A really good choice for creating simple and attractive 360° footage
The Insta360 One camera is billed as a user-friendly way of capturing impressive 360° videos and images.
As anyone who has viewed 360° footage can testify, this type of camera has the ability to create immersive, virtual reality style edits that really standout. The cylindrical One does this by utilising two opposing camera lenses to capture a full panoramic image. Then, by way of its sophisticated app software, lets you create perfect edits that can be chucked onto the social media platform of your choice.
Originally designed to connect with an iPhone (it now has Android adapters), the good news for riders is it comes with a GoPro style mounting system so you don’t need to keep it attached to your phone. The simple one button set-up allows you to take a photo with a single press and video with a double click. Each type of button press comes with a different sound so you know what setting you’re on, despite the lack of display. I found the button to be quite sensitive and often turned the camera on when I really didn’t want to, so be aware when fiddling with it.
It works best when linked to a phone either via Bluetooth or the Lightning connector. This allows you to check image position and settings such as resolution and frame rate (it covers all the main resolutions up to 4K). The tiny lenses and sensors do a pretty good job of capturing a relatively clean and steady image in most settings, but as expected, low level lighting does reduce quality somewhat.
Riding with it does bring up one of the only flaws of the system; it doesn’t like getting dirty. It is water and dust proof, rated to IP68, but the Lightning, SD card and charging ports are open to the elements. After getting it covered in mud I had to manually clean them all out, so I’d recommend only using the One on dry days.
Get past this flaw and what you can produce with the One is jaw-dropping. The intuitive companion app has a couple of smart features that allow you to create some professional looking edits. The highlight of this app is FreeCapture. This allows you to extract a 1080p window from your 360° footage and use it as the focal tracking point for your edit. Effectively allowing you to point the camera where you want it to go. Perfect for those of us who never frame our footage properly.
The image stabilisation and quality isn’t quite up there with the latest GoPro releases but as an easy to use camera for creating simple and visually attractive, 360° based video the One is a really good choice.