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Easy Naked GoPro alternative: 30 gram 4K cam with stabilization (Insta360 SMO 4K for cinewhoop FPV drones)

Easy naked GoPro - Insta360 4K SMO
Easy naked GoPro – Insta360 4K SMO

If you’re looking for a naked GoPro for an ultralight cinewhoop FPV drone, check out the Insta360 4K SMO – a 30 gram 4K camera with stabilization and a host of other features.  Here are the details, plus a sample with the Betafpv 95X v3.

How do you get amazing video quality and stabilization on an FPV?  For experienced cinematic FPV pilots, the answer is a naked GoPro – a GoPro stripped to its bare components (even removing the battery) to make it extremely light, thus maximizing flight performance and enabling them to be mounted on smaller drones that can fly through smaller spaces.

The problem is that converting a GoPro to a naked GoPro takes time and skill.  So much so that there’s a company that specializes in naked GoPro conversions and they sell their naked Hero8 for $549 (compared to $250 for a stock GoPro Hero8).

Insta360 SMO 4K is an easy and affordable naked GoPro alternative
Insta360 SMO 4K is an easy and affordable naked GoPro alternative

BetaFPV has a solution: the Insta360 SMO 4K – an Insta360 One R (reviewed here) with 4k mod converted into a 30 gram 4K camera with stabilization.  It also launched a new drone, the Beta95X v3, a 3-inch pusher-style 4S quadcopter designed to work with the Insta360 SMO (although SMO can be used with any drone as long as it can supply power to the SMO).

Beta95X V3 is a 3-inch 4S pusher FPV quadcopter
Beta95X V3 is a 3-inch 4S pusher FPV quadcopter

The Insta360 SMO has no battery of its own.  Instead, you need to connect a power cable to your quadcopter’s flight controller by soldering to the battery positive pad (Vbat+) and to the ground pad (GND).   The cable can also be used to enable the flight controller to control the Insta360 SMO remotely.

Beta95X includes a mount and adapter cable for the Insta360 SMO
Beta95X includes a mount and adapter cable for the Insta360 SMO

The recorded video can be processed in the free Insta360 Studio desktop app to change the stabilization mode, aspect ratio, or field of view even after shooting.

Insta360 SMO and Beta95X V3 sample video

How good is the video quality and stabilization?  Here is a sample video from the Insta360 4K SMO and Betafpv 95X v3:

The entire drone – including the recommended 4S battery is far below the 250 gram weight limit:

  • Insta360 SMO: 30.2 grams
  • Beta95X v3 without battery: 99.1 grams
  • 4S battery: 56.3 grams
  • Total weight: 185.6 grams

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY

Insta360 SMO is $239.99, which actually costs less than a regular Insta360 One R 4K edition at $299.  However, please note that the SMO does not include a battery nor does it include an LCD touchscreen.  Beta95X V3 starts at $179.99 without a receiver and without battery (it is $189.99 with the Frsky). Or you can get the Beta95X V3 Digital ($279.99) with the Caddx Nebula HD Nano compatible with the DJI FPV system.  SMO and Beta95X V3 are available direct from Betafpv.