Over the last couple of seasons, I’ve had quite a few people asking what camera set-up I use to make the iRide and LaPlagnet videos. On LaPlagnet, I’m not allowed to endorse products. Here, it’s a different story. For those interested, here’s the scoop on the camera I use in these videos . . . Spoiler alert – it’s the Garmin VIRB360
The Garmin VIRB360 official video
360 cameras are all the rage right now and promise to be the next big thing in ‘extreme’ sports filming. They give a perspective and depth to content that simply isn’t possible in traditional video. The Garmin VIRB360 is one of the latest 360 camera offerings – but with a fundamental difference to many others – it’s waterproof and doesn’t need external casing. Better than that though, this little gem even includes GPS tracking to map your ride. The official video is below.
As well as its main function – 360 filming – Garmin has also added something it calls HyperFrame (similar to GoPro’s Overcapture function) which massively increases the power of this device. HyperFrame allows you to shoot in 360 then selectively edit the perspective you use in post-production. The results are stunning and can lead to some really interesting video. Check the recent footage we took below of the La Plagne Super Tyro.
Garmin VIRB360 Full HD 360 video
Alternatively, you can stick to full 360 mode – like this footage of the Envers chairlift in La Plagne, between Montalbert and Aime 2000. The 360 output of this camera is second to none and really shows off the power of the internal processors plus versatility of the lenses. Check the GPS data updates as I ride the chair to the summit.
The stats – and they’re mighty impressive
- Small and lightweight 360 camera with resolution up to 5.7K/30fps unstitched and 4K/30fps with in-camera stitching and 15 MP high-quality 360 photos
- 4 built-in microphones capture 360-degree audio
- 4K spherical stabilisation ensures a smooth video regardless of camera movement
- Built-in sensors provide G-Metrix data overlays in 360-degree augmented reality
- Free VIRB Mobile app and VIRB Edit desktop software let you easily edit, stabilise, add data overlays and share your videos
Rugged, Waterproof 360-degree Camera with 5.7K/30fps Resolution and 4K Spherical Stabilisation
The Garmin VIRB360 is the first of its kind, capturing a complete sphere of high resolution video and audio – even photos. It eliminates the lengthy editing process with 1-click video stabilisation up to 4K/30fps and allows you to instantly livestream any adventure.
Defining a New Standard for Full-sphere 360 Video and Audio Capture
The Garmin VIRB360 is a rugged, waterproof camera recording in full 360 degrees — horizontally and vertically. And you can forget about timely post-production work, because VIRB 360 will auto-stitch your 4K footage in camera. If you’re looking for higher resolution, you can record video in unstitched 5K resolution and 5.7K super-resolution at 30fps.
360 photos with the Garmin VIRB360
You can choose between different recording modes – manual and more. Even capture 360-degree photos, burst shots up to 20fps and Travelapse photo capture up to 18 megapixels — stitched in camera. Combined with the 4 built-in microphones for 360-degree audio, you and your viewers will be totally immersed in the 360 experience. Video is definitely where the Garmin VIRB360 excels. 360 photos work best in space – this most definitely isn’t a strong point of the camera – but it is relatively capable so long as objects aren’t too close. Also, similar to all action cameras, the Garmin doesn’t perform particularly well in low light. However, no action camera does so this shouldn’t be seen as a limitation.
The Garmin VIRB360 timelapse mode
And as if all the above settings and modes weren’t enough, you can even record in timelapse mode. Since the Garmin VIRB360 is recording in Full HD 360, the results can be astounding as you can rotate the scene without judder and without losing detail. As the timelapse of a Tenerife sunset above shows, this makes for a wholly more interesting timelapse experience for the viewer as the lens isn’t focussed on just one place.
And if it breaks . . .
In over two years using this camera, I haven’t had anything break as such – though I did need to replace the lenses after they got scratched against my selfie stick in my bag. Replacements cost about £25 for two and the process is very simple to change them over. The camera itself has been dropped multiple times and taken serious knocks (ie the time a skier appeared out of nowhere going around 50kph and smashed straight into it). While the Garmin might not look particularly rugged, it stands up to a fair bit of bumping around.