The Insta360 GO 2 is an excellent compact 360 video camera. It’s the perfect companion to the GoPro for adventures where you just want to film yourself taking on the elements. Whether it’s because you’re too scared to get in the water, or you find it more interesting to take in what you’re doing from your own perspective, the Insta360 GO 2 is well-suited to both. In this blog, we will review its specs, pricing, and various accessories available.
Insta360 Go 2 Review
- Weight: 26.5g / 0.93oz (charge Case 63.5g / 2.24oz)
- Dimensions: 52.9 x 23.6 x 20.7mm / 2.08 x 0.93 x 0.81in (charge case, closed: 68.1 x 48.5 x 26.5mm / 2.68 x 1.91 x 1.04in)
- Waterproofing: IPX8 (to 4m / 13ft)
- GPS: No
FlowState Stabilization (Pro Video mode): 2560×[email protected], 30fps / 1920×[email protected], 30fps
Basic Stabilization (Video mode): 2560×[email protected], 30fps / 1920×[email protected], 30fps
HDR: 2560×[email protected], 24fps / 1920×[email protected], 24fps
Timelapse: 2560×[email protected] / 1920×[email protected]
TimeShift: 2560×[email protected] / 1920×[email protected]
Slow Motion: 1920×[email protected]
Photo: 16:9 2560×1440 / 1:1 2560×2560 / 9:16 1440X2560 / Film Panorama 2938×1088
- Max video bitrate: 80Mbps
- Connectivity: BlueTooth / Wi-Fi
- App: Insta360 app
- Max clip length: Pro Video mode: 10 mins / Video mode: 15 mins / FPV mode: 30 mins
- Video format: MP4
- Photo format: INSP / DNG
- Photo Modes: Standard, Interval, Night Shot, Starlapse, PureShot
- Video Modes: Video (Basic stabilization), Pro Video (FlowState stabilization), HDR, Timelapse, TimeShift (Hyperlapse), Slow Motion
- Storage: 32GB
- Image quality has been improved significantly over the previous version
- Protective charger case with built-in tripod
- The case can also be used as a wireless remote
- GoPro does not offer in-camera stabilization
- Scene composition: No screen
Insta360 Go 2 Price and Release Date
Insta360 Go 2 was unveiled in March 2022, 18 years after the original Go.
However, it is considerably more expensive than its predecessor. The Insta360 Go 2 is $299/PS294.99/$479.99AUD, which is $200 more than the original.
It is now uncomfortably close in price to the GoPro Hero 8 Black. If the Insta360 Go 2’s small size is not important, you might consider a more traditional camera.
The Insta360 Go 2’s image quality and usability improvements may be worth the extra cost.
Let’s begin by giving you a brief overview of how the Insta360 Go two works. Let’s assume that you don’t know anything about the original Insta360.
Insta360 Go 2 is an action camera that’s small and compact. It has a size and shapes similar to a USB stick. The entire core electronics are contained in this lozenge. The camera can be operated by one person alone, thanks to the hidden shutter button and lens.
The box contains three mounts. The Insta360 Go 2 is held in place by the pendant. It’s a necklace that has a magnetized plate. This pendant can be worn under a shirt so that the camera sticks to the fabric.
The Easy Clip comes with a gripper that can attach to backpack straps or caps. The Pivot Stand also has an adhesive back, which can be attached to any object you choose.
Although there is no bike mount, you can get the impression that the Insta360 Go 2 was designed for situations in which a standard action camera might not be appropriate. You can also get universal mount adapters that work with generic and GoPro mount accessories.
We may be video dinosaurs, but we think that not having a screen should not be the main reason not to buy the Insta360 Go 2 2. It’s impossible to compose an image, and unlike a 360-degree camera, you can only fix them in ‘post.’
This is not a joke at Insta360. There are many action cameras that have screens. Before you buy an Insta360, think carefully about the issue. If you don’t use the app to view your footage wirelessly, this camera doesn’t make you feel as much like a videographer. This works fine, but it isn’t quite as effective as a GoPro-style display on the camera.
