Insta360 has just released a massive Insta360 One R (reviewed here) update that added 14 features (two of which are not directly from Insta360). It’s one of the biggest updates I’ve ever seen for a 360 camera. Which ones are the most useful, and which ones are less useful?
Here’s the video:
Here are the new features of the Insta360 One R (some of the features also apply to the One X where indicated).
- Auto-tracking webcam mode.
The One R has a new webcam mode that works for both the 360 mod and the 4K mod, and can be used on both Windows and Mac. There’s no need to install software. You simply update the firmware and change the USB mode in the camera to “Webcam” then connect the One R via USB Type C cable to your desktop. Your desktop will automatically detect the One R and treat it as a webcam, which you can use with apps such as Facebook, Zoom, and OBS.
What’s remarkable is that with the 4K mod, the One R has an auto tracking feature where the view will pan and zoom to keep your face centered in the video. It can even detect if there are multiple people, in which case the view will zoom out.
With the 360 mod, the One R will show a view from two perspectives, which enables the One R to be used as a group video conference camera.
- Direct to mp4 (4K mod or 1-inch mod).
The 4K mod and 1-inch mod can now save directly to MP4 instead of the proprietary INSV format. There are two modes: Basic or Pro. In Basic mode, the video is stabilized and ready to be used straight out of the camera. However, the resolution is limited to 4K, the framerate is only up to 30fps, and the stabilization will not be as effective. In Pro mode, the video has the maximum resolution, framerate, and stabilization. You will also be able to change the aspect ratio after shooting. However, the video is not stabilized until it is loaded in the Insta360 mobile app or Insta360 Studio desktop app.
- Final cut plugin. Insta360 has created a plugin for Final Cut Pro X that enables you to import Insta360 videos into Final Cut without stitching them beforehand. To use this feature, you must load the file in Insta360 Studio then click on the button Use in FCPX, which will launch the video in Final Cut. Within Final Cut, you can change the aspect ratio and stabilization.
- Vivid color profile. This is a new color profile that is more punchy and saturated. It is in some ways similar to the colors in a GoPro Hero. You can switch to either Standard color mode or log mode using the touchscreen.
- Wireless 360 live streaming with stabilization. Using the new Insta360 app, the One R can now live stream in 360, and it can do so wirelessly. This feature is also now also available for Insta360 One X. Whereas the One X used to require a cable for live streaming, now the One X can also live stream wirelessly.
- Wireless Reframed 360 live streaming with stabilization. The new Insta360 app also has another live streaming mode called Reframed Live. Whereas the 360 Live mode lets the viewer control the view, in Reframed 360 mode, the user controls the view, such as switching to tiny planet view, similar to a reframed 360 video. This one is also available for One X.
- Pureshot. This is a new photo enhancement feature for the 4K mod and 1-inch mod that appears to be AI-assisted noise reduction. I compared to a night photo from the Samsung S10, the One R’s own Night Shot mode, and a full frame mirrorless camera (the Sony a7R IV with Samyang 14mm f/2.8).
Pureshot with the 1-inch mod is clearly more detailed than a night photo from the Samsung S10+:
Compared to the One R’s own Night Shot, Pureshot appears to be slightly more detailed (see the lines on the chair for example).
Finally, here is a comparison of a full frame mirrorless camera, stopped down to f/8 with ISO at 800 to provide a similar exposure at the same shutter speed and with a similar depth of field. The Sony has far more detail, although the Pureshot has slightly less noise.
- Improved audio quality. Insta360 improved the audio quality of the Airpods as wireless microphones for the One R. However, the audio quality of the Rode Wireless Go is far better.
- Airpods voice control. When using Airpods with your One R, you can now use voice commands, enabling you to control the One R from a distance.
- Fly Lapse. This is a new Shot Lab template that is similar to a hyperlapse, but is keyframed to look like a flying perspective.
- Giant Jump. This is another new Shot Lab template with a light-hearted effect simulating a giant jumping on a tiny planet. This Shot Lab template is also available for One X.
- Aquavision. This feature is an optional color filter for underwater videos to get more natural-looking colors by applying a digital red filter.
- ND Filters. The world’s first ND filters for consumer 360 cameras are now available for Insta360 One R through Freewellgear.com.
- Matterport compatibility – Insta360 One R has now been updated to be compatible with the Matterport app.
To celebrate the launch of the update, Insta360 is offering a 10% discount on Insta360 One R until September 21.