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 camera Insta360 One, the creators of which radically rethought the scenarios

using panoramic cameras that shoot 360-degree video with two fisheye lenses, edited gg curiously observes further developmentdevices from this manufacturer. Strictly speaking, the weakest spot of Insta360 One was the image quality, which was inferior to the capabilities of the cameras of smartphones, to which we already had time to get used. Therefore, the appearance on sale of the novelty - 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 overwhelming desire to turn it into its own playful little hands. And the results are in line with all optimistic expectations - in just a year Insta360 managed to make an even more interesting and versatile product that can compete with traditional action cameras in price and in terms of its wide possibilities for creativity, not to mention the bundle of branded accessories, part of which are very unusual and interesting in their own way.

What is it?


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Insta360 One X - is the heir of last yearInsta360 One cameras, the main feature of which was the ability to intelligently handle 360-degree photos and videos. With the help of branded applications for computers and smartphones, this camera allows you to create short videos with visual effects from still images. And install traditional FullHD-video from a 360-degree flow, independently arranging smooth transitions when changing the angle. The new Insta360 One X has a small round display, instead of the regular lightning connector for connecting the iPhone (bye bye, Apple, you are no longer in priority) a standard microUSB connector appears 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. And it became possible to connect the camera via Wi-Fi and see the picture on the smartphone screen in real time - for example, Samsung Gear 360 (2017) can do it.

What is in the box


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The delivery set has changed - now it isFour USB cables come in at once for all camera connection options. The line for shooting Bullet Time scenes was replaced with a more comfortable cord, and instead of a solid case-stand in the kit was a neoprene cover-pouch. Another nice addition (I hope it will be with each camera, and was not in my box as a bonus promotional material issued by the distributor) - a set of stickers with the company logo. In the past year, such labels began to be made by different companies (and not only virtual ones, for VibER and Telegram). Usually they can be found on the covers of laptops of bloggers, journalists and travelers (often people combine two or three roles from this list). The picture below posted:

  1. cord with bracket for shooting bullet time effect
  2. lightning cable to connect camera to iphone / ipad
  3. fox cable with stickers
  4. microUSB cable to connect the camera to the smartphone
  5. USB cable to connect the camera to the smartphone
  6. USB cable to connect the camera to the computer

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


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What does Insta360 One X look like?

The cover is quite comfortable (the previous Insta360 One I always had to wear in about the same, but not “native”), an 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 case of the novelty has become thinner, but longer. Insta360 lives in a startup mode, changing new products with a speed that is unavailable to most equipment manufacturers. In just one year, in fact, a fundamentally different product has been created in terms of user experience.


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Only 4 lines fit on the round display.text. It’s a paradox, but the development of the application (and with Insta360 One X a new one is required, the old one doesn’t work) has not yet reached a level that allows you to choose, for example, the shooting mode - you need to do it all change with the update, and maybe NOT change) in the camera menu. One button on the case serves to move (in one direction - from top to bottom, it is impossible to move back) through the menu, the second - to select an item. The menu has 3 sections: photography, video shooting and settings.


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What can Insta360 One X

Before turning to real resultsshooting the camera, it is worth running through its key features that are different from other cameras. This will help the commercials of the manufacturer - all this is better to see once on the video than a long time to explain. And then we compare how the advertising picture differs from the present as a result of use.

FlowState Stabilization

Generally, video stabilization is not enough todaywho will surprise In this case, everything is complicated only by the fact that video from a 360-degree camera contains (although in the real frame it may not be) gluing (stich) images from two fisheye lenses.

Bullet Time Effect

With this effect, readers gg already familiar with the Insta360 One review. In the video, it is done using a special accessory that is screwed to the original selfie stick (also sold separately) with the 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 a better effect when shooting. If these accessories are not available, you have to be content with a special cord 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 stagger so much that no FlowState can save you.

TimeShift effect

But this effect was not there before. In essence, this is not the effect of shooting, but the ability to speed up the installation of a clip by 16 (step 2-4-8-16). The beauty for the user is that all this editing can be done directly in the smartphone using very simple tools in the application. That is, to get a spectacular video from the holidays no longer need a computer.

Drift Shot Accessory

New accessory created specifically forInsta360 One X and compatible only with this camera - the “Drift Shot” shuttle. In this video you can see how it works: the camera is fixed inside the shuttle with a screw, then the operator turns on the video and throws the Drift Shot like a paper airplane in the right direction. And the desired result with spectacular views is already easily mounted on a computer or smartphone. Video, in the end, it turns out short, because the shuttle can not fly longer than a couple of seconds. But in general, Insta360 is what distinguishes the creation of new entities in the market that are complementary to the basic capabilities of their cameras - 360-degree shooting.

