Last update on November 14th, 2023 at 11:06 am
The Insta360 ONE RS is the successor to the Insta360 ONE R and uses the same modular design and tries to erase what was missing in the first edition. So what has Insta360 done to improve its all-in-one camera? Is this update convincing? And most importantly, is this the right action camera for you? The answers in our complete test!
Insta360 ONE RS: design and interface
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||70.1 x 49.1 x 32.6 mm (4K Boost Lens) |
70.1 x 49.1 x 43 mm (360° lens)
78.7 x 55.7 x 47.2 mm (1 inch wide angle lens)
|Weight||125.3g (4K Boost Lens) |
135.3g (360° lens)
163g (1 inch wide angle lens)
|Touch screen||1.5 inch|
Modular design in 3 parts
Like its predecessor, the Insta360 ONE R, the Insta360 ONE RS is a modular camera design. Unlike the DJI Action 2 which uses magnets, the Insta360 One RS uses physical connections to assemble its various modules.
It is composed of 3 parts:
- the basic module: the battery
- the camera module, which contains the lens
- the main module, which includes the processor, a small 1.5-inch color touchscreen, a microSD port and a USB-C port for charging and data transfer
This modular design allows you to have 3 cameras in 1: you just have to change the camera module to get the lens that best fits the use you want to make of it.
3 camera modules are available:
- the 4K Boost lens, with its 1/2-inch sensor that offers 48MP resolution
- 1 inch wide angle lens
- the 360 degree lens
The 4K and wide-angle lenses can be reversed, allowing you to use the screen facing you in selfie mode to frame yourself more easily. Useful for vloggers.
As far as the measurements of the camera are concerned, one would expect the modular design to imply that the whole thing would be bigger and heavier than conventional action cameras, but this is not the case, as these characteristics are instead very close to those of the latest GoPro.
A new quick release latch
The biggest design update over the ONE R is the case mounting system, which is much easier to use than before. On the previous model, the process took much longer to complete. The case now has an opening mechanism on the side, which makes it much more convenient and quicker to use.
Note also that the battery module and the main module are backwards compatible. So if you already have a ONE R, you can use the main module of the ONE R on the ONE RS battery base, but also all the lenses of the ONE R. So you can just buy a main module pack to upgrade. Great news for the wallet.
The insta360 ONE RS is waterproof to 5 metersThis is half the depth of the latest GoPro, which can go down to 10 meters, and even less than a DJI Osmo Action 3, which is capable of going down to 16 meters, but it is still impressive for a modular design and will remain sufficient for most uses.
Insta360 ONE RS: Interface and Performance
The software interface is simple to use and easy to navigate. Thanks to an upgrade of the main module’s processor, it is much smoother than on the ONE R. We have never encountered a slowdown. Also new is a “Q” quick selection menu, where you can keep your favorite presets.
On the other hand, the size of the screen has not evolved and this is one of the drawbacks of the device. At 1.5 inches, it is simply too small for most use cases. Making a selection on the touch screen is tricky, and the space is too small to get a proper overview of the image. The best option will surely be to go through the mobile application to change the settings.
Another improvement due to the change of processor is the speed of data transfer. 50% faster than the previous model according to the manufacturer, we have indeed seen impressive transfer speeds during our tests, to the point where it almost seems that we do not wait.
Finally, on the issue of overheating common to all action cameras, the Insta360 ONE RS is no exception. If you are only filming for a few minutes, you will not have any problems, but if you are filming continuously, the camera will stop itself to take a breather. In our tests, we found that this usually happened around 20-25 minutes of recording time.
Insta360 ONE RS: photo, video, and sound
Modes and features
The ONE RS can of course take pictures and does so quite well, although we noted a significant waiting time after each shot, while the camera processes the image. We also find the classic modes of most action cameras on the market, such as Interval or Burst modes, as well as an HDR mode that gives very good results.
On the video side, the Timelapse and Timeshift modes allow you to speed up the action: the Timelapse mode is made for filming from a fixed point, such as a sunset with the camera placed on a tripod, while the Timeshift mode allows you to speed up a video filmed in motion, which gives a result that is really worth seeing visually. There is also a Slow Motion mode available with 4K and wide angle lenses that records in 1080p at 200 fps and 2.7K at 100 fps, however the latter is not available in 4K.
The Inta360 ONE RS offers several color profiles : a standard profile, as well as a vivid profile that provides more vibrant images. And for videographers who want to go further, the camera also has a flat color profile called LOG, which is equivalent to the RAW format in stills and offers greater flexibility to anyone who wants to be able to apply their own colorimetry in post-production.
The insta360 ONE RS has a built-in stabilization called FlowState. This can be set manually in two modes, “default” and “high”. The second mode will further reduce vibration, the manufacturer simply warns that this may reduce the responsiveness of the shooting and preview on the camera screen.
FlowState gives excellent results and greatly attenuates camera movement, for example when running. GoPro’s HyperSmooth stabilization is still a step above, but you generally won’t have any complaints about the work done by the ONE RS’s.
Because the Insta360 ONE RS can be used with 3 different lenses, it is difficult to give a single verdict on the image quality of the camera. For our tests, we mainly used the original 4K camera, as well as the 360 degree camera.
With the ONE RS, Insta360 has chosen toimprove the resolution of the images from the 1/2.3 sensor of the ONE R to the larger 1/2-inch 4K Boost sensor. As a result, the photo resolution increases from 12 to 48MP and the improvements are noticeable. Well-lit scenes are much more striking and detailed.
On the video side, the camera can film in 4K up to 60 frames per second. There is also a 6K ultra-large screen mode capable of shooting at a resolution of 6016 x 2560 pixels, but it has no stabilization because it uses the full width of the sensor. So we focused on 4K video.
