There are a lot of action cameras on the market these days, and it can be tough to decide which one is right for you. If you’re stuck between the Garmin Virb vs GoPro Hero 5, this article will help you make a decision.
Both cameras have pros and cons, so it’s essential to consider what you need before purchasing.
Features to Compare
The Hero5 has the same blocky shape as the GoPro series, but it is enclosed in a rubber shell with extra protection around the lens, ports, and battery doors. It allows users to submerge the camera in water up to 10 meters deep and in mild shocks, splashes, and light rain.
Garmin, on the other hand, is now compatible with GoPro’s wide mounting choices, thanks to the addition of slotted connectors. It has a mini USB interface in a boxy shape, and the appealing design makes it look like most mobile devices.
The Hero5 Black can be taken underwater to a depth of 60 meters with a case is a significant benefit for adventure sports enthusiasts. Even though an extra cover supports the camera’s waterproofing ability, Garmin developers have added elegance to the design. With this different shell, the touch screen of this gadget can be used up to 40 meters away.
Additionally, the water-resistant case aids in improving mic connectivity, ensuring that the voice is always as straightforward as possible.
Sensors & GPS
G-Metrix is an advanced fitness tracking overlay offered by Garmin Design. It includes a GPS sensor and advanced sensors such as a gyroscope, barometer, altimeter, accelerometer, and magnetometer. During your workout, it may record all main factors such as pace, speed, altitude, etc.
Other sensors, such as a bike speed sensor, a heart rate monitor, and others, can also be used to collect data with this advanced unit. Garmin’s Edit software helps users automatically include this data into videos.
However, the GoPro Hero5 Black’s GPS feature isn’t handy, as it functions in the same way as standard Instagram and Facebook apps. It simply adds tags to your footage and photographs to indicate that you have been to this location. Other sensors, such as Garmin sensors, cannot be utilized to track additional details with this primary sensor.
Accessories in the Box
When you open the Garmin Virb Ultra 30 package, you’ll find the following items:
- Virb Sticker from Garmin
- Kit to Prevent Fog
- Long and short extension arms are available.
- Screws, both long and short
- Standard adapter and vertical mount
- Adhesive mounts, both curved and flat
- Data/charging cable
- The Lithium-Ion Battery is a type of lithium-ion battery.
- Waterproof case
- Ultra 30 Action Cam by Virb
The GoPro Hero5 Black, on the other hand, comes with the following accessories:
- USB Type-C Cable
- Buckle for mounting
- Adhesive Mounts, both flat and curved
- A battery that can be recharged
- Hero5: Black Frame
- Camera Hero5 Black
Control And Usability
The GoPro device’s 2″ LCD touch screen makes navigation and controls considerably easier. You can alter the bottom layer’s field of view, frame rate, and resolution. Swiping left will bring up all recorded videos and photographs, while swiping right will take you to advanced settings, where you can control Raw file types, white balance, ISO, and more.
The screen has many shortcut controls when it comes to the Gramin VIRB Ultra 30. The automated video and photo setting key is on the left side. Compared to the GoPro device, users find this interface considerably crisper, and the touch screen may also be controlled with external housing.
Gramin Ultra 30 can be connected immediately to a smartphone app, which allows for live streaming of all recorded films and photographs.
Quality of Video and Image
Even at its HD 1080p resolution level, the Hero5 Black can provide fantastic video quality, significantly increasing at 4K. It never lets footage details blur, but there are many small blurred details in the case of Ultra 30. The footage color support differs significantly in both situations, with GoPro resulting in a warm tone and Gramin being known for its extraordinary bias.
Users of the Hero5 Black may capture RAW photographs, which can then be processed with extra software. Its broad dynamic mode helps HDR level recording by capturing all shadows and highlights. Gramin’s inclusion of 4K resolution is a significant benefit for consumers, as it provides considerably more sharp and beautiful detail for each shoot.
This device’s sound quality is significantly superior to its competitor since the mics can be readily attached even with external housing.
You can see the variations in depth starting at 3:45″ in the video.
Electronic Image Stabilization
These gadgets use electronic image stabilization, which is performed through software rather than hardware modifications. Even though both smartphone manufacturers have worked on this feature, the Hero5 Black is said to perform better.
