Garmin Virb Stabilization Options

When using the Garmin Virb 360 Camera you can add effects and stabilization through the Garmin Virb Edit desktop software package that is included with the camera. I will be going over each one with an example video as well as explain which to choose for your video. You can also just download the software from the Garmin website for free as well.

Image of the garmin virb edit software options for the stabilization features



Garmin Virb Edit Software Stabilization Options

Now for most of your videos you will probably just use the default standard Stabilize Only feature for the stabilization options. But there are also other options available for specific use cases. I will go over every option that you can use in the software.


No Stabilization

Image of the no stabilization option in the garmin virb edit software stabilization options

This option is pretty easy to understand, it will do absolutely nothing to the video and leaves it as it is. If you don’t need any stabilization for your video, then I would recommend not using any stabilization features in the Garmin Virb Edit Software.


Stabilize Only

Image of the stabilize only optiion in the garmin virb edit software stabilization options

This feature is for any type of footage that has a lot of movement, shakiness and vibrations. Stabilize only smooths out quick movements and vibrations while also correcting the horizon. Best for fixed mounting to an object that provides a frame of reference, like a windshield, hood, wing or roll bar. Examples are vehicle mounted cars, plans, boats and others.


Compass Lock

Image of the compass lock option in the garmin virb edit software stabilization options

The compass lock is an interesting feature for the video. If you have a ton of movement and changing the view point a ton, you might want to use this feature to force the view point  to always stay the same. The Compass Lock locks onto a specific direction set with the ‘Set Initial Orientation…’ option in the Compass Lock tab. This lets you force the view point to be always focusing in that direction through out the entire video clip. This is nice, but I would much rather use the GoPro Reframe Plugin for Adobe Premiere. If you would like to know how GoPro Refram Plugin works, then check out my GoPro Reframe Plugin for Adobe Premier Tutorial.


Follow Path

Image of the follow path option in the garmin virb edit software stabilization options

The follow path option is a very interesting one. A good example of how it works is when riding a bicycle you will constantly be looking left and right. If you have a helmet cam then the camera will follow each time you move your head to look for traffic or when crossing something. This would normally cause a lot of movement of the focus point of the video when viewing a normal video. Using the Follow Path feature will fix this issue. If you see the below YouTube clip, you can see in the original video I am looking left and right a lot on the bicycle. This causes a lot of movement and view points change very often, you don’t want this. So using the Follow Path option the Garmin Virb Edit software uses all the sensors including the GPS to create an interesting result. What it does is uses the movement as the new focal point for the video, so as I go around in a circle and move my head the head movements are ignored and the camera focuses onto the center of the  road that I am riding around. See the example below.


Vibration Reduction

Image of the vibration reducation option in the garmin virb edit software stabilization options

This feature tells is at it is, purely for vibrations. Vibration reduction smooths out quick movements and vibrations but does not correct the horizon. Best used for action that is important to keep vertical perspective original to the camera. Examples for this are roller coasters or an airplane.

When I personally tried to use this feature, it didn’t really work correctly. I couldn’t tell any differences from my non stabilized test video and the vibration reduction applied to the video. Not sure if there was an error on the camera or potentially an error within the desktop software. Sadly, most errors are not displayed or caught, every error I have experienced has crashed either the camera itself or the Garmin Virb Edit software crashes and closes down. I will continue to test using different types of video to finally get a good example video to show off this feature.


Garmin Virb Edit Stabilization Options Overview

Overall I think Garmin did a decent job with the stabilization options that they give us in the desktop software. But, the Follow Path and Compass Lock features are not exactly stabilization options but more like effects or fancy editing features rather than stabilization. Both have the flavor of the GoPro Reframe plugin for Adobe Premiere which enables the user to do fancy effects to the view points of the video. Also, the only option that works with 360 videos is the Stabilize Only option. Both the follow path and the compass lock are for normal 2d videos that you can’t drag around and change the point of view for yourself. The Garmin Virb Edit software has many features that are not covered in this post, but I will plan on doing so in the near future so check back and I will update this post to link to the review of the Garmin Virb Edit Software Overview.

Video Overview of all the Options