What can Insta360 One X mobile app

The strangest thing is to work with Insta360 One XThe same application does not work as for Insta360 One. You need to install a separate (there is, of course, for iOS). The reason for this move lies, among other things, in changing the file format (for example, I could not open files on Insta360 One X on my computer, in the application for Insta360 One, an appropriate error message appeared). Although the end user, of course, will not notice all this if he has not previously used the previous camera. The appearance of the application constantly undergoes 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 “Ribbon” is, as before, its own version of Instagram, where you can post your pictures, subscribe to other users and put likes.


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The "Training" section is new - look into it again.more interesting, because there Insta360 publishes interesting options for creating spectacular shots and short videos with the help of their cameras. Each example is accompanied by a short video of how it was filmed and what accessories were needed. What impressed me most was the drone effect. The camera must be placed on a 3-meter pole, which the assistant must lift and carry a few meters. The resulting video really looks like a drone shot - the camera begins to “fly” at the level of the character’s face, and then abruptly goes up and flies a few meters. Because of the wide-angle camera, the objects look much farther than it actually is, which creates the desired effect. In general, an interesting section for enthusiastic users - the company competently unites its fans, constantly offering them new tricks (I am sure that most of them were not even invented by the developers, but were caught by the users with a fantasy). In general, all this reflects the ideology of the camera - it's about creativity, staged 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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Application settings have become frankly poorer. Or the developers just haven't gotten to the existing functionality for the Insta360 One. Most of all I was surprised that the application can not select the shooting mode - all this is available only from the menu of the camera itself, which is not very convenient. Previously, it was possible to assign shooting modes to triple pressing the button on the case, now it is not. I would like to hope that the application will develop (the Chinese have everything going fast - while I wrote this review, the firmware changed twice in a month). Still touches the “Advanced Camera Settings” section: you can calibrate the stitching and turn on the shutter sound.


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How to make and publish 360-degree shots

The easiest thing to do with the cameraInsta360 One X is a panoramic 360-degree photo. It can be published on Facebook or Google Street View, as well as on specialized services (I personally use Kuula). After opening a file with a photo, you can view it in one of three (in fact, four, but visually Fisheye differs little from Perspective): Fisheye, Tiny Planet and Crystal Ball. Anyone who has ever worked with panoramic cameras know how it looks, who does not know, can see in the screenshots below. You can add stickers and apply a filter, then click the export button. And there already choose where to send the picture. There are Facebook and Twitter, Instagram, Google Street View (the image must have a geotag) and WhatsApp from YouTube. I most often send to the album of the smartphone. 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 settings of the picture, you can activate the stitchingOptical Flow, enable autocorrection of the horizon and select the HDR mode (only for images taken in this mode). But, to be honest, I either do not see much difference after all these manipulations, or just not enough examples have been considered.


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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 didn’t put in enough effort - a slight difference, well, or I didn’t have good 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 the Arts in San Francisco. Near the park with a pond - a great place for walks, there are various theatrical 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. Before the quality of the flagship smartphones does not reach, the camera shoots about as a smartphone for $ 300.

In addition to panoramic images from the insp-file, you canmake an ordinary photo - in the export menu there is a section “screenshot”, where you can choose the image format: 16: 9, 4: 3, 9:16 or 1: 1. As a result, from the original 6080x3040 in size we get a snapshot of the size of 5404х3040, 4052х3040 or 3040х3040 pixels. In this case, you can arbitrarily rotate the image inside the source, choosing any advantageous angle - from the "crystal ball" to the "small planet".

How to make clips from panoramic images with effects

Insta360 wouldn't be by itself without all of these.visual tricks. The company is just what distinguishes it from all other manufacturers of panoramic cameras, its software, which makes it possible to do various "tricks" from the original 360-degree images. There are a total of 8 transition patterns, which result in 9-second FullHD video clips being created. In the previous version of the application, these effects could be published only in our own instagram (and therefore in the Insta360 One review, these effects were shown as inserts from the Insta360 service), now they are available for publication as videos on social networks or saved as MP4- file in the phone’s memory. Which, of course, is correct - the user receives the source file and decides for himself where to publish it. By the way, now the 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 bless them, with photos, but the beauty of Insta360 camerasthat the installation and publication of video also does not need a computer. The developers have managed to reduce all efforts to simple actions that are easy to perform with your fingers on the phone. To turn a captured video with the Bulet Time effect into a “feel yourself the creator of the Matrix” movie, open the file, select the beginning and end of the movie. Then we select the filter (if you really want, I'm not a fan) and the sound track. Select the playback speed - you can create as many segments as you like with 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 mount video in Insta360 One X

But the most interesting, of course, is the possibilities.shooting video that opens Insta360 in their new cameras. The ability to shoot a 360-degree video and then install FullHD-video from it, “unfolding” the camera if necessary, appeared in the Insta360 One. And the only thing that caused the complaints could be her - a soapy picture, which did not allow her to stand in one row with the best action cameras. The image quality of Insta360 One X has changed dramatically, and editing software taught new tricks, for example, video acceleration up to 64 times!

