360 Camera Techniques

Insta360 One R: 15 Tips and Tricks

Here are 15 tips and tricks for Insta360 One R (reviewed here):

1. Switch + zoom.  With the 360 mod, you can double tap the screen to switch between front view and rear view (please note this does not change the actual video). With the 4K and 1-inch mod, tapping on the screen lets you zoom in.

2. Multi delete. You can delete multiple files on the in-camera menu. From the playback screen, tap on the upper left corner to review four files at a time. Tap on the checkmark to begin selecting videos. You can scroll to the next page.

3. Vertical videos. You can shoot vertical videos for social media with the One R. Simply shoot in a portrait orientation and the camera will automatically recognize that it is a vertical video. The video will be shown vertically in the app, in Insta360 Studio, and when exported to social media.

4. Unblock the screen. When using the 1-inch mod or the lens guards fro the 3rd mod, the lens will block part of the touchscreen. To fix this, enable auto orientation in the settings screen. You will then be able to rotate the camera to access the menu that is blocked.

5. Faster settings. When adjusting the exposure, you can change parameters quickly by dragging the small arrow on the right side of the screen up or down.

6. Extend your battery life. You can save battery life by reducing screen brightness to the minimum. This can help you when you need to extend your battery life in an emergency.

7. Thumbnails. The shape of the thumbnail in the app indicates what type of file it is. Square thumbnails are non-360 while round thumbnails were shot with the 360 mod.

8. Camera movements without keyframing (“Hero mode”). When shooting with the 360 mod, you can control camera movements without keyframing using Insta360’s version of Hero mode. Use the side with the LCD screen as the ‘front’ of the camera. After shooting, turn on direction lock in the phone app. You can then export it as a FixFrame non-360 video. You’ll have the stabilization of 360 but the convenience of a regular action cam.

9. Invisible selfie stick. Insta360 has two tripod adapters. One of them swivels while the other has a notch to prevent swiveling. This ensures that the camera will be in-line with the monopod to maintain the invisible flying camera effect. Note: I’m inquiring with Insta360 about the availability of the non-swiveling adapter.

10. Helmet tips. When attaching the One R to a Helmet, tilt the camera all the way forward or backward so that the stitch line is away from the helmet. You can also use a GoPro-compatible extension arm to capture both a POV shot and your reactions.

11. Front and rear screen. I’ve often wished that the One R had both a front screen and rear screen. Fortunately, there is an accessory that can do that. It’s actually a mirror for action cams, designed to reflect the rear screen toward the front.

12. Low light tips. For low light videos, turn on the indoor stabilization option. For low light photos, use the night view mode or at least, turn on JPG + Raw mode.

13. Can’t connect? If you’re having trouble connecting, manually switch the wi-fi network to the One R’s wi-fi signal.

14. Smoother modules.  To change modules smoothly, use a consistent method. I use a lens pouch that acts like an extra hand, and I use my pinky to hook the frame so that I can handle the camera without dropping the bracket.

15. Box. The One R box is difficult to open. To make it easier to open, create handles using tape.

About the author

Mic Ty


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  • Can you tell what format is used to store 3D photos by One R in 3D mode? Are those written to MPO files or other file type is used?

    • Hi Vlad. Insta360 One R 3D edition is not yet available. When it becomes available, it will be able to shoot in VR180. If you use the 4K module, then it should be able to take traditional SBS 3D photos and videos. I don’t have information on the file format for the SBS but I suspect it will be JPG or DNG for the photo and mp4 (H264 or h265) for the video. I believe stereophotomaker can convert jpg to mpo.

      • Mic, thanks for quick info. I thought that you already got a 3D rig prototype for early testing. I assumed that drone addition (with split dual lens module) is also capable of 3D recording. Several of us in 3D community are hoping that Insta360 would support MPO file format for stereo photo storage. MPO is the best standard to handle multi-view imaging. It would be really good if Insta360 embraced it in their products. SBS is also popular for 3D pairs, but not as flexible as MPO.

        • Hi Vlad. The drone’s split-lens module is the same split-lens module in the 3D edition. I got to try it out at CES but no I haven’t received it (afaik it’s not yet out). I’ll pass on your suggestion re mpo support!

          • Great. Please keep us posted about MPO support. It’s obvious that with fish-eye lenses split-module, One R camera will store images in VR180 format. But the 3D config with two 4K or 1″ (Leica lens) modules, one of the storage format options should be MPO file. It is used by true stereoscopic Fuji W1/W3 and Panasonic 3D1 cameras as well as several other cameras from Sony and Panasonic lineup (when so called cha-cha photo taking method is engaged). MPO format is till today recognized by many legacy blu-ray players and by many Android apps available for glasses-free 3D phones (like ROKiT models).

  • As I cannot get the original Insta360 ONE R Android Link Cable: Do you know if any other good quality USB C to micro USB 2 Cable will do?

    • Hi Christoph. I’ve tried many cables and none of them work. You need to order it from insta360.

  • Okay, Tip #13 was supposed to be setting the WiFi in Manual mode. You made a mistake. You did the Vertical mode tip for #13, which was supposed to be for Tip #3. Grrrrrrrr.

    • Thanks for the feedback Kris. The video was a countdown, whereas the tips in the article are list items that can only count up. They are listed in the same order that they are discussed in the video, just numbered differently.