Insta360 is best known for its 360-degree cameras (most notably, the $399 One X2, which is the gold standard). But it also makes action cameras in two formats, the ultra-compact Go 2, and the GoPro-rivalling, modular, R range.
That 1/2-inch sensor on the new 4K unit not only delivers better color reproduction and low-light, but sees the resolution for stills jump from 18.4 megapixels on the previous model to 42 megapixels, making the One RS a surprisingly respectable compact camera… as long as the lighting is good.
There’s also a new 6K widescreen mode for cinematic-looking footage and 2.7x digital zoom. An additional microphone in the core brings the total to three and cuts down on wind noise using the power of algorithms.
And if you want, an optional microphone accessory lets you connect a 3.5mm mic cable via the USB-C port.
It’s not perfect — there are still unavoidable shadows, and if you’re holding a selfie stick it can be tricky to maintain a pose where it doesn’t look like one — but it’s still pretty amazing and makes it possible to get inventive, third-person-style footage and faux drone shots, especially using the 360 mod.
In order to mount the RS on anything — and for it to be waterproof — you need to cage it in the included mounting bracket. If you’re using one of the single-lens modules you can choose to have the core’s screen facing in either direction, which is ingenious, and likely saves battery power when compared to cameras with two displays.