Insta360 has worked hard to combine the worlds of 360 video and action cameras.
The Insta360 X3 is a 360-degree video/photo/action camcorder. It shoots both 360-degree videos and photos and has a built-in action mode for shooting short clips.
This is where the X3 shines. It’s the perfect camera for 360 enthusiasts who might occasionally want to shoot more straightforward action footage.
- A new sensor and camera yield much better 5.7k 360 videos than previous models.
- Great battery life. Big, bright display
- It can be mounted on a tripod for use as a 4K, handheld camera.
- Slim, relatively lightweight
- It shoots 72 megapixels of spherical images.
- Great editing tools.
- It’s difficult to mount to helmets or bodies.
- Even if you shoot at 5.7K, you’re still not going to get 1080p quality from that footage.
The X3 has the same raw video specs as its predecessor, the X2. It shoots 5.7K at 60 fps in 360 modes.
With its larger 1/2 inch, 48 megapixels sensor, and brighter lens, the video quality of the X3 is significantly better than that of its predecessor, the X2.
The X3 also offers the aforementioned abilities to switch between different camera modes, shoot 360 videos through both lenses, or use one of its two lenses to shoot traditional 4K videos.
Single Lens Mode
It’s important to note that in single-lense mode, the frame rate is limited to 30 fps, but otherwise, it has a similar feel to shooting with a high-quality 4K video camera. This gives the X3 an additional advantage over Insta360’s s own One RS.
Spherical Still Images
It doesn’t just shoot videos; it can also take spherical photos at 72 megapixels which are impressively detailed. Not many places online allow posting such high-resolution photos without cropping them down. But it’s a fun feature to experiment with.
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While the X3 resembles the X2, there’s one major difference: It has more physical buttons.
- Below the screen are two buttons, one for starting and stopping recording, and another for switching between camera modes.
- On the side, you’ll find a power switch and a quick menu key for quickly changing between your preset modes.
The display is much bigger (2.29 inches), which makes it easier to view even when outside.
The battery door and the SD card slot are now slightly smaller than before, which makes the X3 easier to use underwater.
With a new 18-hour battery, you can expect good shot time. Insta360 says its camera shoots 5.7K video for 81min at 30fps, which seems about right, given our tests. It’s important to note that the larger battery and some other changes make the X3 slightly thicker.
The company’s FlowState stabilization compares very well with anything else on the market, including the GoPro.
Remember that even though the video quality here is quite high, 5.7K doesn’t look as good when it’s spread out across a 360-degree sphere as it does when you shoot with a conventional single-wide camera, which covers approximately 160°.
When you view your footage in InstaVR’s app (or any other VR viewer) you’ll see a full 360-degree experience, but when you go to upload the footage to YouTube, you’ll only get a 1920 x1080 resolution.
Insta360’s Mobile Editing App
With its other cameras, Insta360 has always been known for its excellent mobile editing apps. However, with the X3, Insta360 has taken things even further by making them available on both iOS and Android devices.
You don’t need any prior knowledge to use After Effects, but you may want to take advantage of the built-in tutorial system.
There are also some automated editing tools, including
- nose cam
- sky swap
- street lapse
which are all fun to play with.
If you’re looking for a way to edit 360 videos without owning an Insta360 camera but want to learn more about editing 360 videos, check out the free Insta360 mobile apps.
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If you’re into 360-degree videos, the new X3 is the best value for the money right now. However, if you want something even better, check out the One RS 1-inch edition which costs $800.
For anyone who is interested in shooting both action and 360 video, the One RS is the best choice. However, if you’re mainly interested in shooting action, then the One X is the best option.