The Insta360 Air is a golf ball-sized camera that records 360 images and video from an Android phone. Plugging into a micro USB port, the accessory shoots scrollable 360 or “Little Planet” type shots, as well more standard shots and a separate mode for viewing with virtual reality goggles later.
Insta360 launched an iPhone-compatible 360 camera add-on in 2016, followed by an Indiegogo campaign for the Air in November. The campaign exceeded half its goal in a single day, but for the crowdfunding wary, the Air is now selling at retailers including B&H Photo Video and the manufacturer’s website.
Insta360 says the Air is a plug-and-play device with an intuitive design for simple 360. The Air uses two fisheye lenses and automatic stitching software to shoot 3K photos and 2.5K videos — though, like other consumer 360 cameras, those pixels are stretched through the entire 360 view. The live-capable camera can also double as a webcam with a USB attachment for desktop use.
While the Insta360 Air is the same camera that launched on Indiegogo, the company says they are currently developing additional features in the form of firmware updates, including image stabilization in real time. The stabilization is a software that corrects differences between frames to electronically create a smoother video. While electronic stabilization is common on affordable cameras, the company says the stabilization is expected to work for live streams as well.
The Air retails for $129 and is available in the U.S. as well as the U.K., Canada, Spain, Germany, Italy, France, and Japan.
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