing Virb market is very small from what I've seen on various forums, general deals forums and out on the trails - I've never seen another Virb despite many gopros on other bikes and on a deals forum, the new £100 GoPro was hugely successful with a huge number of responses while deals on the Virb, even cracking ones like the Elite for £130 (full price is £350 here and I think it's a far better deal than any GoPro never mind the budget one) had almost no response at all. The Virb Elite has been on the Amazon lightning deals a few times and although you couldn't see how many Amazon had in the deal, the fact that it wasn't selling out and kept reappearing the next day suggested they hadn't sold many.

    When people ask me for advice about action cameras I explain to them the difference between the GoPro an the Virb (trying to keep balanced, not just slating the GoPro) and why I prefer the Virb and they've all gone out and bought a GoPro. In fact the question isn't which action camera to buy, it's which GoPro camera to buy.

    So cynically I think Garmin have decided because they haven't sold many and GoPro are doing very well so they may as well wipe the board, scrap the existing Virb and its owners then start from scratch and hopefully draw away a decent chunk of the GoPro market. Obviously not a strategy I agree with in any way to say the least.

    I noticed GoPro have bought Dashware and are now giving it away for free, it generates GPS overlay data similar to what Virb Edit can do. I had purchased Dashware before I purchased the Virb and used it a couple of times but found it so fiddly that I never bothered with it further. Comparatively I find Virb Edit works well as it's quick and easy to build the overlays and they've steadily improved it although I perhaps use it differently to some others, I purely use it for generating the video with the overlays then build the actual video using a dedicated video editor.

    Anyway, getting back to GoPro it's clear their next big push is going to be GPS which clearly Garmin were well ahead with and have done a solid job. I am surprised about the new Virbs losing the altimeter as I find them fairly inaccurate for altitude, I thought they were already missing that sensor as the Edge 800 is a lot more accurate in that regard.

    John
    #20