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Garmin VIRB sports/action camera, $74+Free Shipping [REFURBISHED]

jdpatt 655 644 June 16, 2016 at 12:31 PM in Sporting Goods
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$73.98

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Last Edited by jdpatt June 16, 2016 at 12:40 PM
http://www.ebay.com/itm/361588085288

Not a bad deal for a 1080p sports camera. I'm in the market for one myself, saw this, and thought I'd pass it along. Still not sure if I want to get this on the cheap or splurge on the current generation (MSRP $300-400), but it's an attractive option for something I'll probably not use too often myself.

It's Garmin's first entry into the market, which is dominated by GoPro. It does some things better, some things worse, but if you're looking for fairly seamless integration of your "fitness telemetry" into your videos, this seems to be much better than GoPro. I've got a lot of Garmin units (Edge cycling computer, and a trio of Forerunner wrist units), and a slew of ANT+ gadgets (power meters, speed/cadence sensors, HRMs, footpods), so I would probably lean toward this over a GoPro myself...your mileage may vary, depending on your intended use.

Anyway, here's a great review of this unit by DC Rainmaker, one of the better sources of objective reviews of sporting goods for the tech geek (mostly running, cycling, swimming, and triathlon, but the review shows a little alpine skiing as well).

http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2013/1...eview.html

Here's some videos (from the above review) to show what the videos look like with the Garmin telemetry superimposed:

https://youtu.be/k7cSDR26TsQ - Cycling
https://youtu.be/35Bh3LIiV6w - Cycling
https://youtu.be/_9kgVc29ZxU - Running
https://youtu.be/t-uuDNvOzF0 - Skiing
https://youtu.be/uUhx0I7XI9w - Time Lapse Mode
https://youtu.be/SoYGBkHco_o - Resolution at 1080P
https://youtu.be/51UXbBNelxI - As a dash cam (driving)
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27 Comments

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#2
Link?
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#3
yes, looking for a link??
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#4
Quote from javaski View Post :
Link?
Quote from crownsbroyal View Post :
yes, looking for a link??

Oops, haven't posted a SD in a while...I'm rusty. Fixed in OP, sorry.
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#5
The problem is that Garmin releases most of their microprossor products with half baked firmware. Other people say this and I endorse it. It's like every product is a beta and before they fix everything, they're on to the next model. I still prefer my primitive but bulletproof 305 to their newer products, even with enhanced connectivity. I also have a buggy 310XT (corrupts data every DST change).

I bought the 235 recently and returned it. My wife kept hers and loves it but even she admits it is buggy.

Until they stick a wifi radio in the devices, I'm not going to buy another garmin.
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#6
Quote from jumblies View Post :
The problem is that Garmin releases most of their microprossor products with half baked firmware. Other people say this and I endorse it. It's like every product is a beta and before they fix everything, they're on to the next model. I still prefer my primitive but bulletproof 305 to their newer products, even with enhanced connectivity. I also have a buggy 310XT (corrupts data every DST change).

I bought the 235 recently and returned it. My wife kept hers and loves it but even she admits it is buggy.

Until they stick a wifi radio in the devices, I'm not going to buy another garmin.
While I can't argue that their releases are frequently a bit buggy until they're fixed with firmware updates, they haven't failed me yet in the long run, and usually a month or two after release day, most of their products are relatively bug free, and often improved with additional features.

I've been through the 310XT, 610, 620, 630, 920, and 735XT (still own the last three), and the Edge 510, and I've very rarely had problems that couldn't be fixed by upgrading the firmware to whatever the most recent version is. Not sure about the 235 you mention, but the 620, 630, and 920 do have Wifi radios installed...the Edge might as well, I mostly use it because the screen is easier to read on the bike than my wrist models.

Regardless, whether YOU or I have been satisfied with Garmin's products, the fact is, they are the most popular brand of fitness watch, and are on the wrists (or bikes) of the vast majority of serious runners and cyclists. To those who obsess over their numbers, who would like the option of superimposing the data over their videos, this is a great option over the GoPro, which makes it a bit more difficult to do (if it is even possible, my tech geekiness is limited).

As I said in the OP, if you're heavily invested into Garmin's ecosystem, or if you have a lot of ANT+ gadgets (power meters, footpads, heart rate monitors, or bike speed or cadence sensors), this is probably a better choice than any of the competitors. If that's not as important to you, this deal may have less appeal. To each his own.
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#7
does this support loop recording? if it does.. wouldn't mind getting it for car recorder.
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#8
Quote from cusco View Post :
does this support loop recording? if it does.. wouldn't mind getting it for car recorder.
It looks like it has a loop mode, but the loop is limited to 30 minutes. I can't figure out how to copy links (I'm on a Mac, how do people live without mouse buttons?!?). Do a google search for "garmin verb loop recording" and there's a few threads of interest.
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#9
Thanks. Put mouse on the link you want copied, then use two fingers and press the mouse pad simultaneously.

If used as dash cam it doesn't support auto on feature right?

Finally if using it as cycling cam how long does the battery last?
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Last edited by cusco June 17, 2016 at 07:04 AM
#10
I have one and the worst part for cycling is finding a mount. they have their own design. in general the quality is good but colors are bland. view edit is free but clunky at times. most newer Garmin products are made 3rd party and sold under Garmin. I have videos I'll link when I get home.
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#11
Quote from cusco View Post :
Thanks. Put mouse on the link you want copied, then use two fingers and press the mouse pad simultaneously.

