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360 Camera Reviews

The perfect 360 camera? Insta360 ONE X Review and Resource Page (updated October 18, 2018)

Insta360 One X hands-on review and resource page
Insta360 One X hands-on review and resource page

Insta360 One X is a 5.7K 360 camera that incorporates almost all of the best features of its competitors, and adds some features that have never been seen before in consumer 360 cameras, at an aggressive price point.  All things considered, this appears to be the best 360 camera for consumers as of October 2018.  I’ve been testing the Insta360 One X since October 1, and here are my hands-on first impressions with complete specifications, features, comparison with and differences from the Insta360 One and other 360 cameras, sample photos and videos, and more.  October 18 update: new low light sample and how to avoid bluradded sample underwater video

Updated: October 18, 2018 – new low light sample, how to avoid blur in videos, underwater sample
Updated: October 13, 2018 – download links for software
Updated: October 12, 2018 – updated comparison vs Fusion
Updated: October 10, 2018
Updated: September 27, 2018
Originally posted: September 26, 2018



BACKGROUND

Insta360 One X is a bold new direction for Insta360’s consumer 360 cameras.  Until now, Insta360 has been known for having smartphone 360 cameras, i.e., 360 cameras that clip onto your smartphone.  All their consumer 360 cameras have been smartphone 360 cameras: the Insta360 Nano, Insta360 Nano S, Insta360 Air, and Insta360 One.  The Insta360 One X breaks from precedent and is purely a standalone device.

Beyond its form factor, Insta360 One X is also turning heads with its comprehensive feature set.   It’s as if they assembled the top 360 cameras in the market, identified the best features of each one, and crammed those best features into the One X, as you’ll see below. While its competitors will likely be filled with fear and loathing, consumers should be elated, as it will be easier to choose between features that would otherwise only be available in separate cameras.

I should add that Insta360 One X did not just copy its competitors features.  They also improved their signature features, such as Bullet Time, and added new features such as Drift Shot and Time Shift.


29 FEATURES

Here are 30 features of the Insta360 One X for video, for photo, and for both photos and videos.

Insta360 One X Video features

1. High resolution video (Improved)
The One X shoots video at 5760 x 2880 at 30fps (5.7k or 6k depending on who you ask).

2. Super slow motion (New!)
The One X can shoot slow motion at either 3K at 100fps or 4K at 50fps.  With interpolation (playback at 1/4th speed), the app can simulate up to 3K 400fps  or 4K 200fps

3. Bullet time (improved)
Insta360 introduced the bullet time feature in the Insta360 One.  The One X’s Bullet time mode has improved tremendously with a higher resolution, a wider field of view, and a variable aspect ratio (9:16 portrait, 1:1, 4:3, or 16:9).

4. Flowstate stabilization
Just like the Insta360 One, the One X features gimbal-like stabilization, which they call “Flowstate”.  Here is a stabilization comparison Insta360 posted between the new One X and the GoPro Hero 7 as well as the Sony FDR-X3000:

5.  Direction Lock stabilization
As with the Insta360 One, the One X can stabilize the video in the direction that the camera is facing.  This mode is very useful for example, for cycling and motor sports.  I haven’t had the occasion to use this feature yet on the One X but here is a sample Direction Lock video from the Insta360 One

6. Drift shot (NEW!)

Drifter case
Drifter case

The One X has a new special effect called Drift Shot, where you attach the One X to a special throwable case called the Drifter.  With the Drifter and with the slow motion 3K 100fps video, you can capture unique angles.  Here is a video showing sample drift shot videos with the One X:



7. HDR Video (NEW!  Not yet available at launch)
Insta360 One X features an HDR video mode, which enables the sensor to capture a wider dynamic range.  Insta360 hasn’t disclosed how it works, but I spaculate that the One X uses a Sony sensor with spatial multiplexed exposure HDR (SME-HDR), where different pixels capture the video at different exposures, and the sensor can combine the data from all the exposures to achieve an HDR video.

8.  Data overlay (NEW!)
With the optional Bluetooth GPS accessory, you can overlay speed, altitude, and other data including a map that will draw itself as you travel.

simulated photo only

 

9. Log mode video
As with the Insta360 One, the One X can shoot in Log mode.  Insta360 will make a LUT available.

10. Freecapture
As with the Insta360 One, the One X can capture 360 video and allow you to present it as a non-360 video where you choose the perspective.  This allows you to “shoot first and point later.”  Freecapture has several modes: Viewfinder lets you hold the phone as a virtual camera (with stabilization).  Pivot Point lets you use keyframing to change the view smoothly.  Smart Track can pan the view automatically to track objects.

11. Overcapture videos without stitching
The One X is one of the very few cameras that enables editing without stitching.  Specifically, you can create an overcapture video without having to first stitch the 360 video.

12.  Multiview
As with the Insta360 Nano S, the One X can put a picture-in-picture overlay with independently panning perspectives.

Insta360 One X multiview
Insta360 One X multiview

13. 360 live streaming with realtime stabilization
The One X can live stream in 360 to Facebook, YouTube and other sites.  The live stream resolution is up to 2560 x 1280.

14. Freecast (live streaming in freecapture or tiny planet mode)
The One X can live stream in non-360 mode where the live streamer can change the view in realtime during the live stream.

15. In-camera video montage (NEW!  Not yet available at launch)
According to Insta360, you’ll be able to combine two or more videos into a video within the One X smartphone app.

