Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 vs GoPro Hero 5

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In the age of technology, a lot of people want to record every important moment of their lives. Videographers are not the only ones who are investing in a good action camera. Having the right equipment to vlog your life and your every adventure is an incredible thing. 

Two of the most popular action cameras in the market are the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 and the GoPro Hero 5. When it comes to the discussion about Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 vs. GoPro Hero 5, which one is better?

Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 vs GoPro Hero 5 General Overview

The Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 was an instant hit when it was released. It is an action camera that was able to push the boundaries of frame rate and camera resolution, and it was also the first one to have a voice activation feature. 

GoPro Hero 5 attached to a gimbal

Meanwhile, GoPro Hero5 Black has always been a favorite among travelers and professional photographers because of its incredible resolution and advanced features. When it comes to figuring out which is better between the two, it is a case of which of them can integrate with what you want to do. 

Garmin VIRB Ultra 30

The Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 is an action camera that has an LCD panel. It can be easily operated and the touchscreen display can show you all of the menus that you need. It also comes with a waterproof case that will keep it dry to a depth of 40m. 

The massive battery of the camera means it can last up to 2 hours and 15 minutes when you are filming in full high definition. The Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 has a voice activation system, this means that you can just simply tell the camera to take a picture, start recording, stop recording and to mark a video clip as a highlight. This is very useful if you are not near the camera. 

GoPro Hero 5

The GoPro Hero 5 has a rear touchscreen display, an easy one-button control, voice activation feature, and it allows you to capture fast movements accurately. Its two-inch touchscreen on the back of the camera is bright and can be easily seen even if you are in a low lit area. 

The smaller screen at the front of the camera provides readouts on the shooting mode, the remaining battery, and the remaining SD card space. Since it does not have a plastic casing, the sound quality is so much better than its predecessor. 

Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 vs GoPro Hero 5

The Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 and the GoPro Hero 5 constantly exceed the expectations of videographers. They are packed with features, and each action camera has its own benefits. 

Below are the features that you can find on both action cameras, and the features that only one of them has. You can review them to give you a better idea on which action camera suits you best. 


Even though the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 and the GoPro Hero 5 are from different manufacturers, they are still both considered as action cameras. This means that there are certain features that you can find on both of them as they are a standard for this type of device.

GoPro Hero 5 attached to a gimbal


Action cameras like the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 and the GoPro Hero 5 are used by people who are always on the go, which is why both of them have built-in GPS trackers.

The GPS feature gives you an idea on your location and it also provides you the easiest and fastest route to the place that you want to go. 

Voice Activation System

Both the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 and the GoPro Hero 5 have the voice activation system. This feature can be used when you are a couple of feet away from the camera and you need it to film you or take your picture. 

You can activate the feature and yell out commands, like asking it to highlight videos and give it the timestamp, save the video under a certain file name, and so much more. The camera can function without you having to operate it manually. 


The Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 and the GoPro Hero 5 do not go head to head in the market without a reason. The Garmin action camera has certain features that you can’t find in GoPro, and vice versa. There are also certain aspects that are better in one camera compared to the other. 


The Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 has better resolution compared to the GoPro Hero 5. This is because the Garmin action camera offers 4K at 30fps and 1080p at 120fps. 

Meanwhile the GoPro Hero 5 offers 4K at 30fps and only 720p at 240fps. The high-end resolution and frame rate of the GoPro camera is a bit slow compared to that of the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30. 


Both cameras may have a box-like style of design, yet their layouts are very different. The GoPro Hero 5 is very simple and it sits inside an open cage that lets you use the LCD touchscreen in all conditions, even when it is underwater. 

Meanwhile, the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 has a stylish waterproof housing with a mud catch grill placed on the front. You can still use the touchscreen even if it is in the case, however, it can be difficult to operate the buttons. 

GoPro Hero 5 attached to a helmet

Major Distinguishing Factor

The major distinguishing factor between the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 and the GoPro Hero 5 is the resolution. When you film videos using Garmin VIRB Ultra 30, you can get 4K at 30 frames per second, and 1080p at 120 frames per second. That ensures clear and crisp video. 

As for the GoPro Hero 5, although it also has a 4K resolution, when you switch it to 240 frames per second, you only get 720p, which is a bit low and may cause a bit of distortion. 

When to Use Garmin VIRB Ultra 30?

The Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 is ideal for professional videographers and those that want to take videography seriously. The features and the resolution that it has can ensure clear videos no matter what the condition is. 

You can use the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 for the following:

When to Use GoPro Hero 5?

The GoPro Hero 5 is best suited for hobbyists and those who are new to videography. It is easy to operate. It may not have a higher resolution as the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30, yet it can still give an incredible video quality. 

You can use the GoPro Hero 5 for the following:

  • Vlogging
  • Casual filming

Final Verdict

GoPro may be the leader in action cameras brand-wise, yet the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 does not fall behind in features. In fact, when it comes to video quality, the Garmin action camera is better. 

However, when selecting between the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 vs GoPro Hero 5 action cameras, you still need to think about where you will use it and what you will use it for. The choice is up to you. 

Kaitlin Cooper is an active professional wedding and portrait photographer in San Diego, California at Kaitlin Cooper Photography. She is also a contributor to many large publications, including Bridal GuideBustlePixpaWith Joy, and Hello Giggles.