This FPV drone video would have been nearly impossible to shoot just a few years ago because it requires the Insta360 Go 2 (reviewed here), the smallest stabilized action camera, with keyframing capabilities. In this video, I discuss how the Insta360 Go 2 enables your FPV quad to capture unique shots.
There are several FPV drones that can shoot videos at high resolution. The Cinecan for example, has a 4K camera. However, with rare exceptions, the cameras on FPV drones are not stabilized. This is because FPV drones are completely controlled by the pilot, and pilots need to see through the drone’s camera. The camera’s view tells the pilot which way the quad is pointed, not just in terms of the direction it is facing but also its “attitude,” which is its angle. For example, if the camera shows a view aimed below the horizon, then the pilot knows that the quad is pitched forward and that increasing throttle will move the quad forward. This is why stabilizing a FPV camera is technically possible but undesirable because the pilot would have no way to determine the drone’s attitude.
The dilemma is that, for cinematic videos, stabilization is virtually required. As a result, cinematic FPV pilots traditionally have mounted GoPros on their drones. GoPros have excellent stabilization and image quality that is good enough for professional use. On the other hand, GoPros typically weigh around 120 grams. The Hero 9 is even heavier at around 158 grams. With the extra weight, you need a drone that is powerful enough to carry a GoPro, which generally means they need 3 inch props or larger.
There are many quads of that size. But there’s a problem. One of the things that can make an FPV video more exciting is gaps. The tighter the gap, the more excitement it adds. The problem with larger quads is that they’re too large to fly through smaller gaps. To fly through small gaps, you need a smaller quad.
But smaller quads have a hard time carrying full-size GoPros. That’s where the Insta360 Go 2 comes in. Insta360 Go 2 is a very small 180-degree camera with a similar sensor as the popular Insta360 One X2. The Go 2 is small and very light — only about 30 grams.
In addition to its tiny form factor and light weight, the Go 2 also has amazing stabilization – including 360 horizon leveling. It also has some keyframing capability: you can reframe the video to point slightly up, down, left or right. This is especially useful for FPV drones which generally don’t have motorized camera mounts that can be aimed downward.
On the other hand, Insta360 Go 2 has less detail than most GoPro Hero cameras. You’ll have to decide whether the keyframing capability and small size are worth the tradeoff for less detail. As for me, I think the ability to reframe the camera downward is a very useful feature and is worth the tradeoff, IMHO.