360 Camera Reviews

The perfect 360 camera? Insta360 ONE X Review, FAQ and Resource Page (updated Dec. 5, 2018)

Insta360 ONE X review with 29 features and 14 disadvantages
Insta360 ONE X review with 29 features and 14 disadvantages

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 December 2018.  I’ve been testing the Insta360 One X since October 1, and here is a detailed hands-on review with complete specifications, features, comparison with and differences from the Insta360 One, GoPro Fusion and other 360 cameras, sample photos and videos, and more.  December 5, 2018 update: HDR video mode now added.  See the comparison, plus how to get it NOW for iOS and Android..  November 18, 2018 update: hyperlapse comparison between One X and GoPro Hero 7 Time Warp.  November 11, 2018 update: comprehensive Insta360 One X vs. GoPro Fusion comparison with 40 factors compared   See other updates below.

Insta360 ONE X review with 29 features and 14 disadvantages
Summary: Insta360 ONE X review with 29 features and 14 disadvantages
Insta360 One X HDR video sample and comparison
Insta360 One X HDR video sample and comparison
Insta360 One X vs. GoPro Fusion: the ULTIMATE 360 CAMERA Comparison
Insta360 One X vs. GoPro Fusion: the ULTIMATE 360 CAMERA Comparison

Updated December 5, 2018: HDR video mode now added.
Updated: November 18, 2018  hyperlapse comparison between One X and GoPro Hero 7 Time Warp.
Updated: November 11, 2018  comprehensive Insta360 One X vs. GoPro Fusion comparison with 40 factors compared
Updated: November 2, 2018: new underwater sample videos.
Updated: October 31, 2018: DNG Raw support plus comparison with JPG.
Updated: October 30, 2018: ISO comparison for low light photos
Updated: October 26, 2018: Sample video from waterproof Dive Case
Updated: October 21, 2018: in-depth video review
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


Executive Summary

Here is my video review of the Insta360 ONE X, including its strengths and weaknesses:

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.

Here is a product video

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.


32 FEATURES

Here are 32 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).  In addition, Version 3.1 of the desktop app now allows the user to change the field of view (e.g. to make it wider).

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. Hyperlapse with motion blur
Insta360 One X can create a hyperlapse in the smartphone app.  A hyperlapse is like a time lapse, except the camera is moving.  For more information, and a comparison with GoPro Hero 7 Time Warp, see below.

8. Time Shift (NEW!)
TimeShift is a speed ramp effect that lets you switch between high speed and slow motion.  Here is a sample shot by renowned director Philip Bloom:

9. HDR Video (now available)
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 speculate 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.  See the samples and comparison below.

10.  Data overlay (NEW! Not yet available at launch)
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

 

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

12. 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.

13. 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.

14. No-stitch editing in Adobe Premiere (NEW! Not yet available at launch)
Insta360 One X videos can be edited in Adobe Premire without stitching them first.  This not only saves time and storage space, but can also improve the quality of your resulting video by compressing the video only once — during the final render.  Note: This feature is not yet available.

Insta360 One X no-stitch editing in Adobe Premiere
Insta360 One X no-stitch editing in Adobe Premiere

15.  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

16. 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.

17. 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.

18. 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.

Insta360 One X video editing within the app
Insta360 One X video editing within the app

Photo features

19. HDR Photo (NEW!)

ONE X non-HDR (left) vs. ONE X HDR (right)
ONE X non-HDR (left) vs. ONE X HDR (right)

This enables the ONE X to shoot a true multi-exposure HDR photo.  It will take 3 shots, with exposure intervals that you choose, up to +/- 4EV.  When you load the photo in the app, the app recognizes it as an HDR series and stitches an HDR shot.  The desktop app does not yet stitch HDR as of launch date, so instead you would need to stitch the 3 shots separately and then fuse them using your preferred HDR software.  See below for sample HDR shots.

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

21. 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

22. 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.

23. 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.

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

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

26. 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.

27. 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.

See the sample videos below for a link to sample underwater videos.

28. 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

29. 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.

