Insta360 Go: An 18-gram steadycam smaller than your thumb
Best known for its affordable 360-degree cameras, Insta360 has taken its excellent FlowState image stabilization technology and used it to build a unique and remarkable new class of action camera. The new Insta360 Go is tiny, looking like a flash drive with a dome lens on it. It weighs next to nothing, and attaches to your clothing with magnets to capture beautifully stabilized 1080p footage from an oversized sensor.
The secret sauce is in the Go's 3,040 x 3,040-pixel camera sensor, and six-axis gyro and accelerometer package. The former captures vision much wider than you'll need to show, and the latter tracks the camera's movement as it shoots, and uses that data to move a 1080p frame around within the much larger image to compensate. As a result, you can run around, ride a bike down a bumpy road, or attach the Go to your crazy dog's collar, and it'll still bring back lovely stabilized vision from a super-personal perspective. Prepare for a ton more of those "girlfriend pulling me along by my hand" shots.
The Insta360 Go weighs 18.3 g (0.65 oz), it's water resistant enough to go under for a few seconds at a time, and at just under 50 mm (2 in) long, it's considerably smaller than anything you'd call "pocket size." It's tiny. You'll need to keep it in the charge case if you don't want to lose it. It mounts magnetically onto a clip, a pendant you can wear under your clothing, a sticker mount, or a pivoting stand with a base unit.
One serious drawback is the recording time limits. The Go can only record 15 or 30 seconds of real-time footage or 100 fps slow-mo in a shot, so it's geared around grabbing quick clips of your day rather than recording minutes at a time. If you go into stabilized hyperlapse mode, you can extend the recording time up to 30 minutes, which will render out as a five-minute video, and static time-lapses can go for up to eight hours for a nine-second clip.
In some senses, that's probably for the best, as it'll force people to edit their experiences as they shoot instead of producing nine-minute reels of boring nothing-vision nobody wants to see. But it certainly reduces the utility of the Go – it won't cover your whole downhill run, or twisty road fang, or basketball game, or skydive. You'll have to keep hitting the record button, and that's distracting when you're bouncing off rocks and jumps on a bicycle.
The Go will fire out videos in 16:9 1080p @ 25fps, or 1,600 x 900 @ 30fps for slow-motion. It'll also happily give you a square video, or a vertical one, for your social media. All these choices and more are made through a phone app, with the Go's charging case doubling as a file transfer dongle you can plug into your iOS or Android phone.
The app also helps you edit, using AI to pick out what it thinks the best moments are in your footage and syncing them up to the beat of a piece of music with slick auto-transitions that make use of the extra resolution the camera captures to make some super-cool cuts. You can also use it to produce barrel roll effects and other fun visuals to make your high-energy holiday video pop a bit more. That seems particularly effective with hyperlapse shots.
This is a weird and clever new type of camera, taking some very cool tech Insta360 has developed for 360-degree shooting and re-packaging it into something that looks insanely handy for low-fuss video and photo capture. The quality of the footage doesn't blow us away, but then it's better than we'd expect from something so tiny, and despite its odd limitations we think it'd make a very handy way to capture a holiday. At US$199, it won't break the bank, either.
Check out a couple of videos below – a product video and a showreel.
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