Arriving with high-end features such as 6K capture and near-flawless stabilisation, not to mention the ease with which you can edit all your 360 footage in the accompanying app, the Insta360 One RS 1-inch 360 Edition is a marvel. It’s held back by an absurdly high price and a loss of detail when zooming into pictures and footage; but otherwise, for those invested in 360-filmmaking, it’s well worth a look.
- 6K 360-footage looks incredible
- A genuine competitor to the GoPro Max
- Cutting-edge stabilisation
- Easy editing in the Insta360 app
- Eye-watering price
- Screen-tearing evident when zooming in
- 6K Filming:The Insta360 One RS can now shoot 360 at 6K, bumping up from 5.3K
- 21MP 360 Stills:A notable upgrade from 18.4MP
- Backwards compatible:Works with the One RS and One R cores
Co-engineered with Leica, the Insta360 One RS 1-inch 360 Edition takes the fight straight to the GoPro Max to be the new top dog of 360-filmmaking.
When the Insta360 One RS came to market, it arrived having received a number of upgrades across the board – with the exception of any major improvements to its 360 camera. While this seemed odd at the time, it’s now clear that this was because the 1-inch 360 lens, co-engineered with Leica, was waiting in the wings.
Bear in mind, this isn’t the first time that Insta360 and Leica have teamed up; the two companies are responsible for the One R/RS’s existing 1-inch wide-angle lens that allows for 5.3K linear filming. Now, the two aim to bring a similar boost in quality to 360 recording. While all that sounds promising on paper, the high £809.99/$849.99 asking price (£659.99/$649.99 for the upgrade bundle) is sure to be a sticking point for most people – so is it worth it? Let’s find out.
- New vertical design optimised for 360 filming
- The old vertical battery isn’t compatible with this new design
- Physical buttons have moved to the side
Right off the bat, it’s easy to confuse the 1-inch 360 Edition for being completely unrelated to the One RS camera. It sports a vertical design that does away with the RS’s red battery pack, while adding a huge lens to the top of the device and moving the buttons to the side. In fact, on first glance you’d believe that the 360 Edition was actually the successor to the Insta360 One X2.
Despite this design shift, the 360 Edition still has familiar trappings to the One RS, with the same RS Core module being housed right at the centre of the device and operating in much the same way. OF course, the main difference is the vertical battery, which now sits below the RS Core; unfortunately, it brings some issues with the RS’s excellent track record on backwards compatibility.
Even though there is a vertical battery in existence for the Insta360 One R, it isn’t compatible with the 1-inch 360 Edition. The reason for this isn’t clear, but Insta360 has explained that the newer vertical battery comes with an increased capacity (from 1190mAh to 1350mAh) to make better use of the new tech.
This boost in battery capacity is certainly a welcome bonus, but it’s a shame that it comes at the cost of rendering those existing batteries useless, particularly since it flies in the face of the One RS’s emphasis on allowing users to upgrade piecemeal to the newer tech.
Screen and Performance
- Performance is identical to the base One RS
- Screen remains just a bit too small to interact with
- Overheating can be an issue
Since the 1-inch 360 Edition uses the same RS Core as found in the One RS, I have found that my experience with regards to the overall performance of the device and its screen remains unchanged. As such, I’d recommend that you take a look at my original review for the Insta360 One RS to get a better idea of how it all works.
As a quick run-through, though, the device itself works well for filming, and I’ve yet to incur any lag in the UI. Unfortunately, as was the case with the One RS, the 1.5-inch screen here is just too small compared to that available on the GoPro Hero 10; but it’s a setback you can learn to work around over time.
The one thing to watch out for is that the camera can become quite hot, and runs the risk of overheating in certain conditions, much like the standard One RS. Filming in segments it’s less of an issue, but it’s definitely something to consider during longer filming sessions such as creating a timelapse.
Video and Image Quality
- 6K capture is now available
- The 360 Edition can capture 48-megapixel stills
- Easy editing and sharing via the app
The biggest talking point of the 1-inch 360 lens is its ability to shoot footage at up to 6K – a reasonable bump over the 5.7K cap afforded by the standard 360 module of the One RS. Just as important, however, is the fact that this leap in quality brings the newer camera in line with the GoPro Max, which has sat atop the 6K perch for some time now.
That jump might not sound like much on paper, but the difference is notable as soon as you start filming. Taking the device to the office rooftop, I was impressed by the vibrancy of the footage captured. Admittedly, shooting on a sunny day always helps; but the green of the astroturf really popped on-screen, as did the playful blue of the sky. If the intent is to keep the viewer engaged with the content being filmed, then there’s plenty to appreciate here.
