The Insta360 ONE RS is a modular action cam that can shoot in 6K widescreen mode, with active HDR, buttery smooth image stabilization, and a powerful RS core…all for 400 bucks? Does it sound too good to be true?
Not at all!
The Insta360 ONE RS is a pretty powerful piece of tech. It’s a great budget alternative for outdoor enthusiasts, adrenaline junkies, travel bloggers, and content creators.
Check out our review of the new Insta360 ONE RS. 👇
Table of Contents:
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Insta360 ONE RS: Overview
Insta360 ONE RS is a new action camera that is the upgrade of the Insta360 ONE R. RS retains a similar external design as its predecessor, but with more internal processing power (thanks to the RS core) as well as improved camera module technology.
The modular design of Insta360 ONE RS is arguably its standout feature as it allows for attractive 16:9 and 360 footage with the same camera. You just need to switch out the lens module.
On top of its modularity, the Insta360 ONE RS comes with a 4K boost lens which includes a half inch sensor at 48 megapixels that helps to get really stunning images and videos in a variety of AI-powered shooting modes (night mode, timelapse, etc.). The ‘boost’ in 4K Boost also includes 6K widescreen recording.
The cool thing about the Insta360 ONE RS’ camera design is that each part comes separately to assemble; the battery, the mod (which is the lens with the sensor), and the core that is the processor.
The modular system means you can swap lenses like the 360 mod for 360 videos which record at 5.7K, or the one inch mod that was made in collaboration with Leica and works really well under low light conditions recording at 5.3K.
The changeable parts for the RS One are fairly simple. The latch mechanism is identical to the One R allowing for simple assembly of all the modules and easy mounting of all the batteries in one place. It was not as slick as the DJI Action 2 which used a strong metal magnet for the construction and was more secure.
On top of this control module is a Power button and a Record button which is small due to the size of the camera and surprisingly difficult to read or press. Once assembled, the ONE RS was sized and formed similarly to other action cameras and weighs 4.5 ounces.
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I have just a standalone 4K version of the camera which retails for about $400. The standalone version includes:
- 4K Boost Lens
- ONE RS Core
- ONE RS Battery Base
- ONE RS Mounting Bracket.
It also comes with a case which I’m not a big fan of but you have to use it if you want to mount it on an invisible selfie stick or take it on the water. The case also helps with heat dissipation during long periods of recording.
This is the cheapest option. The higher tier is the ONE RS Twin Edition. The Twin Edition includes everything above and the 360 Lens and its accompanying Lens Cap.
You can add a whole bunch of extra items which jacks up the retail price to over $1000. Items like memory cards, an invisible selfie stick, and a one-inch wide angle lens.
I definitely think the 360 camera module is worth the extra change but since I don’t film too much 360 video footage, I opted out.
As mentioned, The Insta360 ONE RS lets has a 48 megapixel camera with AI-assist. It also takes photos and videos in HDR (high dynamic range) to preserve details in the shadows and highlights when lighting is not the best.
Note: The HDR just works until 4K/30 fps.
I have to say I really like the colors and details thanks to Active HDR. It looks sharp, vibrant and super well balanced in the lighting. I’m pointing directly at the sun and everything looks balanced.
For video recording there are three color modes: standard, vivid and log (if you want to go deeper in color grading later in post).
The standard looks great; the greens, purples and yellows look very natural but I see myself using the vivid mode more. I love how the colors pop!
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4K Boost Lens
The major update from The R to The ONE RS is 4K wide angle action lens titled the 4K Boost Lens. The new lens is 1/2 inch, double the size of that of the previous 4-K lens and a larger sensor allows for an improved viewing of 4K videos. Colour is better and can withstand difficult light conditions. Boosted lenses also work better at low light or artificial light.
The 4K Boost Lens also includes 6K recording for wide angle videos (AKA that cinematic look).
