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Insta360’s new GoPro-like action cams have flippy screens

Insta360’s new GoPro-like action cams have flippy screens

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Insta360’s new Ace action cams can make it easier to frame vlogs and bike rides thanks to a flip screen, and the Pro version touts Leica optics.

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Two GoPro-looking cameras with a flip screen at the top
The new Insta360 Ace (right) and Ace Pro (left).
Image: Insta360

Insta360’s new action cameras borrow the blocky design of GoPro’s popular Hero series but add the ability to flip up that large 2.4-inch rear touchscreen for easy vlogging. The company’s new “Ace” camera starts at $379.99 for the regular model, and there’s a flagship “Pro” version for $449.99. The higher-end one is equipped with a Leica Summarit lens and a large 1/1.3-inch image sensor for excellent low-light performance and up to 8K at 24 frames per second recording. Both versions are available now.

The standard Ace camera model comes with a smaller 1/2-inch image sensor, but it supports recording up to 6K at 30 frames per second, and both models can shoot 4K at a high-speed 120 frames per second and take 48MP pictures. They also have new five-nanometer AI chips inside that activate features like PureVideo, which can augment greater low-light performance by denoising footage in real time. Only the Pro, however, is capable of capturing additional nighttime detail and supports Active HDR for daytime recordings.

Camera on bike in first person view of the rider
The tilting screen helps with visibility.
Image: Insta360

The flippy screen viewing option of the Insta360 Aces cameras, also seen on the company’s recent Go 3 camera Action Pod body, could add some durability risk, but it helps with better framing and is easier to see than the small front screens on GoPros. When recording yourself, the camera can react to hand gestures to start recording at a distance so you can get in your TikTok dance performances.

Insta360 added a bunch of features that can save you SD card space, like the ability to pause a video recording without breaking the clip and the ability to cancel an active recording by holding the shutter button, eliminating the need to deal with junk-take video files. The Ace cameras can also switch up clip aspect ratios after recording, so you can go from landscape to portrait for social videos or use a full square for more framing flexibility.

Handheld camera no stick with selfie screen towards user
Flexibility could make the Ace action cameras more useful for more people.
Image: Insta360

The AI highlights assistant feature can save you time by quickly finding and clipping out action shots from large video recordings so you don’t have to transfer the whole file. Once the footage is on your smartphone, you can have fun editing it or allow it to make generated memories. It also has an AI Warp feature that can change up your clips by entering custom and preset prompts to generate different effects. Insta360 will release more of these features “heading into 2024.”

One of the cool sleeper features of the Ace cameras is connectivity with Apple Watches and Garmin devices that can bring GPS and other data into your recordings. It can overlay things like elevation and speed on your video, and you can frame up your shot from your wrist and control the cameras on your next snowy mountain descent.

Using camera in selfie mode underwater near anemones
The 2.4-inch screen is probably easy to see while snorkeling.
Image: Insta360

The cameras feature a waterproof design with the ability to submerge up to 33 feet underwater and up to 196 feet with a Dive Case accessory. Their batteries are internally tested to last 100 minutes while recording in 4K30 with Active HDR. The cameras can fast-charge to 80 percent in 22 minutes via a power delivery charger.

Insta360 is best known for its true 360 cameras like the X3 and the One RS. Its most GoPro-like camera before the Ace is the One R, which could shape-shift into a blocky action cam. With the new Ace cameras, Insta360 is breaking out of its recent comfort zone of making interesting modular cameras and instead building simpler ones that more people are likely to use.

The Insta360 Ace ($379.99) and Ace Pro ($449.99) are available now worldwide and can be purchased on Insta360.com and Amazon.