Insta360 One X Review: First Impressions One Month In
- Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity
- MicroSD port
- Companion app with onboard editing tools, Live View, and the ability to start and stop recording
- 18-megapixel maximum photo resolution
It's been roughly a month since I picked up my Insta360 One X, and I wanted to give you guys my initial impressions.
Let me first say that I have TONS of video footage that I'm currently editing, so I'll be sharing a final video as well as a more detailed review of this camera in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for that.
For now, though, let me just say that this little guy is nothing short of spectacular. To say that I've been impressed is a huge understatement!
Let's dive into a few features and specs as well as some pros and cons that I've discovered over the last month.
Insta360 One X Design
The camera is oblong, yet compact, and weighs a scant .25 pounds, so you can take it anywhere you like.
The unit has just two buttons, one to power it on and off and another that controls the mode and the shutter.
There is a display on the camera, though it is basic and small given the small size of the camera. That's okay though, because it has a companion app through which you can control what the camera is doing (more on that below).
On one side of the camera is a Micro USB port, on the other is a battery door. On the bottom is a MicroSD slot, and next to that is a 1/4-inch tripod thread.
It's a sleek, modern design that keeps things simple!
Insta360 One X Features
Unlike earlier 360-degree cameras, the Insta360 One X is chock-full of handy features.
For starters, it's a tiny thing that fits nicely in your hand. But don't let its small size fool you - it has a 1/2.3-inch sensor that can take RAW images and film 5.7K video at 30fps and 4K video at 50fps.
Paired with the sensor is a set of two f/2 200-degree lenses, both of which are fisheye. That being the case, their field of view overlaps one another to capture a full 360-degree image.
One of the best features of the One X is its image stabilization system, dubbed "FlowState."
It's a complex system, but the short of it is that is has a six-axis gyroscopic stabilizer that maintains smooth footage as you shoot, no matter how bumpy things get. You can see FlowState in action in the video above
The system comes loaded with multiple shooting modes, like time-lapse, HDR, and even "Bullet Time," which creates a sequence in which the camera swirls around a subject as it moves (think of Neo dodging bullets in The Matrix).
Other features of note include:
Additionally, there is a wide range of accessories available for the One X, including housings, mounts, and even a Bullet Time Bundle that includes a monopod.
Insta360 One X Pros & Cons
Let's start with the pros first.
The highway to 360-degree cameras is littered with failed camera after failed camera (Samsung Gear 360, anyone?), so it's not like the bar has been set real high for 360-degree cameras.
Nevertheless, this is hands-down the best of the bunch, and unlike its many predecessors, I think the Insta360 One X has a real chance of becoming the first successful mainstream 360-degree camera. That's a definite pro if you ask me. See some of the potential for working with this camera in the video above by Cinecom.net.
Additionally, this camera offers excellent resolution, image stabilization that's truly impressive, and as I noted earlier, it's loaded for bear with features.
But for me, the biggest asset of this camera is that it's like having your own cameraman on location with you. It enables you to grab different camera angles and footage that give your videos that multi-camera feel without having multiple cameras.
It's not all sunshine and roses, though.
The One X app (iOS and Android) seems a bit on the cluttered side to me, so streamlining that would be beneficial (i.e., when you open it, it takes you to Insta360's online community instead of the camera settings...that needs to change). The battery life is another feature that's not worth writing home about, but in its defense, the battery life in my GoPro and my Sony a6400 aren't great either.
Other than that, I haven't found anything particularly offputting about this camera. Insta360 has done a fantastic job in developing this thing from a hardware and a software standpoint.
If you're in the market for a fun, innovative camera that will challenge you to be more creative with your photos and videos, this just might be it!
As I said before, I'll have a complete review and video footage in the coming weeks. In the meantime, get more details and pricing information on the Insta360 One X.