30. 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.   This does drain the battery faster, even when the One X appears to be off, but a future firmware update will let you choose whether to keep Bluetooth on, or turn it off when the camera is on standby.

31. 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.  The One X can also add GPS data to photos that were taken while the One X was connected to a phone equipped with GPS, either wirelessly or with the included USB cable.

32. 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
3008 x 1504 @ 100fps
mp4 (log mode available)
3840 x 1920, 30fps
2560 x 1280 @ 60fps
mp4 (log mode available)
Bitrate100 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 HDR Sample

The ONE X’s HDR mode can make a dramatic difference. Here is a non-HDR photo for comparison:

Here is an HDR photo:

For extreme lighting, HDR shots can look better with dedicated HDR software such as Photomatix Pro (15% off with coupon code: 360rumors).  Insta360 Studio (One X’s desktop software) will stitch each of the photos separately (turn off FlowState).  You can then import the photos into Photomatix and fine tune the contrast, tonality and other values.

Insta360 One X in-app HDR vs. Photomatix HDR
Insta360 One X in-app HDR vs. Photomatix HDR

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.


Low light photo ISO comparisons

To show how the One X performs in low light for 360 photos, I took photos across its ISO range from 100 to 3200.For ISO 1600 and ISO 3200 the exposure is a bit different because there was a gap in the shutter speeds (there was no 1/4 or 1/8 speed, but there was a 1/5 and 1/10th so I used 1/5 for ISO 800).  As of October 31, 2018, you’ll find both JPG samples, and JPG conversions from Raw DNG.


Sample surfing video with waterproof Dive Case

Here’s the new sample video from the Insta360 One X that shows how the video looks with the Dive Case above water:

It’s an overcapture video not a 360 video, so we can’t see everything but so far this sample shows almost no glare.  That is quite impressive for what appears to be a polycarbonate hardcase, which are usually vulnerable to flare. Moreover, unlike the Ricoh Theta TW-1 underwater case, the Dive Case stitching appears to be smooth even above water.

Insta360 ONE X Venture Case sample video shows no glare
Insta360 ONE X Venture Case sample video shows minimal glare

Sample underwater video from Insta360 ONE X

On November 1, 2018, Insta360 posted new underwater video samples from the One X with the Dive Case.  The samples show seamless stitching.

Insta360 One X new underwater sample videos
Insta360 One X new underwater sample videos

Here is a link to the sample videos.

The stitching in the videos look 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.  For instructions on transferring the files to the One X smartphone app, see FAQ #20 below. 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; App updates

Insta360 ONE X is compatible with iOS, Android, Windows and Mac. Here are the software (beta versions):
iOS app
Android app
Windows and Mac OS desktop software: see the 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 yet).

Desktop software updates:
– Version 3.1 added different types of stitching (normal, waterproof case, dive case above water, dive case under water).  Version 3.1 also allows the user to change the field of view for bullet time videos, taking advantage of the full 360 field of view of the One X’s bullet time mode.
– Version 3.0.3 for Windows and 3.0.2 for Mac (both released October 30, 2018) feature Direction Hold support (forward-facing stabilization), and support for other Insta360 cameras such as the Insta360 One, Insta360 Nano S, Insta360 Air, and Insta360 Nano, paving the way to eventually replace the previous version of Insta360 Studio.

 


DNG Raw photo support and comparison with JPG

Insta360 One X is one of the few 360 cameras with support for Raw photos.  It can not only take photos in Raw format, but can also stitch them in Raw (Insta360 Studio Beta version 3.0.3 for Windows and 3.0.2 for Mac).  The One X uses the industry standard Adobe DNG Raw format ensuring support across almost all Raw-capable image editors from day 1.

The One X’s Raw files are true Raw files (not merely JPG files in Raw containers).  Below are crops from the photos showing differences in dynamic range and high ISO noise (JPGs are on the left column while JPGs converted from Raw DNG are on the right column):

Insta360 One X crops from JPG (left) and Raw (right)
Insta360 One X crops from JPG (left) and Raw (right)

From these crops, you can see that the highlight range of the Raw file is much greater than that of the JPG file (look at the point where highlights are blown from the sun).  Another benefit is that the Raw file has far less chroma noise compared to the JPG file.  The Raw file also has more detail.  For example, in the low light crop, you can see clearly see the horizontal bars of the utility poles in the distance, which are almost invisible in the JPG crop.