Photo features

16. HDR Photo (NEW! Not yet available at launch)
According to Insta360, this mode will enable you to shoot a true multi-exposure HDR shot, and the app will be able to fuse the exposures and stitch them.

17. Manual exposure (Improved)
The One X has a wider range of shutter speeds, from 1/8000 up to 120 secs.

18. Raw DNG photo shooting and stitching (Not yet available at launch)
The One X can shoot in DNG raw.  Insta360 Studio will be able to stitch the One X Raw photos in DNG format (this feature was not yet ready as of October 10, 2018).

Features for both photos and videos, plus other features

19. New lens design with smoother stitching vs. Insta360 One (improved)

With the One X’s new lens configuration, the lenses are closer to each other and are back-to-back for better stitching.

20. Better low light performance (improved)
The One X’s new sensor performs quite well in low light.  Insta360 opted for a sensor with slightly lower resolution but with larger sensels for better low light performance.

21. Wireless live preview (NEW!)
You can now get a live preview wirelessly.

22. Removable battery (NEW!)
With a removable battery, you can pack some spares to ensure you’ll never run out of batteries.

23. In-camera editing (Improved)
In addition to preset filters and to a skin-smoothening beautifying filter, photos and videos can be edited in the app, enabling you to adjust exposure, contrast, saturation and other settings.  The edits are nondestructive and are reversible.

24. Underwater case with smooth stitching (NEW!)
There are now several 360 cameras that can be used underwater, but very few of them can record smoothly stitched underwater 360 photos and videos. Water refraction changes the effective focal length of lenses, decreasing their field of view significantly. As a result, most 360 cameras can’t stitch well underwater.
The only 360 cameras that are able to stitch smoothly underwater are those with a hemispherical lens cover, such as the Ricoh Theta (with the new TW-1 case), Kodak PIXPRO SP360 4K Dual Pro, and to some extent the Rylo.

The Insta360 One X has a dedicated underwater case called the Dive case, with spherical lenses that negate underwater refraction. With the Dive case, the One X will be able to stitch underwater photos and videos smoothly.

Here is a sample underwater scuba diving video with the Insta360 ONE X, posted by Lendar Chew:

25. Venture Case Hardcase

You can use the One X in rough environments with an optional protective hardcase accessory.  The case has a similar design to Insta360 One’s hard case.  The case can be used underwater although it will not stitch well underwater.  Rather, it is designed simply to protect the One X in wet environments such as white water rafting.

Insta360 Venture case
Insta360 Venture case

26. Improved connectivity: High speed 5G Wi-Fi and USB cables (improved)
You can transfer photos and videos quickly to your phone with 5G Wi-Fi.  You can transfer them even faster with the included USB cables.

27. Remote activation (NEW!)
With your phone you can turn on the Insta360 One X remotely.  This is useful if the One X is away from you on a tripod, such as near a stage, while you are in the audience.

28. GPS
The One X can include GPS data in its 360 photos and videos when used with the optional Bluetooth remote accessory.  This means that photos can be readily uploaded to Google Street View with GPS data.  GPS is also useful for virtual tours that use GPS data.

29. OLED display (NEW!)
The One X’s OLED display is clear and shows what mode you’re shooting in.

Lastly, another improvement that is perhaps worth mentioning is that the One X has a metal tripod hole, unlike the plastic tripod hole in the Insta360 One.


SPECIFICATIONS

Here are the complete specifications of the Insta360 One X, with a comparison against the Insta360 One.  Advantages are highlighted in bold.

Insta360 One XInsta360 One
Lensestwo fisheye lensestwo fisheye lenses
Field of viewfully sphericalfully spherical
Aperturef/2.0f/2.2
Processorunspecified Ambarellaunspecified Ambarella
Photo resolution6080 x 3040 in JPEG or DNG raw6912 x 3456 in JPEG or DNG raw
Video resolution5760 x 2880, 30fps
3840 x 1920 @ 50fps

3840 x 1920 @ 30fps
mp4 (log mode available)
3840 x 1920, 30fps
2560 x 1280 @ 60fps
mp4 (log mode available)
Bitrate120 mbps60 mbps
Bullet time video3008 x 1504 @ 100fps
fully spherical
variable aspect ratio
2048 x 512 @ 120fps
hemispherical
16:9 aspect ratio
Live streaming:Yes, stabilized.
Compatible with YouTube, Facebook, Periscope / Twitter, Weibo
Yes, stabilized.
Compatible with YouTube, Facebook, Periscope / Twitter, Weibo
Shutter speed:1/8000 to 120 seconds1/4000 to 60 seconds
ISO:100 to 3200100 to 3200 (up to 6400 for video)
Stabilization:6-axis gyro-based image stabilization6-axis gyro-based image stabilization
Microponesstereomono
Connector:1/4-20 tripod connector1/4-20 tripod connector
Storage:one Micro SD up to 128GBone Micro SD up to 128GB (8GB included)
Working humidity:TBD30% to 80%
Temperature:TBD14F - 113F (-14C to 45C)
Waterproof:No (TWO TYPES of waterproof housing accessories available)No (waterproof housing accessory available)
Connectivity:5G WiFi
Bluetooth LE 4.0
MFI-certified lightning connector
Bluetooth LE 4.0
MFI-certified lightning connector
Compatibility:iOS, Android, Windows, MaciOS, Android, Windows, Mac
Dimensions:115 x 48 x 28 mm96 x 36.5 x 25 mm
Weight:115g with battery
90.9 without battery
82g
Battery:60 mins. removable70 mins.; not removable; USB charging
Other features:Drift shot
Timeshift

