A detailed review of Insta360 One X: how to become a popular video blogger

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After getting acquainted with the very interesting Insta360 One camera, the creators of which radically rethought the scenarios

using panoramic cameras that shoot 360-degree video with two fisheye lenses, editorsggwatches further developments with curiositydevices from this manufacturer. Strictly speaking, the weakest point of the Insta360 One was its image quality, which was inferior to the capabilities of smartphone cameras that we had already become accustomed to. Therefore, the appearance of a new product on sale - Insta360 One X, in which the manufacturer not only took into account the shortcomings of the previous model, but also made several fundamental improvements in the design of the new model, caused an irresistible desire to twirl it in our own playful little hands. And the results fully correspond to all optimistic expectations - in just a year, Insta360 managed to create an even more interesting and versatile product that can compete with traditional action cameras both in price and in its wide possibilities for creativity, not to mention a pack of branded accessories, some of which are very unusual and interesting in their own way.

What is it?

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Insta360 One X is the successor to last year'sInsta360 One camera, the main feature of which is the ability to intelligently process 360-degree photos and videos. Using proprietary applications for computers and smartphones, this camera made it possible to create short videos with visual effects from photographs. And edit traditional FullHD video from a 360-degree stream, independently arranging smooth transitions when changing angles. The new Insta360 One X has a small round display; instead of the standard Lightning connector for connecting an iPhone (bye-bye, Apple, you are no longer a priority), a standard microUSB connector has appeared for using the camera with any smartphone. The battery has become removable and now, if desired, you can quickly “recharge” the camera by inserting a fresh one. It’s also possible to connect the camera via Wi-Fi and see the image on the smartphone screen in real time - this is what, for example, the Samsung Gear 360 (2017) can do.

What is in the box

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The delivery package has also changed - now it includesIncludes four USB cables for all camera connection options. The fishing line for shooting Bullet Time scenes was replaced with a more convenient cord, and instead of a hard case-stand, the kit included a neoprene pouch case. Another nice addition (I hope this comes with each camera and didn't end up in my box as a bonus promotional material given out by the distributor) is a set of stickers with the company logo. Over the last year, various companies have started making such stickers (and not only virtual ones, for Viber and Telegram). They can usually be found on the laptop covers of bloggers, journalists and travelers (often people combine two or three roles from this list). The picture below shows:

  1. Lanyard with bracket for shooting the Bullet Time effect
  2. lightning cable to connect camera to iphone / ipad
  3. fox cable with stickers
  4. microUSB cable for connecting the camera to a smartphone
  5. USB-C cable for connecting the camera to a smartphone
  6. USB-C cable for connecting the camera to a computer

All four cables have a microUSB plug at the other end for installation into the corresponding connector on the camera body.

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What does Insta360 One X look like?

The case is quite convenient (I always had to carry the previous Insta360 One in something similar, but not “native”), the external battery is installed in the connector on the side.

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At the bottom there is a slot for a microSD memory card and a tripod socket.

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At the top is a microphone

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Size comparison of Insta360 One X with Insta360 One:The body of the new product has become thinner, but longer. Insta360 lives in startup mode, changing new products at a speed that is inaccessible to most technology manufacturers. In just a year, in fact, a fundamentally different product was created in terms of user experience.

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The round display contains only 4 linestext. It’s a paradox, but the development of the application (and with the Insta360 One X a new one is required, the camera does not work with the old one) has not yet reached a level that allows you to select, for example, a shooting mode - all this needs to be done (at least for now, in a month or two the situation may may or may NOT change with the update) in the camera menu. One button on the body is used to move (in one direction - from top to bottom, you cannot move back) through the menu, the second is for selecting an item. The menu has 3 sections: photography, video and settings.

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What can Insta360 One X

Before we get to the real results.When shooting with a camera, it's worth going over its key features that set it apart from other cameras. The manufacturer's commercials will help with this - it's better to see all this once on video than to explain it for a long time. And then compare how the advertising picture differs from the real one as a result of use.

FlowState Stabilization

In general, video image stabilization is not enough todaywho will you surprise? In this case, everything is complicated only by the fact that the video from the 360-degree camera contains (although it may not exist in the real frame) stitching (stich) of the image from two fisheye lenses.

Bullet Time Effect

With this effect, readersggalready familiar from the Insta360 One review.In the video, it is done using a special accessory that is screwed onto a branded selfie stick (also sold separately) Invisible Selfie Stick (it is recognized by the software during processing and “stitching” of the video and is technically cut out of it). Together they allow you to achieve the best effect when shooting. If these accessories are not available, you have to be content with the special cord included in the kit, but in this case you need to train for a very long time so that the camera rotates in one plane - in practice this is not easy to achieve, and the camera can wobble so much that no FlowState can save you.

