The term „action camera“ is not exactly accurate anymore for the latest generation of the original action cam. I already said in our GoPro Hero6 review back in 2017 that these types of cameras are shifting away from the cliché of only being useful for sports shoots or family videos.
I recently stumbled across the Insta360 ONE R camera which at first, I thought was only a 360° camera. I never really got into the whole 360 degrees video thing but liked in which direction GoPro was going.
The Insta360 ONE R comes in different edition and I’ve decided to try the 1” Edition. It is pretty much a classic action cam except that is modular. You can remove the battery, lens and body and mix it up with another version of the ONE R. Sounds confusing? Well, it’s actually quite simple.
Below you can watch some sample footage that was recorded in 5.3K at 25 frames per second and 4K at 60fps.
The footage was recorded internally on to a Micro SD card and adjusted in the Insta360 Studio 2020. The software allows to adjust the field of view in post and stabilization can be turned on or off.
More info about that in the Behind the Scenes vlog below:
I didn’t really mention it in the vlog but my goal with this video was to show that it’s possible to get a certain look with the ONE R 1-Inch that doesn’t immediately makes someone think “Action cam footage! I can tell by the wobbly motion and barrel distortion!” So hopefully that worked. That being said, the main issue I see with the 1-Inch Edition’s video quality is the oversharped image. Even when recording in Log. I am sure it would be easy to update the camera and allow users to further adjust picture profiles just like in pretty much any camera these days.
The 5.3K looks very crisp and detailed and the image stabilization is incredible. The stabilization becomes less effective when switching to 4K 60p but the video quality and detail is still good. When recording slow motion at 120fps the image is not clean anymore and artifacts are starting to become visible, especially when filming detailed scenes like water splashing. I would think twice before using the 120p mode and rather choose the 4K 60p because the field of view is much wider and the video quality much better.
The interface on the camera’s tiny screen can be a bit fiddly. I highly recommend using the dedicated Insta360 mobile app to quickly control and change settings manually to get the best results quickly.
I think it’s interesting to see how far these tiny cameras have come and that they can be used just like bigger cameras to record everyday scenes and not just sports. I can definitely see how we can use a camera like this on future commercial video productions.
Written by filmmaker Moritz Janisch on September 1, 2020