The new Insta360 One X is a brilliant 360-degree camera, which shouldn’t surprise anyone who tried last year’s Insta360 One.
I’ve been using the One X for two weeks or so now. Apart from some beta hiccups, which the company promises will be fixed by launch, the One X delivers image quality in spades. It shoots amazing video in incredibly high 5,760×2,880-pixel resolution.
The One X has a new look, with a flatter, rectangular body and soft-touch rubber material that’s been selected so the device won’t turn sticky if you use it too long. It’s more pocketable than the Insta360 One and is easier to hold.
The button setup is simple. There’s one to turn the One X on and one to start recording. The power button is a touch too sensitive. It’ll turn on if you even nudge it by accident when it’s in your pocket. But Insta360 says it’s planning to tweak the button so it’ll only turn on the camera when there’s a long press.
The One X has two modes: picture and video. You can connect it to your phone over Wi-Fi to see what you’re filming, unlike the older One, which needed to be plugged into a phone.
The battery will give you an hour of continuous shooting even when connected to the phone. If that’s not enough, the 1,200-mAh battery is removable, so you can always swap in a fresh one if you’re going to be filming for a long time.
Other cool features include bullet time, which was available in last year’s One, and waterproof casings for underwater shooting. There’s also a case you can use to throw the One X in the air like a dart, which lets you capture cool action shots.
Low-light performance is even better than the One’s, and I was impressed by the detail its 18-megapixel pictures captured without getting grainy. HDR capabilities also meant video and images don’t get blown out, too. An upcoming update will add stabilization switch for low-light mode — currently you have to manually adjust the shutter.
(Note: We had some test shots embedded here to show you, but Insta’s servers are giving errors. We’ll replace them when we can get them working.)
If you want a fancy shot that looks like the kind you’d get from a drone, you can do that too — the One X automatically removes selfie sticks from your photos, as you can see above. You can also take sped-up hyperlapse shots and frame a video’s point of view. In short, it’s a camera that lets you shoot first and figure out the particulars of your shot in the editing process.
It’s similar to GoPro’s OverCapture feature, and can be done right from the phone app. Insta360 says it will also make available desktop software for editing and exporting in 5,760×2,880-pixel resolution. Using the phone app will downscale the quality to full-HD when you’re exporting your edited video. There will also be a plugin for Adobe Premier Pro.
If you like what you’re reading so far, the Insta360 One X is available now, for $400 (about £330 or AU$565), which is about $100 more than the Insta360 One cost at launch.
Insta360 One X specs Weight: 4.05 ounces (115 grams)
Video resolution: 5,760×2,880 pixels at 30fps, 3,840×1,920 pixels at 50fps, 3,840×1,920 pixels at 30fps, 3,008×1,504 pixels at 100fps
Video encoding: H.264
Live streaming: Yes
Storage: Up to 128GB microSD card