Insta360 X3: the best 360 camera?

insta360 x3

A very active player in the 360 degree camera industry, Insta360 has released the latest version of its all-in-one camera series, the Insta360 X3. So what is it worth? Is it the best 360 camera on the market? And above all, should you buy it? The answers in our complete test!

Insta360 X3 : Design

insta360 x3
Dimensions (L x H x W)114.0 x 46.0 x 3.1 mm
Weight180g
Touch screen2.29 inches
Batteries1800mAh
Autonomy81 min
Waterproofing10 meters

If you’re already familiar with its predecessor, the Insta360 One X2, you won’t be too unfamiliar. At least at first sight. From the front, no big difference between the two generations. But if you turn the camera around, you’ll see THE big design improvement the Insta360 X3 has made: a large 2.29-inch touchscreen, the largest of any Insta360 camera to date.

Compared to the small circular screen of the previous generation, this new screen is a real breath of fresh air: everything becomes simpler, from navigating the menus to changing modes and other settings, including viewing the footage just shot.

A quick tour of the owner: on one side, we find the trap doors containing the battery, the MicroSD card slot and the USB port. On the other side, the power button and the Q button for the quick menu to access your custom presets. And on the front, the new large touch screen, a shutter button and a button to quickly change modes, for example from single lens mode to 360° mode.

With its textured rubber edges offering a better grip, the new Insta360 X3 is therefore a little more provided with buttons than its predecessor and this proves to be very practical in use. It is also slightly larger and heavier, but still compact and light enough to fit in any pocket and be easy to carry.

Last but not least, the X3 is waterproof to 10 meters without any housing, which is as good as the latest GoPro HERO 11. It’s always good to know if you’re planning to take a dip.

Insta360 X3 : Features

Photo ModesStandard
HDR
Interval
Rafale
Starlapse
Video modesStandard
Bullet
Time
Loop recording
HDR
Timelapse
TimeShift

The Insta360 X3 can be used as a 360-degree camera, in which mode it will use its two front and rear lenses to photograph or film everything around it, or as a classic action camera by activating only one lens. Whether you choose to be in 360° or single-lens, you have a wide variety of modes that allow you to get a whole range of pretty cool effects.

Among these, we have of course the standard photo and video recording, available in different formats and frame rates. In single lens mode, you can choose your field of view up to 170 degrees for ultra-wide shots. There are also the “classic” modes found on almost all cameras, such as the Burst photo mode, or the Timelapse video mode that can be performed at a resolution of 8K.

One of the really cool new features is the ability to take 360° photos at 72MP resolution. One press on the shutter and you get an ultra sharp image that you can then import to your mobile or computer. You can then freely walk around the photo, zoom in on it, and then crop it to keep only what interests you. Super convenient.

There is also the Bullet Time mode, the famous slow motion effect well known to fans of the Matrix movie. To do this, however, you will need to purchase the optional Bullet Time cord, which will allow you to turn the camera around. This mode is available in 4K at 120 fps. But for an even more stunning result, you can go down to 3K, which will allow you to go up to 180 fps.

Another new video feature is the Me mode. Just attach the camera to the (invisible) selfie pole and hold it in front of you, and you’ll always be in the center of the frame. No need to worry about the position of the camera. Ideal for vloggers, skateboarders or skiers, among others. However, this mode is only available in 1080p at 60 fps.

As the name suggests, the optional invisible selfie pole completely disappears from your photos and videos when used with the Insta360 X3. Another extendable pole up to 3 meters long is also available, and allows you to capture images as if you were filmed from a drone.

Finally,loop recording is another rather practical mode, which uses the X3 like a dashcam: it films continuously and only keeps the last 1 to 30 minutes, depending on the setting. If something interesting happens and you want to keep it, just stop recording and your file is saved.

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Insta360 X3: image (and sound) quality

Sensors½ inch, F1.9 aperture
Photo resolution360° : 72MP
Single lens: 32MP
Video resolution360°: 5.7K up to 30 fps, 4K up to 60 fps
Single lens: 4k up to 30 fps, 3.6K up to 60 fps
FormatsPhoto: insp, RAW
Video : MP4 (single lens), INSV (360°)
Color ProfilesStandard, Vivid, LOG
Maximum video rate120Mbps
ISO range100 à 3200
White balance2000K to 10000K
Microphones4

In photo mode, the insta360 X3 is capable of taking single lens shots up to 32MP, and up to 72MP in 360 degree mode. In video mode, it can record single-lens footage up to 4K at 30 fps, and in 360-degree mode up to 5.7K at 30 fps. Slow motion is also available in 4K at 120 fps or 3K at 180 fps.

