Shoot now, Compose later
As someone who is intensely excited about the future of photography and videography, the Insta360 ONE was a product that REALLY caught my eye.
VR technology and 360 Cameras are technologies on the cusp of something great, bringing forward the digital world that we currently know and love.
However, in the past things have been rather temperamental and not quite up to par for realistic use.
The Insta360 ONE I can honestly say, is the first 360 camera that really benefits from current tech and innovations and is super consumer friendly.
So let’s get past the official specs:
Photo resolution: 24 MP (6912*3456)
Video resolution: 3840*1920@30fps, 2560*1280@60fps, 2048*512@120fps(bullet time)
Photo format: insp, jpeg(can be exported via App), RAW
Video format: insv, mp4(can be exported via App), LOG
Stabilization: Built-in 6-axis gyroscopic stabilization
Compatible devices: iPhone X, iPhone8/8 plus, iPhone 7/7 plus, iPhone 6s/6s plus, iPhone 6/6 plus, iPhone SE
iPad Pro(10.5-inch), iPad Pro(9.7-inch), iPad (9.7-inch), iPad Pro(12.9-inch), iPad mini4, iPad Air 2; Click to check Android compatible devices
Photo, video specifications
Photo modes: Standard 360 photos, timed 360 photos
Video modes: Standard 360 video, time-lapse mode, bullet time
Live-streaming: 360 live-streaming, FreeCast (user controls visual perspective)
Exposure modes: Auto, Manual(Shutter 1/4000s-60s, ISO 100–3200), Shutter Priority(1/4000s-2s), ISO Priority(100–3200)
WB: Auto, Cloudy, Sunny, Fluorescent, Incandescent
Storage & Connectivity
Lightning: Lightning connector
USB: Micro-USB 2.0
SD Card: Supports UHS-I, exFAT(FAT64) format; max storage capacity is 128 GB.
Battery Capacity: 820mAh（5V1A）
Charging method: Micro-USB
Endurance: 70 min (continuous video shooting)
With a small footprint of only 96mm x 36.5mm x 25mm and weighing in at 82g, the Insta360 ONE is TINY and packs a lot of insane tech inside.
Shooting 4K video with 24mp stills, this is one impressive camera.
It comes with a case also, that you slot it into to protect the lenses, as well as flipping it over and sitting the camera in it for a steady shot stand, no tripod needed.
There are so many features available that will be sure to satisfy even the most experimental consumer.
It’s very easy to use, the simplest way is to connect it to your iPhone via the built-in flip out connector (SUPER HANDY), which loads the app with a liveview.
However you can also connect with it while it’s turned on and unplugged, via the bluetooth option in the app that will let you remotely start recording or shooting.
On top of the app functions, you can also use the Insta360 ONE standalone by a few combinations of button press, one press to take a photo, two presses to start video, three presses will start bullet-time shooting (or a customised option you can map later).
The way in which I used it predominantly was attached to the FANTASTIC invisible selfie stick and hooked up to bluetooth via the app.
This enabled me to use all the features I needed and remotely shoot while waving the selfie stick around.
On the topic of the Invisible selfie stick, that thing is so cool. While on the outside it looks like a nicely crafted standard selfie stick with tripod mount on top, what it does it quite remarkable.
When using it with the Insta360 ONE, the stick is smartly removed from all footage and photos automatically. It really does make you double take and will impress friends / family, it’s right in the camera blackspot that enables it to stitch it so nicely.
So let’s get down to the important business, what does the Insta360 ONE do that others do not, and are the photos / videos worth the price.
Some of the interesting features of the Insta360 ONE are SmartTrack, Flowstate Stabilization, Bullet-time and the apps cinematic capabilities of creating non-360 videos with a multitude of post recording director tools.
Let’s start with Bullet-time, which enables it to make use of their accessory, the bullet-time handle which connects to the Selfie Stick.
Essentially, you attach the handle to the stick, the camera to the stick and swing it around your head as you move through the scene.
The Insta360 ONE has the capability of recording 120fps or using their own algorithm at 240fps and makes the footage look like a scene from The Matrix, super cool.
Next up we have SmartTrack, which is a function of the app that allows you to tag a location in your video, for instance, a specific landmark or item, and then tracks it throughout the video.
This makes it look as if your camera was always facing the object, no matter what was going on in the video.
Great way to automatically follow people in the scene and keep them centre frame.
This next feature was actually introduced fairly recently through a software update and is in my opinion the BEST feature of the camera.
That is Flowstate Stabilization.
No more shaky hands, no more bobbing up and down as you walk or run, the stabilization is unreal and really does give you Gimbal like quality to your footage. Removing pretty much all unnecessary and unwanted movement.
Just take a look at this footage and tell me it is not SUPER impressive.
The video quality is right up there with other 360 cameras in the consumer market, in fact in my opinion it is more visually pleasing.
The balance of modes and the stabilization really can add an edge that makes it my preferred footage.
It also has a LOG setting which gives you a very flat RAW like image, but in all honesty, I keep it off due to the naturally pleasing image the camera gives.
As for photos, you can record standard jpg or RAW for more post processing, although I’ve found that as with most other cameras in this niche, they do break up under heavier editing.
Overall though they are great quality and MORE than acceptable for light editing and social media feeds. You can get some very interesting images out of this 360 camera and it’s amazing to experiment with it.
You can see out first test using the Invisible Selfie Stick with our camera below and using the apps directorial tools in post. Looks pretty cool right?
Overall the Insta360 ONE is an incredible camera for the money and is my current favourite 360 camera on the market.
It’s simple to use, is powerful, has gimbal-like stabilization and does all of this in such a small and light body.
If you want to expand your photo and video capabilities, this is your next step.
It’s currently priced at £282.99 on Amazon and I would have to say, it is worth that price tag and probably a little more!
If you use any Amazon links on this review, they are Amazon affiliate links that help the magazine by us getting a small fee from Amazon for referring you.
Costs you nothing at all and doesn’t impede your shopping.