Users report that the Hero5 Black can give excellent footage stabilization even when the camera is mounted on the helmet while riding a motorcycle. This feature protects Hero5 Black camera footage from jerks and shakes, making it ideal for athletes. You may obtain more information by watching the video below.
High-End Audio Tracks
Advanced audio track support has been built into GoPro, allowing users to capture audio details in a separate file and even make three independent tracks with ease. This is an excellent addition to the GoPro series, and an auto switch is always ready to decrease noise from audio signals collected.
Voice Control is a term that refers to the ability to control one’s voice.
Voice commands can control both the Hero5 Black and the Ultra 30, although the GoPro unit has more powers and allows for better control.
The best thing is that GoPro voice control is available in seven languages, including Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, German, Italian, French, and English. Like typical audio signals, all of these orders can be sent using a microphone. This is an essential feature for Garmin devices; it is not fully developed, but it is pretty helpful for beginners.
With the help of specially created GoPro apps, you can better control your GoPro action camera from your iOS or Android device. Capture, Quick (mobile & desktop), Splice, and GoPro Studio are the five applications available for the GoPro gadget.
On the other hand, Gramin Virb may be operated remotely using Virb Applications, which also allow for easy footage editing. You may also watch live YouTube streaming with the Virb applications. The Virb program is available for both mobile and desktop use.
If editing video GoPro maybe is a challenge for you, we have an article that can help: How To Edit Gopro Videos
Which Option Should I Go With?
GOPRO HERO5 BLACK FOR EVERYDAY USE
The GoPro Hero5 Black is, without a doubt, my favorite for everyday and all-around use. The most important reason is the waterproofing. I’ve spent the last several weeks on both the beaches of Barcelona and the snow of the French Alps, for example. I didn’t have to worry about the camera or a backup housing in either scenario.
I’m fine (or instead, it’s good) whether I’m swimming underwater with it or having to watch out as my brother splashes me with a tidal wave of snow at the end of a run. The same goes for just grabbing the device to stow in my back jersey pocket when riding or to hold in my hand while running.
To preview framing for taking a shot or a video, I prefer having a display on the rear. I utilize this on almost every shot I take with a GoPro. I believe it’s one of the main reasons I can consistently obtain fantastic stills (and films) from the GoPro series (be it Hero 5 or, previously, the Hero4 Silver).
The menu system of the Hero5 Black is straightforward. It is slightly pricier than the VIRB Ultra 30 from Garmin, yet Garmin’s menu is significantly faster and operates in its casing even when wet.
When your fingers or the screen on the GoPro get even a smidgeon of moisture, the display becomes unusable. However, you can still access/change settings via the front display by using the buttons in an old-school way.
While it does allow you to check the photos you’ve taken on the back screen, it usually takes so long that it’s useless. Any attempt to preview and go through prior photographs and video is excruciatingly slow unless you’ve only taken like 6 photos that day.
The GoPro Hero5 Black produces incredible photographs and movies in terms of quality. Of course, you already knew that from my in-depth review of the Hero5 Black.
The ‘Linear’ option on the Hero5 Black is my favorite feature because it removes the fisheye effect and makes the film look more natural. This is only available in 2.7K and lower resolutions, not 4K. I also use a lot of images to make them look natural.
I only switch to wide when shooting selfies in which I want to capture the immensity of the background (such as in the mountains). Garmin’s VIRB Ultra 30 features comparable modes. However, they’re called ‘Lens Correction’ rather than ‘Linear.’
The GoPro Quik phone adapter, which allows you to discharge photographs and movies after a long day quickly, is the final benefit of the GoPro lineup in everyday use. For example, I’m writing this on a train returning from the ski slopes.
A few minutes ago, I connected the little Quik adaptor to my phone and quickly browsed through the zillions of photographs and movies I took. Sure, I could have done it via WiFi, but it’s not relatively as quick as pulling out the $19 converter. It was also excellent for passing over to my brother so he could choose the photos/videos he wanted to upload to his phone instead of re-transfer.
You’ll note that I only use 120FPS for 1080p and 240FPS for 720p on occasion. This is partly because most of my material is published on YouTube in 4K. (to mesh with my DSLR outputted footage). But that’s covered in the ‘Prosumer’ section…
When I allow friends to try both (for example, for a few hours during a trip), they always choose the Hero5 Black since they can see what they’re shooting quickly. In terms of size, the two cameras aren’t that dissimilar. The Hero5 Black is wider than the Hero5 Session but also shallower.