Intervalometer
Multiview
Freecast (live streaming with changeable perspective)
Time lapse mode
Bullet time
Multiview
Intervalometer
Freecast (live streaming with changeable perspective)
Time lapse mode
Bullet time


SAMPLE PHOTOS, SAMPLE VIDEOS, SAMPLE FILES

The One X’s photo resolution of 18 mp is substantially lower than that of the Insta360 One, with 24 mp.  However, with 360 cameras, you should not look at specifications in isolation.  There are many 360 cameras that have lower specifications than its competitors but somehow have better quality.  For example, the GoPro Fusion’s 18mp photos have more detail than Insta360 One’s 24mp photos.   Ultimately, what matters is how the photos and videos actually look.  Here are sample photos and videos from the Insta360 One X (firmware 1.15.12 or 1.16.12).

Insta360 One X sample photos

Here are a few sample 360 photos from the One X:

Insta360 One X sample videos

Here is a sample 5.7K 360 video from a pre-release version of the Insta360 One X. It shows log mode, the dynamic range and sharpness, and low light performance. However, it does not show HDR Video mode which is not yet available as of launch date.

The sample 360 video above is from the Insta360 One X, stitched on Insta360 Studio (not stitched on the mobile app). The stitched videos were then edited into a montage using Adobe Premiere Pro, with a 120mpbs bitrate. The videos show the One X’s resolution, dynamic range (with log mode and without log mode), low light footage, and stabilization performance in real world conditions.

In the low light segment of the sample video above, the background had some blur.  That is because the beta version defaults to a slow shutter speed of 1/30 (to use a lower ISO).  The ONE X has a manual exposure mode for video, so you can choose a higher shutter speed (such as 1/60 or 1/120) and higher ISO (up to ISO 3200) to avoid blur.  Here is a new very low light sample that shows the effect of using a higher shutter speed and shows the high ISO performance of the ONE X in very low light

The video does NOT show audio performance. The version of Insta360 Studio that I used (released October 8, 2018) had some audio sync issues, but they were fixed after the video was posted.

Tony Northrup criticized the stabilization of the One X when stitched on a desktop. What he said was true of the older version of the Insta360 Studio. But on Monday October 8, they sent me the new version of Insta360 Studio, which stitches smoothly and has working stabilization. That’s the version that I used to stitch these videos, and as you can see the stabilization does work.

Insta360 ONE X  slow motion Freecapture / overcapture sample:

Here is a sample Freecapture non-360 video edited entirely within the app using Viewfinder, Timeshift, and the 3K 100fps mode.


Sample underwater video from Insta360 ONE X

Here is a sample underwater video with the Dive Case, by Lendar Chew:

The stitching looks smooth, although the case is visible at the nadir.  The stitching appears similar to the Ricoh TW-1 underwater case for the Ricoh Theta, which is not at all surprising given their very similar designs.

Sample files for download

You can download unstitched sample files from the One X here and use them with the software below to make sure your equipment are compatible.  The files are for your personal use only.  Please do not upload them anywhere and please do not send the files to other people.

Download the software

Insta360 ONE X is compatible with iOS, Android, Windows and Mac. Here are the software (beta versions):
iOS app
Android app
Windows app
Mac app
Official ONE X download page

Please note the software are in beta therefore they may be missing features. For example, unlike previous versions of Insta360 Studio, these desktop versions don’t have Freecapture capability. However, you can install them alongside the previous versions (don’t delete the old versions).

COMPARISON: INSTA360 ONE X vs. GOPRO FUSION (One X firmware 1.16.12)

As of September 2018, the best consumer 360 camera has been the GoPro Fusion (reviewed here).  How does the One X compare to the Fusion and other 360 cameras?  I used the 360 camera comparison tool to compare them side by side for both videos and photos.

Standard 30fps video:

For video, I found that the Fusion has higher resolution, while the ONE X has higher acutance (edge contrast).  Below is a pair of crops from the videos (ONE X on left, Fusion on the right).  If you look at the bushes toward the back, you can see that more leaves are visible on the Fusion, suggesting that Fusion has higher resolution.  But if you look at the lines on the side of the shed, they are more easily distinguishable in the ONE X sample, showing it has higher acutance:

Insta360 One X 5.7K video vs Fusion video
Insta360 One X 5.7K video vs Fusion video

On the other hand, toward the stitch line, the One X has substantially more detail than the Fusion (the Fusion has a sudden drop in sharpness near the stitch line).  If your priority is consistent sharpness throughout the frame, the ONE X would be better than the Fusion.

Stitch line comparison: ONE X (left) vs. Fusion (right): ONE X has better resolution toward the stitch line
Stitch line comparison: ONE X (left) vs. Fusion (right): ONE X has better resolution toward the stitch line

With respect to dynamic range, the Fusion appears to have noticeably more dynamic range than the One X.  The wrinkle in the analysis is that I wasn’t testing the One X’s HDR Video mode (which was not functional as of launch day).  It’s possible that with HDR Video activated, the One X might close the gap with the Fusion for dynamic range.  However, it is not likely that it will have a material effect on the One X’s resolution.

