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Stabilized HD video on tiny whoop: Insta360 Go adds 5-minute recording time with FPV mode

Insta360 Go 5 minutes recording with FPV mode
Insta360 Go 5 minutes recording with FPV mode

Insta360 Go has been updated to add a new “FPV mode” with a recording time up to 5 minutes. I got to try it out and it works.  Here’s how to use it and some sample videos.

Insta360 Go can be attached to a shirt
Insta360 Go can be attached to a shirt

Insta360 Go is the world’s smallest stabilized camera with a weight of only 20 grams. One limitation is that it has a recording time limited to 1 minute. That’s partly because the Go was designed to capture highlights of your day rather than extended videos.

However, the FPV drone community has started using the Insta360 Go on tiny whoops, micro drones that are usually no larger than your hand.  Although these drones do have cameras, the quality is usually poor, unless it is equipped with a high-definition camera.  Even then, the video is not stabilized.  For these drones, a GoPro Hero or even GoPro Session is too large and heavy.  The Insta360 Go, on the other hand, becomes manageable due to its light weight. Check out this sample and this sample.

Here’s another sample, shot on a tiny (65mm diagonally, motor to motor) Beta65 FPV with 2S motor, shown side by side with the FPV view:

Beta65 FPV drone
Beta65 FPV drone

Here is a playlist with more samples:

I showed an Insta360 Go FPV video to Insta360 last month and requested them to extend the recording time.  Now they have added a new mode with an extended 5-minute recording time, which they called “FPV mode”!  (FYI, most FPV quads have limited flying time, so 5 minutes is just enough.)

Here’s a sample video with the new 5-minute FPV mode, shot with a 2S quad. The video shows how it was mounted, and how the resulting video looks:

HOW TO USE THE FPV MODE

As of April 7, 2020, the FPV mode is available only in the iOS version of the app although they will add it to the Android app as soon as possible.  According to Insta360 representatives, the Android update will be available in a matter of “days.”

The first step is to connect your Insta360 Go to your app via the lightning port (or USB cable for Android, when the update becomes available).  From the app settings screen:

1 – Change the quick capture function to any mode other than “Standard video,” such as “Standard photo.”

2 – Change the single press function to “Standard video,” then change the recording length to 5 minutes.

Before flying, just remember to turn on the Insta360 Go and then press the shutter to start recording.  If your flight was less than 5 minutes, press the shutter again to stop recording after you land.

Limitations:

1 – when the single press setting is used for Standard Video, you won’t be able to use Standard Video for the Quick capture.

2 – If you use Standard Video for quick capture, the maximum duration will be 1 minute.  The reason for this is because they don’t want you to accidentally record 5 minutes of video in your pocket.

3 – The Insta360 Go may get very hot.  This is fine when you’re on a quad with propellers that are blowing air around the Insta360 Go, but for conventional use, the camera could overheat in which case it will automatically shutdown to protect itself.

4 – The Insta360 Go has magnets.  It may affect the gyro on your quad.

I tried the FPV mode out myself on my Emax Tinyhawk II ($176 complete RTF kit; $110 for quad only). The issue with the Tinyhawk II is that when using a 2S battery, there is significant voltage sag due to its PH 2.0 battery connector.  Nonetheless, I was able to fly it in 2S.  I also tried with 1S but the Tinyhawk really struggled to fly on 1S with the Insta360 Go attached.

The other issue is that the Tinyhawk II has no easy mounting options for Insta360 Go.  I decided to attach it to the battery with nothing but elastic hair bands.  Note that the Insta360 Go can be mounted in any orientation because it is a 180-degree camera, and the video can be rotated to any angle. Because the Go was mounted horizontally, the video appears sideways on the Insta360 Studio app.  However, when I export it as 16:9, the resulting video is correctly oriented.

Here’s the video I got which was about 2 minutes long.  I noted that the camera didn’t get very hot after a 2 minute video.  Note: I’m just a beginner in FPV so please overlook the poor flying.  Note also that YouTube significantly degrades the quality of the video.  The original is noticeably more detailed.

To learn more about Insta360 Go, check out my review and resource page.  If you’d like to learn more about FPV, check out the Facebook page I made for FPV beginners called BasicFPV.com.

 

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Mic Ty

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