Insta360 X4, complete test: the 360° power of 8K

After the success of the X3, launched in September 2022, Insta360 is back with a new model: the Insta360 X4, distinguished primarily by its breathtaking 8K resolution. What else is new? What’s it worth? Is it the new benchmark for 360° cameras? And above all, should you buy it? Find out everything you need to know in our full review!

Insta360 X4: express review (for those in a hurry)

Weight203 g
Touch screen2.5 inch
Autonomy135 minutes
Waterproofing 10 meters
Sensors1/2 inch
Video resolution360°: 8K up to 30 fps / 5.7K up to 60 fps / 4K up to 100 fps
Single-lens: up to 4K at 60 fps

Here’s the essential takeaway for those who don’t have the time (or courage 😁 ) to read our entire article:

The Insta360 X4 looks very much like its predecessor, the X3. It is, however, slightly larger and heavier, thanks to an enlarged screen and battery.

Some of the most noteworthy new features and improvements include :

  • 8K resolution at up to 30 fps, which also improves the frequency of other resolutions.
  • A 67% increase in autonomy, for up to 135 minutes of use.
  • A gesture control function for remote camera activation.

Insta360 X4: design

insta360 x4 test design
Dimensions (L x H x W)46 x 123.6 x 37.6 mm
Weight203 g
Touch screen2.5 inch
StorageMicro SD card up to 1 TB
Operating temperature-20°C to 40°C
Waterproofing 10 meters

The first impression is that the Insta360 X4 looks like a larger X3. While its width is identical to that of its predecessor, it is indeed longer and thicker, and also 23g heavier, for a total of 203g on the scales. However, we’re still a long way from the dimensions of an Insta360 One RS 1-inch, and the X4 remains compact enough to be practical to use.

Its appearance is very similar to the previous version. Apart from the difference in size and the appearance of anti-slip grooves on the back of the device, the main thing to note is that the touchscreen has been enlarged. Already large on the X3 (2.29″), the X4’s touchscreen has been increased to 2.5″ for even greater comfort, and is now made of more resistant “Corning Gorilla” glass.

As with the Insta360 X3 and the manufacturer’s other cameras in general, the screen is very pleasant to use : it’s bright and the user interface is fluid, responsive and easy to navigate.

Another new feature is the lens caps. Whereas they had to be glued on the X3, they are now removable, and can be screwed directly onto the two lenses and unscrewed just as easily. And there’s even a premium version in tempered glass, which has the advantage of altering the image less than the plastic version.

For the rest, nothing changes from the previous model. The power button and Quick Menu Q button for accessing custom presets are on one side, while the battery, MicroSD card slot and USB port are on the other. Below the screen, still the shutter button and a button for quick mode changes, and below the camera, the ¼-inch screw thread.

The camera is also always waterproof to a depth of 10 meters, although you’ll need to place it in a waterproof housing to use the 360° mode underwater.

Discover our accessories for
Insta360 X4

GO

Insta360 X4: battery and autonomy

Batteries2290 mAh
Charging timeCharge to 80% in 38 minutes
100% charge in 55 minutes
Autonomy135 minutes

If the Insta360 X4 is larger than its predecessor, it’s largely because its battery has grown in volume.

When you open the battery door and eject it, you’ll notice that it’s larger than that of the X3. The X3’s 1800 mAh battery capacity has been increased to 2290 mAh on the new model.

The result is one of the main improvements of this new model: battery life increases from 81 minutes to 135 minutes (at 5.7K at 30 fps), which represents 67% more autonomy. Uptime, already satisfactory on the previous generation, is now very comfortable.

It should also be noted that it takes 38 minutes to recharge to 80% of total battery capacity, and around 55 minutes for a full recharge.

Insta360 X4: photo and video

Sensors1/2 inch
LensF1.9 aperture
6.7 mm equivalent
Photo resolution72 MP (360°)
18 MP (single-lens)
Video resolution360°: 8K up to 30 fps / 5.7K up to 60 fps / 4K up to 100 fps

Single-lens: 4K up to 60 fps / 2.7K up to 60 fps / 1080p up to 60 fps
Photo formatINSP
DNG
Video formatMP4 (single-lens)
INSV (360°)
Color ProfilesBright
Standard
Dish
Maximum video rate200 Mbps
ISO range100-6400

New 8K resolution

This is THE real improvement brought by this new model: the Insta360 X4 is now capable of filming in 8K at a maximum frame rate of 30 frames per second.