If used as dash cam it doesn't support auto on feature right?

Finally if using it as cycling cam how long does the battery last?
The MFR says 3 hours, the review shows a little less in practical use (~2.5 hours). Battery life will depend a lot on use...GPS and sensors will drain the battery faster, etc. I'd say plenty of life for a dash cam or cyclist, unless it's a really long drive/ride. There is an option to keep the battery charged with a USB cable (car) or external battery pack (bike), but for everyday use, that's probably not necessary.

I'm not very "up" on dash cams. From a little quick research, it seems like a dedicated action cam and dedicated dash cam have different "priorities." The action cams are generally more rugged, water resistant, and record in HD, while a dash cam is less rugged, has better "loop modes," and generally records at a lower definition...they also seem to be quite a bit cheaper, generally speaking. I wouldn't look at this as a dash cam, but more as an action cam with the potential to be used as a dash cam. That said, on a motorcycle, it's probably more useful than a dash cam would be.
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#12
Quote from UltraLazer View Post :
I have one and the worst part for cycling is finding a mount. they have their own design. in general the quality is good but colors are bland. view edit is free but clunky at times. most newer Garmin products are made 3rd party and sold under Garmin. I have videos I'll link when I get home.
I was led to believe from the review that it comes with a GoPro mount adaptor, which opens up the possibility of using any of the GoPro or aftermarket mounting options.

http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2013/1...ies-mounts
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Last edited by jdpatt June 17, 2016 at 07:45 AM
#13
Quote from jdpatt View Post :
I was led to believe from the review that it comes with a GoPro mount adaptor[/url]
Its true, it does come with a go pro adapter. I have a tri/TT bike and reducing weight is part of the game. So adding more and more stuff is not good. Plus, I have had it fall off before. Every connection and link is just one more thing to wobble and come loose. So its a legitimate issue.

Battery life, you might get 2h if you turn off the recording LED. I have done longer recordings by connecting portable USB charging pack, and its happy working like this. with a 64 Gb card its about 9h record time in 1080p with sound.

Edit: found a youtube video which is better quality. have to manually change it to 720p
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLKTgBw_kg8

Another issues is the 140 degree lens angle makes things a little fish eye. Hope this helps someone.
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Last edited by UltraLazer June 17, 2016 at 10:27 AM
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#14
Quote from UltraLazer View Post :
Its true, it does come with a go pro adapter. I have a tri/TT bike and reducing weight is part of the game. So adding more and more stuff is not good. Plus, I have had it fall off before. Every connection and link is just one more thing to wobble and come loose. So its a legitimate issue.

Battery life, you might get 2h if you turn off the recording LED. I have done longer recordings by connecting portable USB charging pack, and its happy working like this. with a 64 Gb card its about 9h record time in 1080p with sound.

Hope these facebook links work. https://www.facebook.com/bob.ross...=2&theater
https://www.facebook.com/bob.ross...=2&theater

Another issues is the 140 degree lens angle makes things a little fish eye. Hope this helps someone.
On a tri bike, aero is more important than weight, and that's one of the first thoughts I had looking at this unit...it's shaped more like a torpedo than a GoPro is...those always seemed like they'd cause a lot of drag.

Again, this deal won't be for everyone, but I suspect it would fare better in a wind tunnel than a GoPro. The review in the OP is written by a triathlete, who uses it on a Cervelo P2.

As far as the wide angle goes...there's only so much image stabilization you can do with software...a wide angle makes the video less shaky. Probably an unavoidable compromise.
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Last edited by jdpatt June 17, 2016 at 08:49 AM
#15
Quote from jdpatt View Post :
While I can't argue that their releases are frequently a bit buggy until they're fixed with firmware updates, they haven't failed me yet in the long run, and usually a month or two after release day, most of their products are relatively bug free, and often improved with additional features.

I've been through the 310XT, 610, 620, 630, 920, and 735XT (still own the last three), and the Edge 510, and I've very rarely had problems that couldn't be fixed by upgrading the firmware to whatever the most recent version is. Not sure about the 235 you mention, but the 620, 630, and 920 do have Wifi radios installed...the Edge might as well, I mostly use it because the screen is easier to read on the bike than my wrist models.

Regardless, whether YOU or I have been satisfied with Garmin's products, the fact is, they are the most popular brand of fitness watch, and are on the wrists (or bikes) of the vast majority of serious runners and cyclists. To those who obsess over their numbers, who would like the option of superimposing the data over their videos, this is a great option over the GoPro, which makes it a bit more difficult to do (if it is even possible, my tech geekiness is limited).

As I said in the OP, if you're heavily invested into Garmin's ecosystem, or if you have a lot of ANT+ gadgets (power meters, footpads, heart rate monitors, or bike speed or cadence sensors), this is probably a better choice than any of the competitors. If that's not as important to you, this deal may have less appeal. To each his own.
That sir, is an excellent reply. I like the cut of your jib. I agree with all your points, and they are well considered and presented.

I concede that my perspective is based on relatively limited experience compared to yours.
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