Is Garmin feeling the heat from the announcement of the GoPro Fusion price? Or is it to celebrate Youtube’s full support for 5.7K and 8K? Whatever the reason, there’s now a $50 discount on the Garmin Virb 360 to $749 (Amazon or B&H Photo)! This puts it at almost the same price as the Fusion. Here are some reasons for and against getting one now.
It’s true that even with the discount, the Virb 360 is still one of the most expensive consumer 360 cameras, but it has one of the most comprehensive feature sets among consumer 360 cameras, and as of September 2017, the Virb 360 has the best video quality I’ve seen among consumer 360 cameras (see this comparison vs Xiaomi Mi Sphere and this low light comparison). It is also one of the few stabilized 360 cameras that has no drifting (unlike the Xiaomi and Insta360 ONE).
Here is an excellent recent example posted on the Virb 360 Facebook group by AerialXpressions:
And for 60fps video, the Virb currently has the highest video resolution among consumer 360 cameras, at around 3.5K (each unstitched hemisphere has a resolution of 1760 x 1760, although somehow the stitched 60fps video has a resolution of 4736 x 2496).
Virb 360 Advantages and Disadvantages versus GoPro Fusion and Yi 360 VR
Should you wait for the GoPro Fusion or Yi 360 VR? Compared to the Fusion, the Virb’s primary advantages are its multiple stabilization modes, in-camera 4K stitching, live streaming (iOS only), higher resolution 60fps video. The Fusion’s main advantage is OverCapture (which is different from the Virb’s HyperFrame).
Compared to the Yi 360 VR, the Virb 360 has image stabilization, spatial audio, a higher resolution 60fps video, and is waterproof. On the other hand, the Yi 360 VR software has better stitching (with an optical flow option) and costs much less than the Virb.
In terms of image quality, the Virb 360, GoPro Fusion and Yi 360 VR samples all have excellent quality but it’s hard to tell which of them has the best image quality without a side-by-side comparison. I will have all three cameras, so check back here for a comparison. In the meantime, if you want to get the Virb 360 at the new lower price, it’s available at Amazon or B&H Photo.