As expected, the Raw file does look flat in terms of color, contrast, and edge contrast (acutance), but those are easily adjusted, and the Raw file can be made to match the color and contrast of the JPG, or otherwise according to the user’s preferences.

One issue with the One X Raw files (as of November 1) is that they must be tinted at maximum magenta in order to appear normal.  If the magenta / green tint is adjusted toward green in the slightest, the image will appear greenish.  I’ve brought this to the attention of Insta360 and they said they will resolve it.

To see other comparisons between the JPG and Raw files, see the ISO comparison, with 360 photo samples from each.

Insta360 One X HDR Video samples and comparison (firmware 1.17.12.1)

On December 5, Insta360 posted a firmware update (1.17.12.1) and app update (iOS 1.1.1; Android update TBA) to add HDR video to the Insta360 One X.  Please note you need to download 1.17.12.1 and not 1.17.12. Here is a sample and comparison:


HDR Video is exactly what it sounds: it is a high dynamic range video, which appears to be a feature of the Sony sensor used by Insta360.  Insta360 has declined to name the sensor used in the One X, but the sensor appears to use Sony’s SME-HDR (spatially multiplexed exposure HDR) technology.  With SME-HDR, the sensor’s pixels have different exposures.  This enables the sensor to capture a wider dynamic range than would otherwise be possible.

In the sample video, we can see that the HDR video can capture a much wider highlight range.   However, shadow range does not appear noticeably different.

To use HDR mode, you can either switch to HDR mode using the in-camera menu or using the smartphone app.  In the in-camera menu, HDR video is a new mode that you can switch to by holding down the shutter button, which cycles to bullet time, time lapse video, and HDR video before going back to normal mode.  There is also a new HDR video mode in the updated smartphone app (at this time, iOS has been updated while the Android app has not yet been updated).

To add the HDR Video mode, you need to update the firmware, see FAQ no. 22 below.

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

Here is the most detailed comparison between the One X and the GoPro Fusion, with 40 factors compared.

TABLE of CONTENTS
Part 1: Video quality
1. Detail
2. Chromatic aberration
3. Flare resistance
4. Compression
5. Dynamic range
6. Low light (video)
7. Stitching – at around 5:09 during the stitching testing, there are compression artifacts but those are from Premiere, not the one x or the fusion. not sure why premiere rendered it strangely.
8. Auto exposure accuracy
9. Color
10. Audio
11. Stabilization
12 Slow motion modes
Part 2: Video Usability & Features
13. Startup time / speed
14. Ease of controls
15. Quick access commands
16. Remote control options
17. Manual exposure vs. auto
18. Log mode
19. Special features (video)
Part 3: photo quality
20. Detail
21. Photo dynamic range
22. Stitching (photo)
23. Low light photo
24. Color (photo)
Part 4: Photo Usability
25. Controls
26. Exposure controls (manual mode)
27. Raw mode
28. Long exposures
29. Special features (photo)
Part 5: Special uses
30. Endurance
31. Street View
32. Rugged use.
33. Underwater
34. Drone usage
Part 6: Editing
35. Connectivity
36. Stitching time and convenience
37. Batch exporting
38. File format
39. Editing features
Part 7: Other factors
40. Updates and longevity
41. Cost

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 very slightly more detail (resolution), while the ONE X has higher edge contrast (acutance).

Insta360 One X non-HDR vs. Fusion 360 photo
Insta360 One X non-HDR vs. Fusion 360 photo

On the other hand, the One X is much sharper than Fusion toward the stitch line:

Insta360 ONE X 360 photo quality vs Fusion at stitch line
Insta360 ONE X 360 photo quality (left) vs Fusion (right) at stitch line

As for dynamic range, Fusion has more dynamic range in JPG mode.  Fusion’s raw mode also has slightly more dynamic range that One X’s raw mode. However, the One X has a true HDR photo mode with three exposures 4EV apart, while the Fusion has no HDR mode.  With HDR, the One X exceeds the Fusion’s dynamic range.

dynamic range comparison: Insta360 One X HDR vs. GoPro Fusion raw
dynamic range comparison: Insta360 One X HDR vs. GoPro Fusion raw

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.  However, Fusion’s forward facing stabilization is nowhere as smooth as the One X’s forward facing stabilization.  Note further 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 — an option in the in-camera menu).

