Insta360’s modular One R can transform into a GoPro competitor or a 360 camera
One of the camera modules co-engineered with Leica has a 1-inch sensor for better low-light photos
The latest Insta360 camera achieves this by using swappable camera modules that connect to the core of the device and a battery base. If you want it to take 360-degree photos or videos, you mount the dual-lens 360 mod that has lenses on the front and the back. As you film, the device stitches together the images from the two lenses for a full 360-degree image.
But if you don’t want to be bothered with 360-degree footage, you can switch out that mod with the 4K wide-angle mod. This allows the camera to take crisp wide-angle photos and videos in 4K resolution. And if you don’t trust the lenses Insta360 engineered on its own, you can connect the more premium 1-inch wide-angle mod that was co-engineered with Leica.
The One R was launched at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and it’s now available to order online and at select retailers like Best Buy. At US$479.99, the Insta360 One R Twin Edition – which includes the dual-lens and the 4K wide-angle mods – undercuts the GoPro Max by US$20. But the Insta360 One R 1-Inch Edition that includes the lens from Leica will set you back US$549.99. (We have a full review coming soon, so stay tuned!)
This might be because 360-degree video is commonly associated with VR, allowing people to don a headset and look around an environment in a video. To get people more onboard with recording in 360 degrees, though, Insta360 encourages users to capture an image from all angles and edit it with an app later. The selling point is to make filming easier.
With the modular One R, Insta360 is hoping to accommodate various creative needs in a single product. Insta360 also says its newest camera is waterproof and has better audio capture than its predecessor.
New software features for the One R include some new tricks, too. It has an AI-powered tracking system that can stay locked on a subject and a stop motion feature. A selfie stick that twirls around the user also allows One R footage to appear like a drone rotating around a subject.
Another advantage of the One R is better low-light performance, especially when equipped with Leica’s 1-inch sensor. This sensor also allows for 5.3K video and 19MP photos.
With the dual-lens 360 mod, the One R can capture 5.7K footage with both lenses combined. The 4K wide-angle mod can capture video at 60fps and supports up to 8x slow motion.
If these mods aren’t enough versatility for you, Insta360 says “a huge range of efficient add-ons and upgrades” will be available, but most haven’t been announced yet.
The company did announce a couple of additional modules, though. One is a larger battery base with double the capacity of the one that’s included. The company also announced the launch of an aerial mod that can be mounted on supported drones and edit the drone out of the 360-degree footage.