We wish that the hinge on the clamshell of the battery case could pivot. The orientation of the battery case is ideal for video vlogs. Simply place your finger on the shutter button. If you prefer to use it as a small Super8 camera (which we did a lot), the buttons and screen face away from you.
The removable lens cover on the Insta360 Go 2 is positive. This is a great feature. You can replace the lens cap if it scratches, as with a traditional GoPro.
The Insta360 Go 2 is the easiest action camera to maintain in good condition, as the camera is almost completely protected inside the case even if it isn’t treated very well.
It can withstand submersion in water and is IPx8 water-resistant. This waterproofing is not sufficient for swimming. Swimming increases pressure and requires a better-grade seal.
Accessories: The New Battery Case
The Insta360 Go 2 has been our favorite, along with its case. This case can be used to store your clips and to charge the battery. It also houses two buttons, a small but clear OLED display, and two buttons.
You can switch between modes, adjust settings, and even start/stop recording videos or stills using this combination of screen and buttons. This makes the Go 2 more than a casual action camera that captures occasional clips.
You can also connect the case wirelessly to your camera. The case can be attached to a baseball hat and kept in your pocket. This will allow you to use the case as a remote control to capture footage.
We kept the camera in the case for one day. The flip-out base acts as a mini stick grip. The flip-out base keeps your hand out in view, making it easy to take casual clips.
This is a large part of what we left out of the original Insta360. You can access many of the shooting modes with the camera flying alone, but it requires you to learn which multi-tap gesture triggers which mode. Who has the time?
Insta360 Go 2 also features cute flip-out legs that are great for taking group shots or time-lapse videos. If you need to use a tripod, there is a standard thread mount at the bottom. These tiny integrated legs can only be used on a flat surface, so you have some flexibility.
This case resolves most of the basic issues that limited the appeal of the original Go.
The image quality is also significantly better than the original Insta360 Go.
When evaluating action cameras, one spot that we often return to is an area of a nearby park where there is a reduction in light levels due to the presence of trees is one. This caused the original Insta360 Go to become mushy.
Insta360 Go 2 retains most of its detail in bright sunlight. This is the kind of performance you would expect from a GoPro Black series camera. Not a small one like this.
The mid-level lighting doesn’t limit the quality of images. The Insta360 Go 2 can shoot into bright skies and displays dynamic range comparable to a standard-sized, high-end action camera.
Some clouds will still have overexposed areas, sometimes very large ones. However, these areas are not as severe as the rest of the cloud. Blue areas in the sky are usually well-resolved and do not appear as a blue-to-white gradient to a camera with low dynamic range sensors.
Although the image quality of Insta360 Go two is superior to what we expected, it is still not as good as what we paid.
Insta360 seems to have improved its processing. Insta360 One R 1 inch Edition has had pixel fizz mentioned in all of our Insta360 camera reviews. As the processing fluctuates between noise and detail, this is where finely-knit detail is lost.
This is surprising considering the Insta360 Go 2’s small size. It is more noticeable when you use the Pro model, but image quality is much better than that of the Insta360 One R.
Even better night-time video quality than the GoPro Hero 9 Black. You can adjust the maximum ISO sensitivity to increase the brightness of the GoPro, but Hero 9 Black videos will look crappy at ISO 6400 (the highest setting).
In terms of image consistency, color tone, stability, and overall image consistency, the GoPro remains the clear winner. The Insta360 Go 2 is the big winner because we can discuss them so close together.
Although the Insta360 Go 2 can’t shoot a 4K video, does that matter? It is unlikely, but it can be used in many cases.
Comparing the footage from this camera and the GoPro Hero 9 Black at pixel level shows that they have very similar levels of detail at the center. This is more due to aliasing than any significant difference in the image information.
The Insta360 Go 2 is 1440p sharper than the 4K of many cheap action cameras on Amazon. Insta360 deserves credit for doing a high-quality job and not calling this a 4K camera.
