What’s better than an all-seeing, 360-degree action camera? According to Insta360’s new One X, it’s one you can throw around to create Matrix-style bullet time videos.
Unlike the Insta360 One, which plugs directly into your iPhone, the One X is a standalone action camera that can shoot 360-degree, 5.7K video at 30fps. This trumps the max resolution of GoPro’s Fusion, which can ‘only’ manage 5.2K spherical video. The One X also has stacks of software tricks and optional accessories to boost your shooting options, including the Drifter camera dart (pictured above) for creating ‘fly-by’ shots like the ones in the video below.
Why would you want to shoot 360-degree videos? It’s not just for those with VR headsets. Shooting in all directions simultaneously gives you a huge amount of editing flexibility, letting you choose where to point the camera long after you’ve finished being extreme.
On GoPro’s Fusion this editing option is called ‘OverCapture’, and the Insta360 One X similarly lets you reframe and turn 360-degree shots into traditional videos using its companion app.
Related: GoPro Hero 7 Black review
It also has a few other fancy software tricks. ‘TimeShift’ lets you adjust the speed of selected parts of a clip (for a dramatic slo-mo shot of your friend’s minimoto crash), while ‘Bullet Time’ serves up Matrix-style slo-mo shots in 3K. The app can also handily edit out selfie sticks from videos, allowing it to seemingly float above you (albeit while you appear to be holding an invisible umbrella).
Another benefit of 360-degree video is that it helps create very effective electronic image stabilisation. The GoPro Hero 7 Black creates gimbal-esque stabilisation by cropping into your image by 5%, but 360-degree cameras like GoPro’s Fusion and the Insta360 One X can take this even further due to the sheer amount of footage they shoot.
We’ll have to wait to see how well ‘FlowState’, as Insta360 calls it, works in real life, but the rest of the One X’s spec sheet certainly makes for impressive reading. Beyond its headline 5.7K mode, it can also shoot 3K video at 100fps, 18-megapixel still photos, and also live-stream in 360 degrees.
Perhaps the only downer compared to the GoPro Fusion is that the One X isn’t waterproof without a case, although you can buy the Venture Case (for waterproofing it to five metres) and the Dive Case (which is designed for shooting 30 metres underwater).
Otherwise the One X appears to compare favourably to its rival, with a one-hour battery life (when shooting 5.7K at 30fps) and a $399.99 price tag. It’s available to buy now worldwide – we’ll bring you a full review as soon as we’ve thrown one underneath a skateboarder.
What do you think, are you interested in buying 360-degree action cams like the Insta360 One X? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.