It’s important to specify that the X4’s 8K resolution corresponds to the total number of pixels spread across the two 1/2-inch sensors on each side of the camera. On a 360 camera like the X4, you can choose either to retain the full 8K image for 360-degree viewing in a virtual reality headset, or to crop part of the image in a conventional horizontal or vertical format. This makes it possible to frame exactly what you want at any time during editing, but inevitably reduces the total resolution of the image.

On the X3, which has a maximum resolution of 5.7K, cropping can sometimes produce a result with limited definition, sometimes even lower than that of a classic single-lens action camera. With the Insta 360 X4’s 8K, you get more leeway and a better final resolution, with the option of exporting in 4K. While this may be a minor detail for amateur videographers filming family memories, it can make all the difference for more demanding content creators.

The arrival of 8K also means that all lower resolutions see their maximum frame rates increase. We’ll be able to shoot in 5.7K resolution at up to 60 fps, and in 4K resolution at up to 100 fps, for fans of beautiful slow-motion shots. Even the Me Mode, previously usable up to 1080p only, moves to a maximum resolution of 4K at up to 30 fps.

The Insta360 X4 can also be used in single-lens mode, just like a conventional action camera. In this case, too, its frequency improves, as it can film in 4K at up to 60 frames per second. The X4 is decidedly ultra-versatile.

Enhanced image quality

The arrival of 8K on the Insta360 X4 greatly enhances image quality, which is particularly noticeable in good lighting conditions, such as in well-lit indoor scenes or outdoors in broad daylight. Dynamic range is higher, colors are more vivid, and details in shadows and highlights are better defined.

The difference is less marked in low-light conditions, where results are close to those of the Insta360 X3. As the light diminishes, colors become less vivid and noise appears. Here’s a tip to get a better image in these conditions: reduce the resolution to 5.7K, and you’ll get better results.

Is this the best image quality for a 360 camera? Although the Insta360 X4 surpasses its predecessor, the X3, the best image quality of a 360 camera remains that of the Insta360 One RS Edition 1-Inch 360. The X4’s 1/2-inch sensors are no match for the One RS’s large 1-inch sensors, which capture light better in all light conditions. However, the One RS is heavier, bulkier and not waterproof, and unlike the X4 is less suited to use as an action camera.

Insta360 X4: features

Photo ModesStandard
HDR photo
Interval
Starlapse
Rafale
Video modesStandard
Active HDR
Timelapse
TimeShift
Bullet Time
Loop recording
Pre-registration
Microphones (quantity)4
Audio modesAutomatic wind reduction
Active wind reduction
Stereo
Directional focus

Photo and video modes

Let’s start with a nice new feature that can come in really handy in certain situations: gesture control. When the camera is at the end of a selfie pole, or fixed on a support out of reach, you can now trigger the camera remotely with a simple hand gesture: the open hand facing the camera starts and stops video recording, while the peace sign formed with the index and middle fingers activates the self-timer to take a photo.

For the rest, we find all the modes already present on the X3, all of which benefit from improved resolution and maximum frame rate, and are also compatible with the invisible selfie pole, which automatically disappears from the captured images.

On the photo side, you’ll find all the classic shooting modes such as Interval, Burst, etc., as well as Starlapse mode, which lets you take superb photos of the night sky, transforming the stars into circular trails of light. Photos can be taken at 18 MP single-lens resolution, and 72 MP for 360° shots, which the PureShot function enhances by reducing noise and making colors more vivid thanks to the intervention of AI.”

On the video side, there are many creative modes:

  • Me Mode automatically keeps the subject (usually you) in the center of the image, avoiding the need to crop in post-production. This mode now boasts higher resolutions: 4K up to 30 fps and 2.7K up to 120 fps for slow-motion enthusiasts.
  • Bullet Time mode, which reproduces the slow-motion effect of the film ‘Matrix’. It involves attaching the selfie pole to a mini handle/tripod fitted with a rotating part that allows the pole to be turned overhead. If this mode wasn’t always successful with the X3, the result is much better on the X4, and available up to 5.7K at 120 fps.
  • TimeShift mode, Insta360’s equivalent of hyperlapse, for accelerated sequences in motion. This mode is now available in 8K. However, in poor lighting conditions, 5.7K resolution is preferable.
  • Timelapse mode, present on all action cameras, can now be used at up to 11K resolution. Even in low-light conditions, rendering remains of good quality.

