Insta360 One X camera

Bruce McL

Regular
I’ve always been interested in panorama and fisheye photos, so I’ve been following the 360 degree camera scene out of curiosity. This new camera could represent either the next big thing, or it could show the last gasp for the 360 degree camera.

Insta360 ONE X - Own the moment.

It was released yesterday. If you can get past the presenter’s accent, this video by Lok Cheung gives a good idea of what this hobby level camera and software combination can do.


The shift in purpose of these cameras started about a year ago. I think the camera makers realized two things. First, VR goggles will remain a specialized product. We will not see them in everyone’s living room any time soon. Second, viewing 360 degree footage on a phone or computer screen is not a pleasant experience. It takes too much work by the viewer (spinning, zooming, and panning the image) to get a good experience.

Because of these things, the latest generation of 360 degree cameras emphasize editing the footage down to a size that fits on a single screen with no manipulation by the viewer. This makes it easy for the viewer, but adds a lot more work for the videographer.

The results of all of this is a heavily processed image from two fisheye cameras that aren’t particularly high spec to begin with. I don’t see technical perfection here, but I do see some promise.
 
Interesting. I watched the product video at the Insta site, I was amused at how it makes the selfie-stick disappear :)

I'd be interested to see a comparison between this and the Ricoh Theta, maybe @john m flores might do one?

Hmmm...I'll have to look into this new camera. Seems to follow the form factor of the Ricoh Theta, which makes sense because it works so well - I returned the Garmin 360 partially because of this.

It will take more image quality improvement though for serious photogs and cinematogs to get interested. Even 5.6k won't be enough, I think. Needs to be 8K, I think, with some of the AI tricks that modern phones use to eke out the most from the small sensor. I'm holding out hope that Ricoh creates a Theta with a large 1/1.7 sensor though...

Regarding viewing, I see the appeal of using it as an action camera and then choosing your frame and zoom later. But there's still something uniquely immersive about the 360 view that I like experimenting with.

 

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