Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Life, Life, Love

Action camera with verve

Garmin, on the cutting edge in GPS devices, is entering the action camera market with verve - or rather, VIRB, a rugged, water-resistant, 1080p powerhouse of a video camera. With optional mounts and straps, you can shoot from your bike, your head, your shoulder, and other places under conditions few traditional cameras or smartphones dare to go. Add the optional Dive Case, and that includes up to 50 meters underwater. The 4.7-by-2.2-by-1.6-inch video camera weighs in at a little more than 6 ounces, and has a 1.4-inch hi-res color LCD. It comes with a 2000mAh rechargeable lithium ion battery (USB cable included) that lasts up to 3 hours at the highest video resolution. The 9-element glass lens shoots in three modes - wide, medium, or narrow - and the camera automatically adjusts for shaking (think crashing waves, rocky terrain, and skydiving). Kudos for the big sliding Record trigger. Upgrade to the spiffier VIRB Elite, and you get more sensors that can collect and display data on speed, altitude, G-force, and heart rate. You also get GPS and geo-tagging capabilities, plus Wi-Fi connectivity for control via smartphone. You'll have to provide your own micro-SD card; a 64GB card will record up to 7 hours at highest resolution.

Garmin VIRB is $299.99, VIRB Elite, $399.99; Bike/large tube mount, $24.99; dive case, $39.99; at www.garmin.com.

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