Insta360 X3 of Ultimate Action Camera Review


This is being shot with the brand new Insta360 X3 action camera. It is a complete 360-degree camera. And I’m going to say I’ve had more fun with this Than I think any other camera ever. And what I love about this is that you can capture everything and then frame and edit it later in the app so I can show you that way. I can show you that we can go upwards if you like, or I can extend this selfie stick up to three meters to get a drone shot overhead. It is an incredibly versatile action camera, and it’s been a lot of fun a play with it.

New Features

We now have the Insta360 X3. They’ve dropped one part of the name, and this comes with a whole bunch of new tricks to new features that make it stand out as one of the best and most versatile action cameras you can buy. For starters, it can record 5.7 K, a total of 360 videos, and thanks to larger half-inch sensors, we’re getting better image quality with less noise.

The functions are included:

  • 5.7K 360 Video
  • 1/2 inch Sensors
  • 4K60 Single Lens Mode
  • 72MP 360 Photos
  • 360 ActiveHDR
  • 4x Mic 360 Audio
  • Waterproof to 10m (33ft)
  • “Invisible’ Selfie Stick
  • 8K Timelapse
  • Bullet Time – 4K 120
  • Me Mode & Nose Mode
  • 15/30s Pre-Record
  • Reframing in Insta 360 App

The new 360 active HDR mode balances detail in light and dark areas of the scene. The single lens mode turns this into a regular action camera using one of the two cameras to record sharp 4K 30 footage 360 audio using the four built-in microphones. Your voice and sounds should be clear no matter which direction you’re holding. And the Insta360 X3 also has plenty of official accessories, though we should work with most regular GoPro-style mounts.

You can now take full 360 photos and up to a massive 72 megapixels, and it also works underwater down to 10 meters or 33 feet. And there’s even a 4K 120 bullet time mode.

Insta360 App

So, like with the 360 videos, you can pop it into the Insta 360 app on your iPhone, Android, iOS, or on your pc. I’ve got it on my MacBook here. Then you can edit and reframe your footage however you like. I mean, look at that. I’m editing and reframing it on the fly. Looks great. That is very cool.

The set is simple. You charge it up, pop your micro SD card, and you’re good to go. Then it’s just a case of choosing what mode, resolution, and frame rate you want using the 2.29-inch tempered glass touchscreen or the quick select button, and just hit record.

It’s the full 5.7 K 360-degree video. That’s the killer feature here. The dual hemispherical lenses each record 180 degrees, and then the processing stitches them together, removing any selfie sticks from the image. Well, most of the time.

The tops are out at 30 fps, although you can get 60 if you drop the reds to 4k.

Next to a regular action cam, like the GoPro Hero 10, you don’t need to worry about setting up your shot. You can reframe it in the app afterward and export it in whichever aspect ratio you want.

The 16×9 for YouTube or 9x16for your Instagram reel or TikTok.

It is a case of shoot first, reframing, and editing later. So, for example, while you can see I can move around, uh, this is uh, in the Install 360 app. Once you export it, ideally in ProRes, you’ll get the full, uh, quality. And then what you can do is set keyframes by pressing the plus button down here, and then you can adjust the pan angle, the roll, the uh, field of view, all sorts of things.

So you can’t miss the shot, which is a huge deal. And also, you can probably use the same piece of footage multiple times if you want to, just with different settings. You can see James has been having some fun with this. He does have his arm stuck out here while he is riding it because he is holding the selfie stick with the camera on it. So while it removes the camera and the stick, you’ll still have your arm stuck out like that. That’s worth bearing in mind. And also, if you’re wondering why I didn’t do this, it’s because I can’t run a bike. Don’t tell anyone, though.

For me as a YouTube creator, I’m always trying to get shots that are more interesting, more dynamic, and possibly even more relatable. And often just basic tripod panning shots just bore everyone to death. This kinda stuff is so much more interesting and it’s all from this, It looks like I’ve got a FPV drone flying for the woods here, or it’s a, uh, outtake from Return of the Jedi. And if your camera slips out of position, you don’t have to lose the shot like you would on a regular action cam. You can just reframe it later on. If you do pick one of these up, just have some fun with it. Try the different modes.

I guarantee you. You’ll have a lot of fun and get some surprisingly good results. Also, despite this being a bumpy ride, the Insta360 X3 has some of the best stabilization I’ve seen. Even these handheld selfie stick shots are excellent thanks to the flow state, horizon leveling, which keeps the horizon more or less flat, no matter which angle you’re holding it, and even mounted to an RC car gave us some excellent smooth footage while the car itself was shaking and bumping along. All we did was reframe our shots to make them look like swivels.

Selfie Stick

Now, most shots require either a mount, like a suction cup onto a car or something, or this guy, which is the three-meter long Insta 360 selfie stick, which I’m not sure if I have quite enough room in here to extend it fully, thou shall not pass.