To summarize, I recommend the GoPro Hero5 Black to the large majority of friends and family who inquire about which camera to buy. The ease of usage and the ability to take it to the beach and not worry about it is enormous. Those who fall into the following category are an exception to this rule.
If you just own a Gopro and still use it competently, we have some useful information for you: How To Use A GoPro For Beginners
GARMIN VIRB ULTRA 30 SPORT USE
So, what do I mean when I say sort use’? It isn’t straightforward. Everything in the previous section may be argued for sporting purposes, and there’s some truth. However, when I think of this category, I see a situation in which you’re participating in a sport and want to portray the ‘coolness’ in a way that goes beyond simple footage.
Wherever you wish to overlay data like speed, elevation, g-forces, or power. With the VIRB Ultra 30, Garmin excels at all of these aspects.
The VIRB Ultra 30 includes GPS and the ability to link to ANT+ sensors built-in (and even some automotive Bluetooth sensors). It also features an altimeter and a gyroscope, and a compass, among other sensors. When you turn on the unit, all of this data is captured, allowing you to record a video stream and a comprehensive stream of data generally understood in data formats.
However, Garmin’s VIRB Edit software for desktop and mobile apps makes overlaying this data and exporting videos a breeze. For example, while paragliding, you’ll see this type of data in this short sample below, which was made automatically with the VIRB Edit suite (meaning, it just magically put together a film for me):
Some of you may be thinking, But wait, GoPro says they can do that too! and you are correct. That is what they say. But it’s at best amusing. I wrote about it a few months ago, and it hasn’t altered much since then.
To begin with, having just a handful of data bits overlaid onto your films will take 100x more time (because each little snippet must be done manually), and the data is rarely highly exact and frequently latent. It’ll claim I’m moving even if I’m halted. It’s also possible that I’m heading up, indicating down. It’s terrible when it comes to specifics.
They’ll surely get it right eventually, but not today. Furthermore, you can only do this on the desktop app and for a single ‘clip’ at a time, so multi-clip things take an eternity.
However, GoPro’s data possibilities are limited to a single hand, whereas the Garmin package has hundreds of gauge types (or create your own).
So, when do I switch from a GoPro to the VIRB Ultra 30? Usually, when I wish to share such kind of information with you. Let’s imagine I’m doing some excellent cycling and want to show you some descent or speed.
Maybe I’ll show you me skiing at 60 mph, or perhaps I’ll show you how my (rental) car’s engine works. Depending on their activities, different people will attach different importance to this. Some will use it to show a race’s last sprint, while others will display paragliding to each their own.
Of course, Garmin retains all of the GoPro Hero5’s essential capabilities. They have voice control (which is consistently better than GoPro’s) and image stabilization up to 2.7K. (though, not quite at 60FPS like GoPro). The only significant flaw with the Garmin unit is that it isn’t waterproof unless you use the case. That’s not to imply you shouldn’t take care of it.
I rarely need the waterproof case, even while hand-holding it while running or taking it for a ride. I’ve found that little rain may be tolerated, but I wouldn’t recommend a downpour.
Another benefit, if you’re already a Garmin user, is the ability to control the VIRB with your watch or device. Almost all Garmin wearables, as well as all cycling computers and a slew of other Garmin products, do this these days.
I’ll occasionally use my Edge to manage to record when I’m riding. However, I don’t use my watch to control it often because it’s usually easier to press the camera’s button.
I rarely use the higher frame-rate items, as I did earlier. Mainly because most of the sports I play won’t look any better in 120FPS or 240FPS (i.e., cycling or running). Higher frame rates would be helpful if I were doing jumps or any other type of airtime issue. However, whether at 30FPS or 240FPS, running remains monotonous.
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Ultimately, the decision comes down to what you need and want in an action camera. The Garmin Virb is the perfect option if you’re looking for a high-quality camera that can capture stunning footage.
However, if you’re only looking for a basic camera that can take good photos and videos, the GoPro Hero 5 will serve you better. Staaker.com hopes you find this guide useful.