Slow motion video:

The Fusion has a slow motion video mode, with a resolution of 3K at 60fps.  I compared it against the One X at 4K 50fps and 3K 100fps.  I found that the One X at 4K 50fps had noticeably more detail than the Fusion’s 3K 60fps mode, while the Fusion’s 3K 60fps mode had noticeably more detail than the One X’s 3K 100fps mode.

ONE X 4k 50fps s Fusion 3K 60fps
ONE X 4k 50fps has more detail than Fusion 3K 60fps
ONE X 3k100fps vs. Fusion 3K 60fps
ONE X 3k100fps has less detail than Fusion 3K 60fps

360 photos:

For photos, in my opinion Fusion has also been the best overall 360 camera for consumers because its detail is almost as good as that of the Xiaomi Mi Sphere (reviewed here), while having far greater dynamic range.  This is despite the Fusion having a nominal resolution of only 5760 x 2880, lower than several other 360 cameras.  I compared 360 photos from the One X and the Fusion and found that when viewed at the same viewing size, the ONE X and Fusion are similar, although the Fusion has slightly more detail (resolution), while the ONE X has higher edge contrast (.  Fusion also appears to have more dynamic range.  Again, however, the One X’s HDR photo mode was not yet functional.  The Fusion on the other hand, has no HDR mode.  If and when the One X’s HDR photo mode works, it may meet or exceed the Fusion’s dynamic range.

Insta360 One X non-HDR vs. Fusion 360 photo
Insta360 One X non-HDR vs. Fusion 360 photo
Insta360 ONE X 360 photo quality vs Fusion at stitch line
Insta360 ONE X 360 photo quality (left) vs Fusion (right) at stitch line

Stabilization:

Both Insta360 One X and GoPro Fusion have excellent stabilization, and both can use two modes of stabilization: one with a stabilized compass heading, and another that stabilizes toward the direction the camera is facing.  Note that GoPro Fusion can sometimes drift (the heading gradually turns toward one direction).  The ONE X has no drifting issue (assuming you’ve already calibrated the gyro).

Usability and practicality:

Insta360 One X has far more features than the Fusion, and is easier to use as well.  Among the features that the One X has that are not available on the Fusion are the 3K 100fps mode, Drift Shot, Time Shift, a smooth-stitching underwater case, GPS overlay (with the Bluetooth remote accessory) and more.

At the same time, there is also a significant price difference between the One X ($399) and the Fusion ($699 and occasionally $599).

For practicality, one advantage of the Fusion is that it is waterproof even without a case.  However, the One X has two waterproof housings available.

Conclusion:

The Fusion has slightly more detail for both photos and videos, and noticeably better dynamic range.  However, I expect that with the One X’s HDR Video mode and HDR photo mode, the gap in dynamic range would be much narrower.  Moreover, ONE X appears to have better optics with more consistent sharpness throughout the frame, and almost no chromatic aberration even at the stitch line).    At the same time, the One X is almost half the cost of the Fusion, and has far more features such as the very useful 3K 100fps slow motion, Drift Shot, and Time Shift.  Accordingly, in my opinion, assuming Insta360 can fix the HDR Video and HDR Photo mode, I believe the One X is a better overall camera than the Fusion, and is therefore probably the best 360 camera for consumers as of October 2018.

INSTA360 ONE X DISADVANTAGES AND PROBLEMS

With the 5.7K video mode, recording time is limited to 30 mins.  This is not due to overheating but due to the unique file structure of the ONE X to enable recording at 5.7K.

Tony Northrup posted a review of the ONE X with several criticisms that are partly correct, but partly incorrect.  In his review, Tony Northrup said if you use the Insta360 Studio to stitch the video, then the stabilization will not be good, and the stitching will be poor. What Tony said is true only for the older version of the Insta360 Studio software. But on October 8, Insta360 made a functional version available, which not only stitched smoothly (at up to 120mbps) but could stabilize well.  The sample video I posted above was stitched with Insta360 Studio desktop software and you can see the stitching is seamless, and the stabilization is smooth.

There are still bugs with the new version of the Insta360 Studio. For example, it does not have 360 metadata in photos and videos. The framerates of the stitched videos not standard (28.97 fps instead of 29.97 fps). For some videos, the audio is not in sync (that’s part of the reason my sample videos have only music in them). However, I’m confident that Insta360 will be able to resolve these issues, and therefore to me these are temporary issues and should not be factors in your decision making unless you need a camera for an event that is in October. (Given their track record, I believe the issues will be fixed by November.)


ACCESSORIES

Bluetooth and GPS remote
The Bluetooth remote is a dedicated remote for the One X that can not only be used to trigger the One X but can also switch shooting modes, and most importantly, add GPS metadata to your photos and videos, which can in turn be shown as an overlay on your videos.

GPS Smart Remote - Dashboard overlay - Transparent
GPS Smart Remote

Venture case
This case is designed to protect the One X from water or harsh environments.

Dive case
You can use this case to take underwater photos and videos with the One X.  The specially designed lens is designed to avoid refraction.

Insta360 One X Dive case
Insta360 One X Dive case

External battery charger
This battery charger can charge two One X batteries at the same time.

Dual Battery Charging Dock
Dual Battery Charging Dock

Drifter camera dart (drift shot accessory)
This is a case for the Insta360 One X designed to enable the One X to be thrown.

Insta360 Invisible Selfie Stick (improved)
The new version of the Insta360 Invisible Selfie Stick has a narrower tip to ensure that the selfie stick is invisible to the One X (as long as the shaft is extended). Other monopods I’ve tried that are invisible to the One X include the Benro MK10 and Monoshot 2 (see my Ultimate Buying Guide for 360 camera tripods).

