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Satellite navigation expert Garmin is branching out into the action camera business, introducing two new high-definition cameras to capture video on the go.

The new Garmin VIRB and VIRB Elite cameras can record up to three hours of 1080p video on a single charge. The VIRB cameras offer features such as digital image stabilization for steadier footage and lens distortion correction to prevent the fish-eye effect common with small but wide-lensed cameras. The outer housing is waterproof to protect against the elements, and the cameras can be mounted to helmets, handlebars and other objects.

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But what separates the Garmin cameras from competitors such as GoPro and the recently shut-down Contour is the 1.4-inch color display and the company’s proprietary ANT+ technology. ANT+ allows the VIRB to connect wirelessly with other Garmin sensors such as heart monitors, and accessory remotes and watches that can be used to control the VIRB. The Chroma display offers video playback and helps users to set up a shot before filming, and offers access to the camera’s settings.

“Action cameras are growing rapidly in popularity, and VIRB has some game-changing key features – like a color display, extended battery life, optional GPS and compatibility with existing Garmin products – that set it apart,” says Dan Bartel, Garmin’s vice president of worldwide sales.

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The VIRB Elite adds GPS, accelerometer and altimeter to track data while filming. The Elite model also has WiFi to connect the camera to iPhones and Android mobile apps, turning smartphones into wireless remote controls.

Both the VIRB and VIRB Elite come with removable 2000mAh lithium-ion batteries which Garmin claims offer three hours of recording time at 1080p resolution and 30 frames per second. Data is stored on microSD cards (sold separately) up to 64 GB in capacity. Other features include USB 2.0 and micro HDMI output, internal microphone and external microphone connectivity via USB.

The Garmin VIRB is priced at $299.99 while the VIRB Elite is available for $399.99.

[Source: Garmin]