Insta360 Sphere takes immersive video capture to the skies
Insta360 has been helping content creators capture immersive photos and videos for a number of years, most recently updating its One R modular actioncam with a new 4K Boost Lens. Now the company has announced a dedicated 360-degree camera setup for DJI's Mavic Air 2 and 2S camera-drones that effectively cuts the drone out of recorded aerial images altogether.
It is possible to strap a 360-degree camera onto a drone of course and capture all-around immersive video, but chances are that the camera drone of choice will appear in the recorded footage somewhere. Some nifty post-production editing can remove such visual irritations, but the Sphere makes the process a whole lot easier.
Insta360 has essentially installed its 360-degree camera technology into a locking harness that's wrapped around a Mavic Air 2 or 2S before sending it aloft to record the world in immersive 5.7K 360. One F2.0, 7.2-mm camera lens is positioned above and one below in such a way that the drone itself – including its props – is absent from the recorded footage. The drone's structural integrity, GPS signal or remote control operation are unaffected.
Video resolution up to 5,760 x 2,880 at 30 frames per second is possible, though lowering the resolution to 3,008 x 1,504 pixels will unlock 100-fps capabilities. HDR, timelapse, timeshift and loop recording modes are available for video, while HDR, Interval, Night Shot, Starlapse and Burst modes can be had for 6,080 x 3,040-pixel photos in RAW or Insta360's insp formats.
The Sphere's 1,050-mAh battery is reckoned good for up to 48 minutes per charge, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are included, and the company's proprietary FlowState Stabilization technology has been tweaked specifically for this application so that pilots end up with smooth, steady footage.
In addition to 360-degree photos and videos, it's also possible to grab multiple camera views from a single flight during edits, footage captured by the drone's own camera can be merged in and "thrilling rolls and turns" mixed in via reframing tools available in the Insta360 app or Studio desktop suite.
The Insta360 Sphere is available in the US and mainland China now for US$429.99. The video below has more.
Product page: Insta360 Sphere
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