We all know how much parents love capturing those precious photos and videos of their children. When I was a kid, my mom filled scrapbooks with prints from our 110 film camera and got an 8MM video taken of me as a toddler that I still have never seen because, well, who has an 8MM player these days? Fortunately, the digital age has made it a lot easier for today’s parents to record those special memories. And with so many families being involved in sports and other outdoor activities, what could make a better gift for Father’s Day/Mother’s Day than a camera designed specifically to keep up with your busy lifestyle?
The Garmin VIRB Action Camera is a tough camera designed specifically for athletic endeavors, with the capacity to absorb drops and shocks from hiking, kayaking, or your kids dropping it on the floor. 😉 From your own weekend warrior activities to filming your child’s soccer game, this little HD 1080p camera helps stabilize those shaky action shots and has all kinds of interactive features for daredevils, such as the ability to pair with other Garmin products to record information like speed, heartrate, location and elevation. One of the features I found most compelling is that the Garmin VIRB is waterproof up to 1 meter. I’ve never used a camera that could shoot video underwater before, so I was really anxious to check it out!
Since we live on the Oregon coast, we have lots of great photo opportunities. The first day of Spring was gorgeous, so we headed down to the estuary and shot some footage in the water.
The next day, we headed down to Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach at low tide so that we could capture more underwater footage. The tidepools at Haystack Rock are home to a wealth of sea urchins, fish, crabs, and other creatures, so we thought this would make for a neat video.
Once we had all the footage, I downloaded the VIRB Edit program, which is specifically designed to work with the VIRB to create fun videos that can utilize the optional information taken from other Garmin devices. Since we didn’t have this paired with another device, the video I created is very simple, compiling the test clips we shot of the camera filming underwater. The software is pretty basic, which makes it straightforward to use, but means that you won’t have elaborate transitions when stitching together clips. I didn’t see a way to save the project as I went, so I was a little nervous that I might lose my edits if something crashed before I was done. When I was finished, I could either save it to my computer or upload directly to YouTube, which was convenient! Here’s the finished product:
Another neat feature of the VIRB is that you can take videos in slow motion. Here’s one we shot of the family dog playing catch in slow-mo:
Of course, you can also use this camera to grab still images in addition to video:
Other notable features of this video camera include:
- 3 hour battery life
- 1.4″ Chroma preview display
- WideVü Lens
- Large, easy-to-move recording switch (Perfect for turning on with ski gloves!)
- Mount included to attach the VIRB to your bike/helmet/etc.
The VIRB Action Camera takes high-quality footage and is impressive in both what it can capture and withstand. The biggest downside to the VIRB is that the menu is not super intuitive, so it takes some figuring out to operate. There is also no memory card not included, so be sure you have one of your own to use. But overall, I think it’s a great little device and I’m excited to see what kind of footage I’ll be able to capture now that I couldn’t have before. I’m heading to Florida on Sunday for an action-packed vacation (Which you’ll be reading more about here on MomStart soon!), and I’m so happy that I’ll have a rugged camera that I can use to film my adventures without having to worry about getting it splashed with water or knocked around.
The VIRB Action Camera retails for $299.99 – learn more about this exciting gift idea at Garmin.com!