There’s also a loop recording function, if you want to use your X4 like a dashcam. The camera films continuously and only retains the last few minutes, according to the preset duration.

Note also that you can activate Active HDR in 5.7K if you want the AI to automatically reduce noise and intensify colors in your videos. Another important detail: all video modes can be used with Normal, Vivid or Flat color profiles , the latter allowing you to retouch the colorimetry of sequences in post-production using your favorite editing software.

Insta360’s FlowState function is used for stabilization. It still works just as well, so there’s nothing to complain about. And for sequences where the camera is very agitated, you can choose to lock the horizon; it remains flat even if you’re on a rollercoaster and the camera rotates 360 degrees.

Last but not least, you can edit your videos using Insta360 Studio software for the PC, or directly on the mobile application, which makes cropping and selecting footage simple and intuitive. If you prefer to use more advanced software such as Final Cut or Adobe Premiere, plug-ins are available for these platforms.

Audio modes

Like its predecessor, the insta360 X4 is equipped with 4 microphones, one on each side, so that nothing is missed and sound is captured in all directions. Several sound capture modes (Stereo, Directional Focus) and noise reduction modes (Automatic Wind Reduction, Active Wind Reduction) are available to adjust and improve sound quality to suit the situation.

If you want to use an external microphone, it’s impossible to connect a wired or wireless microphone directly, so you’ll need to purchase an adapter to which you can connect a USB-C or mini jack microphone. And for those wondering: it is not possible to use the DJI Mic 2 with this device.

Insta360 X4: price

insta360 x4 test price
Standard Kit559,99€
Kit with accessoriesFrom €597 to €739

At €559.99 for the basic package, the Insta360 X4 remains in line with the prices of its predecessor, although, like any 360 camera, it is more expensive than a classic action camera such as GoPro or DJI Osmo Action.

If you opt for the Standard Kit, you’ll receive the camera along with a standard plastic lens cap. You can also choose one of the accessory kits, where the camera comes with useful equipment depending on the activity practiced. There are ten to choose from, ranging from the Deluxe Kit to the Invisible Diving Kit and the Premium Lens Protector Kit.

The “No Drone No Problem” Kit, with its evocative name, includes, for example, an “extended” edition selfie pole that can reach 3 meters in length; the Endurance Kit is the one you need if you need maximum automomy, with its extra battery and charging station; and the Creator Kit, the most expensive (739€), will provide you with the adapter needed to connect an external microphone, and above all the famous bullet time Kit needed to achieve the precious effect.

Note that all these packs can be complemented by a 256 GB microSD memory card for an additional €34, and that the manufacturer also offers FlexiCare coverage for €33.99, which provides two free replacements per year.

Discover our accessories for
Insta360 X4

GO

Insta360 X4 conclusion: should you buy it?

The Insta360 X4 camera looks a bit like a Pro version of its predecessor, the X3. With its slightly larger format, offering a bigger screen and, above all, 67% more battery life, it improves on the essentials: image quality. The integration of 8K also improves frame rates in all other resolutions, as well as the resolutions available in all modes.

Buy it if you want to…

… you’re looking for the best and most versatile 360° action camera. With the X4, you’ll be able to shoot action, vlog and film in any situation, without missing a single detail.

Don’t buy it if…

… you don ‘t like editing. 360° cameras require a little more time in post-production, so if you don’t enjoy this step, this type of camera may not be for you.

I already have the Insta360 X3, do I need to buy the Insta360 X4?

The Insta360 X3 already delivers excellent performance and, apart from gesture control, offers the same features as the X4. If you shoot only occasionally, or if your videos are mainly vacation souvenirs with no high-resolution requirements, you probably don’t need to change your camera. On the other hand, if you’re a content creator for whom quality is paramount, considering upgrading to the X4’s 8K might make sense.

Read our full review of the Insta360 X3 :
➡️ Insta360 X3: the best 360° camera?