The 8K Insta360 Ace Pro and 6K Insta360 Ace feature the highest resolution video among consumer action cams, as well as other new features. Are they better than GoPro Hero 12 or DJI Action 4? Here are side by side comparisons, and what I see as their biggest strengths and weaknesses.
11/22/23 Update: added disadvantages including non-removable lens.
Insta360 Ace Pro and Ace are the latest cameras from Insta360, a company with the lion’s share of the 360 camera market. Insta360 has released action cams before, such as the modular Insta360 One RS with 1-inch sensor and the Insta360 Go series of cameras, which are the smallest stabilized HD action cams. But the Ace Pro and Ace are far more advanced cameras that appear designed to appeal not just to their existing 360 camera customers, but to take some market share from GoPro and DJI.
Is it really 8K?
Yes, to my surprise, it’s really 8K. Definitely more detailed than the Hero 12. See for yourself:
Even the 6K Insta360 Ace is more detailed than the Hero 12 as well.
In case you’re wondering about DJI Action 4, yes the Ace Pro and Ace are far more detailed than Action 4.
Low light performance
Ace Pro and Ace also have a new shooting mode called Purevideo that has very low noise and excellent color accuracy in low light conditions.
Other new features
Besides having excellent image quality, Ace Pro and Ace also have many features, including:
Flip screen: a flip touchscreen that helps vloggers frame their shot and can also be used for high and low angles.
No gaps: You can record long videos without any gaps other than a brief (less than a second) drop in volume (and seemingly no dropped video frames).
Clarity zoom: When shooting 4K with the Ace Pro, you can zoom in at 2X while maintaining full 4K resolution. Here’s a comparison of a 2x zoom with and without Clarity Zoom:
Motion ND: This adds a motion blur effect only on parts of the video that are moving, making it look similar to using a slow shutter with an ND filter.
Pause recording: Pause and resume your video recording to edit on the fly while shooting. You can also change some settings such as exposure and field of view while pausing the recording.
Cancel recording: If you made a mistake, you can hold the shutter to cancel the recording. This helps you avoid having to sort through your bad takes to hunt for the good take.
AI Warp: this adds a generative AI effect to your video (limited to 4 seconds).
- Lens is not removable. According to my contact at Insta360, they decided at the last minute to change the design of the front element to make it non-removable because a removable lens can compromise the waterproofing. I asked them to please reconsider their decision and to find a way to make it both waterproof with a removable lens, just like GoPro. UPDATE 12/17/23: it appears that the lens might be removable using unofficial 3rd party accessories (note – I haven’t tested it myself).
- 8-bit not 10-bit. The video is only 8-bit.
- No log mode. It has a flat profile option but no log mode.
- No built-in mount. It has a magnetic mount but no built-in tripod hole. Some people have complained that the mount falls off easily. This is false. The mount is extremely secure. The issue, however, is that you have to use a lot of force to have the mount clipped correctly (you need to hear 2 clicks, not just one click). If you try to use it with only one click, you might think it’s mounted when it’s not actually mounted. But when it’s mounted, it’s extremely secure and actually needs a lot of force to dismount.
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