Insta360 X3 360 Action Camera Review Part 1

Insta360 has just announced the X3 – the latest release in its most popular camera line. With several significant new updates in both software and hardware, Josh Edwards gives his verdict on one of the leading 360 cameras to date.

Founded only in 2015, Insta360 has made a name for itself in the following seven years. Specializing in 360-degree action cameras, it’s taken a direct hit from popular competitors like GoPro and DJI. And their latest release, the Insta360 X3, is looking forward to celebrate their progress and boost that pedigree.

at recent days ONE RS 1″ 360 MODEL The release was impressive but the One X2 of the Insta360 is still a popular choice – it’s the world’s best-selling action camera. Accordingly, the X3 drops “one” – a nod to the polished optimization the series has gone through here, with several software and hardware updates.

There’s a lot to unpack here, so we’re splitting this review into two parts, with real-world testing (walking, biking, driving, and swimming) available here.

what’s new?

While 360 ​​video resolution remains the same at 5.7K 30fps, a range of cameras that are upgraded to half-inch sensors and Active HDR promise a sharper, higher quality picture with more detail in shadows and highlights. There are a number of new and improved modes, including 4K “bullet mode” at 120 fps and “me mode” and 4K single-lens mode at 30 fps, turning the X3 into a traditional action camera.

The camera also features the most megapixels ever in a 360-degree camera to date (72MP) thanks to those larger sensors, plus a larger 2.29-inch touchscreen allowing for easier operation. Upcoming firmware updates will improve the camera with a “pre-recording mode”. How many times have you missed something epic because your action cam wasn’t rotating? You won’t have to worry about that anymore.

Ready to go straight out of the box

Right out of the box, the X3 feels great to hold. The Insta360 gas is cleverly chosen to maintain the textured gray contour on the body, providing a firm grip. It remains durable and water-resistant to 33 feet (10 meters) that’s convenient. At the risk of Insta360 designers grumbling about the way I treat their kids, I tend to throw out the action cams. Get wet, dirty and beaten. That’s their job, and it’s comforting to know that the X3 is ready for it.

In terms of design, weight and size, it is very similar to the One X2, but there are significant improvements that are hard to miss. The touch screen has been upgraded to a more uniform 2.29-inch rectangle that dominates on one side. Tempered glass provides peace of mind here, while the two new buttons below aid in easier operation in all respects.

In terms of setup, it only took me a second to select my language choice, a few more to cycle through the introductory prompts on what you can do with buttons and fingers (we’ll move on to that next) and then with my memory card slotted, I was good to go.

Get to know X3

Preparing the camera for shooting is easy. Using the Ulanzi PT-20 cold shoe and microphone adapter, along with RØDE Wireless GO II . Microphones It is practical. You will also need an Insta360 selfie stick and it is important to note that these are all sold separately. They are essential to the overall usability of this camera.

In less than a minute, I had The RØDE Wireless GO II receiver is connected and attached to the selfie stick with the X3 itself. easy.

When I turn it on (startup is a bit slow but will probably improve with a firmware update upon boot), the first thing I noticed was how easy it was to navigate the menus and change settings. Big screen update much appreciated. With a simple flick of my finger from left to right, I can cycle between different 360 and single lens shooting modes.

Insta360 X3 menu screenshot

For 360 mode, you can choose from the following:

  • video – For shooting 360 video
  • Active HDR 360 video shooting with active HDR playback
  • TIME LABS – No explanation required
  • time change – Hyperlapse mode
  • bullet time We’ll discuss this in more detail later…
  • Episode recording – Record video continuously but keep only the last section (up to 30 minutes).
  • Starlapse – Takes quick 360 photos, especially of stars and the night sky.
  • Explosion – Takes a series of photos
  • a period – Takes pictures at intervals
  • HDR image – HDR photos
  • picture – Photos without HDR

Alternatively, for single lens mode, your slightly limited options are:

  • video Single lens video shooting (HDR is not available)
  • I’m the situation – Fits the frame on you
  • Episode recording – Record video continuously but only the last section (up to 30 minutes).
  • picture – Take pictures with one lens

Meanwhile, if you slide your thumb/finger inward from the right edge of the screen, menus will appear to change various settings like white balance. In standard video mode, I can go completely manually and set shutter speed and ISO. In active HDR mode, I can Just Change the white balance.

On the other side of the screen, swiping inward brings up your photos and snapshots. Additionally, a swipe down from the top of the screen gives access to a variety of settings including toggling volume on or off, screen lock, screen brightness…you get the idea. This seems counterintuitive, like most cell phones. There is no doubt that the target audience of social media creators will feel completely at home with this.

Read our Insta360 X3 review: How One of the Most Popular Action Cams Continues to Improve (Part Two) to see how it performs in the field (and road and sea) and our judgement. And it probably wouldn’t be a spoiler to reveal that it actually works well.

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