It is huge, and it shrinks down to just that. Although you do get a few looks if you walk around town with this fully extended over your head. Just be aware of shadows, as the processing can’t remove these as it does with the selfie stick itself. If you hold it extended a meteor or so behind you, you can get an excellent third-person gaming style perspective, which makes for incredible time-lapse or sped-up footage. Or better yet, get a hefty suction amount and stick it to your car for a fantastic racing game.

Look, I absolutely love this or even hold it way above your head and you can get some cool walk around lap shots like this one around the Glassen Root Tour. The 5.7 K resolution is spread over the full 360. So the 4K single lens mode will offer slutty finer quality video and also frame rate does top out at 30 FBS in the main 360 modes. But importantly, and like all action cams, ideally you wanna shoot this in well lit conditions, lighting is everything.

Also, not every shot suits your wide fish eye feel, but you can quickly flatten this out in the app to give a more natural appearance. Or you can have a bit of fun with the crystal ball mode or my favorite tiny planet, which can have some unintentionally hilarious results.

Image Quality

Now, I will say that some images were a little softer than I’d like, and the stitching between both hemispheres is usually good. However, when the crossover point is over more detailed areas like these paving slabs, you get a noticeable seam.

But luckily, the apps have a couple of extra intelligent stitching options, which can help. One of the new modes, 360 active HDR, attempts to draw out more detail from darker and brighter areas of the image. And it did work well in the woods, but in some conditions, especially with direct sunlight on one lens but not the other, it could vary its exposure slightly too often. And so there’s some apparent mismatch between lenses.

As for single lens mode, you get a 180-degree image at 4K 30 with a 120 megabits per second-bit rate from either camera. In GoPro mode, films that point it side with the GoPro Hero 10 with its highest single lens resolution are clear. The 360 cams are wired by default, although you can adjust later. Although bear in mind the new hero 11 will also be coming out soon.

But if you want the best 360 images, you’ll want to use the new 72-megapixel photo mode. The highest resolution in any 360 camera, and it captures a ton of detail and gives you as many options to reframe as the video does. Again though, ideally, you’ll want well-lit conditions.

Bullet Time

Okay, let’s dig a little deeper with the many modes this has to offer.

We took the camera to our local outdoor market and got a few funny looks from people as we captured them for a few minutes. And you can easily add or remove motion blood in the app. And while I can’t show you the total AK output, the detail is incredible in another case.

The instant 360 bullet time accessory. This screws into the bottom of the camera, and you can pull it out as far as you’d like. And then I would suggest pinching in here, uh, in the end, so it doesn’t retract in. And then you can throw the camera around you, you know, above onto the side and get some cool bullet time effects.

Make sure you don’t smash anything you record at 4k 120 or 3K 180, then slow it down to 30 for that slow-mo bullet time. I’m sure you could manage a cooler effect than me with this, and it’s something I want to play with more.

Nose Mode

Then there’s nose mode, where you’d hold the camera up to your face or even in your mouth to get some weirdly close-up shots.

I couldn’t get this to look anything but unpleasant, but happily, the 360 sent me this video of a man demonstrating this better than I ever could. That is someone living his best life.

It is being shot with me mode that is still the cam. So I’m using this on the short selfie stick in front of me. Uh, and it’s meant for vlogging. Let me know what you make of the footage. This is my mode.

Also, say you’re using this as a dash cam or somewhere else where you need to capture footage after the event. Instant 360 is planning a firmer update, allowing you to pre-record 15 or 30 seconds before you hit the record button.

Now the camera is only half the story. To get the shot you want, as I say, you’ll need the AI-powered Instant 360 mobile app or the studio editing app on your PC Mac, all free. Just connect your Insta360 X3 via Bluetooth or USB.

You can add different camera positions and control a transition between them. You can change speeds with time shifts or use the deep tracking function to have the AI dynamically track the subject you choose. And the studio app has even more options that make it my preferred choice for editing. Also, shot lab in the mobile I instant 360 app offers a few fun options like Sky Swap, which lets you swap out the sky for something a bit more dynamic.

Final Thoughts

In some ways, especially when I do a lot of car videos, it’s always tricky to get those shots. Usually have to use a chase car, which can often be a bit difficult and dangerous.

Now I can stick this onto the car, maybe onto the bonnet or at the back, or you can attach it to the shorter 120-centimeter selfie stick, which is lighter and perhaps a better option for most of us than the whopping three-meter one, to get yourself some of those drone style shots, which is very useful because most of the time you’re not allowed to fly a drone. Still, no one’s telling you you can’t walk around looking like a bit of an idiot but getting a similar kind of shot.

Downsides, well, be aware that the lenses do stick out. They are proud of the camera, so these may get damaged. So to be a bit careful, although it does come with a little pouch that you can put in to keep it safe, bear that in manner, wildly if you’re spinning it around in bullet time mode. And also, while the video quality may not be as sharp as a dedicated single-lens action camera, I think all the versatility you get with this makes it worth it. And so, for me, this is the best action cam I’ve ever tested, and it’s going straight in my camera back.

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Title: Insta360 X3 of Ultimate Action Camera Review