Handy action cam

By Maggie Walker, Tribune Newspapers

Name: Garmin Virb Elite

What it is: HD Action video camera that comes with a rechargeable lithium ion battery and a USB cable. The camera uses a microSD card, not included, up to 64GB. It also comes with a basic mounting device, and it has seven speeds, including time lapse, super slow motion and fast high definition.

The good: The camera is easy to use, with many features and options, and has a solid mount. Additional mounts are available. I used a bike mount on my road bike in a couple of positions and a head mount during a hike in the woods. The large on-off switch is easy to operate by touch when you can't see the switch. The screen, while small, is readable, and the lettering is legible. Image quality is excellent. The shape of the camera is comfortable to hold. Of the seven speeds, two worked best: time lapse while biking, during a backyard dinner party, during a high school band rehearsal and on a hike in the woods; and fast HD for biking on a hilly, curved route. Downloading to the computer is easy, and editing worked with Quicktime and Streamclip.

The bad: It took a while to adjust the bike mount. The pothole-filled road bounced the bike so much that the mount screws kept loosening. The camera can get wet but can't be submerged for any length of time. A waterproof housing is available. The camera has a spot to hook a safety line but doesn't come with one. It's not needed unless you're in a precarious position.

Cost: $399.99 list but can be found for less in a Web search.

Available from: garmin.com, bhphotovideo.com and buydig.com.

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