REVIEWED: Insta360 One X action camera

Want unique-looking short and shareable videos from your travels? This pocket-sized action camera delivers some intriguing special effects

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Just buy a GoPro? Although a lot of travelers use a GoPro and other action cameras, few realize how limited they are in terms of what kind of videos they produce. The future of action cameras is not an upgraded resolution or better lenses, but on the number of lenses. This pocket-sized shooter has two fisheye lenses that together produce a 360 video. Don’t care about virtual reality? You don’t need to …

Insta360 One X: the concept

What the One X can do with the raw wraparound videos it produces is quite amazing. Yes, it can just post a VR video, or some cute 360 photos using the ‘little planet’ format. However, what the One X is really about is making special effects-loaded traditional videos. Film first, edit later. That’s what the One X is all about. It makes sense when you’re traveling because you never know when and where the action is going to happen.

Insta360 One X: special effects

The One X allows you to speed-up and slow-down sections of a long video, essentially making them short and shareable. So you can take a long walk across the Great Wall of China, and edit it down to a few seconds using the time-shift feature. Along the way, you can get the One X to focus on specific things you passed, and you can even pause it wherever you want. It works really well to create a short souvenir video of a visit to, say, a temple, or a castle, where there is a need to walk between each interesting thing.

Insta360 One X: HDR, Cinematic Slo-mo & FlowState

Everything is filmed in 5.7K resolution, which is the highest resolution of any 360 camera. It also takes 18 MP HDR JPEG and DNR raw format still images. However, if you’re prepared to jump down to 3K resolution, you can film video in 100 frames per second, which is enough to create slo-mo sections within your video. That’s great for skiing and extreme sports. However, what’s really awesome is the One X’s image stabilization, called FlowState, which means you can hand-hold the One X, and you never need to use a tubal or tripod. That’s because it uses a gyroscope to stabilize to the horizon. It’s a really clever, effective feature.

Insta360 One X: invisible selfie stick

Something else we noticed was that if you buy a selfie sick from Insta360 (it’s available in various bundles with the One X), it completely disappears in the finished image or video. So if you hold it subtly at your side while, say, walking along, it’s invisible.

Insta360 One X: conclusion

Yes, it’s expensive, but not nearly as much as the GoPro Fusion, its major rival among 360 cameras that’s waterproof (the One X is not), but otherwise can’t match this 360 shooter on features. That ‘cinematic slo-mo’ mode is also welcome; no other action camera we know of manages 100 fps, so it’s a bit of a ground-breaker. Best of all, the much smaller (just 115g). One X has a great app that all the magical edits can be made using, so you don’t need any desktop software. That makes it ideal for traveling with. Yes. Making all of those edits can be a little fiddly but isn’t that what the plane home is for?

Price as reviewed: US$399.95 / UK£409.95

Buy the Insta360 One X action camera review

 

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