Out of all the Insta360 ONE RS features, this one is my favourite. It looks beautiful to shoot in this mode. Again, the quality, the details, the colours — everything looks outstanding.
I will be using the 6K widescreen mode a lot.
The camera also has flow state stabilization and horizon levelling for smooth videos while on the move.
I took a jog in the park and I think the stabilization works great. If you watch the video above, you can see that video is pretty much stabilized. The movement is a little bit jerky if I suddenly twist my hands though.
Note: If you want to activate some of the Insta360 ONE RS’ features like the flow stabilization for smooth movements, and Color Plus, their AI algorithm that enhances colours and lighting, you need to export videos through their desktop app.
This is an unnecessary extra step for pro video editors who prefer to use their own video editing tools such as Premiere Pro or Final Cut.
Built-in Microphone & Audio
The Insta360 ONE RS also has an additional built-in microphone and a ‘Wind Noise Reduction’ algorithm to suppress surrounding noise for improved audio. I think the algorithm does a great job of keeping the dialogue clear albeit muffled.
This is disappointing. Of course, I understand that noise reduction requires muffling but as you can see in my video review, it’s pretty intense. And given that action cameras are meant to be taken out in windy conditions, you’d think the processing would do a better job.
Tip: How to clean up background noise in Premiere Pro. 👇
The Insta360 ONE RS can record in slow-mo; up to 200 fps in 1080p, or 100 fps in 2.7k.
What, no 60 fps in 4K? That’s a missed opportunity…
I did not like the video quality of my final output. Here’s a still from 1920 x 1080 slow-mo recording I took. As you can see, there’s an extra sharpness that makes everything look artificial.
Night Shot & More
The Insta360 ONE RS has AI-night mode capabilities; this little action cam does a great job of capturing details in the darkness without compromising quality.
The image looks good despite all the darker hues. The noise is minimal, which means the RS core is properly analyzing the footage. It’s not just cranking up the ISO levels and adding digital noise.
There are a ton of other AI-powered features:
- Loop recordings
- Burst pictures
- Star Lapse
And from any mode you can choose your angle of view from ultra wide, wide, linear and narrow. In fact, you can change the angle after recording your video, in-post, through the desktop app, which is pretty cool.
Insta360 ONE RS has a smartphone and desktop app where you can edit and polish your videos and pictures.
The mobile app lets you review your footage directly from your cellphone. The transfer speed from the camera to the app is really fast and all done through Wi-Fi.
Inside the app, you will find Shot Lab, which lets you choose animated motion templates for your footage to create eye-catching videos instantly. Shot Lab looks really fun, and I can see a lot of creators and influencers using it.
All in all, I believe the Insta360 ONE RS is a solid action camera for its versatility in different scenarios.
- The 4K Boost Lens allows for gorgeous, wide angle captures, especially with 6K widescreen.
- The modular action camera design allows for flexibility based on your interests.
- Active HDR helps colors, shadows, and highlights pop in complex lighting scenarios.
- Night shot and the other creative shooting modes (timelapse, loop recordings, etc.) put the new core to good use.
Although, there are a few key cons which hurt the Insta360 ONE RS in my eyes:
- The slow-motion capabilities make me think twice.
- The audio recording isn’t powerful enough straight out-of-the-box.
- All the fun add-ons (twin edition, additional lenses, etc.) jacks the price point way past the ONE RS’ appealing $400.
Also, I own a GoPro Hero and a really big deal for me is the size of the screen. The GoPro screen is huge and located on the front and back of the camera.
The Insta360 ONE RS screen is pretty small in comparison. You have to manually disassemble it if you want to have the camera display in the front.
One more con (I promise); I like to scuba dive and the ONE RS has a depth level of 16 feet, five meters while the GoPro goes 33 feet and 10 meters.
At the end of the day, buying an Insta360 ONE RS is your choice, based on your unique priorities. If you’re a creator or an adrenaline junkie that needs to capture crystal clear images and share it quickly, then the One RS is definitely a solid option.
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