Insta360 X3 Review: the very best waterproof 360 camera

“The Insta360 X3 is a extremely versatile camera able to capturing high-resolution 360 footage.”

Execs

  • Excellent picture high quality
  • Giant, lovely touchscreen show
  • Inventive and enjoyable modes
  • Waterproof

Cons

  • Some options don’t work properly in lowlight conditions

Making your movies stand out in an age the place hundreds of thousands of individuals are striving to do the identical on platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram isn’t any simple activity. That’s the place the Insta360 X3 is available in. The X3 is the most recent in Insta360’s line of versatile 360 cameras, and it’s extra of an all-in-one resolution that’s additionally compact and waterproof. It’s filled with options aimed toward increasing your inventive horizons. Can the X3 ship on its promising potential and earn a spot in your camera bag?

Insta360 X3 design

The updates to the X3 are instantly obvious, because it now includes a large, lovely 2.29-inch touchscreen on the again. The older X2 camera applied a tiny little round show that, whereas very attention-grabbing and usable, may be very arduous to return to after utilizing the X3 show. Navigating menus, altering settings and modes, and reviewing footage are a lot simpler with a big touchscreen.

The X3 additionally has extra bodily buttons, which I actually admire. It’s method simpler now to begin and cease recording or to swap between 360 and single lens modes. There’s additionally a brand new fast menu button that allows you to simply save and entry presets. An extra enchancment is a hatch for the USB-C port. It’s extra strong and simpler to open or shut.

The control buttons and screen of the Insta360 X3.Andy Zahn / Digital Traits

The design of the neoprene sleeve for the X3 has been altered so that there’s now a gap that permits entry to the USB-C port with out having to take away the X3 from the case. Little high quality of life upgrades like this are very a lot appreciated.

Although the X3 is barely bigger than the X2, it’s nonetheless a extremely compact machine that’s simple to suit into most pockets. The small dimension is nice because it makes it extra doubtless that I’ll commonly carry the camera round along with my different gear.

Picture high quality

insta360 x3 vs X2 vs RS vs 1-inch 360 version – Video High quality Comparability

The X3 affords a big increase in picture high quality over the X2, which is nice since disappointing picture high quality was my one large grievance with the X2. The X3 has a barely bigger sensor and a barely brighter lens, and the distinction is type of unimaginable.

The X3 delivers actually handsome video that’s sharp and clear. It could shoot 360 video at 5.7K decision at 30 frames per second (fps) or 4K at as much as 60fps. In single-lens mode, it captures 4K at 30fps and as much as 60fps if you happen to drop down to three.5K decision. Sluggish-motion can also be obtainable at 4K at 120fps or 3K at 180fps. This implies the X3 is an improve over its predecessor however doesn’t fairly strategy the GoPro Hero 10 Black by way of slow-motion and single-lens decision.

Insta360 X3 digital forest hike

Due prone to the bigger sensor and aperture, the X3 now performs higher in lowlight conditions. I used it within the dappled forest and nonetheless bought handsome footage, although among the particular modes like bullet time want a number of gentle to operate correctly. The video it produces isn’t fairly up there with the way more costly Insta360 One RS 1-inch 360 version, and that camera will nonetheless be my go-to as best-of-the-best choice for 360 seize, significantly for astrophotography.

The X3 actually shines when its high-resolution sensor is put to full use. It could shoot 72MP 360-degree photographs and movie time-lapses at as much as 8K. This makes the camera an awesome selection for realtors creating VR experiences of properties, or for panorama photographers who wish to report a time-lapse whereas they’re capturing nonetheless photographs with a DSLR.

Further options and equipment

The Insta360 X3 with accessories on a picnic table.Andy Zahn / Digital Traits

The X3 comes filled with all kinds of specialised modes and equipment for reaching completely different results. My favourite of those, as with different 360 cameras, is star-lapse mode, by which the camera captures star trails for unimaginable cinematic night time sky pictures. As a result of all-encompassing area of view, you may get your entire sky within the shot, after which pull a number of completely different pictures out of a single 360 video. I like sticking these star path pictures into journey and journey movies for an enormous increase of the “wow issue.”

One very sensible new function of the X3 is a 4K single-lens mode by which the camera makes use of solely one in every of its two lenses to supply a extra conventional motion camera-style video straight out of the camera. With this mode, you possibly can select between the default area of view (FOV), and FOV Plus, which permits a 170-degree area of view for ultra-wide pictures, although these wider pictures should have 360 horizon lock and flowstate stabilization utilized in postprocessing within the Insta360 app or studio.

