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Garmin VIRB Elite

Action-oriented rugged camera with GPS, Wi-Fi®, accelerometer, altimeter, and 1080/30p recording

2 Reviews

Item # 150VIRBE

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Our take on the Garmin VIRB Elite

If you're active in the outdoor scene then the Garmin brand is nothing new to you. From GPS navigators to bike computers to heart monitors, Garmins have earned a reputation for being adventure-hardened, 100% dependable, and easy to use. This Garmin VIRB camera is from the same pedigree: it's shockproof, waterproof, and freezeproof. It's aerodynamic, too, so for activities where micro-seconds count, there's no need to fear excess drag.

The Garmin VIRB Elite's LCD screen displays more than just captured images.

The Garmin VIRB Elite's LCD screen displays more than just captured images. Here, we see altimeter data.

As rugged as all outdoors

If you're active in the outdoor scene then the Garmin brand is nothing new to you. From GPS navigators to bike computers to heart monitors, Garmins have earned a reputation for being adventure-hardened, 100% dependable, and easy to use. This Garmin VIRB camera is from the same pedigree: it's shockproof, waterproof, and freezeproof. It's aerodynamic, too, so for activities where micro-seconds count, there's no need to fear excess drag.

You are here

This camera knows more than you might think about what you're going through when you turn it on. Because it has a high-accuracy GPS, an accelerometer, and a barometric altimeter built-in, the Garmin is uniquely equipped to provide data on where you are in space, how fast you're moving, and how much territory you've covered. You can then incorporate that metadata into the video content you generate. GPS-based "smart" recording profiles include Skiing Mode, which stays active during your progress downhill, and automatically stops once you're waiting in the lift line or shedding skis before heading to the lodge.

Wi-Fi connectivity lets you monitor, activate, and adjust the VIRB Elite with a smartphone or tablet, and upload files to your favorite online sites on the fly. The free, downloadable Garmin VIRB app turns your smartphone into a wireless remote control for the Elite; stop and start recording, change camera settings and preview your shot live.

This action video camera is built to keep on going when other competitors might take a rest. It features a best-in-class 2000mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery that delivers 3 hours of shooting with typical use. Its built-in 1.4-inch Chroma display actually uses the sun's light to help define the picture, so it stays on throughout your shoot and hardly dings your battery power along the way.

Clear, detailed, and dynamic

That extended shooting time will pay off because you'll be getting great images along the way. The wide-angle 9-element glass lens delivers a sweeping scene at its widest setting, but it also offers a medium and narrow view setting, so you'll be able to vary your angles for a more dynamically interesting edit. Oh, and speaking of editing, Garmin supplies their desktop software, VIRB Edit, as a free download for PC and Mac. Lens distortion correction and digital stabilization will improve the footage you capture, preserving a realistic look while smoothing out bumps in the process.

Garmin's proprietary ANT+ connectivity will allow your VIRB to use data from compatible Garmin devices like bicycle computers to add even more information to the videos you generate... like just how fast your heart was beating on the last run.


  • captures HD video in 1080p/30 frames-per-second, 960p/48fps, and 720p/30 and 60 fps
    • alternate recording formats: WVGA 848 x 480 @ 120 frames per second (4x slow-motion)
  • built-in GPS, Wi-Fi, accelerometer, and altimeter provide a rich trove of data that you can integrate with your videos
  • remotely control camera by downloading free Garmin VIRB app for smartphones
  • ANT+™ compatible for wireless connection to compatible Garmin products like bicycle computers
  • 1.4-inch Chroma™ display
  • rugged, durable, waterproof, and freezeproof
  • features an aerodynamic design
  • digital stabilization removes the jars and shimmies from bumpy rides
  • large, integrated instant-record slider makes it easy to engage recording even when wearing gloves
  • HDMI (micro) output enables live streaming to a compatible monitor or TV
  • lens distortion correction improves the optical signal for video and stills
  • snaps still JPEG images at up to 16 megapixels
  • records toMicro SD, SDHC and SDXC cards (not included)
  • uses VIRB Edit desktop editing software (free download for Mac and PC)
Supplied Accessories:
  • rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • adapter for popular industry mounts
  • flat and curved surface mounts
  • USB cable
  • documentation
Technical Specs:
  • USB port for easy connection to a PC (cable included)
  • micro HDMI port for easy playback on an HDTV (cable not included)
  • 2-1/8"W x 1-5/16"H x 4-3/8"D
  • weight: 6.26 oz. with battery
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • HD action camera (white/black)
  • Rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery (3.7V 2000mAh 7.4Wh)
  • Mount assembly (cradle / coupler / mounting arm / ring / 2 thumbscrews)
  • 2 Bases (with attached 3M adhesive pad)
  • Coupler
  • Mounting arm
  • Thumbscrew
  • 20" USB cable (Type A USB on one end and Mini-B 2.0 USB on other end)
  • Quick Start Manual (Eng)
  • Quick Start Manual (Span)
  • Quick Start Manual (Fren)
  • Important Safety and Product Information booklet
  • Radio Frequency Radiation Exposure warning sheet

