There are many action cameras: we have the well-known GoPro with its Hero range, DJi’s Osmo Action and, now, I want to show you something similar but, in turn, totally different . I refer to the newly presented Insta360 ONE R , a camera that is based on modules and that allows us to have, at the same time, an action camera, a camera that records in 360º and a lens with a “more professional” sensor for We are looking for that extra point of quality. Do you want to know how it performs? Then read on because I tell you everything after trying the new ONE R.
The modular all-in-one camera
A few weeks ago I showed you on our YouTube channel an unboxing of this camera and I explained what it was.
But if you haven’t seen this video yet, I summarize it now. The new ONE R is a camera that works by means of modules, and that is formed by three different parts:
- Neural Module : this is where we have the CPU, the USB-C charging port, the slot for the microSD and the screen that I will talk more about later.
- Battery: a 1,190 mAh battery module.
- Lens modules : we have different lenses that we can use, each with a different shape, number of lenses and characteristics. And, in addition to this, the only “extra” you can see in these modules is its waterproof seal.
And is that one of the great novelties of the new Insta360 camera (compared to its predecessors) is that it has IPX8 protection against water. Therefore, we can submerge it (up to 5 meters deep) without using an additional housing. Although I have to admit that, at first, I was a little afraid of the gap between the modules and the battery, I could see that if we close the union between the three pieces correctly, we will not have any problem.
Three different modules and, each, with more possibilities
The best thing about this camera is just that, the modular part.
In the company catalog we find three different bets:
- Action camera module : which can record at a maximum resolution of 4K at 60 fps and 1080p at 200 fps to make slow motion.
- 360º module: that records video in 5.7K at 30fps and 4K at 50fps.
- “Professional” module : with a 1-inch sensor, which records video in 5.3K at 30 fps. A module that I have not yet been able to test but, seeing its characteristics, it seems to me that it will be worth trying.
Before showing you the recordings made with the camera I have to warn you that the test unit I have been using is not a definitive unit. What does this mean? Well, it has neither the hardware nor the software that will have the final units that will reach the market. Therefore, if the results you are going to see below seem good to you, imagine what you will be able to create for yourself with the final versions.
That said, I’m going to show you some results of the tests I’ve been doing during these weeks with Insta360 ONE R.
It is inevitable that this module reminds me of a GoPro, both by design and by the results. When there is good light, the image looks great, with good colors (we can even record with a logarithmic profile, and then better retouch the color of the image). The results are clear and, in terms of stabilization, it does very well.
But, as expected, when we have less light the results are not as good and noise in the image begins to be noticed as in any camera of this type. The good thing is that, in this camera, we find a noise reduction mode for indoor recording that, without being magical, improves the result a bit.
Another detail of this module is that, because it is reversible, we can change the position of the screen and the camera module to move, from recording to others, to recording ourselves. Something that has been extremely practical for me.
If I had to quickly define what this module allows us to do, I would say that, broadly speaking, we can have the Insta360 ONE X (the previous camera of this company, which only allowed to record in 360º) with some improvements. The first and most obvious is the form factor. It is much more convenient to use a camera in this square format than the elongated ONE X.
And another big difference is having the screen that we didn’t have before. With this panel we can see what we are recording at all times, change the recording resolution or move from one camera to another with a double tap on the screen. The truth is that this screen is quite practical, it works very well and allows me to have the main modes without having to use the phone app.
This lens is brighter and it shows. Whether we are recording during the day or if we do it when there is less light, the results are better than with the 4K module and, if we combine it with the Reframe and auto tracking modes of the app, we do not need anything else. What are these modes? Well, to explain it to you, I must tell you how the files we generate with this camera are processed.
But, before telling you how this process is done, I want to tell you a little detail about the video recording with this module along with the 360º lens protectors that Insta360 sells on its website. In the first versions of the camera firmware and the software of the app, recording with these protectors generated problems when sewing the image but, in one of its latest updates, the company has added a mode to the application It “detects” the protectors and removes them completely from the recording.
360º video processing is easier than you think
The recordings we make with the ONE R must be processed to convert them to a compatible format. But calm, because this is much easier than it seems: either we do it with the app on the computer, which is basically the same as that of the ONE X (although with the possibility now to export the files in H265 and in Proress, in addition to MP4); or failing that, we do it through the app on our phone, which again is the same as in the case of the ONE X but with a big difference: we no longer need to download the files to our phone to make the editions of the videos .
Emphasizing the latter and as has so many features and options, then leave you a summary of what you can do if you use the application of Insta360 ONE R both Android and iOS:
- If we select a video recorded with the camera (with any module) we can make a quick edition of the clip by varying its duration, speed, adjusting image parameters, adding music or even choosing the degree of angle we want for the final video ( All videos are recorded in wide angle by default.
- If the video recording is done with the 360º module, the options are expanded. In the same editor, we have the possibility to work with keyframes and mark the position of the video at any time. We can use autotracking that, by pressing and holding a subject in the video, the camera will start to follow it and can change people at any time. Or even the Reframe function , which gives us the possibility of the application’s own artificial intelligence to analyze all possible plans to, once processed, select favorites easily among all of them.
- We can remotely operate the camera through this app. This does not provide extra functions but, it is a function that is there for when you need to operate the camera in this way.
- In the “stories” section of the app you will find each and every one of the things you can do with this camera. From effects with transitions, long exposure shots with starlight, stop motions, etc. And the best thing is that the app itself explains how to make these effects and transitions, also offering templates to make them quickly.
- In the Explore section you can see the shots recorded and shared by other users and also share our own shots.
- We have the possibility to update the Firmware and know the status of the camera.
But what method is the best option to process these files? After having been testing both options during these weeks, my recommendation is that, if you want to process files in batch, use the desktop app. However, if you want to make a more timely edition to a specific video, adding music, cuts, movements in the image, etc., your thing is to use the app for your phone.
A good sound both external and internal
Before going through the conclusions of this camera, I want to tell you a couple of details in the sound section that we can capture with this camera.
First of all, I would like to comment on the quality of the microphones that the body itself includes, which capture a very good and quite clear sound. In addition, as in other sports camera options, we can connect an external microphone using the official adapter that the brand sells on its website.
Another thing that I like is the possibility of connecting, via Bluetooth, some Airpods (Apple’s wireless headphones), which can be used as an external microphone without adapters. Keep that in mind.
The modular section has convinced me, I want a ONE R
In conclusion, after these weeks with the Insta360 ONE R, I can tell you that I loved the modular section of this camera. It seems to me the best way to offer the end user, you and me, what we need at all times.
If I want to play sports, I use the 4K recording module at all times. On the other hand, if I travel anywhere, I use the 360º module and I don’t have to worry at any time about what I am recording or what I am focusing on because the answer is easy: I am recording everything.
This camera is available for purchase with the following packs:
- 4K Edition: 4K module for an official price of 339.99 euros. Buy it on Amazon .
- 360 Edition: 360º module for an official price of 489.99 euros.
- Twin Edition: 4K module + 360º module for an official price of 509.99 euros. Buy it on Amazon .
- 1-Inch Edition: 1 inch module for an official price of 599.99 euros.
- Expert Edition: 360º module + 1 inch module for an official price of 809.98 euros.
- Trio Edition: 4K module + 360º module + 1 inch module for an official price of 829.98 euros.
In addition, on the manufacturer’s website , they give us the possibility to configure our own pack according to the needs we have
What version should you choose? That is something you must think yourself analyzing the different possibilities you have with each of the modules and your recording needs. The good thing is that, whatever it is, there is probably a module for you.