I was equally impressed by the quality of the mic that features on this device. The sun might have been out on the day of filming, but it was also a particularly windy day. In spite of the gusty conditions while shooting, the 360 Edition was still able to pick up my voice clearly and keep that wind at bay. Those looking for more professional-level audio quality should note that there’s a separate mic adapter accessory that will enable you to connect your preferred set-up.
The camera fared surprisingly well in low-light scenarios, too. Shooting near The Vaults by Waterloo Station – an area that’s full of colourful graffiti, but which is hidden by a lack of natural light – the camera was able to pick up the vibrancy of the wall art with impressive detail.
Those who have used an Insta360 before will already know that for editing, the company offers two options: the Insta360 app and the Insta360 Studio, for your phone and laptop respectively. The world of 360-filming can be a daunting one to newcomers; but, luckily, these pieces of software, especially the app, break down the process to its simplest form.
For example, when viewing back footage in the Insta360 app, you can dive into Snap mode, which lets you change the angle and zoom level as you’re watching, creating keyframes that allow the viewer’s perspective to follow the exact route that you desire. If you want to keep the focus on yourself or someone else, however, then simply drag your finger over the subject in question and the app does the rest for you. It’s incredibly simple to use and helpful, if you need to get a day’s footage uploaded quickly onto social media.
Stills also benefit from the same level of colour vibrancy, and plenty of sharpness as a result of the 48-megapixel cap. You can even pick out stills from video you’ve captured, by hitting the pause button and saving what you see.
The only major downside to both the footage and stills is the huge drop in quality when you try to zoom in. Any digital zoom is always going to create a degree of noise; but in particular with stills taken from video, there was a lot of screen tearing to be found, which renders a cropped image almost unusable.
Stabilisation and Battery
- Next-level stabilisation that makes footage look amazing
- Larger 1350mAh battery
- Roughly an hour’s use on a single charge
The 360 Edition is still a One RS at heart, and as such the camera uses Insta360’s FlowState Stabilisation software to keep things smooth.
Although standard 2D footage captured on the One RS was admirable, I found the FlowState Stabilisation fell short when compared to GoPro’s stellar HyperSmooth 4.0 – but the results have improved in my time with the 360 Edition.
It appears that FlowState has been made with 360-filming in mind, because the software did an excellent job of keeping my footage on track throughout this review. The best part is that without any discernible wobble to distract the viewer, you can change the perspective of a video in post-production, without it detracting from the overall flow of the video – everything runs smoothly.
As previously mentioned, the new vertical battery for the 360 Edition has received a boost in size over the previous version, and while this does result in issues with backwards compatibility, you can feel the benefits of the upgrade in general use. For example, 30 minutes of continuous 6K filming brought the battery down from a full charge to only 54%. As such, for most users, getting close to an hour of filming shouldn’t be a problem.
Should you buy it?
You want to capture high-end 360-footage: With the GoPro Max its only real competitor, the Insta360 One RS 1-inch 360 Edition is easily one of the best consumer-level cameras in this space. It doesn’t come cheap, but for capturing quality footage and just how easy it is to edit in post, it won’t disappoint.
You’re on a tight budget: The biggest hurdle for any buyer to overcome is likely to be the 1-inch 360 Edition high price, with Insta360 offering plenty of cheaper cameras in its catalogue of products should you find yourself strapped for cash.
The Insta360 One RS 1-inch 360 Edition builds upon the fantastic upgrades of the RS Core to deliver a superb experience that content creators and budding adventurers are sure to love. The footage captured rarely fails to impress and the accompanying Insta360 app makes the process of editing and sharing 360-footage a breeze.
The incredibly high price will no doubt hinder the Insta360 One RS 1-inch 360 Edition’s chances among the casual crowd, however – and with the GoPro Max available at a lesser price, the appeal of the 360 Edition will be relegated to those who have a need for the latest tech.
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Tested over a two month period
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No, the Insta360 One RS 1-inch 360 Edition is not backwards compatible with the existing Insta360 Vertical Battery and instead requires a new Vertical Battery with a larger capacity.
You can only film 360 footage with the Insta360 One RS 1-inch 360 Edition, but you can reframe the footage when editing to give the impression of linear shooting.
Yes, there is a USB-C port for charging the device and transferring data with a connected laptop or computer.
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