Compared to the previous generation, the resolution has not increased, but Insta360 has equipped the X3 with two half-inch sensors, twice the size of the X2. As a result, the camera can capture more light, resulting in brighter, more detailed and more colorful photos.

The quality of photos and videos is therefore greatly improved, especially in low light conditions. Indoors or in darker places such as in the forest for example, the images are more dynamic, and with less noise than before.

Concerning the colorimetry, you have the choice between 3 color profiles These are the Standard profile, the Vivid profile that we personally liked, which allows us to obtain more vivid and vibrant colors, and finally the LOG profile, which in the manner of RAW photo files, offers greater flexibility in post production in order to apply its own colorimetry. Ideal if you have a project with sequences filmed with another camera and you want the whole to be coherent.

From a stabilization perspective, the Insta360 uses Flowstate technology and all we can say is that it works great. You can move in all directions, jump, throw the camera in the air, your images will remain stable. So if you’re an extreme sports fan, you have nothing to worry about.

Finally, the X3 is equipped with 4 microphones placed around the camera. The latter will therefore pick up everything within its range, regardless of the direction. Of course, it won’t be worth the quality you can get with the addition of an external microphone, but it still does the job pretty well. And we were quite pleasantly surprised by the wind reduction, which was very effective even in windy conditions.

Insta360 X3: software and editing

insta360 x3

One of the highlights of Insta360 is the computer software that the manufacturer provides for free to edit your photos and videos, Insta360 Studio. The software is available for PC and Mac. You just need to import your photos and videos on your computer and then you can edit them very easily: zoom, crop, add transitions, etc. The software is very easy to learn, and you can then export your videos and use them in Final Cut and Adobe Premiere if needed.

The advantage with 360 degree videos is that you can easily make very interesting montages, since you are filming everything at the same time. You direct the camera wherever you want in post production. For example, if you have a ski sequence, you can easily switch between the view of you and the view of the slope in front of you, or even do it with a small transition, as if someone pointed a camera at you and then turned back to the slope. Pretty cool.

There is also a smartphone application that allows you to connect directly to the camera. You can fully control your camera via your mobile, access your files, but also make your edits directly on your phone. Colorimetry, effects, transitions… the tool is very intuitive and you can then post your photos and videos directly on social networks.

Insta360 X3: Price

insta360 x3

The Insta360 X3 action camera is available on the manufacturer’s website from €479. 99 in the standard version, i.e. on its own, without any accessories.

But there’s a whole range of kits available, with various accessories to suit your needs. Among them are :

  • the deluxe kit (€518): this pack includes the camera, a 120cm invisible selfie pole, a MicroSD memory card and a protective cover for the lenses.
  • motorcycle kit (600€): same accessories as the deluxe kit, plus a kit for attaching your camera to your motorcycle.
  • the ski kit (600€): same accessories as the deluxe kit, plus a “ski kit” comprising various binding supports, including a chest harness.
  • the bike kit (579€): same accessories as the deluxe kit, plus a “bike kit”, including a harness and fixings for your bike.
  • Bullet Time kit (570€): same accessories as the deluxe kit, plus a Bullet Time handle/tripod.
  • the ultimate kit (€644): this pack includes the accessories of the deluxe kit + an additional battery, a quick-charge station and a Bullet Time cord.

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Insta360 X3: Should you buy it?

It all depends on your needs. The Insta360 specializes in its own category, that of 360-degree cameras. So if you don’t need to shoot everything around you, it might be a better idea to look into single-lens action cameras.

But if you’re into extreme sports, or want a camera that doesn’t miss a beat no matter what you do, then this is the camera for you. It’s an incredibly versatile tool, with a multitude of shooting modes and options, an all-in-one package that’s waterproof, compact, easy to carry, and ready to shoot with one or two lenses.

If you already own a 360 degree camera, the Insta360 is a nice improvement over its predecessor. Its new large screen, new half-inch sensors that greatly improve video quality, the ability to take 72MP 360° photos or 8K timelapses, and new modes make it ideal for content creators.

So, is the Insta360 One X3 the best 360 camera on the market? In our opinion, in this price range and in these dimensions, the answer is yes.

Buy it if you want to…

… you want an all-in-one action camera. The best part about the Insta360 X3 is that it literally captures everything around you. You don’t need to know if the camera is pointed at what you want to shoot. Whether you’re a blogger, extreme sportsman, or even a real estate agent needing to create VR content, just pull out your camera and record, you won’t miss anything. And then you can point the camera wherever you want, AFTER you shoot your video, in post production.

Don’t buy it if…

… you are only interested in single-lens shooting. If you don’t need a camera that shoots everything around you, then you might as well get the best in single-lens action cameras, and the GoPro Hero 11 is superior in this area.