Getting the best shot is what it’s all about when it comes to taking photos and videos. Whether that’s on your smartphone or your GoPro. But what if you could capture more, that’s where something like a 360 camera can come in.
I’ve been testing out Insta360’s One X camera for the past few weeks and while there is some room for improvement, the One X is a great 360 camera.
Design & Hardware
On the outside of the One X, it shares a very similar design to LG’s 360 camera for the G5 from a few years ago. The camera is fairly lightweight at just 115g with the battery installed. The outside of the One X has a soft-touch coating that makes it easier to grip in the hands.
The aperture on the One X is F2.0 and since it’s a 360 camera, you have two 200-degrees fisheye lenses. On one side of the camera, you have a small screen to see which mode you’re in, a shutter/select button and below it is the power on/off button. You have the microUSB port on one side of the camera and the battery compartment on the other.
One grip I have with the One X is that it still uses a microUSB port while other similar cameras have shifted towards USB-C. The bottom of the One X has the microSD card slot (up to 128GB) and tripod connection.
The battery in the One X is 1,200 mAh and while the camera isn’t actually waterproof, the company does offer cases to make it. Depending on what resolution you’re shooting in, the battery can seem quite short (about an hour) but thankfully you can easily swap out the battery.
You can record up to 5.7K video at 25, 24 or 30fps, 4K at 50 or 30 fps and 3K at 100 fps. There’s also the option of shooting 18-megapixel photos as well as HDR photos/videos, time-lapse and something called Bullet time.
Bullet time basically lets you swing the camera around in a circle to capture videos for some cool shots. Even though it’s a 360 camera, I wish there was an option to shoot with just one of the lenses instead of both.
The Insta360 One X is available now from the company’s website, Amazon.ca and Apple for around $549.99 CAD ($399 USD) but for Black Friday, the company is offering its camera down to $465 CAD ($339 USD). To put that into perspective, GoPro’s 360-camera, Max retails for $669 CAD.
Insta360 also offers quite a few accessories for their One X camera. Some include:
- Invisible Selfie Stick
- Battery/Charging Dock
- Venture Case
- Dive Case
- Drone Mount
- All-Purpose Tripod
- Drifter (basically turns your camera into a football)
Camera Image Quality
As mentioned earlier, the One X can shoot up to 5.7K video at up to 30 fps. I found myself shooting at 4K instead.
Videos taken on the Insta360 One X look great thanks to the company’s FlowState Stabilization. There’s lots of detail that can be seen and pops of colour. The company wants people to use the One X like an action camera and having shaky footage can make or break it.
Insta360’s FlowState stabilization is on par with GoPro’s stabilization on their cameras. Photos on the One X also look good.
The user interface on the One X is fairly easy. Once you turn on the camera, to switch between modes, just press the smaller button to go from photo to video to settings. The bigger button the camera will be used as a select button, especially in the settings menu.
The screen on the One X is fairly small and monochrome and can sometimes be hard to read. Thankfully, there’s also a smartphone app for the camera which lets you import photos and videos and share them on social media.
The app is divided into a few sections, the is called Explore which is like your feed on Instagram. Next is Album which shows you all imported media from your camera. The next is the Camera icon which lets you connect to your One X via Wi-Fi (which is fairly quick to import).
The tab after that is Tutorials which lets you see Beginner and Advanced tutorials to better use your One X. The last is settings which are pretty self-explanatory.
One cool thing about the One X app is the built-in video editor. When you are reviewing your video, you can actually reposition where the camera is pointing with something called a Pivot Point.
After creating a few Pivot Points in my footage, you can actually see the camera start to move Basically, it allows you to set up your shots after shooting. You can choose which aspect ratio you want you videos including 16:9 or 9:16/9:16 Wide, 2.35:1 or 1:1/1:1 Wide.
In addition to Pivot Points, you can use the FreeCapture with something called ViewFinder which lets you turn your phone and use it as a camera viewfinder. The other option in FreeCapture is SmartTrack that lets you track people and objects in a shot.
Once you’re done with your video, you have the option to export your video as either FixFrame or as a 360 video. Videos you do export through the app’s video editor will be in 1080p.
Overall, the Insta360 One X is a brilliant 360 camera in a small package that offers smooth stabilization, great video quality and fun to use editing tools.
- Great video quality (at up to 5.7K)
- FlowState Stabilization works well
- Solid build quality
- Relatively easy to use
- Video editing tools are fun and can make for some cool shots
- Battery life is short
- No USB-C (uses microUSB instead)
- No waterproofing without a case