Several tools are available for installation -trimming, adding a sound track of 6 melodies (by the way, the sound track overlaps only the entire video and only if there is no acceleration in it - there is still something to improve, not to mention the fact that you cannot add your sound file). Nonty the most interesting, of course, are video acceleration tools and proprietary FreeCapture, which has changed little and still consists of three important functions that make it easy to make cool videos. The most frequently used tool is the Pivot Point - you just need to select the desired angle and press the button - the program will make a smooth transition by itself. In my experience, the time interval between the change of the angle should be at least 5 seconds - then the change takes place smoothly. Although, if the perspective needs not to be changed, but only slightly corrected, slightly shifted, you can arrange these points (in the screenshots they are yellow in the mounting tape) you can put them at least every second. The Smart Target tool (Smart Track) is useful where you need to focus on a moving object - when converting a video, the object located in the center of the frame while clicking on this button will be in the center of the frame - the camera will “change” the angle to video . Finally, the third tool - ViewFinder (viewfinder) allows you to change the presentation of the video, using the entire palette of distortion of the spherical video from the “small planet” to the “crystal ball”. In practice, this can be used for small zooming or creating quick transitions between a change of angle, if those 5 seconds on the installation simply do not exist.


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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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Accessories

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

This video is completely filmed usingaccessory that allows you to mount the camera on the forearm. And this shooting option opens up new opportunities for video bloggers. In fact, my hands remain completely free (I also took pictures of the camera with the phone while I was shooting). At the same time, the proprietary stabilization of FlowState is very good (although, if you really want to, then you can, of course, find fault), both the alignment of the horizon line and the stitching work. In general, see for yourself. In a couple of fragments, I specifically made the transitions so that the camera on the forearm could be seen (the camera itself, of course, is not visible - in its place the Insta360 logo is drawn).

Prices for accessories for Insta360 One X:

  • Underwater Waterproof Case - $ 89
  • Invisible Selfie Stick: Selfie Stick - $ 16
  • Bullet Time Bandle: Selfie Bar with Grip 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 shots and videos - $ 30
  • Headbands, wrists, helmets, etc. - in the range

Prices and competitive environment

The manufacturer estimates this camera at 400 dollars. The price tag in the Rosette is at the level of 13,470 hryvnia at the time of the publication of this review. This price category includes an excellent Sony FDR-X3000 action camera (we have an overview of it) with a price of UAH 12,000. The GoPro HERO 7 Black camera is now worth the same now. Losing both in price, Insta360 One X boasts a different vision of entertainment through video shooting and camera usage scenarios. It makes sense to buy fans of experiments, those who want to bother with the installation and effects. And at the same time, she would prefer a completely mobile approach in work, when a computer is completely excluded from the process of shooting, editing and publishing video on the Internet. Simply put, Insta360 One X is an alternative to traditional action cameras with special abilities in the form of 360-degree photo and video. And the wide opportunities for creative experiments that are inaccessible to old-school cameras that flow from them.

In the dry residue

Insta360 did a great job onmodernization of its revolutionary 360-degree camera One and in record time corrected all its shortcomings, which could cause irritation. I will list, 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 immediately included in the package. The battery was made removable (if you wish, you can buy an extra one and quickly bring the camera back to life even in the field). Video resolution increased from 3840x1920 to 5760x2880. Of the annoying factors, there remains the sediment from the computer application, which does not allow, as before, to perform installation of 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) exceed the desktop one. The only thing the desktop application is better at is batch conversion of source photos in the INSP format into standard JPG - you can’t send fifty files to the conversion right away. Well, the lack of a watermark can also be important for someone. As a result, we have, devoid of all the major flaws of its predecessor, a very interesting camera, capable of this time truly competing with action cameras. Although it is rather not a direct competition, but an alternative tool with rich and interesting opportunities for creativity, which the manufacturer constantly complements. Finally, someone realized that software is more important than hardware.

Technical characteristics of the camera Insta360 One X

CPU
Ambarella H22

Camera
18 MP (6080х3040) x 2 pcs

Luminosity
F2.0

Light sensitivity of the matrix
ISO 100–3200

Exposure
1/8000 s - 55 s

Image stabilization
"6-axis" gyroscope

Memory
microSD memory card up to 128 GB (not included)

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

Video format
INSV, convert to MP4, H.264 codec, 5760x[email protected] fps, 3840x[email protected] fps, 3840x[email protected] fps, 3008x[email protected] to / from

Interface
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 BLE, microUSB

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

dimensions
115x48x28 mm

Weight
115 g

Contents of delivery
camera, carrying 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:

  • unsurpassed consumer camera for 360-degree shooting;
  • 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 like to experiment and shoot a video.

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 in Rosette

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Editor's Choice

Thanks

Revision gg Thanks Drone.UA for kindly providing the camera for this review.

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