Bullet time handle
You can use this specially designed swiveling handle with a monopod such as the Invisible Selfie Stick to create a bullet time shot.  The bullet time handle has a 1/4-20 tripod connector to connect to a monopod with a tripod hole.  There is no change to the bullet time handle.


FAQ

1. Is Insta360 One X compatible with iOS and Android smartphones?
Insta360 One X is compatible with both iOS and Android but the Android app is not yet available.  The Android app is expected to be available in November 2018.  For iOS, please note that the minimum phone is an iPhone 6S.

2. Is Insta360 One X compatible with Windows and Mac?
The desktop software for Insta360 One X is currently available for Windows.  The Mac version is expected to be available in November 2018.    A desktop must have a GTX 750 graphics card or better in order to stitch at the full resolution.  For an affordable graphics card,  I recommend GTX 1050 Ti.

3. What Micro SD card should I get for the One X?
You must use a Micro SD card with V30 rating, up to 128GB size.  The best one is Sandisk Extreme Pro (32GB, 64GB, 128GB).

4. Does someone have to catch the camera for Drift Shot?
The Drifter accessory is designed protect the One X lens if it lands on a flat surface.  It is possible to land on a protruding rock or other object that could damage the lens.   Also if the Drifter is not indestructible (for example, don’t drop it from a building).  Finally, the One X can withstand some shocks but stronger shocks may damage internal components of the camera.

5. Can I use the Drifter accessory with another 360 camera?
The Drifter accessory is designed to fit only the One X.  Moreover, the One X is the only 360 camera with decent quality super slow motion.

6. Do I need the Dive case or can I just use the Venture case?
If you want to shoot photos or videos underwater, then you need the Dive case.  The Venture case is waterproof, but it’s not designed for underwater shooting, so the photos and videos shot underwater won’t stitch as smoothly (there will be blind spots on the sides of the camera).

7. I imported the video from the One X into my video editor but it would not recognize it
The One X records videos in insv format and photos in insp format.  Those are unstitched photos and videos.  They need to be stitched and saved as mp4 and jpg respectively.  See the tutorial above.

8. After I stitch the photos and videos from the One X, where can I share them?
Photos can be uploaded to sites such as Facebook or Kuula or Veer.  Videos can be uploaded to sites such as Facebook, YouTube, or Veer.  After you’ve uploaded your photo or video, then you can share the URL with your family and friends.

Alternatively, you can embed the photo or video on your website or blog.  Most 360 photo and 360 video sharing sites allow embedding (usually it is one of the share options).  Just copy the iframe tags and paste them in the html of your blog or website.  More info here.

9. Where can I get a discount on the One X?
See discount code below.

10. Which tripod, selfie stick, or monopod should I get for the One X?
I recommend the new version of the Insta360 Selfie Stick. Also check out my Ultimate Buying Guide for 360 camera tripods.


DISCOUNT CODE

You can get a special deal on the Insta360 One X that includes the 2nd generation Invisible Selfie Stick when you buy directly from Insta360 using this affiliate link.  You can also buy from B&H Photo here.  Thank you for supporting 360 Rumors at no additional cost to you so I can do more tests and reviews!


CONCLUSION

Here are the Insta360 One X’s strengths and weaknesses thus far.

Strengths (firmware 1.15.12)

+ excellent video quality (excellent detail, good dynamic range)
+ excellent photo quality (excellent detail, good dynamic range)
+ excellent low light and high ISO performance
+ amazing slow motion video quality
+ drift shot looks amazing and unique
+ excellent stabilization with two stabilization modes (stabilized compass heading and forward view)
+ consistent sharpness throughout the frame
+ almost no chromatic aberration
+ easy to use
+ does not break up longer files into smaller files
+ startup and shutdown are fast
+ Insta360 Studio is capable of batch exporting

Weaknesses (firmware 1.15.12)

– bugs (e.g. audio not in sync, frame rate is not standard, lacks 360 metadata, Insta360 Studio can’t stitch One X DNG yet)
– 5.7K video recording limited to 30 mins. at a time.
– Phone app limited to 4K 30fps video and 1080p 100fps video
– Android version not yet available until November.
– Mac version not yet available until November.
– Micro SD card is hard to remove with short fingernails.
– Lens is not replaceable (but it has an optional hard case)
– Does not have 3D capabilities.
– Battery life limited to 60 minutes video recording.

Summary:

Insta360 One X successfully combines almost all the best features from competing 360 cameras.  The photo and video quality are both excellent, and the slow motion 3K 100fps mode is very impressive.  I don’t have the release version of the firmware yet, and thus haven’t been able to test some key features to do a thorough comparison.  Nonetheless, I’m confident that assuming the bugs are sorted out (which I expect to happen soon), the Insta360 One X is the best overall 360 camera as of October 2018.  As long as you have a compatible phone and desktop, I would highly recommend the Insta360 One X.  This review and resource page will be updated regularly.  To get updates, bookmark this page, follow 360 Rumors on Twitter and/or Facebook, and/or leave a comment below and check the box for “receive updates.”

