While it runs on a tiny (1/2-inch) sensor, the new Insta360 RS One is an interesting development in actioncam technology, adopting a modular approach.
The new camera uses a three-part design – a battery, a processor and three ‘quick-swap’ lenses. The lens modules enable switching from an action cam to a 360 camera.
But the Insta360 marketing material and product pics are quite deceptive. While it uses ‘three quick-swap lenses’ you don’t actually get three lenses when you purchase the camera – it comes with a 16mm (‘4K’ ?) lens and a 7.2mm, 360-degree lens. You need to buy the third lens – the 14.4mm Leica (‘1-inch’?) lens separately.
(And that’s an hour of my life wasted trying to work out what Insta is actually trying to say here! KS.)
While the sensor is physically tiny – about half the size of a compact camera sensor – it boasts an impressive 48-megapixel resolution.
The new lens and ‘Core’ are compatible with the preceding ONE R generation cameras. The press release then gets a bit garbled, taking about 5.3K, 1-inch ‘lenses’, so we will skip that bit and go to the feature list:
– The new ‘4K Boost Lens’ (that’s 16mm/f2 in English) is for athletes, adventurers and creators to action shots. With the 1/2-inch 48MP image sensor, the new lens shoots 4K 60fps videos and 48MP stills;
– Active HDR is specifically designed for action. Keeps video stabilized as you move, minimizing ghosting and revealing details in the highlights and shadows;
– 6K Widescreen mode with 2.35:1 ratio for a cinematic widescreen look;
– 5.7K 360 degree shooting with 360 lens;
– With a dual-lens design, the selfie stick is automatically stitched out of the final footage, resulting in…images without selfie-sticks in them;
– Enhanced stabilisation applied in camera, without having to process it in the Insta360 app;
– Horizon levelling: Toggle a switch in the Insta360 app or desktop software for level footage;
– IPX8 waterproofing to 16 feet;
– Extra mic, for better audio;
– 50 percent faster WiFi;
– Instant Zoom function, for digitally zooming up to 2.7x while recording videos.
The Insta360 One RS is available direct from insta360 online for around $900 and is also available locally from JB HiFi, among others. If you want the Leica lens version, well that will cost you around $900 as well, but you will need to buy the other two lenses separately. The ‘Expert’ version with the three lenses in the box is around $1400.