Garmin Virb 360 gains new creative editing controls and 5.7K mode

The medium of 360-degree video is great for creating immersive experiences, particularly when paired with a virtual reality headset. But 360-degree video also has applications when outputting to standard fixed-frame (non-360) formats, with the potential to give editors creative freedom over the framing and angle of the shot. Garmin is taking advantage of this feature in a free update to its Virb Edit desktop app with the new HyperFrame Director mode.

HyperFrame Director allows users to turn 360-degree footage from Garmin’s Virb 360 camera into fixed-frame, 1080p video while panning, zooming, and reframing the shot as they see fit. Users can pull off smooth pans or rapid 180-degree rotations to quickly change perspective. The feature can also be used to slowly reveal one’s surroundings, by starting from a narrow angle of view and slowly “zooming out,” making use of the ultra-wide angle of view. The software will even allow the image to be zoomed all the way out into a “tiny planet” perspective, which is one of the more fun side effects of 360 video.

One of the features we liked most about the VIRB 360 in our review  was its electronic stabilization, which uses information from the camera’s onboard sensors to smooth out rough footage. This feature will remain active within HyperFrame Director mode, so that even as users reframe and zoom into shots, the output video will remain stabilized.

But HyperFrame Director isn’t the only new feature coming to Virb Edit. Garmin has also introduced the ability for users to stitch their own 360 videos in post.

Normally, this process is done in-camera with the Virb 360, but users now have the option to do it manually. The reason for doing this is all about resolution: In camera, the Virb 360 is limited to 4K; when stitched in post, users can take advantage of the full 5.7K resolution offered. With those pixels being spread across a spherical field, immersive video stands to benefit from all the resolution it can get.

This isn’t an entirely new feature for the Virb 360; users have always had the option of stitching via third-party software (such as Adobe Premiere Pro) to capture that full 5.7K resolution. Now, Garmin is simply offering a first-party solution for doing so, which comes at no extra cost for Virb 360 owners.

We’re pleased to see that Garmin — originally known for its GPS units — is continuing to step up its efforts to prove that it is taking photography and video production seriously. 360 video may not be for everyone, but the ability to reframe fixed-frame content after the shot is something that any videographer can find value in.

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