TimeShift effect

But this effect did not exist before.In essence, this is not a shooting effect, but an opportunity to speed up the video by 16 (step 2-4-8-16) times during editing. The beauty for the user is that all this editing can be done right on the smartphone using very simple tools in the app. That is, you no longer need a computer to get an effective vacation video.

Drift Shot Accessory

A new accessory designed specifically forInsta360 One X and only compatible with this camera is the “Drift Shot” shuttle. This video shows how it works: the camera is secured inside the shuttle with a screw, then the operator turns on the video and throws the Drift Shot like a paper airplane in the desired direction. And the desired result with spectacular angles can be easily and simply mounted on a computer or smartphone. In the end, the video turns out to be short, because the shuttle cannot fly for more than a couple of seconds. But in general, what distinguishes Insta360 on the market is the creation of new entities that complement the main capabilities of their cameras - 360-degree shooting.

What can Insta360 One X mobile app

The strangest thing is that to work with Insta360 One XThe same application as for Insta360 One is not suitable. You need to install a separate one (there is, of course, also for iOS). The reason for this move is, among other things, the change in file format (for example, I could not open files shot on the Insta360 One X on my computer in the application for Insta360 One - a corresponding error message appeared). Although the end user, of course, will not notice all this if he has not used a previous camera before. The appearance of the application is constantly undergoing some cosmetic changes, but the ideology remains the same: 4 sections at the bottom of the screen and a button for shooting. It’s good that the developers immediately create a version in Russian. The first section, “Feed,” is, as before, its own version of Instagram, where you can publish your pictures, subscribe to other users and like.

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The “Training” section is new - take a look at it againmore interesting, because there Insta360 publishes interesting options for creating spectacular pictures and short videos using its cameras. Each example is accompanied by a short video of how it was filmed and what accessories were needed. What impressed me the most was the drone effect. The camera must be placed on a 3-meter pole, which must be lifted and carried by an assistant for several meters. The resulting video really looks like it was shot by a drone - the camera starts “flying” at the level of the character’s face, and then sharply goes up and flies several meters away. The wide-angle camera makes objects look much further away than they actually are, which creates the desired effect. In general, an interesting section for enthusiastic users - the company intelligently unites its fans, constantly offering them new tricks (I’m sure that the developers didn’t even come up with most of them themselves, but picked them up from users with imagination). In general, all this reflects the ideology of the camera - it’s about creativity, directed videos and photos that make an impression.

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The gallery consists of three sections: photos, videos and separate clips for the Bullet Time effect (in this mode, the camera shoots at high speed to achieve the same effect of slowing down). The files themselves are stored in .insp formats for photos and .insv for video. They can be converted to JPG and MP4 either in a smartphone or on a computer.

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The application settings have become frankly poorer.Or the developers simply haven’t gotten around to the existing functionality for Insta360 One yet. What surprised me most was that you can’t select a shooting mode in the application - all this is only available from the menu of the camera itself, which is not very convenient. Previously, it was possible to assign shooting modes by triple pressing a button on the body, but now this is not the case. I would like to hope that the application will develop (for the Chinese, everything happens quickly - while I was writing this review, the firmware changed twice in a month). The “Additional camera settings” section is also touching: there you can calibrate the stitching and turn on the shutter sound.

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How to make and publish 360-degree shots

The simplest thing you can do with a cameraInsta360 One X is a 360-degree panoramic photo. It can be published on Facebook or Google Street View, as well as on specialized services (I personally use Kuula). After opening a photo file, you can view it in one of three (actually four, but visually Fisheye is not much different from Perspective): Fisheye, Tiny Planet and Crystal Ball. Anyone who has ever worked with panoramic cameras knows what it looks like; those who don’t know can see it in the screenshots below. You can add stickers and apply a filter, then click the export button. And there you can choose where to send the photo. There are Facebook and Twitter, Instagram, Google Street View (the photo must have a geotag) and WhatsApp with YouTube. I most often post to my smartphone album. More examples of 360-degree images taken with this camera can be found in a separate gallery on the Kuula website.

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The application allows you to do from source imagesThree types of content: 360-degree panoramic shots (6080x3040 pixels in size), regular “flat” shots and short 9-second videos with visual effects.