You can see the difference a little better when you use Insta360 Go 2’s cropped field of vision. There are three main view options available: ultra-wide, linear, and narrow.
Ultra-wide uses the entire sensor, minus any stabilization rind. Linear attempts remove the geometric distortion caused by the wide-angle lens. However, this results in soft footage at the corners because parts of the frame are stretched.
Narrow is a classic crop that eliminates the wide-angle action camera sensibility. It’s the digital crop, so it appears less sharp.
Insta360 does not talk about the resolution of the sensor. However, the raw stills files it captures, which are 3040×3040 pixels or 9.2MP, are what Insta360 refers to.
Modes and Usability
Insta360 Go 2 has a wide range of modes. Video, Photo, and Pro Video are all available.
TimeShift speeds up your action but 4x instead of the more time-compressed Timelapse. This mode allows you to capture frames every 0.5 seconds or every 120 seconds.
What you need to know is the difference between HDR Video, Pro Video, and Video. Standard’ Video” is good for casual shooting, where you want to keep things simple. It utilizes in-camera stabilization, and you can’t change the field of vision when exporting clips. This streamlines the process of moving videos from your camera to your phone or laptop.
The MP4s will appear as if on a USB stick with default mode.
Pro Video allows you to adjust the field of view during export, horizon leveling, and FlowState stabilization.
This mode sends the entire field of view to Insta360 on your phone. It smoothens motion with Insta360’s flow state stabilization. Pro Video is a great way to capture real action while you ride or run.
While the tertiary HDR Video mode helps to reduce overexposure, it can also cause problems such as branches appearing to be detached from trees that they are attached to when you pan. This mode is best when you are standing still. You should think twice about motion, especially since the 24-fps frame rate isn’t smooth for eyes used to 60fps.
This summary suggests that Pro Video should be used most of the time. This does not mean that you can’t use Pro Video on your phone.
The Pro mode video files can be seen when the Insta360 Go 2 is connected to a computer. However, they appear as though they were shot through a porthole since they capture the entire sensor view.
Stabilization: FlowState vs Hypersmooth
Insta360 was the first company to offer a convincing alternative to GoPro’s highly-acclaimed HyperSmooth stabilization. It’s called FlowState, but is it as good as GoPro’s HyperSmooth stabilization?
Insta360 Go 2’s in-camera stabilization isn’t nearly as good as GoPro’s. Although it can reduce walking speed motion, the Insta360 Go 2’s in-camera stabilization is not as effective as HyperSmooth. Also, footage taken during a run was still jerky.
This situation can be greatly improved if your phone/laptop does the job. Insta360’s app is used to process FlowState stability. This provides horizon leveling, which is especially important for a camera without a preview screen and motion smoothing.
It’s here we also see the best image quality compromises that we’ve ever seen on Insta360 cameras before. Even in the best lighting conditions, fast motion can cause artifacts and shimmering detail in areas near blocks of color.
This effect was thought to be unique to Pro Video mode. This effect can also be seen in the standard default video mode clips that are less stable. The wobbling action makes it hard to notice.
FlowState is great. However, GoPro’s motion handling is far superior. This is not just due to GoPro’s software. The cameras have a larger native field of vision, which gives them more image buffer to allow electronic stabilization to work its magic.
Insta360 Go 2 only has one microphone. It is located on top of the case, with a cutout for it in its battery/tripod bag.
Our first tests weren’t very positive. One mic only gives a limited sense to the environment and of the position of people, animals, or objects. The wind noise reduction mode can only partially reduce the hissy sound.
We were surprised to find out that we had been pleasantly surprised when we returned home to conduct voice tests. A single microphone renders vocals with decent amounts of bass, mids, and clear treble.
We are far from the car crash audio performances that we heard in our cheap action camera group test.
The Insta360 Go 2 is just like the original Insta360 Go. It doesn’t hold a charge. The Insta360 Go 2 is rated for 30 minutes capture or 150 minutes if the case is connected and fully charged.
