Home Tech Insta360 adds 8K video to its hybrid 360 action camera

Insta360 adds 8K video to its hybrid 360 action camera

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Angled black rectangular digital camera attached to a rod with the screen capturing the clouds and trees in the...

In practice, this is the first 360 camera I’ve used where the video footage remains very sharp and clear, even when reframed to 16:9. You still have to deal with the seam line, which is where the edges of the two lenses meet and the software (imperfectly) fills in the gaps, but otherwise the post-production use of this footage feels like, well , simply edit video. I mixed it with images from a Sony A7R II, GoPro Hero 12 and Insta360 Ace Pro and apart from the wider angle of view, it’s difficult to tell the images apart.

That alone is enough to say that this is the 360 ​​camera filmmakers will want. The 8K footage still doesn’t reframe to 4K (you’ll have to wait for the 12K footage to arrive before that’s possible), but it looks good enough for anything you’re going to put online.

It’s not just the high-end specs that have changed on the X4. Frame rates have been improved on lower resolution images, with new options to record 5.7K at 60fps, 4K at 100fps, and 4K at 60fps video when recording in wide-angle mode. None of that is earth-shattering, but it does give you better slow-motion options, thanks to the higher frame rates.

Color profile options remain the same as the X3: Standard, Vivid, and Log (for those who prefer to color in post-production). I shot primarily in Standard and found colors to be very well represented, perhaps a little warm. I find Vivid too flashy and of course if you plan to mix footage from other cameras you’ll want to record everything in Log and colorize in the software.

Film equipment in a box

Testing action cameras is always one of the best parts of this job, but it was especially fun with the Insta360 X4. I don’t even like shooting 360 videos, but shooting 360 videos knowing that I can crop, reframe and still get sharp, clean images with lots of detail and smooth pans? Yes please.

In many ways, Insta360 is like adding a little film equipment to your bag, especially if you get Insta360’s fun oversized 9.8-foot selfie stick, which allows you to simulate surprisingly realistic boom shots.

At $99, the new one Extended Edition Selfie Stick It’s not cheap, but it’s worth it for the versatility it creates when combined with the X4. Fully extended and held behind you as you walk, it mimics a low-flying drone tracking shot, but without the whole crashing into trees thing.

Speaking of trees, shade and shade, the X4 excels in the sunlight. High-contrast scenes, like a forest floor at midday, are more challenging (this goes for any camera). HDR mode can help sometimes, but then you lose the ability to shoot Log.

Photography: Scott Gilbertson

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