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New Insta360 adopts modular approach

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 standard Insta360 RS One kit includes only two of the three lenses referred to in the press release. The higher quality Leica lens will cost you an extra $500 or more.

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.


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