When it comes to compact cameras to capture your travel exploits or adventures on the run/cycling or anything else, we are fortunate to have an abundance of devices to choose from. However, not every camera is just right for that activity that you have in mind and buying different action cameras or 360 cameras can get complicated – and expensive. Insta360 has you covered with their latest release that raises the bar in this category – again.
The New Insta360 ONE RS Camera
Link: New Insta360 ONE RS Camera (this is an affiliate link that supports the site)
Finding the Perfect Camera for All Your Adventures
Note: I do not have this camera yet so this is based on the material from Insta360 and my own experiences with their products. I will be getting a camera and will update this with more information then.
When it comes to the action camera market, we have the big, established player of GoPro, the challenger of DJI, and we have Insta360. The interesting thing in this category is that GoPro and others have gone after the 360 degree capture market that enables you (and others) to relive an experience in full 360 degree effect but they are not Insta360. I mean, it is right in their name – Insta360! In other words, 360 degree capture is in their DNA so you can expect it to be a great, immersive experience.
But, they have also gone in on the action camera space with other cameras (like the previous Insta360 ONE and the Insta360 GO 2 – review here). So, they do know what they are doing with this space where customers expect the device to be ready for action at all times.
The problem with action camera or 360 camera is that recording something in 360 degrees means that your pixels capture all of that really are not going to have the highest of quality in any one direction due to the field of view being so massive. This is where a 360 camera may not be something you want, when you want to capture high quality action or video. For this, you want a camera that has a dedicated one direction field that it can capture in 4K or more.
Even better would be a camera sensor that is large enough to capture more light while still being compact. This is the biggest problem with many action cameras – their sensors are small enough that the video quality gets very “noisy” in darker environments. Well, some of the travels and adventures we do are taking place in times other than mid-day so that is one area where we may need yet another camera.
Enter the New Insta360 ONE RS Action Camera – A Modular System that Fills the Gaps
This is why Insta360 has their Insta360 ONE RS – the one camera that will accept various modules to give you 360 degree coverage, a 4K Boost lens with a 1/2″ 48MP sensor to give you greater detail and high performance and then the 5.3K 1″ Wide Angle lens (co-engineered with famed optics/camera maker Leica) to give you the even great sensor size.
Yep, this is what you have access to when you buy in the new Insta360 ONE RS camera system – an action camera that gives you all the options you want with various modules while still giving you that ability to take it wherever you want to go – including up to 16 feet underwater in its out-of-the-box condition.
Insta360 ONE RS Pricing
You can buy this today, March 22 in various configurations to meet your adventure/travel styles. This means you won’t be paying more up front for what you won’t use but it also means you can always buy another module later if you find you want a different look. Here is how it comes and what it costs:
- The Insta360 ONE RS Twin Edition (which includes both the 4K Boost Lens and the 360 Lens) – $549
- The Insta360 ONE RS 4K Edition (which is the 4K lens only) – $299
- The Insta360 ONE RS 1″ Edition (which is the 1″ Lens) – $549
Battery Life and Stabilization
In each configuration, you will be getting over an hour of battery life. It also only takes 60 minutes to power it back up again when you are done.
One of the things I have really enjoyed about my Insta360 cameras is the FlowState stabilization technology. When you have an action camera, you are going to be moving around and how that footage looks to viewers later is insanely important. There are some digital stabilization methods that end up with a “jelly effect” where the footage is shaking in a jelly fashion. That is really not pleasant to see and I found that the Insta360 FlowState stabilization does an excellent job of giving you very stable footage without giving you the warbled look. Of course, you can also use that Post FlowState stabilization after you have captured the footage, using the Insta360 app so all is not lost if it still is shaky after filming!
The New Insta360 ONE RS Core
Take away those lenses and you have the Insta360 ONE RS Core. This is actually the second version of the ONE so Insta360 knows what they are doing and they knew how to do it better. So, with the new Core, you are getting an extra microphone for better audio, 50% faster WiFi so you can get those files on your phone faster, an Instant Zoom function that lets you digitally zoom in up to 2.7x while recording and a Quick Menu to let you quickly access preset shooting modes.
Each of the lens options are going to give you a different look and feel, which is perfect for whatever activity you happen to be doing. For example, the 4K Boost Lens enables you to capture video at 4K 60fps (that frame rate is awesome for sports to give a smoother look while also giving you the ability to obtain slow motion video when you slow it down after capture). It also gives you something called “Active HDR” which minimizes the ghosting that most fast-moving action cameras would get in an HDR mode while still giving you the details in both the shadows and highlights for a more professional look. Secondly, you also get a special 6K widescreen mode which also gives you an effect that looks more cinematic, thanks to outputting 6k footage in a widescreen viewing.
With he 360 lens, this is a great way to really capture what is all around you to either enjoy in an immersive way later or to choose various angles from to make a video that lets you truly enjoy the experience without worrying about the right framing.
For example, if you are visiting some beautiful city like London and you don’t want to miss anything, you can put the 360 lens on and just walk around enjoying everything while having the camera on the stick. In the app later, you can choose the various angles you want and put together a great video to share that shows everything you feel is important in a “flat video” way that is ideal for smartphones and displays.
You also get slow motion (120fps at 1080p resolution) as well as Insta360’s awesome TimeShift mode and Bullet Time (with the 360 module).
What good is capture everything if you cannot share it in a great way? Well, Insta360 has a great smartphone app as well as an editing suite that gives you a bunch of ways to customize your final footage while also letting you take advantage of their AI effects that will do all that part for you and deliver you an excellent video clip to share with friends and social media.
So, Is It Good at What it Does?
I do not yet have one in hand so my impressions are going off purely what I have seen from Insta360. I definitely plan to update and do a review when I do get one.
But, I can say this from my time using other Insta360 cameras – especially second generation ones – Insta360 is very good at taking what they have already made well and upgrading it with feedback to make it even better. With the Insta360 ONE RS system, you are getting an opportunity to take one camera module and various lens options with you to take the videos you want that work for you during your travels and adventures.
Is the quality going to be better than a more tradition camera? No, there is no way to overcome things like physics that limits sensor size and light gathering as well as detail. But, do you really want to take a $2,000 camera setup on a run or mountain bike ride? Or, do you always want to have your best gear with you when walking around a new city for the day?
How about going agains smartphones? Smartphone manufacturers have gotten very good at improving video and photo capture while giving you the tools to edit right on the device. But, again, you have things like sensor size that will give you an improvement with the Insta360 that you cannot get on a smartphone. For example, there is one smartphone that has a 1″ sensor – a Sony smartphone that costs over $1,500. Plus, that phone is really not made to take out on adventures with the beautiful display that it has!
I will say this – I am getting one and cannot wait to use it on my next race or trip.