Insta360 has just launched the Insta360 Go 3. Is it worth it? In this review, I compare it to the Insta360 Go 2, discussing its improvements as well as limitations.
Insta360 Go 3 is the smallest stabilized HD camera in the world and makes many improvements to its predecessor. But are those improvements worth the additional cost?
If you are a fan of the Insta360 Go, the Go 3 is easily the best one by a long shot. Even though the image quality is about the same as that of the Go 2, the LCD screen makes it very convenient to use, and the ability to shoot without overheating (up to 3 hours!) is a major improvement.
The trickier question is, what if you’ve never shot with the insta360 go before? should you get one? A traditional action cam like the GoPro Hero 11 will have better image quality but not by as much as you might suppose, as you can see in the video. In return for that slight difference in image quality, you get a camera that is much more convenient and easy to bring with you everywhere. It’s unobtrusive and virtually invisible. Insta360 Go 3 is also an excellent choice if you need a camera that is as light or as small as possible, such as for FPV drones.
Specifications and comparison table: Insta360 Go 3 vs Insta360 Go 2
|Insta360 Go 3||Insta360 Go 2|
|Video resolution (maximum)||2720 x 1536||2560 x 1440 @ 30fps|
|Slow motion||1920 x 1080 @ 120fps|
2560 x 1440 @ 50fps
|1920 x 1080 @ 120fps|
|Maximum video length||30 mins||Pro video: 10 mins
Video: 15 mins
FPV mode: 30 mins
|Screen||2.2 inch full color flip touchscreen||1/2-inch black and white dot matrix|
Power / mode
|Audio recording||two microphones||one microphone|
|Shooting modes||Video |
NEW Loop Recording
NEW Timed Capture
|Remote control||Action Pod remote view;|
Phone remote view
|Charge case control without view;
Phone remote view
|Recording time||GO 3: 45 mins – 1080p@30fps|
GO 3 + Action Pod: 170 mins – 1080p@30fps
|GO 2: 30 mins – 1080p@30fps
GO 2 + Case: 150 mins – 1080p@30fps
|Waterproof||GO 3: 5m|
Action Pod: IPX4 water resistant
|GO 2: 4m
|Storage (internal only)||32GB, 64GB, or 128GB||32GB or 64GB|
|Weight||GO 3: 35.5g|
Action Pod: 96.3g
|GO 2: 26.5g
Charge Case: 63.5g
52.9 x 23.6 x 20.7mm (2.08 x 0.93 x 0.81in)
Closed: 68.1 x 48.5 x 26.5mm (2.68 x 1.91 x 1.04in)
Open: 132.5 x 26.0 x 26.6mm (5.22 x 1.0 x 1.05in)
Key Features of the Insta360 Go 3
- Flip touchscreen LCD. The key feature of the Go 3 is its new touchscreen, which can flip forward for selfies. The touchscreen makes it very easy to control compared to the Insta360 Go or Insta360 Go 2.
- Remote view. With the LCD screen, the ActionPod case now functions as a remote control with viewer. Check your composition from a distance.
- No overheating. Personally, I think the most important improvement of the Go 3 is that it does not overheat. The Go and Go 2 had limited recording capability, not because of the limited battery or limited storage, but because they would overheat.
- Quick release system. Go 3 uses a new magnetic quick release mount, similar to that of the DJI Action 2 and Action 3. The new quick release mount works with either the ActionPod or the Go 3 by itself, and enables you to quickly attach it or detach it to monopods or other accessories.
- Improved magnetic pendant. The Go 3 includes a magnetic pendant to attach the Go 3 to your chest. The pendant now includes a magnetic wedge to help keep the pendant vertical rather than tilted upward. The pendant also now includes built-in storage for its string.
- Pre-recording mode. When activated, the Go 3 will be able to start recording a few seconds before you press the shutter. This helps you catch critical moments such as a baby’s first steps.
- Loop recording mode. Go 3 can now be used for loop recording to record the last several minutes of video without running out of space.
- Timed Capture. You can now schedule the Go 3 to record a video at specific times, such as sunrise.
- Improved microphone. The built-in microphone is vastly improved and now sounds clear at up to selfie stick distances.
- Beeping. With Go 2, I hard a hard time making sure whether the recording has started or stopped. Go 3 will vibrate, beep, and flash its LED when it starts or stops recording or when it turns on or off.
- Water resistant ActionPod. The Go 3’s ActionPod case is now water-resistant, unlike the Go 2’s charge case.
- Voice command. Go 3 can take voice commands, with or without the ActionPod.
- Face priority exposure. Go 3’s exposure algrorithm can be tailored to prioritize the exposure for faces.
- Low light stabilization mode. When activated, the shutter speed will be shorter in order to reduce motion blur.
- Dedicated Q button for quick presets and settings.
Image quality: Insta360 Go 3 vs Insta360 Go 2
Notwithstanding all these improvements, not everything is better. For example, Go 3 doesn’t have HDR Video, which Go 2 has. Go 3’s image quality is also just about the same as that of Go 2.