Garmin VIRB Elite Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(2 Reviews)

Still not ready for prime time.

mike d from Salt Lake City, UT on 6/12/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The camera does a good job of video and image capture. The software however has severely limited editing, and bugs that make it almost unusable. I did a 100 mile bike ride through some beautiful country taking many segments of video and many pictures. When imported into the editor, the segments had many duplicate names and no visible time stamp so it was impossible to figure out how to paste them together or which location they came from. Also, many of the video files had no GPS data (not sure if it was the GPS or the software). When I buy a product like this, I expect it to perform to a much higher level than this one did, so I sent it back. It still cost me a $10 return fee, and I now have an extra memory card and handlebar mount that I purchased separately that are useless. I'm very dissatisfied as a result.

Pros: Good video and stills. Nice camera ergonomics (buttons, etc). Solid mounting cradle yet still easily removable for hand held use.

Cons: Software / firmware is useless.

Virb Elite

DANO from Texas on 5/14/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

So far, I'm impressed. The reason I chose this, over the other guys, is Garmin's GPS feature. This is a great tool when you on the move and seeing the GPS data over the versos dashboards options. I'm hoping Garmin will improve the Virb Edit software for better effect in the future, but that can be done with most any aftermarket software anyway. Still picture is outstanding. Just be careful, you can go to "Fish Eye" effect on wide setting.

Pros: GPS

Cons: Virb Edit Software needs more features.


Hands-on research

Product Research


Overview: The Garmin VIRB Elite is a compact action camera that can record Full HD video and 16 MP still images. The camera has a fixed-focus WideVü glass lens, a 1.4" Chroma LCD screen, and a versatile mounting system. The camera's rugged, waterproof housing will protect the camera if submerged in water (IPX7 1m/30 min). The VIRB Elite also has Wi-Fi compatibility, a GPS receiver, barometric altimeter, and an accelerometer for determining current and maximum G-force acceleration.

Memory Cards: The camera will accept microSD/SDHC/SDXC cards up to 64 GB. A 64 GB microSD card will hold over 7 hours of 1080p HD video. Class 10 cards are recommended for optimum performance.

1.4" Chroma LCD: The VIRB Elite features a 1.4" high-resolution Chroma LCD for setup, preview, and playback. The reflective screen actually uses the sun's light to show you exactly what you're recording, while using very little battery power. Recorded videos and still images can be reviewed immediately after shooting. You can quickly and easily access camera settings through the on-screen menu.

Dashboard: The Dashboard feature displays data from the GPS, accelerometer, and other optional ANT+ sensors to give you real-time and historical views of sensor data recorded to the track log. Dashboard displays include:

  • Compass: Displays the current heading and a partial compass ring.
  • Time: Displays the amount of time since the device was turned on, current time-of-day, and time of sunset or sunrise.
  • Distance: Displays the total distance traveled, total descent and total ascent.
  • Speed: Displays current speed, average speed, and maximum speed.
  • Elevation: Displays current, maximum and minimum elevations, and an elevation graph/time scale.
  • G-force: Displays current and maximum G-force acceleration.
  • Heart Rate: Displays current, minimum, and maximum heart rates, as well as a heart rate graph/time scale. Requires optional heart rate sensor (standard or premium).
  • Temperature: Displays current, minimum, and maximum temperatures, as well as a temperature graph/time scale. Requires optional temperature sensor.
  • Cadence: Displays current, minimum, and maximum cadences, as well as a cadence graph/time scale. Requires optional speed/cadence sensor.