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 videos, and noticeably better dynamic range for videos.  For photos, the ONE X has better dynamic range in HDR mode.  I expect that with the One X’s HDR Video mode, the gap in dynamic range for video would be much narrower.  Moreover, ONE X has more consistent sharpness throughout the frame.    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 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.

Comparison: Insta360 One X vs. GoPro Hero 7 hyperlapse

I compared the One X with the Hero 7 for hyperlapse:

The Insta360 One X has many advantages over the Hero 7 for hyperlapses:
+ far superior stabilization
+ the ability to pan in any direction
+ object tracking (this can help you rotate your hyperlapse around a specific subject)
+ motion blur effect
+ the option to change the speed of the hyperlapse, not only for the whole video but within any segment of the video
+ the option to create multiple hyperlapse videos from a single video

The Hero 7 is more detailed, but the detail is not readily observable with the fast motion of a hyperlapse. Therefore the Insta360 One X is better than the Hero 7 for hyperlapses

 

INSTA360 ONE X DISADVANTAGES AND PROBLEMS

Insta360 One X disadvantages

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.

Many bugs have already been resolved (e.g. frame rate, audio sync, 360 metadata) but there are still lingering bugs. For example, as of October 22, 2018, there is still no support for HDR video, which was one of the key features advertised.   For those who are experienced 360 shooters, this is par for the course, but for new shooters, it can be disconcerting.  It will feel like you are a beta tester.  Rest assured, however, Insta360 does respond very quickly and pushes out frequent updates to firmware and the apps.

360 camera tradeoffs and disadvantages in general

In addition, the Insta360 ONE X has most of the same tradeoffs of 360 cameras compared to non-360 cameras: first, it is less detailed despite the often higher video resolution, because it captures a wider field of view compared to non-360 cameras, just like a fisheye lens will capture less detail than a telephoto lens from the same shooting distance.   In exchange, with the 360 field of view, you have far better stabilization and the freedom to choose the perspective in postprocessing.

Second, like most other 360 cameras, you will need to stitch the photos and videos.  You can’t just take the files straight from the memory card and stick them in your video editor (although a no-stitch workflow will be enabled for Adobe Premiere users).  On the plus side, the ONE X desktop app does allow batch exporting which makes it easier to stitch.  Moreover, if you use the mobile app for overcapture videos, you can go straight to overcapture and won’t have to stitch the video first.

Third, using 360 video to create overcapture non-360 video is very useful but does add an additional step in editing.  To me, this is not much of a problem.  During video editing, you usually have to adjust the image here and there anyway, and having the ability to change the view during editing is a benefit to me.  However, for casual shooters who don’t want to edit their videos, converting to overcapture will add an additional step.


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?
Yes Insta360 One X is compatible with both iOS and Android.  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 and Mac.    A desktop is recommended to 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. However, I’ve been able to stitch without a dedicated GPU on a Mac Air early 2015 with Intel i7 and Intel HD graphics 6000 (but it takes a while).

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?
In order for the selfie stick to be invisible, it needs to be narrow enough to fit between the lenses of the ONE X. I recommend the new version of the Insta360 2nd generation Selfie Stick, or Benro MK10. Also check out my Ultimate Buying Guide for 360 camera tripods.

11.  Endurance:  How long can the ONE X record?   Can it record while charging?

In 5.7K mode, the ONE X can only record for 30 mins.  at a time.  This is a limit of its file system, not the battery or overheating.  Yes it can record while charging via USB however you cannot record without the battery.