Insta360 ONE X
  • 8.5/10
    Photo - 8.5/10
  • 8.9/10
    Video - 8.9/10
  • 9.0/10
    Stability - 9.0/10
  • 9.5/10
    Usability - 9.5/10
9.0/10

About the author

Mic Ty

92 Comments

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    • My guess it would be around $350. The cost of Insta360 One X will be much more than the Insta360 with removable battery, wifi module and newer sensor.
      However Vuze xr is selling $439 with 180VR and very similar spec using sony IMX378 sensor while Qoocam at $419. It will be a close competition if insta360 One X they can’t keep the price below $400

    • Hi John. For the image quality, I suggest using the second video (the stabilization demo) as comparison. The first video, with slow motion, likely uses a lower video resolution to achieve a higher frame rate. The second one looks like it is the normal frame rate.

      Best regards,
      Mic

  • Nice to see them taking the Panono idea forward – some cool footage should be possible. I hope the image quality will be good enough for professional work, or they’ll do a pro version as well. Always good to see new innovation, so kudos for that.

  • I wonder how athletes are going to react to cameras being thrown at them. I wonder how many of them will get hit. I wonder how many 360 shooters have good throwing arms. Will be fun to see this one in action!

  • on facebook someone posted the following..
    “Wifi : 2.4GHz (Ch1 to 11) & 5GHz in 20/40/80bandwidth with 2X2 MIMO
    Antenna : It’s 3.31dBi in fcc test
    Bluetooth : BLE
    Battery : DC3.8V removable
    Power supply : DC 5V charging via micro USB port
    Cable supplied : micro usb, type-c, lightning (this is interesting, seems like the Insta360 X is a single model for both Apple/android devices)

    The upcoming Insta360 X with BLE which means it will possibly still not possible to liveview via BT. But with the addition of wifi, this version should be able to liveview or even streamlive via wifi.

    The battery is removable and it should be pretty much similar to Sony Action camera series battery in physical size!

    The outlook it a little bit more closer to Theta instead of the Insta360 One…”

    • Hi Mic! Very interesting camera!! Can it be it’s got a thick soft rubber body for protection, with ultra fisheye lenses (235°) built into that rubber body wich then are zoomed in to a 180° so we don’t see the edges from the rubber body? It must be very protected body and lenses if you’re gonna throw it away..not everyone’s got a umbrellaboy/caddy to catch the cam…

      • i guess larger fins would have been better for stabilisation (as in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1o4T24BoMIc ) but as it is 360 they had to make a comprise between stable in the air/fins not showing up in the 360, we will see it the compromise is viable, i am more afraid of motion blur obliging these cool shots to be done exclusively in 3k 100 fps

  • I got banned within Insta360 Group by posting materials from FCC documents.

    LMAO a company with such customer service. Looks how Nikon/Canon reactions to Z6/Z7, EOS R. They also have submitted their new device to FCC before release. Did they stop customer guessing the features/function (from those fcc materials) before the official release? Nikon fans even have made a Z6/7 with paper or using the hot shoe size to draft the actual size of the camera!

    Did those brand(s) ban/disable their loyal customer/supporters from posting? It’s a huge disappointment to this company customer handling.

    They have applied short term confidentiality to external photos, internal photos, test setup photos, user manual. But they didn’t apply to other fcc reports/letters. That’s means those are available to public!
    Anyway these are information with some personal guess on the upcoming spec from those fcc public documents.

    Model : Insta360 One X
    Battery : DC 3.8V Li-ion remoable battery (physical size should be similar to sony action camera series)
    Power Supply : DC 5V via micro-usb port (test was using Lenovo C-P30 adpater , DC5V 1.5A)
    Wifi : 2.4GHz (Ch1-11) & 5GHz in 2xMiMo
    Bluetooth : BLE (guess its 4.1)
    Antenna : 3.31dBi (seems like there would be possible to attach external antenna)
    Cable supplied : Micro-usb, type-c, Lightning, USB

    Insta360 farsight document have also been updated. There’s a slim chance that Insta360 One X will be compatible with the farsight.

    Michael you was right with “the graphic used by Insta360 is a stylized image of the camera itself”. You can actually take a look on part the camera from this link.
    https://fccid.io/2AFSH-CINONEX-A/Label/Label-and-loction-4007299
    Those circles are possibly the status screen (large circle). arrows button, confirm/power/wifi/bt button.
    below those 4 circles also have a small led indicator (should be the camera power status/record status).
    It also shows the battery compartment. Size of the battery compartment opening should be around 25to30mm x 7~10mm. Comparing to Sony X3000 battery NP-BX1, it should be similar in size (W29.9 x H9.2 x D42.7 mm)

  • Mic great analysis there. I think the real strength here as you pointed out is the fast shooting speed. That would also explain the slow motion clips that they are showing. That would allow for throwing it but not necessarily needing to throw it. The camera could be attached to a very long selfie stick such as the Telesin. You could then follow someone and get really close to the action. As you also pointed out throwing the camera and letting it hit the ground is a non runner. You can’t protect the lenses and still get stitching that good. Looking forward to it.

  • My main question about any Insta360 brand camera is whether they’ll have anything other than token android support. Pretty much any video I shoot on my Insta360 One that’s more than a few minutes long is worthless because they will not render with FlowState stabilization on *any* platform (ios android or PC) without the app crashing first.

  • Mic,

    Thank you for all you do! Your affiliate link has the same prices as the Insta360 store. Can you confirm what the deal should be? I want place my order!!!

    David

    • Hi David. If you order through my link, you can get the 2nd gen invisible selfie stick (narrower tip to be invisible to the One X).

