Insta360 has released an update for its modular 360 and action camera, the One R, with a few upgrades. The One RS has retained the same modular design as its predecessor, so those who already own one will feel right at home.
When it was first launched, the modular system was completely revolutionary in terms of design. You can set up the camera like a regular camera or switch the screen to get a more precise frame when recording a vlog. When mounted correctly, the camera is waterproof to a depth of 5m. A waterproof case is required for deeper dives.
The first thing you’ll notice is the action camera improvement. The 4K Boost module can capture video at up to 4K 60 fps in 16:9 aspect ratio or in 6K widescreen mode in cinematic 2.35:1 aspect ratio.
I wish the resolution could be higher, like the GoPro Hero10’s 5.3K 60fps, which allows for a bit of room to crop during post-processing and a little slow-motion effect.
The new camera’s software upgrades include an option for Active HDR, which boosts detail in both the shadows and highlights of photos and videos. While I welcome seeing more detail, Active HDR seems a bit over the top and at times images can get garish if not careful.
A 48-megapixel sensor on the 4K Boost module enables higher resolution recording and more detail in still images.
The Insta360 One RS features three microphones for better audio capture. There are three recording options – Wind Reduction to reduce wind noise, Directional Enhancement to focus on the audio source, and Stereo. There is also the option to connect your favorite microphone via the USB Type-C port on the side.
In the settings there is an option to connect the camera to the Apple AirPods. The bad news is that other Bluetooth headsets aren’t supported, which is disappointing.
Using the Insta360 One RS is like using its predecessor, which is a good thing. The new gadget is intuitive when you start recording with the 360° Camera Module or the 4K Boost Camera Module. FlowState’s digital stabilization works just as well, if not better.
Working with the Insta360 app itself is a breeze. Camera and app connect easily. I can convert my 360 footage into regular video clips using the phone app without the need for a desktop PC – a blessing, especially when you want to travel light on vacation.
My only bugbear is shooting in low light. The noise level is still not as good as a real camera. To be fair, the Insta360 is geared more towards action and adventure, most of which take place outdoors.
If you’re looking for an action/adventure camera that gives you the most flexibility, the Insta360 One RS is the camera to consider. No need to frame the camera. Just place it on the stick or helmet, press the record button and you’re good to go.
However, it doesn’t warrant an upgrade from the older One R as the 360 module is the same as the previous version. A suitable upgrade would be the 1-inch 360-degree camera module, co-developed with Leica, which works much better in low-light conditions and offers higher image quality.
The complete set of Insta360 One RS is available now $768. For users looking to upgrade their wide-angle action camera, the 4K Edition is now available at retail $448.