Insta360 is a 360-degree camera, which can be used for both video and photos. The camera is portable and easy to use. It can also be attached to a smartphone or computer. It has two lenses that can capture images in all directions. You can also use it to take photos and videos of people and landscapes. Insta360’s Insta360 review will take a closer look at the Insta360 One R to see how it performs as both an action camera or a combination of both.
- 360 Resolution: 5.7K
- Max standard video resolution: [email protected]
- Stabilization: FlowState
- Waterproof: 5m
- Special modes: Bullet time, Invisible Selfie Stick, Night Shot, and many more
- Modular Design: Two additional lens options are available
- SlowMotion: 8x standard, 4x 360
- Very good image quality
- GoPro is better in low light than the GoPro
- Beautiful raw images
- Modular flexibility
- Lengthy clip exports
- Video processing problems
- Screens for small screens
- Software is not responsive enough
What’s Insta360 OneR?
Insta360 One R is a compact, go-anywhere action camera with a single lens that can quickly be transformed into a dual-lens 360.
Insta360 is by no means new to the camera market; in fact, they are the GoPro of the V.R. world and highly respected for both their consumer and professional products.
They are the dominant 360 camera manufacturer, but they don’t have an action camera.
Their approach to the small camera market is totally different from any other I have seen, especially in the way it uses lens modules.
Insta360 One R: Prices and Availability
Insta360 One R 1 inch Edition is part of a modular range of action cameras. In early 2020, we reviewed the 4K One R. The 1-inch sensor module was also announced at the same time as the 4K one.
You can purchase the camera now as an accessory or with the camera body as part of the 1-Inch Edition.
Insta360 offers many configurations that include one, two, or all three lenses. You can also make your own lens and accessory packages on the website.
The Insta360 One R will come with the standard 4K lens. The Insta360 One R is.
Insta360 One R Twin edition includes the 4K lens, 360-degree module, and a MicroSD Card. It retails at
A configuration using the 1-inch Leica module will cost $467.
You can also purchase the Ultimate edition, which combines the 360-module and the 1-inch edition with an invisible selfie stick, dual batteries for 645.
The 4K lens costs $99 when purchased separately. The 360 lens adds $199, and the 1-inch lens adds $299.
Insta360 One R features a unique modular design that includes three components: the lens, Core module, and battery.
The Core module features not only the brain of the camera but also a 1.5-inch reversible screen. This allows the user to view themselves while standing in front of the lens or see the screen as they film their subject.
Insta360 has three lens modules. A 4K wide-angle module features an f/2.8 aperture with 16.4mm equivalent focal length. There is also a 360-camera module and a lens based on a sensor, which was co-developed by Leica. This lens has an f/3.2 aperture and an equivalent focal length of 14.4mm. The largest and most heavy of the three lenses weighs 37g more than a standard 4K lens and 28g more than a 360 lens.
The camera’s width is extended by the 1190mAh battery. There are various contacts and clips that attach the two other modules to the power source. This is the portion of the battery that cannot be seen.
After using the Insta360 One R for a while, it was relatively simple to disassemble and reconfigure, turn a lens around, or replace one of the options.
A-frame that is similar to the older generation of GoPros is required to mount the Insta360 One R as an accessory. It provides security for the individual modules, but it is not a good solution. You will need to take it off each time you want to reorient or change the lens.
Insta360 One R is IPX8 water-resistant, so you can swim with it. The company suggests that you use housing to keep everything together. Otherwise, it could fall apart, which would be dangerous, especially if the device is submerged.
It is a modular action camera, and its 360-degree capability makes it difficult to compare it to GoPro cameras.
Although I applaud the company’s efforts to rethink the category and add innovation, I found myself missing GoPro’s interface from a usability perspective as I used it more.
My biggest complaint is the 1.5-inch screen. Similar issues occurred with the Sony RX0 II. I struggled to navigate menus, select options, and change settings. The larger display of the GoPro is not only easier to read, but also allows words and phrases to be used within menus. Insta360 One R relies on unlabeled icons.
