Technology

The Insta360 X3 action camera is the ideal device for both professionals and beginners.

Insta360 is no longer stopping right now. The manufacturer appears to be almost immune to the chip shortages affecting the world of computing. From the webcam to the GoPro-style accessory, the company clearly has no shortage of semiconductors or ideas.

The next model in the brand’s colors will be the Insta360 X3, the successor to the One X2 launched last year. Insta360 says it is now dropping the “One” branding for simplicity. In a market filled with complex titles like GoPro Hero 11 Black or DJI Osmo Action 3, the company’s change in tone is welcome.

Insta360 X3

Insta360 X3 – Best prices:

  • Rakuten

    519.00

  • Fnac marketplace

    539.99

  • Amazon Marketplace

    539.99

  • fnak

    539.99

  • Amazon

    539.99

  • Dartie

    539.99

There’s more to this 2022 model: screen, camera, battery, price… Whether you’re an experienced content creator or just starting out on the Cam stock market, the X3 has a compelling case to make.

Functions

  • dimensions : 114 x 46 x 31mm
  • Weight : 180 g
  • Screen : 2.29 inch touch screen
  • Sensor : 1/2″ 48 MP
  • Permission : Resolution up to 5.7K
  • Battery : 1800 mAh (removable)
  • Ports : USB Type-C, MicroSD
  • sustainability : Water resistant up to 33 feet (10 m).
  • Price : €539.99

Never two without three

As the name suggests, the X3 is the manufacturer’s third-generation action camera, and it’s undoubtedly the most successful design product to date. The body is about 10 centimeters high and just under 5 centimeters wide, making the X3 very compact and very practical to carry around with you everywhere.

The outer surface is coated with a smooth and textured rubber compound for good grip. All ports are sealed and watertight, yet surprisingly easy to access. This means the convenience of USB-C charging and data transfer, as well as the easy replacement of the removable battery and microSD card.

insta360-x3-display

Image: Jun Wang/ZDNET

The biggest changes in the X3 are a 48-megapixel sensor and a 2.29-inch touchscreen. The former offers improved image quality and dynamic range, allowing the camera to capture sharper footage with more accurate colors in all circumstances. This is due to a heavier body (180 g) and a PV module that protrudes a little more.

As for the new screen, the benefits are clear: you can now see more content in the viewfinder while recording, and more room for gestures and touch controls.

The X3 also has three new buttons: one on the bottom left to start/stop recording, one on the bottom right to switch between front and rear modules, and one on the right to switch between different presets. For ergonomic reasons, I would have preferred the record button to be a little higher or even to the side so that it can be activated with a thumb press.

Lights, camera, action

Most users will be happy with the 360 ​​recording offered by X3, especially since it’s easy to edit, cut and crop footage when sharing. The X3 achieves a resolution of 5.7K at 30 fps. 4K resolution can reach 60fps.

However, don’t be fooled by the numbers. 5.7K 360-degree video is compressed to 1080p, which means footage won’t look as perfect as, say, 4K movies on a next-gen TV. It would make sense to be able to upscale 1080p content to 4K after the fact.

The device also has a single lens mode and slow motion mode up to 4K/120fps.

Numbers aside, the image quality of the X3 is impressive. I made the mistake of not activating HDR during my first outdoor shots, and even then my photos in broad daylight weren’t too overexposed or lost their colors.

Remember that this is a 360-degree video, so regardless of camera orientation, you will be able to crop, move, stabilize, and crop your footage as needed when editing. This is a practical format that is suitable for both professionals and novice users.

insta360-x3-accessories

Image: Jun Wang/ZDNET

There are a number of accessories that can enhance the X3 experience, but perhaps the most impressive is the invisible selfie stick. As the name suggests, shots taken with the accessory automatically hide the boom. You can still see his shadow at certain angles, but the camera is generally quite reliable when it comes to framing.

For POV shots, you can either mount the X3 on your head or chest, or just bite down on the camera to hold it in place, but I wouldn’t recommend doing that.

Artificial intelligence in the service of art

Insta360 positions itself more as a software company than a camera manufacturer, and with good reason. The Insta360 software contains fancy video filters, editing features, and endless possibilities for turning your 360-degree (or 180-degree) footage into something more interesting.

It’s all powered by Insta360 AI, a series of algorithms that intelligently combine raw footage in the most interesting way possible. From the app’s ability to intelligently pan a video so that all actions are framed properly, to various filters that can literally replace the skyline with a Van Gogh starry night, there’s clearly some sort of magic in the software.

insta360-app-experience

Image: Jun Wang/ZDNET

What impressed me the most about the software was its ease of use. Switching from more professional services like Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro wasn’t as difficult as I thought. In fact, the Insta360 editing suite interface allowed me to find keyframes, set tempo and transitions with just a few clicks. I didn’t even have to take out my computer to cut 360° sequences, everything was done right on my smartphone.

Export times can be shorter, especially when ShotLab’s filters and effects add a minute or two to the process, but to easily turn a raw video into content that can be shared on social media, it’s certainly worth the effort.

Autonomy

During the two weeks of Insta360 X3 testing, the camera typically lasted two to three days on a single charge. Obviously, autonomy depends on the frequency of recording, resolution, whether it is 360° or 180° content and much more. However, battery life is significantly better than the One X2, which had a 1630mAh battery and lasted about a day less.

Conclusion

Using the Insta360 X3 reminded me of my first steps with a 360 camera, bad memories aside.

Whether you are a professional or a beginner videographer, the X3 has a lot of cool features. The price of 539 euros is reasonable, especially considering all the fun and practical features included and what competitors offer at the same price. Just make sure you have a MicroSD card with enough capacity to store all your 360 videos; you will probably catch more than you think.

Alternatives

Besides Insta360 X3, here are some great alternatives:

Source: “.com”

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