The new Garmin VIRB 360 was unveiled today as the latest high resolution player in the 360 action camera market. The unit combines the data overlay featured on previous models with waterproofing, built in GPS and 5.7k resolution.
The Garmin VIRB 360 shoots spherical video, up to 5.7k/30fps – and contains four built-in microphones to ensure that sound capture is just as comprehensive.
The unit is set to become available in June, beating the Go Pro Fusion 360 - which was announced last month for 'limited commercial release' by the end of 2017 - to the ultimate finish line.
Footage from two lenses - front and rear – is cleverly welded together thanks to automatic in-camera stitching.
Images are kept stable - even on rough gravel and adventure road rides - thanks to ‘4k Spherical Stabalization2’ - which is demonstrated in the video below.
Battery life, whist recording, is just over an hour. It’s also possible to take stitched-in-camera, 360 degree photos at 15 megapixels – and pictures can be single, burst shot, or taken in time lapse mode.
Commenting on the launch, Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of global consumer sales said: “The VIRB 360 lets you relive personal experiences and share them with your friends – from a different point of view, every single time.”
He added, reassuringly for some: “VIRB 360 owners will no longer need to worry about trying to capture the perfect angle or setting up the perfect shot. The camera’s easy-to-use feature set will make even the most inexperienced users look like experts.”
Videos can be uploaded for immediate sharing, or stored for later editing, all via an App which can be accessed via mobile or desktop. Live streaming on YouTube or Facebook Live is also possible, when paired with a compatible smartphone – Android and Apple phones are both supported.
GPS is in-built, so metrics such as speed and other rider metrics typically displayed by a cycling computer can be overlaid across the footage to bring the experience to life even more.
The Garmin Edge range explained
Under the expectation that the action camera will be used in a host of situations when users won’t have time to fiddle, all controls are one-touch and there’s the option to use voice control to stop, start, and snap photos.
The display has been designed to be readable in the sun, and the Garmin VIRB 360 uses Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Ant+ and NFC connectivity – the latter being a one-tap connection with Android.
The camera does come with its own tripod, but most riders will probably be opting for helmet or handlebar mounting.
The suggested retail price sits at £649.99 and the unit is expected to be available in June. If you want to get an alert as soon as stock is available to order, you can ask Garmin to contact you on their website.
Cycling Weekly's Tech Editor Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper before spending a few years at Evans Cycles, then combining the two with a career in cycling journalism.
When not typing or testing, Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.
Favourite bikes include a custom carbon Werking road bike as well as the Specialized Tarmac SL6.