Garmin has lifted the lid on the VIRB 360, a new action camera that shoots spherical 360-degree video up to 5.7K/30fps and it’ll be available to buy next month – well before the recently announced GoPro Fusion goes on sale.
The VIRB 360 offers automatic in-camera stitching up to 4K at 30fps while built-in GPS, altimeter, accelerometer and compass sensors provide users with customisable data overlays. 360-degree audio, also known as spatial audio, is captured via four built-in microphones.
Garmin claims a one-hour battery life while recording. That battery is removable and you can get additional batteries as well as dual battery chargers.
The camera is waterproof to 10 meters, and apparently built to withstand overheating and wet conditions. It comes with its own tripod/handgrip and uses microSD memory cards of up to 128GB for storage.
On the top, the unit features a sunlight-readable display so you can check battery life, storage capacity and video modes. Connectivity-wise, it supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, ANT+, and NFC (one-tap connection with Android devices) connectivity.
Beyond video, the VIRB 360 can take stitched-in-camera, 360-degree, 15 megapixel spherical photos. Photo modes include single capture, burst shooting, and time lapse.
The VIRB 360 also incorporates voice control options so you can do things such as start and stop recordings and snap photos. And if you have a compatible Apple phone or tablet, you can use the camera’s livestream capabilities to post to YouTube or Facebook Live.
“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,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of global consumer sales.
Garmin has jumped the gun on GoPro with the new camera, which looks to be a direct competitor to the as-yet-unavailable GoPro Fusion. The Fusion has no firm release date beyond a stated “limited commercial release by the end of 2017” and no announced retail price.
The VIRB 360, however, is expected to be available in June and has a suggested retail price of US$799.99 / UK£649.99. For more information, including full specs, check out Garmin.com/VIRB360.
We’ll be getting a VIRB 360 in for review so we’ll strap it to a bike and bring your our thoughts in a full review soon.