Insta360 X4 review: 8K 360 footage in a small package

In fact, this is the first 360 camera I’ve used where the video footage remained sharp and clear, even when reframing to 16:9. You still have to deal with the seam, which is where the edges of the two lenses meet, and the software (imperfectly) fills in the gaps, but otherwise using this footage in post-production feels like just video editing. I mixed it with footage from the Sony A7R II, GoPro Hero 12And Insta360 Ace Proand aside from the wider viewing angle, it’s hard to differentiate the shots.

That alone is enough for me to say that this is the kind of 360-degree camera filmmakers want. The 8K footage still doesn’t translate to 4K (you’ll have to wait for 12K footage before you can), but it looks good enough for anything you plan to put online.

It’s not just the high-end specs that have changed in the X4. Frame rates have been improved in lower resolution footage, with new options to record 5.7K video at 60fps, 4K at 100fps, and 4K at 60 fps when shooting in wide-angle mode. None of it is amazing, but it does give you some better slow-motion options thanks to the higher frame rate.

The color profile options remain the same as the X3: Standard, Vivid, and Log (for those who like to colorize in post). I mainly shot in Standard mode and found the colors to be well rendered, perhaps a little warm. I found the Vivid too colorful, and of course if you’re planning on combining footage with other cameras, you’ll want to shoot everything in Log and colorize it in software.

Film crew in a box

Testing action cameras is always one of the best parts of this job, but it’s especially fun with the Insta360 X4. I don’t even like shooting 360 video, but shooting 360 video and knowing that I can crop, reframe and still get sharp, clear footage with lots of detail and smooth panning? Yes, please.

In many ways, Insta360 is like adding a mini film crew to your pocket, especially if you get Insta360’s incredibly fun 9.8-foot selfie stick, which helps you create explosive photos amazingly realistic.

With a price of 99 USD, new product Extended version selfie stick Not cheap but well worth it for the versatility it creates when combined with the X4. Fully extended and held behind you as you walk, it mimics a Shoot to track low flying dronesbut without the whole crashing into a tree thing.

Speaking of trees, shade and shadows, the X4 excels in bright sunlight. High-contrast scenes like a forest floor at midday will be more difficult (this is true for any camera). HDR mode can be useful at times but then you lose the ability to record Log.

Black rectangular digital camera at an angle attached to a bar with screen capturing clouds and trees in...

Photo: Scott Gilbertson


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