Before you can start shooting, you will need to connect your camera to Insta360. This is done via the camera’s Wi-Fi. It’s quick and simple, and the app can remember the camera between shots. The app allows you to view and save footage to S.D. cards, as well as access tutorials and modify camera settings.
The Insta360 app (Android and iOS) allows you to change the settings of most aspects of your camera, such as resolution, framerate, mode, etc., while filming. It allows you to edit the footage and makes use of some cool artificial intelligence (A.I.). It is designed to assist beginners in creating exciting stories that can then be shared with their friends via social media.
Overall, the app is very functional. However, when you open it, you’re presented with a display of other peoples’ work using Insta360 One R. It’s a bit overwhelming. In a future update, I’d like to have the option to select which screen the app opens to.
It was easy to trim the clip’s beginning and end before I downloaded it to my phone. However, it is best to download the clip first before you make any edits. You will be connected to the camera’s WiFi, which doesn’t allow for pass-through to the Internet.
This meant that notifications were constantly popping up from several apps that were offline while I was using it. This can be minimized by downloading the footage to the local app, then disconnecting the camera from the network, and reconnecting to a traditional or cellular WiFi network.
There were a few mistakes that I experienced. The app stopped downloading 360-degree videos at one point. I restarted my phone and power cycled the camera. The app said it was resumed downloading the three files, but nothing was being downloaded.
After the file was downloaded, the app analyzed the footage before any editing took place. It took about 6-7 minutes to analyze a 34-second, 2-minute clip. My phone also got quite hot. It took me just over five minutes to analyze a 1:59-minute video on my iPhone X. This is where the processor of your phone will be tested, especially if you are using a mid-tier or lower-tier device.
You can also perform cute tricks with the Insta360 One R. Just watch the video tutorials and then take the footage as directed. After you have saved the clips to your phone, simply choose the trick you wish to edit, then select the clip. Smile once the clip is finished.
You can either add local music to your clip, or you can use the limited amount of royalty-free music available in the app.
Shot Lab makes it easy to create creative edits. Smart templates are constantly updated and will guide you through the most recent 360-degree camera techniques. This will help you master your edit.
Image and Video Quality
The Insta360 One R 1 inch Edition is the only reason you should buy it over other cheaper options, such as those we have listed in our guide to the most affordable action cameras.
All half-decent action cams have 1/2.3 inch sensors, even all GoPro Hero Black models. These sensors are about a quarter the size of a 1-inch chip. The four-fold increase in light gathering space allows for better dynamic range and low-light performance. However, it also introduces the practical problems of a larger chip and more lens elements.
Insta360 has solved the size problem, as you can see.
Compare an Insta360 One R 1-inch edition still from a 4K clip with one taken with the 4K Mod, and you will see the difference. You’ll still see minor clipped highlights when shooting in bright clouds with the sun visible. However, the 1-inch sensor image has brighter, cleaner, and more detailed areas of shadow.
Although the 4K mod has a lower resolution than the 1-inch model, it still has a 19MP resolution. However, the difference in detail in shadows is more due to sensor size than the sensor resolution.
What does this all mean for video? The Insta360 One R 1 inch Edition can shoot at up 5.3k/25p or 4K at 60 frames per second. These modes are great for shooting in bright sunlight.
The footage is sharp and contrasty, with a lot less detail in the corners than a phone’s wide-angle camera.
We are less concerned about one thing that could derail the otherwise excellent Insta360 Go and 4K mod. These cameras lose color fidelity and contrast immediately after you go under the tree cover. Although it isn’t a true low-light scene, it can still cause problems for action cameras.
Insta360 One R 1 inch Edition retains its image punchiness much better and is less susceptible to in-frame blurring. Action camera footage can become mushy when the light level drops. GoPro’s dominance has been due to its ability to hold onto its image quality in tough conditions. The Insta360 One R 1 inch Edition is no different. It holds up just as well without any deteriorated fingernails.
However, there is one problem with Insta360. If you take footage while running/cycling along a path, you might notice gravel detail appear to fade in the final file.
