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Insta360 One X firmware update bricks some cameras; How to fix it (and yes, it’s worth it)

Insta360 One X bricked by firmware? How to fix it
Insta360 One X bricked by firmware? How to fix it

The latest update to Insta360 One X (reviewed here) added major features including the new HDR Video mode, and Google Street View video mode for the iOS app.  The problem is that for many users, the firmware update that added HDR Video mode bricked their cameras.  Specifically, after the update, the camera wouldn’t turn on anymore.  I know they’re telling the truth because it happened to ME too!   If that’s what happened to you, don’t worry — it can be fixed!  I know that’s true also because mine got fixed too.

The firmware update that might brick your Insta360 One X is version 1.17.12.  The safe version is 1.17.12.1 (thanks to Fabian Ruyters for finding the link!)

If you upgrade to 1.17.12, then the camera could look and even work ok, but after it powers down, you won’t be able to power it back on again.  If that happens, then the firmware has to be updated.   It can’t be updated using conventional ways because the camera won’t power on.  Fortunately, Insta360 made it possible to update the firmware even when the camera is otherwise inoperable.  To update it, you need to contact Insta360 support either through their Facebook page, or through the yellow Support button on the Settings of the Insta360 One X app.  They’ll guide you into installing a remote viewer software and then send you the correct files.

The process should be along these lines:

1. Install the firmware tool that Insta360 Support sends you and launch it.  Follow the settings given by Insta360.

2. Remove the battery and connect the camera to your desktop via USB.  When the camera LED blinks red, press both buttons once (don’t hold down).  The LED will turn off and the camera will connect to the firmware tool.  For Windows users, this may require several attempts (if the firmware tool can’t find the camera, then disconnect the cable and repeat step 2).

3.  If the camera does show up in the firmware tool, then click on the large down arrow button to download the new firmware to the camera.  Don’t touch the camera or the cable until the firmware tool says “Finished.”

HDR video (right) has far greater highlight range than the standard mode (left)
HDR video (right) has far greater highlight range than the standard mode (left)

The good news is that the HDR Video is definitely worth it.  It will greatly expand the highlight range (and thereby the total dynamic range) of the One X’s video.  It’s not just a postprocessing effect.  According to Insta360’s CEO, the One X’s sensor really does combine two exposures.  The downsides are that the video is only 25fps (not 30fps), and that if there is a lot of movement, you may see some blur or ghosting.

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Mic Ty

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  • By the way, (my camera is NOT bricked) It looks like (don’t exactly remember how it was before) that after upgrade to 1.17.12 I need to press the on button a bit (like 3 sec) longer than before upgrade.

  • I have the same problem, I contacted the support center but they don’t send me the tool, they offer to change the camera but I bought from Aliexpress, how I can solve the problem, any ideas?

    • Hi Piero. If they offered to change the camera, then perhaps you should accept their offer and exchange your camera with another one.
      Best regards,
      mic

  • My second one x simply will not fix the horizon, the gyro does not work at all – right out of the box. Plus it didn’t connect to the computer yielding a USB disk message followed by an immediate shutdown.

    So far, no traction from insta360 support.

    I finally got it to connect by changing from iOS to Android but support says that it should b iOS, which still doesn’t work.

    My first one x still works perfectly, just as it did right out of the box.

    The new one:

    https://youtu.be/LQvtcrUzS0k

    The old one:

    https://youtu.be/JxdnAPH3qRY

    The old one works, the new one does not.

    Any idea as to how to fix it?

  • I found a problem with Insta One X.
    the camera is stuck. it only lights up with the blue light button not working. please help me to find a solution. to reset to factory settings

    • Hi panca. Try holding down the power button until the camera turns off. If it is stuck, it may take a few minutes to hold down the power button.

  • My camera is stuck like you described. I tried all: turning off, removing SD card, formatting it, changing battery. No result: when I turn it on, the camera freezes after few seconds and it’s not recognized by PC or smartphone. I contacted Insta360 official support and after many emails thay wrote me to send it to Hong Kong: shipping fees are about 50 dollars… I don’t know if it’s worth it…
    I’m writing you in hope to obtain your “unofficial firmware tool” in order to try by myself.
    Please, help me: the OneX is by now a discountinued article…
    Thank you very much!