12. Can you shoot photos in Raw format?
Yes you can take photos in Raw DNG format. When you shoot in Raw it actually shoots it as Raw+JPEG. You will have two files: a JPG file with .insp extension and a raw file in DNG format. The DNG files are saved in the camera as unstitched files. You’ll then need to use Insta360 Studio to stitch the DNG and it will save the stitched file in Raw DNG. However, as of october 22, Insta360 Studio doesn’t have raw stitching capability yet (wait for an update). The other limit is that you cannot shoot in Raw DNG while in HDR mode.

13. Can you shoot videos in log mode?
Yes you can shoot videos in log mode. Insta360 also has a LUT available for download. Moreover, the mobile app recognizes videos shot in log mode and will give you the option to apply a LUT.

14. Does it support Google Street View?
For photos, yes. You can simply tap on Share and then select Street View. The photo will be uploaded to Street View.
To get GPS data on the photos, you’ll need the optional dedicated Bluetooth remote accessory.
For videos, ONE X is compatible with Street View if you use the updated smartphone app (available in the One X app ver. 1.1.1 for iOS) or if you shoot with the Bluetooth accessory to add GPS data to the video.

15. Can ONE X live stream over Wi-Fi?
In order to live stream, the ONE X must be connected via one of the included cables to your phone.

16. What is the maximum bitrate of the ONE X?
In 5.7K mode, it records two files simultaneously, with each file having around 50mpbs. The desktop app then gives you the option to stitch the 5.7K videos as 120mbps.

17. Can you take long exposure time lapses?
Yes. In the time lapse photo mode (called “interval”), you can use manual exposure, with shutter speeds as long as 55 seconds, and take photos at intervals as long as 120 seconds apart. The photos can be in Raw DNG format.

18. Can the mobile app process 5.7K videos?
In 360 mode, you can view 5.7K but when you stitch / export, the maximum resolution for stitched 360 videos is 4K.
In overcapture mode, the ONE X app will use the full resolution of the 5.7K video in creating a 1080p overcapture file.

19. I connected my One X to my desktop but the desktop is not recognizing the One X.
Check the settings in the camera’s menu.  The One X USB must be set to iOS not Android when you connect it to the desktop.  Once connected, the One X will show “U Disk” on its LCD screen to show that it is being used as a USB drive.

20.  How do I transfer files to the Insta360 One X app?
“To put files to OneX app, if you are using an Android device, please put them to Insta360onex\galleryorigin folder. If you are using ios device, please create a folder named IMPORT, put files in this folder, connect your ios device to the computer via iTunes, find Insta360 ONEX, use the IMPORT folder to replace the original IMPORT folder” per Insta360 support staff.

21.  My Insta360 One X was fully charged when I kept it in my bag a few days ago and now it is low battery.  Why?
If you turn on the camera and turn it off, the One X leaves Bluetooth on in order to allow remote activation.  This lets you turn it back on even from a distance but this also drains the battery a bit.  A future firmware update will give you the option to choose whether to turn off the Bluetooth when the camera is on standby.  Meanwhile for now you can remove the battery and put it back.  When you do that, the Bluetooth will not be activated.

22. How do I update the firmware?
There are two ways to update the firmware.  First is through the smartphone app.  While connecting the One X to the app, you Go to the settings from the main menu, and scroll down to “About Insta360.”  If you see that the firmware version or app version has a red dot, it means an update is available.  Tap on the firmware version or app version to begin the update.

The second way to update firmware is by downloading the new firmware, copying it into the root directory of your Micro SD, then inserting it into the One X (while the One X is powered off).  When you turn on the One X, it will recognize the firmware update and update itself automatically.  You’ll see the LED turn off for a minute or so, before coming back on again, with the new firmware version displayed on the LCD.

23. While upgrading my firmware, my camera encountered problems.  I might have bricked it.  What can I do?
Insta360’s support staff may be able to assist you.  There are two ways to reach them.   First, you can join their Facebook group (Insta360 Community and Insta360 One Community) and post your issue.  An Insta360 representative will respond.  The second way is to use the help button in the app.  From the main screen, tap on settings on the bottom right.  On the settings screen tap on the yellow support button on the upper right corner.  Then explain what happened.


