Watch out, GoPro – the world of motion cameras is transferring quick, and also you’re not the one firm making large strikes, or [modular models].

The Insta360 One R is an ideal instance: a tiny digital camera with intelligent software program, nice picture stabilisation and, relying on how a lot you’re prepared to spend, as much as three modules that drastically change the way in which it shoots movies and images. How does this flexitarian method work out in apply? We’ve braved the winds of winter down on the coast to seek out out.

Design: Three occasions a digital camera

The modular three-section design is essential to the One R’s attraction. The digital camera consists of a core (this part includes a contact show, card slot and USB-C port for charging), a digital camera module (there are three potential mods to select from right here, which we’ll go into beneath) and a battery base, all of which push and snap along with ease.

No matter which mod you’ve received fitted, the One R is small, light-weight and eminently pocket pleasant. It’s provided with a cage and mount adapter permitting you to suit it to the very same kind of harnesses and mounts as a GoPro – a really sensible alternative given the sheer variety of GoPro mounts on the market. You can even purchase an non-obligatory adapter permitting you to bolt the digital camera to your DJI Mavic 2 or Mavic Pro drone and carry it to thoroughly new heights.

The small, boxy and durable design means you don’t should deal with this factor with child gloves. Two of the digital camera modules have built-in scratch-proof lens covers, whereas the opposite comes provided with a tricky rubber lens can that slips over it when it’s not in use. Insta360 additionally provided us with an adjunct that does the identical however with clear lenses changing the rubber bits, the concept being you could go away this cowl on always and shoot by way of it – however at current it degrades the picture high quality a lot that we wouldn’t advise utilizing it.

The digital camera is waterproof to a depth of 5m in every of its numerous guises, so you’ll be able to strap this factor to your head and go white water rafting, snorkelling or partaking in no matter moist exercise you select, secure within the data that it gained’t conk out on you and junk all that treasured Insta content material.

Features: A little bit of every thing

A fast have a look at the One R’s options record is nigh-on disorienting; there’s a lot you are able to do right here that we felt a bit assailed by the alternatives on supply.

A whole lot of the capturing modes revolve round AI, the place the cellular app principally takes the enhancing reins and palms them over to a robotic. As lengthy as you shoot inside sure parameters, you’ll be able to obtain some very cool-looking clips utilizing these utilizing little or no effort. We significantly just like the cease movement impact, as proven beneath.

Other high quality of life options embrace restricted voice controls, 5G Wi-Fi (which is finest used to hyperlink the digital camera as much as your telephone working the app), a microSD slot (in a position to accommodate playing cards as much as 256GB) and a USB Type-C connector for charging and switch. The battery, in the meantime, will final you about an hour when filming on the high decision.

Image high quality: Sharp and steady

The three accessible digital camera models are as follows: a dual-lens 360 digital camera that captures every thing round you; a 4K vast angle digital camera that gives higher picture high quality from a single forward-facing digital camera; and a large angle digital camera with a 1in sensor (made in partnership with Leica) that gives the most effective picture high quality of the lot, significantly in low mild conditions.

Our review bundle didn’t embrace the latter of the three, so we are able to’t communicate to the efficiency of that specific module (which prices £519.99 when bought with the core and battery models). We did handle to attempt each of the opposite modules nevertheless, in a bundle bought for £439.99 because the Twin Edition.

You can shoot in a variety of resolutions and body charges, which differ relying on the module you’re capturing with. With the 360 digital camera, the best decision is 5.7K (this sounds excessive however in apply you’re normally solely viewing a small a part of the picture – so it’s not significantly sharp) and the best accessible body fee is 100fps, however you’ll must downgrade the decision to shoot at that pace.

slow-mo footage

For the 4K vast angle digital camera, you’re in a position to shoot in as much as 4K (nicely, duh), which appears sharper than the 360’s 5.7K footage attributable to it pointing in only one course with a narrower field-of-view; the highest body fee is 200fps (however once more, you’ll should dial the decision down to realize that).

Excellent picture stabilisation, first rate auto-stitching (so long as you don’t attempt to movie issues too near the 360 digital camera) and the sensible “invisible selfie stick” characteristic make capturing compelling clips a doddle. You don’t must do loads besides level the digital camera the place you need it – and actually, with the 360 module you don’t even really want to do this.

Actual picture high quality is first rate fairly than beautiful, with the type of element ranges and colors we’d anticipate to see out-of-the-box from a small motion digital camera. There are HDR and Night Mode options to common capturing, which add some processing jiggery pokery to proceedings so as to enhance readability in tough circumstances.


We suspect the 1-inch module gives a sharper, cleaner picture than both of those we’ve used right here (that’s sort of its entire deal), however for an motion cam we predict the 360 and 4K modules are completely superb. You can after all edit the recordsdata your self in case you’re that method inclined, with RAW stills and flat log movies accessible.

One factor to notice: we did expertise some points with the app crashing or the digital camera failing to make a recording by way of the app. We have been utilizing a pre-release model of the app on the time, so we are able to solely hope that Insta360 continues to enhance the software program and firmware all through the One R’s life cycle.

Insta360 One R verdict

There’s loads to be stated for versatility and person friendliness in an motion digital camera, and the One R delivers on each fronts. It’d take us a month or two to essentially discover every thing this digital camera can do – and with the firmware and app being ceaselessly up to date, much more options and capturing modes may very well be added within the close to future.

As an alternative choice to a GoPro Hero, the One R is unquestionably a powerful shout – significantly in case you see your self capturing quite a lot of 360 movies or images. We suspect GoPro’s fame for reliability and all-round efficiency will preserve it because the go-to alternative for motion cam consumers, but when Insta360 continues to assist and enhance upon its merchandise, it could overtake its closest rival very quickly.