I compared Go 3’s Freeview at 1440p 50fps versus the Hero 11 shot in 8:7 mode at 4k60fps and stabilized with Reelsteady. Without zooming in, the Hero 11 looks like it has more contrast and the colors seem more accurate. But the detail is not too different. It is only when you zoom in closely that the difference between the Hero 11 and Go 2 becomes more apparent.
Insta360 Go 3 vs X3
Several people have asked me to compare Go 3 with X3. They are very different cameras, but for what it’s worth, here are comparisons showing that the Go 3 has much better image quality.
And here are comparisons between the Go 3 and the X3 single lens mode.
Insta360 Go 3 Sample photos and videos:
You can download sample photos and videos here for personal use only. Do not upload anywhere.
Insta360 Go 3 uses the Insta360 mobile app (available on the App Store or Google Play store) and Insta360 Studio desktop app for desktop editing.
Included accessories of the Insta360 Go 3:
Pivot stand: This is a ballhead with a special quick release mount that can be attached to either the ActionPod or the Go 3 by itself. The ballhead has a 1/4-20 tripod hole.
Adhesive stand: This stand has a 1/4-20 tripod connector that can be attached to the ballhead to enable it stick to smooth surfaces. The adhesive is reusable and there is a cover for it.
Magnetic pendant: The new magnetic pendant has a built-in storage for its string.
Wedge for magnetic pendant: The Go 3 includes a wedge that can be attached to the back of the magnetic pendant to help it face forward instead of facing up.
Easy clip: This is a clip for attaching the Go 3 to thin surfaces such as the bill of a baseball cap.
Lens guard: This is a replaceable lens cover for the Go 3 lens.
Optional accessories of the Insta360 Go 3:
Quick Release Mount. Next to the pendant, this is probably the most important accessory for the Go 3, in my opinion. This multipurpose mount adds a 1/4-20 tripod mount with foldable GoPro mount. It can be used with the Go 3 by itself or with the case. The Quick Release Mount also includes a male-to-female GoPro mount segment so that when you are using the Go 3 by itself, you can have the Go 3 face you.
Mini 2-in-1 Tripod. This is a compact selfie stick with a GoPro mount and built-in mini tripod. I recommend instead the Insta360 Tripod, which is longer and has a wider and more stable base.
Monkey Tail Mount (reviewed here). This flexible pipe takes advantage of the Go 3’s light weight and makes it possible to attach the Go 3 to a variety of surfaces.
Fetch Stick. This is a chewbone mount for medium to large dogs, enabling your dog to carry the Go 3.
Is the Insta360 Go 3 waterproof?
The Go 3 by itself is waterproof up to 16 feet. The Action Pod case is NOT waterproof, but it is IPX4 water resistant against rain and splashes when used together with the Go 3. Never submerge the Action Pod underwater.
Does the Insta360 Go 3 overheat?
Generally no. Unlike Insta360 Go and Go 2, Go 3 has no limit on recording other than its available space. I’ve been able to record as long as 3 hours (180 minutes) at 1080p 30fps indoors, with no air-conditioning.
How long does the Insta360 Go 3 battery last? How many times can you charge the Insta360 Go 3 with its case?
The battery duration depends on which mode you use. The Go 3 with Action Pod can last as short as 89 minutes shooting at 1440p 50fps, or as long as 3 hours shooting at 1080p 30fps. A fully charged case can charge the Go 3 two and a half times.
Can the Insta360 Go 3 use Micro SD cards?
No. It uses non-removable internal storage in the Go 3 itself. The storage cannot be upgraded. It is available in three versions: 32GB ($379), 64GB ($399), and 128GB ($429). The difference between each version is only $20, so the 128GB is the best value.
Can you shoot on Insta360 Go 3 without the case?
Yes. But you can’t charge the Go 3 unless you have the case.
Can you use your phone to connect to Insta360 Go 3 without the case?
Yes. The Go 3 does not need its case to connect to your phone.
Can you use Go 2 on the Go 3 case?
No. Go 2 can physically fit in the case but won’t charge because they have different connectors, nor can the Go 3 case connect to Go 2.
Can you use an external microphone with Go 3?
No. However, the built-in microphone of the Go 3 is excellent.
Can Insta360 Go 3 use Go 2 accessories?
Generally no. Go 3 is larger than Go 2 and won’t fit in most Go 2 accessories other than magnetic ones such as the pendant.
Can Go 2 use Insta360 Go 3 accessories?
Generally no. They have different sizes and different connectors for their respective cases. Having said that, Go 2 can physically fit in some Go 3 cases and stick via magnet.
Insta360 Go 3 is the latest camera from Insta360 and the newest version of the Insta360 Go, the world’s smallest stabilized HD cameras. The Go 3 has many improvements most notably the new flip touchscreen and the ability to record over 2 hours without overheating.