You’ll be able to see the differences frame by frame. Insta360’s processing will allow one frame to contain more fine texture detail. The noise reduction algorithm flips over between detail and noise every 30 seconds.
This is true regardless of the lighting conditions, and it is even more evident in bright sunlight. The Insta360 One R 1 inch Edition shines a light on the border between ‘noise and detail, making it the best Insta360 One R 1 inch Edition.
Insta360 has less robust processing than GoPro, but the GoPro Hero8 Black, as well as the GoPro Hero9 Black, are not nearly so susceptible to detail shimmer and fizz. Although the Insta360 app can be used to export clips, it does not have a “remove-noise” mode.
Is the Insta360 One R 1 inch Edition a dud? No.
The 1-inch sensor can take still images that are far better than those taken by a GoPro Hero 8 Black and 9 Black.
Even with the standard JPEG processing, there is far more detail at dusk than when you use the camera’s JPEG processing. DNGs are better than JPEGs, and Lightroom or Photoshop can be used to enhance the image quality.
Here you can really see the potential of the 1-inch sensor. Without creating a noise, you can extract a lot of detail from the shadows.
Insta360’s stabilization system is called FlowState. It is similar to GoPro’s HyperSmooth.
It’s amazing, as we discovered in the Insta360 One R 4K & Insta360 Go. You can still see motion judder if you use the ultra-wide view, which is close to the native. However, the more you crop, the smoother it becomes. Even when running, the default view of ‘wide’ is very smooth.
This is where the Insta360 One R 1 inch Edition’s large sensor comes in handy. The image will often appear soft if you use the narrowest field view on most action cameras. It’s not surprising, and it’s a digital zoom with some geometric correction.
The 1-inch sensor does a better job of cropping than others, even though there isn’t much more detail than a crop from the native ultra-wide view. This can be useful when you dig deeper and analyze the frame.
What about low light? The sensor difference between this camera and GoPro Hero 9 Black is too big for any GoPro processing magic. Insta360 One R 1 inch Edition’s low-light video is superior to the GoPro’s. It is brighter, cleaner, and more detailed.
But, be realistic about your expectations. Even with smaller sensors, high-end phones still have the ability to shoot video. In general, the Insta360 One R’s night vision still stinks.
The Insta360 One R’s large sensor does not automatically make it a camera that you would use for indie films. You can still use the shoestring lights you purchased from eBay.
Insta360 One R offers two additional video modes that you would expect from a high-end action camera: Timelapse or Timeshift. The latter is much more enjoyable to use.
Timeshift can increase motion up to 16x. This is a great effect for quick tours of sights while on holiday.
Again, the processing is done in Insta360 Studio or the phone app. It’s a hassle because 4K clips can take up to a minute to export on any platform. Because it uses standard-speed footage, the processing is still required. The edit is where you will see the 16x effect.
However, the results are excellent. The optional motion blur effect adds visual drama to the clip by blending the image data from multiple frames into one frame.
Timeshift, on the other hand, is much easier than GoPro’s TimeWarp. The mode automatically adjusts the speed of the footage according to the relative motion rate. You can also preview the results directly on the camera. The final file will not be rendered until you wait at least 30 minutes on your laptop.
Stills aren’t as troublesome, except for the occasional Insta360 crash while shooting them. As you’ll see, the still photos taken by the 1-inch sensor are of a higher quality than the GoPro Hero 8 Black and 9 Black.
Battery Life And Audio
Insta360 One R features a stereo microphone array. It has one mic at the top and one mic at the side.
The One R’s modular design affects microphone positioning and performance. The recorded audio is clear, but the GoPro Hero 8 Black or Hero 9 Black offer a better representation of the environment’s sounds.
The GoPros have a better dynamic range, and they produce deeper bass. Also, the Insta360 has a noise-bed that can be quite obvious if you are shooting in a quiet area.
