Insta360’s cameras have been using the same 360 sensor setup for about three years, and now they’re getting a serious update. Will the quality compensate for the bulk?
This camera weighs 250 grams, which is about 100 grams heavier than Insta360’s usual ONE X2 and ONE RS 360 setup. However, it feels really good in your hand. Even though it’s constructed from three connecting pieces, the mounting bracket keeps things together nicely. A ONE X2 feels like a little brother next to it.
The new “1 inch 360 edition” is not a toy. Insta360 is aiming beyond the regular consumer here, with a price tag of $800. If this is the best handheld 360 camera Insta360 can conjure up, it will pique the interest of videographers, creators, and businesses alike. Next up is Insta360’s $4,500 Pro Camera. So I guess this upgraded mod is a happy medium between the two.
- 6K video up to 30p
- Two 1-inch CMOS sensors
- Two f/2.2 lenses, with a focal length of 6.52mm
- The imagery was “co-designed” with Leica
- Compatible with previous ONE R/RS configurations
- IPX3 water resistant, so not waterproof like the ONE X2
When the ONE RS was released earlier this year, I wondered if Insta360 would ever release a new module for the ecosystem. At the time, they only updated the 4K fixed lens mod. While this was a welcome update, it still didn’t seem like the promise of modularity and flexibility was being fulfilled.
However, with this 1 inch 360 mod, things are starting to make sense. Now users can choose between a standard 5.7K 360 module and this 6K 1 inch sensor version. If you already own an ONE R or RS, the cost to upgrade is $649.99. It’s not a cheap price, but again, this module is aimed at a high-end audience. That means the RS body alone is worth $150.
Theoretically, a ONE RS user will be able to shoot with the best portable 360 mod produced by Insta360 and its best fixed lens mod, all on the same SD card and the same camera. From a professional standpoint, I find the idea of having a single brand of action camera on set for multiple purposes quite appealing. This way, only one application is needed for post-processing. However, I wonder if larger productions will just rent Insta360’s Pro camera, which costs around $350 a week.
There aren’t actually many pro features included here that aren’t already on Insta360’s other cameras. This is largely because this mod uses the ONE R/RS body. This setup won’t be particularly better for larger scale productions, other than the improved image quality. Like other models, it can shoot in a log color profile and ProRes is available from the app, although it still records in H.264.
It has a single quarter-twenty thread mount under the camera, built into the bottom of the battery. Interestingly, the battery has extra slots to hook into its holder, but not the case that holds it together. SmallRig has already made a cage for the ONE R/RS, so I’m sure there is a market for a professional cage.
The device works well with Insta360’s radio mic support, especially for Rode’s GO radio mics. You can use a radio mic to jam the audible timecode into the Insta360, or at the very least give it a feed from a sound engineer. I also think you could use this holder for security cables. I’m not sure I want to mount it on a car or ceiling without a security cable. Fortunately, the setup can record while powered by an external power source. This will help with live productions, long delays, and anyone not looking to invest in multiple drum sets.
As far as bitrates go, the 1-inch mod through the ONE RS gets around 120 Mbps. That’s not huge for a 6K image. I feel like the arrival of the updated RS “brain” a few months ago should have brought higher bandwidth capabilities. This is probably why there are no significant slow motion features available on the 1 inch 360 edition.
360 video is definitely having a moment right now. Adding more options makes sense, but I’m actually quite surprised that Insta360 released the 1-inch 360 mod. It’s a pretty serious supplement. Therefore, I’m not sure people should consider upgrading if they already own a ONE R/RS. The stock 360 camera that comes with the ONE R/RS is great, as it’s identical to the ONE X2. If you plan to shoot your holiday videos in daylight, you’ll be fine.
Low light is better than ever. I wouldn’t use a 360 action camera much at night anyway, but for the first time I’d be comfortable enough to take out the 1 inch 360 edition in the evening. This is the best handheld 360 camera Insta360 has ever made, and in low light, it shows.
The full bundle costs $799.99, and the upgrade bundle is $649.99 if you already own the brains. That price isn’t nearly as enticing as Kandao’s QooCam 8K, which sits at around $2,000, or Theta’s Z1, at $1,050.
This module is super easy to use and also designed for serious tasks. Real estate, documentary shooters, prosumers and professional creatives will love it. 1-inch sensors provide reliability in uncertain shooting conditions. For the first time, I feel like I can actually deliver 360° captured content to my clients.