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Examples of shots on the street, made by Insta360 One X

All examples shooting Insta360 One X made in SanFrancisco (we have a separate beautiful longrid photo report about this city, Silicon Valley and Stanford, I highly recommend reading, you will not regret it). The camera has a shooting mode in HDR, but I, the right word, do not observe much difference. Here is the City Hall (City Hall) of San Francisco. Next to it was the presentation of the Samsung Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Fold.

In the image settings you can activate stitchingOptical Flow, turn on auto horizon correction and select HDR mode (only for pictures taken in this mode). But, to be honest, I either don’t see much of a difference after all these manipulations, or I just haven’t looked at many examples yet.

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Here is a comparison of two pictures taken with and without HDRhim. To be honest, it seems to me that the developers did not put in enough effort - the difference is somehow insignificant, or I didn’t have any successful examples at hand.

And you can also watch a 360-degree snapshot in the cardboard - for this there is a separate visualization mode.

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This is the Palace of Arts in San Francisco. The nearby park with a pond is a great place for a stroll and hosts various theater performances and dance competitions.

The city’s business card is the Golden Gate Bridge with a well-equipped observation platform.

Another legendary place of the city - Pier 39 withsea ​​lions Besides them, no one here is lying on the beach - the water temperature all year round is only 7 degrees, despite the fact that it is California. It's all about the cold coastal course.

The view of the city from the other side of the strait is from Treasure Island (seriously, that's what it is called).

Examples of indoor photos taken by Insta360 One X

The interior of the restaurant near Pier 39. Crabs, sea bastards, and that's it. It should be said that the camera's capabilities have increased significantly compared with Insta360 One (although the price has increased).

Another San Francisco attraction is the cable car. This is a tram without an engine, which pulls a special cable placed under the rail rails.

And this is the interior of the souvenir shop on the Stanford campus. There is practically no difference in the quality of the picture compared to taking pictures on the street.

And here the conditions for shooting are worse: this is the interior of the church, standing at the entrance to the Stanford campus and built in memory of the founder of the university, his widow.

And to appreciate the holiday atmosphere of the presentation of the Samsung Galaxy S10 - a frame from the hall where it took place:

Just a shot in the room. This is the interior of the hotel.

Sample Twilight Shot by Insta360 One X

Here is a shot taken in the evening. The quality of flagship smartphones is not up to the mark; the camera shoots about the same as a $300 smartphone.

In addition to panoramic images from an insp file, you cantake a regular photo - in the export menu there is a “screenshot” section where you can select the image format: 16:9, 4:3, 9:16 or 1:1. As a result, from the original size 6080x3040, a picture of 5404x3040, 4052x3040 or 3040x3040 pixels is obtained. In this case, you can rotate the image inside the source as much as you like, choosing any advantageous angle - from a “crystal ball” to a “small planet”.

How to make clips from panoramic images with effects

Insta360 wouldn't be itself without all thesevisual tricks. What distinguishes the company from all other manufacturers of panoramic cameras is its software, which allows you to create various “tricks” from the original 360-degree images. There are 8 transition templates in total, which result in 9-second videos with FullHD resolution. In the previous version of the application, these effects could only be published on your own Instagram (and therefore, in the Insta360 One review, these effects were demonstrated in the form of inserts from the Insta360 service), now they are available for publishing as videos on social networks or saving as MP4- file in the phone memory. Which, of course, is correct - the user receives the source file and decides where to publish it. By the way, now this same functionality is already available for buyers and owners of Insta360 One, but it’s still strange that the company releases a separate application for each camera.

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Better to see once than hear a hundred times. I like the “Group Photo” effect the most - it allows you to see a panoramic photo on the screen, without resorting to special services and unnecessary movements:

1. "Meeting"

2. "Sky"

3. "The little planet disappears"

4. "Couple"

5. "A small planet in 360 panorama"

6. "360 panorama in a small planet"

7. "360 panorama in the crystal ball"

8. “Group photo”

How to make a Bullet Time effect

God be with them, with photos, but the beauty of Insta360 cameras isthe fact that you don’t need a computer to edit and publish videos. The developers managed to reduce all efforts to simple actions that can be easily performed with your fingers on your phone. To turn a video shot with the Bulet Time effect into a “feel like the creator of the Matrix” video, open the file, select the beginning and end of the video. Then we select a filter (if you really want to, I’m not a fan) and a sound track. Select the playback speed - you can create as many segments as you like with a playback speed from 1/2 to 4x acceleration.