DISCOUNT CODE

You can get a special deal on the Insta360 One X that includes the 2nd generation Invisible Selfie Stick for free when you buy directly from Insta360 using this affiliate link.  Another benefit of ordering from Insta360 is that you can order it together with ONE X accessories that you won’t be able to get anywhere else.   However, if you prefer, you can also buy from Amazon or 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 1.17.12.1)

+ excellent video quality (excellent detail, good dynamic range)
+ excellent photo quality (excellent detail, good dynamic range)
+ excellent low light and high ISO performance
+ best slow motion video quality among 360 cameras at the moment
+ Timeshift speed ramp effect is easy to use on the mobile app.
+ HDR photo mode can make a dramatic difference
+ HDR video mode increases dynamic range significantly (although it can have motion blur in low light)
+ drift shot looks amazing and unique
+ excellent stabilization with two stabilization modes (Flowstate stabilized compass heading and Direction Hold forward view stabilization)
+ consistent sharpness throughout the frame
+ easy to use
+ does not break up longer files into smaller files
+ startup and shutdown are fast
+ Insta360 Studio is capable of batch exporting
+ will have no-stitch editing in Premiere

Weaknesses (firmware 1.17.12.1)

– 5.7K video recording limited to 30 mins. at a time.
– Phone app limited to 4K 30fps video and 1080p 100fps video
– Red dot lens flare
– default color profile’s contrast is a bit low
– Micro SD card is hard to remove with short fingernails.
– Lens is not replaceable (but it has an optional hard case)
– Battery life limited to 60 minutes video recording (45 mins. recording in real world conditions, turning on and off,, etc.). But you can get spare batteries.
– Does not have 3D capabilities.

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.  Some of its key features were not yet available and launch, 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 (several of the bugs have already been resolved), the Insta360 One X is the best overall 360 camera for consumers 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 Facebook and/or Twitter, 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

143 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

      • What about stills quality?

        Do the improved optics make up for the loss of resolution when compared against the Mi Sphere too?

        More specifically – when in HDR bracket mode, does it capture all three images quickly before saving them, or does it do capture/save/capture/save/capture/save like the Mi does?

        Can it bracket when shooting DNG (the Mi can’t)?

  • 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.

      • H.264 is not limited to 4k.

        Level 6.0 can go up to 8k30, 6.2 can do 8k120

        Specifically, 6.0 is a limit of 1,069,547,520 luma samples/sec and 35,651,584 luma samples/frame, with 6.2 offering 4x the samples/sec and the same number of samples/frame

      • Are the output insv files from the camera already stabilized video files? And, is it possible to access all the features of the camera without using a phone app?

    • 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..?

  • Thanks Mic for the great, detailed reviews as always. Thank you for your reply to my post in the GoPro Fusion thread.

    My question at this point: for a completely mobile workflow to create overcapture/freecapture videos, is it correct that Insta360 One X limits you to 4k while GoPro Fusion allows mobile use of 5.2k? Without the ability to use 5.7k video for overcapture in the mobile environment the Insta360 one x appears to be taking a step backwards here. Is this assessment correct?

    If it is, what do you feel is the likelihood of insta360 one x enabling 5.7k 360 for overcapture on mobile?

    Thanks for your time.

  • 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.

  • Hi Mic, I’m newbie to 360 world, excited owner of ONE X

    What graphics card are you personally using?

    How do I share the exported 5.7k video from insta360 studio with my family? What devices are needed to view the videos
    When played on laptop with VLC, the lag is so bad video is unwatchable.
    If possible, I do not want to post on YouTube, because of large file size transfer and it is personal family videos

    Thank you

  • Hey Mic,

    I’d love to see a comparison between this and the Yi 360 for 5.7K, 120mbps video capture. No special features, just image and optical quality under a few different lighting conditions. Since these cameras cost the same and have the same resolution, it would be a valuable comparison for those of us who mostly care about IQ rather than the bells and whistles. Thanks!

  • Hi Mic, thanks for your review. Wondering what do you think about this camera for real estate compared to Mishpere??? thanks

    • Hi Daniconil! The main advantage of the ONE X for photos is the HDR mode with 3 shots up to 4EV apart, stitched in the phone. See the new sample photos I posted. But in terms of detail, Mi Sphere has more detail.

