Garmin Challenges GoPro Inc With New Rugged Action Cameras

Garmin Challenges GoPro Inc With New Rugged Action Cameras
ciupa / Pixabay

GoPro is still the king of the action camera market. But competition in the segment is heating up rapidly. Now Garmin has upped its game in the market by releasing two rugged, smaller action cameras: the VIRB X and the VIRB XE. The new cameras are much more capable than Garmin’s last offering, the VIRB Elite. GoPro shares fell 2.28% on Monday after Garmin announced its new products.

Can Garmin make a dent in GoPro’s market share?

While Elite was oblong in shape, the VIRB X and XE are relatively smaller and rectangular. They look a lot like ruggedized GoPro cameras. The basic model X costs $299 while the high-end XE has been priced at $399. The XE offers up to 1440p resolution at 30 frames per second or 1080p at 60 frames per second. It also comes with a “Pro Mode” that lets users control things like sharpness, white balance, color profile, exposure bias, ISO and more.

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The basic X model maxes out at 1080p resolution at 30fps. Both devices can capture 12-megapixel still images. Garmin’s new devices come with Bluetooth and WiFi, and have a “plethora of built-in sensors and wireless functionality options, which can be utilized through the new G-Metrix feature for a wide array of data overlays and a richer viewing experience.”

They are waterproof up to 50 meters. Unlike GoPro, Garmin’s latest cameras have built-in sensors and let users connect to other Garmin products for performance tracking. However, 4K recording is missing from the VIRB X and XE both. Garmin likely chose sensors over 4K ultra HD video to save on battery. GoPro and Garmin cameras have a comparable battery life of about two hours.

GoPro launches HeroCast

GoPro cameras don’t feature built-in sensors like accelerometer and gyroscope because the San Mateo-based company believes that sensor data can be captured by a smartphone paired with its cameras. Garmin’s newest cameras will go for sale this summer.

Meanwhile, GoPro announced the launch of its new product HeroCast, a wireless HD micro transmitter, to expand into the broadcast market. The HeroCast allows broadcasters to air live HD footage from GoPro cameras attached to athletes.

GoPro shares rose 0.18% to $44.30 in pre-market trading Tuesday.

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