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Then click on the export button, choose where to download the file (you can go to the phone’s gallery, you can go directly to YouTube or Facebook), and here’s the result:

How to edit videos in Insta360 One X

But the most interesting thing, of course, is the possibilitiesshooting videos that Insta360 opens in its new cameras. The ability to shoot 360-degree video and then edit FullHD video from it, “unfolding” the camera if necessary, appeared in Insta360 One. And the only thing that could be criticized was the soapy picture, which did not allow it to stand on par with the best action cameras. The image quality of the Insta360 One X has changed radically, and the editing software has been taught new tricks, such as speeding up video up to 64x!

There are several tools available for installation −trimming, adding an audio track of 6 melodies (by the way, the audio track is only superimposed on the entire video and only if there is no acceleration in it - there is still room for improvement, not to mention the fact that you cannot add your own audio file). The most interesting nons, of course, are the video acceleration tools and the proprietary FreeCapture, which has changed little and still consists of three important functions that make it easy to make cool videos. The most commonly used tool is the Pivot Point - you just need to select the desired angle and click on the button - the program will make a smooth transition itself. In my experience, the distance between changes in perspective should be at least 5 seconds - then the change occurs smoothly. Although, if the angle does not need to be changed, but only slightly adjusted, slightly shifted, you can place these dots (in the screenshots they are yellow in the timeline) you can place them at least every second. The Smart Track tool is useful where you need to focus on a moving object - when converting video, the object located in the center of the frame when you press this button will be in the center of the frame - the camera will “itself” change the angle of the video . Finally, the third tool - ViewFinder (viewfinder) allows you to change the presentation of the video, using the entire palette of spherical video distortion from “small planet” to “crystal ball”. In practice, this can be used for slight zooming or creating quick transitions between changes in angles, if those same 5 seconds are simply not available in the editing.

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Examples of videos shot on Insta360 One X

Let's start with a simple example - video acceleration(TimeShift). The six-minute passage from the embankment to Pier 39 with the seals in San Francisco turned out due to the acceleration squeeze to a minute. It became not so boring and even, on the contrary, fun.

Well, and, of course, any video can be saved as a 360-degree video clip, which you can, for example, publish on YouTube. To do this, simply select the appropriate tab when saving.

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The same video in 360 looks like this (in this case there is no Shot On Insta360 One X watermark in the lower right corner of the frame). Do not forget to twist the angle with the mouse during playback:

Similarly, accelerated video with a walk around Stanford. Here, a frame change was used more often, so that satellites and random people would fall less into it:

And with the help of all these tricks you canturn static 360-degree video into an interesting panoramic. This video was shot from one point, where I just stood in one place for a minute. Also in this video, the ViewFinder effect was used to zoom:

And in this video, at the observation deck next toGolden Gate bridge, used the Smart Purpose tool (note the bridge layout in the frame - I just walked past, but the video looks as if the camera was specifically aimed at it:

In fact, the camera is not only suitable forshort videos, it can be used to shoot and the whole story. For example, what came out of a 20-minute trip to Cable Car. Throughout the trip, I just sat holding a selfie stick over my head, but this can't be said from the video:

Video editing on computer

With that, the desktop version of the application forVideo editing (the latest version is called Insta360 Studio 2019) has less functionality for all these visual effects with video, it is not without certain advantages. If the mobile application focuses on entertainment and social networks, then this application is a tool for work. Two things are worth noting: the video mounted in the desktop application does not have a watermark in the lower right corner of the video. And allows you to additionally manage the change of transitions between the change of plan in the video. Actually, compared with the situation a year ago, nothing has changed.

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A few words should be said about the accessories for thiscameras: Insta360, as a real manufacturer of action cameras, produces a large number of a wide variety of mounts that can satisfy fans of extreme types of entertainment: here you can find mounts with a strap for the head and forearm (this is exactly what I used), mounts for helmets and bicycles, and even a mount for DJI Mavic drone. There is a separate GPS tracker that allows you to overlay your route on the video image. But among the mandatory accessories, I would mention the branded selfie stick, which the Insta360 software can cut out from a video (well, with flaws, but if you don’t know that you are holding a stick, it’s unlikely that anyone will pay attention to it, even if you look closely). And I also like the special accessory for Bullet Time - it is more reliable than a rope, which you still need to learn how to rotate in one plane. Well, it would be interesting to try Drift Shot - the one in the form of a paper airplane for launching the camera and recording in flight.

This video was filmed entirely fromusing an accessory that allows you to attach the camera to your forearm. And this shooting option opens up new opportunities for video bloggers. In fact, your hands remain completely free (during the shooting, I also took pictures with my phone camera at the same time). At the same time, the proprietary FlowState stabilization worked very well (although, if you really want to, you can, of course, find fault) in both leveling the horizon line and stitching. In general, see for yourself. In a couple of fragments, I specially made transitions so that the camera on the forearm was visible (the camera itself, of course, is not visible - the Insta360 logo is drawn in its place).