Video Recording: The VIRB Elite has a 16MP CMOS image sensor, and records MP4 video. You can choose between 1080p (1920 x 1080/30 fps), Tall HD (1280 x 960p/48 fps), Fast HD (1280 x 720p/60 fps), and Economy HD (1280 x 720/30 fps). There are two speeds of slow-motion video: Slow Mo HD (1280 x 720p/60fps) plays back at 1/2 speed, and Super Slow Mo (848 x 480/120fps) plays back at 1/4 speed. Time Lapse images can be recorded at intervals of 1/2, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30, or 60 seconds to create a video that compresses a long period of time into a few seconds or minutes.

Automatic Video Recording: You can set the device to record video automatically depending upon your activity. This allows you to conserve memory by recording only important parts of your activity. One Auto Record setting will record video only when the device is moving and stops when you are still. The Ski Mode records automatically when you are skiing (moving downhill), and stops when you board the chair lift (moving uphill).

Still Image Recording: In addition to video recording, the VIRB Elite can record still images (JPEG) in 16MP (4608 x 3456 4:3), 12MP (4608 x 2592 16:9), and 8MP (3264 x 2448 4:3) resolution. You can also set the camera to record a burst of multiple images to capture people or objects in motion. In Burst mode, the camera rapidly takes three 16MP images, five 12MP images, or ten 8MP images in one second. You can also take photos using the Self Timer after a 2, 5, 10, 30, or 60 second delay.

Field of View: You can change the field of view in the Setup menu. There are four settings: Wide, Zoom 1 (2x--1080p mode only), Zoom 2 (3x--1080p mode only), and Ultra Zoom (4x).

Camera Settings: The VIRB Elite's 1.4" Chroma LCD gives you quick and easy access to the camera settings. Unlike other action cameras that require connecting to a computer to change settings, you can select the video or still image modes on the spot.

Advanced Settings: The VIRB Elite's advanced menu include three settings:

  • Lens Correct: Corrects wide-angle barrel distortion and reduces the field of view.
  • Stabilize: Turns on digital images stabilization to reduce shaky video.
  • Flip Camera: Sets the camera to record video and still images with the screen facing up or down. You can select This Side Up or This Side Down.

Tracks: The VIRB Elite keeps a record of your travels while recording. The track log contains information about points along the recorded path, including time, location, and elevation for each point. Data from any paired ANT+ sensors is included as well.

Remote Control: You can start recording, stop recording, and take pictures on the VIRB Elite using another compatible Garmin device with ANT+ wireless technology, such as theVIRB Elite remote control, or thefēnix orfēnix 2 GPS watches. Multiple VIRB Elite devices can be controlled remotely, and you can control one VIRB Elite with another.

Control via Wi-Fi: The built-in Wi-Fi lets you remotely view and control photo and video recording using a compatible smartphone running the free Garmin VIRB app. The app connects using a direct Wi-Fi connection between the devices.

Power Requirements: The VIRB Elite comes with a 3.7-volt, 2000mAh Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery, which provides approximately 3 hours of battery life.

Outputs: Behind a waterproof cover, the camera's control panel has a Micro-HDMI output for connecting the camera to your TV. You can also connect the camera to your computer via the included USB cable for loading videos or still images, or changing camera settings.

Mounting: The VIRB Elite comes with a versatile mounting system. The camera comes with a cradle and two self-adhesive, adjustable mounts (one flat and one curved). Each mount can tilt forward/backward, left/right, and rotate on the base. Each base has a strong 3M adhesive pad to stick to most clean surfaces.

Our Product Research Team

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