  • Hi Mic,

    Thank you for all of your detailed reviews. I’m ready to replace my Theta S and this has EVERYTHING I’ve been looking for! Your affiliate link seems to be the same pricing as the Insta360 store directly. What should your bundle include and cost?

    Thank you,
    David

    • Hi David. Sorry for the delayed reply. I just saw this now. Yes it’s the same price but you get an invisible selfie stick (the new version that’s narrower, so it’s invisible even to the one x).

    • Thanks Tones! yes i think right now it is the best 360 camera for consumers, imho. It’s not perfect, but it has the best commbination of performance (photo and video), features and ease of use.
      Best regards,
      Mic

    • Hi Mike. so sorry for the delayed reply. The One X is waaaaaaaay more detailed in video, waaaaay better stabilization and chromatic aberration as well. Dynamic range seems a bit better, maybe better at flare resistance too. See the samples… mi sphere just can’t do that level of detail. The One X’s real competition is Fusion but Fusion costs much more and has fewer features. The best feature for me is slow mo. Very very useful i think.
      Best regards,
      Mic

  • Mic,

    Great review, liked comparison images, and specs between the One X and Insta360 One. I really like the idea of removable batteries with a charger that can charge to batteries at the same time. The GPS Smart Remote looks like a great accessory especially if you’re taking Google Street view images

    How do you think the One X will stack up to the Vuze XR camera. I was looking at the Vuze XR for my next camera, but seeing the One X has me wondering if that would be a better choice.

    • Les, I think that’s unanswerable until we can see how well Vuze does with the 180 work. I think it’s extremely likely that the One X is just plain going to out-360 the Vuze XR, and I also think the One X will be inherently more durable (the flip-out lenses just seem like they’d be prone to failure/breaking). So, for me at least, it all comes down to how well 180 photos/video work on the Vuze XR. My LucidCam, despite *many* issues, has shown me that 180 can be really interesting, but it needs to be done right (Lucid… didn’t). If Vuze does it right, I’d pick the XR. If not, I don’t see how the One X isn’t the easy choice between the two.

  • Mic,
    As always great stuff! Would you consider some side by side comparisons on the Insta360 Pro and this new One X? I am seriously thinking of selling my Pro as the revenue is not there to justify keeping it. I have the Mi Sphere, Yi 360 VR and Panono. Thinking of selling the Panono as well. This One X looks really awesome and it pretty much does everything. Any thoughts will be appreciated.

    • Hi Timmy! I absolutely will compare it against insta360 pro. Panono on the other hand has way more detailed photos even without zooming in. But if your client doesn’t zoom in the photo, the one x is “good enough.”
      Best regards,
      Mic

  • I don’t seem to be getting the discount code. I only see the bundle options which I saw prior to finding your link. Am I missing something?

    • If you click through the link, then you add just the camera (the cheapest of the four options), you’ll see the selfie stick (at $0.00) in your cart when you check out.

    • I will test, but if you want a selfie stick that is definitely invisible to both, check out the Benro MK10 or Monoshot version 2.

      • Thanks, i’m curious about it. Looking For something really sturdy for the Sphere. Want to mount it to my paragliding harness. It should resist high g-force of deep spirals. According to your video the Benro and Monoshot don’t seem to very stable. Any alternatives?

  • Few questions about intervalometer – how fast it can take still photos (as jpg), every second? Does it stitch in-camera (jpg’s)? Many mapillary.com users would be interested in these details. Thanks for the great review !

  • when will it be available ? (your affiliate link does not gives a free invisible selfiestick ?) .does the windows software run without a nvidia card (slower rendering of course) or will it refuse to work without it ? thanks.

    • The affiliate link *does* give a free selfie stick (see above) – you just need to add the camera to your cart and check out, and you’ll see it.

  • i guess the cool video with the drifter is shot in 3k@100fps (at 5.7k@30fps there will be a lot of motion blur making it unusable, is it correct ?)

  • this camera shoots at 5.7k@30 in 120mbps h265 is it correct ? will it be the same bitrate and resolution when hdr video option will be available ? (and gopro fusion is 5.2k@30 2*60mbps h265 ? )

    • In “real world conditions,” I took various types of videos and I was able to record around 45 mins of video plus about 8 photos for each battery. Quite short, but at least you can get extra batteries (and you absolutely will need them).

      Best regards,
      Mic

  • Nice review, Mic. Very interesting camera. I think I’d rather throw it in the Venture case than risk the lenses with the drifter. But that Drifter looks interesting too. I wonder how high a person with an average baseball throwing arm could toss it.

  • Hi Mic and thanks for this review!

    In the n°27 feauture miss the end phrase!

    One question: it’s direct compatible with StreetView app?

    Bye,
    David

  • One more thing, how does it livestream? Connection possible via cable or wifi too? Like Insta360 One needs to be connected to a mobile device to livestream. I hope it is not the case with this camera.

  • Mic,
    Thanks so much for your incredibly thorough reviews! If I buy the One X I will definitely use your affiliate link. I’ve been searching the specs but I haven’t found anything that says definitively that this camera shoots at 120mbs. I read somewhere that it was 70mbs but I’m not sure that was accurate. I’m also wondering if this is using the h.265 codec or h.264. I realize the raw files are in a proprietary format but I’m sure they’re using one of those two codecs for compression.
    Thanks,
    Jason

    • Thanks Jason! In 5.7K mode, it creates two files that each are 60mbps. Then when you stitch in the desktop software as a single 5.7k equirectangular video, it gives you the option to stitch at 120mbps. It uses H.264 even for 5.7K videos (even though h.264 is technically limited to 4K).
      ONE X records videos in .insv format and photos in .insp format. These are proprietary untitched formats. You then use the smartphone or desktop app to save it as .mp4 or .jpg respectively.