Prices for accessories for Insta360 One X:

  • waterproof case for underwater photography – $89
  • Invisible Selfie Stick: Selfie Stick - $ 16
  • Bullet Time Bandle: Selfie stick with handle for Bullet Time effect - $55
  • a telescopic three-meter rod for cinematic effects (for example, a drone flying or flying a camera) - $ 69
  • charging station for 2 batteries - $ 49
  • external GPS module - $ 49
  • Drifter for incredible photos and videos - $30
  • Headbands, wrists, helmets, etc. - in the range

Prices and competitive environment

The manufacturer prices this camera at $400.The price tag in Rozetka is at 13,470 hryvnia at the time of publication of this review. The excellent action camera Sony FDR-X3000 (we have a review of it) falls into this price category with a price of 12,000 hryvnia. The GoPro HERO 7 Black camera currently costs the same amount. While losing to both in price, the Insta360 One X boasts a different vision of entertainment through video shooting and camera use cases. It makes sense to buy it for lovers of experiments, those who want to bother with editing and effects. And at the same time, he will prefer a completely mobile approach to work, when the computer is completely excluded from the process of filming, editing, and publishing videos on the Internet. Simply put, the Insta360 One X is an alternative to traditional action cameras with special capabilities in the form of 360-degree photography and videography. And the resulting wide opportunities for creative experiments that are unavailable to old-school cameras.

Bottom line

Insta360 has done some serious work onredesigned its revolutionary One 360-degree camera and fixed any potential irritation issues in record time. I’ll list it, starting with the most important thing: the quality of shooting has noticeably increased—the blurring of the picture has disappeared. The camera can be regularly connected not only to the iPhone - all the necessary cables are included in the package. The battery was made removable (if desired, you can buy an additional one and quickly bring the camera back to life even in the field). Video resolution has increased from 3840x1920 to 5760x2880. One of the irritating factors left is a residue from the computer application, which does not allow, as before, editing Bullet Time, and a bunch of other functions and effects too. In fact, we are dealing with a rare case when the capabilities of a mobile application (at least in terms of entertainment) are superior to the desktop one. The only thing in which the desktop application is better is batch conversion of source photos in INSP format into standard JPGs - on the phone you cannot send fifty files for conversion at once. Well, the absence of a watermark may also be important for someone. As a result, we have, devoid of all the main shortcomings of its predecessor, a very interesting camera that this time can truly compete with action cameras. Although this is rather not direct competition, but an alternative tool with rich and interesting possibilities for creativity, which the manufacturer is constantly adding to. Finally, someone realized that software is more important than hardware.

Insta360 One X Camera Specifications

Ambarella H22

18 MP (6080x3040) x 2 pcs


Light sensitivity of the matrix
ISO 100–3200

1/8000 s &#8211; 55 s

Image stabilization
"6-axis" gyroscope

microSD memory card with a capacity of up to 128 GB (not included)

Photo format
INSP, RAW, conversion to JPG, 6080x3040

Video format
INSV, conversion to MP4, H.264 codec, 5760x2880@30 fps, 3840x1920@50 fps, 3840x1920@30 fps, 3008x1504@100 fps

Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 BLE, microUSB

removable, 1200 mAh (about an hour of video shooting)

115x48x28 mm

115 g

Contents of delivery
camera, case, cord with bracket for shooting Bullet Time, set of USB cables (lightning, microUSB, USB-C, USB), stickers

5 reasons to buy Insta360 One X:

  • the ultimate 360-degree consumer camera;
  • a huge scope for creative video experiments;
  • a good mobile application that allows you to mount videos directly in your smartphone;
  • compatible with any smartphone;
  • an original gift for those who love to experiment and make videos.

2 reasons not to buy Insta360 One X:

  • editing video on the phone is not for you;
  • price tag bites.

Insta360 One X

Camera to help become a popular video blogger

By putting software at the forefrontInsta360 One X is capable of replacing several cameras and operators at once, allowing you to direct the final video image from different angles of a 360-degree flow. A large number of branded accessories and constant work on the creation of new visual effects right in the mobile application, makes this camera in demand for all fans of experiments with video.

Buy at Rozetka

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Editor's Choice

Thank you

Editorial&nbsp;gg&nbsp;thanks to Drone.UA&nbsp;for kindly providing the camera for this review.