Garmin Virb 360 test flight

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Picked up a used Garmin VIRB 360º action camera. This is a pretty interesting device in that it has a built-in GPS (of course), accelerometer, and ANT+ receiver. I installed it on the payload bay of my 3DR Solo to try it out. Solo was in Follow Me mode, and wasn't doing a very good job of following today. Edited using the 1080p crop function for framing, might upload the 360º version too. Obviously not Hollywood quality with the crop but for industrial use it could be interesting. Certainly easier to fly if you can worry about aiming the camera in post. The raw files have no stabilization at all, you have to import them into the VIRB Edit software, then export. The heart rate overlay came from the metadata file as well, and is applied in the VIRB software. Again, this is probably pretty limiting for broadcast use, but industrial or individual/social use it's a nice effect (as an aside: I'm really amazed at the range of the ANT+ heart rate monitor, although I'm sure in an urban setting it would be much less). It also has a mode where you can only use the front (or rear) camera, but don't know if it then becomes a 180º camera with the same metadata or just another action camera. Includes WiFi and an app, but the range is pretty short, and probably chews up the battery. Also has a micro HDMI output that will show the raw stitched image, which is upside down if you use the GoPro mount and so is pretty much just a confidence viewer. I initially tried using it, but it is pretty tight with the stock Solo HDMI cable and I didn't want to risk damaging it or the Solo, so I stuffed it up under the GoPro mount, which might have caused some of the vibration. If I decide to keep it on the Solo I'll probably have to add retractable landing gear, and figure out the best angle to avoid the stitch line. No comments about my lack of athleticism please! :)

 
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I liked the demo video so much I went immediately to eBay to look at the VIRB 360. Dang...even used those puppies are expensive. Looking forward to your other videos.
 
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I liked the demo video so much I went immediately to eBay to look at the VIRB 360. Dang...even used those puppies are expensive. Looking forward to your other videos.
It certainly is. I found this one on Amazon, used, with some accessories (extra battery, external power and extra mount), for $599. I tried the Nikon KeyMission 360 first, which is about 1/2 the price, but the software was so bad that I returned it. From what I've read the VIRB is probably the best of the automatic units. Otherwise mounting a few GoPros in a jig is still going to get the best bang for your buck.
 
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Another test. This time with the full 360º picture. Uploaded it to Vimeo, Facebook and YouTube for comparison. Really disappointed with the downrez job done by Vimeo. On Facebook I think the 360 effect only works in the mobile app. While screwing around last night I discovered if you connect to the camera over WiFi you can use the VIRB app for viewing with cardboard goggles. Have to try that out. Also note the glitchy fade between shots. Probably will need to export each clip and edit in a full editor, if only to get rid of the Garmin bumper at the beginning!

YouTube version:

Vimeo version:
 

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