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 126.96.36.199 (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.”
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.