    • Hi Jon! Yes it can. But you can’t record without the battery (if you remove the battery and plug it into a USB source, it doesn’t startup correctly).

      • Also, can the video be sent to an external recorder? My plan is to use it for motorcycle trips and have it always recording so having to restart the recording every 30 minutes or when the small SD card fills up. Also, why do they cripple hardware when they have 1 TB SD cards out now and the cost is falling every day?!

  • Don’t understand in the Vs Fusion comparison, are you comparing the YOUTUBE rendering of the video of the 2 cameras, not the raw/straight original footage??

  • Hi Mic. My MiSphere died 2 days ago (a strong wind tipped it of with the tripod I attached it on and fell on a rock; the lens smashed in a million little tiny pieces). I was thinking getting a new MiSphere as I’m more into 360 photography than video, but I can’t say I was completely satisfied by the quality of the pictures I was getting from the MiSphere. In particular I was finding its dynamic range quite limited (overblown highlights) and its low light quality not that good (the photos were quite… grainy). Do you believe I should go for Insta360 One X this time? Is its photo quality better than the Xiaomi? Would it be possible to take a couple of comparative shots between the two? Thanks!

  • Hi there, great review there bro. I have one question hoping you to clarify it for me.From your opinion, how is this One X compare to MiSphere in terms of performance. To be frank, i like some of the features of this camera which is not available on MiSphere. Hoping you could clear my doubt. Thanks

    • Thanks Hocksoon! For video, One X is waaaaay better than Mi Sphere for image quality, stabilization, even optics. For photo, i will test.

      Best regards,
      Mic

    • Hi Clement. You can take a 360 photo and convert it to a non-360 photo. The quality will depend on the field of view that you use. A tighter crop is like using digital zoom. The higher the digital zoom the worse the quality gets.
      best regards,
      Mic

  • in your video test the image is overexposed (unusable, oddly enough the autoexposure works fine for the photo mode of the same scene with the same lighting condition) is there manual exposure compensation available for video ?

  • there are 20% more pixels to work with in video on the onex 5.7k vs fusion 5.2k ( unstitched video with circle of radius 2880 pixels for the one xs circle of radius 2626 pixels for fusion ) but the onex has much more chromatic aberration i guess the lens on the fusion are much better, hence the price difference.

    • I disagree. Look at the screen shots under the Standard 30fps Video section. The Fusion has much more pronounced purple fringing.

  • Hi Mic!

    My MiSphere died on the launch date of Insta360 One X!!! One of the lenses shattered into pieces and as I was considering to replace it with another MiSphere, I found out about the One X. Would it be possible to take a few comparative shots between the two cameras? I am more interested in the photo quality than video. I understand that MiSphere is more detailed (more mexapixels) but the One X should have far better dynamic range. Unfortunately the latter doesn’t show that well with your comparison with Fusion…

    Thank you in advance

  • Just received mine!

    It’s a shame it doesn’t come with a protective case/holder anymore. The fabric “protective” pouch doesn’t look very protective at all, and feels like it might even scratch the lenses.

    • congrats!!! yes i prefer the old hardcase. but so far no scratches on this one. but you might accidentally start recording.

  • How does the Insta 360 Studio compared to GoPro fusion studio?
    I’m really frustrated with the performance of GoPro fusion studio even though I have a good computer to edit my 4k footages.

    • Hi Ganesh. Insta360 One X stitching time seems around the same as Fusion. (I will test it) But at least you can export in H.264 instead of Cineform or prores which take up 10x as much space as h.264.
      Best regards,
      Mic

      • Yes you are correct.

        One min recording from my GoPro Fusion took around 26.5 GB in Cineform and the same in H.264 took about 1.6 GB from my GoPro Fusion Studio. which is why I’m thinking to move away from GoPro Fusion.

        It would be helpful if you could check the processing time of GoPro Fusion Studio and Insta 360 Studio, also how good the audio from Insta 360 X is..?

  • Hi Mic, great review, I should receive mine on Monday!
    In regards to the use of the Log profile in low light- it should never, ever be done. Log is really meant to be recorded at a bit depth of 10-bit or higher. The problem is that the One X (and every other consumer 360/action cam) records 8-bit video and therefore only has less than 256 values (300% less data than 10-bit), or shades, with which to record the scene. When a Log profile is used, the camera dedicates a much larger percent of those values to be used for recording highlight information rather than more evenly distributing the data as it would in a standard Rec.709 profile. This may be beneficial for bright scenes where you want to prevent highlight clipping and shadow detail isn’t as important, but it will inevitably have a negative effect on dark scenes because much less data is being used to record the shadow info. Sure, street lights may not clip as sharply if you use a Log profile but the rest of the scene will look much less detailed and deep shadows will look blocky. In other words, a huge amount of your data will be dedicated to making those tiny, unimportant street lights look nicer while very little will be left for your subject and the rest of the scene. If you are shooting using an ARRI Alexa or RED, shooting a dark scene using a Log gamma curve is fine because you have 4096 (12-bit) values with which to record the scene but with an 8-bit camera, a Rec.709 gamma curve is much more appropriate in low light.

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