Whether it is with the 4K Boost lens or the 360 degree lens, the quality of the images is quite stunning. The images are bright, colorful, sharp, and well contrasted. In landscape videos, for example, the colors, such as the green of the grass, stand out well, and you can make out fine details in the trees or clouds.
We were also impressed with the active HDR mode. This mode takes the concept of HDR photography and compiles images at different exposures to achieve more saturated colors and higher contrast images. Insta360 has greatly improved this feature since the ONE R, and can even go toe-to-toe with GoPro’s HDR without a problem. However, this feature should be used with caution: its frequency is limited to 30 fps and on some shots, we lose realism with colors not faithful enough to reality.
What about the minus side? As with all action cameras, the low-light image quality of the Insta360 ONE RS is poor. Even with the ISO set to maximum, there is a lot of noise in the image. The ONE RS remains above all an action camera for use in daylight.
🙁 A delay in the frame rate
Insta360 has chosen to improve the resolution of its images, without improving their frequency. Thus, while the latest GoPro can now shoot in 5.3K at 60 fps and in 4K at 120 fps, the Insta360 ONE RS remains limited one notch below. A point that we hope to see improved in future versions.
Insta360 has made an effort to try and improve the sound quality on the ONE RS. In addition to a new windscreen, an extra microphone has been added to provide the user with more sound features. The camera offers the possibility to reduce wind noise, but you can also choose between stereo sound or directional enhancement, to play with the way the sound is recorded by the two left and right microphones.
Unfortunately, there is not much of an improvement in sound quality compared to the ONE R. In fact, with the new microphone configuration, the highs and upper mids seem to be less clear. In general, the dynamic range does not reach the level of GoPro. However, the camera does a good job of refining the voice by reducing background and wind noise. That said, no matter what action camera you use, you’ll never get as good a sound quality as using an external microphone.
Insta360 ONE RS: Autonomy
|Autonomy||75 minutes (4K Boost lens) |
82 minutes (360° lens)
84 minutes (1 inch wide angle lens)
This is one of the other improvements Insta360 has made for this ONE RS. Instead of the 1190 mAh battery of the ONE R, we now have the right to a 1445 mAh battery capable of delivering, according to the manufacturer, 75 minutes of 4K video shooting at 60 fps with the 4K Boost lens, 82 minutes at 5.7K at 30 fps with the 360-degree lens, and 84 minutes at 5.3K at 30 fps with the 1-inch wide angle lens.
This data is roughly equivalent to the autonomy of GoPro cameras. And good news for ONE R owners, your batteries are compatible with the ONE RS.
Insta360 ONE RS: The Price
|Upgrade (without lens, for Insta360 ONE R owners)||289,99€|
|With 4K lens||from €255.99|
|With 4K lens + 360° lens||from €426.99|
If you’re interested in the ONE RS, there are a number of options available to you on the Insta360 website.
First of all, for those who already own a ONE R, the manufacturer offers an economical “upgrade” kit at a price of 289,99€ including the battery base, the main module, and the external protection frame. With this kit, you can use the lenses of your old camera.
Next, Insta360 offers a standard “4K” kit with all the basic upgrade kit components plus the 4K Boost lens. The kit is available for €255.99. A de Luxe kit is also available for €294: at this price, you’ll also get a 114cm invisible selfie pole and a 64GB MicroSD card.
Finally, the ONE RS is also available in a “Double” edition, i.e. with both 4K Boost and 360 degree lenses. This edition is declined in 5 different kits:
- Stand-alone kit (€426.99): includes all the basic elements, two lenses and a lens cap for the 360° camera.
- the Deluxe Kit (463€): includes the same accessories as the Standalone Kit, plus a 114cm invisible selfie pole and a 64GB MicroSD card.
- The Snow Kit (505€): same accessories as the Luxury Kit, plus a Snow Bundle.
- Moto Kit (€499): same accessories as the Autonomous Kit, plus 70cm invisible selfie pole, 64GB MicroSD card and Moto pack.
- the Creator Kit (501€): same accessories as the Stand-alone kit, plus a Bullet Time pack including a 114 cm invisible selfie pole and a Bullet Time tripod handle, plus a 64 GB MicroSD card.
You can also opt for a personalized kit where you can freely choose your accessories.
Insta360 ONE RS: Should you buy it?
If you liked the ONE R, you’ll like the ONE RS. With this new edition, Inta360 offers an excellent upgrade, with a faster processor, better image quality, and a new, more efficient mounting system. It’s a pity that the screen is still so small.
If you are looking for a versatile action cameraThe Insta360 ONE RS can be a great alternative to the rival GoPro, and the perfect solution for you: it can switch from a regular camera to a 360-degree camera in an instant, and this advantage will save space in your backpack as well as your wallet.
But like most all-purpose cameras, the ONE RS doesn’t offer the best for every feature, and if you’re looking for the best image quality and stabilization, then you’ll be better off looking to the unchallenged GoPro competitor.
Buy it if you want to…
… you needan all-in-one action camera. With its modular flexibility, the Insta360 ONE RS allows you to carry a quality 4K wide-angle action camera and a 360-degree camera with you at the same time. Also, if you’re already the proud owner of an Insta360 ONE R, this new version is an interesting upgrade that should not be overlooked.
Don’t buy it if…
… you need the best image, the best stabilization, and to make slow motion. On these points, GoPro remains better. As for slow motion, the Insta350 ONE RS suffers from its limited frame rate, where the competition is able to offer 4K resolution at 120 frames per second. Also, if you’re a vlogger or just need to frame yourself often, the ONE RS’s tiny screen may frustrate you in the long run.