If you want higher-quality images from the 1-inch sensor module’s 1-inch sensor module, an external microphone will be necessary. Insta360 sells a 3.5mm microphone adapter for One R – it plugs into the USB port and costs $9.99 / PS11.99 / AU$16.99
You will also need the housing with a cold-shoe mounting bracket ($19.99 / Ps21.99 / A.U. $48). It doesn’t come with any extra mount as it is intended for action cam buyers who use the built-in microphones.
The Insta360 One R can be used with standard 4K camera modules and is capable of recording video for up to 75 minutes. The time is reduced to 65 minutes when you use the 1-inch sensor camera.
Although we captured 65 minutes of video per charge, that was only because it took us a few days to shoot, and there were a lot of clips. There was also a lot of messing around with menus.
We are also happy to note that the Insta360 R’s battery can be used as a complete module and not just a single cell. However, additional units are available at a reasonable price. One Insta360 One R battery costs $30/PS30/AU$50, while a GoPro battery costs around $20/PS20/AU$35.
Insta360 sells a small, handy, fast charger dock that charges two batteries simultaneously. It retails for $43/PS43/AU$69.99.
How It Feels To Use
The modular system is easy to put together and feels sturdy, but it soon became apparent that not all parts are strong. After only a few days, the cover covering the Micro SD slot & USB-C ports fell off. The camera was able to recognize a Micro SD card inside it much easier without the cover. However, the camera was not waterproof because of the absence of a cover. Update: Insta360 has informed us that the camera’s door can be resealed in this scenario to ensure a waterproof seal of up to 5M.
It is hard to navigate the menu system quickly. The touchscreen is not responsive, and the interface is not intuitive. Also, changing settings takes a lot of effort. Once you have mastered the menus and set up the camera, it is easy to use. Just hit the record button at the top to take stills or start recording the video. Insta360 has released two firmware updates during my time with the camera. With any luck, the user experience with the camera will improve.
The Insta360 all-purpose tripod and the selfie stick are great for video shooting. Although the camera has Insta360’s FlowState photo stabilization, you can still shoot with it and get steady footage. However, I find it easier to have a good grip to hold onto when shooting.
The all-purpose tripod and the selfie-stick can help you get a better view of the scene. This is especially important if your dual-lens 360 mod is being used. For stills, I prefer to keep the camera in my hand. It’s small and compact, making it great for street photography.
Raw photos can be taken by the camera, but there is a noticeable delay between the recording button being pressed and the image is saved to the card. JPEG files from the 1-Inch mod averaged 6 M.B. with no noticeable lag.
The 360 mod was also available for me to try. The One R is intended for enthusiasts. However, the 360 mod can be used by professionals to capture BTS footage and unique perspectives at large events such as trade shows, festivals, or parades. Although the 360 mod can also serve as a webcam (although its behavior is unpredictable), it is an interesting tech given the increasing demand for high-quality live streaming content.
The app can be used to reframe 360 videos, add music, create multi-views, and adjust color and exposure. You can also export your footage to YouTube and Facebook from the app.
While the camera can hide in 360 footage, there will be distortion due to the user’s hands as the footage is stitched together. This is not a common problem with these types of devices. While the app makes editing 360 footage much easier, it is not your only option. You won’t have the ability to use the 360 files without first running the Insta360 app.
Continuous recording is possible as long as the camera has sufficient power and card capacity. The footage will be divided into files. After 30 minutes, the camera will create a new file if it is shooting 5K/30p/50p/3K/100p. After 90 minutes, the camera will create a new file when recording 4K/30p.
Although the battery’s capacity is 1190mAh, it can quickly run out if you shoot a lot. When I shot the band in the video (below), I had a full charge and found that the battery was in the red zone after I had filmed a 30-minute set. Although it is possible to charge the camera via USB, this arrangement may not be the best for an action camera.
You can check out other reviews here:
Insta360 One R is the perfect starter camera for 360 photography. Its price is relatively low, but the quality of photos and video is good. The camera itself looks quite original and is suitable for everyday use. Its design is very convenient, so you can take it with you every day or on a trip. You can always remember your adventures with Insta360 One.
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