Insta360’s One RS modular action camera is one of our favorites. The ability to swap lenses—from a typical action-camera wide-angle lens, to a 360 lens, to a Leica-designed lens with a 1-inch sensor—makes it more versatile than a GoPro. Insta360 is now building on that modular foundation with the new One RS 1-inch 360 Edition.
The 1-inch 360 Edition sports dual lenses and dual 1-inch sensors coengineered with Leica, and builds on the system that One RS owners already have. The core module is the same as the action camera, but the new 360 version adds a bigger battery, a case to hold the battery and core module, and a lens unit with dual sensors and lenses that sit on top, like ice cream on a cone.
The result is a camera that produces the best-looking 360-degree video footage I’ve ever seen. Insta360 also has a video editor that makes editing the footage easy. If you’re all in on 360 video, this is the camera to get.
Around the World
I should say that I have never been a huge fan of 360 video. This is mostly because, well, the human eye doesn’t have a 360-degree view of the world. Sure, there are VR goggles that so far almost no one owns or uses, but even then you can’t see it all at once. The only use case that makes sense to me is to capture an entire scene in 360 because you don’t know ahead of time where you want to point the camera. Later, you can edit the video into a normal view. This use case means you have to have a good video editor. Insta360 is the only 360 camera system I’ve used that makes editing your 360 footage easy enough to make shooting it worthwhile.
But if you are into 360-degree footage for its own sake, this camera is remarkable. The footage I shot is sharper and captures more detail than any other 360 camera I’ve used, including several of Insta360’s own past efforts. If 360-degree video is your thing, this is your camera.
Between the two sensors, you get 6K video (a step up from the 5.7K that the previous version’s 360 Mod is able to shoot) and 21-MP still images. In combination with the improved sensors, these lenses are much more capable than the much smaller lenses on the 360 Mod sold with the action camera. The quality of video is noticeably better than what I was able to capture with the One RS. It’s sharper and has less noise. This was especially obvious when shooting in low light and zooming in to look at leaves, grass, or signs.
6K video sounds like a crazy high resolution, and it would be in the normal camera, but professional-level cameras shooting footage for the VR goggles no one buys are typically shooting 10K and up. Still, 6K is a step up for consumer-level cameras. The clarity here is good enough that if you’re framing and cutting down to produce normal video, you shouldn’t notice much difference in video quality from footage shot with a 4K camera. This is especially true if your video’s destination is YouTube or TikTok, both of which heavily compress video anyway.
This opens up the possibility of using the Insta360 One RS 360 Edition as a one-person camera rig. Any 360 camera can do this of course, but the improved video quality on the 360 Edition means that the reframed footage doesn’t suffer the loss of quality you’d get doing this with most other 360 rigs.
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