You will get your entire sky within the shot, after which pull a number of completely different pictures out of a single 360 video.

The so-called invisible selfie stick lives as much as its moniker by fully disappearing in your photographs and movies when used with the X3. Over the previous yr, it has develop into my favourite selfie stick as a result of its lengthy attain and durable construct high quality.

I had the chance to check the X3 with the bullet time twine accent, which, when mixed with bullet time mode, lets you spin the camera round you to create loopy slow-motion pictures that will in any other case require a extremely expert FPV drone pilot to tug off. This may be actually cool, however you really want sturdy daylight for the 4K 120fps slow-motion video to look good.

The Insta360 X3 sitting on a tree branch.Andy Zahn / Digital Traits

Two new modes  on the X3 are Me Mode and Loop recording. Me Mode is designed for vlogging or different actions by which you need the video to middle completely on you. Loop recording constantly data footage, however solely saves the final 1 to half-hour of the video. One potential software of loop recording is to make the most of the X3 as a dashcam for a bike or bicycle.

Different elective equipment embody a fast reader and an exterior microphone adapter, each of which connect to the USB-C port. Additionally obtainable is a 3-meter-long prolonged selfie stick for capturing drone-like pictures.

Efficiency

The Insta360 X3 on a pebble beach next to the sea.Andy Zahn / Digital Traits

Regardless of lengthy recording classes in heat summer season circumstances, I by no means skilled overheating with the X3, and it stood up properly to chilly nights capturing star-lapse movies. The camera simply shrugged off a dunk within the ocean and put up with rough-and-tumble climbing excursions. I did, nevertheless, run often into an issue by which the camera would freeze up on me, usually throughout startup, and I needed to pop the battery out to get it up and operating once more. Nevertheless, it’s necessary to notice that I examined the camera utilizing prelaunch firmware, and the camera by no means froze whereas recording.

By way of battery life, I discovered that the X3 may get me by means of a mean day of recording on a hike, although, as with most 360 and motion cameras, it’s solely good for a single star-lapse on a cost. For multi-ay backpacking journeys, you’re positively going to need a couple of backup batteries.

The camera simply shrugged off a dunk within the ocean and put up with rough-and-tumble climbing excursions.

Insta360’s FlowState stabilization and 360 horizon lock are as spectacular as ever on the X3, so it’s simple to seize easy footage.

The camera is waterproof right down to 33 ft, although for seamless 360 stitching underwater (in addition to deeper dives), you’ll have to buy a dive case. If you happen to’re going to make use of the camera underwater quite a bit, I’d suggest a dive case anyway, if solely for an additional layer of safety. The X3 is pretty rugged and impact-resistant, however as with every 360 camera, you’ve bought to watch out of these two bulbous lenses. As I’ve sadly skilled prior to now, you don’t need these lenses to come back into contact with abrasive substances.

Software program

Insta360’s cell and desktop functions are very accessible methods to review and edit 360 footage, plus they provide a plug-in for Adobe Premiere Professional. There are simple choices obtainable to simplify the method for novice editors and loads of depth for seasoned content material creators to dig into.

The Insta360 X3 sitting on the branch of a tree.Andy Zahn / Digital Traits

Worth and availability

The X3 is accessible now and retails for $450, which is roughly within the ballpark of a GoPro Hero 10 Black or the DJI Motion 2. Although it’s barely pricier than both of these motion cameras, it additionally affords a better stage of inventive versatility. For a 360 camera, the X3 is a remarkably reasonably priced choice.

A wonderful waterproof 360 camera that gained’t break the financial institution

Insta360 affords an intensive lineup of 360 cameras, but the X3 nonetheless manages to face out with clear benefits and its personal area of interest. It’s a serious improve over its predecessor and affords nice worth for cash. Maybe most significantly, it’s a ton of enjoyable to make use of, in addition to an extremely versatile software, due to its intensive vary of capturing modes and choices. As a compact and waterproof all-in-one package deal, the X3 is straightforward to hold with you and fast to tug out and begin filming.

Whereas the modular RS system that Insta360 additionally produces is a horny various, significantly with the 1-inch 360 camera hooked up, the simplicity of the X3 has distinct benefits. The comparatively low worth level for a 360 camera can also be extremely interesting, and for most individuals, the X3 is probably going the very best 360 camera to decide on.

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