    • hmm mine has no such stitching errors as you can see in the review video. pls. make sure you are using at least the october 8, if not a later version

  • Great review. I just wanted to ask about the software your are using. My camera arrived today and I taken some sample videos. As you mentioned the beta desktop app does not have the freecapture option. I installed the old version of the software for the previous model, but it does not allow the import of the new camera files. Should I stitch the files in the beta software then use Premiere Pro with the GoPro plug ins for overcapture?

    PS I was a bit annoyed that I paid for the monopod, as it came with one, now I have two.

    Cheers,

    Nick

    • Hi Nick. Congrats on getting the One X! Re freecapture yes — you either use premiere with Gopro VR plugin and GoPro VR Reframe effect, or export the video as 4K so you can use the old insta360 studio.

      About the monopod – yes if you use my link you will get a free 2nd generation monopod. But don’t worry, it’s very useful and works with any 360 camera.

  • Do you have any suggestions for attaining the best possible quality while exporting from the app? I exported a 4K@50fps clip to both YouTube and Facebook but they look terrible. Very compressed and ugly overall.

    • Hi Andrew. For 360 I think it’s best to use the desktop app to export, and select the original bitrate. You can then edit in Premiere and select a high bitrate (110 mbps or something) to ensure original quality, or close to it. But ultimately youtube and facebook will compress it heavily.

  • What about the FLAT quality of the photos? Is the software able to erase a bit of the distortion or fisheye effect is really here?

    • Hi Clement. No problem — in insta360 studio you can change the projection to “perspective” (flat rectilinear), then click on the camera icon to take a snapshot to export the rectilinear view.

      • Hi mic Ty, thanks for reply.
        Do you know if that flat pictures have important fish eye effect? My point is that I may also use this camera for normal photo to put in an album, so without 360 effect, just normal fisheye effect like gopro would provide. Do you know if it’s possible to shoot with only one of the camera and not both?

  • Hi Mic….
    I just bought insta360 one x
    I can’t connect to Android oreo 8.1.0 (via lightning USB cable)
    if connecting to my old andoid (lollipop) after activating OTG, it runs normally
    How to solve this problem ?

    best regards

    • hi Danny. I’m using Android 8 too and I’m able to do it without problems on S8+. You may want to try plugging the cable to the camera before plugging it to your phone.

  • Hi, save more money for this one or just buy mi sphere? this gonna be my first 360 camera. Mainly will used it for photo then video. Thinking to use it on my wedding and my trip.

    • Hi Ivan. The Mi Sphere has more detailed photos and is waterproof without a case, but the one x is better in all other ways (and for photos, it has true HDR with 3 shots up to 4ev interval). If you’re sure you will use it only for photos, then Mi Sphere would be great. Otherwise I would recommend One X.

  • In each video with the dive case, I find myself wishing they had the camera upside-down. I want to look at the ocean floor, not the ceiling. If the diver flipped the camera upside-down, then then case would be visible at the top, leaving the entire bottom clear for viewing.

    I’d love to see a video of this in action, just to see if it would actually work like I think it would.

  • I had an idea for a feature if you have the ability to give feedback to the developers. I ride motorcycles, sometimes 8 hours in a day. Taking 8 hours of 360 video would take up huge amounts of space, and be incredibly hard to sift through to find the interesting parts. What I want (should be a just a software/programming feature) is to set the camera in a loop where it only stores the video when I hit a button on the remote,. The difference to this an just hitting record as normal is that I want the video to start recording 30-60 seconds before and after I hit the button, similar to how some DVR / dashcams work. On a bike moving at speeds, you often cannot hit a trigger until after you are passed the interesting view or after you have almost ran off the road, but you also don’t want to save the 95% of the day’s ride that is boring. Just an idea that I hope can be programmed in! Also, this would require full time power and also some sort of lens cover to protect the lenses from bug impacts but enable charging.

