Execs

  • Sturdy waterproof chassis
  • 4K and high-speed capturing choices
  • ANT+ and Bluetooth sensor connectivity
  • Wi-Fi smartphone management together with stay streaming to YouTube
  • 3-axis digital picture stabilisation

Cons

  • No picture stabilisation in 4K
  • Not waterproof with no case

Key Specs

  • Review Worth: £369.99
  • 1/2.3-inch CMOS with 12 megapixels
  • MP4 recording at as much as 4K at 60Mbits/sec
  • Picture stabilisation (besides 4K)
  • Constructed-in GPS receiver, accelerometer and altimeter
  • Sensor and peripheral connectivity through ANT+ and Bluetooth
  • Wi-Fi distant management capabilities through smartphone

What’s the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30?

The VIRB Ultra 30 is the brand new flagship motion digital camera from Garmin. Just like the VIRB XE, it makes use of a GoPro-like type issue. However the place the XE maxed out at 1,440p decision, the Ultra 30 lastly reaches 4K.

This isn’t the one enhancement over the earlier mannequin, plus the digital camera retains the G-Metrix options that gave Garmin’s motion cameras one thing distinctive in comparison with the competitors. Might this be Garmin’s best motion digital camera but, and may it dismount the GoPro Hero 5 Black?

Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 – Options and Battery Life

The VIRB Ultra 30 comes with a water-resistant case that may maintain the motion digital camera dry to a depth of 40m, because of a double-locking mechanism. There are not any IP scores quoted, however it is a commendable depth, though rather less than the 50m of the XE. It even comes with anti-fog packs to cease condensation inside.

In contrast to the XE, nevertheless, the Ultra 30 isn’t completely fastened inside its casing. As an alternative, like most different motion cameras, the casing is detachable.

That is excellent news if you wish to use a distinct housing, or don’t want a sturdy outer casing. Nonetheless, a case or caddy can be required, as a result of the motion digital camera itself doesn’t have any sort of mounting level inbuilt. On the plus facet, the battery remains to be detachable, and has grown to 1,250mAh from the earlier mannequin’s 980mAh.

The bigger battery means the VIRB Ultra 30 is specified to final 2hrs 15minutes when capturing Full HD, a bit longer than the XE. This nonetheless isn’t as much as the three hours of the unique VIRB, and length drops by an hour in 4K. There’s additionally no method to connect exterior energy to the Ultra 30 when it’s inside its waterproof casing, in contrast to the XE.

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Garmin VIRB Ultra 30

The Ultra 30 is tiny when it’s out of its housing. There are ports for micro-HDMI and micro-USB, and a mysterious trio of contacts on the underside of the digital camera which are allegedly for as-yet unreleased equipment. The microphone has a particular pass-through port that connects to the outer casing, doubtlessly offering higher audio than most motion cameras when inside waterproof housings.

One other bit of excellent information is that the LCD panel returns. The menu will be operated whether or not or not the digital camera is inside its case, utilizing two buttons on the highest. However the show can be a touchscreen, so clearly this received’t perform by way of the casing, despite the fact that it’s clear and you’ll nonetheless see what’s happening. Accessing the menu capabilities is comparatively simple utilizing the touchscreen.

Nonetheless, this isn’t the one technique of management; voice activation system is on the market too. That is comparable in perform to the GoPro Hero 5 Black. Merely say “OK Garmin” after which inform the machine to “Take an image”, “Begin recording”, “Cease recording” or “Do not forget that” (to mark a video clip as a spotlight).

Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 – Capturing Choices and Specification

Garmin hasn’t improved the specs of the sensor contained in the Ultra 30 over the XE, with an identical 12-megapixel decision and sizeable 1/2.3-inch sensor. However the sign processing sees vital enhancement. The headline act is that, lastly, you’ll be able to shoot in 4K with a Garmin motion digital camera – and on the full 30 frames/sec too.

There are additionally some nice high-speed choices at lesser resolutions. You’ll be able to shoot 2.7K at 60 frames/sec, 1080p at 120 frames/sec, 720p at 240 frames/sec, and 480p at 300 frames/sec. Easy gradual movement is available even at Full HD, too, which can be helpful for motion videography. These broadly match the GoPro Hero 5 Black’s most necessary choices, though the latter has a bewildering vary of resolutions in between.

The utmost knowledge price is 60Mbits/sec in 4K mode, though that is compressed to round 35Mbits/sec once you add the G-Metrix overlay. It is a little low for this decision, equal to capturing Full HD at 8.75Mbits/sec. Footage is recorded to microSD, with the slot fairly hidden subsequent to the battery underneath the primary unit cowl. A 16GB card will maintain simply 35 minutes of 4K footage.

The Ultra 30, just like the XE, additionally provides picture stabilisation – however since this makes use of pixel-shifting on the sensor, it doesn’t work in 4K as a result of there aren’t sufficient spare. It solely operates at as much as 1,440p at 60 frames/sec or 2.7K at 30 frames/sec. Nonetheless, it’s a three-axis system and whereas it’s no match for optical picture stabilisation as seen in Sony’s current FDR-X3000 Motion Cam, it’s however price having. Optical techniques also can have a extremely exhausting time with excessive motion.

Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 – Mounting Choices and Settings

There’s a good collection of mountings included within the field. The waterproof case screws onto a mount, with flat and curved adhesive choices included. There are additionally normal and vertical mount adapters, plus each brief and lengthy extension arms.

Garmin VIRB Ultra 30

If this isn’t sufficient, Garmin has a wholesome vary of equipment out there. I used to be despatched the bike mount and a rotating ball mount. The bike mount seemed to be for the VIRB XE, however used the identical elements as the opposite package, so I used to be in a position to join the Ultra 30 to my bike’s handlebars. The waterproof mount can be appropriate with GoPro equipment, so there can be an enormous vary of choices each from GoPro and third events.

Other than the plethora of capturing resolutions, there’s a Professional mode that gives higher configuration of the settings. The Colour Curve will be set to both Vivid or Flat, and white steadiness to auto mode or 5 presets between 2,800Ok and seven,500Ok. There are three ranges of sharpness, and ISO restrict from 100 to 800.

Whereas there’s no direct management over shutter or iris , there’s an Publicity Bias with 13 steps between -2 and +2 EV. There’s additionally a spot meter that takes benefit of the LCD touchscreen to pinpoint what you wish to be the reference level. Once more, this largely matches the GoPro Protune choices.

Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 – Sensor Connectivity

One of many nice options of all of the VIRBs has been the flexibility to file additional data alongside the video, in order that the small print of your exercise will be displayed embedded within the body. The Ultra 30 itself has a built-in GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, altimeter, and compass. Garmin calls this G-Metrix. That is already greater than the GoPro Hero5 Black has to supply.

It must be famous right here that the altimeter received’t work correctly when the Ultra 30 is inside its waterproof casing, so Garmin provides a second door that isn’t waterproof. As an alternative, that is merely IPX7 rated, which implies it may possibly deal with a 1m depth for as much as 30 minutes. A rain storm must be tremendous.

Past the built-in G-Metrix, the Ultra 30 will connect with a really unbelievable vary of exterior sensors, through ANT+ and Bluetooth. There are numerous coronary heart price displays, bike sensors, ELM327 OBD2 automobile interfaces, and even plane in addition to boat sensors. Not all of those data sources will be superimposed on the body, however the knowledge will be collected alongside the video.

Garmin VIRB Ultra 30

There’s Wi-Fi, too, permitting a smartphone for use for management, using the same old system of turning the motion digital camera into an entry level. The VIRB app then supplies a full suite of configuration choices and management.

You may as well use your smartphone’s cell knowledge for YouTube streaming. Merely signal into Google and the software program units the whole lot up for you, after which you’ll e mail a YouTube brief hyperlink to your viewers. This labored very effectively once I tried it.

The app can be useful for viewing the G-Metrix that’s been captured alongside the video and embedding it once you share the footage. When you’ve signed into Google, you’ll be able to switch information from the Ultra 30 to your Drive account, which is a fairly useful means of backing up video when on the transfer, albeit prone to pound your cell knowledge contract. Nonetheless, 4K is lowered to 35Mbits/sec throughout this course of.

Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 – Picture High quality

Certainly one of our largest criticisms of the VIRB XE was its lack of 4K. The Ultra 30 is now up with the very best motion cameras from different producers by way of decision, and the picture high quality is commendable too. The 4K footage seems crisp and detailed, with nice color constancy. Picture erformance is on a par with the GoPro Hero 5 Black nevertheless it’s price noting that audio high quality is negatively impacted by the necessity to use a case.

Right here’s some pattern 4K footage from the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30, and the identical Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 footage with out the overlay (so it has the complete 60Mbits/sec knowledge price).

Ought to I purchase the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30?

The Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 is an especially completed motion digital camera. GoPro goes to be fairly exhausting to knock off its pedestal, however the Ultra 30 has a lot of the key options of the GoPro Hero 5 Black for the same value, alongside a wealth of sensor connectivity capabilities that the latter doesn’t supply.

Garmin now has probably the greatest motion cameras available on the market within the form of the VIRB Ultra 30, notably for excessive sports activities because of the entire additional telemetry knowledge. The VIRB Ultra 30 makes for a stable various to the GoPro Hero 5 Black.

Verdict

The VIRB Ultra 30 is the very best motion digital camera from Garmin but, shedding none of what made earlier fashions particular while including nice 4K, loads of high-speed choices, and a plethora of bonus sports activities options.

Picture Processor

Picture Sensor 1/2.3-inch CMOS
Picture Sensor Amount 1
Picture Sensor Measurement (Millimeter) 12mm

Lens Options

Optical Zoom (Instances) 0x
Digital Zoom (Instances) 0x

Video Recording

Recording Media SD card
Video Seize Format MP4
Max Video Res 3,820 x 2,160
Picture Stabilisation Digital

Common Options

LCD Display screen Measurement (Inch) 1.75in
On-board Storage (Gigabyte) 0GB
On-board Microphone Stereo

A/V ports

HDMI Micro
USB 2.0 Sure
Audio / Video Out Sure
Audio / Video In Sure
Exterior Microphone Sure

Bodily Specs

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