• Garmin VIRB Elite action cam review

    Garmin VIRB Elite action cam review

  • Garmin VIRB Elite action cam review
  • Garmin VIRB Elite action cam review
  • Garmin VIRB Elite action cam review
  • Garmin VIRB Elite action cam review
  • Garmin VIRB Elite action cam review
  • Garmin VIRB Elite action cam review

    Garmin VIRB Elite action cam review

  • Garmin VIRB Elite action cam review

    Garmin VIRB Elite action cam review

  • Garmin VIRB Elite action cam review

    Garmin VIRB Elite action cam review

  • Garmin VIRB Elite action cam review

    Garmin VIRB Elite action cam review

  • Garmin VIRB Elite action cam review

    Garmin VIRB Elite action cam review

  • Garmin VIRB Elite action cam review

    Garmin VIRB Elite action cam review

If you want an action cam, you buy a GoPro, right?

The undisputed star of extreme video recording, the little white, silver or black box has become as common a slope-side sight as unnecessary facial hair.

But lately, young upstarts such as Ion have tried to get themselves a slice of that tasty action pie. And now here's GPS supremo Garmin with its own attempt, the VIRB Elite.

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Garmin VIRB Elite action cam review

Garmin VIRB Elite action cam review

We compared the VIRB Elite's footage to that of GoPro's flagship model, the Hero 3+ Black Edition. And you know what? It's a close run thing. The Garmin has richer colours and a more saturated tone that we like, and while detailed scrutiny shows up a more limited dynamic range and blown-out highlights, we'd struggle to say one is better than the other.

As far as getting that footage in the first place goes, Garmin’s backed the VIRB with a wide range of mounts covering heads, chests, wrists, helmets, bike tubes, dashboards and tripods. And if that's not enough, an adaptor allows you to use some GoPro mounts.

The VIRB's buttons are more logically laid out than those on the latest GoPro, too, with nice touches such as a big, glove-friendly slider for toggling recording on and off and a bold green light to confirm that yes, you're rolling. There's even a neat remote control app for Android and iOS.

Verdict

Garmin VIRB Elite action cam review

Garmin VIRB Elite action cam review

The Garmin VIRB Elite is a real rival to the GoPro range, perhaps the biggest they've had to face so far. In fact, given a straight choice between this and the flagship GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition, we'd choose the Garmin. Cripes.

It's easy to use, takes good footage and has plenty of attractive features. All of which makes it an action cam worthy of our Top 10 Camcorders list.

READ MORE: The 10 best camcorders in the world right now

Stuff says... 

Garmin VIRB Elite review

With a rugged form and new tricks aplenty, the Garmin VIRB Elite is our new favourite action cam
Garmin VIRB Elite action cam review

Garmin VIRB Elite action cam review

£320
Good Stuff 
Useful colour screen
Easy to operate
Colourful footage
Bad Stuff 
Screen struggles in dim light
Not as small as a GoPro
Limited dynamic range
build
0
design
0
features
0
video
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