VIRB 360: New 5.7K Waterproof 360 Camera – Specs and Preview

Garmin have announced that they will be releasing the VIRB 360, a new 360 camera that can shoot 5K 360 video, includes stabilization software and can be used under water. This is one of the most exciting new 360 cameras to be announced this year and features some very exciting specifications. The VIRB will cost $800 when it is released in July, putting it in competition with GoPro’s new Fusion camera and the YI 360 cam, both of which can also shoot 5K 360 video.

 

VIRB 360 Specifications

Features Garmin VIRB 360
Video Resolution 5.7K @ 30fps
Photo Resolution 15 Megapixels
Number of Lenses 2
360 Live Stream  4K @ 30 fps (Apple Only)
Waterproof Yes, up to 10m
Shockproof Yes
Memory MicroSD up to 128GB
Battery 1 Hour continuous video on full charge
Compatibility Android and Apple smartphones
Price $800/£660
Other Features Stabilization software, data overlay and augmented reality, Gyroscope, Accelrometer, 360 Audio

Video

This is the third 360 camera announced this year that can shoot 5K 360 video and a price point under $1000. 4K has transitionally been the limit for consumer  level 360 cameras, so it is great to see the advancement to high video resolution this year. The VIRB 360 looks set to have one of the highest 360 video resolutions of any 360 camera and with a frame rate of 30fps video is smooth. Let’s take a look at some example video shot with the VIRB 360, remmerb to watch in 4K for the best resolution

In this example footage the quality of the video is up there with the best. The stitching lines are nearly invisible and the the resolution is high enough for minor details to be clearly visible. I’m particularly impressed with the color balance, which can often be an issue in 360 video where the colors appear washed out.

The video also shows the data overlay feature. This is quite a unique and rather cool feature, however its usefulness is debatable. Hopefully the software that does this will also allow people to input text, which would be much more useful.

So that’s 4K resolution, but the VIRB can shoot in 5.7K, so what does that look like? Take a look at the timelapse video below, shot at the highest resoltuion the camera can handle.

This footage is some of the best 360 video I’ve seen from a camera under $1000. The extra resolution really makes a difference and is approaching HD quality.

Stabilization 

One of the best features of the VIRB 360 is the fact that it can stabilize 360 video using software, both within an app and using provided desktop software. Stabilization is so important for 360 video because unstable video can cause nauseating footage if you are moving while shooting.

Most 360 cameras can’t stabilize 360 video automatically and require a gimbal to create smooth 360 video and these can be quite pricey. But while auto stabilization is great on paper, sometimes the reality can be disappointing and the software unable to deal with shaky footage. Thankfully Garmin have provided some footage of what the stabilized video shot with the VIRB looks like in comparison to unstabilized video. Just a reminder, stabilization only works at 4K resolution, so you can’t use the software at the full 5.7K.

 

And here is a 360 stabilized video shot my YouTuber DC Rainmaker.

I know from experience that shooting 360 video on a bike often leads to unusable footage due to shakes and vibrations, so the fact that this footage is even watchable shows that the VIRB 360 stabilization is working. The video isn’t as smooth as if a gimbal were being used, which is the only way to achieve completely stable video (see a list of 360 camera compatible gimbals here).

 

Waterproof

One of my most popular posts is my list of waterproof 360 cameras and there is a huge demand for shooting 360 video underwater, or at least having a 360 camera that can withstand a splash or two. I’m therefore very excited to say that the VIRB 360 will be completely waterpoof up to 10m. This isn’t a huge depth, but enough to capture some cool underwater footage without having to worry about your camera being damaged.

As far as I can tell there isn’t any underwater footage shot with the VIRB available as of now, however there is footage of the camera being used on a Kayak and taking quite a poundingin the rapids.

Most other 360 cameras would be toast after a ride like that. It also seems like the VIRB won’t require any special housing to be waterproof, which is good as this would interfere with the 360 element of the video.

There are so many other aspects of the VIRB that I could talk about, but as I haven’t had a chance to play with it myself I would only be speculating. My first impressions of the VIRB is very positive, there are some great innovations here that will making shooting good quality 360 video even easier. A price of $800 is a bit steep, but you are getting a lot of features not found in any other camera. Once I get my hands on the VIRB I’ll be sure to post test shots, reviews and comparisons.

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360 camera expert, 360 photographer and lover of banoffee pie. Follow me on Instagram and YouTube for awesome 360 content.

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