Garmin Virb Ultra 30

Garmin Virb Ultra 30 looks interesting action cam for Mapillary use https://buy.garmin.com/en-GB/GB/p/522869

Does it work with Mapillary app? In Android or in iOs?

However somebody reported in Garmin forums that the camera is not geotagging photos shot in interval mode, which makes it really not suitable for standalone use without the app. https://forums.garmin.com/forum/on-the-trail/action-camera/150711-

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I would double check the Geotagging. The Garmin Virbs have long done that when taking photos even in interval mode. I’d find it odd that they’d roll out a $400 camera that doesn’t do something their $100 model does do.

You should be able to copy the JPGs to your computer and upload them with the Python scripts or the web browser upload.

I just got this camera. It is perfect for capturing and images are geotagged, maybe there was a bad firmware at one point. There is a 10 hz GPS onboard and a 100 hz bearing compass.

One interesting feature is the travel-lapse interval which takes an image based on a distance traveled. However, the lowest distance it will do is 0.01 km or 10 m.

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How are you finding it? I might have a chance to get one for £150-200, which is not too bad a price if the device is good. Have they fixed the lagging exposure setting from Virb X/XE?

Travel-lapse sounds interesting. How fast it actually takes images in highway speeds, if set to take every 10 meters? Is there any quality difference in images taken with interval/travel-lapse when comparing to single photo mode? (My Sony FDR-X1000 for example takes only compressed FullHD JPG’s in interval mode, but nice 4k’s in single photo mode).

I finally got round to testing it out, and can’t say am all that impressed.
The main problem is that I couldn’t find a cpl for the ultra, meaning dashboard reflections were a problem. Image quality was also lower than a gopro attached to the same windshield, with quite a lot of wash out.
Disappointingly, garmin seems to be still finding camera software hard (probably because of really old hardware), and white balance/contrast is very erratic and adjusts with a delay (it’s the virb x/xe issues all over again!).
I wanted to use 1fps shooting, but ended up going to 2s as the battery was dying too quickly and there is NO way to securely mount a virb ultra while charging out of the box - the waterproof case is sealed up, and you need their proprietary cage case. With garmin tax, obviously.
The battery in this mode lasted for ~1.5 hours before giving up.
Also disappointed with gps performance (for a device with so many sensors!), as it was drifting after a cold start fix, and generally takes a bit of time to get a fix.
Not sure if needed for mapillary, but the ultra doesn’t write image heading into exif, only track direction - fixable with geosetter, but takes time
Happy I didn’t pay full price for it

Thanks. I’ve long had mixed feelings about Garmin cameras.

Post processing fixes the erratic white balance somewhat, and focus restoration also returns some of the sharpness. But that brings back the reflection issues - if anyone knows of a cpl filter for Ultra please let me know.
Need to try it mounted externally to get the full picture though.
So far the best thing about it is not having to set headings like you have for gopro. But see above about track direction

Ugh, seems to be another annoying non-feature of the Ultra - shooting photos in timelapse doesn’t record actual compass heading into exif (maybe it’s in the gmetrix info), only general track heading (looks like it’s basic interpolation, so gps glitches (which happen despite supposedly premium garmin hw) through image heading around like the compass bug in the mapillary app. This means losing another advantage I thought it had over the gopro

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After a long time trying to explain to garmin support what I was on about, they have seemingly confirmed that yes an action camera that has a hardware compass sensor does not use it to record heading into exif. Only garmin can get away with 2015 tech selling for this sort of money.

Final reply from garmin:

No, there is no way to imbed the compass data to a picture file.
The second question. Yes, people have pulled individual sensor data form the G-Metrix (.fit) file but we do not have a process for this. This is where the compass data would be. Online forums would be your best bet for finding others that have done this.
The device will record a track log while the device is powered on but full G-Metrix function only happens when recording video. This includes Time-Laps video. We have no plans to make any function changes to the Ultra 30 such as extra data to picture files.

So, turning to my fellow internet-forum users, has anyone ever done conflation of fit files and jpeg images? Surely it can’t be too different from syncing gpx and jpg

Hi…some things don’t work the greatest depending on what you’re doing (you’ll notice speed in this video isn’t accurate, but speed is accurate in a car), but all in all I love it so far. Here’s my first actual video, excuse the panting, this was towards the end of a ride, not to mention I’m out of shape.

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did you forget a link?