You can now make side by side comparisons of the GoPro Fusion ($699, reviewed here), GoPro Omni ($1399) and Insta360 Pro ($3499, reviewed here). I’ve added full resolution 360 video samples from each to the Ultimate 360 Camera Comparison tool, which enables you to make side by side comparisons with any two 360 cameras in the growing database. This enables anyone to cut through the marketing claims and individual opinions to see for themselves how samples actually look. Here are my observations.
Before we get to the comparison, here is some information about the three cameras I’m comparing:
GoPro Omni ($1399) is one of the most popular professional 360 cameras. It can capture 360 video in 8K at 30fps, or 5.7K at 60fps, or 4K at 120fps. It originally retailed at $5,000, but is now available for as low as $1399 (complete with Autopano Video and Autopano Giga stitching software), making it the most affordable 8K 360 camera on the market, not just for professionals but for prosumers as well. It is often mistaken as a simple rig, but it actually has hardware and software to ensure that its cameras are synchronized, and matched automatically for ease of shooting and stitching.
Insta360 Pro ($3499, reviewed here) is a popular professional 360 camera that revolutionized the professional camera market with its incredibly easy workflow. It captures 360 video in 8K in 2D at 30fps, or 6.4K in 3D at 30fps, among other options. When it was first released it was significantly more affordable than the GoPro Omni but what truly set it apart is how easy it was to shoot and stitch with it. I was surprised that it was actually easier to shoot and stitch it than some consumer 360 cameras. At the same time it has been well received by companies such as CNN and National Geographic, and by professional videographers such as Philip Bloom.
GoPro Fusion ($699, reviewed here) is a consumer 360 camera that has impressed 360 shooters with its incredible image quality. It captures video at “only” 4992 x 2496, but I was surprised to find that it had almost as much detail and dynamic range as the Insta360 Pro. At the same time, it has excellent gimbal-like stabilization. However, it’s been criticized heavily, mostly by inexperienced 360 shooters or testers.
I shot 360 videos with the GoPro Omni, Insta360 Pro and GoPro Fusion with a tripod, in a cloudless sky with auto settings. I walked along the stitch line of each camera to test stitching quality.
For the Omni, I stitched the video using GoPro Omni Importer for Autopano Video 3 with D-Warp enabled, color matching every 10 seconds. Note: Omni includes Autopano Video Pro 2 but you can upgrade it to version 3 with D-Warp for 269 Euro. I exported the video in full 8K resolution in Cineform MOV format. For the Insta360 Pro, I stitched the 8K monoscopic video using the Insta360 Stitcher software, using the highest quality settings, in H.265 format. For Fusion, I used Fusion Studio, with GoPro color profile, in Cineform format. I uploaded the unedited samples to YouTube, and compared them with the 360 camera comparison tool side by side.
Results: GoPro Omni vs. Insta360 Pro
First, I compared the GoPro Omni and Insta360 Pro videos. From a default 360 view (without zooming in or out), the detail in the Omni and Insta360 Pro appear very similar, and have similar dynamic range, although there is more visible shadow detail in the Insta360 Pro sample. Without editing, Insta360 Pro colors were more saturated, and had higher contrast.
When I zoomed in each video, I found that GoPro Omni was noticeably more detailed. There were sharper details such as the net of the soccer goal, or the bushes toward the back of the house.
In terms of stitching, the Insta360 Pro is far ahead of the Omni. Although the Insta360 Pro is not perfect, the stitching quality was much smoother compared to the GoPro Omni. If you turn to face the trees along the wall, you’ll see a bush that keeps warping because it is along the stitch line. Moreover, the Omni has stitch lines that criss-cross the frame, so that it’s difficult to avoid crossing the stitch line. You can tilt the Omni orthoganally with a suitable ballhead, but this will make the tripod or stand visible and will require you to do some masking for the tripod.
Results: GoPro Omni vs. GoPro Fusion
To those who are unfamiliar with Fusion’s image quality, comparing the Omni with the Fusion sounds like a mismatch but if you look at the 360 views side by side without zooming in or zooming out, the Fusion appears to hold its own against the Omni:
When zoomed in, the Omni is noticeably more detailed, but the Fusion punches above its weight and comes surprisingly close to the 8K Omni. In fact, the Fusion’s shadow detail looks better than that of the Omni, before any editing.
If you want high quality at an affordable price, the Omni can deliver but you’ll need to wary of potential stitching issues (among other things). I was impressed with the GoPro Omni’s detail but ultimately, I found it difficult to imagine using it due to the stitching.
Personally, I would instead prefer to use the Insta360 Pro for its 3D 360 capabilities or the convenience of its workflow, or the GoPro Fusion, which might not be as detailed but does have more than enough detail, has excellent stitching, excellent stabilization, excellent 360 photo capability and of course, portability, which lets me use it in many situations that would be impossible or impractical for the Omni or Insta360 Pro.
Standby for a full review of the GoPro Omni. In the meantime, try the comparison tool yourself and let me know what you think! If you’d like to get the GoPro Omni, it’s available for $1399 from B&H. The Insta360 Pro is available for $3499 with free extra battery and extra charger here. The best place to get the Fusion is from Amazon because you’ll have the option to get an affordable protection plan during checkout. Please note that due to the high video resolution of these cameras, you’ll need a desktop with a dedicated graphics card to stitch and ultimately edit them. Thanks for using these affiliate links to support 360 Rumors at no additional cost to you so I can do more tests and reviews!