Insta360 has announced its most expensive and powerful consumer 360 camera to date, the $800 One RS 1-inch 360 Edition. The complicated name is due to the fact that the core of this camera is the same as the core in Insta360’s ONE RS, the second edition of the company’s modular action camera that launched in April of this year. But the 1-inch 360 edition adds a larger battery attachment and dual 1-inch CMOS sensors mod. All of this is held together by a mounting bracket to create a far more capable 6K 360 camera.
Insta360 began betting big on modular camera design in early 2020 with the release of the One R. It was the first action camera that offered multiple lens mods for different styles of filming. There was a standard 4K mod that mimicked traditional action cameras, such as the GoPro Hero 8, a 1-Inch mod that was capable of 5.3K footage, and a dual-lens, 360 camera mod that could film 5.7K spherical video, much like Insta360’s stand-alone 360 camera at that time, the One X. The modular design was perfect for action-camera loving creators who might be curious about 360 filming but not wanting to invest in a dedicated 360 camera.
Two years later, in March of 2020, Insta360 announced the One RS, which improved upon the One R’s microphone quality and Wi-Fi transfer speeds and overall improved the core’s processing power. It felt like a very minor upgrade at the time, but now with the introduction of the One RS 1-inch 360 Edition, that processing power update seems to make a lot more sense. The core of the One RS is exactly the same core being used in the One RS 1-inch 360 camera. And owners of the RS, and R, can purchase just the battery, mounting bracket, and dual 1-inch 360 sensors for $650.
The One RS 1-inch 360 Edition is made up of four parts: a plastic mounting bracket; a battery brick with a USB-C charging port, ¼” tripod mount, and USB-C plug to connect to the core; a core with a USB-C port, micro SD card slot, and 1.3-inch touchscreen; and the dual 1-inch CMOS sensors and lenses. When stacked and slid into its housing, this creates the 6K 360 camera.
Those dual 1-inch CMOS sensors are capable of filming 6K 360-degree footage at 30fps and can capture 21-megapixel 360 photos. Insta360 claims that the larger sensors make for better low light performance and provide more dynamic range than its previous consumer 360 cameras. But the larger sensor comes with 239g of weight and two larger, protruding glass spheres that may be more prone to scratches and cracks. Because of this, Insta360 does not recommend using the camera on selfie sticks longer than four feet while doing intensive activities such as biking. And unfortunately, the system is only rated IPX3 water-resistant and should not be submerged in water or used for high-velocity water activities such as surfing.
I have been using the One RS 1-Inch 360 Edition for a few days and will be publishing a full review, with loads of camera samples, in the coming days. So far, this system feels like a breath of fresh air in a rather stagnant 360 camera market, but its larger size brings me much more anxiety when in use. More on that soon.
The Insta360 One RS 1-inch 360 Edition is available now for $800. For One R and One RS users, the 1-inch 360 mod, battery, and mounting bracket are available for $650.
Photos by: Vjeran Pavic / The Verge