This battery doesn’t allow for hot-swapping. We also found that the Insta360 Go 2’s on-off clips won’t allow you to reach the published 30-150 minute numbers.
The Go 2 can be used with the case, which is why it has the potential to reach the action camera norm. There are no major issues here.
Insta360 refers to the GO 2 as “the Spider-Man camera” and has developed a range of mounting accessories that make use of its magnetic spot to attach it to almost any place you need.
The magnet pendant hangs around the neck underneath your top and has the GO 2 attached to the outside. This looks very clever, but the grip isn’t strong enough to allow you to bounce around and expect the camera not to stay in place. Our tester found that the GO 2 can withstand a drop on concrete admirably, although we wouldn’t recommend doing so.
There’s an Easy Clip mount that attaches to a bag strap or cap peak, a Pivot Stand with adhesive back, and a 1/4″ mounting spot on the cam where you can attach a tripod or selfie stick. You can also use the bottom of the case as a mini grip to keep your fingers away from the camera.
This allows you to take advantage of the extra battery life. However, unlike the Pivot stand, the hinge on this case doesn’t swivel, so you won’t be able to record your face. (We’d wager that the case wasn’t designed for this purpose).
All of the above are included in the standard package. However, you can purchase an adapter bundle to increase your flexibility. A universal mount adapter allows you to use a variety of standard mounts as well as certain accessories for your GoPro.
The GO2’s new, scratch-proof, interchangeable lens guard is a great addition to your camera. It comes with a camera out of the box. You can swap this for an ND filter (sold separately) to adapt to different weather conditions and visibility conditions.
Footage And Shooting Modes
Insta360 Go 2 video quality is 1440p. This is an improvement over the original Go’s 1080p. However, it doesn’t match the specifications of the best GoPros. The Hero 9 Black will shoot at 5.7K. You have four options for viewing the camera, from an ActionView that is narrower than the first person to Ultra Wide.
You can choose from a variety of modes that will help you capture and add drama to your footage. You also have Video and Photo as well as Pro and HDR video, TimeShift and Nightlapse, and Slomo.
Standard Video mode is designed for casual, hassle-free shooting. The standard Video mode uses in-camera stabilization, so you can’t adjust the field of vision when exporting the clips. This mode doesn’t require the footage to be sent through Insta360 Studio or the Insta360 app on your smartphone before you can use it. If you plug the camera into your laptop, the MP4s will look just like a USB stick, and the clip will display perfectly.
Pro Video mode requires that the clips pass through your smartphone or computer app before they can be used. You’ll still be able to see the files once you connect your GO2 to your computer, but the clips won’t display correctly.
This mode captures the entire field of view. You can switch from Ultra-Wide to Linear when exporting the footage. To smoothen things out, you can use Insta360’s ‘FlowState’ stabilization and horizon leveling when processing the footage.
HDR Video is finally here. This mode is not able to handle movement. We experienced issues with objects appearing to be disconnected from each other as they moved through the frame.
You can edit and tweak your clips with the companion app. FlashCut 2.0 features provide templates and will even make your clips into a story using AI.
Should I Buy Insta360 Go 2?
The Insta360 GO 2 is a great choice if you want to capture stunning images with a small camera. The improvements to the original GO are substantial and welcomed – particularly the remote control case, which makes the camera much more user-friendly.
The price of the Insta360 GO 2 is comparable to the GoPro HERO 8 or HERO 9 Black. However, its small size is the most important reason to choose it. The Insta360 GO 2 will fit comfortably and easily in your pocket. It is protected by the case, so you can take it out when you want. Although GoPros don’t look huge, the case makes them feel much smaller and more discreet. We recommend that you get a GoPro if the size is not a concern.
Insta360 GO 2 may be the first action camera that offers something for everyone. The camera’s small size and wide range of mounts make it ideal for POV videos or vloggers. Its simplicity makes it easy to use, making it ideal for beginners or children on holiday.
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