  • Michael
    Thanks for yet another nice review.
    I wonder would you recommend this product for doing cheap and fast way for creating 360 still panoramas for realestate and tourism?
    I’m still searching for affordable one click solution when clients don’t have resources or don’t want to spend for Hi quality solution made with DSLR and fisheye.
    My goals are still the same: in-device stitching, reasonable image quality without blurred area and or noise, low purple fringing, and way to do HDR to reduce burned out areas when shooting indoor areas with large windows.
    Thanks
    Best Regards

  • Hello Mic Ty

    I want to ask, have you ever tried uploading Insta One X 360 photos to Google Street View? (stitching with Insta360 Studio beta windows v3.0.3)
    Why if I upload to street view, the display on the Android smartphone is messed up (horizontal and vertical orientation that doesn’t match), but when viewed on a desktop PC the image is normal. Are these bugs ?

    Best regard

    • Hi Uday. It is slightly more detailed, and in HDR mode has greater DR than theta’s HDR mode. Great upgrade from theta S. The only thing is that the stitching is not in-camera, but you gain a lot more.

  • Thank you for doing the review of this product. It has been very helpful. I need to impose on you with some questions about whether this device will serve this situation of mine very well.

    I teach sign language interpreting at an university. We do simulated scenarios in order for our students to gain some interpreting experience. It is a simple matter if we have a deaf consumer, a hearing consumer and an interpreter in between these two. 120 degree camera in the corner of the room works very well for these situations.

    However, sometimes we need more. For instance, we may need a second interpreter, or an interpreter works with a group of people rather than between two individuals. I wonder if this device being putting in middle would allows us to observe several signers and hearing persons communicating through the interpreters in one screen instead of having to pan around.

    If this is possible, then may I inquire as to optimized distance between the camera and the participants.

    Thank you for bearing with me and my odd request.

    Regards, Steven

  • What is your opinion on Insta360 One X vs Rylo 5.8K? I am torn between the two for an in car (race car) application. I would value your thoughts.

  • Does anyone know the best solution to create a private VR tour, which would work as Google’s StreetView (where you click on the ground to take you a few meters further), but would not be public? (Want to make a tour of my house, and share it with selected people).

    If I can watch it on Oculus Go, even better
    Any recommendations are very welcome.

    Thanks

  • Hi, I can’t figure out how to change the angle of the beginning of 360 video. Basically reframing the 360 clip, so it starts on the action and not some random angle, not interesting to viewer.

    1. is it possible to set the angle in Insta360 one x app? (I did set the pivot point in freecapture, but when exporting a 360 video all freecapture edits are canceled right? They only apply to fixframe exports.

    2. Is it possible to do it in premiere pro or finalcut? how?

    3. is it possible to select the beginning view in facebook when publishing or youtube? I did not see that option.

    thanks!

  • does the new hdr video mode fixes the overexposure problem ? ( on your camera to camera comparison you wall was completely blown out from over-exposition, the image was unusable. thanks

  • I also downloaded the HDR update file right before they pulled it. Cannot believe they released that, the menu’s were buggy as hell – I picked it up within a few seconds. Completely agree that they can further optimise the HDR – the highlights are massively improved, but low light detail is unchanged. Really HDR should improve both, not one or the other so they need to bake in a few more stops at the low end.

  • Hi. I’m having a big misunderstanding chatting with the support of Insta 360 One X. I’m gonna use it with an iPad. But I need to buy one. Someone says it’s compatible with iPad mini 2 other that I need to buy a 6th generation or iPad Pro. I’m confused. I don’t wanna spend more much money but I need something that it’s gonna work. Could you help me in this issue? Best regards

    • Hi Daniel! their one x page says iPad Pro, iPad (2018). Maybe you can ask the Apple Store if they will allow you to install the app in the store demo units. If the app installs, it should work. If it’s not compatible, you won’t be able to install it.
      Best regards,
      Mic

  • Hello, Sorry buy i don’t understantd..
    The battery Life if i use 5.7k Is 30 minutes? Or 60 minutes teorical and 35 Min real?

    • Hi Marco. The 30 minute limit is the recording time of the file. After 30 mins. it will stop recording but there is still battery and storage left. This is being fixed in the new firmware. In the new firmware, it will immediately start a new recording after reaching the 30 min. limit.